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MYEVEREST SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 36
1/17/12 2:45 P

Okay, y'all. It's been almost 2 weeks since I posted this. I made the following changes:

-Upped my calories by about 200-400 per day on average (some days less, some days more)
-Added a weight training session once/week
-Cut the running down to 4 days a week instead of 5
-Started watching my carbs a little closer a few days a week (I read somewhere that this could help)
-Stopped eating past 8:00 pm

I also measured myself but read somewhere that you should wait a week or so before comparing, so i have another few days until i can do that and see what's happening there.

But the scale still isn't budging. I went to the doctor to get a referral for a nutritionist, so I'm hoping to get some clarity there about what I'm doing wrong.

I just don't get it. I know, I know...the scale doesn't tell the whole story, I'm gaining muscle, it takes time...... But I'm beyond frustrated at this point. I'll keep going. These are habits now, more than anything. Healthy habits that I enjoy. I just wish I could see some real change in myself and yes, the number on the scale. I started this with a clear goal in mind. So I could look and feel fantastic for the first time in a long time in a bathing suit in front of all of my peers in June. I'm really bummed that I may not see any real results by then.

I'm doing the work. It's just not producing weight-loss results. And I think I have a right to be annoyed with this process right now....

Sorry for the rant. Just not sure where else to turn.

Ever onward...

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,759)
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1/5/12 9:19 A


If you're planning on running on a regular basis, then drastically cutting your carbs is the last thing you should do. Some who runs MUST have carbohydrates for energy. Carbs are not the enemy. Your body needs carbohydrates to function properly. If you cut your carbs, you're going to notice a drop off in your energy as well as your running times.

food = fuel = energy

and if you don't fuel your body properly, you're going to notice you don't seem to have enough energy to do everything you want.

If you want to reduce your intake of carbs, then cut back on sugary treats or junk food. Trade white bread for whole wheat, rye or pumpernickel. Increase your intake of fresh fruit and veggies so that you're eating 6-9 servings each and every day. Eat more beans. Beans are really good for you. Beans are a good way to increase your protein without increasing saturated fat. You may even want to trade your regular yogurt for a good Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is higher in protein than something like Yoplait. If you read the label carefully, Yoplait isn't really yogurt.

As I've mentioned in previous replies, if you want to be an athlete, then you must eat like one.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,452
1/5/12 4:33 A

What your father says is factually true, but irrelevant. the body does switch to using a higher proportion of fat for longer workouts. But even after 20 minutes the body can convert fat to energy only slowly, and the bulk of the energy for your workout will come from glycogen rather than fat.

But where energy is coming from during your workout is irrelevant - what matters is the overall balance between calories eaten and burned over THE ENTIRE 24 HOUR day. To put things in context, most people burn between 1300 and 1900 calories daily just keeping their metabolism ticking over, whereas even 60 minutes running only burns a few hundred calories. You actually burn most of your fat meeting the (slower) energy needs for the rest f the day.

Your running friends' advice is also not particularly relevant either. The major factor in how many calories are burned is the total distance covered, not speed. And you can probably maximize distance by slowing down a bit.

Also, it is a common response when you start/increase working out, for your muscles to retain water. This can lead to little change (or even an increase) in the scale, even as you are burning fat.

However, muscle and water are considerably denser than fat, and typically this shows up as inches lost, even if the scale is being unco-operative. The tape is often a much better means of tracking your progress than the scale. And if the issue is looking good for Mexico, I'm guessing it really is inches, rather than pounds that you care about.


1/4/12 7:08 P

I think you got some great advice here, and I just want to reiterate some of it. I forget where/when, but I was reading recently that the most consistent weightloss occurs at about a 200-300 calorie deficit, and I've found that to be true for myself. When I was eating around 1200 calories a day, I lost nothing, and occasionally even gaining weight, even though I felt like I was doing everything right. As soon as I upped my eating to about 1700-1800 calories per day instead, suddenly the weight just started to fall off. It should be simple and formulaic, but your body is not a machine, and your biology is more complex than a simple mathematical formula.

