Weight Loss Support - Oh no! What's going on? :'(

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06-02-2005, 12:59 AM
Hi everyone, I have a question. I've been eating sensibly for the past three weeks, and working out for an hour a day 6 days of each week. I do about 30 minutes of cardio interval training on the Elliptical machine, and then I do weight training for the other 30 minutes. I have also been playing tennis and staying as active as possible.

For food, I've been eating 1500 calories a day with little to no "junk food." Most of what I eat has been fruits, veggies, lean meats, low or nonfat dairy, and whole grain breads. I'm not eating too much of anything, as far as I can tell. I have been keeping a food diary.

For the first two weeks, I lost about 2.5 pounds a week. This week, I gained 4 pounds of it back. I did go out for dinner one night and may have overeaten a bit, but I don't see how that can account for FOUR POUNDS. I'm really getting discouraged. It's not any special time of the month, so I don't think that's a big factor.

I know that muscle weighs more than fat, but I don't think I've been going to the gym long enough for that to be a factor either. Also, my clothes don't fit any better than they did three weeks ago. I really don't know what the problem is . . . is this just something that happens? I've heard of plateaus, but I've never heard of random weight GAINS. :'(

Does anyone have any suggestions? This is really getting me down, to say the least.

06-02-2005, 01:06 AM
Persistence is definitely the key to it though. During my bulimia treatment, I discovered that I'd lost the weight so darn fast that's the reason my weight went to a plateau. I lost it faster than my body could keep up. Due to that, I have this excess fat hanging from my arms and my stomach looks like an orange that's been out in the sun too long - not a pretty sight. Just continue with your diet and exercise, a lifestyle change that's not similar to what you were doing before may take some time for your body to get used to, just don't give up:)

06-02-2005, 01:13 AM
How have you been doing with your water?? If your body is dehyrdrated it will keep every ounce of water you consume. There is NO WAY you gained 4 pounds of fat in one night. You would have to eat an extra 14,000 OVER your normal amount. make sure you keep getting your water every day (AT LEAST 8 glasses but you need more if you are exercising and sweating a lot). Also some people need to watch the salt intake because that will make you retain water too.

good luck! Just stick with it. My scale will go up 2 pounds one day and then back down in a day or two.

06-02-2005, 01:28 AM
Thank you, both of you have good points. It is still really early in the game, so maybe my body is just trying to figure out what's going on. :) I am trying to drink a lot of water, but I probably do need more because of the exercise. I think I'll start writing down how much I drink tomorrow, and I'll have to watch the salt.

06-02-2005, 01:36 AM
Speaking of lowering salt intake, if you eat peanut butter, which I do have 1 tbsp of in the morning on a piece of toast, Peter Pan makes a 'very low sodium' peanut butter that I use. Per 2 tbsp, there's still 190 calories like most other peanut butters, but only 5 carbs and 5 mg of sodium. When I went to the store last, they didn't carry it at my Albertson's, so I got this other one to use when that one runs out that is still Peter Pan, but 'no sugar added' and the label on it says per 2 tbsp, there are 200 calories, 130 mg sodium, but only 4 carbs. Another thing it that alot of doctors push the whole Drink diet drinks if you're on a diet, and all that's in those things just about is sodium. Some people will load up on those and wonder why their weight's not changing, because their body is holding it in. Good luck to ya CheekyGeek:)

06-02-2005, 02:48 AM
If your body is like my dear old thing, you might be best trying not to weigh very often - keep it to once a month. I know it's hard, but mine does weird random things like think it's gained 4 pounds in a week, when I know it hasn't. Weight is a complicated affair. I didn't feel anything different in my clothes for at least 6 weeks. I am a lot fatter than you, so that's part of it, but also different bodies are just different.

Take your measurements too, even if it's just your hips and waist and thigh. For me this is really motivating. I have all my measurements taken every eight weeks. For example, the last eight weeks I lost about 6 - 8 pounds less than the first eight weeks, but overall lost a lot more inches. So I know that the diet and exercise is working.

Your weight loss journey is a lot more complicated than numbers on a scale. If you know you are doing the right thing, don't let them sabotage your weight loss, evil things scales!!!!

