Weight Loss Support - Workign out like mad, so why is the scale "stuck"?




kwinkle
07-09-2010, 01:04 AM
Hello, I am new around here, trying to lose about 20 lbs. I have a stressful job and gained that much in 9 months. I was drinking 3 or 4 sodas a day, and I but back to one (baby steps). I have been working out for the last 6 weeks or so--intense 2 hour workouts. I am seeing SOME results...I think...in my upper arms and waist. I can see muscles that were not there before. What is confusing me is my weight. The number on my scale has not changed AT ALL. I am using a plain bathroom scale and a wii fit, and they both show no change. How is that possible, with the huge increase in activity, cutting out 300+ calories a day in soda, and the tone I (think) I am seeing? How long does it take for the scale number to start falling?


Sherrie568
07-09-2010, 01:39 AM
The scale doesn't show the complete picture. Sounds like you're losing inches as well as gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat. So don't worry about the scale, as long as you're seeing the results you want.

thesame7lbs
07-09-2010, 06:30 AM
Besides cutting soda, how closely are you watching what you eat? Exercise, especially as much as you are doing, can make you really hungry. If you are not very careful, a little extra of this and a little extra of that can add up and erase your calorie deficit.

There was a great article in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/magazine/18exercise-t.html?_r=1&scp=6&sq=diet%20exercise%20weight&st=cse)a few months ago about the role of exercise in weight loss. Here's an excerpt:

How exercise affects body weight is one of the more intriguing and vexing issues in physiology. Exercise burns calories, no one doubts that, and so it should, in theory, produce weight loss, a fact that has prompted countless people to undertake exercise programs to shed pounds. Without significantly changing their diets, few succeed.

“Anecdotally, all of us have been cornered by people claiming to have spent hours each week walking, running, stair-stepping, etc., and are displeased with the results on the scale or in the mirror,” wrote Barry Braun, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, in the American College of Sports Medicine’s February newsletter.

But a growing body of science suggests that exercise does have an important role in weight loss. That role, however, is different from what many people expect and probably wish. The newest science suggests that exercise alone will not make you thin, but it may determine whether you stay thin, if you can achieve that state. Until recently, the bodily mechanisms involved were mysterious. But scientists are slowly teasing out exercise’s impact on metabolism, appetite and body composition, though the consequences of exercise can vary. Women’s bodies, for instance, seem to react differently than men’s bodies to the metabolic effects of exercise. None of which is a reason to abandon exercise as a weight-loss tool. You just have to understand what exercise can and cannot do.

“In general, exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss,” says Eric Ravussin, a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and an expert on weight loss. It’s especially useless because people often end up consuming more calories when they exercise. The mathematics of weight loss is, in fact, quite simple, involving only subtraction. “Take in fewer calories than you burn, put yourself in negative energy balance, lose weight,” says Braun, who has been studying exercise and weight loss for years. The deficit in calories can result from cutting back your food intake or from increasing your energy output — the amount of exercise you complete — or both. When researchers affiliated with the Pennington center had volunteers reduce their energy balance for a study last year by either cutting their calorie intakes by 25 percent or increasing their daily exercise by 12.5 percent and cutting their calories by 12.5 percent, everyone involved lost weight. They all lost about the same amount of weight too *— about a pound a week. But in the exercising group, the dose of exercise required was nearly an hour a day of moderate-intensity activity, what the federal government currently recommends for weight loss but “a lot more than what many people would be able or willing to do,” Ravussin says.

At the same time, as many people have found after starting a new exercise regimen, working out can have a significant effect on appetite. The mechanisms that control appetite and energy balance in the human body are elegantly calibrated. “The body aims for homeostasis,” Braun says. It likes to remain at whatever weight it’s used to. So even small changes in energy balance can produce rapid changes in certain hormones associated with appetite, particularly acylated ghrelin, which is known to increase the desire for food, as well as insulin and leptin, hormones that affect how the body burns fuel.

The effects of exercise on the appetite and energy systems, however, are by no means consistent. In one study presented last year at the annual conference of the American College of Sports Medicine, when healthy young men ran for an hour and a half on a treadmill at a fairly high intensity, their blood concentrations of acylated ghrelin fell, and food held little appeal for the rest of that day. Exercise blunted their appetites. A study that Braun oversaw and that was published last year by The American Journal of Physiology had a slightly different outcome. In it, 18 overweight men and women walked on treadmills in multiple sessions while either eating enough that day to replace the calories burned during exercise or not. Afterward, the men displayed little or no changes in their energy-regulating hormones or their appetites, much as in the other study. But the women uniformly had increased blood concentrations of acylated ghrelin and decreased concentrations of insulin after the sessions in which they had eaten less than they had burned. Their bodies were directing them to replace the lost calories. In physiological terms, the results “are consistent with the paradigm that mechanisms to maintain body fat are more effective in women,” Braun and his colleagues wrote. In practical terms, the results are scientific proof that life is unfair. Female bodies, inspired almost certainly “by a biological need to maintain energy stores for reproduction,” Braun says, fight hard to hold on to every ounce of fat. Exercise for many women (and for some men) increases the desire to eat.

