Hitting the Reset Button

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I struggled for most of last year with losing weight. I significantly upped my exercise, taking Zumba and swimming a mile 3-4 times a week. I felt great, and my body changed in shape, but the weight didn't come off like it should have. I adjusted my calories, fiddled with my tracker, posted queries on the message boards, but I was basically on a plateau for about six months.

I was so frustrated when I went home for the summer that I basically gave up. I stopped tracking, stopped checking in most days, and even though I was conscious about what I put in my mouth, and tried to swim or walk or do yoga most days, I pretty much just ate what I wanted to, and worked out when I felt like it.

I also went to see a nutritionist who hooked me up to a bunch of electrodes and talked to me about the amount of exercise that I was doing and what I was eating. She said that I should be eating about 500 calories a day more than I had been, and double that on the days when I was working out. She felt that the plateau was a result of undereating, and that when my body had adjusted to the higher calorie level, it would be easier for me to lose weight.

And I really think that's been the case. Despite the fact that my summer was filled with what I would consider to be excesses, I gained about five pounds, which I have taken off in the past two weeks, by tracking and staying at the top of my Spark suggested range. I'm not tired all the time, I look healthier, and I don't feel as stressed as I did when I was working myself so hard on the same amount of calories.

You read a lot about how we put ourselves through repeated cycles of starvation and binging, and how that messes with our metabolism, and now that I have had this experience, it makes a lot more sense to me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • 52BINCE
    Thanx for sharing , your right we don't always know whats right to do unless we have support to find out what to do on our journey to health n fitness....Congrats on your success.....
    2207 days ago
    Thanks for sharing that information. I think it makes a weird kind of sense.
    2239 days ago
    Lately, I've switched from using the Spark tracker to MyFitnessPal (mostly because it's easier to use and I have it on my phone). One of the first things I noticed is that it gives you a set number rather than a range, which I didn't think I liked, but it also ADDS calories to that number when you exercise.

    That confused me -- after all, we learn that it is the combination of reducing caloric intake and exercise that is the most efficient and healthiest way to lose weight, so it seemed like eating more would cancel out the calories expended through exercise. But, it's probably basically what you are doing by staying at the higher end of your range.

    I'm glad that you seem to have found a combination of intake/exercise that makes you feel good!
    2239 days ago
    Isn't it wonderful when someone tells us we're UNDEREATING?!

    You are awesome, and I'm proud of you, and glad you're back!
    2239 days ago
    This blog post is very interesting. I am sure it will help that you have targeted your individual nutritional needs. Seeing a nutritionist is something I plan to do in the near future. I love the idea of balancing food-intake with my exercise levels and knowing exactly WHY I am eating a certain way. The SP trackers are really useful for many things, but they are generic, and not tailored to the individual. What was your caloric intake prior? What is ti now? I really hope you keep us updated on your weight-loss plan!
    2239 days ago
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    2239 days ago
  • JAROL7
    Start over and do it right.
    2239 days ago
    2239 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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