Weight Loss Support - Looking for pointers

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06-16-2008, 02:46 PM
I'm 5 feet tall and 130 lbs. I was losing weight steadily until about a month ago, when it plateaued at my current size. Every day, I do about an hour of mixed walking and jogging. Below is a copy of a typical menu from my food tracker. I didn't set out to eat this amount of calories. When I got the tracker and entered the foods, that's how many it turned out to be. One thing I'm considering is upping my calories, even though I don't feel deprived, just in case my body has entered starvation mode. Does anyone have advice on what the problem might be?

Apple, raw
unsalted almonds
Nectarine, raw
Steel cut oats
Cranberries, dried
lactose free Milk
Hummus, commercial
Carrots, raw
String cheese
Apple, raw
ground turkey
100% whole wheat hamburger bun
Cantaloupe (muskmelon),
Yogurt, plain, nonfat milk

grams cals %total
Total: 1155
Fat: 34 307 28%
Sat: 9 79 7%
Poly: 2 19 2%
Mono: 2 16 1%
Carbs: 167 574 52%
Fiber: 23 0 0%
Protein: 55 219 20%
Alcohol: 0 0 0%

06-16-2008, 02:54 PM
Is 1155 your average daily intake, or is it often above or below this amount daily? I don't need to see your menus all week, because this doesn't look bad at all-just calorie counts for the rest of the week.

I would recommend, trying some strengthening exercises, along with the cardio (walking and jogging) that you are already doing. Maybe try some strength training (weights) or Pilates twice a week to your routine? Cardio is good for burning calories, and burning fat...but strengthening exercises help to increase your muscle, making everything leaner, tighter, and more shapely.

06-16-2008, 03:15 PM
My weekly average is 1065 calories. I could post the daily breakdown for that if it would help, but I usually eat between 1000 and 1200 calories. Thanks for the suggestion. I just pulled up a page on Pilates and it sounds interesting. I'll give it a try.

06-16-2008, 04:10 PM
Well, the way to bust a plateau is to eat less or exercise more.
You're already eating at the low end of where they say you should eat anyway, so I'd say ramp up the exercise!
Not the "popular" option, but just bite the bullet and do it.
If you're not already doing strength training, start there with dumbbells at home. If you like the gym atmosphere, join a gym.
Squats and pushups are great exercises that you can do at home and it doesn't cost anything!!

Good luck :)

06-16-2008, 06:25 PM
Okay, I have been doing pushups and crunches, but only about 30 min a week. I'll try upping the sessions and adding squats along with Pilates. I'm not quite ready to spend money on equipment yet, so we'll see how this goes. Wish me luck.:)

06-16-2008, 08:47 PM
You could come and join us in this thread ... http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=143952 ... it's just general, daily support. It's always educational, encouraging and fun to keep in touch and share ideas.

06-16-2008, 09:56 PM
I'm definitely not an expert on nutrition or exercise, so take this for the amateur opinion that it is, but here are my thoughts on what you could change that might help.

Try increasing the amount of protein you eat and reducing the carbs. When I was eating at 1200 calories per day, I aimed for 80 to 100g of protein per day. Also, I don't see a lot of vegetables in you diet, which are a very important source of nutrients. With your calories so low, this might be a particular concern. Maybe try adding some more veggies to your diet.

I've broken a plateau in the past by increasing the intensity of my exercise (exercising harder, not longer) and increasing my calories at the same time. Specifically, I increased the intensity of my strength training and added intervals to my cardio. I actually shortened my cardio workouts from one hour of steady state cardio to 30 min split between steady state and intervals. Then, because I was exercising at a much high intensity, I increased my calories from 1200 to 1400 per day. I've found running intervals to be extremely helpful with my weight loss, so I really recommend that.

Try doing different types of exercises--your body may have gotten used to the walking and jogging and it may not be as effective anymore. Intervals are one thing you could do to mix things up. Other things to try (that don't require expensive equipment or a gym membership) are jumping rope, hula hooping, an exercise DVD, walking or jogging up hills or stairs. I also agree that adding strength training could be a big help. Do have a bike? If so, what about bicycling? Swimming is another alternative if you have access to a pool or lake.

Another idea might be to slowly increase your calories to a maintenance level for a few weeks-so go from where you are now to maybe 1500 to 1700 calories per day (adding 100 to 200 calories per day for a week at a time). Then drop your calories back down. This might get your weight loss moving again.

