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Why am I gaining weight?

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Old 03-17-2012, 10:40 PM   #1
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Default Why am I gaining weight?

I am 19 years old, 5' 1, and my starting weight was 105 pounds. I know this is a healthy weight but I would still like to lose a few pounds of excess body fat and just tone up. I started dieting 3 weeks ago. For the 1st two weeks I ate around 900 calories per day and exercised for an hour per day. Over the course of 10 days my weight went down to 101 pounds. 4 days later though, at the 2 week mark, my weight shot up to 103 pounds without me changing my calorie consumption or workout regime. I read online that if you eat too few calories your metabolism slowing down causing weight loss to cease. After learning this I decided to up my calories to 1350 per day. This number is about 400 below what my maintenance calories should be. For the past week I have been eating 1350 calories per day and continuing to work out for an hour per day (cardio and weight lifting). I weighed myself this morning and the scale read 105.5 pounds! So, what is going on!? I should be losing weight but instead I am steadily gaining. I am so confused about what is happening right now and I am beyond frustrated.



I would appreciate any insightful tips. Thank you for reading.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
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Maybe you do not need to lose weight. Considering your height and your weight, your body may just be defending itself agaiinst a weight loss which is not necessary. I think the wise thing to do would be to eat healthily, to exercise and to stop obssessing... In the long run, you will keep thinner that way than if you start dieting at your age. What does the rest think?
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:33 PM   #3
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It could be water weight, could be muscle gain, could be a number of things. Just keep doing what you're doing in order to get yourself toned up, unless someone else has some more insightful information that's what I would do!
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:11 AM   #4
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More than likely it's muscle being bulked up from the weight training. In my opinion I think an hour of cardio a day is excessive for someone of your size and your body might also be going into starvation mode. I would focus more on the weights (to tone) and a little less cardio. I'm glad you kicked up your calories a bit, 900 is definitely not enough.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:21 AM   #5
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When eating near the minimum daily calorie amount, most people forget about net calories. Net calories are how many calories your body uses AFTER exercise calories are subtracted. For example, if you are eating 1350, but burning 400 calories during exercise, your net total is only 950. Your net should never be below 1200, so even though you are eating 1350, your still below the 1200 that your body actually needs.

Since you are probably only trying to lose 5ish pounds, toning might actually be what your body needs as opposed to cardio. It's amazing how two different people can weigh the exact same amount, but look completely different because one person has decided to focus on toning and build more muscle. If you start weight training and toning, you might gain a pound or two, but you will shrink and lose inches and look completely different (and look way better in a bathing suit!)

Also, when really close to your goal weight, losing pounds can be very very difficult. Since you are a good weight for your height, I would try focusing on weight training. Take measurements before hand and after a month, take measurements again and I am sure you will see that your body has lost inches and toned (even if you only lose 1 pound!). Less reps, higher weight is the way to go!
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:48 AM   #6
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More than likely it's muscle being bulked up from the weight training. In my opinion I think an hour of cardio a day is excessive for someone of your size and your body might also be going into starvation mode. I would focus more on the weights (to tone) and a little less cardio. I'm glad you kicked up your calories a bit, 900 is definitely not enough.
I highly doubt my weight gain is due to increased muscle mass. It takes females a lot longer than a few weeks to gain enough muscle to account for weight gain especially while on a calorie deficit. I do not do an hour of cardio per day at the gym. I do about 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weight lifting.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:34 AM   #7
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I think it is too soon to assess some real results. Just keep doing what are you doing, keep a close eye on your calorie intake and give it two more weeks. Then show us the results and maybe we can discover what is going on.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:52 AM   #8
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Well, barring the muscle gain that you eschew as the reason for this, the only other unknown variable here to us is WHAT you're eating; could you give us an example of a typical day's meals?
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:40 PM   #9
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Well, barring the muscle gain that you eschew as the reason for this, the only other unknown variable here to us is WHAT you're eating; could you give us an example of a typical day's meals?
this is a typical day:
breakfast: whole wheat oatmeal(150 cals)
Snack: fruit(80 cals), vegtable soup(150 cals)
Lunch: coffee with 1 sugar and skim milk (25 cals), Egg salad sandwich(350 cals)
Snack:nonfat cottage cheese(70 cals)
Dinner: usually some type of frozen dinner(350 cals).
Snack: cereal(150 cals)
Sometimes I will have 300 calories worth of chocolate worked into my 1350. I kind of have a weakness for chocolate.

