Weight Loss Support - FitDay: So what's the deal?

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10-11-2004, 02:09 PM
I have been tracking my food and activities using the FitDay tool for the past 3 weeks plus a couple of days. Here's how it's been going:

Average daily calorie intake: 1575
Average daily calories burned: 2344

Start weight: 184
Weight today: 181.5

In other words, 2.5 lousy pounds lost. :( This is pretty discouraging because according to the FitDay tool, I ought to have lost between 4 and 5 pounds by now.

What's happening here? Can anyone suggest ways to change this? Do I have to rethink my program and lower my calories, say, to 1200? At this rate of weight loss, it will take me 8 months to reach my goal. I'd like it to be closer to 4 months.

10-11-2004, 02:26 PM
Oh I'll have a stab at explaining what I've found with fitday. I still use it by the way. Love the fact that I can go back over time and see what was working when.
And I wanted to say congratulations! A pound a week is pretty good really.

The calories used in exercise are very odd. One site says one thing and another site says something else. Over time, I played with the thing where you have to put in your activity level. I started with "bedridden" and added every little thing I did being very careful about times (almost nothing takes the 5 minutes I thought it did), then after a few weeks changed it to more activity that matched about what I'd been acheiving altogether all along. (did that make sense?) For instance, I found I was winding up to about 1850 on average, so I chose the level that was about 1850 and then only added extraordinary exercise.

And in food? I customize alot of things. My packages don't read like some of the ingredients on fitday. And I often eat with measuring cups at the table. I'm terrible about portions. What I thought was a half cup of rice was MUCH more.

My best advice? Fiddle with the activity levels and at least for a few days be anal detail-y about time and quantity.

Hope that's helpful and remember 2.5 lbs is a victory!

10-11-2004, 02:30 PM
While one might think that weight loss is simple math, the fact is that our bodies don't always burn calories at the predicted weight. You can track your intake pretty closely, but the fact is that "calories burned" is just a guess. These types of calculations cannot take into account your body composition (lean vs. fat), which affects your burn rate. It also cannot know your individual metabolism. Also, I have found that some of the fitday estimates for certain activities are wildly different from other web sites.

While you may feel disappointed that you haven't lost as much as the fitday calculations would have predicted, the fact is you ARE losing. Your age, weight, dieting history, medications, medical conditions etc., all play a part in determining a reasonable calorie level. Even so, a loss is a loss, and one of the most self-defeating things you can do is set timetables for when you want to weigh a certain amount. There are things you can do to optimize your losses, but if you get in too big a hurry you can wind up shooting yourself in the foot one way or another. If you cut your calories too low, you can plateau early and have no place to go from there, for example.

Why don't you go to www.jimkaras.net and use the Harris-Benedict calculator. This will give you an idea of a calorie level to START with -- your individual needs may vary up or down, but it's a place to start.

Finally, try to be content with slower losses. I am just about your weight and I average 1/2 pound per week now. As long as I continue to lose overall, I'm happy. I can't be anything else, because I can't change how my body is dealing with this.

10-11-2004, 06:35 PM
Thanks, folks, for your replies. I checked out the Harris Benedict calculator and it indicated I should be eating closer to 1200 cals per day. Maybe I'll get with that.

I've been stuck at this weight now for about 2-3 months. Hope I see some movement soon. A pound a week is too low to keep me motivated, I'm afraid.

10-11-2004, 06:40 PM
Please don't let what the scale says "motivate" you. A pound per week is perfectly normal and healthy and is ideal. Try to derive motivation from the healthy changes you are making in your life, NOT from those numbers. Sure, if you stall completely for weeks at a time, then it's time to evaluate and revise. But, trying to lose more quickly when your weight loss is already adequate can backfire. As I said, the HB calculator is a place to start -- if you are losing at your current calorie level, then you're on track. Our cultural expectations of how quickly weight loss should occur is all out of whack with what is possible and healthy. If you think a pound per week is "slow" then you've been taken in by all the quick-weight-loss scams and miracle diets. Don't let their promises -- meant to sell books and pills -- fool you into thinking that a pound a week is a failure of some kind. It's not!

10-11-2004, 06:45 PM
I looked at the Harris Benedict calculator and to lose weight, it said I should eat 2800 calories a day, I think it is a bit off considering I eat around 1500/day.

Also, 1-2 lbs a week is a healthy rate of weight loss at your weight, any more than that and you would be losing muscle, not fat. Fast weight loss usually results in faster weight gain ;) I would recommend keep doing what you are doing and don't aim for more than 2 lbs a week, but 1 lb a week would be a perfect rate of loss.

Apple Blossom
10-12-2004, 03:16 AM
I use fit day to calculate food intake, but I've never been happy with its exercise calculations. I find the pie graphs useful to keep my diet balanced!
Also, if you have stoped losing, try changing your exercise from say, walking to jogging or biking. Give other muscles a chance to do something!

10-12-2004, 10:11 AM
Thanks to all of you for your replies. I've been doing this for awhile. :rolleyes: I was aiming at 1-1/2 pounds per week, not 0.8, which is what I have gotten.

I have lost a net amount of 14.5 pounds since May 24 of this year. That's three pounds a month average, and it's not enough. Fourteen of those pounds came off in the first 5 weeks, and it's been up and down ever since. The FitDay experience is just the latest. :^:

I know about healthy rates of weight loss--I'm not deluded by either the scale or the quick weight loss ads. But I'm so sick of eating turkey... I know I have to keep going, though. Just trying to adjust what I'm doing.

I can't jog at my age and weight--my back can't take it. I can increase my walking distance and rate. I don't have a bike, but if I did, that might be an option. All good ideas.


10-12-2004, 01:34 PM

How about adding some weight training? Each of our bodies lose at a different rate, no matter what we do, so 3 lbs a month may be good for you? Building muscle through weight training though would help you build muscle.