MYEVEREST SparkPoints: (0)
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1/4/12 4:01 P

I was playing with the ranges, and they seem to adjust calories if I'm burning upwards of 2500 calories/week, but no less. Annoying.

And you're right....I want a VISUAL difference, but the numbers still hold meaning for me, as inaccurate as they may be. But, ultimate goal is to shed fat and add muscle and look and feel fantastic in Mexico in June. And beyond! And maybe that "looks like" 140, or maybe it looks like 155 with muscle. I won't know until I get there.

I've just been so motivated and consistent for the last 2 months....I feel like I'm doing all the right things. I just want the results to finally start showing up a bit, so i know i'm moving in the right direction!

My adjustments will be:
-Up calories to 1450-1700 from current 1200-1500
-Run 2 days, rest 1, with strength training added in twice a week
-Eat nothing after 7:30 pm
-Add protein, drastically reduce carbs

Hopefully this will get me losing (and gaining muscle). Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.

Ever onward....

OFCCAT Posts: 127
1/4/12 3:54 P

1. You need to be eating at least your "regular" calories back. Not eating enough will also prohibit weight loss.

2. Make sure you're getting enough protein, good fats, etc.

3. Add strength training- it's also important.

4. Add interval training. Spurts of high intensity running then back to regular.

5 mix up your cardio. Do others besides running as your body does adapt to what you're doing- confuse it.

BDD923 SparkPoints: (6,407)
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1/4/12 2:47 P

I had the same problem with the SP ranges. Even if I burn 2000+ calories exercising in a week, the ranges of calories do not adjust. But I would try eating more. 1000 calorie deficit is a lot and you are working hard!!

I think you will be more than pleased with strength training. Just make sure you work hard at it. Make sure you push your muscles to fatigue during your reps. There are several resources on SP to help you with that. There are also fitness classes and DVDs to help you as well!!

I second the measurements. It's not too late to start, so start today! You won't want to measure weekly, necessarily. But the deal with strength training, as you are already aware, you may not lose as closely. But you will SEE a difference... which I assume you will want for this event?!

I quit tracking the scale. My goal is to lose the inches to get into my wardrobe. Even though the scale is moving slowly for me... I am already a pant size down and I can see lift in areas I hadn't before!! But on the scale I have only lost 2 pounds. But the way I see it... no one knows what the scale says but me... and people seem to think I have dropped a bunch of weight. Isn't that the real measure??

MYEVEREST SparkPoints: (0)
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1/4/12 1:52 P

No, Cheetara...I should have. I know I've probably dropped a bit, in spite of what the scale says, because my body feels a little different, especially throughout the waist/belly. I need to get a measuring tape and do that, too. Thanks for the reminder!

CHEETARA79 Posts: 3,919
1/4/12 12:54 P

Do you take measurements ever? Sometimes the scale doesn't tell the whole story. Dropping inches is better than dropping pounds IMO.

MYEVEREST SparkPoints: (0)
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1/4/12 12:46 P

I'm willing to try anything. Thanks for the recommendations. I'm ordering the book now for my iPad.

I'll up my calories to 1600-1700 and see what happens over the next few weeks. I'm also making an appointment with a nutritionist as I type, so I can get my true BMR and see if I'm eating right for my goals.

Will begin strength training as well, and I fully expect a jump on the scale. I know it's a positive, in the end, though.

Wish me luck. I want to rock that bikini in June, darnit! :-)

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,759)
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1/4/12 12:28 P

To paraphrase Dr Phil,"since the 1,000 calorie per day deficit doesn't seem to be working for you, how about trying a 500 calorie deficit instead ?"

Because you don't have a lot to lose, how about trying for a one pound loss per week instead of the two pound loss. the two pound loss combined with your running may just be too ambitious for your body.

And if you're going to start strength training (which I too encourage you to do), you're going to need to eat more. Oh and don't freak out if you happen to "gain" weight when you do. it's not unusual to see a gain in weight when a person starts strength training. Don't worry, it's nothing more than a temporary water weight gain that will pass once your body has adapted to the new routine.

Do check that book out in the library. You will find it enlightening.