I am in college and I am taking a nutrition class. We learned in class a few weeks ago that it doesn't matter what you are eating with regard to weight loss. Of course eating healthy foods is better for us due to vitamins and minerals but as long as we have a calorie deficit, we should lose weight. It doesn't matter where the calories come from.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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As far as I know, muscle mass actually increases pretty quickly. Especially if you've never weight trained before.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #11
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Also by that logic, Julie, I should be able to eat a 1000 calorie burger a day with a drink and fries, and nothing else, and still lose weight. (while working out and building a deficit) Unfortunately, I doubt that's true.

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Old 03-21-2012, 02:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julie14401 View Post
this is a typical day:
breakfast: whole wheat oatmeal(150 cals)
Snack: fruit(80 cals), vegtable soup(150 cals)
Lunch: coffee with 1 sugar and skim milk (25 cals), Egg salad sandwich(350 cals)
Snack:nonfat cottage cheese(70 cals)
Dinner: usually some type of frozen dinner(350 cals).
Snack: cereal(150 cals)
Sometimes I will have 300 calories worth of chocolate worked into my 1350. I kind of have a weakness for chocolate.

I am in college and I am taking a nutrition class. We learned in class a few weeks ago that it doesn't matter what you are eating with regard to weight loss. Of course eating healthy foods is better for us due to vitamins and minerals but as long as we have a calorie deficit, we should lose weight. It doesn't matter where the calories come from.
Yes and no. Well it is true that most can lose on a calorie deficiency, the vitamins and minerals that help fuel the body do aid in weight loss. Some days I eat crap the entire day and stay at my calorie limit (1350-1600), others I eat healthy foods. However, if I was to eat crappy food all day everyday, even staying at my calorie limit, I probably wouldn't lose nearly as well due to the mineral deficiency, the excess carbs and sugars as well as the high sodium content.

Being closer to your goal weight generally means having to give it 110% just to lose the last few pounds (which sucks). When our body is lacking in particular food areas, it will hold onto body fat, even when eating the correct number of calories. So yes, you aim for a calorie deficiency, but no, you can not just eat crap all day, still eat the right number of calories, and except to lose regularly.

However, in most cases when people are trying to lose weight and are good at tracking their calorie intake, they usually also eat healthier foods as well because if they don't, they reach their calorie limit way to quickly.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julie14401 View Post
this is a typical day:


I am in college and I am taking a nutrition class. We learned in class a few weeks ago that it doesn't matter what you are eating with regard to weight loss. Of course eating healthy foods is better for us due to vitamins and minerals but as long as we have a calorie deficit, we should lose weight. It doesn't matter where the calories come from.
Ha ha. I won't argue the point, as simplistic as it sounds- I'll just point out that apparently, your body doesn't agree with the school's hypothesis. So, maybe you should do a bit of confirmation bias!

As for your foods of choice, I'm going to have to be blunt and say they're terrible (from a nutrition as well as a weight-loss standpoint). To make things a bit more "college bound" for you, I will break down the problems (with solutions) with the example diet you have provided:

breakfast: whole wheat oatmeal(150 cals)- No no no! First and foremost, nutrition-wise the balance of Omega 6s to 3s in oatmeal is a dastardaly 30:1. Oatmeal has been long touted as great for heart health, but more and more studies are coming out confirming the damage of such imbalance, and the glycemic load of grains is not good for heart health, blood sugar, or weight gain. You should take on a better adage, i.e. "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." If you're not doing some ridiculous workout when you're awakening, you should make this your most calorie-dense meal of the day (that doesn't mean go crazy, but you don't seem to have a problem with that as you limit calories, anyway) A better choice would be two eggs with some manner of leafy greens or leafy green salad. That way you get the fiber (or more than the fiber) you'd be getting with oatmeal without the high glycemic load and omega imbalance of oatmeal. Plus, the added COMPLETE protein will assist in weight loss and you'll be at about the same amount of calories you were before (150); though again, I'd personally do more for the "most important meal of the day."

Snack: fruit(80 cals), vegtable soup(150 cals); this is actually fine, just be sure the vegetable soup (if not homemade) is not filled with a bunch of hard-to-pronounce preservatives or, is as especially the case in commercial soup brands, sodium. One other commenter mentioned water retention; ills of that like come about in the company of excess sodium. Still, fruit is a great choice.

