Weight Loss Support - Weight Loss Plateau: Need Serious Advice




penz
06-23-2011, 04:21 PM
I am not sure if this is the right forum, so I apologize in advance if it isn't.

I am writing this post not on my behalf, but on behalf of my loving girlfriend. She has been unsuccessfully attempting to lose more weight for over a year now. First the facts: She is 5'8" about 180 pounds. Her largest weight was 205 pounds, which she lost in a little over one year before meeting me. We met and have been dating for a year, during which time she has been attempting to lose weight. We are both in our mid 20s.

For the past year she has been eating no more than 1100 calories a day and exercising 5 times a week for about an hour a day. By exercise, I mean running a few miles. However, she has not lost any weight. I keep telling her to eat more because it is not healthy to eat as little as she does. Thankfully, she is starting to listen to me and up her calories. She's also eating a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables, so I think she is getting a decent amount of nutrition. However, the weight loss she wants is not happening.

She was a skinny child up until 14 or 15 when she hit puberty and gained tons of weight when her absent mom would buy donuts and junk food every day while she went off and worked. Basically, I've been trying to get her to eat more because from what I'm reading online she needs a few hundred more calories to be healthy.

I think the frustrating part for her is I'm 6'1" 165 pounds and I eat everything and more but do not gain a pound. I'm working on her accepting her self image, but in the mean time is there anything I can tell her to help guide her on the weight loss? I'm not a diet expert by any stretch of the imagination, so I've come here for your guidance. I should also add she did a water fast (of course against my wishes) but it did not yield any results. Furthermore, she has checked her thyroid and it is fine. Thank you so much guys.


khat
06-23-2011, 06:44 PM
Hmm.. Does she count calories? Doesn't cheat on weekends or something?
I had that same problem for two years. I was all about losing weight, counting calories, going to the gym every day.. AND NOTHING!! Turned out it was a medical thing (not thyroid but my pituitary gland).
I really can't say what could be the problem with her tho.. I eat and exercise like her and lose weight now.. But I know how she feels believe me. It so frustrating..
Just be supportive, I think it's great that you came here for help. I hope you can get to the bottom of this!

penz
06-23-2011, 06:53 PM
Yes, I am sure she does not cheat. What are the symptoms of a pituitary gland condition? Both her parents are skinny, so she suspected it's some kind of condition; but her thyroid checked out so I assume she is fine in that regard. Her doctor just tells her to workout harder. Thanks for the reply :)


Nola Celeste
06-23-2011, 08:31 PM
I don't mean to sound alarmist, but if she is truly exercising that much and eating that little at her current height and weight, yet still loses no weight at all, she is either up against a very rare glandular condition, counting her calories incorrectly, or hiding some of her food consumption. Notice I didn't call that "cheating," because cheating is the wrong word for it; it is more accurately a symptom of disordered eating than a "cheat."

The reason I even bring up disordered eating is that her water fast and her tiny amounts of food for her height/weight/exercise level are so unsustainable and drastic that they are cause for concern. I'm not an expert either, but when a woman is a little over half my age and stands half a foot taller than I do, yet doesn't lose weight eating 400 fewer calories than I eat, something more is going on than meets the eye.

It is really, really hard to watch over someone else's food intake 24/7, and binge eating disorders sometimes involve hiding or sneaking food. People with binge eating issues may find them deeply embarrassing and distressing; they'll do everything in their power to hide their binges. I'm not saying that you're lying or that she is, but when the only possibilities are a very rare glandular disorder, defying the laws of physics, or eating hidden calories, one is likelier than the other two.

She might be eating those extra calories not in secret binges, but in wildly inaccurate calorie counts, too. 1100 calories is a pretty small number; most people who dip that low are older, shorter, and smaller than your GF, and those folks weigh and measure assiduously to meet that small figure. If she is counting a bowl of pasta as a "serving," she's getting considerably more calories than she thinks. I'm tempted to say that I doubt that's the case here, though; with her vital statistics and exercise level, she could probably maintain or even lose on over 2000 calories a day, and it's hard to mis-measure by 900 or 1000 calories.

