100 lb. Club - What to do when you are doing everything you can, but still not losing?




Smiling_Sara
09-30-2009, 01:08 PM
I'm at wits end over this plateau I've been in. I work out 4 days a week at 75minutes each. I eat around 1500-1700 calories a day. I eat right. I can't say I NEVER eat a dessert or treat, but they are few and far between, and when I do, I just excersize a little more. Now, in Feb I weighed 202-this morning I weighed in at 195. My lowest between this time was 193.4 What am I doing WRONG that I can't seem to move the scale? If I'm stuck here in Feb 2010 still, I would of lost 5-8 pounds for the WHOLE YEAR? NOT ACCEPTABLE!! I'm actually kind of depressed about this. I will continue to work out and eat right, but it's very dishearting when I am trying so damn hard and not getting any results. I am so happy for how far I've come, but I still have a ways to go, and should be able to lose a pound a week with what I"m doing, so WHY has it been 1 pound a month?

Please help me with this my sisters and brothers of 3FC. I NEED to break this plateau, for my physical health as well as my mental health, cause I"m seriously stuck in a rut and feeling like it isn't gonna happen at this moment, when I seem to be doing things right :(


Please offer any advice, comments, own struggles you broke through and how you did it, what worked, what didn't work.....I need to hear from you all that this will start to take a upward spin, or downward spin ( scalewise )


:hug: Thanks everyone.


nelie
09-30-2009, 01:27 PM
What about switching up your exercise routine? Are you doing weights at all? If you've been doing the same exercise routine, it is possible that your body has become very efficient with it. Have you also tried dropping your calories for a few weeks to see what happens?

Trazey34
09-30-2009, 01:35 PM
This might sound flippant, but i don't mean it to -- just wait and see! I mean, when I was eating 4000 cals a day, some weeks the scales didn't move either. But over the course of time, they sure went UP UP and UP. I noticed the same with the down course too. As long as I know that X amount of calories is LESS than I need to keep myself going, I WILL be in a deficit and physics will prevail !! It's not maybe as immediate as you'd like, but it WILL move!


Mango30
09-30-2009, 01:42 PM
I would try two things:
a) try interval training, your body may be so used to your work out routine that it isn't challenged by it and thus, physiologically, has adapted to just do it with the least expenditure of energy.
b) calorie cycling, if you eat the same amount of calories a day your body will adjust its energy expenditure to meet the intake. I know there is more information on here about that somewhere.

You can also throw in some strenghth training to build muscle so that you burn more calories. Muscle = energy burn. I have my 57 year old mother lifting weights with a trainer 2 times a week and she is loving it, and the attention she gets at the gym ;)

rockinrobin
09-30-2009, 02:11 PM
I would stay on the lower end of your calorie range - 1500, for a few weeks. And I would track those calories faithfully - every bite, lick, taste and crumb, making certain not to go over.

I know lots would not agree. They'll be people here that will tell you to up your calories, but I personally would not. But again, that's just me.

In the meantime, take comfort that you are doing *right* by your body, even if you're not losing the pounds. I know how difficult that must be. I'm certain that you will break through this. I admire your determination. Hang tough.

beerab
09-30-2009, 02:25 PM
At 193 I'd try the lower end of your calorie range.

I know for me I was stuck for months- I finally started low carbing it and the weights coming off again- but that's just me.

JayEll
09-30-2009, 02:35 PM
Try exercising 5 or 6 days a week instead of 4. Or try going for a walk in the mornings if you exercise in the afternoon.

Try taking a workout class like step class or Zumba.

Stick with the lower end of your calories for a few days running, e.g., right around 1500.

Switch your calories toward more protein and less carb.

Good luck!
Jay

TJFitnessDiva
09-30-2009, 03:00 PM
I also agree with trying to stick with the lower range of 1500....everyone has already given you great advice! :)

Alana in Canada
09-30-2009, 03:24 PM
I have been reading and learning a lot about the effect stress and sleep has on our weight.

