Weight Loss Support - So confused about the info my dietician gave me




cammieb
05-01-2009, 02:16 PM
Hello Everyone.

I went to my dietician on Monday and showed her my food log for the past month and my exercise log, etc so that she could help me come up with a proper calorie estimate for weight loss. Well, she told me 3 things that I'm soooo confused about. First, she told me I need to eat around 1900 calories a day for weight loss. 1900?! I could see for maintenance maybe, but how am I going to lose weight on that? Then, she tells me I should only aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds a month. Not a week like everyone else, but a month. Whats the point? I go up and down in weight daily so if I lost one pound a month, I wouldn't even know if it was a real pound or not. And it would take me over a year just to lose the last 15 pounds. Has anyone ever heard of this weird 1 to 2 a month thing? Finally, I got my body fat tested and it read as 20 percent. Now I just know that's not possible. I have to be at least 24 percent. 20 percent is fitness levels and I think my muscles would be more defined if I had that little body fat. The way she did the test was weird too. It was just this machine that you hold in your hands and it tells you so I'm thinking it may not be accurate.

Anyways, sorry this is so long, but I just wanted to hear people's opinion on what I should do. Should I try eating 1900 a day? Or should I maybe raise it a bit to 1600? Or just stay at around 1200 - 1400?


jajabee
05-01-2009, 02:37 PM
Whoa... I'm certainly not a dietician, but that all sounds really crazy to me. I know from what I'm doing now that I won't be able to lose with 1,900 calories when I reach 145... I don't even come close to that at 187 most days unless I do a lot of exercise! And 1 or 2 a month, yeah, that's just weird. Everyone else, experts included, says 1 or 2 a week. Weird.

Jacqui_D
05-01-2009, 02:43 PM
Cammie, if you went to 5 different dieticians, they'd probably say 5 different things. What you are doing is obviously working for you, and we all know that 1-2 lbs a week is reasonable, because we've read it and heard it a zillion times over, so I'd stick to the plan you've been following. I can think of no good reason to change. As for the fat test, I am not familiar with the machine she used. Maybe someone else knows something about it.


kaplods
05-01-2009, 02:54 PM
It's a growing trend for doctors and dietitians to recommend much slower weight loss than they have in the past. I don't know that it's a bad trend, but I don't think it needs to be written in stone, either.

I was complaining to my doctor a while back that I was only losing a couple pounds a month, and was getting discouraged, because at my size I thought I should be able to lose a lot more. He told me to remember that most people give up early on in a weight loss plan, so even my couple pounds a month was more than most people ever accomplish, and that consistency was far more important than the rate of loss.

I think that many people do try to lose a lot more quickly than is reasonable, and then get discouraged because the efforts don't seem worth the results.
However, I don't think there's anything magical about either slow or more rapid weight loss. You need to find what's sustainable for you.

I believe that calorie restriction does often result in a lowered metabolisim, so I think that a person should start their weight loss plan with as high a calorie count as allows them to lose at a rate they're comfortable with.

I do think most people do expect to lose far more than is reasonable, and then get discouraged when it's unbearably hard or the weight doesn't come off as quickly as they'd like. That doesn't mean a person can't or shouldn't lose more than 1 pound a month, but it does mean that a person has to look at the big picture and realize that weight loss isn't usually an easy or quick fix. It really does have to become a lifestyle, and only you can decide how much effort and change you can reasonably accomplish comfortably.

I think we throw a lot of unnecessary guilt on ourselves if we can't lose weight quickly. Faster isn't necessarily better, and there's something to be said for taking the slower, more relaxed pace.

I'm prejudiced, because my current "slow" weight loss is a lot less stressful and easier to accomplish than my old "fast" attempts. I don't feel like I'm dieting, because I'm not. I'm just learning to change my life, one small change at a time. By not ever adding restrictions or activities that I can't see myself doing for a lifetime, relapse isn't as likely. If I go "full-speed ahead," I may feel tired, bored, deprived or overworked.

I think it's a very personal decision though as to what is "too fast," or "too slow."

beerab
05-01-2009, 03:27 PM
Do you plan on seeing her anymore? I say do it at your own rate. If you can still do the 1400 calories a day and lose the 1-2 lbs a week and lose the rest in 2-3 months (I see you only have 15 lbs left) then go at it like that.

