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One month in - why haven't I lost weight?

Friday, July 12, 2013

I just had an epiphany. I just weighed myself to find that I'd only lost 1.6 pounds since I began using SparkPeople over a month ago. Which is basically nothing, because I'd rounded up my weight to begin with. While I've had a few binge-eating episodes during that time, and gone above my calorie recommendation pretty often, I still had about ten or twelve days of eating under 1500 calories - which is ten to twelve more days of successful dieting than I've had in previous months, before I joined. The thing is, before this, my weight was stable. So why would eating less on some days (even though I ate normally other days) not cause some sort of weight loss?

So I had a look at my calorie differential over the past month (which is a really cool tool, by the way). Turns out my average caloric intake was 1860 per day, while the amount I burned was 1926. That's a difference of 66 calories a day, or around 2000 calories over the whole month. Losing one pound requires a deficit of about 3500 calories. So no wonder I haven't lost much weight!

I guess I've been overestimating how much my "good" days do for me, and underestimating the negative impact of my "bad" days. It's also possible that a few days of dieting cause me to binge more heavily than I would normally. I'd also assumed that I burned around 2200 calories a day, so even though I went over SparkPeople's recommendation and ate 1800 or 1900 calories, I still thought I was making progress.

The good thing about all this is that I *have* lost weight. Not as much as I'd like, maybe, but hell, anything is good. Learning how to eat properly is a process, and I'd rather it be hard at the beginning and easy at the end than the other way around. Awareness is key: tracking all my food every day and being able to analyze it with these reports is incredibly eye-opening. Plus, I'm excited - if I've lost a pound with only a 66 calorie deficit average for June, what will I be able to do in July? So far I have a 300 calorie deficit average. People say not to focus on numbers, but hey, I'm a math major. Play to your strengths.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good for you figuring that out so quickly - and making changes to be more successful this month! You sound like you're going about things the right way. I know you'll meet your goals if you continue to be so positive about it! Well done!
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    1802 days ago
    Thank you so much! This was very informative. Although I love math myself I did not know it took a caloric deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound. I am new here and have done weight watchers in the past. It only taught you about points, not the caloric aspect of weight loss. It's kind of like being "brand new" to dieting, having to learn a whole new system. Thanks for the insight, it will help me down the road I'm sure. Good luck! emoticon
    1803 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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