It doesn't really matter if what you're eating is "healthy" if you're still eating too little. You MUST eat enough. You do need to work on increasing your intake back into the healthy level.
As others have asked, does your Spark range include your exercise? Have you put into your exercise goals how many calories you personally actually burn per week?
Also, how much weight are we trying to lose here? An obese woman can more easily cope with the massive deficit eating 1200 creates, whereas a skinnier person wanting to drop a few pounds cannot and must eat more like 1700 to lose anything. If you don't have much to lose, even aiming for a pound a week (500 deficit daily) would be too much for your system.
As for banking, yes you can bank. Good gracious girl, how big a splurge do you make on the weekends though? You're on Spark's lowest range of 1200-1550. Let's say you eat 1300 daily six days a week. That means you're 'banking' 250 calories per day. Theoretically you could eat as much as 2,800 on your 7th day and you're still in range! (250*6=1500 + the normal 1300 daily).
So this idea that you even should allow yourself to eat light to compensate for your weekend is not at all valid. You can "eat light" within the range itself and create more than enough buffer for your weekend splurge.
Fitness Minutes: (39,981)
2,322 4/23/13 2:56 P
Fitness Minutes: (120)
4/23/13 2:29 P
BLBST, actually calorie counting DOES allow you to "bank" calories. It's less important about how much you eat each day, but more about what your average is over say, a week. That's why if you overeat on one day, it's really not that big of a deal when you look at the big picture. I bank calories, but I still eat plenty on weekdays. For example, to maintain I need to eat around 1900 calories average. So, on weekdays I try to stick to 1600-1700, so when the weekend rolls around and we go out to eat, go to the bar, etc, I have an extra 1000-1500 calories to "spend". It's been working out pretty well that way for me. But, it took me awhile to figure this out, lots of experimenting before I hit this point.
But I do agree that the body still needs a minimum amount of calories to function, so Jen may not be consuming enough, even with the banking of the calories. Jen, what about trying just to get to 1200 on weekdays, and proceed as you normally do on weekends, to see what that does for you? Also whenever you do any tweaking, give it about a month to see how your body reacts.
I agree with the above - definitely not eating enough - are you putting your calories burned per week in the fitness setup? This will likely increase your calorie range to give your body the fuel it needs.
On the WW side, when I was doing it, the amount of daily points you got were the minimum that you should eat a day. Unless the rules have drastically changed there, you are under-eating on that plan, too.
I would have a hard time doing both mainly because of the banking aspect of WW. Calorie counting doesn't allow you to under eat one day to over eat on the weekend. It is a steady number. (See where you wrote "banked points OR calories")
Also, sharing your nutrition tracker would allow people to give more specific examples using your own menu.
Fitness Minutes: (8,109)
4/23/13 1:22 P
I have done Weight Watchers as well, and would highly recommend that you take your tracker to your leader as well. He or she may be able to specifcally tweak your plan to help you succeed. One great thing about WW: follow it to a T and you will achieve results. You may want to reconsider revising their plan.
Just some thoughts - good luck to you! Hope you see the scale move soon!
4/23/13 1:16 P
Thank you for all the responses and I am going to try and address the questions that came up.
For WW, I am allowed 23 points. On average I eat around 16-21/day and accumulate anywhere from 4 to 9 points/day in activity points. By the end of the week, I usually have around 35 activity points and 49 extra points that I am not eating. This weekend I did eat some of my exercise points but not the entire amount and none of the extra 49 points. I gained 2 lbs!!!!! I do not do meetings or online. I have the info and am doing it on my own.
I don't plan on banked points or calories. It just works out that through the week I walk a lot (my mental therapy) and eat healthfully. When the weekend comes, my family will go out to dinner and I will allow myself to splurge a little or I may have a glass of wine with my husband on Saturday night. I don't try to save them up with the intent of "blowing it" on the weekend. I just eat a certain way during the week (probably because of my work schedule) and then on the weekend I know that I have ate very well all week and allow myself some guilty pleasures.
What I am eating is very healthy. My staples are greek yogurt, fresh fruit, salads, fresh veggies, chicken, fish, or lean pork, almonds, sweet potatoes, occasionally a piece or two of chocolate and for the munchies....air popped popcorn. I don't drink alcohol during the week and may have a drink on the weekends. I do not eat frozen dinners or packaged food.
I have had all the blood work done, I walk at 4mph and do strength training exercises like squats, lunges, etc. The frustrating thing is that I stay at the same weight or fluctuate 2lbs up and down. This has been about 2 months of frustration.
Could it be what someone posted earlier...that I am so low during the week that even though I splurge on the weekend a little it still keeps my overall calories too low and therefore I am not losing weight?
Fitness Minutes: (465)
4/22/13 2:15 P
As other's mentioned, you are not eating enough calories. If your plan isn't working and you're not losing weight and your clothes aren't fitting looser, it's time to change it up.
You have to give your body's metabolism enough food to work with.
Also, you don't get "rollover" calories or points. If you don't eat enough during the week, you can't make up for it on the weekend. You're causing destruction within your body and you're going to confuse your body.
The good thing about tracking your food on a daily basis is if you're not seeing results, you can look back to your tracker and see what needs to be changed. There's many articles on here I've read that warns against not eating enough calories.
Long, sustainable changes and a steady pace wins the race. You sounded frustrated in your post, which is understandable. It happens with weight loss journeys. Keep pushing, you'll get there if doing the proper way.