My personal experience is that I could always get down to about 132 on exercise alone, but then my loss would stall. I spent at least a decade thinking I simply couldn't get lower than that. This spring I finally started counting calories and ta-da! 122 this morning!

Either way, you are getting healthier with all that exercise -- good for you!

(apologies for the long excerpt -- this question comes up from time to time and I think this article really nails it!)


Matilda08
07-09-2010, 06:44 AM
If you ask me what you are putting in your mouth is more important that working out. Working out is a bonus! With all the working out you are doing you really need to be eating a good amount of calories to fuel off of. I would count calories for a while to see exactly how many you are eating each day. I worked out for almost in entire year and really lost and gained the save five lbs lol mainly because i wasnt serious and I WASNT watching my diet. They say losing weight is 80% diet and 20% fitness and for me this holds true. Good luck

JayEll
07-09-2010, 07:04 AM
It's about the food. It's great that you cut down on sodas, but you're going to have to go beyond that baby step to the next one, and the next. You can start out by simply writing down everything you eat in a day--the old food journal! Not to change everything instantly, but just to see what it is.

Good luck!

Jay

rockinrobin
07-09-2010, 07:06 AM
You can work out from today till tomorrow, eliminate soda, cut down on your calories, but if you're STILL not creating a calorie deficit - you won't lose anything. The idea is to take in less calories than you burn and apparently you're not doing that. You need to know for sure just how many calories you're consuming. So you need to track them carefully and adhere to a calorie budget.

Also given the fact that you are not considered overweight, it's most likely going to take a lot of calorie restriction and extreme consistency to get a loss and maintain it.

Your expectations may be a little high. Perhaps you want to rethink your goal weight and what you are willing to do to get there and stay there.

JessLess
07-09-2010, 07:15 AM
I worked out with a personal trainer and did cardio from 9/09-6/10 and didn't lose a pound. When kept exercising and cut my calories to 1,000-1,200 a day, stopped eating most fat and carbs, and started drinking 1-2 liters of water a day, I lost 14 lbs in 2 months.

Losing It 2010
07-09-2010, 07:15 AM
Thank you for posting this, very helpful and informative

Besides cutting soda, how closely are you watching what you eat? Exercise, especially as much as you are doing, can make you really hungry. If you are not very careful, a little extra of this and a little extra of that can add up and erase your calorie deficit.

There was a great article in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/magazine/18exercise-t.html?_r=1&scp=6&sq=diet%20exercise%20weight&st=cse)a few months ago about the role of exercise in weight loss. Here's an excerpt:

How exercise affects body weight is one of the more intriguing and vexing issues in physiology. Exercise burns calories, no one doubts that, and so it should, in theory, produce weight loss, a fact that has prompted countless people to undertake exercise programs to shed pounds. Without significantly changing their diets, few succeed.

“Anecdotally, all of us have been cornered by people claiming to have spent hours each week walking, running, stair-stepping, etc., and are displeased with the results on the scale or in the mirror,” wrote Barry Braun, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, in the American College of Sports Medicine’s February newsletter.

But a growing body of science suggests that exercise does have an important role in weight loss. That role, however, is different from what many people expect and probably wish. The newest science suggests that exercise alone will not make you thin, but it may determine whether you stay thin, if you can achieve that state. Until recently, the bodily mechanisms involved were mysterious. But scientists are slowly teasing out exercise’s impact on metabolism, appetite and body composition, though the consequences of exercise can vary. Women’s bodies, for instance, seem to react differently than men’s bodies to the metabolic effects of exercise. None of which is a reason to abandon exercise as a weight-loss tool. You just have to understand what exercise can and cannot do.

“In general, exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss,” says Eric Ravussin, a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and an expert on weight loss. It’s especially useless because people often end up consuming more calories when they exercise. The mathematics of weight loss is, in fact, quite simple, involving only subtraction. “Take in fewer calories than you burn, put yourself in negative energy balance, lose weight,” says Braun, who has been studying exercise and weight loss for years. The deficit in calories can result from cutting back your food intake or from increasing your energy output — the amount of exercise you complete — or both. When researchers affiliated with the Pennington center had volunteers reduce their energy balance for a study last year by either cutting their calorie intakes by 25 percent or increasing their daily exercise by 12.5 percent and cutting their calories by 12.5 percent, everyone involved lost weight. They all lost about the same amount of weight too *— about a pound a week. But in the exercising group, the dose of exercise required was nearly an hour a day of moderate-intensity activity, what the federal government currently recommends for weight loss but “a lot more than what many people would be able or willing to do,” Ravussin says.

