Weight Loss Support - UGH, someone please explain this to me...?

01-11-2012, 01:13 PM
How after 3 weeks of STRICTLY sticking to a low calorie budget and running 2.6 km a day 5 times a week my scale says I'm 6 POUNDS HEAVIER and my measurements haven't changed a bit and my clothes feel tighter.

This is getting even more depressing than before I was trying. At least when I ate anything and didn't move I was at least maintaining my weight/size!

Can someone explain to me how this is possible and please don't say 'underestimating my calories' because I count every bite every lick and I haven't had sugar in 2 months.

I'm lost here. I'm really tired of being this heavy, but I'd rather at least STAY at 200 pounds and not get bigger as my efforts increase.
I feel like I'm going insane. :mad:

01-11-2012, 01:14 PM
What type of foods are you eating? could it be muscle weight? x

01-11-2012, 01:18 PM
I agree. With me, I dont lose weight if I am eating processed food...no matter how low the calories are. When you say you are on a low-calorie budget, what is "low"?

01-11-2012, 01:19 PM
Where are you in your monthly cycle? That coupld sway you 5-6 pounds easily. And as far as measurements go, I'm a big girl, so I measure once a month and even when I'm losing 10-15 a month, I will only see .5 to 1" loss in inches. They move slowly for me and my large bone structure.

01-11-2012, 01:20 PM
Don't get discouraged!
Are you drinking a ton of water? You could be holding water because of exercising and dehydration. It can change things a LOT. Try to drink as much water as you can in a day--like 4L and after a few days try weighing yourself again?

01-11-2012, 01:31 PM
Are you always weighing on the same scale , at the same time, same conditions ?

01-11-2012, 01:33 PM
Maybe post a sample day of food, also? Make sure weigh-ins are same time of day, same clothing(or lack thereof).

01-11-2012, 01:37 PM
Agree with 170starting How low is your calorie intake? What is your RDI? If there is too great a difference between the 2 you won't see much progress.

01-11-2012, 01:44 PM
To answer all your questions:
I am 'hoping' it is muscle weight. I eat 'clean', usually I'll have a half cup of All-Bran or oatmeal with skim milk for breakfast, I work out in the morning and around 11AM after my workout I'll have a smoothie made with a cup of frozen fruit, a half cup of greek yogurt and ice. I eat lunch around 2:30PM, I usually have a bean salad with tuna and a few different raw veggies chopped into it, and I'll put a few tablespoons of quinoa or rice in it as well (sometimes I pre-cook and freeze a batch of rice or rye beads so I have good whole grains easily on hand - I'm not sure how the freezing affects the nutritional value of it though).
Dinner is usually around 7PM, and is either a portion of mean with a green salad / fruit+veggie salad, or a stir-fry of sorts; vegetables and meats in whatever mix possible.
I have a 1.5L jug of water that I keep in my fridge, I refill it after my workout, and in the evening (and that lasts until the morning, and so on). So I do drink a lot of water, I also eliminate it so I'm not thinking it's water weight either.
When I say low-calorie my goal is to consume 1200 calories a day but my max is 1500 considering the type of foods I eat. Does anyone think it may be too much?
I usually notice I gain a few pounds during my time of the month and go down after, but that would not be the problem for this week. I also have a medium/delicate bone structure according to my physician. I know it could go differently every time but when I lost weight before I saw a noticeable change in my measurements, which is not happening right now.

01-11-2012, 01:45 PM
Also, yes, I always weight myself without clothes on, after I go to the bathroom, on Wednesday morning. I use the same scale and put in on the same tile in my bathroom in the same position/direction.

01-11-2012, 01:49 PM
This happened to me when I dieted using prepackaged meals. It turns out that I was getting too much sodium and not enough water. I was retaining water and bloated. I didnt realize I had to drink more water in order to stop retaining water.

