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SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,320
3/3/12 1:15 P

CHECK THE SUGAR AND THE SODIUM IN YOUR FOODS. A large sweet potato is about 200 calories plain. Add some raw veggies to your diet, like raw califlower with a smather of cream cheese. Add cabbage to your diet, raw slices into your salads, add some to your homemade soups. Get up every 20 minutes. Add cinnamon to your foods, coffee or take a cinnamon supplement to rev up your metabolism. You may be insulin resistant. If all else fails read Dr. Mark Hyman's Ultra Metabolism Book. Can buy it on line at WALMART. Good Luck

BRITOMART Posts: 8,347
3/3/12 12:19 P

Another thought; you want to lose under 20 pounds. Maybe your body (not bound by current fashion standards) "thinks" you are where you belong, given the amount you are eating and the amount you are exercising. You may be a scientist, but your body is more complex than that! I'm with the others who suggest you change things around.

Track your food--not just what, but when you eat. Look for ways to change things out--more complex carbs in the morning, maybe, or better fat choices mid-day...I don't know, because I don't know you.

Are you drinking your water? Water is enormously important for health--and for weight loss.

Try some new exercises--swim or bike instead of running, for instance. I agree that ditching the leg weights is important--not for weight loss, but so your knees and hips will last out your life.

Experimentation is key to a protean, healthy lifestyle--we are NOT static beings, after all.

Good success to you.

MARTHROID Posts: 389
3/1/12 8:41 P

A couple of things come to my mind. I was doing everything "right" and I couldn't lose weight. I decided on a whim..."hey, I'm going to do exactly what the Sparkpeople thing says to do. The 1600 calories looked like a lot to me. But, I stayed within range most day. I started running, but only 1 mile a day...not knocking myself out at all.

The first week, I think I gained a pound...very frustrating. But, the next two weeks, I lost 7 pounds. I tried to keep my protein way up, my carbs and fats within range. It was a goal to be within the ranges every day. It was fairly easy to do, too. I had to figure out what do with my morning coffee creamer though.

Now, I am a bad example, because I just broke my toe and all poop has broken loose. So, I don't know what is going to happen now (I'll be needing help on a board with that myself).

The other thing that comes to mind is getting blood levels checked. I found out that I have a hypothyroid condition that makes it very hard to lose weight.

I wish the best for you!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
3/1/12 4:51 P

I have a question for you. YOu mention running and doing certain workouts... when is the last time you changed things up? If you run 3 miles every day... you may actually NOT be burning 400 calories! As we exercise, our bodies become more efficient, ultimately burning few calories. We tend to underestimate the calories we're taking in, and overestimate the calories we're burning.

It may be that you're in an exercise rut. When was the last time you've change your workout routine?

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,867)
Fitness Minutes: (48,271)
Posts: 2,450
2/28/12 2:51 P

Woo-hoo! You go!! Scientists ROCK!!!!!
If you do opt to try this "eating more" experiment (just look at it that way), do let us know how it works for you. Remember - don't be a slave to that scale, either.

If I were you, I'd see how much weighted velocity it takes a rock to smash a scale.

I have no idea what I really just said - but hopefully you laughed and you get my drift!


JEN1492 Posts: 86
2/28/12 2:45 P brought a tear to my eye and a chuckle to my lips....I get so frustrated on how things are supposed to be, but aren't and the way a woman should look, but we don't. The whole BMI thing is total hogwash to me and don't get me started on the magazines and television. I get frustrated by it and then when I try to start a journey to get there and it doesn't work, I get so down about it all. If we have the drive to change shouldn't that be enough???? It isn't as if I am "phoning it in". I should be losing.

With all this ranting done, I am going to go ahead and eat at the top of my caloric range provided by SP instead of below the lowest of the range. I am going to continue exercising because I enjoy it and it is a personal goal of mine.

I may take a nap instead of that tuna sandwich. I can make it later!!!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (201,433)
Fitness Minutes: (301,468)
Posts: 27,440
2/28/12 2:45 P


That sounds like a pretty healthy diet to me too. So why aren't you losing ? Hard to say since it does seem like your eating well. One thing I would say is that it's probably time to ditch the ankle weights and move on to something more challenging with your strength training. Do you have any hand weights ? If not, consider buying a set of 8-12 pound hand weights. If you can handle 10 pound ankle weights, you can go heavier to challenge yourself.