At the same time, as many people have found after starting a new exercise regimen, working out can have a significant effect on appetite. The mechanisms that control appetite and energy balance in the human body are elegantly calibrated. “The body aims for homeostasis,” Braun says. It likes to remain at whatever weight it’s used to. So even small changes in energy balance can produce rapid changes in certain hormones associated with appetite, particularly acylated ghrelin, which is known to increase the desire for food, as well as insulin and leptin, hormones that affect how the body burns fuel.

The effects of exercise on the appetite and energy systems, however, are by no means consistent. In one study presented last year at the annual conference of the American College of Sports Medicine, when healthy young men ran for an hour and a half on a treadmill at a fairly high intensity, their blood concentrations of acylated ghrelin fell, and food held little appeal for the rest of that day. Exercise blunted their appetites. A study that Braun oversaw and that was published last year by The American Journal of Physiology had a slightly different outcome. In it, 18 overweight men and women walked on treadmills in multiple sessions while either eating enough that day to replace the calories burned during exercise or not. Afterward, the men displayed little or no changes in their energy-regulating hormones or their appetites, much as in the other study. But the women uniformly had increased blood concentrations of acylated ghrelin and decreased concentrations of insulin after the sessions in which they had eaten less than they had burned. Their bodies were directing them to replace the lost calories. In physiological terms, the results “are consistent with the paradigm that mechanisms to maintain body fat are more effective in women,” Braun and his colleagues wrote. In practical terms, the results are scientific proof that life is unfair. Female bodies, inspired almost certainly “by a biological need to maintain energy stores for reproduction,” Braun says, fight hard to hold on to every ounce of fat. Exercise for many women (and for some men) increases the desire to eat.

My personal experience is that I could always get down to about 132 on exercise alone, but then my loss would stall. I spent at least a decade thinking I simply couldn't get lower than that. This spring I finally started counting calories and ta-da! 122 this morning!

Either way, you are getting healthier with all that exercise -- good for you!

(apologies for the long excerpt -- this question comes up from time to time and I think this article really nails it!)

LLH2010
07-09-2010, 07:31 AM
As crazy as it sounds, you may not be eating enough. If your calorie deficit is too high it can make your body hold onto weight! But the more probable answer is that you're just gaining muscle. If you want to see your progress (which who doesn't right?!) take your measurements and compare those every week too. I was having the same issue as you and when I measured myself I had lost 2 inches in my waist alone!

thesame7lbs
07-09-2010, 07:56 AM
Kwinkle, for the record, I am not far from your stats/goal, and I've lost almost 15 pounds since April 9. I exercise 5x/week for an hour, usually running, and averaged 1700 calories/day in May and 1800 calories/day in June. Your calorie restriction does not have to be severe.

rockinrobin
07-09-2010, 08:09 AM
As crazy as it sounds, you may not be eating enough. If your calorie deficit is too high it can make your body hold onto weight! But the more probable answer is that you're just gaining muscle. If you want to see your progress (which who doesn't right?!) take your measurements and compare those every week too. I was having the same issue as you and when I measured myself I had lost 2 inches in my waist alone!

I kinda disagree with this. First of all, it takes months and months and months of direct strength training exercise for women to gain muscle, so I don't think muscle gain is the issue - at all.

Secondly, not eating enough makes one hold onto weight? Pretty much it's just the opposite. When you take in less calories than you burn, you create a calorie deficit or an underage and the body has to turn to your stored fat to use as energy, thus losing the fat and losing the weight.

Anonymia
07-09-2010, 09:07 AM
Secondly, not eating enough makes one hold onto weight? Pretty much it's just the opposite. When you take in less calories than you burn, you create a calorie deficit or an underage and the body has to turn to your stored fat to use as energy, thus losing the fat and losing the weight.

And I would have to disagree with this.
It is actually possible to gain weight by not eating enough for your body's needs. Especially considering factors of metabolism, imbalance of hormones, Starvation and etc... Everything you eat by default can or may be sorted into excess fat as a survival mechanism, of the body.

Everyone is different and what may work for you, might not work for them due too different circumstances.

Although in this case, the factor might be the soda and stress. I suspect, possibly.

Love,
Anonymia

m3rma1d
07-09-2010, 09:14 AM
Sounds like you're losing inches as well as gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat.

Muscle does not "weigh more" than fat.
It's just more dense. Takes up less room. A pound is a pound, no pound weighs more than another pound.

Shmead
07-09-2010, 09:15 AM
Secondly, not eating enough makes one hold onto weight? Pretty much it's just the opposite. When you take in less calories than you burn, you create a calorie deficit or an underage and the body has to turn to your stored fat to use as energy, thus losing the fat and losing the weight.