01-11-2012, 01:51 PM
According to Fatsecret, moderately active with your stats to lose 1 pound per week would require 2100 calories. 1200 is too low, but 2100 is probably too high. Try going for a few days at 1500-1600 and see if you make progress. You also may not be getting enough fats. You should be getting about 225 calories from healthy fats.

01-11-2012, 01:53 PM
Since reading your other comments it may be muscle. Also could you be eating not enough calories and your body is in starvation mode?

01-11-2012, 02:01 PM
i agree with starvation and 1600 calories. maybe try adding some almonds? 10-15 a day? healthy fats are not your enemy!

01-11-2012, 02:02 PM
Muscle is denser than fat. While you may be gaining some muscle mass, this usually means the clothes are looser, etc. Since you mentioned that your clothes are tighter, that indicates that you are not just simply swapping fat for muscle. Besides, you're not going to gain 6 pounds worth of muscle in a week. That kind of muscle growth takes months.

01-11-2012, 02:12 PM
Assuming you've ruled out pregnancy or medication changes?

Your diet sounds good..only question would be the stir fry - what are you using for fat or seasoning? Oil is 120 calories a tablespoon, and any processed seasonings can be very high in salt. Also, any dressing with your salads at lunch?

I agree on the good fats someone mentioned, and think 1200 calories sounds a bit low, although I don't agree with the whole starvation thing, many people on here have done better when increasing their calories. 1500 is definitely reasonable at your size.

It's great that you're tracking both weight and measurments. Other than not losing , which is INCREDIBLY frustrating when you're obvously working so hard, do you knoice any other differences? Sleeping better, more energy?

01-11-2012, 02:13 PM
I try to keep my fat intake under 30g a day, but I do have my fat calories capped at 300... maybe I should try decreasing it to 225.

01-11-2012, 02:16 PM
30g is 270 calories. You're still in the healthy range at 1500 calories, but on the high end at 1200. How long have you been at this?

If I had to guess I'd say you are retaining water. With what you're eating, you're just not going to gain that much fat in that short of a period.

01-11-2012, 02:19 PM
And no actually I feel terrible. I've been oversleeping, I feel lethargic, and I know it's not only the weather... I put on over 20 pounds since September and I can DEFINITELY feel it.

Stir-fry involves water not oil in my case.
I make my own dressings, either cold-pressed olive oil and balsamic vinegar with garlic and spices, or a creamy one made with a tablespoon greek yogurt, lime juice, garlic and fresh dill. I eat avocados, put raw pumpkin seeds in my cereal. I eat a lot of fish. I do think I get the right amount of good fats...

I haven't bought food that comes in a box or a plastic wrapper in about 7 years.

01-11-2012, 02:20 PM
andrew80k - I've been seriously tracking my calories for 3 weeks now.
But I've been eating this way for years. Literally years. Except I had chocolate and full fat dairies before.

01-11-2012, 02:25 PM
Maybe see a doctor?

I don't think that there's anything wrong with the range of 1200-1500, but if you feel terrible, maybe there's something else behind it (medically).

01-11-2012, 02:27 PM
I know you probably don't want to, but try upping your calories to 1500-1600 for a few days. Drink a little more water. I still think you are probably retaining water. Anything high in sodium in your diet? Soy Sauce? Anything like that?

Any chance you're pregnant? If you're struggling this much, maybe you should see a doctor.

01-11-2012, 02:30 PM
It took me almost 3 months to gain 5lbs of muscle! And I lift heavy 3 times a week. I agree see your doctor if your eating clean and exercising and gaining maybe it's a thyroid problem? I don't know? Could you try and track your foods and nutrional value on a site like fitday to make sure you are getting in the right amounts of calories, proteins, carbs and fat?

01-11-2012, 02:31 PM
Have you had your bloodwork done recently? I would rule out any medical issues as a first step. I had mine done because I was having trouble losing weight and I was SO SURE that I had to be IR, but everything was fine- except for a severe vitamin D deficiency. Apparently taking those supplements can help with weight loss- most of us are deficient, especially in the winter months.