06-02-2005, 03:24 AM
It's comforting to read that others have experienced the frustrating fluctuating scales. There are times I can "gain" and "lose" three pounds every other day. Some friends at work are appalled when I mention how the scale zooms around. They claim that their weight stays steady all the time.

Kykaree is right on point. The thing to do is take measurements. Don't look to the scale so much to gauge your progress; look to your measurements and how your clothes start falling off of you! Bad, bad scales!

06-02-2005, 04:21 AM
(1) Eat more protein. Seriously. The supermarkets carry boneless, skinless chicken breasts that you can cook up -- they have very little fat, and are VERY filling. Protein helps your body metabolise more fat and less "food" (eg, your body eats your own fat stores instead of the slice of bread you ate for lunch).

(2) Eat carbs and all that good stuff, just don't eat sugary-carbs. Eat things like low-impact fruits, etc. When your Bloodsugar is bouncing all over the place, it makes weight loss difficult --- you eat when it dips down, not when you're actually hungry.

(3) LIFT WEIGHTS. You will not get big/bulky/anything. Lift HEAVY. Fat burns 3 calories/day. Muscle burns 30. What do you want more of? Plus, 1 lb muscle takes up less than 1 lb fat (less than half the space, actually). Building muscle will help you increase your resting metabolic rate...

You may be gaining muscle :) Remember, it weighs more than fat..and it is better to be 150 lbs with 20% body fat than 130 lbs with 35% body fat...
Best of luck!

06-02-2005, 08:35 AM
CheekyGeek--we've all been there! As most here have already stated, scales are evil and play mean tricks on your mind. I can go out for dinner one night and weigh 3 pounds more the next day, but I know it's not fat, since I would have had to have eaten over 9000 calories in that meal to really have gained that much. After a day or two back on plan and drinking LOTS of water (to account for the extra sodium in restaurant food), I'm always back down to normal, if not even less. Don't let the scale get you down!

From reading your first post, it seems you're already doing everything konstine suggested (though they were all valid points). The only other suggestion I have is that maybe you're not consuming enough calories. I know this sounds crazy, but if you take in too few calories, your body will hold onto them with all its might! For a sedentary person, the rule of thumb is to multiply your weight by 8 to find out how many calories you should have in a day (but unless under the strict supervision of a doctor or nutritionist, I've always heard you should never go below 1200). Seeing as how you're working out for an hour a day plus playing tennis and such, you're burning much more than that! They say to multiply your weight by 10 if you're active and by 12 if you're VERY active. Now, I don't know exactly how much time you spend moving about in a day, but from what I've read, I get the impression that youre very active, which means you're about 158 x 12 = 1824 calories a day just to function. also keep in mind--this is a GUIDELINE, not set in stone--If you've got a higher metabolism, more active thyroid, more muscle mass, etc., you could be burning even MORE than that. Think about how many calories you may have been consuming in a day before you started dieting, and make sure you haven't cut that number by TOO much or else your body may be in a minor state of shock ("oh no, where's all my energy intake gone? what if this is all I get now? I better hold onto it and store it up for later in case it gets cut back even more!"). I know it sounds insane--you may have to eat MORE to lose weight. I was eating about 1300 calories a day (I weigh about 300 pounds), and I wasn't losing anything. How insanely frustrating is that?! Then I increased my average daily caloric intake to about 1900, and here I am 13 pounds lighter! Your mind may have some, but your body has NO common sense. Just keep plugging away, and you will get the results you want in time. Remember, even though we all want ALL of our excess weight gone RIGHT NOW, the slower you lose it, the more likely you are to KEEP IT OFF! Good luck! :D

06-03-2005, 12:49 AM
I might have to agree with Jill. I had cut myself down to about 1500 calories per day and was walking 2-3 miles everyday, plus doing an aerobics tape later in the afternoon, lifting weights 3 days a week and sometimes would even take a second walk in the evening. After losing 32 pounds I hit a plateau that lasted for over 3 weeks.

I just recently managed to start losing again. I'm not 100% sure what caused my weight to start moving again maybe it was just coincidence but one thing I did do was to raise my calorie intake to 1600-1700 per day. Within about 3-4 days I started to notice a drop in weight.

I think everyone's ideas above are valid. I would imagine that what works for one might not work for another. All you can do it to try changing things around and see what works for you.