First, relax. Stressing out may cause your bodyto produce more cortisol, retain water--and bang, the scales don't show a loss.

Secondly, a lack of adequate sleep--or even poor sleep can also cause your body to produce too much cortisol.

So, take what food and exercise advice feels seems right to you--and then, if you can, do something relaxing for 15 minutes or 1/2 hour/day, whatever you can before bed.

Hang in there. It will eventually whoosh right off.

cfmama
09-30-2009, 03:33 PM
I'd drop calories for a month... faithfully and see what happens. Journal EVERY SINGLE BITE. Check your supplements (cough candies, gum, vites etc) for hidden calories. Really LOOK at each and every singe thing that you put in your mouth.

You can do this. I know you can.

Mango30
09-30-2009, 04:32 PM
Instead of focusing on the negative and thinking that you are failing to lose, what you have successfully done is failed to gain for several months.
Chaulk it up to practicing maintenence and move on.



*nods* so true.

Arctic Mama
09-30-2009, 08:00 PM
This is just me - but I weigh a good deal more than you and my calorie range to lose in is down to 1490 or so, for about 1.5-2 pounds per week. I think you may just be taking in too many calories for what your metabolism requires and it is causing you to be weight-stable. Beyond a few weeks of your body adjusting to a new weight set point you should not mathematically be ABLE to stay at a higher weight than your caloric expenditure would indicate - it isn't physically possible, unless a hormone like cortisol is REALLY interfering with your chemical signals or you are taking in more than you think you are.

Journal your food as closely as you can - make sure you are not *hungry*, don't starve yourself, but fill a lower calorie quota with quality nutrients. I wouldn't recommend upping your exercise unless you want to - the biggest side of the weight equation is the calories you are intaking, not what you can expend through exercise.

Other than that - GOOD LUCK! I really hope this breaks your plateau for you, it can be so rough to see no change.

Mango30
09-30-2009, 08:31 PM
When you say you count your calories, do you use a food scale to measure your food? I only ask because, especially with high calorie density foods, you can really screw the pooch with just a dollop too much. Maybe invest in a good food scale and measure your foods for a month and see if that helps. Underestimating calories in foods could be part of the problem.

WildThings
09-30-2009, 08:46 PM
I would also consider looking at what calories your are consuming. If you are eating a lot of sugars (real and artificial), starches, fats, etc. These things can bog down your metabolism. I don't know what kinds of food you eat, or if you are on a particular plan, but maybe focus as much as you can on lean meats, veggies and legumes...stuff that will help energize your body. If you eat stuff that is making you have sluggish spells throughout the day, this just isn't in your mind, your whole body becomes sluggish. I eat 1600 calories a day and am loosing still, but if I ate 1600 calories of cake (not saying this is what you are doing, just an extreme example) I would not loose anything. My body does not react well to sugar and wheat.

nineoceansaway
09-30-2009, 09:14 PM
I would try to eat between 1200-1500 calories. Try that for a week and see where you are. Again track every bite!

50andfabulous
09-30-2009, 11:35 PM
I've had that happen too. It stinks. Relax. Look at what you have accomplished. 85 pounds. Take time to look at where you've been, not just where you are going.

Suezeeque
10-01-2009, 04:29 AM
I posted this elsewhere on this topic, but recently in an onine article about weight plateaus it said to eat the same weekly amount of calories but instead of eating, for example, 1500 every day, eat larger and smaller amounts every other day, for example, 1800 one day and 1200 the next to stop your body from thinking it's starving. I guess the idea is to keep your brain guessing and not lowering your metabolism! I'd love to know if it works because I invariably hit a plateau along the way. Of course, fat people often have insulin resistance, which is a bear. But, weight loss "may" "cure" this condition. And of course, like a lot of people here have mentioned, I lose faster on a lower-carb diet, like the mediteranean diet, which would make sense with the insulin problem. Basically, not losing over a period of time really makes me depressed and I have to make sure I focus on what I have gained from continuing to follow my food plan, aside from losing weight. At these times I take it a day at a time continually fighting the urge to give in and eat. Meditation and writing a list of what I am grateful for in my life can help.

