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SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
5/19/13 12:05 P

Another proponent of carefully measuring and tracking your food. I think that you will see improved results in the coming weeks if you track and measure and get your calorie range calculated correctly which will take into consideration your exercise. I would also recommend buying a HR monitor and a good food scale.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
5/19/13 9:01 A

Hi ALICE, I totally get your frustration. One more voice for weighing everything - I recommend grams rather than ounces, it's easier to be more exact. Especially fruit - fruit is ridiculously high calorie sometimes. Cherries are in season here now and I figured out I had enough calories for 90g of cherries so I went into the kitchen to weigh them out and was shocked by how few that was. Other fruits - like strawberries - are really low calorie but they need to be weighed anyway. Some fruits, like dates, are so high calorie it can be very hard to fit them into a reduced calorie diet. A medium apple according to the food database is almost impossible to find in an American supermarket, by the way. They are all extra large or larger. Those database amounts are based on averages from the 1960s or so; fruit has gotten a lot larger. I live in a country where fruit is much smaller than in the US and even here, "medium apple" is usually the smallest in the bunch. Bananas are another great example of fruit that has outgrown its size labels.

I don't lose quickly either. It is true that I won't be at my goal weight as soon as I want to be, but every time I go to the gym, I get healthier. It's annoying when people point that out, I bet, but it's still true ;)

I weigh myself every day for the same reason you don't. When I weigh myself every day, at least I know that when I get on the scale, it's not going to be a shock and demotivating. If I weighed myself once/month, I'd be hit with a shock and probably demotivated. I'm not recommending daily weighing as that's controversial on SP, but I think it's worth experimenting with different ways to see what actually gives you the best results. I just went on a 2 week vacation and I took my scale with me -- and I lost weight at the same rate on vacation as I have been at home, my scale helped me by getting regular feedback since I was off my routine. Weight is just data and it can be very helpful if you use it in your favor!

STDWYNWEN SparkPoints: (11,748)
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Posts: 577
5/19/13 8:20 A


Just know, we all want you to succeed - this is a very supportive crowd here.
We're here to give advice, pep talks when you need it. We all have our ways of showing support. Some can be interpreted as more 'straight talk' than others, but it all comes from a place of good intentions and wanting to be helpful.

Try not to let yourself get too stressed about what you see on the scale, yes I know easier said than done :-) .
You can do this. Every positive thing you do for your health will not always be seen by the number on the scale.

Good luck!

ALICEINSHORTS SparkPoints: (15)
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Posts: 6
5/18/13 5:26 P

I understand that the difference between 1lb and 0.6lbs is only 0.4lbs, and to some that might not seem like a lot, but it's a lot to me! A whole lot! That almost the same amout everybody seems to tell me I should be satisfied losing every week anyway. And I knew losing all this weight would take time, I knew it. But now it seems like it would take double the time I had initially thought. I wanted to get pregnant again for the third and last time, and I need to be at a healthy weight to even begin to try. In my head I had given myself 1.5- 2 years to lose the weight, but now it seems like it will take closer to 3-4 years and it's so deflating. I got myself into this mess I know, but it just completely shifts all my life plans by years. So yes, 0.4lbs make a big difference for me, that's a 20lbs difference per year!

And I know I'm whining! I know! :p I guess I'm just kicking and screaming like a little toddler right now because things aren't going my way. So thank you to all who are reading this and taking the time to respond. I am just very frustrated in this moment and realize I have to shift my attitude once again to be successful.

Edited by: ALICEINSHORTS at: 5/18/2013 (17:27)
WHOLENEWME79 Posts: 951
5/18/13 4:34 P

How much different is 1lb versus 0.6lbs? just 0.4. Some folks only lose .5lb each week and while it is frustrating, you could be losing exactly nothing each week, or gaining.

When I started this journey, I did not lose an ounce for 8 weeks exactly. So if you want to compare frustrations, there you go. However, there were other changes going on, so I knew I was making progress, even if the scale didn't show it. I was consistently losing inches in that time period. My clothes fit better. I was much more energetic. I was eating more fruits and vegetables and not eating out as much, so I was also saving money.

