Weight Loss Support - Do I need to change what I'm doing? (longish)

05-21-2010, 01:53 AM
Right now, I'm eating between 1600-1800 calories a day (sort of zigzagging, letting myself fall in that range without worrying which days I will do so). I'm working out 4 to 6 days a week on average, but more often 5 to 6. Very few days (maybe once every 3 weeks or so) I'll only workout for 30 mins, but generally it's 45 to 60 minutes. I have lost major inches in 6 months (I'll check my records and post specifics soon, I need to remember where I put my chart :o). I haven't weighed in over a month so I don't know where I'm at with pounds, again, I'll update when I can, I don't own a scale so I use my mom's when I'm at her house. My workouts are varied--elliptical, brisk walking (outside) with jogging intervals, JM 30 Day shred, BL Cardio Max, BL Power Sculpt, and BL Last Chance Workout.
My problem is that I'm losing inches to fit into my wedding dress (wedding in 2 months)--and I feel like I'm hitting a wall. I've been on a inches-lost plateau for a few weeks. I need to revamp and get motivated to lose those last few inches before the big day.
So, my question is, should I be eating more calories? I don't think I need less but I could be wrong. How about fat? How many grams of fat should I be consuming? I feel confident in the workout arena as of right now, I just need to figure out the food deal. Any and all suggestions are welcome! Thank you! :)

05-21-2010, 07:42 AM
I don't have a good answer, but I don't like to see a thread go unanswered. So I can say congratulations on your victory so far and on your upcoming wedding. And maybe suggest that if you're not feeling hungry, I don't see a need to increase your calorie intake, but if you are, you might want to.

How many more inches do you need to lose to fit into your dress? Is your TOM a factor?

05-21-2010, 08:10 AM
Well increasing your calories would DECREASE the calorie DEFICIT that is needed to LOSE weight. The idea is to create a calorie deficit, taking in less calories than your body needs, so that your body is forced to use your FAT stores as energy, thus you lose the fat and pounds. So increasing your calories would definitely slow down your weight loss, so I don't see how that could possibly be helpful!!!

Inches lost are GREAT, that's what it's all about. But I think perhaps you should try to weigh a little more often so that you know if what you are doing, all this hard work, is providing you with pounds lost. Because if you lose pounds, you WILL lose inches. It goes hand in hand.

You've said that you've hit a wall, well are you certain you are accurately tracking your calories??? Any possible way that your portions/measurements are off? Are you accounting for any extra nibbles, have you had any *off* days, because these things WILL cause the weight to stall.

As far as the foods that you are eating, why don't you give us a sample menu, so we can get a clearer picture and we'll see if we can help you tweak it, if need be.

Congrats on the weight loss thus far AND your up coming wedding. Keep at it and I'm sure they'll be many more pounds/inches gone.

05-21-2010, 11:02 AM
If you have been on pretty much the same exercise routine during the last 6 months, and you want to lose more inches, you may have to step it up a bit and change the exercise. Remember, our muscles get adjusted to exercise and even if you keep doing the same exercise, it won't be the same workout (as it used to be, say, 8 weeks ago). Try something completely different - I like Tony Horton's concept of "muscle confusion" in his P90X workouts.
Do you go to the gym? How about some kettlebell exercises? (again, I am not sure what your options are).

05-21-2010, 11:15 AM
I switch my strength training exercises every 6 weeks. Your muscles get used to what you do to them.

But you are only gonig to lose so many inches through exercise before you really have to focus on what you are eating.

05-21-2010, 08:38 PM
Lovebirds- Thank you for the congratulations :) No TOM isn't a factor, I bought my dress smaller because it was on sale 50% off and I can't afford to spend a ton as my finance and I are both in school, have kids, and are paying for our wedding ourselves. I have 3 more inches to go in the waist and 2 in the hips. I was losing on average 1/2 inch a week from these areas before I hit the wall. I'll be wearing shape wear too, which will probably take at least an inch off my waist I'm guessing. I know I can do it, I just need get off this plateau!

