100 lb. Club - Trying to pinpoint my problem




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ubergirl
12-29-2009, 12:26 PM
December has really not been a good month for my loss-wise.

After hitting my mini-goal on 12/11, I almost immediately bounced back up into the 230s-- I've been bouncing between 230-232 ever since. This morning I weighed in at 232. That was my weight on 12/2...

I've gone back over my fitday trying to see what's up, and I really don't see any changes in my plan-- I was moderately off plan on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day-- but even on those days, I don't think I ate enough to show a gain.

Prior to that, I'm averaging somewhere between 1100 and 1400 calories-- which is about what I've been doing since the start. I don't feel like I'm starving on that amount-- I think I have a pretty slow metabolism (the curse of being perimenopausal)

The only thing I can think of is that I have branched out more in my food choices. In the beginning, I was really strict about eating single ingredient foods-- like broiled fish or chicken-- because I was nervous about misestimating the calories. Now I eat more things like soup where it's harder for me to estimate the calories. On the other hand, I know what goes into the soup, so I can't be that far off.

My plan has been to shoot for 1200 cals, so that I had some wiggle room in case I was not estimating my calories correctly I would probably still fall under 1500.

At 230 I feel like I should be able to lose on that amount.

So, I'm trying to figure out the problem.

1. Do I have to drop my calories?
2. Am I mis-estimating my calories?
3. Is this just a normal plateau and I should just ignore it?


rakel
12-29-2009, 12:38 PM
This happened to me the last time when I lost around 40lbs. I did gradually increase my food intake, but that was because I started really low for my weight (312 / 1500 calories a day), which I think ultimately was the problem. Sure, I lost 20lbs in the first month, and 11 the next month, but then it tapered off. I went to a plateau and gave up.

This time, I started at around 2,250, and have slowly decreased to 2,000. I've only lost about 11lbs so far because December was, like you experienced, pretty dead. I had originally lost almost 14lbs, but then I gained and lost the same 3-4lbs throughout December. I believe my problem is directly related to what I've been eating, because it hasn't exactly been great.

HOWEVER, for you, I definitely think you should be able to lose weight on what you're eating. I'm by no means an expert, and you're a lot farther along than I ever got to, but I have heard that you should mix things up a little bit to get through a plateau. Try a more vigorous workout, or try doing smaller workouts several times a day to keep your metabolism revved throughout the whole day if you can. Try varying your calorie intake throughout the week within an acceptable range (1200 - 1600 maybe? one day make it higher than you would normally, as long as you are not feeling stuffed. Make the extra calories count too -- protein or some veggies). Make sure you're eating foods high in protein to help build muscle to increase your metabolism.

And if any of you can find something wrong with what I've said, please let me know because I plan on doing that when I get stuck.

Eliana
12-29-2009, 01:38 PM
I have no idea, but you need to know how much I admire your stick-to-it-iveness. Seriously, making it through this most frustrating time is an absolute inspiration to me and probably many others as well. I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it because I know if you can do it, I can too.

Stay strong and just keep going because you know that even if you never lose another pound, you're still better off maintaining the loss you've already established. Of course you WILL lose another pound, but unfortunately, it's not going to be on your time table.


CLCSC145
12-29-2009, 02:12 PM
What about going back to what you knew worked for a while, i.e. the single ingredient foods? Then if you see the scale start moving again, you may have found the culprit. If the plateau continues, then you may have to do something to shake things up with something like more exercise or lowering your calories a bit.

thistoo
12-29-2009, 03:21 PM
What are you doing workout-wise? I am forever hitting plateaus (as I'm sure everyone here knows since I complain about it all the time) and I find that the only thing that ever helps is changing up my workouts.

Of course, having said that, it hasn't helped much this time. I'm still firmly in the mid-150s with no sign of movement. TOM just ended so I'm hopeful, but I won't know for a couple days if I've made any progress. I'm eating 1500-1800 calories a day and burning around 1000 calories a day in my workouts. I'm having trouble finding the right balance to get my weight loss going again, so I feel your frustration.

thundahthighs
12-29-2009, 05:02 PM
I went from around 280lbs (suspected highest ever) to around 180lbs kind of easily and naturally - I had a couple "bounces" but, then I plateaued at 180lbs and was seriously STUCK for months. Then I gained 12 lbs.

I have no idea what will actually work for me, as I head for 175lbs by April 1st (:carrot:), but I am trying to change the focus and see if that helps. Instead of calorie counting with a steady drop in daily intake, this time, I am staying put and focusing on busting my butt weight lifting. I am hoping to develop some fat burning muscles. Instead of calorie-cycling, which "tricks" the body, I am hoping to trick my body into thinking we're gonna get all buffed out, and then around 180lbs, or wherever weight loss might stall, sneaking up on myself with a switch from the weights and slow weight loss to cardio and up to 1,000 cal daily restriction.

