Weight Loss Support - Everything to Lose, (Want) Nothing to Gain




BigCanadian
11-28-2011, 03:07 PM
I suppose I am looking for advice.

I am just coming off of another failed attempt to lose weight. I've tried to do this seriously twice in the last 5 years.
First time I joined a gym, got a personal trainer, nutritionist and began eating healthy. Lost about 20 pounds and nothing more over a 9 month period.
This time around, it was medically supervised, had blood drawn (which I hate), nutritionist and classes run by fitness experts. Had a machine determine my metabolic rate (a machine you breath into). Lost about 20 pounds and have plateaued again.
They claimed that exercise only amounts to 20% of weight loss, the other 80% is eating correctly.
New job has killed my workout routine and I stopped exercising regularly in Oct.
Since then I have gained the weight back and then some.

Kinda at my wits end and not really sure what to do.

I've been looking into the Medifast, Herbal Magic kinda diets.
Been talking with supplements people...

Not really worried about starving myself, but I don't want to regain the weight (like everyone says happens). Also worried about health risks, muscle loss, etc..

:(


stimkovs
11-28-2011, 03:13 PM
honestly, i lost my first 40 lbs, on weight watchers and 1 hr of pilates a week.
40 LBS!!

(in about 5 months).

while calorie counting is what i am doing now (after a giant plateau), i feel like it does not teach you enough about the foods you should be eating- it's worth paying for weight watchers if you can afford it, atleast until you learn what foods you should be eating to lose. IMHO.

Munchy
11-28-2011, 03:39 PM
I'm so sorry you have been struggling - it's something we all deal with at some point, and the DREADED PLATEAU! :hug:

I have a question - when you stopped working out, did you stay on the meal plan that your nutritionist recommended? What kind of plan was it?

Is it possible that you don't really have a lot of weight left to lose?

I find it difficult to lose weight and have been at a general plateau for months, but I'm admittedly not working at weight loss like I used to (part of it is laziness and I don't have the free time I had years ago when I was child-free). I just make sure that I don't veer off of making healthy food choices, especially because I'm not able to spend hours at the gym.

What is your general day like right now? Meals/meal plan? Do you have time to go for a half hour run everyday? There are options that are so much better than starving or turning to drugs.


Unna
11-28-2011, 03:47 PM
Instead of starting over completely, from scratch, can you take the knowledge you learned from nutritionists and personal trainers, and modify it to help you lose weight?

If I were you, I'd take all that helpful information and then learn how to calorie count (or learn an exchange program, like weight watchers).

You also need to do a lot of thinking. You need to identify what went wrong and why it happened.

If someone would have asked me in August, before I started calorie counting, why I was still 20 lbs overweight, I would have said I was the victim of a slow metabolism.

Well, it seems after looking at the situation honestly that I am 1) a boredom eater, 2) I eat larger portions than I needed, and 3) I pick at leftovers on the stove the entire evening, even though I'm not hungry. These three main factors were causing me to eat too many calories, so I was still heavier, even though I was eating super healthy and exercising.

Anyway, weight loss is hard. Plateaus happen. Welcome!

rubidoux
11-28-2011, 04:07 PM
Ya know, I literally cannot lose weight using a lot of the plans that other people are very successful on. Low fat and low calorie do nothing for me at all after I lose the first 6 to 8 pounds (which I believe are water and the actual weight of the food in my belly). I had doctors tell me that they've never seen a type I diabetic lose weight and I was starting to become pretty resigned to a life of only getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger. And then quite by mistake I figured out how *I* lose weight, which is completely counter to everything I've learned over the years about weight loss. So, it may be that if a particular diet doesn't work for you after 20 pounds (and you're sure you've followed it -- not let the portions creep up or something), it may be the wrong diet for you.

I hope you do find what works for you soon! It's sooooo frustrating.

sontaikle
11-28-2011, 04:12 PM
Find something that you can do for the rest of your life. If you can't see yourself on a particular plan forever, then it probably isn't for you.

josey
11-28-2011, 04:38 PM
I also suggest calorie counting. Learn how your body reacts. Workout or not you can lose weight.

BigCanadian
11-28-2011, 04:46 PM
I have a question - when you stopped working out, did you stay on the meal plan that your nutritionist recommended? What kind of plan was it?

Is it possible that you don't really have a lot of weight left to lose?
2800 cals per day, gave examples of foods. Basically veggies, chicken, beef, etc..
I am in the extremely obese category so I have plenty to lose.