If you're eating the same thing every day, you might want to try changing it up every so often. I don't know what kind of exercise you're doing, but 1200 calories with exercise is low for people of most sizes. I don't subscribe to the 'starvation mode' belief, but I do think that getting enough food to support your activity level will benefit your weight loss. AND it could certainly explain your general lethargy.

What about your calorie breakdown? Where are your calories coming from? Are you getting enough protein, good fats, etc? Sometimes you need to tweak these to find what levels are right for you.

Finally, it's helped me immensely to weigh in every day. That way if I'm fluctuating and it's extreme, it won't be so drastic as it would be if I weighed in once a week. Try weighing in a little more often if it doesn't drive you totally batty (some people can't handle it, it took me awhile to get used to and not get defeated). It's possible that you can lose that 6 pounds, or most of it, within a day or two if you're retaining water.

01-11-2012, 02:37 PM
you might want to see a doctor and have your thyroid checked.

01-11-2012, 02:41 PM
I know you said you track every bite, but how are you tracking? are you using measuring cups/teaspoons? it sounds like it... I fyou arent using food scale then you really have no ideahow much you are consuming.... you could be off by HUNFDREDS and not even realize it... here is a video link to check out


ALSO its very doubtfull you put on any not m=to mention 6 POUNDS of muscle weight in such a short time, hoever, you COULDbe retaining water from working out.... Here is an article about sclae weighing and the art of Scale weight Fluctuations you may find interesting :)

I have had the pleasure of training and consulting some of the strongest people in the world. Actors, doctors, coaches, athletes, government leaders, models, etc. These are people who can train for hours at a time. They spent years in school studying to better themselves and some run our lives with the decisions they make.

Put these leaders, these champions on a scale, and if that scale doesn’t say what they want it to, they will weep before your eyes. I have held a 6’2 and 230lb pure muscled man in my arms as he wept. All because of the scale.

The Weight of Measure

There are a few types of scales used to measure weight. The main ones used today are balance, spring, and strain gauge.

Balance scales are used very little by everyday society as a means of measurement. A balance scale works off a lever comparing a known weight placed against the tester. A classic example of this would be Justice Scales.

A widely used method for weight, and was the standard for many years, are spring scales. These scales work on either a stretch or compress system. A stretch system is what you will find at a grocery store when weighing produce. Place an object on the scale and the distance the spring stretches, based upon its set expansion, will determine the weight.

The reverse is what is used in bathroom weight scales with springs. The amount compressed in distance is the determining factor here.

The last method is a strain gauge scale, it measures the strain of an object. A wire or many wires send out a current when weight bends the plate that it is attached to. That amount of stress is calculated and the read out that you get on a digital scale is the collection of those calculations.

There are pros and cons to every weight system. Usually different scales produce different read outs. You will find most quality scales are within a few pounds of one another for the average persons daily weigh needs. No system is without flaws and if needing to make weight for a particular event make sure you test on their scale if possible. The important thing to note is that is the only time your weight should ever matter.

Let me repeat that.

The only time your weight number is important is when you are in a competition that involves weight class. I am going to teach you how to conquer the rest of the time with the art of logic, science, and nutrition.

Essential Body Mass

The human body is made up of various bones, skin, organs, tissue, muscle, fat, water, etc. At a point there is only so much of that weight you can get rid of. For the sake of this article let’s call this Essential Body Mass (EBM). This is a little different than Lean Body Mass (LBM) because you can lose or gain a certain degree of LBM. At the end of the day there is a certain amount of EBM that you must maintain. Sorry, but you can’t make weight by removing your liver or extracting your femur.

If we set aside organs, bones, and body hair it leaves us a few places where we can store fat, muscle, and water as these are you main additions to body weight.

Fat-You have a certain amount of essential fat in the body. This fat is needed for a multitude of reasons and functions in the body. The rest of the fat you store when you eat in an excess of calories for your energy needs. You can store this fat subcutaneously (right underneath the skin) or viscerally (in between organs, mainly abdominal).

