Weight Loss Support - It's been one month, and guess what?

04-15-2007, 06:38 PM

Seriously, I've lost nothing.

One month ago, I decided it was time to buckle down and get with it in regard to shaping up and losing weight and inches. So, I decided the best way for me to do this was to cut back on portion size, cut out most fats, cut out sugar and work out on a daily basis. I decided that my daily calories should be between 1200 and 1400 per day. Healthy calories, not junky ones. I drink plenty of water, too.

The first week, I'll admit I didn't exercise. Not sure why, just didn't. When the scale showed no loss after a week (heck, I was hoping for one little pound!), I knew I had to move, and move everyday. So, I started on a walking program. Nothing big...just twenty five minutes of brisk walking around the neighborhood. I figured this would make a difference, eventually.

Three more weeks have gone by, and still, nothing. I haven't wavered. I continue to stick with it, eat good, and exercise. Not one pound lost. No inches lost, either, as my clothes are still fitting like they did four weeks ago.
I do take Synthroid daily, and recently had my levels checked and all is fine in that regard.

I'm forty-eight years old and I know that some are so quick to blame it all on age but come on! Last time I checked, burning more calories than you took in was how a person lost weight. I tell ya, sometimes I just have to fight back tears when stepping on the scale! I'm so motivated....I've got an event to attend on June first, and was all excited about starting early and dropping some weight before that date. Now, a month has gone by and I feel like it's just been a huge waste. I honestly don't feel any better off now that four weeks ago. A friend suggested I was "gaining muscle". I seriously doubt this. It's only twenty-five minutes of walking, not power lifting.

Can anyone offer any suggestions for me? Or, words of wisdom?

Thank you!

04-15-2007, 06:58 PM
Hey Riverwatcher,

Well, that's terrifically disappointing! Gosh! I'd be totally bummed out. :mad:

So first, how are you tracking your food calories? And if you aren't using a calorie tracker, or maybe even if you are, can you list a typical day's worth of meals and snacks?

Also, what is your current weight? And how much were you hoping to lose?

Do you walk every day?

Give us more data...


04-15-2007, 07:45 PM
Did you measure yourself? I had a similar thing happen to me last year where I decided to re-energize my weight loss but I didn't lose a lb for 3 months but then the weight started coming off.

04-15-2007, 07:49 PM
Seriously, I've lost nothing.
I'm forty-eight years old and I know that some are so quick to blame it all on age but come on!

I know some won't like this response but I stay cut the calories. Cut them down until you do see results. If that is an *allegedly* unhealthy 1000 cals or IMHO even 800 then so be it. That is what your body needs to lose.

I dieted a lot. And I remember one time *before this time* I had a spreadsheet calculating calories. I faithfully ate 1400 cals every day --what I had been told to be at -- and lost nothing. So this time I dropped it to 1200 and lost slowly and then dropped to 1000 and lost reasonably. 1.5 to 2.0 per week. I remember thinking that the idea of 1000 cals -- I couldn't possibly do that. But the difference between 1400 cals and 1000 cals is just not that much for me hunger wise. If it is for you then obviously eat until you are hungry but not ravenous.

I would also watch my sodium count. That has screwed me up a zillion times. If you are eating foods with a lot of sodium you could have lost 5 lbs and wouldn't see it until you get the water out. Seriously -- my mom was just put on a diuretic and she lost 10 lbs pure water. You should see how her entire appearance has changed. I actually asked her to stop taking it as I want to talk to her doctor but it gives you an idea of how serious water can bloat you.

Cats tongue
04-15-2007, 07:52 PM
I agree with JayELL

Most people underestimate the number of calories they are eating. They either don't know the number of calories or they aren't measuring out the portions properly.

Also it does depend on the amount of weight you would like to lose, as Jayell says. Maybe you're within the healthy range and your body just doesn't want to let go of the fat.

Other than that I don't know what could be the problem.

04-15-2007, 08:01 PM
I too agree with Jayell. Are you getting an acurate count of your calories? I do have to say though, that when I started I didn't lose a pound for 3 weeks. Then the 4th week I had a 3 lb. loss. Sometimes your body just wants to hang on to that weight.

Don't give up. I'm sure you'll drop soon. :hug:

04-15-2007, 08:03 PM
riverwatcher , hi : ). First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your changes and also your exercise regiment. It sounds like you have been working so hard and have made some very positive strides , yet to not see the results you were hoping for must be very frustrating.

I agree totally with what Jay said along the lines of providing more info, without that, only assumptions can be made and yikes, I don't like going there but will offer a few things that come to mind.