05-21-2010, 09:02 PM
rockinrobin- Thank you also for the congrats :) The reason I asked about increasing is because many times I'll see people on this site suggesting increasing calories if weight loss is stalled.
I am going to try to weigh more often, and overall that will be more of a factor in my journey, but I've been focusing more on inches because inches lost are going to be what gets me into the dress.
Yep, I track EVERY calorie that goes into my mouth for the day, measured portions and nibble alike :) I probably have an off day once a month or so, but I take it in stride because I'd rather go off plan once a month than binge for a week if I didn't once in awhile. I've been down that road, don't want to go back!
As for the sample menu, good idea :)
Breakfast: Oatmeal or 3/4 to 1 cup high fiber cereal with 1/2 cup skim milk or 100 calorie English muffin with 1 tbsp sugar free jam and 1 tbsp natural peanut butter. Piece of fruit. Coffee with 1 tsp non-fat creamer sometimes, unsweetened green or black tea sometimes.
Lunch: Low cal veggie or chicken soup or 3 deli thin slices turkey with reduced fat pepperjack on low cal wheat bread or salad. Cottage cheese, carrot, 1 oz baked chips, or piece of fruit as side. Sometimes I may bake a serving (150 cals) of frozen french fries (this is one of the things that makes me wonder about fat content, along with the occassional baked breaded frozen chicken strips at 200 calories a serving). More often though, it's the better choices).
Dinner: Salad-1 to 2 cups Romaine, 40 calories worth of reduced fat cheese, 35 calories of fat free croutons, 50 calories of low fat or fat free dressing and baked skinless chicken breast, 1 cup of long grain wild rice, green beans.

Snacks/dessert include 100 calories of Smart Pop popcorn, a serving of fruit, light yogurt, granola bars, 140 calories of trail mix, WW or Skinny Cow ice cream treats, 100 calories of pretzels, for example.

I'm kind of veggie-challenged. I love green beans, carrots, and lettuce, but not too much else. It's a lot to do with texture, I have weird issues with that.

05-21-2010, 09:07 PM
How much time til you need to fit into the dress?
How long have you been stuck?

My suggestions would be - trade the popcorn/granola bar/fruit for additional protein.
Drop your calories by 100-200 daily (you can up it back after the wedding).
Increase your intensity on your workouts (you're working out for enough time daily, but maybe just work harder.)
Try strength training.

05-21-2010, 09:08 PM
Forgot to say I drink around 80 oz of water most days, and diet soda once a day. Also meant that I mean for the next 2 months until the wedding I'm focusing more one the inches but I do understand the importance of pounds and how they go hand in hand. And lastly, by increasing calories I meant an extra apple or 100 cals of popcorn, nothing too drastic. I forgot to mention that initially.

05-21-2010, 09:27 PM
Tomato and SCraver: I started out with the elliptical only. After a couple of months I realized I had stalled, and I had read something about muscle confusion, so I did a 6 week stint of the Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. I then did a 4 week cycle of BL Cardio Max and Power Sculpt on opposite days. Threw the elliptical and jogging in there after a few weeks. Then did jogging elliptical with Circuit 1 of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. Currently doing Circuit 2 of 30 DS and started another cycle of Last Chance Workout with it. Going to jog/use elliptical every other WO from LCW, but do Shred consistently through the remainder of the 30 cycle. Is this varied enough or should I change it even more. Tomato, can you tell me more about the kettlebell? I don't go to a gym, I own an elliptical, jog around my neighborhood, and do my DVDs at home.

05-21-2010, 09:28 PM
sprklemajik: I think I covered your questions in the last few posts. Any insight or advice is welcome!

05-21-2010, 10:11 PM
sprklemajik: Just over 7 weeks til the wedding. I've been stuck for 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. What do you suggest for a protein? Almonds maybe?? So if I did 1500 calories/day, how many grams of fat should I be aiming for? My workouts are pretty intense. I'm breathless and sweating profusely throughout. I don't cheat the videos, I suffer through each painful move/rep :lol: When I'm on the elliptical I'm able to check with the monitor make sure my heart rate is is the aerobic stage. (I don't know if that's the right term but I calculated the calorie burning range about 6 months ago when I started). I don't know if you're familiar with the Biggest Loser workouts, but they include strength. Should I trade up from my 5 lb weights to 8 pounders?

