Weight Loss Support - Should have lost 4 pounds in the last 3 weeks...




jajabee
05-24-2009, 02:03 PM
....but instead I've lost .4lbs. Grrrrrrrr. I know I should have lost 4 pounds because my total deficit in the last three weeks has been about -14,000 calories. I've been making decent food choices, we've been eating out a little more than usual, but I'm confident that my calorie estimates are close if not even over-estimating, and I've been exercising like CRAZY, I'm sore all the time!

I'm not always great about getting 64oz of water a day, and I don't really try to limit sodium, but really, no loss in 3 weeks? Can that really be water retention? It just doesn't seem fair. :P


Shannon in ATL
05-24-2009, 02:16 PM
One thing I see in your post is the "exercising like crazy, sore all the time" remark. Muscles break down with exercise and retain fluids to repair themselves. I can't remember the technical name for that, but I know that there are other threads on water retention with exercise. I find that when I change up my exercise routine, particularly when I change or up the strength training routines (even as minor a change as changing out one exercise for another), I retain water that hangs on for two, sometimes three weeks. Sometimes up to 8 pounds. When I was actively losing this caused my loss to stop, now that I'm in maintenance it actually causes me to show a gain on the scale that settles out after a little time. Also, any time I have even a little extra sugar or sodium I can hold onto three-four pounds of water for several days, or even a week.

I know it is frustrating to not see any scale changes when you are working so hard! Plus, I see you are wearing a GoWear Fit, so you know your calories burned are correct. I've found that the weight loss isn't linear - a 3500 calorie deficit doesn't always mean a pound lost that week no matter how good you are with exercise and food choices. I would sometimes go two-three weeks with no loss at all with a 5000-6000 cal deficit each week, then would drop five pounds in one week.

Hang in there, it will even out. :hug:

Oh, You probably already do this with the GoWear, but what really helped me was having a chart that showed me the average over time.

jajabee
05-24-2009, 02:26 PM
Thanks Shannon, it's really helpful getting your feedback. Every day I wake up now hoping this'll be the day those 4 pounds just go away, but every day I see the same darn number. When you were losing and had the 8 pound water retention, did you see the water retention drop off suddenly, or was it a permanent plateau in your loss?


Delphi
05-24-2009, 02:29 PM
I'm in the same situation. I also wear a Gowear Fit daily so I know I'm burning more than I am consuming and have been at a total stand still for a week now. It is very frustrating when all the math dictates a loss and you see nothing. I'm hopeful it's water retention as like you, I've been busting my rump exercising daily and sore a lot myself. I hope we both figure it out soon. :)

ringmaster
05-24-2009, 03:18 PM
I know it is frustrating to not see any scale changes when you are working so hard! Plus, I see you are wearing a GoWear Fit, so you know your calories burned are correct. I've found that the weight loss isn't linear - a 3500 calorie deficit doesn't always mean a pound lost that week no matter how good you are with exercise and food choices. I would sometimes go two-three weeks with no loss at all with a 5000-6000 cal deficit each week, then would drop five pounds in one week.



It's funny how that happens... it's like our bodies take time to process and "let go" of the burned fat and calories.. maybe someone here knows the exact science.

Leeesa
05-24-2009, 04:01 PM
I'm with ya, I lost an abysmal .6 two weeks prior to this one and then GAINED .6 this week AND, like you, I've been exercising like a maniac, most of the time I can't lift my arms over my head and don't even get me started on trying to stand up from sitting down.... *sigh* We just have to hang in there and know that at least all the exercise is building beautiful muscle underneath all that water and fat, lol. I was feeling soundly sorry for myself this weekend and made some bad choices but I'm ready to pick myself up and carry on today, starting with my 2 hr kill-me-now mountain bike ride!

Heather
05-25-2009, 09:49 AM
There are lots of reasons you may not have lost what you think you should have. Water retention is one answer, but one question is how sure are you of those calorie estimates?

Do you really know how many calories you've eaten? I find unless I'm very careful and weigh and measure everything it's much to easy to underestimate how much I've eaten.