Muscle-You have a certain amount of essential muscle in the body. Without it movement would not be possible. The rest of the muscle you have is gained through various living of life or by breaking down and rebuilding that tissue via training. Muscle is more dense than fat. This means that 5 pounds of muscle takes up less space than 5 pounds of fat. It doesn’t weigh more than fat, 5 pounds is 5 pounds. This is a common saying that drives me nuts.

Riddle: What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?

Water- A huge amount of your body is made up of water. Lean muscle tissue and blood contain about 80% water, where as a fat cell contains about 20 to 25% water. Water helps transport nutrients, oxygen, and waste products in and out of cells. It is necessary for all digestive, absorption, and circulatory functions.

Water is needed to regulate the body’s temperature and to provide energy. It also helps moisten skin and regulate hormones, emotions, and maintains normal electrical properties of cells. If your body drops even 2% of its water storage, you start to function worse, feel fatigued, and are more prone to health problems the further it drops. Simply put, no water in the body equals a whole lot of a mess.

Daily Changes

We talked about what you can’t change. Here are the things that can change. On a day in and day out basis, dieting down or not, eating in a surplus or not, these things are going to change and are affected by your activity.

Food Weight

The weight of an item you eat is going to change the weight you are. This may seem like a “duh” but I can name many moments where I had someone weight themselves after they ate, and were heavier, and freaked out.

The food you eat, has weight. The fluid you drink, has weight.

Exercise: Grab a full gallon of water and go stand on the scale with it and then without it. I rest my case.

Water Retention

Retention: To hold on to, to hold back within.

Retention comes in all forms and reasons. From hormonal to glycogen storage, you can retain water in various places on the body, in large amounts, and for extended periods of time. I am going to cover the main causes of retention and how they occur.

1. Edema

There are many causes and sublevels of edema. Edema is classified mainly as swelling from an accumulation of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or serous cavities. This can range from mild to severe and the reasoning behind it varies. Anything from electrolyte imbalances, kidney problems, allergies, injury, and exercise can contribute on mild to severe levels.

If you have sock rings, swollen calves, or a puffy face, technically these are forms of edema on small levels. If you live with this constantly then you are likely dealing with issues of electrolyte balance in the body and need to focus on maintaining a better state of that, as much as you can as it is impossible to control, but possible to manage.

What to do?

Make sure to stay properly hydrated.
Make sure you are getting enough of your sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Make sure you are getting proper rest and time off from training.
Make sure you are focusing on taking care of your joints and muscles.
2. Glycogen Retention

Muscle holds a massive amount of water. A lot of times people accuse diets of being “muscle eaters” but this isn’t usually the case. Usually they are muscle drinkers because one of the first things to go when you begin dieting down is the water stored in your muscles, especially if taking part in an extreme diet or one that is very low in carbs (even if higher in calories).

The reason that carbs are so important is because glycogen storage is pulled mainly from carbohydrate intake. Though a small amount can be taken from protein, it is never on a large enough level to maintain adequate or noticeable glycogen retention. That “plump” look you are going after with your muscles, to have them be filled and defined, is from storage of glycogen in the muscles. However, if you are not lean enough to see this definition pronounced, all you are going to really notice is that you fat looks fuller on the days you eat carbs.

This is a big reason why carbs get the witch hunt. It isn’t the glycogen’s fault, it’s your fatness. Lose the fat and learn to love what the carbs can do for you.

What to do? Put the carbs to work by pulling them into the muscles by lifting and training the body. Go for “plump” not “bloated.” Keeping a lower body fat level also helps with partitioning in general.

3. Hormonal/Stress

This applies to men or women, but I will say that women are going to be affected more by this on larger levels. Stress and hormonal imbalances or just general readjustments in the cycle system lead towards heavy (I do mean heavy) fluctuation in your water balance.