Have you been keeping a food journal? I kept one for yearsss and at the end of every week, I would see the results and also look back on the foods I ate.....decided or thought about what may or may have not hindered or helped me in my plight and then make some changes the following week, i.e. , eliminating certain things. Basically, through trial and error, I learned what aids me in my weight loss and what does not. We are all so uniquely different though and our weight loss is often affected in different ways. I have met many women that have difficulty losing weight whilst drinking diet sodas, yet many others seem unphased by it! Keep a close eye on yourself and through the elimination process, see what happens. FOr me, it's the carbs (white processed stuff) that kills me, also cheese. Even if I restrict my cals to the healthy m inimum, I am not successful in weight loss if do not restrict these things. Don't get me wrong, I am all for fiber, wheat, etc. but whites (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes) have an incredible effect on my weight. Typically, after a pasta dinner, I would be as much as 2 lbs. up due to water retention! cheese, same thing! (Incidentally, I watch my fiber intake too!). HIgh sodium foods also affect me tremendously (or things like ketchup or soy sauce, ugh). I just get the inkling that there is something not jiving with your plan, is there something of this nature or another that you having frequently? or could perhaps be throwing a wrench in your plan? Again, jay said it best with sharing more.

My mother, who only has about 15 lbs. to lose and is much older than you, has been exercising almost every day. She eats healthy too! : ) she was having difficulty with the scale moving though and we nailed it down to the white's (bread, pasta or rice or potatoes almost daily) , plus a large dose of oil in sald almost daily (not olive oil). I am curious to see your feedback and pleas hang in there. I think it's so super that your walking every day and eating healthy, I bet you lost inches and that your clothes feel better. Keep on fighting, : )

Ray of Light
04-15-2007, 08:16 PM

Just you wait. This happened to me years ago and then one day, and I do mean one day KABOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!!!! MY WHOLE BODY CHANGED. Your body is going through shock and awe and switches and detours and changes, and new circuits, etc, etc.

My son who was preparing for a very tough physical competition and had to get his weight and skill down to a weight class, said he felt frustrated as *&##$! because he was training for 3/4 hours per day and nothing was happening and his competition was drawing nearing......then in a matter of 3 days I saw his body transform almost before my eyes, he absolutely noticed it too.....it was weird and wonderful all at the same time.

You are working way too hard for this not to happen,,,,,,,and it has nothing to do with age!!!!

Ray of Light xo

04-15-2007, 08:23 PM
If a brisk 25 minute walk and 1400 calories based on portion size aren't working, it's time to change what you are doing!

Like FullSteamAhead, I had to eliminate "the whites"- white flour, sugar, pasta and other non-nutritive starches and sweeteners from my diet before I lost anything. And I had to do a whole lot more exercise than a 25 minute walk :dizzy: OK, you've taken the first steps. Now how about upping the intensity and type of exercise? Lower the calories a little and increase your vegies and lean proteins, high fiber complex carbs. Now, at 52 years old, I pretty much maintain on 1400-1500 calories and at least an hour of cardio and/or weighlifting 5 days a week.

As JayEll pointed out, we could help you a little more specifically if we knew more about you, what you actually eat, when, your current weight and your goal.


04-15-2007, 09:26 PM
i did the same thing, ate 1400 calories a day for a week, healthy foods at that, and saw no progress. but i recently cut my calories to 1000 calories a day and it seems to be the only thing that has ever worked for me. it may seem like a stretch, but if you eat filling foods that dont have a lot of calories its actually pretty easy. i have celery for breakfast (which is a good idea because it gets your metabolism going in the morning but it doesnt really have any calories), a turkey wrap for lunch, and salad for dinner, and i lost four pounds this way in the past week. you'd be surprised at how much cutting those 200-300 calories per day will make you lose faster.

i would also suggest using a food tracker, i use fitday.com. it really helps me to not only know what is in my food and make sure that i am really under 1000 calories a day, but it also motivates me and keeps me thinking about it more. also, it gives you a pie chart of the amounts of protein, carbs, and fat in all of the foods that you ate for the day, so you can pay attention to that and try to think about eating less fat and more protein.

good luck, keep up the good work! just be patient, you will lose it eventually and feel great!

04-15-2007, 09:33 PM
Mel, I just saw the post and I had to say something! : ) Your quote at the bottom "It isn't just about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain"............how nice! We are literally having a big nor'easter strom here and I am trying to do just t hat, dance with it!!!!!!! :) Not easy, it's stepping on my toes but I sure am trying. I love this quote, not only in the now, but metaphorically speaking in every way!!! ty, ty ty :) Let's all dance through the storms ladies : )

04-15-2007, 10:12 PM
syncrosweetie88, you may be losing weight, but it doesn't sound healthy to me--or sustainable. There just isn't enough of anything. Celery for breakfast? Sorry--not for me.

