100 lb. Club - Wondering if grapes could be my problem.




time2lose
10-26-2009, 11:45 AM
This is just another one of those posts about slow weight loss. :)

I have posted before about how my weight loss has slowed and here I am again. I have only lost 1 pound in Oct. while staying on plan. Everyday I troubleshoot problems at work so I decided to take the same approach to look at this issue. I am asking you to look at my logic just as I would ask a work colleague if I were stuck on a problem.

Here are the possibilities that I see:

1- Slower weight loss just happens after a year and almost 70 pounds. This is possible but I don't see it as likely. I really think there must be a cause.

2- More likely, I am not creating enough of a calorie deficit. If that is the issue, I am either not burning enough calories or I am consuming too many calories for that deficit.

2b - Burning more calories - I have increased my aerobic exercise and added workouts with my resistance band (Thanks Robin, for the link to the Sparks People video!) so I don't think burning calories is the problem.

2c - Therefore, I think it likely that the issue lies in the amount of calories I am consuming. I have dropped my calorie intake from the 1500 to 1300 but I am wondering if I have an error in my calorie counting. Could something I am eating actually contain more calories than I realize?

2d - I looked at my food logs for the month. I have gone crazy eating grapes. I find it really hard to measure a cup of grapes and may have been under estimating how many calories I am getting with grapes. I also keep a bowl of grapes on my kitchen counter and have a tendency to grab a few when I walk by, or am cooking, etc.

I have decided to move the bowl of grapes to my kitchen table. I want to leave them out for my family but want it somewhere that I don't walk by as often. I will only eat grapes that I have taken off the stem and weighed so that I can be sure that I am getting the number of calories that I think I am getting. This morning I weighed my grapes on my EatSmart food scale. I was surprised by the calorie count my scale gave me for what seemed like a small helping of grapes.

Does anyone see any problems with my logic? Could grapes really slow down my weight loss? Let me tell you, I did not get fat on grapes but grapes may have become my candy alternative.

Thanks for any input!


rockinrobin
10-26-2009, 12:59 PM
I really, really admire your commitment, patience, perseverance and determination.

I've overdone it on fruit - grapes, melon, berries, etc.. Overdone it on veggies too. First thing that comes to mind is butternut squash. Grapes have banned from my house on more then one occasion.

I'm not sure if this is your problem, especially since it's an ongoing one. Not just a one week occurrence, but it's (the slow weight loss) been happening for some time. But I DEFINITELY think it's worth looking into. If you're eating pounds of them, there might be something to it! Perhaps you may want to try freezing those grapes. Counting out 20 of them - freezing them and that's that. Period. They take longer to eat that way and if you set yourself up some rules, then you stick to it and again, that's that.

Could there be any other foods that you are underestimating????? Measuring incorrectly? Including fats?

I'm also wondering just how active you are. Never mind the intentional exercise, but how physical or sedentary are you during the day? Very curious to know the answer to this one.

With your determination and a bit of detective work, I'm sure you'll have that scale going downward more steadily. :)

Suezeeque
10-26-2009, 01:19 PM
I don't want you to be the guinea pig, but what if you tried increasing your calories and purposely tried to stay at your current weight for a month so that your body can reset? As was mentioned earlier, from studies it appears that the body is busily working away to try to maintain functioning at the lower number of calories you are consuming, trying hard to close the gap between that and what it uses. It actually uses fewer calories to maintain your current weight than someone who weighs the same but was never fat. As this closes, your loss can slow way down. But one way, studies suggest, is to try to stay for at least four weeks at the same level you are now, tricking your body into thinking that you are no longer depriving it and that your current weight is your normal level and increasing your exercise a little. Then you can try decreasing calories again and see if your loss resumes. I'm just reguritating what I have read on the latest research. Psychologically, it might be hard but we have to take advantage of the latest research because, as Dr. Phil says, it's nuts to keep on doing the same thing and expect different results. My only other thought: if you are pre-diabetic or insulin resistant then a lot of sugar, like from the grapes, "can" possibly interfere with your processing of the sugar and hold back your weight loss. The functioning of the human body does not adhere to a strict mathematical formula, it's very complex and still mostly a mystery to scientists. When what we have always been told doesn't work we tend to think we are doing something wrong, and that may not be the case. You seem like the introspective type of person who has followed all the usual rules. You know that in the long haul, there are a lot of people who are successful in losing a lot of weight so it is possible. But, there are also a huge number who fall by the wayside when they reach the point you are at. Keep up your resolve because you don't want to regain what has been so hard earned.


