Weight Loss Support - Help me figure this out

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11-09-2006, 05:16 PM
I went through my Fitday this afternoon to try spot any trends in my weight loss. I was disappointed to find that many weeks I had not fully completed each day, so I couldn't calculate average daily intake on quite a few days. I did manage to pull up some information though on weeks when I had lost weight:-

From Jan 16 - Jan 22 with an average daily calorie intake of 1183 I lost 1lb.

From Feb 6 - Feb 13 I lost 6lb unfortunately, I did not complete each day of that week on Fitday so not sure what my daily avg was :(.

From Feb 27 - March 6 with an average daily calorie intake of 1808 I gained 2lbs.

From March 27 - April 3 with an average daily calorie intake of 1460 I lost 5lb.

From August 21 - August 28 with an average daily calorie intake of 1350 I lost 5lb.

From September 25 - October 2 with an average daily calorie intake of 1129 I lost 1lb.

Here's what I gathered. I do not have the steady (envious) weight loss of 1-2lb per week consistently as do some of my peers, yeah I mean you guys! I tend to lose 1lb a week for a couple of weeks then drop a dramatic 5lbs or so (done this three times this year), then I might plateau a few weeks, lose 1lb for a couple of weeks, lose 5lbs, lather rinse repeat.

I also figured out that at the start of my weight loss in January, I was eating quite low calorie and yup, I am aware of dropping too low in calories, wasn't doing it deliberately I was aiming for around 1200-1400 cals a day. During this low calorie time I was losing around 1lb per week. Come Spring though, in April if I ate this low I didn't lose at all. Which tells me that maybe my body was starting to need more calories (?) I started to eat higher calorie and was averaging around 1400 per day.

May - June I unfortunately did a poor job it seems in tracking my calories so I really don't know what I was eating on average each day.

Come summer I pick it up again. I was eating around 1300 cals per day and bam, there is my 3rd big 5lb loss of the year.

It's now November, I'm at 168lbs and not quite sure where to go. I seem to do quite well eating around 1300 - 1500 cals per day, with around 1 hour of exercise at least 4 times a week and I lose weight. I'm exercising quite hard now, I do 1 hour of cardio 3 x a week and 1 hour of circuit training with weights 2 x a week. Should I push my calories UP? Or should I continue with around 1300 - 1500 per day? I was (quite accidently) cycling my calories each day on those weeks when I lost weight. I might have 1200 one day, and 1800 on another. In one week, I had a 1900 calorie day right after an 1100 calorie day.

I did notice also that on around 1800 cals per day, I gain weight. I spotted that trend twice during the year. So my gut feeling based on this, is not to increase.

Sorry for the essay, I am confused! I *think* I should be sticking to around 1300-1500 avg per day. I mean, it's worked in the past, right? If it aint broke, don't fix it?

Your thoughts, advice, help, reassurance, anything would be appreciated :).

11-09-2006, 05:36 PM
I do not have the steady (envious) weight loss of 1-2lb per week consistently as do some of my peers, yeah I mean you guys! I tend to lose 1lb a week for a couple of weeks then drop a dramatic 5lbs or so (done this three times this year), then I might plateau a few weeks, lose 1lb for a couple of weeks, lose 5lbs, lather rinse repeat.
I'm not sure what peers you are referring to, but I know almost NO ONE has steady 1-2 pound losses every week :dizzy: Maybe it will work that way for a while, but then it comes to a crashing halt (plateau) sometimes followed by a bigger loss (just like you mentioned). A la Heather: Weight loss is not linear.

Also, it's hard to judge your weight loss solely based on calories. Did you eat more/less highly-processed foods some weeks? Did you have higher sodium some weeks? Did you exercise more/less some weeks? Did you not drink much water some weeks? Did you have your oh-so-weight-friendly monthly visitor some weeks? and so on and so on...

But overall, I don't think 1500 sounds like a completely irrational limit. Give it whirl for a while and let us know how it works out :)

BTW, I'm really bad at logging my food sometimes, too...I can be practically religious about it for weeks, and then suddenly skip days at a time (I usually start "forgetting" to log my food when I've been bad, though) :devil:

11-09-2006, 05:57 PM
How do you feel if you eat between 1300 and 1500. Do you have the energy to do all the things you need and want to do? Do you feel full and satisfied?
If it ain't broke, don't fix it ... often is correct.

11-09-2006, 06:25 PM
Susan - I have energy most days to do everything I want to do. I do feel tired at night but put that down to getting up and being at the gym early before work each morning, then doing a work day etc. I feel full and satisfied after meals and I eat 3 meals a day with a morning and afternoon snack.

Jilly - ya, I'm going to track my calories for the rest of the year and see what happens. I'm pretty mad that I missed so many days :lol:.