Lunch: coffee with 1 sugar and skim milk (25 cals), Egg salad sandwich(350 cals); Don't think I have to give a lecture on coffee, as we all know what caffeine does to adenosine receptors in our brains now don't we? Add the sugar to that, and well...you know. The egg salad sandwich could be good and could be bad, depending on its components. Again, grains are definitely not only the enemy to weight loss, but to general overall health. You'd be better (hate to sound redundant) using leafy greens as your carb of choice. Better in nutrients, fiber, and calories than any bread will ever be, from white to whole wheat 1000-grain (or whatever they're advertising these days to make people think bread is healthy)

Snack:nonfat cottage cheese(70 cals); Just have the full-fat variety, really. The efficacy of low fat, low cholesterol diets has even been called into question by the "officials;" the American Heart Association published a study (will furnish if necessary) likening certain illnesses (amongst them atherosclerosis) to lowfat low-cholesterol diets. I know you're trying to keep kcals down, but honestly; the difference in a serving isn't enough to affect your weightloss goals.

Dinner: usually some type of frozen dinner(350 cals); again, NO. Too many preservatives. Even the organic type foods have a certain amount of potentially harmful preservatives allowed in them. Plus, it's highly dependent on the type of carb, type of meat (if you can call whatever is in those things meat), and the glycemic load or fat content is in the particular meal. In general, you want to avoid these things. Better option? Boil or broil some fresh fish and half of a sweet potato, maybe even with some curry or turmeric or something to up the anti-inflammatory value while helping you with weight loss.

Snack: cereal(150 cals); Nope. Again, grains. They almost instantly metabolize to glucose, and excess glucose is excess glycogen. Excess glycogen gets stored as fat for cell-fuel later. Go instead for a 150-calorie serving of macadamia nuts. Good omega 3 to 6 value, hunger-satisfying fat, and doesn't metabolize to junk within seconds.

Sometimes I will have 300 calories worth of chocolate worked into my 1350. I kind of have a weakness for chocolate; No judgment here, I completely understand as a sweet-tooth myself! My suggestion is to do what I have done (Hear me out, this may seem impossible); I buy 100% unsweetened baking chocolate (Ghirardelli or whatever you have available). I've found that by itself, a couple of squares is actually surprisingly good, but I also sometimes have a square or two with a dab of (heavily flax-seed supplemented) peanut butter, or eat it together with a banana slice. I think you'll concur that 300 calories of sugared chocolate isn't agreeing with your weight loss efforts.

Anyway, hope all this helps! Also hope I don't come off as pompous or condescending, but tough love; y'know? Your weight really sounds fine, though your food choices should take a bit more consideration in my vainglorious opinion. Ha ha.

Last edited by Kiko Rex : 03-21-2012 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiko Rex View Post
Ha ha. I won't argue the point, as simplistic as it sounds- I'll just point out that apparently, your body doesn't agree with the school's hypothesis. So, maybe you should do a bit of confirmation bias!

As for your foods of choice, I'm going to have to be blunt and say they're terrible (from a nutrition as well as a weight-loss standpoint). To make things a bit more "college bound" for you, I will break down the problems (with solutions) with the example diet you have provided:

breakfast: whole wheat oatmeal(150 cals)- No no no! First and foremost, nutrition-wise the balance of Omega 6s to 3s in oatmeal is a dastardaly 30:1. Oatmeal has been long touted as great for heart health, but more and more studies are coming out confirming the damage of such imbalance, and the glycemic load of grains is not good for heart health, blood sugar, or weight gain. You should take on a better adage, i.e. "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." If you're not doing some ridiculous workout when you're awakening, you should make this your most calorie-dense meal of the day (that doesn't mean go crazy, but you don't seem to have a problem with that as you limit calories, anyway) A better choice would be two eggs with some manner of leafy greens or leafy green salad. That way you get the fiber (or more than the fiber) you'd be getting with oatmeal without the high glycemic load and omega imbalance of oatmeal. Plus, the added COMPLETE protein will assist in weight loss and you'll be at about the same amount of calories you were before (150); though again, I'd personally do more for the "most important meal of the day."

Snack: fruit(80 cals), vegtable soup(150 cals); this is actually fine, just be sure the vegetable soup (if not homemade) is not filled with a bunch of hard-to-pronounce preservatives or, is as especially the case in commercial soup brands, sodium. One other commenter mentioned water retention; ills of that like come about in the company of excess sodium. Still, fruit is a great choice.

