20-Somethings - It's been two months and no weight loss...What am I doing wrong?

Here we go again
09-17-2008, 02:02 AM
I know I've complained asked for suggestions from everyone, but I really need help. No weight loss in two months. I work out every day.

Curves three times a week.
Run/ Walk an hour six times a week
100 squats 6 days
50 girl push ups 6 days
200 crunches 6 days

Food Intake:
1500-1800 per day
220 g carbs
90-120 g protein
50 g fat

I drink about 4-5 liters / day

I'm losing inches so I know that I'm losing. Is there something else I should be doing that I'm not? There's no reason that I shouldn't be losing weight. All of the weight calculators tell me that I should be eating at least 2200 per day at the lowest. Do you think that this is accurate especially with me working out so much? Any input would greatly be appreciated. I'm going crazy and I have so much to lose. I'm not really getting caught up with the number on the scale but if there's something that I'm missing I would like to know.

09-17-2008, 02:25 AM
i don't know much about calories so i'll stay out of that.... :)

however, you should be proud of yourself for the inches lost! a lot of times, you are building muscle and shedding fat simultaneously. with your (awesome) workout routine, it's certain that you are building muscle. and with the inches you're shedding, that's the fat loss!

maybe you should try having your body fat measured once a month or so. i think that you'll be able to see change here!

i'm no expert but i really hope this helps :)


09-17-2008, 02:31 AM
I know I've complained asked for suggestions from everyone, but I really need help. No weight loss in two months. I work out every day.

Curves three times a week.
Run/ Walk an hour six times a week
100 squats 6 days
50 girl push ups 6 days
200 crunches 6 days

Food Intake:
1500-1800 per day
220 g carbs
90-120 g protein
50 g fat

I drink about 4-5 liters / day

I'm losing inches so I know that I'm losing. Is there something else I should be doing that I'm not? There's no reason that I shouldn't be losing weight. All of the weight calculators tell me that I should be eating at least 2200 per day at the lowest. Do you think that this is accurate especially with me working out so much? Any input would greatly be appreciated. I'm going crazy and I have so much to lose. I'm not really getting caught up with the number on the scale but if there's something that I'm missing I would like to know.

From the numbers I got when checking, that's pretty low calories for being that active. Seriously, I just was eating 1600 a day and went on a plateau until I increased it to 2000. I walk or something at least 30 minutes, 5-6 days per week. Within a couple days after increasing calories I started losing. This is not the first time this has happened to me and I am not the only one. If you decrease calories you will for sure lower your metabolism which will cause problems long run. My best to you on working this out!


09-17-2008, 02:34 AM
Hm. I have four thoughts:

One: You're losing inches, so you're probably losing bodyfat, but something else is going on that's causing the scale to stall. I know it's easier said than done, but if you're continuing to lose inches, maybe just take a break from the scale for a while?

Two: Based on what I know of Curves, there's not a lot of variety to their workouts. It's basically circuit training - the same circuit every single day, right? Your body adapts to exercise really quickly, so if you're doing the same thing every time you work out, then you're not getting the most benefit from it, because your body has adapted. Try changing up your workout in intensity, types of exercises, etc.

Three: You're doing the same sets of squats/pushups/crunches every day. Again with your body adapting, but also 6 days a week might be too much. Try alternating ... switch up ... do squats and lunges one day, maybe with weights. Or do split squats and lunges. Then the next day do crunches, leg lifts, and planks. Then the next day do pushups, triceps dips. Rotate through those, rather than doing the same thing over and over and over again. When you get to the point that you're doing 100 or 200 of anything, you're not challenging your body any more. You've built endurance, but you're no longer building strength or muscle. If you're finding these things too easy, make them more challenging instead and do 3 sets of 12 or 3 sets of 15. Add variations, add weight, add something.