I wouldn't take what she said to be set in stone :)

sm177
05-01-2009, 03:45 PM
She most likely is right. Think about how much you were eating when you never thought twice about it. In my case, I was probably consuming at least 2500-3000 calories a day (and I wasn't gaining weight). Really, had I been smart about it I would have cut off 500 calories from that and lose weight. Whereas most people (me included) will go straight down to 1200-1400, which slows your metabolism and isn't maintainable. Eating 1900 may slow your weight loss and you even maintain for a while, but I think for long term weight it's a better idea.

sacha
05-01-2009, 04:02 PM
Well, it depends.

I also frequent a board where women are all professional fitness models or are very fit in general. None would dare go below 1600-1800 calories for fat loss. This is not instant weight loss - but it does preserve your muscle mass and is required if you exercise. It is a healthier path, IMO. It is certainly not crazy!

Yes, you can lose at 1200-1400 calories and likely take your muscle mass along with it. You are too tall to be eating such low calories.

rainy
05-01-2009, 04:23 PM
Well, I think the thing is dietitians are not gods, yes they studied the matter, but as every other human being have preconcept standards and opinions they'll put and apply on you.
I think you are right and she is wrong, and especially if you think she is wrong, then I say she is. I've had a pretty bad experience with dietitians after which I decided to do my own and yes I'm doing much better than with that woman!
I'd suggest you to hear another dietitian's opinion...unless you prefere the DIY, lol.

JayEll
05-01-2009, 04:42 PM
:wave:

You were complaining awhile ago that your doctor and dietitian didn't seem to be taking you seriously about your eating disorder problems. Well, here's a reasonable plan for you to try from your dietitian.

So, why not do what is recommended! And if you have questions, ask your dietitian about it. Why would you pay someone for recommendations, and then ask just any old person who logs onto a website to tell you what to do? We generally aren't experts here--except some of us know how to lose weight ourselves. (And a lot don't even seem to know that yet.)

Why do you think you "have" to be 24 percent body fat if the device says 20? Those devices aren't the most accurate, but they aren't unreasonable. If 20 percent is correct, then you have too little body fat. This is probably due to your having been on a very restrictive way of eating with too few calories.

Try it. Don't weigh every day. Do the program faithfully for 2 months and see what happens. What would be wrong with that?

Jay

Ija
05-01-2009, 05:14 PM
I'm close to your size and lately I've been eating about 1800 calories a day. My weight loss has slowed a little, but I'm still losing. Part of the reason why slow weight loss is often recommended is because it causes much less of a metabolic adjustment in the long run. This is also the logic behind the cheat day, to give your body a break from deprivation so your metabolism doesn't slow down as much. So basically, if you eat more every day (and thus, lose more slowly) you'll likely be able to eat more at maintenance when you're finally done. For me, this is the way to go because I'm not in a big hurry to reach goal and I'd much rather maintain a higher metabolism. As for you, it all depends on what you feel is more important...

bobblefrog
05-01-2009, 05:36 PM
I have to echo some points made above - I'm looking at your height and weight, and since I don't know your exercise level I'm shooting in the dark here - but if you want to be toned and firm I would think that you shouldn't be looking at the scale so much now at this point but results from working out? Sounds like she's giving good advice to ensure you build muscle (that oh so beautiful body we all dream about) and lose fat. How much do you work out (lifting weights - not cardio?). Most women I've known can work out a month, not lose any weight, but look like they lost 15 lbs. So is she trying maybe to move you in this direction? Muscle is beautiful baby! Big hug and ask all the questions you need. You don't learn if you don't ask. We're all here to support!

CountingDown
05-01-2009, 06:17 PM
I'm with those suggesting that you follow your dietitian's advice. My weight loss slowed significantly as I approached my goal - around 3 lbs. per month at the end. It was a bit discouraging, but then I came to my senses.

The important thing is that I reached my goal - it matters not one iota how long it took me to get there. This is a journey, and taking the sensible path - the one on the map that your dietitian has given you will most likely lead you to success quicker than any other.

That is if you define success as being healthy and fit. It isn't about the number on the scale - way too many people have a low number and are not fit or healthy.

Heather
05-01-2009, 08:00 PM
we all know that 1-2 lbs a week is reasonable, because we've read it and heard it a zillion times over.