Lunch: coffee with 1 sugar and skim milk (25 cals), Egg salad sandwich(350 cals); Don't think I have to give a lecture on coffee, as we all know what caffeine does to adenosine receptors in our brains now don't we? Add the sugar to that, and well...you know. The egg salad sandwich could be good and could be bad, depending on its components. Again, grains are definitely not only the enemy to weight loss, but to general overall health. You'd be better (hate to sound redundant) using leafy greens as your carb of choice. Better in nutrients, fiber, and calories than any bread will ever be, from white to whole wheat 1000-grain (or whatever they're advertising these days to make people think bread is healthy)

Snack:nonfat cottage cheese(70 cals); Just have the full-fat variety, really. The efficacy of low fat, low cholesterol diets has even been called into question by the "officials;" the American Heart Association published a study (will furnish if necessary) likening certain illnesses (amongst them atherosclerosis) to lowfat low-cholesterol diets. I know you're trying to keep kcals down, but honestly; the difference in a serving isn't enough to affect your weightloss goals.

Dinner: usually some type of frozen dinner(350 cals); again, NO. Too many preservatives. Even the organic type foods have a certain amount of potentially harmful preservatives allowed in them. Plus, it's highly dependent on the type of carb, type of meat (if you can call whatever is in those things meat), and the glycemic load or fat content is in the particular meal. In general, you want to avoid these things. Better option? Boil or broil some fresh fish and half of a sweet potato, maybe even with some curry or turmeric or something to up the anti-inflammatory value while helping you with weight loss.

Snack: cereal(150 cals); Nope. Again, grains. They almost instantly metabolize to glucose, and excess glucose is excess glycogen. Excess glycogen gets stored as fat for cell-fuel later. Go instead for a 150-calorie serving of macadamia nuts. Good omega 3 to 6 value, hunger-satisfying fat, and doesn't metabolize to junk within seconds.

Sometimes I will have 300 calories worth of chocolate worked into my 1350. I kind of have a weakness for chocolate; No judgment here, I completely understand as a sweet-tooth myself! My suggestion is to do what I have done (Hear me out, this may seem impossible); I buy 100% unsweetened baking chocolate (Ghirardelli or whatever you have available). I've found that by itself, a couple of squares is actually surprisingly good, but I also sometimes have a square or two with a dab of (heavily flax-seed supplemented) peanut butter, or eat it together with a banana slice. I think you'll concur that 300 calories of sugared chocolate isn't agreeing with your weight loss efforts.

Anyway, hope all this helps! Also hope I don't come off as pompous or condescending, but tough love; y'know? Your weight really sounds fine, though your food choices should take a bit more consideration in my vainglorious opinion. Ha ha.

I personally do not see anything wrong with grains (from a personal and nutritional point of view) as long as you are not eating white bread, nor eating a whole loaf a day. Having an egg sandwich on two slices of whole wheat bread is not going to cause you to gain weight, not lose weight, or go into cardiac arrest. If you make your own bread or buy bread with minimal processing, I think it can aid in weight loss as this has worked wonders for me. If I had to cut out all my grains and eat leafy greens only instead, I'd go on a giant binge. A lot of people do cut out grains completely, which is great for them, but I don't think telling someone that their diet sucks because they decided to have oatmeal (which you will find nearly half of the people on this forum eat oatmeal for breakfast and have lost a significant amount of weight) or an egg sandwich is helpful unless they are posting about how to cut out grains from there life.
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kiko Rex View Post
Ha ha. I won't argue the point, as simplistic as it sounds- I'll just point out that apparently, your body doesn't agree with the school's hypothesis. So, maybe you should do a bit of confirmation bias!

As for your foods of choice, I'm going to have to be blunt and say they're terrible (from a nutrition as well as a weight-loss standpoint). To make things a bit more "college bound" for you, I will break down the problems (with solutions) with the example diet you have provided:

breakfast: whole wheat oatmeal(150 cals)- No no no! First and foremost, nutrition-wise the balance of Omega 6s to 3s in oatmeal is a dastardaly 30:1. Oatmeal has been long touted as great for heart health, but more and more studies are coming out confirming the damage of such imbalance, and the glycemic load of grains is not good for heart health, blood sugar, or weight gain. You should take on a better adage, i.e. "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." If you're not doing some ridiculous workout when you're awakening, you should make this your most calorie-dense meal of the day (that doesn't mean go crazy, but you don't seem to have a problem with that as you limit calories, anyway) A better choice would be two eggs with some manner of leafy greens or leafy green salad. That way you get the fiber (or more than the fiber) you'd be getting with oatmeal without the high glycemic load and omega imbalance of oatmeal. Plus, the added COMPLETE protein will assist in weight loss and you'll be at about the same amount of calories you were before (150); though again, I'd personally do more for the "most important meal of the day."