The body has other alternatives than burning fat--especially on someone who is already on the low end of a normal BMI. It can lower your body temp, slow your digestion, keep you less active the rest of the day, put you to sleep, burn muscle (including cardiac muscle), stop your cycles (for a woman) or make you so hungry you go off plan. I tend to agree that burning fat is, for most people, the body's "go to" solution, but just because a deficit of X calories leads to Y lbs of fat burned, it does NOT mean that a deficit of 2X calories always leads to 2Y fat burned, so clearly the body does have other options.

For myself, I know that my body will burn about 1% of my body weight a week in fat, but if I create more of a deficit than that my body goes to other solutions--that additional deficit doesn't help me lose weight faster, but it IS more likely to make me miserable and go off plan.

rockinrobin
07-09-2010, 09:27 AM
Don't really feel like getting into this and veering off top, but*I* personally don't believe starvation mode is the case here, ESPECIALLY given that her weight loss journey is in the early stages and we haven't a clue as to what she's eating.

Shmead
07-09-2010, 09:30 AM
Don't really feel like getting into this and veering off top, but*I* personally don't believe starvation mode is the case here, ESPECIALLY given that her weight loss journey is in the early stages and we haven't a clue as to what she's eating.

I agree, I am just speaking to the general principle.

SCraver
07-09-2010, 09:34 AM
Gaining weight by not eating enough doesn't make sense to me... wouldn't that logic lead to starving children in third world countries being chubby from starvation? I can understand by not eating enough, your body adapts and burns it differently/slower, etc. But it still needs to burn energy to keep going.

koceank29
07-09-2010, 09:40 AM
I agree, I am just speaking to the general principle.

ditto. I don't believe there is malnutrition going on.

What are you eating throughout the day?

chnkymonkey
07-09-2010, 09:57 AM
The hour (or two) of exercise a day doesn't matter as much as what you put in your mouth the other 23 hrs of the day.

That being said, you could be over training. When was the last time you took some time off, and changed up your routine? A rest of a few days and cutting back the exercise can allow your body to release some weight.

And just because you cut out soda doesn't mean you will automatically lose weight. You need to evaluate what you are eating to make sure you are eating less. Cutting out the soda may have simply brought you from gaining mode to maintenance mode. And the extra working out may be causing you to eat more because you are more hungry.

Dieting and losing weight takes experimenting to find what works for you.

Shmead
07-09-2010, 10:10 AM
I am using a plain bathroom scale and a wii fit, and they both show no change. How is that possible, with the huge increase in activity, cutting out 300+ calories a day in soda, and the tone I (think) I am seeing? How long does it take for the scale number to start falling?

I want to point out that before this change you were actively gaining weight--20 lbs in 9 months. So if you are seeing no change, it may well be because you are NOW maintaining, when before you were gaining. So something has changed.

You also need to make sure you aren't eating more elsewhere. Exercise makes me SO HUNGRY and makes food taste SO GOOD, so if I am not actively weighing and counting everything I eat, I can easily overeat enough to cancel out the exercise.

stella1609
07-09-2010, 10:30 AM
Muscle does not "weigh more" than fat.
It's just more dense. Takes up less room. A pound is a pound, no pound weighs more than another pound.

The same volume of muscle weighs more than the the same volume of fat. That is what people generally mean when they say this. I assume we all know a pound is a pound :)

kwinkle
07-09-2010, 10:40 AM
Ah eating. Well, I don't count calories, so I am not sure how many I average, but here is a typical day:
Breakfast: whole grain cereal, like grape nuts or shredded wheat and fruit
Lunch: chicken bowl from chipotle with no sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese
Dinner: Have been going out a lot, but recently I am cooking homecooked meals that are high in protein. Examples: salad with grilled chicken; beef stew

I don't snack much, and when I do it is fruit or the old apple with peanut butter.

When I started running a few years ago and was really into it, my weight dropped from 130 to 117 without changing ym diet much. Maybe I am older now so this model won't fit anymore. I probably burn 1000 cals through exercise each day, and yes, it has made me pretty hungry.

nelie
07-09-2010, 10:49 AM
What are you doing that you think you burn 1000 cals/day with exercise? People tend to overestimate their calorie burn and that is quite a lot.

I have read that even elite athletes need to watch their calories when they are training as the increased activity can often cause them to eat more than they should and cause them to gain fat.

JayEll
07-09-2010, 11:52 AM
Hm, looking at your stats this time, I'm wondering why you want to go down to 115 anyway. Seems like 130 is just fine for your height.

Keep in mind that when you're a normal weight to start with, any loss can be slower to come by.