If you don't want to use hand weights, use resistance bands. Let me ask you this, do you fatigue your muscles in roughly 2 sets of 8-12 reps ? If you're doing more reps, you need more weight to slow you down. Once again, lifting a heavy weight doesn't mean you're going to end up looking like a body builder. Women are a lot stronger than they give themselves credit for.

I would say that since it sounds like you're eating really well, it's time to up the intensity of your workouts. And upping intensity doesn't mean high impact. You can keep things low impact and still get a good workout. Try heaver weights with fewer reps.

Oh and I would ditch the sit ups if you're doing traditional situps. Try plank and side plank instead. those are much better core exercises.

Also, do try to at more than 1200 calories on days that you run. Once again, eating too little and exercising too much will hinder a person's weight loss, not help it. If you're running and burning 500 calories, that means on the days you run, your body only has 700 calories to function properly. This assumes that if you eat 1200 calories then deduct 500 for an hour run, that leaves you with 700 calories. 700 calories is not enough to sustain a healthy woman.

Consider trying this along with upping the challenge of your resistance training, eat more on the days you run. You may find that eating more will help you to lose because it sure seems like eating less isn't working.

I'm a firm believer that a person has to eat in order to lose.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 2/28/2012 (14:48)
LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,867)
Fitness Minutes: (48,271)
Posts: 2,450
2/28/12 2:33 P


You certainly sound healthy! Maybe just try eating more. I know it's "anti-logic" but 1200 is the minimum a woman should eat just to maintain bodily functions, and you are doing so much more in terms of exercise.

Logically, would you ask your car to drive you an extra 500 miles more a week if you didn't provide it w/ fuel to do so?

I've copied part of an article from Spark Coach Dean in 2006 (it was actually an article about motivation but this part addresses how the body responds to calories-in-calories-out and can speak to the scientist in you - BTW, my best friend's a scientist, too, and I get that linear thinking I LOVE having smart friends! It's so helpful!! : )

"Shedding pounds is only one of many ways your body responds to lowered calorie intake and/or increased exercise and activity; often, this is the last change to happen. Some of you may lose weight easily and quickly at first, only to slow down later. Others may take forever to lose that first couple of pounds, but then get on a roll. Or your weight loss may come in waves with substantial periods of calm seas in between. All of this is perfectly normal.

Although we talk about weight loss in terms of numbers--calories in versus calories out--your body is not a calculator, and it doesn't operate like your checking account. It is a complex, living organism with all kinds of business to take care of, many needs and priorities to juggle, and usually, more than a few difficulties to overcome that we ourselves put in its way with our less than ideal habits and thought patterns. It's hardly fair, then, to expect that living up to your expectations about what number should appear on the scale at any given moment is going to be very high on your body's agenda. And defining success solely in terms of the number on a scale is one of those habits that can very easily get in the way of reaching your goal."

Okay, you're done reading. Now go make a tuna sandwich! : ) emoticon

JEN1492 Posts: 86
2/28/12 1:46 P

I eat mostly chicken breast and fish.Sometimes it may be lean center pork loin. I love, love, love sweet potatoes and all other veggies. I am a very clean and healthy eater. I do not eat microwave meals or any prepared foods from a box. My meals generally are a lean protein, a veggie, and a sweet potato. My lunches are usually fruits and veggies with maybe a string cheese or almonds thrown in. I drink lots of water flavored with unsweetened cranberry juice. The only treat I give myself everyday is a serving of veggie straws and a couple pieces of Dove chocolate before bedtime. I look forward all day to this treat. I steam, broil, bake, or roast almost everything. I have even given up diet coke....I would say that my average caloric intake per day is about 1200-1300 calories although I know some days I don't quite make it there.

I am burning around 1600 calories per week by running and walking. I am now starting a 12 week program for a half marathon. As far as weight training, I am doing things like sit-ups, squats, bicep curls, tricep dips, butterfly press, bench press, and plies....all done with either leg weights or 10lb weights.

One day I will weigh 158lbs, then 3 days later I am 154.4lbs, give me another 3 days and I am at 158.4lbs.....It continues like this for weeks...up...down...up....down.

I am happy with where I have come from athetically. When I started this in October, I couldn't run more than 5 minutes, but now I am running 5 miles without stopping and a 10 min mile!!!! BUT....I expect to lose weight as well. I am a little smaller....but the weight is not coming off. I hate the fact that my BMI says I am overweight, but I am in better shape than I was at 20. I am 42 now and running 5 miles. Because I have a scientific background, I expect things to happen according to logic. To me logic is burning more calories than consuming should equal weight loss but in my isn't working that way.

