Calorie Counters - Discouraged

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02-19-2010, 02:15 PM
I've been using Fitday to count my calories and I'm trying to stay w/in 1250 -1500 per day. Some days I've come in a little low (like 1100ish) but I figure I'm probably not catching every single thing and undercounting a bit. I very rarely get near the 1500.

I'm discouraged because I've only lost 1 pound in the last two weeks. I feel like I'm really staying so true to plan and I really felt it would be at least 3 over the last two weeks.

I do about an hour (over 3.1 miles) on the treadmill 5 days a week and add in DVD cardio and resistance exercises and small weights 3 days a week.

Any ideas? I feel like I was doing better in the beginning before I started tracking my calories so closely and keeping my food diary!

02-19-2010, 02:26 PM
Are you hungry at the end of the day? My guess is you're not eating enough and your metabolism has slowed down. I know it sound nuts, but I was at 1200-1300 range, I lost a few lbs, stalled, uped my cals to 1450 lost 3 lbs that week, stalled, and this week I uped my cals to 1650 (daily average and started zig zagging) and I've lost 3 lbs this week! I also exercise about the same amount as you. You can try uping you cals for a week or two and if that doesn't jump start it then you can always go back to 1500. It's really a trial and error game and every body is different. But I betcha you up your cals to about 1600-1800 (for your weight) and you'll see that scale really start moving. I used freedieting to get my daily calories, but I only say I'm working out 3xs a week because the numbers just seem crazy high at 5xs a week.

You were probably seeing better results when you weren't tracking because you were eating more.

Good luck!

02-19-2010, 02:29 PM
I agree you are eating too little. Try aiming for at least 1500 calories a day and no more than 1700. I know that sounds crazy but if you are also working out then you are eating way too little for your weight.

02-19-2010, 02:39 PM
I stick with 1200-1500 also and stalled at 203 for a month. I added exercise at that same time and attribute the stall to that. I've learned that if your muscles are sore, you're probably retaining water, maybe 2 lbs.

1 lb a week is a good loss. That's not even technically a stall. So honestly, I think you should just keep plugging away at it. It's hard, I know, but slow is good.

I love your mini goals. And we're all different of course, but we're the same height and I noticed your next mini goal is to get into 16's without a struggle. I'm still not there for all size 16's. Some are fitting nicely, but some are still tight in the hips and thighs for me. If you like really mini goals, maybe toss another one in there to keep your spirits up. ;) Then again, maybe you're closer than me!

three herring
02-21-2010, 10:55 AM
One week is too short of a time to gauge if what you are doing is working or not. Try to work with averages for a month before changing anything. I am thrilled when I lose a pound! lol.

I think it is amazing that so many of you lose weight by upping calories, when I up them, I maintain or gain weight. Strange.

02-21-2010, 11:28 AM
Susie, I'm 100 pounds more than you, and have been instructed to eat about 1,000 calories more than you are eating and I have to tell you that it wasn't until I upped them that I started really losing! It's just something to think about and evaluate; maybe give upping your calories a try?

02-21-2010, 12:02 PM
Some people lose in "whooshes," losing nothing for up to a few weeks and then losing a months worth of weight loss the next.

And some people's bodies go into conservation mode (dropping metabolism) making it difficult or impossible to lose quickly.

Sometimes food composition can affect weight loss. I find that the more carbohydrate-rich foods (especially refined carbs like sugar and starch - which make me hungrier to boot) I eat, the slower I lose.

There are many factors that can lower metabolism or increase the likelihood of "whoosh" weight loss, yoyo dieting, thyroid issues, blood sugar/insulin resistance issues, carb-sensitivity, severe calorie restriction (as already mentioned), a tendency towards water retention, exercise, aging, and perhaps what was once called "set point" your body's weight "thermostat" or weight "setting."

Not everyone believes in the existence or importance of all of these factors.
And likely even if every one of them is legitimate, they're not universal.
No one will experience them all or in the same degree or way.

What it does all boil down to though is that you're stuck with whatever weight loss your eating and body allows you. You can only restrict calories so far, and lower isn't always better. What's true for our my cat, is probably true for me.

We adopted a very, very fat cat (18 lbs), and we put her on a strict diet. The less we fed her, the less she moved - to the point that if we tried to play normal cat games with her (like chase the string), she'd watch the string with mild interest, but had no interest in chasing it (looking at me, I swear, in a "you've got to be kidding" expression). She slept more, and essentially became a lump. The weight was barely budging. Finding a food amount (calorie level) that allowed her to lose weight and have a normal interest in activities has been a challenge. We got a couple pounds off of her relatively quickly, but the rest is not coming off fast. She's hungry all of the time and complains about it all of the time (often trying to trick hubby or I into thinking she hasn't been fed by the other).

Back to human weight loss though, for some people weight loss just doesn't come off fast. In my 20's, I would have told you it was impossible for a woman of my size (and I was my current size in my 20's) to maintain their weight on fewer than 3000 calories. I would have told you it was imposible for a woman of my size to lose slowly, or have difficulty losing at all an 1800 - 2200 calorie diet. I also would have told you that diet composition had no effect on weight loss (that 1800 calories of high carb eating and 1800 calories of low carb eating or eating junk vs. healthy food would have resulted in the exact same weight loss).

Experience has taught me that I was wrong. We can calculate the calorie input easily, but calorie output is affected by many things, including the calorie input.

What does all that rigmarole have to do with you?

Essentially it means for you, and for all of us, that we have to experiment and be patient. It's possible that your body will never pull big numbers. It's possible that you will lose in wooshes. It's possible that exercise will increase your metabolism more as you build muscle (and possibly the reason you're not losing fast now, is because of the water retention that muscle-building often requires initially).

Hang in there, keep tweaking and don't equate losing slower than you'd like with failing.

02-23-2010, 03:16 PM
Thanks everyone for you input. I've decided to up my calories to the 1600 range for the next week and see what happens.

I'll just have to figure out what my body needs. I KNOW that my body will not lose weight w/o exercise. So I'm keeping my exercise as it is and continuing to switch it up throughout the week and not get stagnant doing the same routine over and over.

I guess I'm just a human science experiment!

p.s. My previously mentioned loss was 1 pound over a two week period so equal to about .5 pound per week. I'm glad it was a loss and not a gain, but I was sad to see my 2.7 losses go by the wayside. Maybe they'll come back again!