Jay

mkroyer
07-09-2010, 12:08 PM
Kwinkle, if i could chime in (not to attack, please...... ) I marathon, and some days before work run upwards of 12 miles, then strength train in the evening, etc...... i dont burn 1000 cals exercising..... It may be helpful in your situation to *seperate* exercising from dieting? I do not factor in my exercise calories when i meal plan, or talley calories..... They are two very separate things! :)

To lose fat, you must be in a caloric deficit, period. You achieve this *moslty* or totally, through diet. (DONT STOP EXERCISING THOUGH!! It definitely contributes to your overall health, wellness, energy, happiness, and total daily caloric burn).
If you arent lossing fat, and you arent GAINING fat, then you are in maintenance. period. You are taking in the number of calories your body burns a day. End of story. Simple as that.
Maybe you need to start actually counting? Or at least weighing/measuring food....a bowl of cereal in the am could be a masured out, single serving of 120 cals (or whatever) of cereal, or it could be a heaping, delicious overflowing 3 or 4 servings, totalling more than 400 cals, EASILY. Thats not including the mILK! Im not even going to address the peanut butter thing (suffic eto say, you could easily be getting hundreds more cals than you realize from that, alone....) Going out to dinner? Im not judging, or wagging my finger, but theres very little, if any way to know really how much you are eating of you go out to eat.... count on a MINIMUM of 1000 to 1500 cals for a dinner....unless you are specifically order though side house salad, no cheese, no croutons, no dressing no chicke, etc...... Restaurants "gourmet" salads (like ceasar,and spicy asian crunch, and whatever" can easily top 1000 cals, and often are higher calorie than the burger and fries...this is purely for edification....... ANd i dont know much about what type of chicken bowl you are eating, but they appear to avg mostly around 500 cals, with some upwards of 800..... once again, fyi.
COngrats on cutting out soda though, that is a huge step in the right direction!

Petite Powerhouse
07-09-2010, 12:08 PM
Secondly, not eating enough makes one hold onto weight? Pretty much it's just the opposite. When you take in less calories than you burn, you create a calorie deficit or an underage and the body has to turn to your stored fat to use as energy, thus losing the fat and losing the weight.


But that is precisely what happened to me. I could not believe that I could eat between 2,500 and 3,000 calories to lose weight, so I cut down to 1,500 and my weight did not shift at all. I upped it a bit, then a bit more, and still nothing. As soon as I started eating a lot more, I started losing an average of two pounds a week, and I started at 129 pounds.

Eating more has also been successful for others I know in RL and some I have met online. I know it doesn't work for everyone, and I have no idea what and how much the OP is eating so I am not at all suggesting this is the case for her, but the principle does work all the same. It isn't without merit; it just isn't a solution for everyone. That said, however, at 1,500 I was eating at far more than a 1,000-calorie deficit, so that right there was a real problem. But, as I say, others I have known whose initial deficit wasn't near as extreme also lost weight by eating more.

In the OP's case, I'm guessing the opposite issue is at fault.

mkroyer
07-09-2010, 12:11 PM
oh, and ditto about having a low starting weight..... you are going to have to be extra extra dilligent to see any real progress sweety...sorry...its the curse of the "last 10 pounds" kinda thing........ Oh, and being so small already, you probably need WAY LESS cals than you think you do :)
your brm has got to be around 1400 a day, so i would start there...... just as a spring board, a starting point...maybe 1500...once again, becaus eyou are so small already...... i personally can lose fat unless i drop below 1200.... it sux. 1200 is not a lot.... you get that in one meal of you go out to eat regularly

sacha
07-09-2010, 12:46 PM
Trying to lose about 20 lbs. I have a stressful job and gained that much in 9 months.


Going back down to 110lbs at 5'4 will make you underweight. It is hard enough to maintain a normal weight, striving to be underweight will be that much harder ~ your body does not WANT it.


I was drinking 3 or 4 sodas a day, and I but back to one (baby steps). I have been working out for the last 6 weeks or so--intense 2 hour workouts. I am seeing SOME results...I think...in my upper arms and waist.


That is normal. 6 Weeks is not long. You gained it in 9 months, it can take 9 months to come off.



I can see muscles that were not there before. What is confusing me is my weight.

So you are losing body fat - that's good. Starting to exercise can cause water retention, hence the # not changin.


Bottom line - more patience needed ;)

To those who say muscle gain.. not in 6 weeks weeks, especially when undereating. Muscle requires food to grow - above maintenance. Steroids don't even work on women in 6 weeks.

chnkymonkey
07-09-2010, 01:37 PM
MKroyer
I marathon, and some days before work run upwards of 12 miles, then strength train in the evening, etc...... i dont burn 1000 cals exercising.....

I know this is veering off the OP, but it just has me curious. I'm currently at 145lbs, and every calorie counter I use, (HRM, GPS, Calperhour website and others) generally have me burning at approximately 100 calories per mile.

Entering your weight into the website calculators, it shows you don't burn that much less.

So, I guess I'm curious as to how you figure that you don't burn 1000 cals by running 12 miles plus strength training? I'd like to know if there is a more accurate way you have found.

rockinrobin
07-09-2010, 03:54 PM
Ah eating. Well, I don't count calories, so I am not sure how many I average, but here is a typical day:
Breakfast: whole grain cereal, like grape nuts or shredded wheat and fruit
Lunch: chicken bowl from chipotle with no sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese
Dinner: Have been going out a lot, but recently I am cooking homecooked meals that are high in protein. Examples: salad with grilled chicken; beef stew

I don't snack much, and when I do it is fruit or the old apple with peanut butter.