Dropping calories too much for too long means losing more than fat. And not getting enough nutrition.

I sometimes have days where I stay below 1200 cals, but they are exceptions, not the rule. I average over 1300, and I create a deficit with exercise. I also take vitamins and calcium. My weight loss isn't really fast, but it is steady, and I am healthy.

But back to Riverwatcher--still waiting to see what you've been doing! I hope we can offer some suggestions...


04-15-2007, 10:43 PM
syncrosweetie88, you may be losing weight, but it doesn't sound healthy to me--or sustainable. There just isn't enough of anything. Celery for breakfast? Sorry--not for me. Dropping calories too much for too long means losing more than fat. And not getting enough nutrition.

I don't mean this to sound snarky but what is so great about nutrition? I mean really when pre-dieters were eating ho ho's and ice cream daily I doubt there was much nutrition going on. Anyone could be eating much more than 1400 cals and still not be getting nutrition.

If eating that amount ='s some lack of nutrition. Some people just need lower calories to lose and if they aren't suffering the signs of malnutrition -- brusing / losing hair etc. -- then I say keep it up. The worry about malnutrition should be evidenced by those signs not some arbitrary calorie count.

I don't know if some posters are familar with the calarie study that has put people on severely reduced diets with nutritional supplementation. And it turns out that restricting calories actually leads to much healthier people. These people eat from 800 to 1400 calories every day - for life. It was profiled in "O" Magazine. It is run at Tufts Medical School and the participants are monitored all the time by doctors.

04-15-2007, 10:57 PM
One thing to keep in mind with the nutrition/low calories discussion is that if you go too low with calories, you will start losing muscle. This happened to me a couple years ago. My weight (the number) was right where I wanted it, but when I did a body fat analysis I was way too high.

04-15-2007, 11:10 PM
I would question why I cant lose weight on 1200 to 1400 calories.

Am I getting enough physical activity? Am I weight lifting? Both of those are factors in getting weight off. You can actually feel your metabolism speeding up after weight lifting and you will be able to eat so much more once you build up some muscle.

Another possibility is that you're not eating enough and your body is holding on to fat. If you're exercising and eating that little, that could be the case. If so, it could be worth trying to eat 1600 to 1800 calories a few times per week.

I would NOT go to below 1200 as I do not see how you can keep up exercise on such little fuel. IMHO, its a waste to lose without exercise because you'll just wind up with a flabby body and a really slow metabolism so the weight loss cannot be maintained. I would just hate to live life on 1000 calories per day. Rather increase my activity level and build muscles to burn fat while the body is at rest.

Riverwatch, have you considered having your resting metabolic rate tested? That will tell you exactly how many calories you burn at rest and doing regular daily activities so you can figure out what's going on with your metabolism and how many calories you need.

04-15-2007, 11:28 PM
I don't mean this to sound snarky but what is so great about nutrition? I mean really when pre-dieters were eating ho ho's and ice cream daily I doubt there was much nutrition going on. Anyone could be eating much more than 1400 cals and still not be getting nutrition.

If eating that amount ='s some lack of nutrition. Some people just need lower calories to lose and if they aren't suffering the signs of malnutrition -- brusing / losing hair etc. -- then I say keep it up. The worry about malnutrition should be evidenced by those signs not some arbitrary calorie count.

I don't know if some posters are familar with the calarie study that has put people on severely reduced diets with nutritional supplementation. And it turns out that restricting calories actually leads to much healthier people. These people eat from 800 to 1400 calories every day - for life. It was profiled in "O" Magazine. It is run at Tufts Medical School and the participants are monitored all the time by doctors.

Well first of all, not all overweight people eat that badly. I would get plenty of veggies and such along with my "bad" foods before I started changing my life. There were certainly enough calories to fit in the bad and the good.

I also think there is a huge difference between a medically supervised and supplemented diet and when someone "wings" it. My overall goal is to be healthy and my secondary goal is to lose weight. Luckily, trying to be healthy can lead to weight loss. Super low calorie diets, if not done properly, can cause more harm than good especially if it results in muscle loss and thus an even further hindered metabolism.

I think most people do well at 1200 and above calories. There are rare occurrences when someone needs below that and if they do, I'd definitely advise them to talk to their doctor about any medical issues. I would also be concerned about their lack of muscle and would advise them to look into weight training.

04-15-2007, 11:34 PM
Ok, I'm back from my walk.

Here is what I ate today. It's basically what I eat most days, although I usually do have some sort of fruit. I drink lots of water, too. Ok, here goes.

Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, prepared with milk, 1 tsp. sugar, milk on top of oatmeal, and a splash of milk in my tea. 275 calories total.

Lunch: 1 piece of wheat bread, one oz. lean turkey breast, two tsp. lite mayo and a small bag of "baked Doritos". 300 calories total.

Dinner: 3 oz. lean grilled flank steak, one tablespoon marinade on steak, half cup white rice, big salad with mixed greens, cucumber, tomato and one tablespoon light ranch dressing. Glass of chardonnay (six oz. glass) 580 calories total.

Total calories for the day was 1155, but lets just say 1200 in case I missed something.

I know it's boring, but I usually eat mostly the same type of thing each day...just seems easier to keep on track but if it's not working it's time to mix it up a bit.

I'm 5'6", and weigh 170 ~ just like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before :D
I would like to get down to the 140-145 range.

Ok, so lets hear it! Be kind....and thanks to all of you! I do appreciate the support and help!

Cats tongue
04-15-2007, 11:59 PM
I don't know if some posters are familar with the calarie study that has put people on severely reduced diets with nutritional supplementation. And it turns out that restricting calories actually leads to much healthier people. These people eat from 800 to 1400 calories every day - for life. It was profiled in "O" Magazine. It is run at Tufts Medical School and the participants are monitored all the time by doctors.

Actually I'm in biochemistry at university, and my teacher spent about three lectures telling us about "Low Calorie Diets". The hypothosis is that by restricting your calories (not by as much as you mentioned, they still usually eat over 1200.) for life you will live for longer. Nothing is proven though. There are too many other factors (genetics, environment...) to prove if eating a low calorie diet means you'll live a longer/healthier life. It also takes a lifetime to study these people, so you know the researcher would probably die first.

But what is proven is that a person needs to eat over 1200 calories to get all the nutrients they need to live healthy. That's not just protein and carbs and fats mind you, it's the micronutrients as well; the vitamins and minerals.

You don't want your body to starve, or you'll hold onto the fat.

But anyway RiverWatcher:
I have to ask. How much milk are you using (to cook your cereal ant on the cereal and in your tea)? Also is it 1/2 cup dry oatmeal or once it's cooked?
I know it's an odd question but depending on those factors your meal could easily be closer to 375 than 275.

04-15-2007, 11:59 PM
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but Boobear asked what was so great about nutrition and said

if they aren't suffering the signs of malnutrition -- brusing / losing hair etc. -- then I say keep it up. The worry about malnutrition should be evidenced by those signs not some arbitrary calorie count.

I just wonder if all the benefits of nutrition are so easily manifest. For example, researchers are making lots of connections between consuming antioxidants and phytochemicals found in fruits, veggies and whole grains and lower rates of cancers and other diseases. I know that many of the studies are correlational and they don't know the causal mechanisms, but it seems it's possible that eating certain nutrients may help prevent getting more diseases later on. So, the benefits may not be so obvious.

And for those who take vitamins hoping to get those benefits, one of the interesting set of findings I've been following is that taking these nutrients and antioxidants out of food doesn't necessarily confer the same benefits. In a number of studies, people who take vitamins are more likely to develop diseases than those who don't.

Now, you shouldn't necessarily throw out the vitamins either, as this research seems to be in its early stages.

But I guess my point is that I don't know of any research which suggests that getting nutrients from our food is bad for us. I'd love to see if anyone knows of any research like that, because I am trying to become a better informed consumer.

Riverwatcher -- I don't have any magic pills for you. I'm sure you could make your food more nutritious, but then, I'm not sure that is really the main issue here.

I think if you really ARE eating whatever calorie range you think you are and are not losing, there are 2 options, eat a little less and/or move more (and at higher intensity). If you are interested in trying weight lifting, I know I have found it to be a great stress reducer and an amazing body shaper! I went through a period of a few months where I didn't lose a pound, but went down a size, and weight lifting seems to be the key.

Patience is also really really helpful in these situations.

Good luck!

04-16-2007, 12:30 AM
I have to say...your menu looked *mostly* healthy. Except for a couple of things that jumped out at me. First of all, the Doritos. Even if they're "baked" Doritos, they're still probably not all that healthy. I guess you could say, they don't serve much nutritional purpose for you. I'd replace those with a piece of fruit or something - a baby apple, or a banana, or some grapes. Secondly, the white rice. White rice is...not the healthiest. At least not if you're having it on a regular basis. I suggest switching to brown (whole-grain) rice. Brown Basmati rice is SO GOOD, taste-wise, and it's much better for you (as far as glycemic spike and fiber and such goes). Then there's the wine - I have nothing against wine or any other kind of alcohol (gods know, I enjoy it enough! ;)) but it's basically empty calories. Are you having wine with dinner every night? It might be time to cut back to once or twice a week.

