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bananapancakes
08-07-2008, 04:30 PM
Hi All :wave:

I have a feeling this is going to turn in to a short novel but, I'll try keep it as short as possible......ready?

Okay, well I'm feeling confused and frustrated. I seem to gain weight incredibly easy and I just don't understand why. :?:

I work out five (sometimes six) days per week. Here's what I do each gym visit:

Run 3 miles (takes me 30 mins).
I usually do 10 mins on the bike, elliptical or stairmaster if I have time.
I do upper body strength training, alternating body parts various days.
I workout abs at home 3 days per week using my swiss ball (3 sets of 40 crunches)
I can often be found doing random sets of lunges here and there at home (3 sets of 20 at a time).
I walk my dog for at least an hour daily.
I hop in my community pool and do at least twenty laps when I do then I usually just float around or play with the neighbors kids.
Overall I would descrive myself as a very active person, I'm always doing something.


To give you a rough idea of what I eat on an average day:

Breakfast: 1cup Cheerios with fat free milk: 140 calories.
Snack: Half cup fat free cottage cheese: 80 calories.
Lunch: Sandwich on whole wheat: 360 (Always around that number but, varies up or down slightly depending on what I have on it), often I just have a small plain salad.
Snack: Valencia Orange: 50 calories.
Dinner: Skinless grilled chicken breast (120), whole grain rice (190 calories) and grilled veggies (50 calories).
After my workouts I have a chocolate protein shake made with fat free milk: 220 calories.

Total calorie intake: 1210

I consume on average 14 glasses of water per day.
I don't snack on other stuff or have little bites here and there of things, what I've noted is what I eat, thats all but, it obviously changes slightly from day but, the calories intake is always about the same.

Anyway, so now you know I'm no lazy bum ;)

Well my friend came in to town on Saturday night, I weighed 138.5 when she arrived, I stayed up late and drank about 7 Miller lite beers with her (I don't drink often, last time I drank was 4th of July). The next day I didn't workout but, I did play around in my community pool for almost 3 hrs. Before she left that night I treated myself- a little more than I should have (I'm only human), but, still. I had:

Slice of pizza: 340
Dessert: 400
Small amount of pasta: 300
Beer from night before: 672

Total calories in junk food/beer: 1712

Btw, I ate very healthy besides this.

For those of you who don't know, there are roughly 3500 calories needed to burn a pound of body fat.

So I stepped on the scale the following day after treating myself and the scale read a whopping 145 lbs! Okay, okay so part of this was water weight which I lost, taking me down to 142 lbs but, still, how come I gained 3.5 lbs?! I know it seems like I may be making a big deal over three pounds but, thats a lot when it takes me over a week to lose that amount of weight usually. Patience has never been a virtue that I have possessed :D Usually when people gain weight after indulging a little they lose all if not most of it as it's just excess water weight but, it seems to stay on me and keeps putting me back a week or so.

This seems to happen whenever I treat myself which isn't often because I keep gaining back three or four pounds each time I do, even when I just treat myself a little. Usually when I treat myself it's some ice cream with calories around 500.

I know this makes no sense and there may be a few people who think I'm cheating myself or I'm in denial but, I swear I'm not. My boyfriend is so confused by it all too, he calls me a health nut and a work out freak, he seems how much effort I put forth, it's not all in my head.

Does anyone else feel this way or does anyone have an explanation as to why this happens? I hope this post makes some sense :p

Sorry the post was so awfully long!

Joey

Btw, just to add, I'm perfectly healthy 26 year old. :) I know I may not have some of the calories exactly down to a t but, they are not far off.


mandalinn82
08-07-2008, 04:35 PM
Have you given yourself at least a week to drop the water weight?

If I drink, it takes me at least a week to get back to my pre-drinking weight. The combination of alcohol-related dehydration and the sodium I usually consume while drinking makes me retain crazy water, and it takes time to go away.

Also, there may be other things going on other than your off-plan eating that made your scale go up temporarily. Hormones, change in exercise, even changes in humidity...all can affect your weight. We have a great "Water Weight and Scale Fluctuations" thread stickied here in the Weight Loss Support forum - I'd encourage you to read it.

Take some time before continuing to freak. It is biologically impossible to gain 3.5 lbs of fat (or even a WHOLE pound of fat) from 1800 calories of junk.

thistoo
08-07-2008, 04:38 PM
I have a problem with gaining easily too. I mean, when I started I weighed 245 pounds, and I've always eaten pretty healthy. There were definitely sugar binges and I have always had a weakness for ice cream, but I've been pretty strict with myself all my life, because I've always had a weight problem.