When I started running a few years ago and was really into it, my weight dropped from 130 to 117 without changing ym diet much. Maybe I am older now so this model won't fit anymore. I probably burn 1000 cals through exercise each day, and yes, it has made me pretty hungry.

I agree that you are not burning 1000 calories. And I also agree that you should not even track THOSE calories. The ones you really, really , really need to track are the one that you EAT. There is no way to accurately know how many calories you burn, I don't care what those calculators say- they are HIGHLY inaccurate.

Seems to me very clear why you're not losing weight - you're taking in too many calories from the looks of that menu of yours. And like I mentioned earlier, given your low-ish starting weight - you are going to have to be extremely consistent with those calories. One *off* day can wipe out any deficit you created the other 6 days of the week, assuming that you may have.

If it's weight loss that you're after, I believe the only way for you to do it would be to track your calories, adhere to a budget and make each and every calorie a highly nutritious one.

kwinkle
07-09-2010, 05:44 PM
I am also a marathoner, and a triathlete. I do not work in the summer, so I run about 5 miles a day and swim for an hour, and typically bike for an hour as well, or take my stand up paddle board out. I also do strength training. That is where I come up with 1000 cals per day. A two hour workout is minimum every day. I am trying to get ready to finish an ironman, and I won a triathlon two weeks ago. I don't think my calculations are that far off. I don't use gym equipment that inflates calories, I am outdoors all day.

My question was, why has the scale neither gone up NOR down after switching to my "summer mode" coming off of 9 months of relative inactivity and poor diet. If it were true that my diet is poor (which it is not) then I would be gaining weight. Same if I was gaining muscle. The fact is, it has not changed at all.

I was hoping to come here for some anwers about why with all this the scale has not fluctuated at all. I am not looking to lose a lot of weight,just the 20 that I put on over the last 9 months. I don't like how it looks, and for my frame it is bordering on overweight.

Yikes...feeling a little hostility here. The fact is, I am working REALLY hard, and though I enjoy what I do anyway, I would not mind being able to fit into my summer clothes from last year! :mad:

sacha
07-09-2010, 05:57 PM
When you are looking at a smaller calorie deficit and smaller amount to lose (ie. you are 130lbs, not 230lbs), it can take a long time. I'm dealing with the same thing right now (my extra pounds are from my pregnancy).
So it could be down to these things...

- We are trying to lose the last little bit that the body resists (the body does not wish to be 230lbs, but being 130lbs is very reasonable and just harder to get off)

- Water retention

- 6 weeks isn't a long time to start seeing results at your size. This is very common with already athletic women in figure/fitness competitions - 6 weeks is usually the minimum amount of time given to start seeing scale/physical changes when a diet plan is altered. You are more in this category rather than others here who might be able to lose 2-3lbs per week just from a basic calorie deficit.

Bottom line is that the last 15lbs for someone who is already "slim" and athletic is a heck of a lot harder and slower to lose than someone who is obese.

kwinkle
07-09-2010, 06:02 PM
Sacha, that makes sense. I am a healthy size, but I could be healthier.

It is hard to find support for weight loss when you don't have much to lose.

sacha
07-09-2010, 06:03 PM
Sacha, that makes sense. I am a healthy size, but I could be healthier.

It is hard to find support for weight loss when you don't have much to lose.

Have you checked out the featherweights section here under support groups? Also, the weight training section has a couple of ladies who are very into fitness (ie Crossfit), perhaps you can relate more? I also hang around bodybuilding.com and oxygenmag.net at times...

ennay
07-09-2010, 06:08 PM
I burn around 1000 calories in exercise a day. Often quite a bit more. And that is using estimates that are much lower than most conventional estimates. (i.e. I only am credited about 75-80 calories/mile). I would consider today a moderate day and I'll be over 1000

If I calorie count I can lose and if I dont I cant. If I create a fairly large deficit I will lose slightly faster than it predicts, if I create a small deficit I will lose much much slower than it predicts. I havent figured out exactly how to tweak the equation to account for that.

Anyway, I think the 1000 is NOT out of the question, but think it might be time to track exactly what you are eating to be sure. Even if calorie counting is not in your overall game plan, calorie count and measure portions for a few weeks.

I actually tend to eat MORE when I eat healthy foods and cut out junk unless I watch it. If I eat junk food I always seem to think I ate SOOOOOOO MUCH and will trim elsewhere. But I can eat a huge plate of healthy roasted veggies without even blinking an eye.