Four: YOu don't say what you're eating, the calorie range sounds ok to me, but maybe you could look at your macros and tweak that a bit. If you're going to incorporate more weight/resistance work, I'd see about getting your protein to 30% or 35% and dropping your fat some. 50g of fat for 1600 cals seems high to me. I personally try for a 40/35/25 split and that seems to work best for weight loss when I'm sticking to plan and working out like I should. If all else fails, try adding a few hundred calories for a couple of days or even up to a week, and then see what happens.

Hope that helps give you something to think about or work with! :)


09-17-2008, 02:42 AM
I don't have any answers for you, and the only advice I have is keep tweaking. Try different proportions of calories (from fat, carbs, protein) and different calorie levels, and just see what happens.

It's crazy sometimes that you can do everything "right" and still have battles with the scale.

09-17-2008, 09:47 AM
We're all going to have different opinion, but mine is that you have two main problems:

1) as others have said, your body is adapting to what you're doing, making the exercises less effective. I've been working with a couple of different strength training systems (New Rules of Lifting for Women... now on to Power Training) and both make a point to change up your exercises quite a bit. Except for the break-in period of the first one you never do any set of exercises for more than three weeks. You've also go no recovery time in there. Even with bodyweight exercises you should probably do them no more than every other day.

2) I don't know the intensity of your workouts, but if they're high you're probably not eating enough. If they're not leaving you dripping with sweat and ready to collapse, that may also be your problem. However, I'm definitely not suggesting that you do those kind of workouts 6 times a week.

Here's what I do:

3 days a week - strength training - 70-75 mins at the moment

This is a mix of bodyweight exercises (push-ups, get-ups, hip extensions) and ones with weights (bent-over row, dumbbell press, dumbbell snatch, deadlifts). When I'm done these, I'm done. Each time I do them I try to lift heavier weights. I used to do things like dumbbell curls (I could probably do 100) with light weights. Honestly, they did nothing for me. Oh, and if you can do 50 girl push-ups it's time to try full push-ups. Even if you can only do a few. :)

On these days I eat 2300 calories.

2 days a week - cardio - 60 mins at the moment - some weeks might be 3x45 mins, my schedule is changing

This is either light cardio (walking) or higher cardio depending on mood, energy level, access to equipment. Last week I used the college gym and ended up with higher heart rates than normal. I really don't aim for really hard cardio. It's usually only slightly more aggressive than a gentle walk. When I use my treadmill at home I'll do 2.5mph at about a 5% incline. When I walk outside it will be a combination of walking with some very light jogging thrown in.

On these days I eat 2150 calories.

2 days - rest days

No formal exercise these days. Now, these aren't usually veg on the couch days. Last weekend on my rest day I cleaned and cooked a meal for company. On my lifting day (Sunday) I made jam. Normally I leave chores and errands for my rest days. However, rest days are important. It lets me put more energy into my workouts.

On these days I eat 2000 calories

Give or take we're about the same weight. Although since you're posting in the 20-somethings I'm possibly 20-years older than you are (I'm 42). You should be able to eat more. A couple of years ago I was in the same situation as you were. I was eating probably 1700-1800 cals a day, doing 5 weeks of excessively hard cardio, and doing a job where I was on my feet all day. I went months with little to no weightloss. All I did was drop my calories which didn't help at all. Combining that with ignoring warning signs of illness ended up putting me in the hospital.

So my advice is STOP.

Either increase your calories, or lower your exercise. A good first step might be to take a week off from the exercise. Eat 1500-1800 and do nothing but daily movement. At the end of the week start into a more balanced exercise program, but increase your calories slightly. Every 6 or 12 weeks consider taking a break.

Interesting point, but 9 weeks ago I did no exercise, ate 3000 cals a day, and gained only one pound. The week after I lost 5.4 pounds. I will be doing something like that again in 3 weeks. At this point I'm not suggesting that for you, but try a rest week with the same level of calories. It's worth a shot. Good luck.

