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RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
9/28/13 8:17 P

I agree with almost everything that Anarie said. Certainly the process of gradually gaining weight fits me to a T. When I was 33-34, I weighed 170 or so (less than 10 pounds over normal BMI range) was sporadically active, thought I was eating pretty reasonably, etc. Ten years of minor fluctuations and "metabolism changes" later, and I was 190+ and heading upward with no end in sight. Doing exactly the same things as a decade earlier.

Where I differ from her is in the suggestion that it is very probable it will be slow and difficult to lose ten or twenty pounds from where the OP is now. It may very well not be. I thought it was next to impossible for me to lose weight, believed my metabolism was horrible, etc, but in the end when I actually did create a useful deficit and kept it up, I lost weight very well and continued to do so well into my healthy weight range -- essentially right up to 150 pounds, where I put the brakes on and started to increase my intake. (And at that I continued to lose more slowly until I got the balance right after a month or two.) I'm 43, as well. "The last ten pounds" aren't an inevitable struggle for everyone.

That said, the OP would probably be best served by not even trying to create a large calorie deficit. One pound a week or even half that would be plenty, with so little to lose, and perhaps easier to stick to/easier to convert into a long-term lifestyle change than trying to get it all over and done with in a couple of months.

But she's in a great position! Assuming there actually is some overeating going on and it's not a case of 25% body fat with lots and lots of muscle (can't be sure from my position, obviously), she's in a great position to make changes early. I would sure be healthier than I am now if I'd done this a decade ago!

MARYLIZ54120 Posts: 370
9/28/13 6:10 P

I hear ya. I'm over 50 and the weight just kept creeping up. I'm losing now, with (pretty) clean eating, protein shakes and a few other supplements. It is a touchy subject, with so many opinions, but it's working for me. You just have to find what right for you. I would stay away from the caffeine-laden supplements. Tried them, waste of money and didn't even work.

9/28/13 12:33 P

The 30's and 40's is when it begins---that slow gradual weight gain of 10 pounds yearly.
It is important to stop this; however a diet supplement is a waste of your money!

It is great that you are working out.
The other factor is your food intake.
If you make your nutrition tracker public, we can give some more tips. It could be portion sizes, food selections, total calorie intake...

your SP Registered Dietitian

ANARIE Posts: 13,192
9/28/13 9:20 A

To answer your main question first:

No, there is no kind of SAFE supplement or anything that boosts metabolism. Even the horribly unsafe things that make people thin, like crystal meth for example, only do that because they make people nervous and hyper so they're active ALL THE TIME, and kill their appetite so they don't think about eating (mostly because all they can think about is getting more of the drug.)

The supplements you read about that might claim to "boost metabolism*" (they always have that asterisk or the little swordy-looking symbol) contain caffeine to create a mild version of the same effect. The caffeine sometimes works for a week or two by making you more fidgety, but that wears off really fast, and then it *lowers* your metabolism a tiny bit by making you unable to sleep. Most prescription diet drugs basically ARE meth, just a much cleaner version. They're emergency interventions with a lot of risks, only intended for people who are so obese that they're in severe danger from that. No ethical doctor would prescribe something like that for someone like you who is not overweight enough to call it an emergency.

You have a BMI of 27. That's overweight by modern standards, or the top of "normal" for the original BMI scale. Others have said you shouldn't lose weight; I disagree. If you don't at least try to lose a few pounds, you'll likely continue drifting upwards and it will start to affect your health as you reach your 40s.

I know it seems that your metabolism has slowed. The truth is, though, that for most women in their 30s, what has changed is lifestyle. What else are you doing differently from 5 years ago? Have you started living with a man? Women eat more when they eat with a man. Are you working more hours? Do you feel more stressed from your work? Are you eating cheaper food because of the change in the economy? Are you sleeping a little less because you just have so much to do that you stay up later to do it? All of those things affect weight, even though out of that whole list, only sleep actually affects metabolism.

I think that the first step is to track your nutritional intake very carefully. When people say they're "watching calories," it usually means that when they look at the calorie counts on two foods, they choose the one that's lower. That's a start, but it's usually not enough to get you to lose weight. Most people trying to lose weight when they're in that high-normal BMI range need to track EVERY BITE, hopefully before they actually eat. Planning ahead that way can let you make the small decisions that add up to a calorie deficit without a nutrition deficit. It will also let you see whether your metabolism is really lower than normal, or whether you're just eating tiny, tiny extras that put your calorie intake above normal.

When you're in that barely-overweight range, weight loss is a LONG, slow process. My recommendation would be that for the first 28 days, you track without trying to change anything. That will give you an idea of how much you can eat without gaining, and it will also show you if you're eating junk food that's adding calories without nutrients. *Then* you can start trimming calories while paying more attention to the nutritional value of what you eat. At your size, losing a pound or two a month would be the normal rate, so we're talking a year to knock off those 20 pounds. The bad news is that it sucks to have to work for a year, but the good news is that it gives you plenty of time to learn about nutrition and the little odd individual quirks of your own body, so you'll have an easier time keeping those 20 pounds from coming back.