GirlyGirlSebas
10-01-2009, 07:42 AM
I would also consider looking at what calories your are consuming. If you are eating a lot of sugars (real and artificial), starches, fats, etc. These things can bog down your metabolism. I don't know what kinds of food you eat, or if you are on a particular plan, but maybe focus as much as you can on lean meats, veggies and legumes...stuff that will help energize your body.

For many of us, the type of calories make a big difference with fat storage. If I eat more than two whole grains or two fruits a day, my weight loss stalls. It doesn't matter how many calories I'm eating....1200...1500...1800. The scales do not move! This all depends on how your body responds to hormones.

And, this is my #1 piece of advice or you. Get your hormones checked. They may be out of balance. Try to find a doctor who works with bioidentical hormones. They are usually more knowledgeable about these things. Also, ask that they test your Vitamin D levels. Many women are deficient and this can lead to weight issues as well as issues with bones loss, etc.

FitGirlyGirl
10-01-2009, 10:40 PM
I'm with everyone else. Try dropping the calories and the carbs and track, track track. You can use an online food log i you aren't doing so already - there are many free ones out there. I agree with Mango, if you aren't using a scale, get one and use it for anything you eat that is not preportioned. I suggest getting a digital one - mine is awesome and I got it at wal-mart for maybe $15. Don't drop your calories too low though (if I have less than 1100 or so I don't burn as many calories the next day).

Also, switch up the exercise. If your schedule permits then maybe do 2 40 minute sessions instead of the one long one. I find that I burn more calories total if I do 2 shorter workouts, one in the morning and one in the evening.

If you make changes and still see no real results in a month or so you might consider a trip to the doc. As the GirlyGirl before me said - a check of your hormones would be a good idea.

Smiling_Sara
10-05-2009, 01:47 PM
Thank you ladies! :hug:

I will track my food better, and try and get to the gym an extra day. I'm sure you're right when you say my body is becomming use to my routine. I would love to take a class to switch it up a bit and challenge my body, but I'm not sure where I'd go for one. I live in a really small town. I'll try and look around. Any ideas on a good class to take to really challenge myself? But at the same time is a beginners course so it doesn't completely wear me out?

Smiling_Sara
10-05-2009, 01:51 PM
Oh, and I"m planning on making my annual physical ( it's been two years ) today, and I"ll ask the doc about blood work since my weight loss has seemed to stalled. Maybe she can also refer me to a nutrininist. I just HAVE to get this going again.

SuchAPrettyFace
10-05-2009, 03:05 PM
I have a general idea of the area you're in, but am not sure if these are too far for you to drive?

http://www.princetonclub.net/

https://www.misspole.com/

Charles78
10-05-2009, 03:37 PM
I made this post a few years ago - maybe it might help...

This topic comes up a lot. I have seen the same question asked 100 different ways. This is not working - I am in starvation mode - I need to eat more, (starvation mode is real but way over blown as a cause of no weight loss IMHO), it is my genes, my metabolism is abnormal ... you name it. I am not making fun of those ideas at all. I have had all of them myself many times for years. I had a guy tell me the 3 biggest obstacles to change all took place between our ears. Rationalization, minimization and justification.

The numbers in a food log for weight loss are estimates. Think about it - from your RMR unless you have it tested, to the activity factor they use, to the exercise you do, even the food you log is at best an estimate. Keeping a food journal is a tool. I happen to think it is a great tool. However, like all tools used for estimation - you have to match prediction to reality.

For example - if you stay in the weight loss zone and don't lose weight there are a number of things that could be going on.