If you decide to add some calories into your diet - which might help to joggle your body into losing, since sometimes the body senses a "famine" coming on when you suddenly eat a lot fewer calories, and it holds onto every ounce of fat it can get its metaphorical hands on - I'd suggest going with fruits and veggies, also a source of some lean protein. One of my favorite snacks is whole-grain pretzels with cottage cheese; another is just a piece of fruit. Protein on one, healthy carbs and fiber on the other. Veggies are pretty much "free pass" to nosh on during the day, as well.

Good luck! Going so long with no loss can be demoralizing, but don't let it derail you!

04-16-2007, 01:05 AM
Hi riverwatcher!
I am no expert, but I would make a few suggestions:
- Have 2 snacks. Have 3 meals and 2 snacks per day; snacks around 80 cals each. Try to space them about every 2-3 hours.

- "they" say that when you eat more than x number of calories at one sitting, it's way easier for your body to store the fat. Your supper looked like a lot higher calories than the rest of your meals. I would reduce the calories in your supper.

- Try eating your "big meal" at lunch. Then you have more time to work it off

- Don't eat starch or sugar at supper. Eat moderate starch for breakfast and lunch, but for supper eat lean protein and low-starch veggies.

I was always skeptical about the snacking, but since I have been doing this, I can feel my metaboilsm go way up. When I wake up in the morning, I am hungry! When I am late for a meal, my tummy starts rumbling! That means it burned off the other stuff! lol whereas before I would just want something deep fried, now the "voice" is gone.
Do a bit of tweaking, and hide the scale for a few weeks.
Good luck. I'm rooting for you!

04-16-2007, 07:55 AM
Hi Riverwatcher!

I did EIGHT MONTHS at 210 last year and thought I'd LOSE MY MIND!!! THose who have been here awhile know my story on my scale that would NOT seem to m-o-v-e!!!!

I'm older than you. I'm 55, soon to be 56. I KNOW that aging definitely plays a part in slowing down weight loss.

Here are some other things to consider:

1) Have you been eating out? There are MANY hidden calories in restaurant food!

2) Are your carbs "good carbs?" (whole wheat breads, pastas, cereals) The body processes them slower due to the added fiber which raises your metabolism as it must work harder to digest the food, break it down, eliminate waste etc.

3) Are you getting enough fiber? Fiber really helps to act as a sponge to draw out fats and carry them away!

4) Are you drinking plenty of water? Water really helps EVERYTHING get moving in the body and eliminates toxins and added salt, too.

5) Have you been stressed out? This was MY personal biggie that made my body hold onto the weight! There are MANY studies that support the idea that stress DOES make you fat! My fat belly was the result of many more dalories than needed, BUT all the stress I was under for many years and ADDED stress last year really hurt my weight loss efforts!

6) You may need to change things up a bit with exercise. I'm a walker, BUT I found that after awhile even adding extra miles or walking an extra hour really wasn't burning enough calories for me. (I was also eating more calories than I thought I was!) I needed to add/replace my walking with other things. I now do Turbo Jam, yoga, Pilates, step aerobics, and most recently HipHopABs -LOTS of fun AND burn with that one! I vary my routine constantly and added an additional workout, too.

7) Weight loss for some is steady. Are you a person who may not lose at all for awhile then drop four pounds? That's what MY body does! Very weird!

8) Look for hidden calories. A bite of this, a taste of that CAN add up!

I hope that you will find out your body's agenda and will be able to figure out how to lose those pounds! As several have said, be sure to measure yourself, because you MAY indeed have lost inches without losing pounds. I do it all the time! It may sound impossible, but it's not!


04-16-2007, 07:59 AM
hmm.. ive never heard about how eatting more calories in one sitting can store fat? Do you know the reasoning on that one?

04-16-2007, 08:53 AM

What is so great about nutrition? How about a reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, healthier blood sugar levels, healthier cholesterol levels...a "fitter" body-because your body cannot build muscle on a diet that does not contain enough protein and nutrients for it to work with. Hmm...what else, better hair, better skin, slower aging from the antioxidants in the proper foods...the list goes on and on and on...

For me, getting to goal isn't just about getting "skinny". I want to be healthy and fit. I am a gestational diabetic, and at very high risk for diabetes-so if I eat 800 calories in crap, or 1200-1600 in healthy foods, it makes a GREAT deal of difference not only now in my weight loss efforts, but in how great my body ends up when I am at goal, AND in my future health. Nutrition makes a great deal of difference.