Stress is included in this as the triggers are very close and affect hormonal behavior. For example, if you are stressed out, crying, and can’t sleep, you are going to look and feel very much the same as you do on your period no? This is not to be confused with the crying and puffiness that actually happens around your period time either. Women are notorious for carrying their emotions on their sleeve and in most cases it’s underneath it as well.

What to do? Calm the f*%k down. There are some hormones and issues you can’t control. For the ones you can, take care of yourself and your body will take care of you.

(This is a continuation of the first part. You can find it here.)

Weight Loss isn’t Linear

Like I stated before there are so many ways you can change the course of your weigh-ins. Unless you eat the exact same thing every day and do the exact same things, in the same city, and moving at the same pace, you are going to land at a different point from day to day.

If looking for change then you have to watch the overall pattern to understand where you are really falling. That is of course, if you think the scale should matter in the first place. That is a different story though isn’t it?

The problem is that weight loss isn’t linear. Fat loss has shown to be more linear, but weight loss isn’t at all. What this means is that weight loss hardly ever has constant downward progression. There are usually two main determining factors for this.

1-Body fat percentage

2-Severity of Deficit

If you provide the same percentage of deficit for a male at 29% body fat and a male at 12% body fat you are going to see a much faster rate of weight loss for the male with larger body fat. Larger bodies store more water along with their fat mass and muscle mass. As you increase in fat and muscle you will also increase at a steady rate with water. This is why we can see someone just increase so fast in the scales as the weight comes on.

You don’t normally gain 6 pounds of fat when you go up 6 pounds on the scale. Depending on your body’s setup you can gain 2 pounds of fat and 4 pounds of water. Therefore the reverse is also true.

With deficit severity if you provided 2 females at 30% body fat with the exact same deficit they will, on average, lose at roughly the same rate. If you put one at a more extreme deficit, at least initially, the one with the large deficit is going to lose more excess water and more linear on the scale, at least in the beginning.

Larger deficits can bring stalls or plateaus at a quicker pace and since re-feeds and breaks are needed to help aid that, you will gain back the water you lost. Still, depending on how severe the diet and the situation, majority of the time a more severe deficit (>800) is going to provide more linear results.

The “Whoosh” Factor

The “whoosh” is when you are watching your weight day in and out and there is little to small changes even with big deficits. One day, out of nowhere, the scale will drop dramatically lower than it had been registering. This is known as a whoosh.

The “whoosh” could be any number of factors and no one knows for sure. One idea, and the one that makes the most sense, is that as fat cells empty, they refill with water. After a certain point and time, under unknown conditions, these cells alleviate the water and the “whoosh” is born.

The exact trigger that brings about this is unknown. Some hypothesize that it is much like water and carb loading. The body had loaded that area with stored fat, the fat leaves but the body isn’t sure yet that these areas don’t need to stay big and open for storage. So to protect itself it fills with water and doesn’t extract until it is sure that all systems are a go.

There has been a lot of correlations with re-feeds and whooshes, there has also been a lot of experiments with trying to time whooshes. I myself have found them to be hit and miss. The best method thus far is in the Water Manual in the section of “Method: Water-Only Manipulation.” It appears thus far using this method is best at triggering the whoosh and that even with the weight regain that is sure to follow after depletion, the overall trend is down.

For those of you who own the book and want to give it a shot if you feel you are retaining feel free to report to me your results. If you desire to have the manual you get it with the Fat Loss Troubleshoot package.

I will say that in order to see constant steady drops maintaining an adequate intake of minerals is key. With the right vitamins and electrolyte drinks I have found that you run into less stalls, therefore running into less whooshes.

The missing pounds

In this last section I want you to pull together all the information you have to understand how you can lose pounds of fat, but never see them on the scale.

Below I am going to write out 3 different scenarios. I will tell you my conclusion at the end, but it is up to you to figure it out on your own first what the problem is. I used to do this all the time in my “What did they do wrong” series. Perhaps I should bring it back?