Don't let the scale dictate your success. Scales are jerks, anyway. Real progress is being healthy, feeling energetic, and being happy with yourself.

Best of luck.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
5/18/13 4:29 P

I would definitely put in your exercise amounts when you set up your goals. Also DEFINITELY measure your foods. Fruits especially aren't that low in calorie and being off even a bit can really skew the numbers. An apple from the grocery store could be 80 calories, but it could also be 150. I don't know how you would even calculate calories for meat without weighing it. A chicken breast could be 5oz, or it could be 10. Most of the ones I get at the grocery store (not the frozen kind, but fresh) are at least 8 ounces, and sometimes more than that.

Weighing and measuring may seem like a pain now, but you get faster at it, and yes, eventually you can eyeball things. I don't weigh and measure fruits and veggies anymore, but I still do meat, pasta, and rice.

Also, having the expectation of losing 1.5-2lbs a week at your current weight is not completely off base, but expecting results like that without doing everything "right" is off base.

ALICEINSHORTS SparkPoints: (15)
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5/18/13 4:29 P

I should definitely start weighing my food. Thank you for that suggestion!

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
5/18/13 4:25 P

When you increase exercise, you WILL eat more than you think you're eating if you don't weigh/measure your portions. It has nothing to do with laziness or "cheating" or anything like that; it's actually a very clever thing that our bodies do to protect us. When you're expending more calories than normal, you literally see food differently. Servings look smaller. There have been studies where they took people and showed them exactly the same serving of food when they were hungry (or after exercise) and when they weren't, and they asked them to estimate how much the food weighed. Without exception, the same person would estimate lower when they were hungry than when they weren't. So those apples that look medium to you now probably would have looked large to you before you started exercising and eating less. It's a survival instinct that we all have. Our bodies are designed to keep us at a steady weight. Your body has no idea that you're exercising to try to lose weight; it assumes that all this activity is because you're having to walk further to find food or dig harder to grow it, which means there might be a famine coming. It wants you to stock up so you're prepared if the famine does hit, and the best way to do that is to trick your eyes and brain into thinking you're eating less.

The food scale will make a big difference in your progress. A "medium" apple could have 85 calories or 140 calories, depending on your definition of medium at a given moment. Seven ounces of apple has 103 calories, and it will always have 103 calories regardless of who weighs it or how they were feeling when they weighed it.

A digital scale will run you $25 or less. It's the best investment you can make in weight loss.

ALICEINSHORTS SparkPoints: (15)
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Posts: 6
5/18/13 4:21 P

Thank you all for your input and suggestions. I must have misrepresented myself though and I'm sorry for that. I in no way, shape or form expect a quick fix or anything even remotely like biggest loser. Two people mentioned it and I honestly don't know what I said to imply that I wanted to lose tht much weight that quickly.

But the poster that suggested my expectations were off is completely right. I guess I expected to lose 1-2 lbs per week, which was what is healthy and recommended. But I've been losing closer to 0.6lbs a week which is what is frustrating. I was hoping with the amount of running I've been doing I would lose the 1-2lbs, that's nowhere near "biggest loser" and is not in anyway an unhealthy or irrational expectation.

I am not doing any "fad" diet. I've been eating extremely healthy and did plenty of research on foods and how they are processed in our bodies which is why I chose a non-processed diet vs. soley low carbs, or low fat or all the other "diets", I am just eating healthy while also maintaining a calorie limit, period. I've been able to maintain this for 5 weeks with no problems with hunger or cravings because I'm doing it right. But I guess I felt like I should be losing 1-2 vs 0.6 which is why I am so frustrated. I'm doing everything in a healthy way, and the running is in no way excessive, I enjoy it and am proud of it.

STDWYNWEN SparkPoints: (11,748)
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Posts: 577
5/18/13 2:51 P


Do you want to keep the weight off once it's gone? If the answer is yes then 1lb a week is how you want to do it.

It may seem depressing now because you want the 'Biggest Loser' like numbers but statistically if you take the weight off at a healthy rate (1-2lb a week depending on how much you have to lose) you have a better chance of keeping it off.