If anybody tells you it'll be easier or there's a faster way, they're lying. But it is possible, and losing that weight by learning to pay intensely close attention to your nutrition will give you the tools to be healthier for the rest of your life.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
9/28/13 8:32 A

First, how do you know your metabolism has dropped? Have you had your BMR tested by a medical professional both in the past and now? Otherwise, this self-diagnosis is probably incorrect. Even if it did drop... it would not drop that significantly in a year where you would gain a lot of weight. You gain weight when you eat more calories than you are burning.

You are having difficultly losing a lot of weight quickly because, as you said... you are pretty close to a healthy weight for your height. The less weight we have to lose, the slower the process. You cannot safely create as large of a calorie deficit as a person who weighs 300 lbs.

-1000 cals a day from your total daily energy expenditure will give you a 2 lbs/week loss, -500 cals/day will give you a 1 lb/week loss.

Your total daily energy expenditure is BMR + activity level + planned exercise.

You do not need to boost your metabolism or BMR, you need to increase your activity level and burn more calories through exercise as well as accurately weigh/measure the calories you are taking in.

I second that scale weight is not as important as body fat percentage. Who cares what the scale says if you have a healthy body fat percentage. Its BF% that determines how you look in mirror. You can weigh more and have a low body fat % but fit in the same size clothes (and look better!) than someone the same height with a higher body fat% and a lower weight.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/28/2013 (08:36)
CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
Fitness Minutes: (23,835)
Posts: 827
9/28/13 7:55 A

I am not sure if you are tracking, but that is what really helped me. I started about where you are. (5ft 6 158 pounds.) I gained about 25 pounds over about 8 yrs starting when I was about 35.

I thought I was eating ok-but once I started tracking, I realized that I was not getting enough protein or fiber, way too many carbs, and my grazing throughout the day as well as the cream/sugar in my coffee added lots of extra calories. I was overestimating my exercise calories burned and underestimating portion sizes and underestimating calories when I ate out.

Like the pp said about the sizes-the junior sizes are meant for kids. My 12 year old daughter wears a 3 at some of those junior stores. (she is 5ft 4 and barely 100 pounds. no hips, no stomach) I can wear a 4-6 at women's stores but could never wear a size 5 at one of the junior stores.

If you are healthy, try not to let a number make you unhappy

Edited by: CLARK971 at: 9/28/2013 (08:02)
9/28/13 7:54 A

The problem with juniors clothes is that they have no hips. So even if you a skinny you can't fit into them, if you have any hips.

Targets sizes are odd. Besides that, on the East coast the sizing is the same as you described in Cali.

ALORTA SparkPoints: (7,363)
Fitness Minutes: (3,449)
Posts: 310
9/28/13 5:42 A

Muscle weighs more than fat...
maybe you're weighing more because of increased muscle, not because your metabolism is down?
I second what BunnyKicks said....
if you look the way you want and are healthy... weight is just a number.

Edit; maybe its different where you are, but all the odd sizes are meant for kids/teens here... if its the same where you are I'll admit to being a tad curious as to why you're still shopping in the juniors (and that switching over to the women's sizes might yield a nice surprise as far as fit and number go... since size 9 is NOT between women's 8 and 10; at least not in Cali)

Edited by: ALORTA at: 9/28/2013 (05:45)
BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
9/27/13 11:57 P

Well, if you're physically fit AND the size you want to be...

why does it matter what you weigh??

LEXISMAMMA1979 SparkPoints: (582)
Fitness Minutes: (90)
Posts: 8
9/27/13 9:23 P

Also, I wear a size nine jeans. I cant figure out how on earth I weigh what I do....Im so confused.

LEXISMAMMA1979 SparkPoints: (582)
Fitness Minutes: (90)
Posts: 8
9/27/13 9:21 P

Do you do calories burned all day or just during exercise?

SPACEYSTACY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,937)
Posts: 1,438
9/27/13 8:47 P

Strength training will boost your metabolism.

AGILEDOBE Posts: 428
9/27/13 8:16 P

cut down on your food. Stimulants can damage your heart, none are safe, just do it the natural way and start logging what you really eat every meal till you can see where the calories are coming from.
I am also 5'5 at 169 and would be fine except all my fat sits in my tummy making me a size 16 and I am aiming for my previous size 12 . With the help of Sparkpeople food logs. I finally determined for me to lose weight, I can not eat more than 1500 calories/ day max. I use a Polar heart monitor to record my calories burned daily, at least 200 every day...aiming for 150 # by end of the year. Good luck as you lose !

LEXISMAMMA1979 SparkPoints: (582)
Fitness Minutes: (90)
Posts: 8
9/27/13 6:51 P

Ok, so Im 33 going on 34 very soon. My metabolism dropped probably last year and that is when I started gaining weight. I have gained about 20 pounds over the last 2 years roughly. I now excerise 5-6 days a week and am watching my calories its just really hard to lose weight. Im not very overweight...not by looks at all. I am 5 foot 5, and currently weigh 163lbs. You would never guess by looking at me but at the same time I am not happy with how I look and the extra pudge around my middle and the newly formed back fat :(

Is there any kind of SAFE supplement or anything that boots metabolism? I know this is a touchy subject and Im sure alot of opinions. I dont want and easy way out. Just some help. Please let me know.


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