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Old 05-25-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
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Default New here and would like feedback on my plan

Hey everyone!

I am new here. I will post a formal introduction over the next week as I am having my pc repaired and on my husbands very old IBM Thinkpad right now. Took me five minutes just to get to this page!

I have been struggling with my weight for about 5 yrs now, due to hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's). Although I am not as "overweight" as my fellow thyroid victims, carrying around 33 extra lbs. is not where I want to be.

I am 34 yo, female, 5'5" and currently weight 163. I am on a combo of Synthroid and Armour (Armour seems to be the ONLY thing that assists with those lingering symptoms of fibro and fatigue). Last summer while on a very messed up dose of Synthroid and Armour, I tried to no avail to lose 23 lbs. I was then 153 lbs. Around January I went off Armour completely and was taking Synthroid only. Then came the 10 lbs out of nowhere along with the other symptoms. I believe my dr has me on a good combo now and am going to try again.

I have been reading a lot on the zig-zag approach and feel that this will work best for me. I just started back on the stationary bike and treadmill one week ago today and have not yet noticed any weight loss. I was attempting to burn 500 cals per day and taking in only 1200 calories. Probably exactly why I wasn't losing!!! My body was hoarding everything I put in my mouth. I was confused and then realized that after taking in only 1200 cals along with burning 500 daily, I was only giving my body 800 to work with. So after doing some research, I learned of the zig-zag method.

I am still a bit confused. I would LIKE to do my cardio everyday, MAYBE a one day rest every couple of weeks and then do strength training 3 days a week, possibly 4.

I found a calculator that zig zags the cals for you according to weight and height:

Sunday 1793
Monday 1956
Tuesday 1630
Wednesday 1956
Thursday 1630
Friday 1956
Saturday 1630

I am confused in that I am certain I should do my workouts, both cardio and strength training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday but what about the other days? If I burn 500 on say Tuesday, that still only gives my body 1130 to work with and well, research says never drop below 1200. Is that rule only if you are intending on dropping below 1200 consistently or would it be fine for me to go ahead and do my cardio? Should I try to manipulate the calories more and go a little heavier with cals on the workout days and a little lighter in cals on the low days and not workout at all those days?

Thanks for any insight any of you can provide!
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:04 PM   #2
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1200 calories + that exercise is exactly why you weren't losing!

Your new calorie plan looks good. Keep with it. Make sure it is as healthy as possible (ie. 1 tbsp almond butter at 100 calories instead of a 100 calorie snack(junk) pack). Don't worry about your calories-burned numbers, it isn't an exact science. For a woman your size to burn 500 calories is quite difficult. I burn about 400 calories if I run for at least 4-5 miles.Don't worry about thaT!!!

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Old 05-25-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
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No, no, no. Exercise can't NEGATE the fact that you've eaten and consumed 1200 calories worth of food. You've eaten it. You took in all the vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, fiber, etc. that is contained in that food. Exercising can't take that away. Your body DOES have those 1200 calories to work with. When "they" say not to go below 1200 calories, they are NOT taking into account how much you burn. They are speaking STRICTLY about how many calories you EAT.

Those calories burned calculators are highly inaccurate. They're just not reliable whatsoever. Since there is no way to know 100% what you're burning, I don't stress/follow/track/monitor it.

I personally, keep my calories BURNED, totally and completely SEPARATE from my calories CONSUMED. One has nothing to do with the other in my book. I consume what I consume. I burn what I burn. One is not reliant on the other.

Any calories lost (burned) through exercise, intentional or otherwise is simply a bonus to me in the deficit department.

When you say you haven't noticed any weight loss, do you mean by sight, or on the scale? Has it been a full 7 days? Have you tracked those calories really, really carefully? I would be curious to hear those answers, because I'm really, there's no way to say 100% that you didn't lose any weight because of xyz. It could just be your body adjusting and it hasn't had enough time. Weight loss is not an instant gratification type thing.

I think if you were to consume the calories that you have listed above, it might not result in weight loss either. I would think, don't know for sure of course, that that might be a tad on the high side, given your size. Only through trial and error can you get some answers though, as there is no way to know for sure what will provide you with a loss. That and some patience.

Give yourself some time, you'll get that scale moving.

Last edited by rockinrobin; 05-25-2009 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:45 PM   #4
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Height: 5'3"



Actually, the 1200 calorie rule only applies to intake. But, you should find out your rmr (resting metabolic rate) and not go below that, either.

Here's a site that has calculators for lots of things--if it's not the one you already went to:


You can get a 7-day cycling plan there as well--but it looks similar to what you have already.

It's best to rest every 3 or 4 days when exercising--you need to give your muscles and joints time to recover!

Have you checked in the "Dieting With Obstacles" forum? You may find others who are trying to lose while taking Armour or Synthroid.

"My religion is kindness." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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Old 05-25-2009, 09:10 PM   #5
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Thanks all for your replies.

I am trying to be as accurate as possible when it comes to measuring all of my food intake. If I have chocolate milk for instance, I measure both the cup of skim milk along with the teaspoon of ovaltine.

I do agree with the calories burned being estimates. I should have said I am attempting to burn 500 cals a day rather than that being the actual.

That is the same site that I entered my info to get the zig-zagged calories. Maybe I should shoot for the lower fat burning calories? I did change the days around some, but kept the calories the same and in the same order.

I know that I am weight-loss challenged because of the thyroid issue. But any calories burned has to drop off sometime, right? Surely it can't and won't just hang around forever? It may just take me twice as long, haha.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:21 PM   #6
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Height: 5'5"


It sounds like you have a solid plan and some great resources. I would just give it some more time. Ultimately it is calories in/out but our bodies aren't machines. They don't drop weight in a linear fashion. There are many other factors that can affect the scale.

My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:53 PM   #7
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Thanks Heather!

Finding this site was also very helpful. To know that there are others out there like me struggling to do this the right way is so comforting. Since 2007 I have lost about 45 lbs total, gaining back 10 of those, so that is a bummer.

I also must add that I am SO not used to eating as much as I have been over the last week. I think I will try dropping the cals down to the lower values and see how that goes. Over the last three days I have developed a tummy ache and a little potty trouble

I usually consume most of my calories from late noon to dinner. During the day, especially morning to noon aside from my coffee, I just find it hard to force myself to eat anything other than chocolate mousse yogurt before noon. I have been this way for many, many years but it seemed to get worse when my thyroid problems surfaced. I wouldn't say I am starving myself because I do end up with a pretty good calorie total, but I wouldn't say it is an acceptable eating pattern either if you compare me to others.
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