MTA: and also my base metabolism I have to use sedentary as a starting point. One of the unfortunate side effects of endurance training aka ironman is an incredibly efficient metabolism which often equals a very slow metabolism. There are things you can do to fire it back up, but endurance athletes often eat quite a bit less than you would expect.

rockinrobin
07-09-2010, 06:14 PM
My question was, why has the scale neither gone up NOR down after switching to my "summer mode" coming off of 9 months of relative inactivity and poor diet. If it were true that my diet is poor (which it is not) then I would be gaining weight. Same if I was gaining muscle. The fact is, it has not changed at all.

I was hoping to come here for some anwers about why with all this the scale has not fluctuated at all. I am not looking to lose a lot of weight,just the 20 that I put on over the last 9 months. I don't like how it looks, and for my frame it is bordering on overweight.

Yikes...feeling a little hostility here. The fact is, I am working REALLY hard, and though I enjoy what I do anyway, I would not mind being able to fit into my summer clothes from last year! :mad:


I am sorry if you've been offended by anything I or anyone else has said. Truly. You said you were hoping for some answers, given that we are not experts and don't even know you, the only answers we can give you are the ones that we know through our own experience.

I think you DID get some answers as to why you may not be losing and some of them pretty darn good ones. Therefore, I'm just not so certain what KIND of answers you were looking to find. :dunno:

ennay
07-09-2010, 06:21 PM
I agree that you are not burning 1000 calories.

Sorry robin, but I have to go with the OP here. Without asking what her workout was you agreed that she isnt burning what she says she is. I WOULD find that offensive.

19Deltawifey
07-09-2010, 06:27 PM
I burn around 1000 calories in exercise a day. Often quite a bit more. And that is using estimates that are much lower than most conventional estimates. (i.e. I only am credited about 75-80 calories/mile). I would consider today a moderate day and I'll be over 1000

If I calorie count I can lose and if I dont I cant. If I create a fairly large deficit I will lose slightly faster than it predicts, if I create a small deficit I will lose much much slower than it predicts. I havent figured out exactly how to tweak the equation to account for that.

Anyway, I think the 1000 is NOT out of the question, but think it might be time to track exactly what you are eating to be sure. Even if calorie counting is not in your overall game plan, calorie count and measure portions for a few weeks.

I actually tend to eat MORE when I eat healthy foods and cut out junk unless I watch it. If I eat junk food I always seem to think I ate SOOOOOOO MUCH and will trim elsewhere. But I can eat a huge plate of healthy roasted veggies without even blinking an eye.


MTA: and also my base metabolism I have to use sedentary as a starting point. One of the unfortunate side effects of endurance training aka ironman is an incredibly efficient metabolism which often equals a very slow metabolism. There are things you can do to fire it back up, but endurance athletes often eat quite a bit less than you would expect.

Ennay I so agree with everything you said, you're my idol:hug:

kwinkle
07-09-2010, 06:48 PM
Thanks, all. I guess I needed to provide a little more background info, because I am not exactly typical. I did find a lot of wonderful answers here, but many things were based on assumptions (again, I should have included more info) and didn't fit me. I think the answer that does fit is that I just have not put in enough time yet. I am going to keep on going with what I am doing and see what happens. :)

JayEll
07-09-2010, 06:51 PM
Looks like you're a newbie, kwinkle. :) :wel3fc:

When you ask a question on 3FC, you're going to get a lot of responses, and some you may not like. :o But no one is trying to be deliberately offensive--it's not allowed here. And I don't think anyone is being hostile. :dunno:

Do check out the Featherweights Forum! You're not alone just because you don't have many pounds to lose. :yes:

And also, keep in mind that no one here can give you an exact answer for what is going on with you. We're not doctors or specialists, we're just folks who have lost or are trying to lose weight and keep it off. :)

Good luck!
Jay

Shmead
07-09-2010, 07:03 PM
I do want to say that one of the things I love about these boards is that people will give honest opinions: part of the reason it's hard to get good information about dieting is that people (especially women) won't give dissenting advice:

For example, among work friends, people tell me how they are going to get skinny not eating foods with the letter "P" in the name or they will complain that weight loss is impossible for them because they "eat their emotions" or they will wonder why they don't lose weight while they eat french fries by the handful. At work, at parties, at social gatherings, dissenting opinions are rude, whether or not they should be, so I keep my mouth shut--most people do. And so no one learns any better. I am glad people can be honest here, and think that generally we all do a good job of not using "honest" as an excuse to be mean or tacky.

skygirl
07-09-2010, 07:44 PM
kwinkle, i don't know all the intricacies of the science of hard core athletes and what happens to the metabolism, etc., but it sounds like there are lots of others with experience on that, yourself included. but just wanted to mention that i have a friend who was recently in a similar situation and it turned out something was off with her thyroid. if what is going on is very unusual for you, and tweaking things doesn't seem to produce a result, then it may be helpful to just have a quick checkup to make sure everything is swimming along. but hopefully you're already in the process of figuring out what works for you and things are moving again. ;) good luck with it, sounds like you're rocking the workouts! and congrats on winning the triathlon! :)

Krazy
07-09-2010, 08:34 PM
Hi kwinkle, I would say definitely keep track of your calories. I can only eat about 1600 calories a day to lose one pound a week! It sucks, and I wish I could lose faster but I guess I just have a slow metabolism.