What I'm gathering from your post, you took the zero-to-sixty mph approach in overhauling your life. We all get this surge of motivation and go 'all in'. Do yourself a favor and take the time to read the nutrition/fitness articles here at SparkPeople. It's what I like to think of as a 'what to expect while your losing' site. You'll save yourself a lot of aggravation if you go at this at a more moderate pace. Sure, you won't lose it all as fast as you anticipated, but you'll gain the knowledge of those who came before you.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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Posts: 9,717
5/18/13 1:06 P

Housework and such is not considered moderate; the sedentary lifestyle accounts for daily activity.

You ARE losing weight! 3 lbs in 5 weeks is excellent progress. That is not "no" weight loss, and I don't quite understand why you think it's not! It can take as much as 6-8 weeks for healthy lifestyle changes to show up on the scale, and you're showing progress in 4. That's phenomenal! You aren't "unable to lose weight", you ARE losing weight.

I think the problem here isn't what you're doing, it's your *expectations* of what you feel your progress should be. This isn't the biggest loser, and those kinds of results simply aren't typical.

You can aim for 1 lb weight loss at your weight, but you are still starting out, so things are still settling in your body. Adding all that exercise alone can mask weight loss even though you ARE changing your body's composition, because intense exercise your body isn't used to can trigger water retention, which can hide the weight loss in the short term. I do think you are exercising *too much* ... unless you are a regular runner (and I mean have been running 3-4 times a week for over a year) you do not need to be running every day. You are risking injury and worse. You may actually be eating too little to support your high activity level.

You aren't weighing and measuring, and that can sabotage you in sneaky ways. 50 calories there, 30 calories here, and next thing you know you've got 200 calories a day that you aren't accounting for... and that can be enough to make the difference.

This is NOT a race. Being in a hurry won't get you there any faster, and it will (as you have found already) only set yourself up for frustration and failure. It took TIME to put the weight on, it will take time to take it off. It sounds to me like you still have the diet mentality. I suggest reading this article, it really helped me a LOT in adjusting my attitude towards the process. This isn't a diet, about short-term results, this is a lifestyle change, about healthy living for life.

ALICEINSHORTS SparkPoints: (15)
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Posts: 6
5/18/13 12:25 P

I weighted myself 3 times in those 5 weeks. Once at the beginning to determine my inital starting weight, once after 7 days had passed. I had zero weight loss and was super upset, and that's when I decided I needed to stop obsessing about the number and focus on the running instead because the number was severly demotivating. Then I weight myself exactly one month later (4 weeks) and that's when it showed a 3lbs weight loss.

ALICEINSHORTS SparkPoints: (15)
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Posts: 6
5/18/13 12:14 P

To be completely honest, no, I did not measure and weigh my food. I was eating all fresh fruit and vegetables so I sort of picked "medium sized" fruit and such. I baked all my chicken and fish in foil in the oven with no oils. I did count out nuts to make sure I ate only one serving.

When I inputed my "lifestyle" I put it moderate because I do house cleaning and suh, but I guess I didn't add in the excersise I was doing because I thought you were only supposed to calculate what you would do normally and the excersise is an "extra" over that. Maybe I'm wrong?

I was using an app on my phone called loseit but now I guess I could use spark people to track my food and such. I'll make it public so you guys can help! :)

So with all the clean eating and excersise I should not even expect 1lb loss a week?? That's just utterly depressing.....

