20-Somethings - Weight not budging

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01-04-2014, 10:46 AM
I know I've posted about this a number of times but I'm confused and in need of input. I work retail full time. I used to be in pain a lot but my body has actually adjusted which I'm very happy about.

I'm trying to fight off depression and anxiety so that might be making it harder to lose weight. I'm trying to find a therapist to help.

I carry a water bottle with me now and can clear two or three of them in an eight hour shift. I alternate between skipping breakfast and eating something like yogurt if I have it. I drink tea with benefiber in it because I have issues with fiber.

Lunch is a turkey wrap - 510 calories - and a banana. Dinner varies but I don't think I get above 1500 a day. I am going to try to go to the gym after work today but I just wonder if it's possible to wear yourself down like that. I used to lose weight alternating between hard workouts and days off and my job was sedentary but now that it's not, I don't seem to be budging.

A friend wears the bodybugg to get an idea of what she's burning but I wonder if that's remotely accurate, even for giving you a ballpark, because I constantly wonder if I'm eating too much or too little. Everything I've read online is like oh I lost weight working retail! And my weight just hovers at a higher number...

01-04-2014, 03:05 PM
You are probably building muscle, especially if you're not hurting anymore. Try measuring yourself for a time rather than going by the scale.

01-04-2014, 03:40 PM
Thanks, I'll try that. I took my measurements before I started thankfully. :)

01-05-2014, 03:12 AM
Again muscle might be an issue also if you're eating two meals and all your calories are concentrated there even if it's a low total calorie your body might be holding on to them to support it more throughout the day. Easier to spread the calorie amount to as many small parts throughout the day as possible!

01-05-2014, 09:23 AM
Either my measurements were taken incorrectly at some juncture or my calves and thighs are both bigger. Somehow my thigh alone is an inch larger so I'm wondering if I measured differently than my boyfriend did last night.... I didn't check my midsection as my first measurement would have been in the morning.

Weight is still climbing slowly up; it was 136.6 before I returned to work after a four day break, 137.2 after I went back, 138 now. :(

I'll try spreading my calories out.

01-05-2014, 09:41 AM
So I tried doing my own measurements before he wakes up and what I'm getting shows that nothing has really changed.

Neck - same
Bicep - might be smaller, need help checking
Forearm - might be smaller but it's weird so need help
Chest - 1 inch smaller?...
Waist - same
Hips - 1 inch smaller?
Thigh - same
Calf - same

My scale is also now showing 137.2 again instead of 138. But I am just so confused, I really used to know how to handle myself. I knew I needed a break after working out to allow a weight drop, I knew how much to eat, when to eat...now it's like I don't know anything at all. :(

01-05-2014, 12:40 PM
You are not building muscle. I mean women can build muscle but not quickly or easily. If you are eating 1500 calories a day I think that is probably too many for your height.You are not even sure if that is the amount you eat per day. I suggest starting with tracking honestly for a few days exactly how much you do eat. You need to keep track of what you are eating daily because it is so easy to say oh I only ate such and such only to find out it was so much more. There are so many resources online to tell you the amount you are losing...right now you seem to be flying by the seat of your pants and wondering why you aren't seeing results.

01-05-2014, 02:45 PM
I am not "flying by the seat of my pants" when I'm researching it and getting varied information. Fitday, I think it is, gives me almost 2000 calories for a budget per day. Another app I tried gives me a similar number. I try to stay around 1500 but have been told to try 1200 which I've also been told and read is too low to sustain. Talk about frustrating.

I'll just aim for 1200 and see what happens.

01-05-2014, 04:28 PM
I agree that you should look at religiously tracking your calorie intake, even if only for a week to see what you're actually taking in. I know that for myself ballparking my calories has never been accurate. It's actually very easy to over or under estimate what you're eating. Little things like serving size can make a big difference.

Another suggestion is to look at what you're eating. If 80% of your diet is coming from processed carbs I wouldn't be surprised that you're struggling. Try upping your protein at each meal and eating more whole foods and lots of veggies (the veggies would definately help with your fibre issues too).

And I wouldn't skip breakfast, almost everything I've read on the topic says that doing that is bad for weight loss. Instead why not spread your calories out more evenly over the day? Eating more frequent, but smaller meals helps keep your metabolism up.

01-06-2014, 12:03 AM
My biggest piece of advice would be to track everything you are eating. And weigh everything. It's amazing how small the recommended serving size actually is. You may find out that you are actually eating 2000+ calories. It's really easy to eat that and much higher without even noticing if you aren't tracking BY WEIGHT everything.

I agree with fitbyforty. You are not gaining muscle. It is really really difficult for women to gain muscle especially when they're eating at a calorie deficit. You would need to be eating a ton of protein and lifting heavy consistently.