Added - duh, none of this is any good without results. I lowered my calories on Sept 1st (was doing a straight 2150/2400 for rest and/or exercise days since the end of May). May 25th to Aug 31st - lost 29.6 pounds (~2.1 pounds per week). Aug 31st to Sep 14th - lost 4.6 pounds (~2.3 pounds per week), although obviously that last number is based on a much smaller number of weeks, so it may change. The main point I'm trying to make is that you really do need to fuel your body when you ramp up the exercise.

09-17-2008, 09:55 AM
I was actually having the same problem (before I was on 3FC).

Before I came here, I was actually closer to about 260, and I decided to start losing weight. I was down to 245 by the time I joined here, but within three weeks, I hit 239. For the past six weeks, I was stuck there. I was being careful about my calories, walking an hour a night, etc.

But this past weekend, I ate about 400 calories over each day (damn celebrations). I dreaded the scale on Monday, only to find I had lost two pounds.

Since then, I've done a lot more research into calorie shifting, and thats what I've started to do. Your body only knows what you did lately. It can't change your metabolism to match tomorrow; so I plan something different every few days, and I'm trying to swap up my workout a little too.

Good luck with it all - its fantastic that you're still losing inches!

09-17-2008, 10:36 AM
I was actually thinking your calories might be a bit low too. Maybe google your BMR and see what that gets set at... Have you tried calorie cycling? Sometimes that works to break out of a plateau. I just started trying it now and it seems to be working for me (For example, today I only eat 1200 calories but yesterday I had 1600 and tomorrow I'll have 1400 and then I jump up to 1800 on Friday). Just remember to keep your total number of calories for the week in the same range.

I would also worry about the variety in your workouts. It wouldn't take long for your body to adapt to the same types of exercises like they do in Curves. Maybe try mixing things up a bit with the own bits you've added like doing a different kind of squat, or lunges instead. Try doing the plank instead of crunches...things like that.

Since you've been working out for a while, you may want to consider getting into some High-intensity interval training. For example, you could try walking for a few minutes and then sprinting as hard as you can for 30 seconds. I usually do these on the treadmill so I can see what my speed's like but you could definitely do them outside or on the track if you prefer that...You could even do these on a stationary bike or a stairmill. HIIT can work wonders for some people and will improve your cardiovascular system significantly.

Hope this helps :)

Here we go again
09-17-2008, 12:00 PM
Thank you ladies for your help. I knew that there had to be something. I think I'm going to take a week off and rest my body. I'll continue to do 1600-1800 calories and will try going up to 2000 when I restart working out next week.

I can't do lunges b/c of the rod in my right leg. I'm not sure what planks are. Should I google exercises to see what else I can do?

Real: I've never tried a real push up. I shall try that next week.

Or should I just put the scale away for a month and still exercise 5-6 times a week and up my calories and of course change my routine?

09-17-2008, 12:13 PM
Plank: think a pushup where you don't push. Just support yourself straight and flat - like a plank. Aim for 30 secs. The first time I did them I managed ... oh ... 4 seconds maybe? :D It's REALLY good for your core - both front and back. Just be sure to keep your back straight and not poke your butt up in the air.

For pushups - I *still* can't do a real pushup. I do them at an incline against my cedar chest in the bedroom or against a bench at the gym. Maybe one day I'll get to where I can do a real floor pushup.


09-17-2008, 12:18 PM
If you have a problem doing them from the floor you can try moving it down by degrees. I started doing 60-degree pushups against my treadmill. Then I did 45-degree against the desk. The idea is to keep the form of a push-up, while slowly lowering yourself down.

I found a quick link to a plank (it's the one on the left). It's considered a core exercise. At our weight these are far harder than you would think.