Case# 1 – Bob

Bob is 5’8, 270, and 39% body fat. He has an average daily deficit of 20%. On weekdays he hits lower numbers than on weekends, putting him in a bounce situation with his numbers. In the beginning he saw more linear loss but has been stuck at the same weight for 4 weeks now. What could be a logical reason for Bob weighing the same?

Case#2 – Jane

Jane is 5’4, 131, body fat unknown. Jane teaches an aerobics class every night at her gym. She has been struggling for years to lose her final few pounds of body fat. Over the past 8 week Jane started to a lifting program and is really progressing in her weights. Jane basically eats the same thing everyday so she knows it isn’t her food intake causing the stall. She barely sees any movement on the scale and it has stayed basically the same for 7 weeks now. 7 weeks is way too long, what is wrong here?

Case#3 – Carol

Carol has been dieting for 12 weeks. She is 5’7 and 244 pounds. She has been eating 5-6 meals a day, training 4 times a week, and following a food point systems. She start at week 1 at 240 pounds. She is up 4 pounds. What is wrong?

The answers:

Case#1 – Bob

Bob just isn’t in that large of a deficit. 20% overall can mean little visual scale loss, especially if on the weekends he is eating higher sodium filled foods, which is very common.

Case#2 – Jane

The average woman with effort and newbie gains can gain approximately pound of muscle a week. That rate can be faster in a beginner especially. Also remember with increased training that means increase in glycogen storage. So it would seem that Jane is actually doing very well to be staying the same weight instead of increasing. It is likely or at least very possible that Jane put on a few pounds of muscle and water, and dropped some body fat. We also have to take into account her already lean level which will increase her chance for muscle gains and body fat loss at the same time.

Case#3 – Carol

Carol is likely eating too much. She is also not tracking her food intake diligently. On top of that, the more aggressive the training on obese individuals the worse they are going to retain water. If she is new to training she could have added a little muscle as well. If carol targeted her intake better and hit a more aggressive deficit she would likely start to see the scale move.

the video link http://www.tomvenuto.com/articles/3_things_you_arent_doing_for_fat_loss.shtml


01-11-2012, 02:42 PM
Oh bloodwork has been done, I have a perfectly normal blood sugar, tyroid, everything. Absolutely nothing for me to blame it on, health-wise.
Also am so very not pregnant.

No offense but I am DEFINITELY NOT willing to weigh myself every day. I have such a huge issue with the scale to start with, seeing my weight fluctuate every day would put me in a mental institute. It's already enough that I see it once a week.

As I said before I keep track of all my food intake, I have a strict fat/protein/starch budget.
I'm a fan of spices but I rarely reach for soy sauce or other condiments except for Sriracha sauce, I think that would be the saltiest condiment I use.

Maybe I should try zigzagging, between 1200 and 1700 maybe while keeping my 'calories-from-fat' intake at 300 for a couple weeks and see what happens...

01-11-2012, 02:48 PM
Also - I'm sorry mkroyer but I don't need a copy-and-paste lesson in weight loss. I'm looking for people's actual input. But thanks.
I have a digital food scale like everybody else. After 14 years I'm pretty aware of hidden calories in badly calculated foods.

01-11-2012, 02:48 PM
Yeah, you could try the zig-zag method. You might shuffle it around some too. 1 up, 1 down, 2 up, 2 down, etc. See if you make progress. Just be patient, it may take some time to figure it out.

mkroyer I'm a huge Tom Venuto proponent. He gets it done.

01-11-2012, 05:12 PM
If you are in good health and are carefully tracking your food and exercise as you say, then there is no good reason that you're not losing weight! Water weight will be some of it, but otherwise, this seems very mysterious. I vote that you increase your calories to 1600 for 2 weeks and see how you go. It is counter-intuitive but people who are stalled sometimes lose when they increase their calories.

01-11-2012, 05:55 PM
I also don't agree with starvation mode theory, from what you've written you really ought to be losing ~2lbs steadily most weeks. 1200-1500 calories is a great amount imo.