If she truly is taking in 1100 calories a day, then she needs a better doctor than someon who just tells her to "eat less and move more." At her age/height/weight/activity level, she could likely lose weight eating literally double that amount; does her doctor not see that as worrisome and want to run more tests?

Again, I should emphasize that I'm no expert. I hope I didn't offend or overly worry you by mentioning hidden eating or glandular conditions; it wasn't my intent at all. I just want to present the full range of possibilities so that you and she can research them yourselves and find a doctor who's actually able to help instead of just giving pat advice that is clearly not applicable to her situation.

Keep us posted, please.

khat
06-23-2011, 08:32 PM
Well I lost my period, I had massive headaches days at a time (doctors said it was migraine..it wasn't), sudenly I had problems with my sight, really bad cystic acne that badly scared my face and I kept gaining weight or didn't lose anything if I killed myself with diet.. I basically had a 1,5 inch tumor in my brain and everybody kept saying that ''it's all in my head'' - do you see the irony :(
I saw many doctors and no one connected the dots or even bothered to try..
I'm not saying it is something really bad but I just wanted to answer, because I seeked help on different forums way back then and all I got was 'you eat to much of this or you are doing exercise wrong or whatever..' If she feels something is wrong she should definetly nag and bother those doctors until they find out whats up.. Its why we pay for medical care.. I always get so mad when I start talking about these issues with doctors. I just wrote a loooong reply but I deleted it because I just needed to vent after a long time :)
Things are ok now. I had scary brain surgery and I have to take medication every day for the rest of my life. But I've excepted it and it's a part of who I am now. And I can lose weight!!
Hope you get your answers. Or find something that helps her lose weight.

penz
06-23-2011, 08:58 PM
Both your replies are very much appreciated. Honestly, she seems mentally / physically normal and doesn't have any other strange symptoms that make me think there is a medical condition. Her skin color and texture look a little strange in some places but I believe that is due to her excess weight? Anyway, I will bring it up with her again if her eating habits are right. I know for certain she never cheats on food around me, and believe her when she says she does not do it at home.

I do not know if this is relevant, but she stopped losing weight and gained a few pounds when she got on birth control. However, she has been off of it for half a year now, with no change.

I've been concerned about her weight issue as well since to me it does seemingly defy science. It would crush me if she has been lying to me about her eating habits all along, but I really do believe that to not be the case. Especially considering how much her weight stresses her out.

penz
06-23-2011, 09:13 PM
Well I lost my period, I had massive headaches days at a time (doctors said it was migraine..it wasn't), sudenly I had problems with my sight, really bad cystic acne that badly scared my face and I kept gaining weight or didn't lose anything if I killed myself with diet.. I basically had a 1,5 inch tumor in my brain and everybody kept saying that ''it's all in my head'' - do you see the irony :(
I saw many doctors and no one connected the dots or even bothered to try..
I'm not saying it is something really bad but I just wanted to answer, because I seeked help on different forums way back then and all I got was 'you eat to much of this or you are doing exercise wrong or whatever..' If she feels something is wrong she should definetly nag and bother those doctors until they find out whats up.. Its why we pay for medical care.. I always get so mad when I start talking about these issues with doctors. I just wrote a loooong reply but I deleted it because I just needed to vent after a long time :)
Things are ok now. I had scary brain surgery and I have to take medication every day for the rest of my life. But I've excepted it and it's a part of who I am now. And I can lose weight!!
Hope you get your answers. Or find something that helps her lose weight.

This is really a nightmare of a story, but I'm so glad you feel better now. Oh boy that sounds terrible

Snaplet
06-23-2011, 09:48 PM
Hey penz, you sound like an AWESOME boyfriend. Her doctor on the other hand... *sigh* So there was lots of good advice... Hidden calories if an eating disorder or if measuring incorrectly are strong contenders. If she really is calculating her calories correctly then adding more calories might be what is needed. Either way, her doctor sounds like a schmuck and I encourage you to encourage her to find a new one.
Best wishes,
Snap

MariaMaria
06-23-2011, 09:57 PM
How about you send the gf here herself?

