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Help! Common Sense, Please

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Old 02-26-2007, 01:12 AM   #1
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Default Help! Common Sense, Please

Hi everyone,

I am starting to get frustrated and confused and I need some voices of wisdom to guide me. I have a small amount of weight to lose--about 10 pounds--and it is NOT coming off as quickly and easily as I thought it would. My background is that two years ago I lost about 35-40 pounds in a couple of months on an exercise intensive, 1200-1300 cal/day diet. The weight literally flew off me then and I couldn't believe how easy it was, or that I had procrastinated about losing it for so long. Since then I've put on 13 pounds, which I would like to lose as quickly as possible (I have an important conference in two weeks, and my dress pants are too tight! I want them to come closer to fitting properly--5 pounds should do it, for starters).

For the last 2 1/2 weeks I've been doing 60 mins, as hard as I can, on the elliptical runner almost every day (I've probably missed 3 days during this period) and I'm watching what I eat, but I am NOT obsessively calorie-counting. I've eaten out for the last 4 nights in a row so I'm not sure where my calories are actually at (and I have a tendency to drink my calories--red wine--in social situations, and I have a very active social life), but I'm *definitely* eating fewer calories than I was prior to deciding that I need to lose these 10 pounds. I had thought that with the exercise alone I should be starting to lose weight pretty evenly, but I do not seem to be doing so.

What is going on? Why am I not losing weight? Do I really need to dramatically reduce my calories to 1200 a day to lose weight in addition to burning 500-600 daily at the gym?

The first week after I began my new exercise/eat-properly regime I went from 155 pounds to 152, which I thought was a good start. This week, however, I'm back around 155, despite all the exercise and the healthy day-time eating. I did get my period today though; is weight gain during one's period to be expected? Is this 'bloat' or have I managed to *gain* weight?!? Does starting at 155 rather than 180 really make that much of a difference as to how quickly one can begin to lose weight?

I need some objective advice. Please help! I'm really confused.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:44 AM   #2
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5 pounds in 2 weeks may be too high a goal - esp. since your BMI is normal to begin with ~ 1-2 pounds/week is usually the healthy weight loss. And yes, people who weigh more tend to lose quicker, since their bigger bodies generally need more total calories.

While you don't need to reduce to 1200/day ~ I would advise counting the calories (or at least keep a food/drink log) -- those suckers have a way of sneaking their way in if you're not being aware of it.

As for +/- 2-3 pounds I usually write that off as water weight, since I've been going on the scales on a daily basis and depending on time of day or how hydrated I am that's usually the range my weight can fluctuate.

If you are in a jam to fit in those pants in two weeks, a low-carb diet will probably help - since most people who start on that lose quite a bit of water weight during their initiation (of course, all of that comes back once you start getting carbs back in -- but that initial drop is a good motivator for people to start on a healthy lifestyle.) And of course, don't confuse low-carb as all-you-can-eat fatty/greasy meats.
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:11 AM   #3
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1: Yes, your moontime can add pounds *instantly*, water retention is the usual culprit. Don't sweat it. The first time it happened to me, I wigged out for no reason.

2: Yes, the extra 25 lbs down DOES make a difference as far as how fast it goes. The closer you are to goal, the slower it happens.

3: You don't have to "obsessively" calorie-count, but you really should log what you're eating. It's amazing how easy it is to eat more than you think...I had a nasty shock with that this morning. Our power went out for about 15 hrs last night/overnight/this morning, so I couldn't cook breakfast. I decided to splurge and went to Starbucks for a latte and a scone. When I came home around noon, the power was back on, and I checked on the Starbucks website. That little breakfast? 800 calories. Moral of the story: LOG WHAT YOU EAT. Because you could well be eating a lot more than you think you are. I'd say shoot for around 1500 a day.

And remember. You didn't put the weight on overnight; it's not going to come back off overnight, either.
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:13 AM   #4
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I have been at high and low weights and everything in between, these are just a few of what i've learned here and in my life.

Yes, it does get harder and slower. The less you have to lose and the older you get, the slower it goes.

Exercise may mean more muscle, which is heavier than fat.

TOM adds water weight.

3 pounds when you first start is water.

Calories are NOT created equal. Alchohol adds "empty" calories which we don't need when trying to lose weight. A decision has to be made about what is more important.

To keep the weight off, this needs to be a lifestyle change, not a diet. You can't expect to restrict and then go back to what you were doing before. The weight comes back.

Eating out = processed foods, lots of sodium and other stuff we can only guess at.

Everyone is different and only you can determine the best thing to do, but 1200 is regarded as the healthy minimum calorie level to keep the body from feeling that it's starving. Many have experienced increased weight loss by eating higher healthy calories.

You can bring your metabolism down by not eating enough.

Don't drive yourself nuts, get another pair of pants if you need to. Don't crash, your health is worth it.
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:45 AM   #5
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Yeah... it's sad... exercise alone doesn't mean weight loss... learned this one years ago.

Most people seem to have to count calories or points or follow some system about the food. Eating out invariably means higher calories than one thinks--listing the foods and portions later will tell the story. Drinking alcohol adds calories really fast, not only because it's about 100 cals a drink minimum, but also because it lowers inhibitions, so one thinks "Oh, what the heck, live for today!"

Good luck! I hope you can meet your goal!

Jay
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:18 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone.

I really did think that exercise combined with heightened calorie awareness would be enough to at least get me started. Why isn't it?!?! I have been logging my food during the day on Nutridiary and choosing my daytime calories very carefully. I had a tough (and long) weekend though with dinner parties and restaurants and stuff, and while I have been trying to make good choices and eat moderately, alcohol (and the attendant loss of inhibition) is definitely derailing me. I should be able to control my meals during the week, this week, and perhaps I have to resolve that one glass of wine a day is all I get while I am trying to lose these pounds.

I'm not crash dieting, but I am very angry with myself for having gained back some of the weight that I lost a couple of years ago, and I just want it OFF so that I can make a long term committment to maintenance. Yeah, and I want to fit into those pants. Actually, I determined yesterday morning that I wasn't going to be able to make those pants work so I made the trek yesterday to a bigger town with places to shop (I live in the country) but was unable to find anything I liked, and resolved instead to get serious about counting calories. Filled with good intentions, I brought carrot sticks and hummus and grapes to an Oscar party last night to keep me away from the chips, but I drank several glasses of wine, and then everyone wanted to order pizza for dinner... Argh.

Ah well, today is another day, right... And let's hope that my period and the bloating are responsible for some of what is going on here...
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:12 PM   #7
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Yup, those Oscar parties can really be a killer! Several glasses of wine means several hundred calories... and then came the pizza... I guess you can figure up how many calories that was... Bummer!

I didn't go to a party, but I did allow for some popcorn while watching. Still went over for the day, though.

Jay
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:40 PM   #8
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Yea, the 4-hour long affair (plus the post show commentaries) threw me off too, and I wound up eating 2 extra pieces of chocolates, two glasses of soymilk, and a personal pizza (albeit the South Beach version, so comparably healthier with its high protein & dietary fiber), some arrowroot cookies and a babybel mini cheese wheel.

Thankfully, I got my exercises in during the day -- and did a little extra too.
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:51 PM   #9
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baffled111~wine will do it to you every time! I know, because that is my downfall as well. It almost makes me think that my brain is getting in the way. "Oh, I have so few pounds to lose, I can afford this glass of wine." That sort of thing. I KNOW that if I could walk away from the wine for a good 6 weeks that I would get rid of these last few pounds......but the will power to do that is not anywhere to be found!
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