I also don't really have any advice, just empathy, since I'm in a similar situation-That is eating healthily and exercising, but either gaining or maintaining my weight. However I have a feeling mine is more due to the fact I'm only 8 months into ED recovery, and my body is having a total party with all the regular meals I've been eating. :dizzy:

Sadly it is incredibly frustrating to feel like you have no ability to lose weight, because if you're doing all the right things and you're not losing, what can you do :?:

01-11-2012, 06:07 PM
Were you exercising previously? When I start a new exercise program or up my intensity I blow up like a balloon. It's all water and it goes in a few weeks but I've learned to expect it. I don't believe in "starvation" mode and your diet looks good. Hang in there! Persistence pays off, trust me!

01-11-2012, 06:10 PM
Keep doing what your doing! Its most likely muscle!! :)

01-11-2012, 09:17 PM
Realistically, its not muscle and there really isn't a "starvation mode" like we pretend there is. 6lbs of muscle would take much longer than 3 weeks to build.

As much as we would like to think weight loss to be a nice, steady downwards line, it isn't always so. Many people won't lose, will have a gain, stay steady and then have a big woosh! downwards. Just stay with it, give it a little bit more time and then make tweaks.

01-12-2012, 12:46 PM
I feel for you and have definitely been in your situation. For me it turned out that I needed more calories, more fat and fewer carbs to get my body moving in the right direction. Not saying that's the case with you but sometimes dieting isn't a one size fits all proposition.

With the recent weight bounce my money is on water retention - sometimes our bodies react in new and interesting ways to "normal" things. Exercise makes our muscles retain water, injuries or illness can cause us to retain water as we heal, different medications and supplements can do the same thing, etc. In the grand scheme of things it's not a HUGE jump in the time frame given.

However, since you're also feeling lethargic, etc. I would suggest changing your diet up a bit and see if that helps both with the weight and the feeling cruddy part.

01-12-2012, 12:59 PM
The thing I haven't seen mentioned by anyone (though I confess to skimming some) is that you haven't been sleeping well. Sleep deprivation can stall weight loss as surely as stress or hidden calories. As a chronic insomniac myself I don't have any advice for you on how to fix that (I take melatonin before bed and that's helped some) but it could definitely be a contributing factor.

Good luck. Sometimes we just have to wait out stalls. Of course the last time I hit a wall with my weight loss I got so frustrated I gave up and gained back a ton, so I don't have any advice on getting through a stall, either.

Beach Patrol
01-12-2012, 01:09 PM
My guess is you're retaining water. WHY you're retaining water, I cannot say! - could be any number of reasons from TOM to too much sodium to a reaction to medication to any number of other things- but yeah, retaining water.

01-12-2012, 01:10 PM
I haven't seen anyone mention this, and I apologize if I missed it. What about sleep apnea? Do you snore a lot? This is also a huge contributor to fatigue as well. I discovered a year ago that I have one after a sleep study, and now have a CPAP set to 8. While weight-wise, it didn't do a ton (I'm down about 7 lbs from a year ago), it dropped my blood pressure 20 pts and gave me much more energy. Just something to consider. Good luck, I sure know the drill.

01-12-2012, 03:29 PM
It's not muscle.

Probably water - could be a huge number of reasons. Weighing yourself once a week presents challenges, they are just different challenges than weighing daily.

My goal if I were you would be trying to figure out why you're feeling so lethargic and why your sleep is abnormal. My guess is that figuring out those two will go a long way towards solving your weight issue.

01-12-2012, 03:47 PM
My guess is you're retaining water. WHY you're retaining water, I cannot say! - could be any number of reasons from TOM to too much sodium to a reaction to medication to any number of other things- but yeah, retaining water.

that was my thought too. 3 weeks is not such a long time (though I get the frustration and anxiety). try eating some foods that are natural diuretics, like asparagus with yams, with fish or chicken maybe, for a couple of days out of the week and see what happens. before you change it up, I'd give your program a little more time, your body may be adjusting, and if you change it now, it may be difficult to see how effective it was in the first place.