Instead of starting over completely, from scratch, can you take the knowledge you learned from nutritionists and personal trainers, and modify it to help you lose weight?

If I were you, I'd take all that helpful information and then learn how to calorie count (or learn an exchange program, like weight watchers).
I have counted calories. I was tracking it through myfitnesspal.

I also suggest calorie counting. Learn how your body reacts. Workout or not you can lose weight.

The key numbers seem to be (BMR x Harris Benedict Equation) - 500 = your caloric intake per day.
bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

Even at 2800, that's 700 lower then the calculations from that site.

josey
11-28-2011, 04:49 PM
The key numbers seem to be (BMR x Harris Benedict Equation) - 500 = your caloric intake per day.
bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

Even at 2800, that's 700 lower then the calculations from that site.

500 per day is a 1lb loss per week. I am sure you can go way lower especially if you are very heavy.
They say 1-2lbs per week is good. However, when you are real heavy it might be ok to go faster. I think the stress on the body with reduced calories is less than being very heavy for longer.

Breezy352
11-28-2011, 05:48 PM
Find something that you can do for the rest of your life. If you can't see yourself on a particular plan forever, then it probably isn't for you.

I agree. Also, with exercise, find something that you enjoy doing - like Zumba. A lot of my friends really enjoy it. If you happen to have a video game console like the Xbox Kinect, it works wonders. You're having so much fun, you don't even consider it an exercise.

shcirerf
11-28-2011, 10:56 PM
No where do I see you gave us any examples of what you eat on a daily basis.

Then you get all on a rant about bmi calculators.

This a tough journey some days. But it's time get off of the river of denial, quit making excuses and suck it up and put on your big girl panties!

DezziePS
11-28-2011, 11:22 PM
You know, my thing is that exercising really doesn't help me with enough of a calorie deficit to lose weight JUST be exercising. It helps me with feeling like "Ok, I worked out today so I don't want to blow it by eating junk." Especially when you realize how FEW calories most exercise actually burns and how MANY calories are in junk! I think that's why exercise plays a big part in helping me lose- and also because it kind of helps get you in a healthy "mindset."

If you can be eating 2800 calories a day and still be running a 700 calorie a day deficit from your resting metabolism, what's going on? It's time to be honest. Are you eating too many calories? Do you have a medical condition that is causing you not to lose or for it to be harder to lose (diabetes, thyroid issues,PCOS, etc)? Usually, even with medical conditions, your body can't gain weight on food you don't eat. There are lots of people on these boards who struggle with these issues and are still making great progress! I was hypothyroid for years and blamed my weight on it, but I'm medicated now, and though it definitely has helped me feel more awake and so it's been easier to get out and move around, it hasn't made it easier for me to say no to junk, unfortunately.

So what is it that's going on with you? I've noticed it's easy for me to get in a funk and feel like "nothing I do works" when I'm really slacking and forgetting about all the high calorie food I've been sneaking! Really, when I've counted my calories and stuck with it and been honest with myself, the weight comes off fairly easily.

rubidoux
11-29-2011, 12:03 AM
BigCanadian, Maybe you need tough love, I don't know. But I think if it was as simple as "calories in, calories out" then there would be very few fat people in this world. I don't believe in calories in, calories out because I lose weight when I eat more calories than I did when I gained the weight. I am also doing no exercise at all, atm. For a few weeks earlier in my journey I walked about 45 minutes a few times a week mostly because I just had too much energy to sit still.

If conventional dieting doesn't work for you, I highly, highly recommend the book Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes (and he's got a shorter more readable book that's supposed to be good, too, but I haven't read that).

Sophieeex3
11-29-2011, 12:06 AM
I go through the same thing at times. Sometimes I will read up on every single diet there is out there, and each time I read about a new one I think to myself "Ok, this sounds good", but then I change my mind as soon as I read about the next Diet Fad. So my advise would honestly be to avoid all "pre-packaged diets". You will only be spending tons of money on meals you could prepare yourself. At the end of the say thinking of all the ways you can lose weight will discourage you. The best way to start is to simply eat healthy. Switch to Whole Grains, Stop eating after 7pm. Incorporate more lean proteins and veggies and less refined carbs. Drink loads of water and as much fruit as you like. Exercise should start slow, a 30 minute walk every day is a good start. With These changes a lone, you could lose around 10 lbs easily this month. And you wont feel deprived or unhealthy.