11-09-2006, 06:30 PM
There's not much wrong with being tired in the evening. I've never been a good sleeper and it's actually a relief to fall into bed because I'm tired.

This sentence Figuring out what works for you, then finding it, then reading that what you're doing might be wrong .... no no no no no ... You can't read that it's wrong. You're living it. Whoever wrote what you read can't know for sure.
You can always tweak, which you probably have done several times already.

11-09-2006, 06:41 PM
Weight loss is not at all linear so don't expect steady, consistent weight losses. Activity levels, hormone fluctuations, water retention, calorie intake, stress, etc. can cause all sorts of ups and downs.

Another thing to remember is that as you lose weight you need to decrease your calorie intake. A smaller body needs fewer calories! For example, with Weight Watchers if you are 250 - 274 pounds you are to consume 30 points which equates to about 1600 calories (depending on fiber and fat content) plus unlimited non-starchy veggies. At 225-249, 28 points (plus veggies), at 200-224, 26 points, etc down to under 150 pounds only 20 points plus veggies. Every time you drop into a new range you reduce your calories by 2 points. However, keep in mind there is more to the program... you can earn activity points for exercise and also have extra flexible points which are optional and spread out over the week (35 points)... but these are the minimum daily intakes for anyone. At your weight of 168 you would have a minimum of 22 points which would be roughly 1100 calories, plus veggies and an additional 35 optional points (about 1,750 cals a week or 250 per day) plus if you exercised you could earn even more points. I think they assume your extra veggies equal 250 cals per day. Hope that is helpful for you.

11-10-2006, 11:31 AM
My weightloss follows a predictable pattern, and I'm pretty sure it's hormonally related. I'm on 1400 calories per day, and have been since January. During the week before my period, I lose a lb or two- gain it back for several days during the period, and then when the period is over it drops back down to the pre-period level. THEN I have 2 weeks of plateauing, and then the cycle repeats. It makes for an over all 2 lb loss for the month. It adds up after a while.

I don't know if this is anything like what's happening to you, but maybe the info will help? :)

11-10-2006, 02:53 PM
For what's it's worth, I'm about the same height as you and my exercise level is about the same (maybe just a little bit more) and I generally keep my calories in the 1300-1500 range. I started at 1200 calories a day, but increased my calories over time as my level of exercise increased. Just like you, my weight loss has been pretty inconsistent for at least the past six months and, like Maria, it's definitely impacted by my TOM. For the last few months, my TOM has been the only time I'm able to lose weight.

11-10-2006, 08:04 PM
Well, at 1350 I was losing nothing for the last four weeks or so. Dropped it to 1200 and am now back to losing about 1.5 a week.

Guess I know what level I'll need to be at to maintain *sigh*

But, as others have said, I don't know anyone that has a steady loss week in week out. Averaging it out, I've lost 1.4 lbs a week since I started, But some weeks I've put on, some weeks I've lost 5 lbs in one week. Then I plateau for four weeks.

Just keep going - I'd say 1300-1500 might be a touch high for you now, I'd be aiming more for the 1200-1350 mark, with the occasional 1400 as a treat day.

11-10-2006, 10:21 PM
I've been tracking my weight loss for eleven weeks. It's following a pretty predictable pattern, it seems:

Wk Chg Cycle
1 -3.00 Ov
2 -1.00 PMS
3 -4.00 TOM
4 -0.50
5 +1.00 OV
6 -3.50 PMS
7 -4.00 TOM
8 -0.50
9 +0.50 Ov
10 -0.50 PMS
11 -4.50 TOM

I'll lose a bunch during TOM week, a little the next week, gain a little the next week, lose a little the next week, then drop a bunch again during TOM. This is the first time I've ever tracked my weight this way. The calories consumed during these weeks is not markedly different. The activity level isn't different enough to explain the pattern. So, I'm left with the hormonal explanation.

My average loss is 1.8 lbs per week. My average calories per day is 1402.

11-13-2006, 12:33 PM
Thanks guys for your input.

Blue - I started at 1200 calories a day, but increased my calories over time as my level of exercise increased. I started off at around 1200 and decided to up my calories to 1500 because I am (in my opinion anyway) working out pretty hard.

I do 3 x cardio days a week, my sessions last for 1 hour split 30 mins on treadmill, 30 mins on elliptical doing hills.

I do weights 2 x a weeks using a circuit.

Robsia - I'm thinking 1500 might be a bit high too, but I want to see how it works for me for a while. I think I'll give it until start of December with 1500 cals per day and exercise. If I don't lose then I'll just drop back to 1200 - 1300. Bums me out too that I might have to eat so low in order to maintain, but I have to remember that everyone is different and needs different calorie amounts.