My point is that despite constant efforts, I have never previously been able to lose weight, and I finally figured out it's because I'm insulin resistant. If I eat carbs -- any carbs, it doesn't matter if they're good for me or not -- late in the day, I gain weight. It sucks, and it makes planning meals a pain, but at least now that I know what the problem is, I'm losing.

I'm not saying that's your problem, but it's something to consider. There are books out there like The Insulin Resistance Diet and Syndrome X: the complete nutritional program to prevent and reverse insulin resistance that explain the symptoms very well.

I know that scientifically speaking, it's impossible to gain several pounds from very few calories, and yet, here I am, with more than sixty pounds yet to lose because while I was a vegetarian, I relied too much on carbs. So clearly insulin resistance changes the rules a little.


bananapancakes
08-07-2008, 04:43 PM
Take some time before continuing to freak. It is biologically impossible to gain 3.5 lbs of fat (or even a WHOLE pound of fat) from 1800 calories of junk.

Thanks for reassuring me and for the info, it's greatly appreciated :)

In my head I know it's not biologically possible and I do tell myself that but, I just get so downright frustrated. My logical side tells me it's not fat, it's just water but, then I don't understand why the weight stays with me. It's not been a week since I had the alcohol yet. This has happened in the past and the weight hasn't left me, it's just stuck around and put me back a week or so. It's just beyond me. I don't get it. I don't have any answers for this one :p

Thanks for the insight and I'll check out those stickied threads.

Thanks :)

bananapancakes
08-07-2008, 04:52 PM
My point is that despite constant efforts, I have never previously been able to lose weight, and I finally figured out it's because I'm insulin resistant. If I eat carbs -- any carbs, it doesn't matter if they're good for me or not -- late in the day, I gain weight. It sucks, and it makes planning meals a pain, but at least now that I know what the problem is, I'm losing.

I'm not saying that's your problem, but it's something to consider. There are books out there like The Insulin Resistance Diet and Syndrome X: the complete nutritional program to prevent and reverse insulin resistance that explain the symptoms very well.

I know that scientifically speaking, it's impossible to gain several pounds from very few calories, and yet, here I am, with more than sixty pounds yet to lose because while I was a vegetarian, I relied too much on carbs. So clearly insulin resistance changes the rules a little.


Would I have other obvious symptoms besides gaining weight so easily and having such a terribly hard time trying to get rid of it? Because I feel like I'm pretty healthy.

I do enjoy my carbs, thats why i have to be careful and watch what I eat closely, breads, cheese etc... are a weakness of mine but, I'm always strong and only eat them in moderation.

hotmomma
08-07-2008, 05:24 PM
This happens to me too.
I lose weight incredibly slow, like 2 pounds a month, no matter how far back I cut my calories. And usually those 2 pounds come off all at once, after 3 weeks of no loss. It makes me not even want to bother (yes I exercise, though I have disabilities so some days I exercise more than others). However, if I go away for a weekend, drink a lot, or otherwise veer off plan, then I step on the scale and I've gained five pounds in 2 days. Yes, 2 of it usually disappears in a couple of days but the rest takes at least a week to come off.
It stinks. I'd really like to be one of these people on here who loses 18 pounds in three weeks.

cornellchick
08-07-2008, 05:39 PM
One thing I've noticed in my weight loss endeavors is that the longer your weight has been on, the longer it will take you to get it off. So the converse is also true: if you suddenly gained a few pounds, it probably won't take long for you to lose them again.

Last weekend I had a bit of a feeding frenzy: it involved pizza, tortilla chips, sushi and teriyaki chicken, high-calorie trail mix... et cetera. By Monday I had regained 2 pounds that it had taken me almost 2 weeks to finally lose (since I haven't weighed my current weight in over 2 years, it had taken me a long time to lose those couple of pounds). I was at first pretty bummed about it, but I jumped right back on plan, and guess what? This morning (Thursday) I stepped on the scale and those 2 pounds are right back off again, and then some. :)

So if you're suddenly up an inexplicable 3.5 pounds, not only is it probably water retention in large part (as mandalinn said), it will also probably go away pretty quickly if you stick to plan.

bananapancakes
08-07-2008, 05:45 PM
So if you're suddenly up an inexplicable 3.5 pounds, not only is it probably water retention in large part (as mandalinn said), it will also probably go away pretty quickly if you stick to plan.

Thanks for the input :)

I totally get what you guys are saying. I wish it worked like that for me. I guess I should maybe have made a little more clear that this is a trend and the weight doesn't go away. It just stays. Bizarre :p

thistoo
08-07-2008, 10:09 PM
Would I have other obvious symptoms besides gaining weight so easily and having such a terribly hard time trying to get rid of it? Because I feel like I'm pretty healthy.