Also, not everyone who is overweight is overweight because they ate a diet of ho-ho's. I gain a lot of weight with every pregnancy due to my medical condition-and I did not eat one ho-ho. ;) I stuck with the diet I had to by my doctor, and exercised reguarly-up until I went into labor. As nelie said, some of us actually eat very healthy-we just either don't exercise enough, or we ate too large of portions. Not everyone is fat because they ate junk.

Also, physical signs of malnutrition such as bruising, and breaking/falling out hair are often effects seen after MONTHS of malnutrition-they don't happen after a week or two. Anorexics often have the warning sign of their menstrual cycles stopping...but this doesn't happen until they are at a dangerously low weight or body fat percentage.

Also-yes, there are some people on 800 calorie a day diets without symptoms of malnutrition-BUT they are monitored by doctors, as you stated. There are some programs such as Optifast that are 800 calorie a day-but the patients are under the supervision of a physician. They should not be done without one-because there are much worse things that can happen suddenly besides losing your hair.

To everyone else:

I don't see what the huge rush is with the comments that she may need to drop her calories. Yes, she may-but as Mel suggested, what about increasing the exercise as well? I don't see the rush to go from 1300-1400 a day to talking numbers like 800 and 1000 calories. That is a big jump-and I don't think at this point that it is warranted at this point. What about dropping the calories by 100 a day instead-and increasing the exercise? I would take the 25 minute walk to 30 minutes first-not much a day, but over the course of a week, if done daily, it would be like adding another whole walk. Then I would suggest a couple days a week adding in something to build some strength-such as weights or Pilates.


04-16-2007, 08:57 AM
I'm 5'6", and weigh 170 ~ just like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before :D
I would like to get down to the 140-145 range.

This may be a somewhat odd question... but are you exactly 170 every time you've weighed yourself (no fluctuations)? Is your scale in good working condition?

Your eating plan sounded alright to me. What were you eating before you went on the plan? In other words, is that similar to how you were eating before? Or did you make big changes? You're not drinking in a whole lot of calories, are you? (soda, alcohol, juice, etc).

04-16-2007, 09:08 AM
I'm just going to look at the calories in/calories out situation. Calories in, it looks like you're close, but when I run it in FitDay, I get a higher number by a couple hundred calories. If you NEVER eat any snacks and you NEVER have an extra glass of wine, I think you're still running about 1400.

Use a tracker of some kind. With FitDay you can enter food information right off the nutrition panel, and it also has tons of foods already loaded in. Same goes for the activity part of FitDay.

Activity--your walk, depending on how fast you go, uses up about 100 calories, maybe less. You also have your general everyday metabolic burn while sleeping, sitting, household activities, etc. How much that takes depends on age and weight. If you are a sedentary person (desk job) then let's say you burn 1800 calories just being alive. So, with walking added, 1900. 1900 minus 1400 should still be a deficit of 500 cals a day, and that should be a loss of 1 pound per week.

So, something is off in the assumptions. Maybe there is food not getting accounted for, or maybe your baseline metabolism is lower than the estimate. Can't really say.

Things I would try:

- Track your foods in FitDay. Ever single one of them every time.

- Use the planning tools in FitDay to figure out your weight goal.

- Increase your activity. I spend about an hour and a half on exercise a day, 6 days a week: 40 minutes walk in the morning, then 30 minutes on a machine in the afternoon (elliptical, stationary bike, treadmill--at the YMCA) plus some light weight training to keep my muscles. Or you could add a class like low-impact step aerobics if that appealed to you.

- Once you are tracking your foods, adjust if needed if you find that there are more calories than you thought. But I wouldn't go below 1200 for a lengthy period, as I said earlier. You may also need more calories, strange to say. Some folks have better results with a little more rather than less.

- Keep your main meals closer to 300 cals and add snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

One thing worth noting is that you have not gained! At least there's that! Also, the body does have weight points at which it seems to be quite comfortable and happy, and it's hard to get off them. I've been at the same weight now for 2 weeks without a drop, and it's getting quite annoying...

Good luck! Don't give up! We are cheering for you!


04-16-2007, 09:19 AM
Ready2ShedLBS, if we eat more calories than our bodies need to use immediately, then the extra is stored. This goes for individual meals as well as overall. So if I eat a 600 calorie meal, some of that is going to be stored. It may be stored as glycogen (a type of carbohydrate in muscle and in the liver) or it may be stored as fat. If I'm curbing calories overall, then it's temporary storage and will get used up later in the day when I have a calorie deficit.

The trouble with any type of planning is that our bodies are dynamic--they don't follow a straight line, and what's going on varies throughout any given day. It's an ongoing process, and it's better to watch what happens over weeks rather than over a couple of days.