As for eating breakfast or not, there is no real evidence that meal timing matters when losing weight. A lot of people lose weight fasting for 12-15 hours in the day and then eat all their meals over a small time frame. Eat whenever you want.

As for calories it's something you're just going to have to play with. I started off much larger than you are and still am, both weight and height wise. I lost most of my weight leading a sedentary lifestyle eating 1650 calories. I've just started walking more and doing a bit more cardio and am losing eating 1700 calories a day, weighing in at 163 pounds. Though besides my 50 minute walks I sit on my butt the rest of the day!

01-06-2014, 10:33 AM
I also try to aim for 1200 calories a day (I am very short, but a little heavy). When I work out, I add it to my app, and then it gives me more cals to eat that day. Sometimes It makes me nervous, but I think that it is best to try to eat a little more. I try to eat my biggest meal at lunch because I will burn more of that off throughout the day. Dinner I try to do salad or something lower carbs.

01-06-2014, 03:24 PM
Agree with what has been said - I would track everything religiously for at least a few weeks and see how that goes. If you still aren't losing eating around 1500 I would decrease your calories by 10% and try that for a few weeks.

I would also try and make sure you're getting a balance of complex carbs, fat and protein at every meal. Try and distribute your calories evenly throughout the day if you can. (So if you're eating 3 meals a day, try and eat about 500 at each meal if you're not doing that already.)

It's very unlikely you've gained enough muscle mass to affect what is on the scale when you're on a calorically restricted diet. At best you will preserve your existing muscle mass with weight training and adequate protein intake. The scale should still be going down.

Also, take note of when you weigh yourself. If you weigh yourself after a day of heavy training you might be swollen, so make sure you are consistent with that. You could also keep an eye on your sodium as that could add water bloat as well.

01-07-2014, 09:55 AM
I'm going to interpret the varied information as an indicator of details that change from person to person. :lol: Skipping breakfast seems to be helping me, I just have tea with Benefiber in the morning. But I get hungry by about 10:00 so I am going to try to have a banana at work.

The hard part with measuring my food and eating all throughout the day is I work, strange hours, and in an environment that doesn't allow for this easily. So I'm going to start eating things I know I can track by calorie counting. I dropped from 136.6 yesterday to 135.6 today so I just gotta keep this up without slipping. It's hard because it feels like -25 here so that makes me want to eat all sorts of warm, yummy things but it's not like I'll be getting to the gym in this weather, assuming it's even open...

But to demonstrate what I meant before, Fitday is taking my height, job activity, and whatever else into account and gives me 1976 calories a day. My Lose It! iPad app gives me 1458. But I am now aiming for 1200 at most to actually achieve my goal, which I didn't even aim very high for with these apps. I think I am calculating a goal of 125 by 3/10/2014 and I started in November/December.

01-08-2014, 05:34 PM
I'm not going to comment on the calories bit since you seem to understand that. I'm also working on fighting off depression and anxiety and eating has a huge part in that. Blood sugar plays into it so it's good to eat regularly, with protein for a balanced meal and generally less sugars. I'm not a doctor so I'd recommend reading some credible books on the topic but it does seem to be helping me as where before skipping breakfast and eating too much sugar (both processed and in fruit) made my anxiety worse. Just a thought you might want to consider on that side of things!

01-08-2014, 05:44 PM
I struggle with anxiety too, and I think amerrylife is right blood sugar/eating right plays a part. I also read somewhere that Potassium helps... I don't know if it's placebo effect or maybe I just really love bananas, but I does seem to work for me :)

01-09-2014, 12:16 PM
How about strictly tracking cals for like 1 week to make sure that you are absolutely taking in 1200 cals everyday and that way from now on you can accurately ballpark how much you eat? The strict tracking might be annoying, but its only temporary.

I know that until I strictly tracked temporarily, I was eating a few hundred more than I guesstimated!

Beyond that, it might be a waiting game of a few weeks before a drop in the scale. If it helps, whether I exercised or not, I always lose weight successfully when I watch my diet. I intermittent-fast and consider worktime not eating time, and that helps with my anxiety a little because I am demonstrating to myself that I don't have to fear the "regular everyday" hunger pangs and its so refreshing to feel hunger first before eating vs the past where I ate so much I never had a chance to be hungry LOL

01-10-2014, 09:31 AM
Thanks melon and amerry. :) I'll be seeing a doctor in February but I'm not sure if that will make me worse or better because I know meds can cause weight gain, too...

I'm going to try that pixel. I'll think of you when I think I'll eat something just because. :) Today is the day I'll try to take control. I got down to 135.6 and I'm hovering here so I did lose 4 pounds. Six more to go for my next goal, there is no reason I can't do this and I'll think of you ladies when I chicken out.