The one thing I didn't mention, because I think I mentioned it before (in another thread)... but just in case. Make sure that your food intake is really what you think it is. There shouldn't be any guesses or estimates. For example, this morning I had:

2 large eggs fried in 1 tsp (5grams) butter
1.2oz homemade oat bread
1 Tb jam (measured using a level Tb)
5.6oz nectarine

That was a 377 calorie breakfast. It's really easy to go over on things. Let's say I eyeballed everything:

eggs (no issue)
butter (5g) - just a little extra, say 7g
bread (homemade slices average 1.2, but can be as little as 1.0 and sometimes 1.6) - so let's say I used the average, but it was a 1.6 (so .4 over)
jam - heaping Tb - 1 extra tsp
nectarine - 7oz one (I did put one back that was that size, they weren't obviously much different)

Those very small changes would make a difference of 73 calories. Not a huge number, but take that over 6 different meals and it could add up to more than you would think. In this case the breakfast would have been 19% higher in calories than I'd logged. I'm not saying that this is an issue you have, but it's something people should be aware of. Especially if you've been at it for a while, as I know it can be easy to get to the point where you think you know what 1 tsp of butter is. I admit I always put the pan on the scale and weigh it out - and most of the time I can do it without looking at the number. However, I know if I wasn't double-checking myself there might be a tendency to underestimate what I was eating.

09-17-2008, 12:28 PM
I can't do pushups because of a shoulder injury, My physical therapist showed me how to do wall pushups. Just the same as a pushup except stand up facing the wall and proceed as usual.

09-17-2008, 12:52 PM
look into calorie cycling. It might be the extra thing you need.

Here we go again
09-17-2008, 01:05 PM
look into calorie cycling. It might be the extra thing you need.

What does that mean?

This is what I've done the last week, not entirely intentional. Is that what you mean?


Total cals:


Total cals:


Total cals:


Total cals:


Total cals:


Total cals:

09-17-2008, 02:33 PM
My trick to get out of a stalled weight loss is to increase cardio (usually I do 60 minutes moderate intensity) to 75 minutes of very hard, sweat like crazy, almost die on the floor at the gym intensity and tweak my calories so that I have a high intesity cardio day with about 1700 calories and then a rest day with about 1100 calories. Of course, I'm much shorter then you and my daily needs are less so anything under 1200 is not a good thing for you (probably not for me either but it seems to work). But then again, I've never stalled for two months. That would be discouraging.

You say you have a metal rod in your leg, is it possible that that leg had some serious muscle atrophy? maybe now that you are working it alot more it is building back muscle and that is making the scale stick at 282. If you build a few lbs a muscle and lose a few lbs of fat, it'll show,you'll lose inches but your actual weight will stay the same.

My only suggestion is go and see a doctor if you have insurance. They can measure your body fat percentage and rule out any hormonal problems that might be making weight loss difficult. You can also sign up for a nutritionist and excercise therepist, I bet with you leg injury your insurance (if you have it) would cover the latter.

I had my body fat measuered at my last OB visit, they had a machine the I stepped on and held onto some handles, It measured my height weight and body fat. It told me that I have 67 lbs of body fat on me. Now, the next time I go back I'm going to get on that sucker and see if it has gone down since I have lost some weight. Have you ever been on one of those machines? I recommend trying one. Does curves have one? Some nutritionist have hand held jobbys that you have to manually enter your height and weight but you still hold onto the handles and it measures body fat percentage.

Now I know from reading your posts that this has been seriously frusterating for you. Just hang in there, k? Your body is doing it own thing and you are doing everything right. too bad we don't come standard with x-ray vision so we can see our bodies processes.

Here we go again
09-17-2008, 02:41 PM
Ghost: thanks for your encouragement. Curves does have one of those machines. My next schedule weigh in is in week 1/2. I'm curious to see what the percentage is now.

I did measure my legs last night and I lost an inch in each leg around my thighs in just two weeks. If I'm still losing inches than I'm not doing anything wrong? Is that how it works? It could be that since I do have the rod in my leg and haven't worked it like this that I'm building back muscle.

I'm going to give my scale to my roommate for two weeks. I'll let my clothes by my judge and my clothes are for sure getting loser. Thanks!

09-17-2008, 02:47 PM
I wouldn't recommend the thigh machines at the gym. Read this sticky thread from the exercise forum for more info! :)

10 Most Ineffective Exercises (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=81247)


09-17-2008, 02:50 PM
Calorie cycling is about varying the amount of calories you take in each day to keep your body guessing, but it can't be done randomly, and you shouldn't dip below 1200 calories a day on any given day. Basically what you do is figure out your daily calories, total them for the week, and then "reassign" them.