We'll see how it goes. Good luck to you as well as me! :D

ubergirl
12-29-2009, 05:19 PM
CSCLC... I think your suggestion about the food is good. I'm on my way out to pick up a really good digital food scale, and I'm going to weigh every bite for a week. Usually I estimate and then do the occasional spot check with weighing, but maybe I'm just eating more than I realize...My food was really boring in the beginning-- a lot of lean protein/veggie, lean protein/veggie. Now, I eat more soup, more starchy veggies, and more fake eggs...there may be a culprit in there somewhere.

Thistoo my exercise routine hasn't changed. I'm a four two five day a week lap swimmer. I've been trying to sign up for a personal trainer, but with the holidays, I haven't gotten connected yet. I am planning to incorporate weight training as soon as I can. This week was slow for me exercisewise-- gym closed on Fri, Sat and Sun were my workdays so those are the two days I never work out, and yesterday I wasn't allowed because of a dental procedure--so that's four days with no workout, which is unusual for me. Unfortunately, I work from home at a computer five days a week, so I'm quite sedentary on those days, especially right now, because I'm working on a big project.... I'm hoping that weight training will really help shake things up.

rockinrobin
12-29-2009, 05:53 PM
Maybe ditch those starchy vegetables and/or REALLY measure them precisely.

I don't precisely weigh my foods, I approximate them and that is one of the reasons I steer clear of the starch-ier veggies. If you go a little overboard with them, you just may have very well gone "above" your calorie range. If you go a little (or even a lot) overboard with the lower calorie veggies, you're most likely still well within your calorie range. And I know for me, it's the starch-ier ones that I really do tend to greatly overeat - so I avoid them.

How about sneaking in some exercise during your work day? Say 10 minutes, 4 X a day. It doesn't have to be anything formal - just walking in place, dancing your fool head off, jumping jacks, a hula hoop, a jump rope - something. Pencil it into your schedule. I think movement and activity will really aid in your weight loss.

thistoo
12-29-2009, 10:12 PM
I think weight training will really make a difference for you. When I first started I was swimming laps, and when I hit my first plateau I gave up being a vegetarian and started lifting weights, which helped get things moving again. Hopefully you will see the same results.

I have to be really careful not to eat carbs at all in the evening (other than vegetables at dinner) or I don't lose. I just don't. My body can't handle the carbs, and it's really frustrating. But we'll both find the answer, I know it. I figure, with the amount of exercise/weight training I'm doing, *something* has to give eventually (I just hope it's not my knee! :D)

ubergirl
12-30-2009, 02:08 AM
I appreciate everyone's thoughts.

I've been scrutinizing my eating, and I think I may have made subtle changes that were starting to add up.

I am such a carb hound that if I'm not eating chips and bread, I'm delighted to overindulge in lentils, butternut squash, and yams. And I did recently discover the joys of butternut squash, mashed, with butter flavored spray. Oh my!

I'm determined to carefully track for a week and see if it makes a difference.

Also, Robin, you're right. It would be smart to get up and do some periods of activity. I tend to get very wrapped up in work and sit almost immobile for hours.

I'm DETERMINED to break through this barrier. I HATE the feeling of being stuck and I'm constantly working to keep focused.

Loving Me
12-30-2009, 05:48 AM
I think exercise could be the key for you.
I started going to the gym back at the end of July when my journey began and started off with cardio and swimming laps.
I've built up both intensity and time slowly over the months. I now swim laps twice a week and although the gym system says I'm burning more calories doing that than in the gym, I never feel to have had as good a workout, I do it to keep things from getting stale and because I enjoy swimming.
Also, one week I'd overdone it in the gym and my knees were complaining, so I swam for a full week, no gym, and that week I had no loss at all. Maybe a coincidence but I agree with others that switching things around can be the key. For me it's not doing the same thing day in day out eg I do a step class on a Monday, gym workout Tue, swim laps Wed, gym Thur etc.
You have lost more than me so you have to be doing more right than wrong, but it's worth a try. I hope you see the scales move down soon.

ubergirl
12-30-2009, 01:44 PM
Back down into the 220s!!!! YAY!!!!
And I've got that appointment with the trainer...
I keep reminding myself that if you don't quit you can't fail...

time2lose
12-30-2009, 02:40 PM
Am I mis-estimating my calories?

This happened with me. I have to very carefully weigh and measure my food, especially fruits. I counted all my apples as 90 calories which would be correct for 3 oz. of fruit. When I started weighing carefully I found that I usually ate 6 oz. of apple so I needed to double the calorie count.

These things can start adding up!