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More active but gaining

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Old 05-19-2015, 12:34 PM   #1
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Default More active but gaining

2 years ago I went from 220 to 155 in around 6 months without trying. I slowly went back up to 175 and maintained. Last year I started dating the love of my life and in the past year have gone up to 233 as of today. I can't figure out what I did to lose weight before that I'm not doing now. My fiance got me a fit bit 1 week ago and according to that I'm averaging 3200 calories burned per day but only taking in 1200 to 1600. I don't work out but I have active jobs and some days will work 18 hours by doing a double. I have been more active the past month as I want to lose weight by September for out engagement pictures but even with strenuous exercise added 3 times a week I have gained 3 lbs. I'm not sure what to do now. When I lost weight before I was eating pizza and drinking beer daily. It makes no sense to me.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:26 AM   #2
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You might be eating too few calories for how much you are burning. I would look into that...eating back exercise calories can be a good thing for some people.

I have also found, both with myself and several people I know, that when you first start exercising a lot you can gain a little weight. But don't worry, it's mostly muscle! Some of it could also be water and lactic acid in your muscles, since they now have to do a lot more to repair after a workout and build themselves up. I would say don't worry about it too much unless you continue to gain in the next several weeks. And be sure to look at your calorie intake...a net burn of almost 2000 might be putting your body into starvation mode, causing you to cling on to the calories you are eating.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:58 AM   #3
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Hmm.. I don't think 1600 calories is too low. not even close. Fitbit is tracking the calories you burn through movement as well as the calories you are burning by just existing... someone your height and weight would burn 2500 calories a day just sitting on the couch, so your daily activities are burning an additional 700 calories a day.

My first guess is to take a very hard look at your calories. Are you measuring things or just eyeballing it? Overweight people are phenomenally good at underestimating portions. Start measuring and tracking every sip, nibble and bite. Make sure you are tracking the calories from drinks and the stuff you add to food. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, coffee creamer, they all have calories. So do spoon licks, french fries snagged off honey's plate, and a handful of chips at the office potluck. Get super serious about counting the calories EXACTLY and see what happens.

You have NOT gained three pounds of muscle. That's our go-to excuse when we are exercising but not losing because it sounds good, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's almost never the case. It would take a woman a good solid six months of intensive weight training to gain 3-5 pounds of muscle mass. Even the idea of gaining 3 pounds of water weight due to exercise is unlikely since you don't sound like you are doing any weight training or actual formal exercise. I could be wrong but it sounds like you are just being more active at work, no? I'm not sure because first you said you don't exercise but then you said you added 3 days of strenuous exercise a week... either way, it's not causing you to gain weight.

One thing that can make eating clean difficult is not getting enough sleep though. If you work 18 hours a day that doesn't leave much time for sleep. Not getting enough sleep won't make you gain weight directly, but it can make you more susceptible to cave in to foods you need to eat in extreme moderation.

So anyway... hang in there. Bodies are fickle and even if you do everything right, sometimes you get a wonky number on the scale. Attack it this week by putting a laser-focus on exact calorie counts and see what that scale does next week.
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:29 PM   #4
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KittenIsOverIt is right. It's not muscle and it's not starvation mode, either. There's no way eating too little will make you gain.

How do you measure your food? And what do you eat? Because, for example, if you eat too much salt, it could be water retention. If it's not, you're eating more than you think you are. Although, to me, 3 lbs in a week sounds like water retention, especially since you've just started exercising.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:47 PM   #5
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I measure everything with a food scale and pack it into portioned containers. I eat 130 calorie greek yogurt for breakfast, lean protein with veggies for lunch. I will add black beans cooked with cumin and chili powder for lunch or a baked sweet potato. Dinner is decided on how much I've moved around during the day. I made the effort to move around more at work and have been going on hikes with my fiance This past 1.5 weeks as its been nice out. I don't add salt, don't really add condiments. If I do I count those. I drink bottled water and a diet soda twice per week.

At my second job they order pizza or Chinese nightly. even if I'm exhausted I do not give in. I've been packing yogurt or an orange for a late night snack if I really get hungry.
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:37 PM   #6
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Really though, as I said, gaining 3 pounds in a week isn't easy, even if you were measuring wrong, so it's probably water. To make sure, you can take it easy for a few days and drink a lot of water.

Also, how did you decide to eat 1200-1600 calories? At 233 lbs, with two active jobs+exercise, you can definitely eat more and, if you don't mind me doing so, I suggest you do. You don't want to get tired of depriving yourself of food you enjoy and of being hungry, etc, etc and give up.
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I started on 05/30/10 at 253. After almost 4 years and many, many breaks, I reached 152 on 03/19/14. Now I'm trying to reach 130. After I lose the regain.

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Old 05-20-2015, 04:15 PM   #7
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I didn't really decide to eat that much. My fitbit typically gives me 2000 per day. Mfp says 1400. I normally eat until I'm full. if you look on my in vs out calories on fitbit I'm low daily except one day I splurged and had pancakes and sausage for our anniversary breakfast. Then I made up for it with a 5 mile hike and grilled chicken with carrots and brocolli for dinner. That day I think I ate around 2000.
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