Second, do you really know how many calories you've burned? If you're estimating calories burned in exercise, you should know that many estimates are VERY high. For example, the elliptical at my gym might tell me I've burned 400 calories, but my heart rate monitor (which knows better how hard I've worked) always has a much lower number -- usually 60-70% of the elliptical number!

Don't get discouraged!!

JayEll
05-25-2009, 10:43 AM
Hey! :wave:

First, I see that you are getting close to the normal weight range (BMI). That can make weight loss slower.

Second, you don't say what your calorie target is and how close you are coming to it, so it's hard to know what's going on.

More information?

Jay

Ija
05-25-2009, 11:44 AM
Here's a link to an abstract for a recent research article you might find interesting (it's pretty readable). If you can't get a PDF let me know, I have one.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17848938

StringBean
05-25-2009, 11:55 AM
I was on a frustrating plateau for almost 4 weeks and this week I've lost 3 pounds all of a sudden. Just hang in there - the weight WILL come off!

JulieJ08
05-25-2009, 12:10 PM
Here's a link to an abstract for a recent research article you might find interesting (it's pretty readable). If you can't get a PDF let me know, I have one.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17848938

Drina, it sounds like they're saying as you are closer to goal, it should take less of an energy deficit to lose - in other words, it should get easier not harder :dizzy:

JayEll
05-25-2009, 12:29 PM
It could mean a lot of things... I wasn't clear on that.

Jay

Jacqui_D
05-25-2009, 12:32 PM
That's how I read it too, Julie--that it may take more of a deficit than just 3500 calories to burn a pound if you have more body fat to begin with. It states, "The resulting model predicts that a larger cumulative energy deficit is required per unit weight loss for people with greater initial body fat-a prediction supported by published weight loss data from obese and lean subjects." And then as you get thinner, it may take less of a calorie deficit: "Furthermore, additional weight loss is predicted to be associated with a lower average cumulative energy deficit since a greater proportion of the weight loss is predicted to result from loss of lean body mass, which has a relatively low energy density in comparison with body fat. That kind of flies in the face of what we as dieters experience. It always seems to take more of an effort to lose weight the thinner you are!

Ija
05-25-2009, 12:47 PM
Please keep in mind that when you lose a significant amount of weight, you typically undergo a loss of lean body mass as well as fat mass, and consequently experience a reduction of resting metabolic rate over and above what you would expect from just being smaller. Additionally, you burn fewer calories during exercise since you're moving a lighter body. So even if the calorie deficit per unit of weight loss is lower in lean individuals, this absolutely does not mean losing weight is easier.

Did you manage to find the actual article?

jajabee
05-25-2009, 01:06 PM
Gaaaaah.... I was upset about this all day yesterday, and we went out to a baseball game, so I made some not-so-great choices, mostly involving tons of salt! So today the scale says I'm UP another 2 pounds! So that's like 6 pounds of water retention I think I'm carrying around. Is there no limit to how much I can retain? If I keep eating lots of salty foods, but keep maintaining a good calorie deficit, will my weight keep going up??

I am so freaking pissed off about this salt thing, I can't even tell you. :p It just seems so unfair, when I'm doing everything else right, to have to stress out about canned soup and downing pint after pint of water on top of it all. Boooooooooooo!

Okay, tantrum finished... I'll go have some more water now. :o :dizzy:

Lori Bell
05-25-2009, 01:47 PM
It's not always water weight. Some times it seems that every pound gained, (or not lost) is blamed on water. You gave us your estimated deficit, but just out of curiosity, how many calories are you eating a day? Words like "decent" and "estimate" makes me wonder about your actual calories in.

I have a sister-in-law who exercises "like crazy" (gym/personal trainer) and every time I see her (about every 5 months) she seems bigger. Her version of decent food choices and my version of decent food choices are VERY different.

jajabee
05-25-2009, 02:00 PM
I don't have a daily target for how many calories to eat, I just keep an eye on how many I'm burning and try to eat 1,000 calories less. This has worked great for me up until the last 3 weeks. Here's my numbers for May, you can see there were two days (including yesterday) where I ate more than I burned.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3398/3562873857_3119c4df20.jpg?v=0

jajabee
05-25-2009, 02:03 PM
Also, I've learned from the last 4 months (and 25lbs) that my food estimates can be off by an average of 180 calories a day, which I'm trying to be better about catching... but even if I'm off in my tracking by a bit, I still don't think that would explain this plateau, I've been very consistent and thorough with my food tracking since day 1. Even when I overeat (like yesterday), I still count every bite, as honestly as I can with the information available.

