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TRIATHLETEGIRL SparkPoints: (56,067)
Fitness Minutes: (61,024)
Posts: 356
5/13/13 12:12 P

Hi everyone, thanks for the thoughts. My nutrition tracker is not accurate. It was until about a month ago but then I just gave up trying. I've been measuring my tofu and veggies for years and been as careful as I can be with no results! My weight on the "real" scale in the doctor's office is 174, so I'm even fatter than I appear on Spark. I hate going out into public where everyone can see how fat I've gotten (I live in a small town).

I've no confidence that a 750 calorie diet will help me lose weight. I tried it on my own several times over the last few years and didn't lose weight. I want to know why, hence the weight loss clinic.

Anyway, thanks for the tips and advice.

SANDICANE Posts: 3,400
5/13/13 11:30 A


ANARIE Posts: 13,205
5/13/13 11:01 A

Also, one more question:

How accurate is your nutrition tracker here? I looked at the last two weeks; are they pretty typical of the way you eat? What other nutrients do you track besides calories?

I'm asking because if that's really the way you eat, I think you'd make a LOT of progress by putting the scale away for a few months and focusing just on hitting your minimum nutrient targets every day without going over the Spark suggested calorie range. Your tracker shows a lot of wild swings, but in general you're not getting enough protein, calcium, fiber, and so on. A person who eats enough to meet their nutritional needs, but without many additional empty calories, will generally lose weight if they need to. The "starvation mode" that people talk about comes from not meeting nutrient needs. Your body responds protectively to a lack of nutrients, not necessarily to a lack of calories. If you're below 1200 calories, there's no chance of getting enough nutrients, but going over that is no guarantee if the extra calories aren't nutrient dense. That's why you have 300-pound people maintaining their weight on 1300 calories a day of Cheetos and jelly sandwiches. I'm not implying that your diet is anywhere near that poor, but most days you're not eating enough calories, and on the days when you do reach or exceed the minimum, the additional calories aren't usually providing a lot more nutrients. And before you say, "The weight clinic shakes would make that easier"-- No, they wouldn't. If they've got you on 750 calories of shakes, there's not enough protein, etc, and even if they've got you at 1200, the nutrients in supplements do NOT work the same way as the ones in food.

ANARIE Posts: 13,205
5/13/13 10:40 A

The problem with most of these weight-loss clinics is that they're not "full of doctors." Their pamphlets and ads are, but the doctors are "consultants" who just lend their names. The clinics are usually run by nurses, nursing aides, or even just random hires with no medical training. Just because they say they're run by doctors, that doesn't mean that you will ever see one, or that the doctors associated with the clinic have any training in weight loss. The fact that they put you on meal replacements bodes ill.

If you think you want to join a clinic program, do a huge amount of research first. Look for one where the doctors are certified bariatric specialists (most of the ones associated with the sketchy weight loss clinics are plastic surgeons.) AND where they do not sell you ANY product directly through the clinic. If you have to buy their meal replacements or vitamin supplements or whatever, it's not an ethical or honest practice. Selling directly to patients is a very bad sign.

If I were in your shoes, I would stick with doctors a little longer. You say on your Spark page that you had an eating disorder; are you seeing an eating disorder specialist? There are experts who have training in both psychological and physical aspects of eating disorders. There are also bariatric endocrinologists, though they're hard to find. Generally, they look for issues where your hormone (especially thyroid) levels are technically within the normal range, but not in the optimal range. Most doctors are only going to react to a hormonal issue if your levels indicate that there's some damage to the gland/organ.

And as part of this search, be sure to get a medical grade body composition test. The first step to losing weight at your size is to make sure you really do have excess fat to lose. You're barely in the overweight category for BMI. In fact, you're NOT overweight by the original standards, which were calculated using people of European ancestry. It is possible that more of your weight comes from bone and muscle and that you don't have enough fat to get down to the weight you think you should be. Your goal weight would put you at a BMI of under 22, which might not be attainable.

Since you've had an eating disorder, you should be able to get your insurance to cover a full-body bone scan because you're at increased risk for osteoporosis. A doctor who's a weight loss specialist will know how to word the order in such a way that your insurance covers it AND it gives your body fat reading as additional information. If you don't have insurance, look for a university that does the testing at low cost as part of a training program. Universities with a sports medicine or kinesiology program very often have the machinery and need people for their students to practice using it on. The main university in my state does it for something like $150 for the initial scan AND one to two follow-ups, six months and a year later.

By the way, if medical grade body fat testing isn't part of the weight loss clinic's service, that's another sign that they're not serious. The test should be a full-body bone density scan, or hydrostatic weighing (dunk tank) or an air pressure chamber. If they offer calipers or a device you hold in your hands or a "body fat scale," that's not good enough. All of those are highly inaccurate, and the calipers especially are easy to manipulate to make you think you're fat when you're not.

You have time. Your weight is slightly above the statistical average ideal, but it's not at a level where there's any threat to your health. If it takes you a year to find a doctor or program that works for you, that's fine; no damage is going to happen from staying at your current weight. The pounds you're trying to lose are preference pounds, not health pounds.

And the fact that doctors you've seen so far called you "overweight" shows that those particular docs are not knowledgeable about weight issues. A doctor who understands what BMI really is and who knows about weight and health would say, "You're slightly over the optimum, but it's no cause for concern. Given your background, I wouldn't worry yet."

DMJAKES Posts: 1,635
5/13/13 8:39 A

Triathlete - you will lose weight consuming that range of calories BUT what happens when the program ends and real life takes over again? You said they teach you nutrition etc, but I'm a little curious how you learn to apply those skills when you're eating meal replacement packets???? My vote would be NO.