Fitness Minutes: (128,405)
4/22/13 1:56 P
Jen - I lost about 30 lbs on WW when I first 'got serious'. But there are still a lot of variables
are you cooking your own, or relying on pre-packaged meals? Or a mix of both? When you first start, just the paying attention to what you eat and tracking points is enough to see the numbers on the scale decrease. For me, when I would drop to the next point range, I always had problems. I was hungry all the time!
so once you get QUANTITY down, start working on the QUALITY of your foods. As you prepare more of your own foods, sodium intake will drop. Your body won't retain as much water. Also you'll get more 'bang for your buck' calorie wise. Better quality nutrients; more whole grains; more quality fiber.
do you go to meeting or are you doing WW online? I have no experience with WW online, but if you have a good leader at your meetings they may be able to help. My WW leader had her strong points, but plateau busting was not one of them! So if you DO talk to the leader and don't get any help, don't take that to mean you just need to learn to live with your current weight. It's taken me several years, but I finally found what works for me. I would get SO frustrated! Like you, I was keeping track of what I was eating (but I wasn't under on my points on a consistent basis) and I was exercising everyday (sometimes TWICE each day!) DH kept telling me, you are doing all the right things. Just keep doing them and eventually you will get the results you want. When I finally busted my plateau, the lbs just seemed to fall off again for several weeks. Now I just gotta bust THIS plateau
How many points does WW give you on a daily basis? It is important and I can't stress it enough to eat those allotted points. WW also gives you extra because they know that life can sometimes get in the way of a plan and blow it up. I never really ate the extra points i was given. I rarely ate my exercise points. But I made sure that i ate my daily points. With all the walking you are doing, there is no way your body is getting what it needs from your diet. I think it is time to rethink what you are doing.
4/22/13 1:03 P
You also have to really think about what eating "bad" might entail in terms of calories. Does eating bad mean instead of 1,200-1,550, you eat 1800? That's still under the calories you're burning in a day, especially with all that exercise. 2000 calories? 2200? You're still burning fat for the week even if you eat within your range 6 days per week, and go up 2,400 on one weekend day. You may not lose two pounds, you may lose a pound and a half, but that's not sabotaging yourself like under-eating is.
Just to balance eating 200 calories under your low end per day, you'd have to eat 2,950 calories in one day. Just to balance it, not go over. Are you likely to eat 2,950 calories on a bad day? If not, then you're not just under eating, you also don't have a realistic view of what is required to balance a theoretical 'bad day'.
If you eat low to mid-range, say 1,300 per day out of your allotted 1,550. That would still leave you a "bank" of 1,750 calories in a week you could over-eat and still be in the average range for the week. There is no need to try to bank calories by eating under your range, just eat around the lower end of your range and you'll still have wiggle room on bad days.
Edited by: ELENGIL at: 4/22/2013 (13:04)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
9,717 4/22/13 12:04 P
You're given that range for a reason. :) You see, your body needs basic nutrition to function, and when you DON'T give it enough, then your metabolism can slow, and you can sabotage your efforts to lose weight because you aren't giving it what it needs. The longer you undereat, the more pronounced these effects can be.
It's time to stop "happening" to eat too little, and make sure that you get enough to meet your body's needs! It may seem like eating even less is a good thing, but in fact, you're short-changing your metabolism. You're not "banking" calories, you're starving your body on much needed nutrients, and in fact are boosting your chance of a binge on the weekend when your body starts to signal that it NEEDS more!
I know how it is; I had the same problem when I first started! You start eating well, and suddenly your body is confused and not signalling hunger properly.
Here's the article here on SP that helped me boost my calorie intake without adding unnecessary bulk.
Instead of undereating to bank calorie for the weekend, why not simply plan for weekend treats? Good health doesn't just happen... it takes care and planning. Perhaps you could try eating on the lower end of your range (not under it) at the upper end on the weekend.
Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 4/22/2013 (12:06)
4/22/13 11:49 A
My calories are set at 1200-1550...I just happen to eat about 1000 on a daily basis. I eat this much under my calorie range in the event that I eat bad on one of the weekend days.
4/22/13 11:38 A
You simply aren't eating enough to sustain your basic bodily functions and activity level. Why did you set your calories at 1,000 per day?
If I consume fewer calories than my plan recommends, will I lose weight faster? http://www.sparkpeople.com/community/ask _the_experts.asp?q=58
Your best bet is figuring out how many calories you need to maintain -- use the tools here -- and then aim to create a 500-calories deficit each day through a combination of diet and exercise. Not working out? Eat less. Work out hard that day? Eat more. Just as long as it balances out to about 500 calories. That will add up to a safe weight loss of about 1 pound a week.
By not eating enough consistently you have probably put your body into a "starvation mode" and slowed your metabolism. Here at SP I have learned that. Other than that you sound like you are doing great. Good luck to you.
Edited by: GRAMCRACKER46 at: 4/22/2013 (11:38)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
4/22/13 11:27 A
If you're only eating 1000 calories a day, it is very likely you are not eating enough.
4/22/13 11:01 A
So frustrated, I have been doing weight watchers for the two months as well as tracking calories. I walk no less than 4 miles per day and some days I walk as much as 10 miles. This occurs 7 days a week. I also do a series of squats, lunges, plies, ab work, and arm work. Over the last 22 days, I have not exercised on ONE DAY. I have stayed at about 20 points per day and the calories are about 1000 per day. I have increased my fruit and veggie intake as well. I was to the doctor to check my blood work and everything was normal if not awesome....no thyroid issues, no diabetes,.....just a good blood panel. I have lost only about one pound if that. Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong?????