Heather
05-25-2009, 02:13 PM
I said this before, but will ask again, how are you estimating calories burned? Estimates are notoriously off!

From above:

Second, do you really know how many calories you've burned? If you're estimating calories burned in exercise, you should know that many estimates are VERY high. For example, the elliptical at my gym might tell me I've burned 400 calories, but my heart rate monitor (which knows better how hard I've worked) always has a much lower number -- usually 60-70% of the elliptical number!

jajabee
05-25-2009, 02:17 PM
I wear a GoWear Fit armband 24/7, it uses motion, sweat, and temperature data to calculate my calories burned throughout the day. I've found it to be very reliable!

jajabee
05-25-2009, 03:32 PM
Okay, well, me feeling grumpy and PO'ed just isn't going to work, so here's my plan: to mix things up this week, I'm going to use The Daily Plate's recommended calorie intake, 1398 calories a day. It'll be a different goal to focus on, anyhow, might be a fun change of pace. :)

Also, I just took my measurements, and I have lost a few inches in the last month, so that makes me feel better. I celebrated by buying this dress from MyShape.com: http://www.myshape.com/shop/productview/20922/50/1059?wishlist=181304 :)

rockinrobin
05-25-2009, 04:00 PM
I just don't know how accurate ANY calories burned calculators are. They're just not dependable. Since there is no way to know 100% what you're burning, I don't stress/follow/track/monitor it.

I personally, keep my calories BURNED, totally and completely SEPARATE from my calories CONSUMED. One has nothing to do with the other in my book. I consume what I consume. I burn what I burn. One is not reliant on the other.

Any calories lost (burned) through exercise, intentional or otherwise is simply a bonus to me in the deficit department.

Mahina Lani
05-25-2009, 04:02 PM
That is a lovely dress!

Good luck with your change of pace.

Lynn160
05-25-2009, 04:03 PM
I understand your frustration. I am so close to being under 200. I was losing at 2 1/2 - 3 pounds a week for the last 3 months. And what happens? I get within earshot of onderland and I have lost NOTHING for a week and a half. I have even gained a small bit every other day or so. Not that I wish this frustration on others, it does help reading that others experience these things and to hear the encouragement from others that it will eventually correct itself. My weight this morning is back to where it was about 2 weeks ago so at least the gain has stopped and MAYBE the loss will start again.

Hang in there. I know your weight loss will soon appear on your scale.

jajabee
05-29-2009, 02:54 PM
Okay, for the last 4 days I've been laser-focused on avoiding sodium, drinking water, and not eating out or eating a lot of prepackaged food. And I'm down 1.4 pounds from Monday! Still not where I think I should be based on the calories I've been burning, but I'll take it. I'd like to try to stretch this super-focused thing out for one more week if I can, see if I can get rid of the rest of what I think is water retention, but we'll see. It's not easy for me to do long-term. I do love salt. :p

Shannon in ATL
05-29-2009, 04:33 PM
Thanks Shannon, it's really helpful getting your feedback. Every day I wake up now hoping this'll be the day those 4 pounds just go away, but every day I see the same darn number. When you were losing and had the 8 pound water retention, did you see the water retention drop off suddenly, or was it a permanent plateau in your loss?

I didn't make it back here the last few days and just saw that you asked me a question. Sorry. :o

A little of both - some weeks I saw a plateau for a couple of weeks with a sudden drop, some I saw little changes coming down every day. Now I typically see little changes more often than the big whoosh.

Not a very clear answer, I know. :)

ETA - I used to love salt too, but now that I've trimmed it almost out for the better part of a year I find adding salt to prepared food intolerable, and can taste it if I use too much in a recipe. Weird! I used to salt everything! My grandmother used to give us salted ice cubes in the summer when we had been playing outside for a while, even!