NIRERIN Posts: 14,297
5/18/13 12:12 P

your body takes time to adjust to changes. it can take six weeks to see results on the scale. and that's for changing just one thing. you changed multiple things, and not just a little bit either. it takes time for your body to catch up with the program. and while you didn't see the loss you wanted, you did lose. keep in mind that water weight can be a big one and diet and exercise are big factors in how much you retain. and again, those are things that you made big changes to.
hopefully before you started you went to the doctor to rule out any medical issues you may have. if you didn't do that, it might be worth it.
also, did you really only weigh at the beginning and 5 weeks in? because if you did, then you don't really have enough data to determine what your weight is doing. your weight can and will vary by up to 5lbs per day. that's everyone all the time based on what happens to be in them at the moment. since you are female you also have your menstrual cycle to contend with. for some women it doesn't make a huge difference, but for others they need to compare that week's weigh in with the previous month's weigh in because they fluctuate so much. the point of all of this is that one or two weigh ins aren't the best judge of where you are. neither is looking everyday. pick either a weekly day or monthly day and get a few more data points to see the total trend of where you are. the little 5lbs here and there bobbles are normal. and once you get more data you can see patterns.
and are you weighing yourself properly? first thing in the morning after you get up, after going to the bathroom but before you ingest anything? because water weighs 1/2 lb per cup. so if you aren't going to the bathroom or you are drinking before you step on the scale, that's the same as holding the stuff in your arms when you step on the scale.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
5/18/13 12:04 P

3lbs in 5 weeks isn't that bad. I lost an average of just under a pound a week throughout my journey, so you're not that far off from there. I'm around the same age as you although I have not had children.

When you were given your calorie ranges, did you input all of the exercise you were doing? I almost think with all that exercise, 1400 calories a day isn't enough to fuel your body.

Also, were you measuring all your foods, using measuring cups, spoons, a scale? Often people do not do this, and eyeball it, and they either end up not consuming enough or consuming too much. Also if you create a sparkpage and make your food tracker public, that might help us give you more specific advice about your eating.... maybe there's something there that you're doing that is hindering things.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 5/18/2013 (12:05)
ALICEINSHORTS SparkPoints: (15)
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Posts: 6
5/18/13 11:55 A

Super frustrated new member here! A little background about me:
I'm 30, 5'6, and currently 240lbs. I'm a SAHM to my two wonderful little boys and have been struggling to lose weight after my pregnancies. I developed GD while pregnant with my second son, and also had high BP issues during the end of the pregnancy. I'm almost 2 years post partum and have gained weight vs. losing dispite my most sincere efforts to manage my eating and exercising.

For a full 5 weeks I dieted and excersised to what I felt was my full effort and I lost 3lbs in 5 weeks. I am very upset about that and I feel like my body is truely broken or just unable to lose weight. Here is what I did:
- I ate a clean diet. No processed foods. That included no refined sugar, no breads or refined flour, no diary, no oils. It was a very clean diet and I did not cheat, not even once.

- I limited my calories to the recommended 1200-1550 I was given. Most days were around 1350-1450.

-I drank 50oz of water minimum a day. Most days were a lot more.

-I made sure I ate breakfast everyday (which is hard for me because I usually skip it!) and it was fresh fruit.

- I started exercising 5-6 days a week. I ran every time, running an average of 4 miles a day. After I ran, I would go down to the weight room and do machines for another 30 minutes, including legs, arms and abs. I ran on a treadmill for at least 45 minutes (usually it was an hour because I ran 15 minute miles which amounted to running 4 miles an hour.

I honestly don't know what more I could have done. I have two young children to care for during the day. I waited until till my husband came back from work at 7 and then I went to the gym and worked out for at least 1.5 hours. One full hour of that was constant running (cardio where my heart rate was elevated and all). I did this for 5 weeks and completely resisted weighing myself. Typically, when I diet I weigh myself every day and get discouraged when I don't see a daily loss. This time I wanted to set myself up for success so I didn't weigh myself and just focused on the running, making little goals for myself, and making sure I ate a healthy, balances, clean diet. I ate so well I even amazed myself! I honestly don't know what more I could have done. I don't understand why I did not lose more weight.

I need to lose so much, and 5 weeks of full-out diet and excersise with only a 3lbs loss. It just is not fair. I am very discouraged and really don't think dieting and excersising is going to get me anywhere. But how could that possibly be? I just don't understand what's going on.
Oh, and I also want to add that I do not currently have GD or high BP, it was only when I was pregnant with my son, and both conditions went away after his birth. I just listed them to give a short medical background.

Edited by: ALICEINSHORTS at: 5/18/2013 (12:03)
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