You wouldn't have the kinds of symptoms you are thinking of, no. Here's an article about it that explains the basics better than I could:

Insulin Resistance (http://www.medicinenet.com/insulin_resistance/article.htm)

I'm not saying this is your problem, I'm just saying there are definitely physical reasons some people gain weight really quickly and have a hard time keeping it off. Giving up bread is one of the hardest things I've done, but it's made a big difference.

Naia
08-20-2008, 10:20 PM
Your post made incredible sense to me! I've always gained weight incredibly easy too. It always seemed unfair that I could eat less than my skinny sister and exercise more, yet gain weight while she lost. The joke where people say, "just looking at that donut made me gain 5 lbs!" was never a joke to me :)

While everyone is different, I did find a few things that worked for me:

1) Eat more food. Weird, I know. But anytime I go below 1500 calories I not only stop losing, sometimes I gain. Once, when I was in my 20's and desperate to lose the weight I did a 2 day fast followed by 2 weeks of 800 calories. Not a healthy thing to do, and *not* worth it. Not only did I gain weight, I gained inches.

2) Exercise. If I stop exercising for one week in a long stretch of dedicated working out, not a big deal. Two weeks, and I start gaining no matter if I'm eating healthy or not. Also, I have to mix it up. I usually do the elliptical or the treadmill, but I have to play with the speed, incline & resistance.

3) Sleep, and synthroid. I did these simultaneously, and I haven't stopped either one, so I'm not sure which was the bigger help.

For my insomnia I started a low dose of ambien, and actually got an 8 hours of sleep.

For the synthroid -- I'd had thyroid tests done several times, but all the doctors said I was fine. Turns out, most labs haven't adjusted their "normal" ranges to the new accepted values. So, it wasn't until I went to an endocrinologist that specialized in weight, and believed in adjusting to levels that made you *feel* good, that I got treatment for being hypothyroid. She did a full panel of all the tests. The regular test they do came back almost normal, but I had other levels that were just wonky.

I had to be forced to go to an endocrinologist -- I didn't feel like there was anything wrong with me, and felt like I was looking for an excuse for being overweight. I'm thankful I went -- within the first month of both ambien & synthroid I'd lost 15 pounds. And for me, that was a HUGE loss. The weight loss slowed the more I lost, but I found I could actually have a bad eating day and not pay too badly for it. My weight might go up the next day, but it came back down the day after that.

4) Water & Salt. For whatever reason my body *loves* to hold onto water. I can gain 7 pounds over the course of the day, just depending on what I've eaten/drunk. I've had to cut down on the salt and increase my water. That helps, but I've also had to realize... My weight is just going to fluctuate. Constantly. So instead of going by a firm number, I go more by a trend of numbers. Sometimes if I eat too much salt, those extra pounds will stay for weeks. Just weird.

It may be that your body just likes to hold onto that water! And alcohol is especially dehydrating, so like with me & salt, it might tell your body to hold onto it's liquids :-) If you're doing a whole lot of exercise, you might need to add a little more calories back on too.

I think the insulin resistance would be a good idea to look into. I have a friend who if she eats any carbs in the evening, has gained the next morning. She's knocked off the carbs by 2pm and it seems to work much better for her.

You've made such incredibly progress already! You look fabulous in your pictures!! Don't get discouraged, because you're obviously doing something right.

Good luck!!!

Naia

chickybird
08-20-2008, 10:39 PM
Just a thought. Do you allot yourself extra calories on days you do workouts?

NishKitten
08-21-2008, 10:23 AM
That's probably mostly water, hun. Not true weight.

I do the SAME thing. I never add salt to anything I eat (my mom never cooked with it, so it tastes funny to me) and I don't cook with it, and it looks like you have a very low sodium intake as well. Soooo whenever I eat something at a restuarant, have a beer, etc. LOOK OUT! I can put on 10lbs in a matter of a few hours. It doesn't go away either.

Usually going back to my normal diet and drinking some fruit juice or milk in addition to my daily water intake (helps to neutralize the salt) gets me back to normal, if not -2lbs in about 8 days or so.

I know your pain. *Hugs!*

*edited to add* And actually... that insulin resistance thing is kind of interesting, especially since they did have me on Prednisone for such a long time... Now i'm making a Dr's appt. It kinda fits, but in a lot of big ways it doesnt, like the abdominal obesity and stuff. Best to get checked anyway, I reckon.