01-12-2012, 04:11 PM
I am almost finished reading the book "Why We Get Fat" By Gary Taubes. He describes EXACTLY what you are experiencing. Maybe you would benefit from reading it? Just a suggestion. I have a feeling it might really help you.

01-12-2012, 04:14 PM
Yeah sorry, it isn't going to be muscle gain, that doesn't happen anywhere near that fast for a man on steroids let alone a female who is not & on a calorie deficit.

Most likely water retention which is normal when starting a new exercise program and possibly mismeasurements of calories but I would bet on retention. Keep at it. I know, easier said than done, but 3 weeks is not a long time even though it feels like eternity.

01-12-2012, 04:52 PM
Realistically, its not muscle and there really isn't a "starvation mode" like we pretend there is.

I learned something today. Since you posted this I decided to do my own research. I need to do this more. The stuff I do have on it is misleading at best.

There is a starvation mode, and it is quite real, but the body isn't as negatively impacted by severe calorie restriction as quickly as some would like to portray. Starvation mode is not considered the lack of food, but less than 50%.

Many fear that going into starvation mode will drastically reduce their metabolic rate and cause them to hoard calories and gain weight instead of losing.

This is not borne out by the infamous Minnesota Semistarvation Study (1950), 36 young, healthy, psychologically normal men while restricting their caloric intake for 6 months. Their calories were restricted in various phases, but the least amount of calories they were allowed was 50% of the "normal" maintenance calories. Notice, this was dubbed a "semi" starvation diet.

Yes, their metabolic rates were significantly lowered -- to something like 40% below baseline. Yet at no point did the men stop losing fat until they hit 5% body fat at the end of the study.

Lyle McDonald explains it this way:

In general, it's true that metabolic rate tends to drop more with more excessive caloric deficits (and this is true whether the effect is from eating less or exercising more); as well, people vary in how hard or fast their bodies shut down. Women's bodies tend to shut down harder and faster.

But here's the thing: in no study I've ever seen has the drop in metabolic rate been sufficient to completely offset the caloric deficit. That is, say that cutting your calories by 50% per day leads to a reduction in the metabolic rate of 10%. Starvation mode you say. Well, yes. But you still have a 40% daily deficit.

All this is at this Link (http://caloriecount.about.com/forums/weight-loss/truth-starvation-mode). It's a decent read and quite informative. They're not trying to sell you anything so are pretty straight.

01-12-2012, 05:56 PM
Oh bloodwork has been done, I have a perfectly normal blood sugar, tyroid, everything. Absolutely nothing for me to blame it on, health-wise.
Also am so very not pregnant.

Not to try to scare you but I had a blood test in July 2004 which said my thyroid was functioning normally, after this I began to get very ill very fast which resulted in a repeat blood test in September 2004 which showed a non functioning thyroid - this can only have been mixed up blood results, it does still happen and if you are feeling as bad as this regardless of blood results you need to go back to your doctor. Your doctor could also prescribe you a short course of sleeping tablets which often resets your natural sleeping pattern, in the meantime I would suggest keep doing what you are doing or increase calories slightly, up the protein and fibre in your diet and see how it goes, Hope you see a weight loss a.s.a.p and that you feel better soon!

01-12-2012, 06:17 PM
There is a starvation mode, and it is quite real, but the body isn't as negatively impacted by severe calorie restriction as quickly as some would like to portray. Starvation mode is not considered the lack of food, but less than 50%.

As always in discussions like these it helps to define terms. For the most part - I've seen people describe starvation mode as when you eat too little, which drastically slows one's metabolism, making it extremely difficult to lose weight. As such, it is a myth.

The fact that one's metabolism does indeed slow down due to caloric restriction is not what most people are referring to when they utilize the term "starvation mode". Also, when the metabolism does slow down it is only one's BMR that is effected. All activity still burns calories at the normal rate based on the energy needed to perform such activity.

Hope this helps.