Something That I was thinking of doing is having a juice fast once or twice a weak to keep my metabolism guessing. Juices are basically any raw fruits or vegetables that are juiced and drank within 20 minutes. They are loaded with fresh nutrients, are great for detoxifying. Your body will not go into starvation mode since it takes 3 days for it to.

Sophieeex3
11-29-2011, 12:09 AM
Oh and one more thing, you need to understand that your past attempts at weightloss were NOT failures. You lost 20 lbs each time! That is amazing! The failure was maintaining the weight. So you know you can lose the weight if you want. So just work hard to do so, and do it in a way that you can stick to for the long haul. Other wise you'll end up in square one.

canadianwoman
11-29-2011, 12:18 AM
2800 cals per day, gave examples of foods. Basically veggies, chicken, beef, etc..
I am in the extremely obese category so I have plenty to lose.


I have counted calories. I was tracking it through myfitnesspal.

Have you considerred dropping your calories down to 2000 a day while keeping your carbs low-ish and see how that goes for a month or two?

Unna
11-29-2011, 03:28 AM
Well, whatever you decide to do, you will have to believe in. If you don't believe it is working, you will give up.

If you really believe that calorie counting simply doesn't do it for you, nor does low carb (the things you described as eating to lose the first twenty were super lowcarb), then you do need something else.

Have you looked at the forum on this site for the Metabolic Research Center? Maybe that would speak to your needs (I'm not sure how expensive it is). There is also the McDougall plan, which is focused on fruits and veggies - looks super healthy. If I weren't calorie counting, I'd probably do McDougall.

Or you could create your own plan, based on what you already know about losing weight.

If you find anything interesting, don't forget to share!

yoyoma
11-29-2011, 08:55 AM
2800 cals per day, gave examples of foods. Basically veggies, chicken, beef, etc..

Even at 2800, that's 700 lower then the calculations from that site.

If you stopped losing weight for a long time, it seems likely that you were in caloric balance (unless it was a temporary plateau and you just needed to hold on longer). So how could that happen?

One possibility is that you might have been under-measuring your calories. Please don't feel insulted by this suggestion -- it's a is very common problem. Estimating instead of weighing, forgetting some tastes, rounding those tablespoons of peanut butter, etc. With higher calorie budgets, the same amount of measurement error means a lot more under-counted calories.
I don't know how much you weigh, but 2800 calories is fairly high for a weight loss diet. So, any percentage of error adds a lot of calories.

Another possibility is the accuracy of the caloric expenditure. Those exercise calculators are notoriously inaccurate. Those numbers are averages, and individuals range greatly in the actual amount of calories burned. Plus the BMI calculations are also ranges and can be way off. It sounds like you were lucky enough to actually have yours measured. But was it re-measured during the diet? You body may have adjusted downward with food restriction.

It is terrific that you looked to professional advice on nutrition and exercise in order to do this right. So, you probably know how to eat and exercise properly. But if weight loss is your goal, it's mostly about eating rather than exercise. If I were you (and I know this is what I would do in this circumstance, because I've been there, done that), I would first make certain that I was accounting for my food calories properly. Then, if I wasn't losing weight, I would tweak my calorie limit lower until I was certain that I had created a healthy calorie deficit for weight loss and would stick with that for at least month to see if the numbers would start to move downward.

Best of luck to you!

Munchy
11-29-2011, 09:49 AM
Many of us have to keep adjusting our calorie amounts as we lose weight. Maybe your plateau was saying that it's time to adjust to 2600 to start losing again.
What does a typical day's menu look like?

Beach Patrol
11-29-2011, 10:30 AM
They claimed that exercise only amounts to 20% of weight loss, the other 80% is eating correctly.



This is 100% true.
I'm not saying a person cannot lose weight by exercise alone, or diet alone. But facts are facts.

*You cannot out-exercise bad eating habits.
*One pound is 3500 calories.
*To lose one pound, you must create a 3500 calorie deficit, either by diet, exercise, or diet & exercise.
*To lose aprx one pound per week, create a 500 calorie deficit per day.

Losing weight is a simple equation. NOTE I DID NOT SAY EASY. Simple, not easy.