So if I wanted to eat 1500 cals a day, my weekly total (1500x7) would be 10,500.

So then I could do 1200 one day, 1700 the next day, 1300 the next day, etc. until I'd used all my 10,500 calories. There's a calorie calculator here that will help you work out the proper way to cycle your calories:


09-17-2008, 06:58 PM
Just to add to that I wouldn't advise ever going below 1200 (it looks like you might've on one of your days that you gave as an example). I think most experts agree that 1200 is the absolute lowest any woman should be going (especially while working out). Your body can go into a state of starvation if you're continually doing it...

Other than that it looks like you've more or less got the idea. Just make sure you have an equal number of high and low days and try and alternate them.

09-17-2008, 06:59 PM
Do you have a treat day? You can kickstart your metabolism tons if you have one day a week where you eat more calories than normal. Even just 200-300 calories can make a difference.

Here we go again
09-17-2008, 07:44 PM
I've never tried having a treat day. I've decided that I'm going to up my cal b/t 2000 and 2200 and I'm going to give my scale to my roommate for two weeks.

09-18-2008, 03:04 AM
good luck....
let us know the progress....

Here we go again
09-18-2008, 11:58 AM
So after everyone's suggestions this is what I decided.

I gave my scale to my roommate for two weeks. I'm not going to look at it at all.
I have bumped my cals to 1900-2200.
I am changing up my routine so I'm not doing the same thing all the time.

Was that the main things?

09-18-2008, 12:03 PM
sounds about right to me! :)

Good luck with it. Let us know if something takes hold for you!


Here we go again
09-18-2008, 12:12 PM
Thanks! You know me, I'll for sure let y'all know!

I'm going to get through this dang plateau. The good thing is that I measured my thighs last night and I lost an inch in each thigh in just two weeks. I think that's pretty dang good! :)

09-18-2008, 12:47 PM
You know, a funny thing happened to me last winter...I was taking accounting II and the homework in that class is mad time consuming. Prior to that, I was stuck on a plateau...but I couldn't really concentrate on weight loss because that class was stressing me out. For a week, I didn't work out at all, and I had a regular breakfast and regular lunch, but for dinner, I would have a banana and hot chocolate. I lost 5 pounds that week. Can any body explain that? Cause you know, I’m kind of stuck right now and I’m thinking of…well yeah…

09-18-2008, 02:26 PM
Sometimes when you've lost a significant amount of weight your body panics and sort of slows down you're metabolism. Remember fat stores are simply energy and kept there for emergency situations (ie: back when we were cavemen and facing starvation on a regular basis). When you drop a lot of weight or really get into some intense exercise your body thinks you're in a state of stress and in "danger" and slows down your metabolism for fear that you can't afford to lose that fat because you're going to need it later. That's also why sometimes when you drop weight you seem to be constantly hungry even if you're eating the same calories as you were before...your body wants you to eat because it's used to being at a higher weight (this usually goes away with time and your body will get used to the new weight).

Probably what happened was that you were really putting a lot of time and energy into weight loss and trying to break your plateau and as soon as you relaxed a bit and let your body feel that you weren't starving it or overworking it you dropped the weight because it felt "safe" to do so. Your body wasn't in a state of chronic stress so it was okay with losing some pounds. That's usually why one of the most effective means of breaking a plateau is to take some time off working out and up your calories by about 10%.

Did that make any sense? Haha.

Here we go again
09-18-2008, 02:33 PM
Yes, it does except I haven't lost the weight from a plateau yet. I am declaring that I will! I'm not going to work out at all today and still eat the 2000 cals. It's so weird eating that much. I noticed though that if I eat a lot in the morning and with snacks, I'm not that hungry around dinner time, which is great for me. I think I like that better, b/c I don't like eating late anyways, it makes me feel like crap the next day.