2/28/12 12:58 P

Don't quit! Woman-eat those calories! Eating to few calories is going to shoot you in the foot just as much as eating to many is. Spark gives you a min and max range for a reason. Try eating in the calorie range spark suggests and stay away from the scale for awhile. Focus on how you feel, how your clothes fit, and don't focus on the number on the scale.

Maybe mix up the cardio a little-try some of Coach Nicole's videos - her jump rope one is a lot of fun or check out some videos from your local library. Sometimes changing up the workout routine helps kick things up.

Definitely don't give up until you've tried eating in the range Spark recommends for your weight and activity level. You're a scientist-lol-follow the parameters of the experiment. :-)

SEAJESS Posts: 3,840
2/28/12 12:44 P

I agree, sounds as if it's time for some "non-scale victories"!

I do know it's disappointing to be stuck on the scale and not to have the numbers going down. AND... it's an opportunity to develop other rewards and self-esteem boosters.

My weight loss is totally stalled and I've even gained a few pounds because I am training for a half marathon. After I reach my goal I'm going to dedicate myself to losing some weight because I think it will improve my running. But training for a distance run is no time to be depriving the body; any weight loss needs to be done BEFORE.

So maybe try changing your goal from weight loss on the scale to acheiving a physical goal? Check out Slow Fat Runners, read Slow Fat Triathete, etc.

Lastly, how do you think your life will be different if only the weight comes off? I found that weight loss alone did not lead to happiness and connection I thought it would. It's an inside job and weight loss is (sometimes) a symptom in my experience.

Whatever you do, hope you do it with joy and love.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
2/28/12 12:16 P


Healthy living is more than a number on the scale. It is a way of life. Even if you don't lose another pound you are going to receive amazing benefits from embracing health habits.

Below is a list of just a few of the positive changes that occur and NOT one of them mentions the weight on the scale. Too many of us put too much emphasis on the number that we lose site of the real reason we need to embrace healthy habits. HOPE IS NOT LOST!

Coach Nancy

-Increases lung capacity
-Increases immunity fighting immunoglobulins
-Increases mood due to an increase in mood-enhancing chemicals-serotonin, dopamine and nor-epinepherine
-Builds lean muscle mass and bone mass=decrease risk of osteporosis
-Lowers blood pressure, heart rate and stronger heart
-Over time your risk for cardio-vascular disease and type II diabetes falls
-Lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) levels
-Increases in HDL (good cholesterol) levels
-Lowers triglycerides
-Your runs, walks and other exercises become easier
-Cuts in your cancer risk
-You feel better and have more energy
-You feel younger and more confident
-Improves posture
-Increases self-esteem
-Helps with sleep
-Controls stress
- Increases the volume of your muscle mitochondria which leads burning more carbs and fats
-Doubles your muscles ability to use oxygen, therefore, you are better able to use fat as an energy source

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,867)
Fitness Minutes: (48,271)
Posts: 2,450
2/28/12 12:15 P

Stop! Don't quit!!

".....I am doing everything that I am supposed to do except, I may eat fewer calories than I should." BINGO.

You may have just identified your problem!!

That was MY problem for years and I felt just like you, in fact, I DID give up and quit for eight years. Back to eating two pints of Ben & Jerry's at a time; etc etc. In fact, eating whatever it was that I wanted and however MUCH I wanted (and I wanted a LOT).

Also back to gaining even MORE weight, feeling like the fattest person in the room; feeling invisible....and now eight years older and that much closer to a host of weight-related problems that compound as we age when we're heavy. Yikes!

JEN1492, I feel your frustration but maybe, just maybe, you are NOT eating enough. THIS time around, I am eating more than I ever thought possible - not just celery & carrot sticks either - and I am losing weight. You NEED to eat, Jen!

Before you give up, just humor me & try this (what have you got to lose? Ooops - horrible pun!):

Try eating at the high end of the calorie range Spark set for you. No drama, craziness or insanity - if you find you may go over even that amt by a bit, who cares. Eat fairly clean. DO eat a lot of veggies (strive for 9 servings - that is key). DITCH the scale. Why are you a slave to that bratty thing anyway? Exercise like normal. Do NOT do anything that remotely seems like *punishing * yourself ("I ate a candy bar now I must run for an hour"). Do some cardio but lift weights, too. Don't stress as much, get enough sleep & drink your water. In other words, be a sane person. :

You're already doing most if not all of this now! It's the eating component that's swaying you. You've got to eat!! It's not always as simplistic as "calories in vs calories out." If your body perceives itself as not getting enough food, it screws w/ your metabolism and holds onto whatever you give it, making it more difficult for you to lose.