04-16-2007, 10:18 AM
Even if you're off by a few calories, you're still eating fairly virtuously and a lot less than the average American, so I would think you should be losing something, even 1/2 pound per week. How you were eating before you started eating this way is a good question.

I would think more in the long term and try to build up my muscular stature through weight lifting to increase my metabolism. In fact I have done that over the years and low and behold my resting metabolic rate test showed a "higher than normal" metabolism. Believe me I've always struggled with my weight so my metabolism definitely could not have been this way naturally, of that I'm pretty sure.

Janie Canuck
04-16-2007, 01:05 PM
A comment about those people on super low-cal diets (I read the article too, plus another one in MacLean's) .... they don't just cut calories, but otherwise eat what they want. These people, the article emphasized, are VERY attentive to nutrition. It becomes a very exact science to them, to choose the most nutrient-dense foods available, because although they aim for a low weight, they recognize the importance of staying properly nourished. They eat mainly nutritional "superfoods", and don't waste a single calorie on foods that aren't nutritionally rich.

04-16-2007, 01:33 PM
Riverwatcher - I would try upping the exercise, adding some more veggies and being patient. I dont believe you should lower your calories, in fact I would push for raising them occasionally.

I am going to add that I used to have a HORRID metabolism and borderline insulin resistance and when I started eating a diabetic/southbeach style diet my metabolism improved. But it didnt happen quickly. After about a year my insulin resistance went away and then my metabolism increased (just in time to get pg again!). So while yes, theoretically weight loss is calories in - calories out you can benefit yourself in the long run by doing things that are beneficial for your metabolism...i.e. exercise, weight training, good carbs, etc.

VLC diets--

The problem with the VLC diets are that your metabolism slows. It has to. Yes there are groups who eat that way and survive and have nutrition(but they are meticulous as janie says) But then you are committing to a LIFE of VLC. Your metabolism goes to pot. And if you do then have a "normal" or overeat day your body is truly confused. This goes beyond just weight gain. After an extended time on VLC the body produces less insulin, if you then EAT your body doesnt have the ability to process the food. Even non-diabetics can induce sugar shock this way. Personally I like the fact that one really bad christmas party is only a tiny weight gain, not a huge metabolic disaster.

04-16-2007, 01:46 PM
You are in the same boat I was in about 1 1/2 years ago.

I had quit my job and decided to lose weight. Heck, I wasn't working--I should be able to fit in time to exercise--right? So I started to walk. I walked daily for about 20 to 30 minutes. But what I didn't do was watch my food intake. After 5 months (yes 5 months!) I not only didn't lose anything--I gained 5 pounds! YIKES!!!

I rededicated myself last January 2006. I started counting calories and watching my fat intake. I upped my walking to almost 5 miles a day 5 or 6 times a week. And I started to lose. At first, it was fairly quick, but then I stalled and that's when I discovered 3FCs. Everyone here was my lifesaver and coach! I got great advice and also found FitDay. I started really logging what I ate and was surprised that when I didn't write it or log it, I actually consumed more than I thought. I started to lose again.

Everyone so far has given you great advice. It's not for lack of trying on your part, its just that you may need to add that last element--accounting for everything. Write it down. Count it up. You can do it!!

04-16-2007, 02:27 PM
My thoughts are to increase exercise. Walking is good exercise, but our bodies can adjust to doing the same exercise all the time. And HOW brisk? Are you breaking a sweat? You may need to look at your exercise.

I also think you need to start tracking your calories if you aren't already AND...weighing and measuring. What jumped out at me was "big salad with mixed greens, cucumber, tomato and one tablespoon light ranch dressing." Are you positive that this big salad only had 1 tablespoon of dressing? That's one thing that is so easy to miscalculate.

Lastly is, as someone else mentioned, I'd do away with the empty calories, like the wine, mayo, Doritos.

04-16-2007, 02:28 PM

Don't give up! I'm responding not because I know a whole lot, but because I committed to eating differently just about a month ago too, plus I'm the same age as you. There's hope for us oldsters too. You've gotten tons of great advice from folks with lots of experience, and I bet that if you tweak your plan some, you'll see results.

I will say that weighing/measuring/tracking my food has been essential for me. You might try that. I also know that everyone's different, but I would be starving if I ate what you listed. Not that my calories are very different, they're usually 1300-1500, but because there's just not enough volume/protein there to make me feel satisfied. I feel better with the volume and fiber I get from bunches of vegies and a moderate amount of fruit. I've cut out the refined starches, which has helped me feel better too, and am just generally trying to learn what works for my body. Have you been feeling satisfied and energetic?