05-22-2010, 12:36 AM
I urge you NOT to raise your calories, even by a hundred cals or so and even if it's an apple. Apple and healthy calories count too. As I described in my first post to you , raising your calories could be the single most counterproductive thing you could do. Sorry, but I personally cringe when I hear that mentioned. If anything, due to the fact that you weigh LESS now, you actually REQUIRE LESS calories to run on, so already right there, if you keep your calories the SAME, you're creating less of a deficit, so LOWERING those calories is what would be helpful and would most likely break this *plateau* of yours. Instead of staying in the 1500-1800 range, I'd stay at the lower end consistently, no swinging up that high.

And I think you possibly could use a bit of improvement in your food choices. Chips, fries, granola bars, pretzels, rice - quite carb-y. I'd spend those calories on foods that can work for you - lots and lots of veggies, low fat proteins and some fruits.

Veggie challenged? experiment with different ones and the methods that you use to make them - roasted veggies are fabulous - roasted cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, asparagus - the list is endless. Roasting them makes them all carmelized and sweet and just yummm. Add in different types of salads - cabbage slaws, cucumber salad, tomato salad, etc. Stir fries are also a great way to go. Sauteed veggies with egg white omlettes.

I think these changes will really get things moving. I look forward to hearing of your continued progress. :)

05-22-2010, 08:29 AM
I agree with Robin. I don't think you are having issues with too few calories but you do seem to eat a lot of starchy foods. I can easily gain weight with starchy foods like whole grains, lentils, potatoes, and even squash. I have to really strictly limit all of those healthy foods. Some people don't have a problem with them, but they are killers for my weight loss.

I would suggest you substitute any veggies that you can make work for you, some fruit, lean protein, and healthy fats (strictly measured). If the flavor is an issue with eating veggie, try chicken breast stir fries. The veggies take on the flavor of the meat and spices.

05-23-2010, 03:56 AM
rockinrobin- Since I'm currently doing 1600-1800, I'm going to adjust to 1500 starting tomorrow. I'll see how that works for me and go from there. I agree with you about the carbs, they've always been a "thing" for me. All my favorite foods are carb-y, especially rice. You wouldn't believe how many carbs I used to consume, but I'm going to work on lowering them again. I'll try roasting veggies and experiment with stir fry as well. What's the best thing to use--olive oil? Amazing work by the way, I'm assuming your diet had a lot to do with your loss of 154 lbs in 10 months.

yoyoma- what spices do you personally use in your stir fries?

On a positive note, I have lost another inch around my belly button since last week. I need to lose in my natural waist and hips for dress measurements though, so I'm hoping these changes will help get me back on track.

Thank you to all who've responded :)

05-23-2010, 05:23 AM
Fresh basil is very good and sort of doubles as a veggie, lol. If not, you can use dried, but that's a big step down.

I do always add hot spice (cayenne, hot sauce, etc) -- recent research has shown it to actually help you burn calories. The effect is small, but I can use all the help I can get!

If you like curry, you can add that for a change of pace. Experiment to find what works for you!

05-23-2010, 07:02 AM

The above is a link to a thread with some great veggie suggestions. When I roast veggies I use a little canola or olive oil, about a tsp and some cooking spray. Experiment, it does take some time to get the knack of it. Here you can use all different spices - cumin, chilli powder, garlic and onion powders, sea salt, cayenne, etc.

I like my stir fries with garlic, soy sauce, ginger, onions, crushed red pepper - all depends on the mood.

About the carbs - well, ummm, yeah - they were kinda my thing too, but then my thing kinda became that I wanted the weight GONE. So I decided I had best make the carbs GONE. It was the food group I overate the most, had the least control with - and it was keeping me from having the life of my dreams. I can't begin to tell you the amount of rice I used to eat during the course of a week. For me cutting back was not enough - I needed to cut it OUT. And that's when I turned to those veggies - experimented away and found delicious ones that were very voluminous, extremely filling and low calorie. Getting rid of the stripped down carbs was the best decision I ever made. After a few short weeks, I no longer even wanted them. It was nothing short of miraculous.

And yes losing 154 pounds in 10 months, not sure where you found that number from, I'm assuming an old post, had MUCH to do with my diet. You can't possibly exercise that many pounds away. I was though EXTREMELY consistent with my food intake, day in and day out - no veering.

I'm glad to hear you're doing some tweaking. So shortly, I look forward to hearing of your progress. Keep us updated, won't you? My daughter is getting married in one week, so I know the urge to want to be your best for the event and the life ahead of you. :)