Try this for a week minimum, preferably two. See how you feel & how much loser your clothes feel.

I know we are all different, but Jen I have been doing this approach for the last seven months and this is the FIRST time I feel like I've really tapped into it and will be able to keep this up for life. I wish I would have learned this years ago.

Please consider trying this approach. Good luck to you and I wish you well.

PGNBRI SparkPoints: (30,053)
Fitness Minutes: (14,255)
Posts: 351
2/28/12 11:57 A

If you're a scientist, experiment! You say you may not be eating enough, so start there. Increase your calories. Try that for a few weeks and see how it goes. Everyone is different and you just need to find the balance that works for you. If you don't already, get a heart rate monitor so you can assess more accurately the calories you're burning. And then make sure your calorie deficit isn't more than about a pound a week. Good Luck!

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (201,433)
Fitness Minutes: (301,468)
Posts: 27,440
2/28/12 11:54 A


Don't lose hope ! You don't have your food diary posted so I know how exactly what you've been eating each day. If you're willing to let us look at your food diary, the Spark community may notice things you might not. Many people say they eat healthy, but turns out improvements could be made. Please don't take that the wrong way. The only information I have to work with is what you have posted in this message. So, I'm just taking an educated guess as to why you haven't been able to lose since October. Having your food diary to look at would be helpful.

Let me ask you this, are you eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies each and every day ? Do you eat lean cuts of meat or fish ? Do you eat whole grain breads and cereals ? Do you avoid highly processed foods. One of the things experts have learned is that weight loss isn't just about cutting calories. While it's true the many Americans eat too much and need to eat less, the problem is that they are eating too much of the wrong food and not enough of the right foods. Quality of the food a person eats has a huge impact on our weight as well as our health.

Also, how many calories are you eating each day ? Eating too little and exercising too much CAN hinder a person's weight loss. What you're doing is training your body to conserve fat instead of release fat. If you want your body to release fat, you have to eat enough calories to sustain your day as well as any extra exercise you do.

One thing I will say is that if you have dropped a clothing size, then you are making a difference. Do you have more energy ? Can you run a mile faster today than you could in October ? are you sleeping better ? If you're sleeping better, if you have more energy, if you dropped a clothing size, those are all signs that you've been making improvements.

Why isn't the weight coming off ? Once again, hard to say without seeing your food diary and knowing how many calories you're eating each day.

What are you doing for strength training ? You mention resistance exercises, but how long are your workouts ? I can't emphasize enough how strength training has changed my body for the better. I'll say it because I see it all the time, there are many women who are afraid to challenge their bodies with strength training because they are afraid they'll look like men. They use light weights because they don't want big muscles. Women do not pack on muscle the same way men do. That is a misconception. I lift heavy. I've been weight training for a few years now. I don't look like a body builder. I'm in better shape in my late 40s than I was in my teens.

Do you challenge your muscles with your resistance exercises ? If not, that's one thing you could do to improve your body's ability to burn fat. By challenging your muscles and getting them to fatigue with those resistance exercises, you'll help to increase muscle fiber.

If you don't want to make your food diary public, could you give us a rough idea of what kinds of foods you've been eating ? The more you tell us, the better we can help you.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 2/28/2012 (12:00)
JEN1492 Posts: 86
2/28/12 11:33 A

I am soooooooooooo frustrated and ready to quit and never look back!!!! I am a person with a science degree and this is not making any sense to me. I have counted calories, I have done Weight Watchers, I have done low carb and NOTHING works. I journal everyday and measure my food everyday. I do not go on three day binges. I may take a meal off every now and then but 99% of the time I am faithful and true. I run 3-4 days a week at least 3 miles burning at the minimum 400 calories each time. I walk 45 minutes a day 3 days a week and do resistance exercises twice a week. If it is calories in/calories out, then I should have lost weight. I am down only 2 lbs since the end of October.....I am doing everything that I am supposed to do except, I may eat fewer calories than I should. I have had my thyroid checked and it is supposedly fine..... I have lost a size or so, but shouldn't there be a movement on the scale as well????? Certainly I haven't lost 15 pounds of fat and put 13 pounds of muscle back on my body and that is why the clothes are looser but the scale is the same???? It is very, very frustrating......I am ready to give up the calorie counting and eat as I wish but continue the exercise. Oh what bliss it would be to not have to obsess over everything that goes into my mouth and feel normal for once in my life!!!!!!!! This obsessing and trying is not working!!!

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