You could be retaining fluid. If so, wait a few weeks and look for trends. Are you trending down? If you scale is still not moving - now we have to look at all of the places our estimate of the real world may be off. One thing you can be assured of - no one is going to void the law of thermodynamics. Calories in vs calories out works for every human on the planet. http://www.myfooddiary.com/images/smile.gif (There are some rare medical conditions that can impede weight loss, thyroid for example) In my opinion, your diet (I use that in the sense of what you eat - not some plan you go on and off) is only 1/2 the equation. Exercise and physical activity are excellent and very complimentary methods of creating a calorie deficit.

Things to check -

1.) Is the RMR base rate correct. You can have this tested for about 50 dollars. If not, send in the correct number and see if that fixes the problem.

2.) They use a life activity factor that they multiply your RMR by to get your maintain weight number. I think for sedentary they use 1.25. It scales up for super active people - think full time regular army to 2.0 I believe. It may be higher. That estimate could be high. I work as a programmer. 1/1/2 hour a day commute, followed by 8-9 hours typing. I am not sure 1.25 the right number for me. I think it is closer to 1.15 - you need to really look at your daily activity and see if your number seems "real".

3.) Are you logging everything and of the things you are logging - how precise are you being? There was a study that looked at people that kept food logs. They found that across the board, they under estimated their actual calorie intake by between 250 and 1000 calories per day - with the average being 395 calories. Keep in mind, that is people like us TRYING to log accurately.

4.) Exercise calories - really this has to be the most subjective of all. Your intensity is key. Heart rate monitors are good and they do help but again they are an extrapolated number (estimate) of the O2 consumption based on heart rate. If you are logging 600 calories of exercise and in reality it is only 400 combined with other errors can end up with a mysterious - I am doing everything right and no weight loss.

The real deal bottom line - never go below 1200 calories gross if you are female and 1800 male. Try to lose weight eating as close to the suggested food journal number as possible. If you have eliminated any health issue and you are still not losing weight - start checking the above items. When you hit a true calorie deficit, you will lose weight over time. Weight loss is not linear - you can go for a few weeks with no loss. However, if you have a calorie deficit you WILL see a loss over time.

I went back and looked at my 6 month weight loss. 29 pounds over the last 26 weeks. I have been trying to lose 1 pound per week. There have been weeks when I gained a pound, weeks when I did not lose, weeks when I lost 2 pounds and weeks when I gained and lost the same darn pound over and over. You just can't look at anything but your overall trend. Make sure you have checked all the factors listed - get to a real and safe calorie deficit and with out a doubt, you will lose weight.

The last thing I would like to say is that when you really dig down to what your goals are - it is not really a number on the scale or a dress or pants size - it is your fitness. Your quality of life. I don't think any of us wants to hit some magic BMI weight only to find we have lost all of our muscle and while we might only weigh a "normal" weight, we are what people refer to as "thin" fat people. We have no endurance, strength and are set for rapid weigh gain. If we are going to make the journey to fitness, lets take the road that leads to strong healthy bodies and minds. I know we can all achieve that goal!

I wish everyone the very best!

If I can ever help anyone, please let me know.

Charles ~ Houston, TX

S.A.S.H
10-05-2009, 06:43 PM
It's been said already but it's so true it bears repeating: Cycle your calories and workout with interval training. You would be amazed what the body gets used to!

If you are worried about keeping up in a new class or something, you can always work out at home. There are plenty of videos you can pace yourself on. I am a huge fan of Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred video.

Smiling_Sara
10-06-2009, 04:18 PM
Thanks for all the great info. Those places are a little far away from me. About 50 min for one of them and 2 hrs the other. I'm sure there is something closer to me that I can get into to change things up a bit.

You all are great.

SuchAPrettyFace
10-07-2009, 03:19 AM
Yeah, sorry about that, thought you were in Waterford, or at least by the Racine/Waukesha county border for some strange reason.

Smiling_Sara
10-07-2009, 07:51 AM
Yeah, sorry about that, thought you were in Waterford, or at least by the Racine/Waukesha county border for some strange reason.

ah, I was. You have a good memory. :) But I moved 20 minutes south of that to Burlington.