MYEVEREST SparkPoints: (0)
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1/4/12 12:16 P deficit is WITH running. Not in addition to. I'm allotted 1200-1500 calories a day, and I'm well within that, plus walking/running and burning about 400-600 calories a day through exercise. So, with my BMR and diet, I'm netting a 1000 deficit total. Not just through exercise.

Edited to say.... But, you're still saying it's too little. Hey... I have no problem eating MORE. :-) But I'm following what SP says to do with this activity level. Should I ignore their guidelines? And if so, how do I know how many more calories to eat...

Edited by: MYEVEREST at: 1/4/2012 (12:25)
ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,759)
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1/4/12 12:11 P

As I said, "according to SP, i'm averaging close to 1000 deficit EVERY DAY".

That's an awfully big deficit for a person who is also running.

I don't know how many calories you eat per day, but using your tracker weight as a rough guideline, let's say that the Spark software recommends that you eat 1200-1500 calories per day in order to lose one pound per week. This assumes that your body needs 2,000 calories just to maintain your current weight. Your BMR calories are the least amount of calories a person needs to just be able to lie in bed thinking. at your current weight, figure 1700 calories are needed just to lie in bed. Your heart, lungs and vital organs require a lot of calories to function properly.

Okay, so let's say that to lose one pound per week, Spark says you should eat 1200-1500 calories per day. this doesn't include exercise.

So, let's include exercise. Let's say that your body burns 500 calories in a 60 minute run. do this six days a week that should help your body lose an additional one pound per week.
In theory...

Theory works great on paper, but the biochemistry is much more complicated. If you create too big a deficit that will slow down your loss. Once again because you're forcing your body to decide which is more important i.e. having calories to keep your heart working or having calories to run.

The closer a person is to a healthy weight for their height, the harder it is to lose the excess. If you were morbidly obese, you would see a loss with a 1,000 calorie deficit. But, at your current weight, the deficit is too big.

going back to that assumption that in order to lose one pound per week, you need to eat 1200-1500 calories. Now, let's subtract that 500 calories you burn when you run. This means on some days, your body is only getting 700-1000 calories per day. That's not enough to keep an adult woman healthy. that's why the weight isn't coming off. your deficit is too big.

I know this is going to sound strange, but if you want to lose weight... you're going to have to eat more.

There is a book you should read and it will back me up. It's by Nancy Clark. She's a nurse, dietitian as well as a sports nutritionist. She will tell you how women athletes are notorious for eating too little and exercising too much in the hopes that will speed up their weight loss. Well, she too recommends they eat more so that they do have enough calories to keep their vital organs functioning as well as having calories to burn for exercise.

This is probably the best book on sports nutrition out there.

If you want to be an athlete, you've got to learn to eat like one.

MYEVEREST SparkPoints: (0)
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1/4/12 11:59 A

I'm planning on adding in strength training. That's a good point. I read that it helps ward off running injuries as well, to strengthen legs/knees/back. So, that's on my agenda for this week. Maybe that will be a big difference maker?? Might as well try....

MATREXX Posts: 579
1/4/12 11:54 A

In addition to what has already been said you should also add strength training. Though cardio burns calories, muscle burns more calories after you stop your workout. As was stated you could be eating too few calories. Our bodies are much much more complex than calories in and calories out. You should try rotating the number of calories you eat - eat at the bottom of your range some days and at the top on others. This seems to help some people get their metabolism revved up.

MYEVEREST SparkPoints: (0)
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1/4/12 11:48 A

I've been logging my food here on and off for a few years. But, have been really consistent since last summer/fall. I stick to the calorie range they give me 90% of the time.

I've been a vegetarian for 20+ years, and I'm a big creature of habit, so I tend to eat pretty well most days. Here is a typical day for me:

Breakfast: Light & Fit yogurt, banana, handful of granola, coffee with a few tbsp creamer
Lunch: Big spinach salad, with veggies galore and fat-free ranch dressing, a bit of cheese/beans for protein, diet coke
Dinner: amy's burrito OR 3 eggs in whole grain tortilla; sprinkle of cheese, sometimes a little sour cream. I also live on those steam-fresh bags of broccoli, too, with spray butter. I have one of those a few times a week at dinner.
Snacks: Twice a day I'll have either cottage cheese & tomatoes or Hummus/carrots/cucumbers and usually a single piece of dark chocolate. Occasionally I'll have a skinny cow ice cream or piece of bread or single serving of 'diet' chips for when I'm really craving salt and carbs.