crcossel
10-26-2009, 01:24 PM
Sounds like you are eating to little to me. There is a point where your body works against you.

GirlyGirlSebas
10-26-2009, 01:28 PM
Grapes are quite high in sugar. It would be very easy to underestimate your calorie consumption with these delicious little bundles of joy!

salsa chip
10-26-2009, 02:24 PM
Grapes are quite high in sugar. It would be very easy to underestimate your calorie consumption with these delicious little bundles of joy!

Oh RATS. I didn't know that and I've been devouring grapes lately :(

time2lose
10-26-2009, 02:36 PM
Thank you everyone for your input.
Originally posted by Robin Could there be any other foods that you are underestimating????? Measuring incorrectly? Including fats?
I have really been careful weighing and measuring so there is not much room for this. When in doubt, I tend to take the higher calorie count. In Oct. I have been avoiding some of my standard casseroles because I was concerned that I did not have the calorie count correct. I used to weigh my meat after cooking but have started weighing it raw. Possibly other fruit ….. maybe apples? I generally count an apple as 90 calories regardless of the size. Reviewing my log, grapes just seemed like it could be “the thing”.

I'm also wondering just how active you are. Never mind the intentional exercise, but how active physical or sedentary are you during the day? Very curious to know the answer to this one.

Easy but unfortunate answer, pretty sedentary as I sit at a computer all way and have a 40 minute commute each way. I have done what I can to make up for it. I do a 15 minute exercise video every morning at home before leaving and, if I can get to work early enough, take a short walk. Because of this I started wearing a pedometer to see how many steps I get in during the day. The first week I wore it, I averaged 1000 steps a day. Now, I usually can get 2 or 3 ten-minute walks in during the day. My rule of thumb is to get 8000 steps in before I get in the car to leave work. Some days, I am walking around my building as fast as possible after work. Then when I get home I do my workout for the day. Friday through Sunday I am much more active and get in 12000 steps pretty easily.

Suezeeque originally posted what if you tried increasing your calories and purposely tried to stay at your current weight for a month so that your body can reset

I appreciate the suggestion but don’t think this is what I need. My weight has been so stable for the past three months that I think that my body should have reset. I also started my calories at 1800 and dropped that slowly.
My only other thought: if you are pre-diabetic or insulin resistant then a lot of sugar, like from the grapes, "can" possibly interfere with your processing of the sugar and hold back your weight loss.

I have wondered about this and think that it is very possible. I have a doctor’s appointment in a couple of weeks because of blood sugar. Last spring, while losing weight and exercising, we found that my blood glucose level had gone from the 70s to 101. My doctor was not concerned but told me to watch my carbs and retest in 6 months. So we retest next week. When this happened last spring I started using the Daily Plate to keep track of carbs etc. I keep my carbs at 40% to 50% of my calories. I am definitely going to talk to my doctor about what is going on with my weight loss and if insulin resistance could be a factor.

I can’t tell you all how much I appreciate the input. There is no one in real life to discuss this type of stuff and it really helps me to talk through it. I am seriously considering treating this like years ago we treated my son’s allergies - with an elimination diet. Start with a very basic diet for a week and see how I do. Then when I have success, add in one different food item at a time, measuring my success. It is a royal pain in the **** but if it works for finding food allergies, why wouldn’t it work for weight loss?