It feels creepy to be discussing some other adult's diet and exercise patterns as if she's not capable of taking part in the discussion.

(And, OP can sit this paragraph out, who here wonders whether the OP wrote a blog post about the GF's weight?)

Nola Celeste
06-23-2011, 11:46 PM
This is a very welcoming community; I agree that it would be terrific to see her post here as well. It's good that you're concerned for her health, but she undoubtedly knows her habits and health even better than you or her doctor; she might find a good path down which to seek answers from coming here and participating directly. It's been a huge help to me.

Your comment about skin color and texture makes me think of PCOS, which can cause some people's skin to become darker and velvety under their arms and behind their necks. Perhaps that's an avenue for her to explore with her doctor, although it still wouldn't account for not losing on 1100 calories with miles of running daily.

AnnieDrews
06-24-2011, 12:04 AM
I'm no expert, but it doesn't sound like she's getting enough calories to me. The body will stop losing if it isn't getting enough, especially with exercise added in to the mix. It's hard to find that happy medium or magic number, but it can be done.

MadamButterfly
06-24-2011, 12:20 AM
Penz

I agree with some of the others, try to convince her to eat around 1500-1600 calories a day for a few weeks. The body can go into starvation mode and will hold EVERY morsel she puts in her mouth . . . If you can convince her to try it for a few weeks and she drops a few pounds then you'll know that was the problem

There are also calculators on line that tell you how many calories you should be eating to maintain your weight, lose 1 or 2 pounds per week,

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

I put numbers in for her and this is what it said

DAILY CALORIC INTAKE CALCULATOR
Age: 25 Years
Gender: Female
Weight: 180 Pounds
Height: 5 Feet 8 Inches
Exercise level: 5 times/week

RESULTS - GUIDELINE ONLY
Maintenance: 2357 Calories/day
Fat Loss: 1886 Calories/day
Extreme Fat Loss: 1440 Calories/day

As you can see to maintain her weight she should be eating TWICE what she is eating now . . . Get her to give it a try just for 3 weeks and see if the body relaxes and realizes she is going to feed it . . .

Extra snacks, bananas, grapes, peanut butter, popcorn, veggies & hummus and up the size of her portions a bit and that should get her to 1500-1600 cal a day

Good luck and if you need more ideas/directions of places to look on line, feel free to PM me

penz
06-24-2011, 02:01 AM
This is a very welcoming community; I agree that it would be terrific to see her post here as well. It's good that you're concerned for her health, but she undoubtedly knows her habits and health even better than you or her doctor; she might find a good path down which to seek answers from coming here and participating directly. It's been a huge help to me.

Your comment about skin color and texture makes me think of PCOS, which can cause some people's skin to become darker and velvety under their arms and behind their necks. Perhaps that's an avenue for her to explore with her doctor, although it still wouldn't account for not losing on 1100 calories with miles of running daily.

Bingo on darker and velvety under arms and behind neck. I have no clue what PCOS is, but I take it that it's not a serious health condition? Also, I will convince her to eat 1500 to 1600 calories a day for a few weeks. It will be tough, cause she is stubborn! But it must be done. I'll tell her about the forums, but I don't know if she will post :)

Nola Celeste
06-24-2011, 03:09 AM
Google it or look for it on the forums here. It's short for polycystic ovary syndrome, and one of its symptoms is carrying excess weight and having difficulty shedding it. That doesn't mean it's impossible, just tougher.

But of course no one on the forums can diagnose her. For that matter, it's hard to even suggest dietary changes when we're not talking to the person who actually controls her diet: her. You can try to convince her, and I'm sure you sincerely just want to see her make peace with herself and feel happy, but you can't really diet for someone. Well, not if that someone is an adult with full control of her faculties, that is.