The photos you have on your SparkPage, are they anything like you now as in weight? The reason I ask is because it looks more like muscle toning is needed rather than weight-loss. This is where having your body fat measured with skin-fold calipers is helpful. Sometimes the weight goal we set for ourselves is actually too low, and it could partly explain why you are having trouble trying to lose more.
I also noted that you are on a couple health teams. If those conditions apply to you, are you on any meds which could be contributing to your difficulty?
Slightly weird question here: *Which* 20 pounds are you trying to lose? According to your profile, you lost a very large amount a few years ago. Are the 20 you want to lose now all from re-gain, or are you trying to get to a lower goal?
The recommendations that you've gotten already about having body fat tested, etc, are very good advice. When you lost your previous weight, some of it was probably muscle, which is part of what's making it hard to keep it off or lose more. But if you were carrying around that extra weight for very long, it's also possible that you have greater than average bone density, which would mean that you will always be a bit heavy for your size. That's not a bad thing; it just means that you may have to rethink whether the number you'd like to see on the scale is realistic and worth struggling for.
And the really, really sucky news is that people who have been obese do not burn calories the same way as people who never were. It's a chicken-egg question; nobody really knows whether we burn less because we were obese or whether we became obese because we've always burned less, but there's about a 15% difference from the average. On top of that, judging from your original goal weight that you mention on your page, you're on the petite side, so there's only a very tiny difference between the maximum number of calories you can eat and not gain weight and the minimum number of calories that are in the smallest amount of food you can eat and still be healthy.
To me, it boils down to exercise. They say "you can't out-exercise a bad diet" and all that, yadda-yadda, and that's true. But probably, your diet is not bad. You are probably eating just about as carefully as it's possible to do and still live a normal modern life. If you've been slipping a little, clean it up and go back into your most careful mode, but you probably can't cut many more calories from diet. Now is the time to pick up (or restart) a new sport or activity to use up the calories that you have to eat. Trying something new is better than just increasing your current workout, because we actually burn more calories doing something we're not very good at. Being good at an activity means you don't waste much movement, and wasted movement is what burns calories. So if there's something you don't want to try because you know you'll look silly and awkward doing it, that's probably exactly what you should do!
4/15/18 6:29 P
Make sure you keep a detailed food log to present to your dietitian or doctor. I would include saturated fats and carbohydrates. As I understand it, you lose weight primarily through diet. You still need exercise, of course. Myself, I only lost weight when I went on a low carb diet, (although, like most diets, the initial weight loss is through glycogen and water, not fat). Good luck!
4/15/18 5:23 P
The system states that I should be eating between 1500 and 1800 calories per day. I'm not sure if the system calculates my exercise correctly. I thread water for usually 30-60 minutes daily. I walk thru out the day and usually get in around 5000-6000 steps daily. I don't know how I can lose weight eating that many calories. But I am going to take your advice and get tested.
All the math you are looking at is averages. Some people run a little high and others run a little low. So while the "average" might be 1500 cals, the lowest of the low will run 1000 cals and the higher than averages will run 2000 cals, but most people will probably be fall somewhere into the 1250-1750 range. Trial and error will help you learn where you fit in the middle of all of that.
With 20 lbs to lose, the best thing that you can do is to to get your bodyfat percentage tested to see how much you actually have to lose. Bodyfat is a better indicator of where you are than the number on the scale.
If you do have some to lose you should be aiming for 1/4 to 1/2 lb per week, which is 125-250 cals per day for a deficit. This means it can easily be six weeks before your losses add up enough before you can see the loss above your daily fluctuations.
4/15/18 1:56 P
How many calories does your SP program say you should be eating? What is your exercise program like? How long have you been following this program and how long has it been since you lost any weight? Have you ever had your body fat tested to know how close you are to the healthy range?
Since you have had great success in the past with a large weight-loss (kudos!), and if you've been exercising the same way pretty consistently since then, it is quite possible that your metabolism is now a bit more efficient than what most calculators indicate. At this close to "goal", it really is more important to work for a healthy ratio of lean muscle mass to fat and not to focus on the scale number.
Would it be possible for you to go for metabolism testing (something like the BodPod) as well as get some accurate information on your actual body fat percentage? Calculators are only good for general averages, and you're already finding that they don't necessarily apply to you, so testing to determine exactly where your body actually IS would be the best option.
If that isn't available where you are, then I'd suggest that you make sure that you track meticulously for a couple of weeks while following the calculator recommendations for maintaining your weight. If that works properly, then start by dropping 250 calories per day (for a planned loss of 1/2 lb per week) and see what that does over a few weeks. Remember that natural weight fluctuations can be 3-4 lbs per day, so don't expect a reasonable loss rate of 1/2 lb per week to really show up for a month or two!
Again, kudos on making the healthy changes in the past that have let you maintain so well for so long --- and on keeping an eye on it and now tweaking as needed with aging and life changes!
4/15/18 10:49 A
When you enter your goals and information, what is the Spark-generated calorie range? You should eat within that range.
Do you weigh/measure and track ALL you eat?
4/15/18 8:46 A
I keep getting different answers about the number of calories I should be eating on a daily basis to lose weight. I moderately exercise each day and try to stay around 1300 calories per day. Yet I am having trouble losing 20 pounds. Anybody have some insight?