06-16-2008, 09:58 PM
YOu don't say how much weight you've lost or how long it's taken you to get to 130. One thing to keep in mind is that if you lose a lot of weight, your body often needs time to readjust. A lot of us who started in the mid 250's found that at about 170-ish, our weight loss stalled for a bit. At that point all of us had to sort of take a break, give our bodies a little bit to readjust, and then move forward with a a slightly different version of the plan we had - whether that involved more exercise, different foods, a different balance of foods (more protein, less sugar, a different distribution of carbs), whatever.

Can you give us more info on where you've come from in the past and how long it's taken you to get to where you are. That will help a lot in knowing what kind of advice to give! :)


06-17-2008, 10:16 AM
I started out at 165 two years ago. That was with no exercise, a poor diet and mindless eating. If there were four pieces of pie, I'd have a piece just out of principle, feeling that since there were four people in the house, I was entitled to one. Then I got a dog and lost about 15 lbs because he needed to go for walks. This year, I changed my diet, and stopped eating when I wasn't hungry. That got me to 130.

The reason I do the walks/jogs now is that it's a way for the dog to get his activity in too. I don't have a bike but do plan to start swimming once it's warm enough to open the pool. Adding vegetables and more protein will be a challenge for me because I'm forcing myself to eat the amount of those things that I do now.

BluetoBlue, what kind of intervals did you do? Was it like 1 minute of sprinting then 1 minute of jogging?

Thanks for the link, and the advice.

06-17-2008, 11:37 AM

I think that at the point you're at, adding more protein and increasing your exercise is going to be the thing that will move you past the plateau.

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is somethign that has worked really well for me. I do it at the gym on the elliptical, but you can do it walking or jogging. Basically the principle is this: Do something at a low/medium intensity for 2 mins (walking, slow jogging, etc.). Then do it at a "sprint" intensity (get your heartrate up to 90% or so) for 1 min. Repeat this cycle anywhere from 5-10 times. Most people can only do intervals for 30 minutes at the most. It's VERY intense.

The benefit to intervals is that it keeps your heart rate and your metabolism up for long after you've actually done the exercise. So you get the benefit over a period of several hours, rather than just during the exercise.


06-17-2008, 03:57 PM
Oh, I see where that would be very intense, but I'm up for it. I probably won't even make 30 minutes at first with the sprinting, but can just work my way up.

06-18-2008, 08:20 AM
An alternative view:

You're already exercising 60 minutes per day. If you increase that, what do you think will happen? At some point in the future you will cease your intensive exercise and any weight you have lost will return as result.

You're doing just fine, how low do want to go? I mean, 130 at 5 feet doesn't sound bad to me, and because of your exercise a large percentage of that 130 could be muscle tissue as opposed to body fat.

Ther real question is, are you the right size, because in the end, your weight doesn't really matter.

06-18-2008, 10:06 AM
AJ113 raises and interesting point! Are you happy with your size now? If not, what is it that you wish to change?

I'd also ask, do you know what your body fat percentage is? (Not BMI--that's something different.) Online calculators give wildly inaccurate estimates of this. Some bathroom scales (like Tanita brand scales) give a body fat % amount based on impedance (a mild electrical current through the feet). There are hand-held impedance devices also. The most accurate tests are caliper tests, administered by someone trained in using the calipers, and the immersion test, done in a water tank.

Body fat percentage is often a much better measure of fitness than simply one's weight. For example, mine went from 44% at my highest weight to 33% now. That means that I've lost more fat than lean body mass (muscle etc.). (It's possible for someone to lose weight but have their body fat % still remain too high--usually because of no exercise.)


06-18-2008, 02:17 PM
An alternative view:

You're already exercising 60 minutes per day. If you increase that, what do you think will happen? At some point in the future you will cease your intensive exercise and any weight you have lost will return as result.That is true, which is why I want to have a cushion for myself, so that if life gets in the way of my exercise for awhile, and as my metabolism slows with age (I'm twenty-six now) I'll have a better chance of fixing things before I slide back into obesity, and an increased risk of health problems.

You're doing just fine, how low do want to go? I mean, 130 at 5 feet doesn't sound bad to me, and because of your exercise a large percentage of that 130 could be muscle tissue as opposed to body fat.

Ther real question is, are you the right size, because in the end, your weight doesn't really matter.I'm not so concerned about the number, and if I press through the fat in I can tell that there's more muscle tissue now than there used to be (esp. in my legs and abs), but there is quite a thick layer of fat over it. A toned 130 would be fine, but that's not the level I'm at.

JayEll, I don't know what my body fat % is at this point. I do believe that it's higher than it should be health-wise.

Thanks for the two of you for bringing up these points though. It is a good reminder to not to just focus on the numbers on the scale.