There is one thing that I do know. For 30 years I kept giving up on weight loss and just got bigger and bigger. My life had gotten miserable. If I never lose another pound but keep off the weight that I have already lost, the quality of my life is greatly improved. Giving up is not an option because I know that if I do, the weight will come back on.

Shannon in ATL
10-26-2009, 03:05 PM
Well, just on the grape part of the question... they are higher cal than I realized early on. Nutrition Data.com lists grapes at 34 cals for 10 grapes (49g), or about 3 cals per grape, which is the number I use. I ate 25 for my morning snack, so 75 cals there. Some are bigger, some are smaller. I sometimes count the large ones as 2 by weight... You could have easily been underestimating them if you are eating lots of them! :)

dgramie
10-26-2009, 05:11 PM
Grapes are a big problem for me also. I have banned them for now. I also am making myself eat some protien anytime i eat a fruit.

cfmama
10-26-2009, 05:22 PM
grapes can be a problem for me... strawberries too! It's easy to overeat those little buggers.

kaplods
10-26-2009, 05:42 PM
I generally count an apple as 90 calories regardless of the size.

This can throw you off just as much as the grapes. A 90 calorie apple is a pretty small apple (3" in diameter). Most calorie counting resources usually don't break out the different varieties of apples, so they're assuming an apple of "average" sugar content, but many of the newer and more popular apples are at the high end of sugar content, and may be higher in calorie as a result. Most of the apples I've been buying have weighed 8 ounces or more (120 calories and up), and I recently bought an apple that weighed nearly a pound (probably around 225 calories at least) so if you're eating more than one apple, the difference can really start adding up.

On a high carb diet, I don't lose as well as on a lower carb diet (at the very least, I retain far more water), but fruit especially is my weakness. I want to think that eating fruit "can't be bad," but for me it's really the equivalent of candy. I've been known to eat nearly a whole small watermelon, or more than a pound of grapes or cherries easily.

I've been stalled for several months, for a lot of reasons. The biggest is off-plan days. If I'm not tracking my food - I'm overconsuming. I never think I eat as much as I do - but the secondary reason is "fudging" my plan - underestimating the calorie content, especially in "healthy" higher calorie foods like fruit and nuts.

I cannot trust my estimation skills, so I really need to use a food scale.

cfmama
10-26-2009, 05:47 PM
Nuts are my BIGGEST downfall Kaplods. I buy them for the kids, daycare, hubby but I HAVE to measure them. HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO or I will overeat them... couple almonds here, 7 peanuts there... it all adds up huh!!!

H8cake
10-26-2009, 06:29 PM
I get in trouble with grapes too. I love them. I've stopped buying them lately cuz I can't control myself with them. I'm glad to know that there are 3 calories per grape, that will help when I do eat them.

JulieJ08
10-26-2009, 06:32 PM
Grapes are my secret weapon. Super tasty, and filling.

rockinrobin
10-26-2009, 06:35 PM
Estimations has worked well for me. I always count apples as 100 calories with good results. A big switch for me from my former days is that I now choose the smallest apples (and all items as well) as opposed to in the past when I always went for the largest. Oy.

My sometimes issues lay where I go back for multiple things. Like the grapes, berries and the such. So if I'm underestimating that one apple (or one peach, grapefruit), then it's only ONE singular apple. The "under" estimation is minimal damage. But if I'm underestimating those grapes - there's a whole lot more damage to be done because it's many of them. Which is why they've been banned around here many times.

One rule I really like which cuts down BIG TIME on nibbling - NEVER eat while standing. NEVER. There are so many wasted calories to be saved by doing this.

better health3
10-26-2009, 07:50 PM
I do a 15 minute exercise video every morning at home before leaving and, if I can get to work early enough, take a short walk.