I really can't imagine I'm eating too little. I'm NEVER under SP's recommendation for me for calories/activity level. Especially if you factor in the weekends, where I'm not as disciplined. Add in some red wine and the occasional pizza/potato indulgence on Saturday night, and that's my diet.

As I said, according to SP, i'm averaging close to 1000 deficit EVERY DAY. Even if their ranges or my calorie estimates were off by a few hundred, I'd expect some movement.

Edited by: MYEVEREST at: 1/4/2012 (11:53)
ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,759)
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1/4/12 11:36 A

What are you eating ? When someone who is running asks me why they aren't losing weight, that's the first thing I ask them.

When it comes to weight loss, what matters most is what we eat. Good nutrition is what takes the weight off and keeps it off. Exercise is what keeps our bodies fit and healthy. In short, it doesn't matter how much you're exercising, if you're not eating right... the weight won't come off. You'll get fitter faster, but not necessarily scale lighter.

Exercise ONLY helps a person to lose weight IF a caloric deficit is created i.e. calories in versus calories out. So, no deficit... no loss.

So what have you been eating ? Do you log your food choices ? If not, you should start by filling out your spark nutrition profile. the software will set a calorie range for you. Then you do your best to stay within that range. Don't go too far over or too far under. staying in that range can help you to lose weight if you are patient.

Also, because you're running, you don't want to eat too little. Eating too little and exercising too much can hinder a person's weight loss instead of help it. Why ? You're forcing your body to decide which is more important i.e. having calories to run each day OR having calories to keep your vital organs (heart) working properly. I can assure you, your body does care if you're running. All your body cares about is having calories to keep you alive. So, if you're not eating enough, that too can slow your loss.

Unless you can exercise 4-6 hours a day, exercise really doesn't help a person to lose weight. Yes, it helps keep us fitter, BUT weight loss really does boil down to eating a healthy diet.

MYEVEREST SparkPoints: (0)
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1/4/12 11:28 A

I know everyone posts one of these messages at some point. I've read enough of them to know better! But I still feel the need to vent and ask for your advice.

I started running back in mid November...about 8 weeks ago, now. Started off slow. VERY slow. Was averaging 14 minute miles, but was able to go for 60+ minutes, and nearly 5 miles at a stretch. Scale wasn't budging. So, I asked runner friends for advice, and they all said "go faster." So, I'm now running 30-45 minutes, but at a 11:45 pace on average. Still no movement. So, I ask my runner father what's going on, and he says "go longer" because fat burning doesn't happen until at least 20 minutes in. Needless to say, I'm confused. Do I need to run both faster and longer before I see any kind of weight loss? I assumed ANY kind of running would do SOMETHING for me!

I have a big milestone I'm aiming to meet (I do really well with goals to work towards). I'll be in Mexico for a wedding in mid-June of this year, and will be in front of just about everyone I know in a bathing suit. So, I gave myself (what I thought) was a very generous 8 months to lose 30-40 pounds. But I think I've lost about 2 pounds in 2 months. It's beyond frustrating. I feel like I'm doing everything the 'experts' say to do. Running 5 days a week (in addition to walking home from work most nights, so another 1.5 miles on top of that), tracking everything I eat and achieving a calorie deficit of 750-1100 calories/day consistently. Isn't it simple physics??? Calories in, calories out? What am I doing wrong?

Last night I decided to switch it up a little. From now on, no more food after 7:30 pm. I'm really focusing in on proteins vs. carbs (which is a little more challenging as a lifelong vegetarian), and reducing my calories by another 150/day to see if something happens. I've still got 6 months to meet my goal, but I want to do this the right way. I'm not afraid to do the work. It's just not working. I actually enjoy running, and won't stop's something I look forward to every day. But, I'd really, REALLY like for it to help me drop this weight, once and for all.

Any suggestions?

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