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Is the problem me or my metabolism?

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:23 AM   #1
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Default Is the problem me or my metabolism?

Hi everyone! This is my first post on here, as you can see by my post count...after a night of lurking I figured I would be able to find the support I'd need here.

To make a long story short, I'm a 5'4 college girl who's never been overweight (I don't think my BMI has ever gone above the 22s) yet I can never hold down the weight I feel most comfortable at. I've yo-yoed back and forth ranging from 100 at my tiniest adult weight, to the low 130s, and I'm honestly not sure where I should aim for, though right now the goal is to hit between 110-115 before school starts again in August.

Here's where things get complicated. I eat between 1000-1200 calories a day. I work out every day. I love powerwalking, running, and arm exercises, I know I should work harder on my abs but still I get enough exercise to be consistently losing weight. Yet I am currently stuck at 120, have been for the past three weeks, and don't know what's wrong. The only time I've been able to go below 120/upper 110s has been when I've put myself on extremely restrictive and unhealthy diets, which I don't want to do again. Before you tell me I'm getting too few calories now, remember that: I've only been able to get to my goal weight, which is not an unhealthy one (110-115 at 5'4) through unhealthy methods. And I know that my body is made to maintain a lower weight than my current one, because I am very small-boned and was an extremely skinny child before I hit puberty.

I hate seeing my friends who are at the same height and weight as me lose two or three pounds a week from eating 1500 calories a day and working out every other day, while I eat no more than 1200/day, work out EVERY DAY for at least an hour, and struggle to lose a pound in 2 weeks. Again, I'm not getting too few calories. I gain weight whenever I eat more than 1400/day. I've never been checked for hypothyroidism/metabolism issues but I think I will ask about this the next time I go to the doctor. I am completely lost and have tried every type of diet (South Beach Diet as well as my own combination of calorie counting and just plain healthy, mindful eating). And I don't eat 1200 calories of junk food a day: I eat things like apples, broccoli, chicken, fat-free yogurt, and the occasional sandwich on low-carb whole-grain bread. I do drink a considerable amount of alcohol when I'm away at school but when I'm at home I mostly stay away from it. Does anyone have any insight? I'm completely lost
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaggly View Post
Is it possible that you may be underestimating the amount of calories you eat?

Alcohol adds on a lot of calories. Likewise, other drinks (even coffee or tea with skim milk) can amount to a substantial number of calories as well.

If you are very diligent about your counting and certain that you are accurate, then there are two things you could try:

- stop exercising so vigourously for a week. Some experts have claimed that intense exercise can actually slow down metabolism IF it is coupled by a very low calorie diet.

- start resistence or strength training (if you have not done so). It is believed that strength training can speed up metabolism.

Good luck!
I wish that were the problem! I am very diligent with calorie counting, I use MyFitnessPal and am very strict about tracking what I eat. I include spoons of coffee creamer, soy sauce, everything. I know exactly what I'm putting into my body.

I might have to try your advice on exercise: cutting down is the one thing I haven't tried yet! Though I have gotten to the point where I feel antsy with too much excess energy if I don't do my daily run. I can definitely stand to increase my strength training too. Thanks and I'll share my progress with this advice
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:41 AM   #3
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welcome to the boards! sorry to hear you have a hard time with it - though we all go through those moments.

As you might have guessed, I am gonna comment on your calories . I think 1200 is totally acceptable for weightloss, but the question is: does it always work best? I was on 1200 calories for the biggest part of my weightloss, but when I started to stall and when I realised I wanted my body to be fine with a bit more food even if that meant slower weightloss for now - I started eating 1400-1700 calories. It broke my stall! I also took a break from 'diet' mode for a bit, like a week or so - and I dropped even more weight. When I started back up on the 1400-1700 I kept losing on those calories. Just google "eat more weigh less" to read about the idea behind it. What is said to be important is to eat your bmr calories atleast and get the deficit from your activity calories.

Anyhow. Thats my view on it, I don't think you should stress your body and your mind so much to force it down to a certain weight when you are already at a very healthy weight. If you eat at a deficit and up your metabolism by strength and add in long low intensity cardio then you will get there eventually. No hurry.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:01 AM   #4
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Have you tried lifting weights? Instead of killing yourself with cardio all the time, weight training—HEAVY weight training can be very effective. You might not lose at first (you might not even lose at all) but you'll certainly lose inches. We have a thread here in the feathers, check it out!

You also don't need to do it as much, and it'll allow you to likely eat more weight and lose.

I've said it a lot on the forums here, but if I dip down below 2000 calories for too long I start losing weight again. I'm actually a couple of pounds below my ticker weight right now without really wanting to be. I'm active (weight training and cardio) but I don't spend hours at the gym, nor do I exercise every day.

Otherwise you might have to really explore what you're eating: but if your body is really really fighting you on those last few lbs then you might have to try some new exercises or new eating techniques.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:17 AM   #5
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With your calories are you getting the right nutrients? Getting enough protein will make a difference. When I was younger I'd eat very few calories but they were mainly carbs. I could never get down below 127, but substituting protein helped. Agree with sontaikle that weight training might help you get toned without changing your weight (it may increase your weight, but overall you'll look thinner). While I'm not a crossfit person there are a lot of good before/after pics of people who have significantly changed their body shape and they post them with their weight. Sometimes they are 10+ pounds heavier but look 2-3 sizes smaller than when they started. Just something to think about.

As a side note, very few people have slow or fast metabolisms, although there is a range of 'normal'. If you're really concerned you can have it checked. I did test mine at our hospital. However your metabolism does change depending on your amt of muscle weight as well as your overall weight, so if you're losing weight your metabolism may slow slightly. But knowing the # will also let you know the appropriate # of calories to eat in order to lose weight. At your current weight they will likely advise you to lose no more than .5lb a week.

Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:20 AM   #6
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^^^

I'm also wondering, what is the reasoning behind wanting to weigh between 110-115 pounds? Is it because of how you think you'll look at that weight, or is it because you feel like thats just a good number?

I think if you were to lift weights and actually eat more (yes, I said more) and build some muscle, you would change your body composition. You and I are the same height, and I weigh between 117-118 right now (I was at 117 in my avatar I believe) but I am also extremely lean. That's because I carry a good amount of muscle mass, and I eat enough calories to support that!

Can you maybe post some examples of you at a weight that you were totally happy with, or some women with physiques you like? Perhaps if we know what it is that you are aiming for (because everyone's definitions are different) we can offer you better advice.

Right now, it seems like you are spinning your wheels and killing your metabolism. You may not be doing any real damage eating 1200 calories a day, but you most likely aren't going to make any progress either. I think you would agree that what you are doing isn't getting you the results you are after, so perhaps it's time to try something new...
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:38 PM   #7
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Okay, so it seems like the general consensus is that I need to do more strength training. I agree--my legs have gotten strong from walking and running but I can't do a chinup or anything like that!

JossFit: I'm aiming for that weight because I've been there before and that's generally where I feel and look my best. This is more or less what I'm aiming for and she is an inch shorter than I am so I know this is possible for me! I can't post links or images yet because of my post count but www . worksafebabes . com / wp-content / uploads / 2009 / 10 /ashley-tisdale-bikini . jpg just fill in the spaces and that's my goal!
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:23 PM   #8
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Just thought I'd post this link for you (an old coworker of mine is big into crossfit and posts these almost daily- I just went to her fb page and grabbed one) but take a look at the woman who weighs 155 in both pics. Amazing! http://paleozonenutrition.com/2012/0...-lift-weights/
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:13 AM   #9
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Could you post a daily menu of what you are eating exactly?
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