I took a look at your food tracker for about the last week or so, and I think the answer may lie in your diet. If you're not tracking honestly and completely every day, start there--you may be eating a lot differently than you think you are. Assuming you do, you seem to swing back and forth between very healthy meals and then a meal consisting of junk, then eating very large calori-heavy meals. How about trying to even out your intake during the day, and doing some preplanning to help avoid overeating and making poor choices? I find I do much better when I know what I'm going to much as possible, anyway.

Lastly, how tall are you, and how old are you? Your body may not want to lose much more, so you need to settle in for the ride. The closer you are to goal weight, the slower it will come off, AND the more important your diet will become. It took me 6 months to lose the last 5 pounds, and I have to be very aware of what I eat to keep it off.

Barring any medical issues (and you mention you've been tested), I think you can do this on your own if you really focus on your diet.

JUDYAMK SparkPoints: (31,293)
Fitness Minutes: (9,941)
Posts: 2,275
5/12/13 11:23 P

What happens when you leave there & you have to continue on the expensive prepackaged food? HOWEVER : You may end up taking just one thing away from the program that will make the final mark of what is going on & may help you. If I take one positive thing from a program I am all for it, but taking the useful tool & acting on it can be that one defining factor that puts you on your way.
If we had one where I live I would go for it!!! Just remember to listen to all what they tell you soak it up & that one sentence may make the difference

AMARANTHA120S Posts: 474
5/12/13 10:33 P

TO OP: I haven't gone to such a clinic as you describe but I have lost way more weight than you have to lose (from your ticker & picture). I have lost it over a long period of time using a variety of strategies and I have always done it my way and made my decisions based on what I thought was best for my own journey.

Only you can decide if this clinic is going to be a major or minor help to your journey, but do what you feel is best.

Wishing you success, whatever you do.

LAST20FORME SparkPoints: (4,152)
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Posts: 158
5/12/13 9:42 P

I think you are better off going to a bariatric specialist that will do the proper testing and give you sound answers. This clinic is selling you their meal replacement package so unless you plan to eat this way the rest of your life it won't teach you anything. Of course you will lose weight on 800 to 1200 calories a day so why not just eat that amount on your own. I think it is a bad idea to eat so little because you will put your body in starvation mode and lower your metabolism.

My opinion is that you could be showing overweight because of muscle weight. You do not look necessarily overweight to me but you look like you have problem areas that is hard to get off. I would suggest getting fat suction in those problem areas instead of harming your insides with low calorie supplements. I bet the cost would be the same or even less.

5/12/13 9:09 P

I think the opinion of it's a waste of time comes from wieght loss clinics that try and sell you a gimmick, like eating only their prepackaged food, and taking their special pills. Nothing gimmicky will work in the long run. But if it's sound medical advice, based on real food and real exercise, it might be an answer for you. they are spendy, and I couldn;'t afford it. .

TRIATHLETEGIRL SparkPoints: (56,067)
Fitness Minutes: (61,024)
Posts: 356
5/12/13 8:46 P

Hi Mrskateduvall, I've seen as many doctors I can think of and they weigh me and take my height and look at the little BMI chart and tell me I'm overweight. I've had blood tests, hormone tests, thyroid tests. I've had my food journal looked at by naturopathic doctors, "regular" doctors, and my nutritionalist. I exercise. Nobody has any answers. So I ruled out most of the obvious medical reasons. I just don't know how to dig deeper. I'm at a loss, that's for sure. That's why I was hoping a medical weight loss clinic might have ideas.

And to everyone else, if it is a waste, it would be nice if you could tell me why. Have you done it before? Or are you just making opinions based on the way our society looks at things?

SPERRIN2012 SparkPoints: (181,188)
Fitness Minutes: (122,983)
Posts: 17,742
5/12/13 8:39 P

I'm currently attending a WL clinic. They have been very good. Their high tech scale has tracked bmi, water weight, fat & muscle weight. Sparks tools have been awesome and I use both resources.

5/12/13 8:31 P

I've tried this type before. I think that you can find the same level of information on Spark for free. what does your doctor say? have you ruled out any medical reason for the no wieght loss?

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
5/12/13 8:15 P

A waste.

TRIATHLETEGIRL SparkPoints: (56,067)
Fitness Minutes: (61,024)
Posts: 356
5/12/13 7:57 P

Has anyone had any experience going to a professional weight loss clinic? I'm looking at one near where I live. It costs a lot of money but I am not having any luck losing weight by diet and exercise. This particular weight loss clinic does testing on you every week. They monitor you by doing EKGs, blood work, and all the normal things they do when you get a physical. Every week it is required to go to some sort of class where you learn about nutrition and why you gain weight and things you have to change about yourself to not gain weight after the program ends. It looks like you work with a nutritionalist as well. The clinic is run by real doctors (MDs). I was impressed by the effort they put into making sure you leave with the tools to not go crazy and eat doughnuts or whatever after the program. The program, as far as I can tell, is between 750 and 1200 calories per day of meal replacement packets, depending on your activity level, and drinking 3 or 4 quarts of water a day.

I guess I know many people will have bad things to say about weight loss clinics, but my main motivation is finding out what is wrong with my body and why I can't lose weight by simply doing things the SP way. Spark makes so much sense....I don't see why I have only gained weight while being on here. I figure a clinic full of doctors who have seen many people desperate to lose weight might have experience in something I don't know about. If they can find out what is wrong with me, I would be very, very happy!

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