Good luck!

nelie
07-09-2010, 08:37 PM
kwinkle - as we age, our metabolisms certainly do change. I haven't read her blog for a while but I used to read Selene Yaeger's blog when I was interested in doing triathlons myself. (I've since discovered a paralyzing fear of bike riding...) Anyway, when she was training for the Ironman, she definitely found herself struggling to keep her body fat down because she was inadvertently eating too many calories.

Also, I initially asked about your 1000 calorie burn because we do get a lot of people that overestimate their calorie burn. I wasn't trying to say that you didn't burn that many calories but that it was possible to overestimate.

Caela
07-09-2010, 11:38 PM
Kwinkle - Nothing new to add but wanted to say very impressive you finished and won a triathlon! I agree that your body is fighting for homeostasis so it will take longer to see weight loss.

RR - 1,000 calorie burn in 2 hours isn't unlikely at all (unless my bodybugg is inaccurate) and I am definately a normal person not a kick *** triathlete... though I can dream....

ncuneo
07-10-2010, 12:18 AM
I'm usually the first to scream in increase your cals when I hear I'm exercising like crazy but not losing, but by the looks of your sample menu your cals are too high. Your lunch from chipotle alone is about 500-800 cals depending on what's in it and if you're eating out for dinner you're likely consuming a lot of cals there as well. I would highly recommend actual calorie counting if you are really looking to drop weight. Good luck!

midwife
07-10-2010, 10:12 AM
There is a certain irony that it can be diifficult to lose weight when training for distance events. When I was training for my half-marathon, my weight stayed the same, but my lean mass went down and my body fat % went up! :yikes: Sadness....

For someone so active and who is a pretty healthy weight, I think I would recommend making sure that you eat a junkfood, processed food-free diet 90% of the time and maybe consider swapping out a couple of longer cardio sessions for HIIT training. But it depends what your goals are. If a distance tri is your goal, train for that, but don't be surprised if the scale is stubborn. If fat loss is your goal, try HIIT.

Do come join us in the exercise forums! There are threads for runners, tri atheletes, weight lifting, etc. You have gotten some good advice from some of the more athletic chickies on the board. The kind of exercise and goals you have in mind might take a little different approach than general run-of-the-mill weight loss strategies. I second the recommendation for featherweights too. Also, please come down to the Operation Take 5-10 thread in Maintainers. We have some pretty impressive athletic type folks in there, swimmers, triathletes, runners (ahem, not quite to ennay or mkroyer's levels, but I get some mileage done myself).

ETA: Went back and reread....training for an ironman is pretty impressive. I wouldn't worry about weight loss per se right now, just fueling and training for the ironman. You may drop scale pounds or you may not, but from a biological perspective, change is pretty tough on our bodies. Weight loss is change. Ironman training is change. I'd do one at a time.
Now it might be interesting for you to track your body fat % during this time just to see what happens. Oohhh, let us know how the tri goes!

mkroyer
07-12-2010, 11:01 AM
I also apologize...didnt know you were an athlete (hey! Thats pertinent info to have and definitley changes things!) :)
Small, coniditioned female athletes.....yikes...... we hav it rough. Society and our sports push us and push us to be smaller and skinney..... It works to a marathoners advantage to have as little fat as possible! On the other hand, once you become so conditioned, at that point not only are you battling those last pesky pounds, but, as mentioned above, you are dealing with a severly slowed and efficient metabolism that has learned to finction under sever stress (physiologically) off of very *few* calories anyway...... ITs a double edged sword. WE instinctively try dropping calories more, exercising more, but the scale doesnt budge. Its awful, and frustrating..... I believe i said this above, and have definitely mentioned it before, but the ONLY WAY i was able to lose that last bit of weight was by sstopping all training. for about 6 weeks, and DILLIGENTLY counting cals, going really really low. under 1200. only THEN did i start droping fat, and it was STILL awfully slow......
One thing that CAN and did help me, was learning to take in adequate PRE workout nutrition. Even though i was trying to be in a deficit, i made sure to eat a high carb/protein shake before my workouts. Also EFAs......and to be honest BCAAs.... and lots.... anyways, sorry about the mixups based off the original post. My initial answer/solution still stands though.. no fat loss = caloric equilibrium If you are eating 1500 cals a day (dilligently tracked) and you arent losing weight, even with training, then your body has learned to operate off of 1500 cals a day. its as simple as that (but of course, much more comlpex than that!) My gut though, based off your sample menu, is that you are taking in a lot more than that. I think if you try really tracking, and cutting down your calories to ACTUALLY around 1500, or 1400 or whatever, you will see SLOW results!

Good luck