I don't necessarily disagree about the comment about rate of weight loss, but I don't think that hearing something a zillion times over necessarily makes it true!!

I frequently hear people in the real world (not to mention the internet) make comments that I know aren't true, or know there is no evidence for because of my background and training. They might believe them and repeat them, but that doesn't make them true...

As for the op's original question, 1900 calories does seem a bit high for weight loss, but I don't know the poster's history and exercise behaviors. The dietician might be right.

Jacqui_D
05-01-2009, 08:43 PM
I don't necessarily disagree about the comment about rate of weight loss, but I don't think that hearing something a zillion times over necessarily makes it true!!

I frequently hear people in the real world (not to mention the internet) make comments that I know aren't true, or know there is no evidence for because of my background and training. They might believe them and repeat them, but that doesn't make them true...

As for the op's original question, 1900 calories does seem a bit high for weight loss, but I don't know the poster's history and exercise behaviors. The dietician might be right.

Please don't get me wrong. I was referring to information written in books and articles and heard on tv and radio programs from medical doctors, nutritionists, dieticians, and physical fitness experts. For years, they've been saying that 1-2 lbs a week is a healthy amount to lose, and to attempt to lose more is not advised. I was not referring to information given by just anyone out there with an opinion. My point was that if Cammie is only losing 1-2 lbs per week, she is not losing weight in a timeframe that is considered unhealthy by the medical/health community at large.

srmb60
05-01-2009, 11:35 PM
So the dietician is basing all this on what she read in your logs? And these logs say that you've been eating 12-1400 calories? Then I would guess that she thinks you're losing too quickly. Have you been?

Another thought is that if you don't have much muscle mass, it won't look very defined. Some folks just have long slender muscle. You are tall.

Now ... on a motherly note ... since you have struggled with an eating disorder before, don't be too quick to dismiss what this gal is saying. She a valuable link between you and health care.

If you're going to build a slender, shapely muscle mass ... you're going to have to eat to do that. There's even a book called "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle".

Windchime
05-02-2009, 12:18 AM
Susan, can I just say something? I really appreciate your calm, gentle approach. You really have a way of giving thoughtful, practical input in such a gentle, yet useful way. I just wanted you to know that I really appreciate that about you and I always make it a point to read your posts.

srmb60
05-02-2009, 12:23 AM
Why thank you! You've made my evening!

I've been here a long time. There's sooo much good advice given that I just don't often have anything else to say. So ... when I do say something, I try to be careful, thoughtful and helpful. If I jump in (I feel) I should be ready to walk part of this journey with you.

cammieb
05-02-2009, 02:36 AM
Wow. Thanks for all the great advice everyone. :)

I think I'll just try it for 3 weeks and see what happens. I'm okay with losing slowly. I just don't want to gain. There's still a little voice in the back of my head that says, "No, don't eat that much, you'll get fat again. In fact, you shouldn't eat at all. Then you'll be perfect". So far I've been doing a good job of ignoring it and I don't plan on listening to it any time soon.

As for my exercise, I've cut it down a bit to 1 1/2 to 2 hours a day, mostly because I have been getting more hours at work and after chasing doggies and cleaning all day, I'm way too exhausted to do 3 hours of cardio.

sacha
05-02-2009, 09:17 AM
Wow. Thanks for all the great advice everyone. :)

I think I'll just try it for 3 weeks and see what happens. I'm okay with losing slowly. I just don't want to gain. There's still a little voice in the back of my head that says, "No, don't eat that much, you'll get fat again. In fact, you shouldn't eat at all. Then you'll be perfect". So far I've been doing a good job of ignoring it and I don't plan on listening to it any time soon.

As for my exercise, I've cut it down a bit to 1 1/2 to 2 hours a day, mostly because I have been getting more hours at work and after chasing doggies and cleaning all day, I'm way too exhausted to do 3 hours of cardio.


OP: If you have/had an eating disorder (and to be hoenst, "cutting down" to 2 hours of exercise a day plus the desire to eat 1200 calories in combination certainly qualifies for the danger zone) then you really need to listen to your dietician. I'm sorry to those who have lost on 1200 calories, but this is not good advice for someone this height and has a history of eating disordered thinking. It is likely that this dietician is trying to preserve your muscle mass and assist you in learning HEALTHY eating habits.