I bet if you increase your evening walk to 30-60 minutes 5-6 days a week the scale would move down again. Good luck.

rockinrobin
10-26-2009, 08:31 PM
I bet if you increase your evening walk to 30-60 minutes 5-6 days a week the scale would move down again. Good luck.


Yes, noticed this earlier and I forgot to mention it as I went on about the apples. I get easily distracted ;). I really think you're going to have to step up the activity level. I know it's not what you want to hear, but that could be a HUGE factor here. HUGE. We're meant to move. And move. And move some more. Just think of our ancestors. Doing physical activity for EVERY thing. So we were developed with all that movement in mind. Walk. Dance. Jog in place. Hopscotch. Jump rope. Play twister. Use a hula hoop. Walk up and down the stairs a few extra times throughout the day. Or all of the above.

You just must FIND the time. Carve it out. It matters. It's worth it. Your worth it. When you do, do it, I know for sure you won't regret it and you will wonder why you didn't do it earlier.

time2lose
10-26-2009, 08:36 PM
Thanks all,

kaplods - You have a good point. I think that I need to watch all fruit and weigh them to be sure that I am getting an accurate count. I think that I am using fruit as a candy exchange. I may leave fruit off for a week or two to see what happens. I don't want to leave it off forever, but long enough to see if that could be the problem.

Thanks Better Health but you missed part of my post. That is just how I start my day and add more later in the day. I get in at least 8000 steps during the day plus an additional workout after work. Sometimes that is a walk, sometimes an exercise video. I have been trying to mix it up to work out different parts of my body.

time2lose
10-26-2009, 08:38 PM
Robin, we were posting at the same time! I have already upped the exercise. I am getting about 1.5 hours a day. I am not going to say that I can't exercise more but it would be difficult.

better health3
10-26-2009, 11:16 PM
Maybe your body has adjusted to the type of activity and is not as challenged anymore, therefore stalling your results. Try varying your routine-increase incline or pace, the type of videos you participate in... I hope that helps. :hug:

time2lose
10-27-2009, 09:29 AM
Thanks Better health. I am ready to try anything!

time2lose
10-27-2009, 09:31 AM
I think that I am going to take a scale break for a week or two. I will concentrate on doing the best that I can do and not worry about that dang scale.

crzymom6
10-27-2009, 10:52 AM
This was for sure an eye opener! I have been eating tons of grapes every day, sure that I was doing the right thing by eating "healthy". I may have to ban those buggers too.

time2lose
10-27-2009, 11:13 AM
crzymom,

I don't want to make anyone think that grapes aren't healthy. They are sure much healthier than the honey buns that I used to eat! :) I am just trying to work my way out of a slow down. It is so easy to overeat on even healthy stuff!

Couch
10-28-2009, 01:56 AM
1300 is low, particularly if you aren't pushing the exercise (high intensity and weights) and particularly if you've been running a calorie deficit for a long time. I think it might be worth taking a few days off the exercise, eating a few hundred calories more, getting some more sleep and letting your body know that it is OK, you are not going to starve. Then drop back to 1300, but have a high calorie day (say 1800) once a week.

It's worth a try. You shouldn't gain any weight, unless your extra calories have lots of salt in them. If you can find the 02/10/08 podcast of Jillian Michaels on KFI, she talked to someone with almost exactly the same problem, and I've just summarised what she said. (I downloaded my copy off mediafly).

I have also heard that insulin resistance can lead to problems with fruit decreasing weight loss. Maybe look into that?

time2lose
10-28-2009, 09:52 AM
Thanks Couch,
When I get home, I will try to get that podcast. I got the 2009 ones a couple of months ago but had difficulty getting the older podcasts. I will try mediafly.

I am wondering about the insulin resistance also and actually have a doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks about blood sugar issues. I have been stomping my feet and crying "Unfair!!" about that. I have lost a lot of weight and eaten healthier than I have in years and my blood sugar went up this year. Unfair!