There are hundreds of diets out there. Everything from low carb to low fat ... Weight Watchers, South Beach, Mediterranean, Medifast, Slimfast, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and OMG the list goes on & on & on! Some diets are what I refer to as SHD (stupid hollywood diets) such as Grapefruit Diet or Baby Food Diet (:rolleyes: ) - but in general, every diet has one thing in common: the goal is to EAT LESS CALORIES so that you create a calorie deficit & lose weight.

You CAN create a calorie deficit by exercising. But it would take a LOT of exercise to continually create a deficit enough to lose a lot of weight. But yes, some people do lose weight simply by exercising. MOST DO NOT. Most people combine some sort of diet/exercise to lose weight & keep it off. MANY people lose weight by diet alone.

I (and many others here at 3FC) have a fondness for the phrase "Diet for weight loss/Exercise for fitness". I personally use calorie counting for my weight loss. It is easy, quick, free, and I can continue eating the foods I love without feeling deprived. I exercise to FEEL GOOD. Yoga, walking, swimming, biking, weight lifting - things I consider FUN.

My weight loss is slow. I know I could "lose faster" by creating more of a calorie deficit. But I have other issues to deal with - a past of binge eating, for example. Thus I am not just into "losing weight", I also want to end my binge eating and stop my food obsessions. So "slow & steady wins the race" is my approach.

So really, whatever diet you choose, if it works for you - great! - if it doesn't, try another one, then another if need be, until you find WHAT DOES work for you. Just remember, the point is to create a calorie deficit and continue to create one until you have lost the weight you want to lose. Then of course... maintaining begins. :)

And note my first signature ... words to live by, my friend! :hug:

JohnP
11-29-2011, 10:44 AM
Good news is that your previous attempts have proven you can lose weight.

Try eating 1200 calories a day for a month and keep carbs under 50g per day.

Walk as much as you can.

dragonwoman64
11-29-2011, 12:25 PM
Try eating 1200 calories a day for a month and keep carbs under 50g per day.

I don't think it's a bad idea to try a lower calorie level than 2800, I don't know what your habits are with your eating, or what other issues you may have. I don't think you have to go as low as 1200. That can end up being a problem if you do have issues, or it can even create issues. Lowering carbs (bread in particular) has helped me.

It's very easy to underestimate your calorie level (I say this from experience), and very easy to overestimate you activity level. I have found even overdoing it foodwise 2 to 3 days a week and staying on target 4 to 5 can stall a weekly weight loss (more true if exercise goes to the wayside), especially if the activity/calorie balance is close to maintenance.

It might help you to be extra vigilant in the beginning, weighing, measuring, using fitday.com or some type of calculator, for your meals. or if you know ways you're going over your calories, like treats, to cut them out for a period of time, or cutting back. you may see a difference with that. good luck!

Justwant2Bhealthy
12-03-2011, 02:47 PM
I don't think you have to go as low as 1200.


^I agree ~ 1200 calories is way too low for a very obese person to start out at. I started out at 2100 calories a day and lost weight on that; then I lowered that by 100 calories as I went along, whenever I hit a plateau or prolonged stall. I am now eating around 1800 calories a day and still losing.

You have to make sure you have enough to eat each day so you can last at this long-term. Go too low and your body will panic, and lower your metabolic rate, which you don't want. The problem with some calculations is that the body doesn't always work the way they think it should.

I agree about the walking, and doing hand-weights & toning exercises at home will help as well (they have helped me lose inches & sizes). I measure & weigh my portions to make sure they are good; but some I can eye-ball quite accurately now.

Make small changes for now; don't give up when you stall, just tweak your plan a bit each time and keep going ... :D


BTW, :welcome: to the site; I really love the friendly, supportive people here. We have a Canadian thread in the Support Groups Forum as well. Drop by and say HEY sometime ...

deblosingit
12-04-2011, 09:42 AM
Just speaking from my experience. I have had good success with 1350-1550 cals. So when I see you eating 2800 cals. it makes me think that you are eating too much. I think it would be hard to get a calorie deficit at that level.

Do you have a food scale? I use a digital scale and keep it out on the counter all the time. I use grams as my preferred unit of measure. I also keep a small Post-it pad on the counter. As I fill my plate, I put it on the scale and weigh each item and write it down on the post-it. My scale lets me zero out after each item is added. I take the post-it to my computer and enter my food. I'm using Caloriecount to log my food. They have a large database of foods.