Walking 25 minutes is a great start, but it doesn't really burn very many calories. Maybe you could change up your exercise activities, do some longer walks, or go to two short walks? I'm really goal-oriented, plus I've got a short attention span, so I've been making a plan to increase my distance a bit or change my exercise routine every week or so.

Let us know how things are going for you and hang in there!

04-16-2007, 02:37 PM
As far as walking, and the calories burned-it completely depends on if you are taking a gentle, slow stroll (2.5mph for instance) or if you are walking at a more brisk pace. (more like 3.5mph) Over the course of the week, it makes a huge deal how much mileage you cover, and how many calories you burn.

If you take a 30 minute walk each day, and only go 2.5mph, then you are covering 1.25 miles per walk-or about 8.75 miles over the week, if you walk every day. If you go the brisker pace, you would cover 1.75 miles at each walk-a 1/2 mile more every day-and that would be 12.25 miles at the end of the week.

8.75 or 12.25 miles...a large difference in the calories burned over the course of the week depending on how much you put into that same 30 minute daily walk.

This is why it is important to decide how much you are putting into your workouts. Everyone can do 20 or 30 minutes of exercise-but you might not be getting all of the benefits from it that you could. For best results, simply put more into your workouts. Challenge yourself with a faster pace, a higher step (step aerobics), heavier weights, etc. You can get better results with less time, if you put more into it. :)

04-16-2007, 03:03 PM
Wow! Lots of help and advice here, and I do appreciate it.

I've never been able to get the quote thingy to work, so I'm going from memory here on what some of you have pointed out.

As far as figuring out the calories in my food, I use either an online calorie counter, or I get the information right off the package of what I'm eating. I do think I'm being honest with myself about portion control; yes, the "big salad" really did have only one tablespoon of dressing. The oatmeal...it's a half of a cup dry, then the one percent milk is added for cooking, and a little more on top, for a total of about one cup of milk. As for the white rice, I rarely eat it, in fact prior to last night I can't remember the last time I ate rice. When I don't have oatmeal for breakfast, like this morning for example, I'll usually have two scrambled eggs and a piece of wheat toast, or a bowl of regular Cheerios. As for dinner, last night was beef but tonight will be a grilled chicken breast, tomorrow may be grilled fish.

My scale is brand new. The reason I bought a new one is because the old one gave a different result each time you stepped on it. This one is digital and seems to be good quality.

Someone asked about stress. Um.....yeah, you could say that! Some huge changes coming up for me within the next couple months.

Thanks again everyone!

04-16-2007, 09:58 PM
Hi Riverwatcher,
I'm about your age, 49 (argh!). I am on a 1200-1400 per day calorie watch and closely monitoring my fat grams. Before I started measuring my food and logging it into Fitday.com, I thought I knew portion sizes pretty accurately. But once I started measuring, I found I was making my portions too big. So until you get a real feel for portion control, you might try measuring and weighing your portions (a pain in the buns, I know :) ) Then I read recently where the more a person weighs, the more wrong they are when trying to estimate portion size.
I know how easy it is to become discouraged, but you are here trying to make a difference for yourself. Don't give up!

Mary from Maine
04-17-2007, 02:02 AM
Hi RiverWatcher,

I usually just lurk but it occured to me that you might try a different way of evaluating your success by taking note of your measurements periodically. Even if the scale isn't moving, I'll bet you'll see a change in your waist, hips, thighs, etc. Whatever you do, don't give up! Hang in there and I know you'll see results!


04-17-2007, 01:45 PM
Hi riverwatcher : )

I came in to suggesst a few things, but I see your already doing it. I agree with you that mixing things up is a good idea. Initially, I thought you were having the beef and rice every night and I wanted to suggest perhaps limiting that dinner to 2 nights a week and then on the alternating nights have fish and chicken (and increasing the portion size of fish and chicken to say 5 oz. versus the 3oz.). FIsh and chicken work great for me, especially fish and I hope it works well for you too, good luck with your new plan :)

Aphil, I am glad you clarified the walking issue. I love to walk, it's a major component of my exercise routine. When I first started, I was walking at 3.0 and after some time it began to feel too comfortable and I gradually increased my speed. I'm walking at 3.5 now and what a difference! It's exactly as you say, Over the course of a week I am covering much more ground and burning many more calories, not to mention, that I feeeel it, I feel the increase in cardio and I feel the burn and it feels good :) Also, varying my route by adding more uphill courses has helped to shake it up a bit.

Speaking of workouts, I best get moving. I hope you all have a great day : ) Keep up the good work riverwatcher, your diligence and experimenting with what works for you best (particulary your incorportaing the fish and chicken, etc.)...I think will pay off : )