Snack: fruit(80 cals), vegtable soup(150 cals); this is actually fine, just be sure the vegetable soup (if not homemade) is not filled with a bunch of hard-to-pronounce preservatives or, is as especially the case in commercial soup brands, sodium. One other commenter mentioned water retention; ills of that like come about in the company of excess sodium. Still, fruit is a great choice.

Lunch: coffee with 1 sugar and skim milk (25 cals), Egg salad sandwich(350 cals); Don't think I have to give a lecture on coffee, as we all know what caffeine does to adenosine receptors in our brains now don't we? Add the sugar to that, and well...you know. The egg salad sandwich could be good and could be bad, depending on its components. Again, grains are definitely not only the enemy to weight loss, but to general overall health. You'd be better (hate to sound redundant) using leafy greens as your carb of choice. Better in nutrients, fiber, and calories than any bread will ever be, from white to whole wheat 1000-grain (or whatever they're advertising these days to make people think bread is healthy)

Snack:nonfat cottage cheese(70 cals); Just have the full-fat variety, really. The efficacy of low fat, low cholesterol diets has even been called into question by the "officials;" the American Heart Association published a study (will furnish if necessary) likening certain illnesses (amongst them atherosclerosis) to lowfat low-cholesterol diets. I know you're trying to keep kcals down, but honestly; the difference in a serving isn't enough to affect your weightloss goals.

Dinner: usually some type of frozen dinner(350 cals); again, NO. Too many preservatives. Even the organic type foods have a certain amount of potentially harmful preservatives allowed in them. Plus, it's highly dependent on the type of carb, type of meat (if you can call whatever is in those things meat), and the glycemic load or fat content is in the particular meal. In general, you want to avoid these things. Better option? Boil or broil some fresh fish and half of a sweet potato, maybe even with some curry or turmeric or something to up the anti-inflammatory value while helping you with weight loss.

Snack: cereal(150 cals); Nope. Again, grains. They almost instantly metabolize to glucose, and excess glucose is excess glycogen. Excess glycogen gets stored as fat for cell-fuel later. Go instead for a 150-calorie serving of macadamia nuts. Good omega 3 to 6 value, hunger-satisfying fat, and doesn't metabolize to junk within seconds.

Sometimes I will have 300 calories worth of chocolate worked into my 1350. I kind of have a weakness for chocolate; No judgment here, I completely understand as a sweet-tooth myself! My suggestion is to do what I have done (Hear me out, this may seem impossible); I buy 100% unsweetened baking chocolate (Ghirardelli or whatever you have available). I've found that by itself, a couple of squares is actually surprisingly good, but I also sometimes have a square or two with a dab of (heavily flax-seed supplemented) peanut butter, or eat it together with a banana slice. I think you'll concur that 300 calories of sugared chocolate isn't agreeing with your weight loss efforts.

Anyway, hope all this helps! Also hope I don't come off as pompous or condescending, but tough love; y'know? Your weight really sounds fine, though your food choices should take a bit more consideration in my vainglorious opinion. Ha ha.
I appreciate your advice but saying my diet is terrible is a huge exaggeration. Its not like I am eating nothing but french fries and milkshakes all day. I am trying hard to be healthy. I live in a college dorm and I don't have a kitchen. I only eat foods that have nutrition labels on them so I can count my calories accurately. So, my diet basically consists of anything i can cook in a microwave like oatmeal and frozen dinners(I always eat the "Amy's" organic frozen dinners which aren't as unhealthy as other brands and are preservative free), the prepared sandwiches at the dining places(like egg salad sandwiches, turkey sandwiches and, veggie wraps), salads, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
What is wrong with grains? Everything we eat turns to glucose in our bodies. If grains were so awful, why would the USDA recommend that we consume about 6 servings per day? According to my nutrition textbook, there is no real evidence suggesting that consuming low gi foods contribute to weight loss or consuming high gi foods contribute to weight gain.
As for the coffee, I forgot to mention that I drink decaf. I don't like the affect caffeine has on me. Also, 1 serving of sugar isn't going to harm me as it has only 16 calories and 4 grams of sugar.
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