SuchAPrettyFace
10-10-2009, 02:35 PM
Oh yes, then!!! Burlington is WAY too far to drive.

My friend at work has been wanting to try the Princeton Club, not sure if she has yet.

Idealmuse
10-11-2009, 12:24 AM
Your weight is similar to mine and unless you're active throughout the day before moving around your BMR probably Is close to 1700... If you have a sedentary job, aren't exercising every day, and miscount some calories I can see it happening.

You need a deficit of 500/day most every day for 1lb per week. 1000/day for 2lbs.

At our weights it's not hard to do but it takes lots of work to get good losses like 2lbs/week. In order for me to hit this goal I work out every day for 1.5-2 hours and eat 1500 because I'm only moderately active otherwise (I work from home)

And this is obvious but: Also take a second look at your calories. Are you guessing? Rounding? Eyeballing? A scale helps get more actuate numbers. It might not seem like a big deal but if you miss count everything by half a cup here or there it adds up.

Brown Eyed Staccie
10-11-2009, 12:39 AM
I read everyone's posts because I am having the same problem. I am working out a ton, a variety of strength training, cardio and pushing hard. I think I am eating ok but I estimating calories and I think that is where I am falling down. I guess if you don't count a few here and a few there, it can add up pretty quickly.

Great advice on here....wish you luck!!

rockinrobin
10-11-2009, 06:39 AM
I think I am eating ok but I estimating calories and I think that is where I am falling down. I guess if you don't count a few here and a few there, it can add up pretty quickly.


It gets us every single time. Amazing how those calories add up. That's why for me, without tracking them, they sneak in. And we can't let em'!

It also amazes me just how few calories we really need to survive. I truly believe G-d made us that way to protect us in times of famine, but sadly, I think it may have backfired. Since we were engineered to thrive, function and prosper requiring so little energy (calories) and being that there is SUCH an overabundance of sinfully high calorie man-made foods out there, well the two are constantly butting heads and it can be a challenge.

A challenge - yes. Impossible to conquer - **** no!!!

FitGirlyGirl
10-13-2009, 09:13 AM
RockinRobin: I completely agree. There's a ton of research out there supporting it too. The fat gene and what not. The people who had not managed to put on enough weight during feast times would die out leaving behind the people who had been able to and so those were the genes that got passed on to us, the fat genes. Problem being that now (in 1st world countries where we chicks live anyhow) there are no times of famine, it's all feast (and sadly so much of our feast is made up of foods our ancestors wouldn't even recognize). It also explains insulin resistance and the "apple shape". Our ancestors needed to pack on the weight in order to survive the famine, but they still needed to be able to run from the cave lion that was trying to eat them - so they packed the weight on in the middle, leaving the legs and arms fairly thin so they could still run, hunt, and do the things they needed to. So, many of us probably can at least partially blame our fat genes for our fat jeans. Sorry, that was bad.

BornToFly: How are things? Are you feeling less stuck yet? I hope so.

Gwen
02-07-2011, 04:17 AM
It gets us every single time. Amazing how those calories add up. That's why for me, without tracking them, they sneak in. And we can't let em'!

It also amazes me just how few calories we really need to survive. I truly believe G-d made us that way to protect us in times of famine, but sadly, I think it may have backfired. Since we were engineered to thrive, function and prosper requiring so little energy (calories) and being that there is SUCH an overabundance of sinfully high calorie man-made foods out there, well the two are constantly butting heads and it can be a challenge.

A challenge - yes. Impossible to conquer - **** no!!!

Robin, I agree! But, just how many calories do we really need? I read somewhere that it's around 200 every 3 hours. Does that sound right? And then we need to worry about the type of food we are eating - combine protein & good carbs in proper proportions... :?: HELP!

Celyia
02-07-2011, 05:17 AM
Really great posts, folks. Big thanks to Charles for reposting. That was a seriously helpful. :)