If you are not able to exercise, then strict control of calories is going to be your key to success. Just look at all the success stories on this site. You can be encouraged that it is possible. Be honest with yourself, if you really want to lose the weight it is going to require you to make some major changes and be consistent with those changes. So, start today, start logging your food, use a food scale, and track everything you eat for a week. Then, see how you can cut your daily calories by like 500 cals. Track your food for another week. See if you have lost any weight. If not, then you need to reduce your calories some more. You are going to have to find what works for you. You have to want this more that you want the food!

ncuneo
12-04-2011, 10:08 AM
First of all let me also say - no 1200 is WAY to low and you don't have to do that.

Ok, now let me take a step back. It sounds like you're getting off track because of these "plateaus", let me tell you something - plateaus are going to happen. It took me 4 years to lose all my weight, yes 4 years. Now to be fair there was a pregnancy in there, but 4 years nonetheless. Could I have done it faster, sure, but I think that would have been detrimental to me. I learned SO much from the effort it took to stick with it and keep trying when the scale wasn't budging. And I was able to keep my sanity when I knew that if I fell off the wagon, it didn't mean that I had FAILED or wasn't going to lose all the weight.

This is not an all or nothing fight, it's not a sprint. It's a marathon and it takes persistance and continued effort and don't think for a minute that the effort ends a goal - this is forever. So strap in, find an approach you can do for the rest of your life and go! Like I'm sure you've heard a hundred time - this is a lifestyle change. Good luck.

JohnP
12-04-2011, 11:37 AM
1200 is only too low if the OP has a difficult time following it.

Obese people do not need to ingest more calories.

Your metabolism will not screech to a halt.

The reason I said try it for a month is because youll find out if you can remain complaint, or not, in that time period. If the OP can remain compliant at 1200 calories the weight will come off faster than if she consumes 1700 calories a day. Long term compliancy to a caloric deficit is the singular key to fat loss.

Can the OP consume more and still lose? Of course. So long as she is in an energy deficit the body will make up the difference from fat storage.

dragonwoman64
12-04-2011, 01:07 PM
my thought is, and I'm saying this from personal experience and not from professional expertise, that a person who has gotten into the lifestyle of eating a significantly higher level of calories, and who may have emotional ties to food and eating (and I personally think anyone who is significantly overweight usually has some emotional link, meaning it's not just bad habits -- though there always are exceptions!) may find the drop from whatever amount to 1200 too emotionally and physically a change to maintain for a long period of time. Since losing a significant amount of weight can take a prolonged period of dieting, and it's really a lifestyle change, I still think having a higher level of calories may be the better way to go.

Dieting is psychological as well as physiological for many people.

Justwant2Bhealthy
12-04-2011, 03:03 PM
First of all, we agree that she has room to lower her daily calories, but if 2800 calories a day was 700 less than she was eating to begin with (3500), then 1200 would be a considerable drop for her. OP already stated that she was very obese, so she has a lot of weight to lose, and that will take her awhile, then she has to learn how to maintain that loss.

She already gained back all she lost previously. If she doesn't want to gain it back again, she must keep going on her chosen plan; and getting some exercise would help her -- like walking, and hand-weights, etc. Since she has stated that she has had difficulty already, a higher amount of daily calories could help her last long-term and still lose weight ...

She had medical supervision and a nutritionist -- what did they suggest? Our family dietician recommended not going below 1500 calories a day. My doctor said that very low calorie diets were for short-term only (3 weeks - 3 months) and should be medically supervised if the person is very over-weight and/ has health issues that need monitoring.

Also, IMHO, that leaves her very little leeway, if she hits a stall or plateau down the road ... :D

JohnP
12-04-2011, 05:17 PM
My only point in continuing to post in this thread is that it is simply inaccurate to say that 1200 is too low dispite what one's own personal experience has been or what a nutritionist said. You can get all the nutrtion you need in 1200 calories quite easily.

Many people have gone from eating a large number of calories and severe obesity to eating 1200 calories a day. Some of those people post on this board. I personally know a guy who is 6'5 and was over 400 lbs who flipped a switch and did it. He claims he never felt deprived.

Can the OP do it and stay compliant? Who knows. Doesn't mean she is a failure if she can't. If she can her weight loss journey would be quicker. Personally there is no way I can eat so few calories over a long time without feeling severely deprived. I'm not the OP though and I'm not going to put my baggage on her.

Compliancy is the key to any weight loss program. Doesn't have to be 100% but long term compliancy is the only way to lose weight and keep it off.