This is going to sound terrible, I have been stuck at the same weight for almost a year now. I count calories, and I work out every day, jog, swim, light weights... My problem is I just can't bring myself to eat at regular times, or eat at all some days.
I wake up in the morning, and I think I should eat, but I'm not hungry and feel sick if I try to eat anyway. So I wait and wait and forget about eating until 2-3PM. Then I don't know what to make, I don't want to start cooking a full meal in the middle of the afternoon, so I tell myself I'll just snack and wait for dinner. So I have some yogurt, or a fruit, or some cheese, or a handful of nuts. And then have dinner when my partner gets home from work at about 7-8PM. By then I'm usually not hungry anymore. We eat lots of "meal salads", so usually a portion of protein with any kind of green salad/fruit salad. I have a snack a few hours after dinner, some celery sticks with peanut butter, or a bowl of cereal, or a piece of fruit. And then a few hours later I usually go to bed (12-1AM).
I KNOW my eating patterns or lack thereof is HORRIBLE and might just be the sole cause of me not losing weight for a year. But I just cannot bring myself to eat on a schedule! I can't force food down my throat at certain times just because the schedule says I need to eat. It makes me sick.
So what do I do...??
Anybody else used to have that problem and found a way around it?
It's really frustrating and I'm 25 years old and feel like I've wasted half of my good years already being fat and uncomfortable and a hermit because I'm embarrassed to go out and do activities or put on a swimsuit. My level of fitness increased with the working out and all but I am SO tired of not seeing the scale move, not seeing my measurements shrink, not having to buy new clothes, and seeing the same darn number on the scale month after month after month.
you might have an eating disorder. maybe seeing a nutritionist or having someone professional encourage you to eat will help?
i went through a period where it was really difficult for me to eat anything above 800 calories a day because i thought it was making me sick and that it would make me stop losing weight if i went above that, but for me it was really just mindset as opposed to a real physical problem. it might just take you some getting used to.
it sucks, but with a diet or lifestyle change, changing your eating habits is a must. whether you're eating too much or eating too little, you have to will yourself to make a change and just fight through it. it pains many people to drop their calories from 2500 to 1800 a day and they feel as if they are starving, but those who stick to plan do it regardless. i would say that you just need to make yourself do it if you really believe that this is an issue and that your eating patterns are what's preventing you from losing the amount of weight that you want to lose.
there's no real easy answer. make a plan and stick it out.
You REALLY need to eat something within 2 hours of waking. Even if it's something small (IE an egg with some toast)- your metabolism is running at a low rate when you don't eat. It's not about eating once a day- it's about eating a bunch of smaller meals throughout the day to get your metabolism running at full speed.
I agree you may want to see a nutritionist.
How many calories are you eating and how much are you working out?
Remember- if you aren't getting enough nutrients your body will just not be able to burn the fat. Your body needs a certain amount of nutrients (ie enough fiber, fat, carbs, protein, vitamins) to be able to burn off the fat. If it doesn't have them then no fat will be lost. So as odd as it may seem eating less isn't always the way to lose more weight.
Posting a sample menu (with times) would also help Oh and btw for me I have set eating times- no matter what I eat at those times- now my body will actually start to feel hungry when those times happen. You have ignored that hunger for so long your body is shutting off those signals- which isn't a good thing. Start out small, with a 100-200 calorie breakfast and I guarantee over time your body will not feel sick anymore (I used to be the same way).
Here are some links about why you should not skip breakfast:
I'm going to tell you something you may not want to hear. Your eating patterns are most certainly not the cause of your weight not going down.
Our bodies are extremely adapatable and eating intermittently is how we evolved over thousands and thousands of years. The primary reason to eat regularly is simply to get yourself into good food selection habits and avoid the binging and/or poor food choices that can easily happen when you're extremely hungry from missing a meal.
Granted, irregular feeding can and usually does cause stress which can create water rention issues but that wouldn't account for a long term stall on the scale.
I don't eat until 1 or 2 PM every day. I personally do this because if I don't eat a decent sized meal I'm going to be hungry in about 20-30 minutes and since calories matter eating only in the afternoon allows me to eat bigger meals.
So if you're being honest with yourself about the calories you're ingesting you should go see a doctor and see what's up. In the meanwhile, if you don't feel like eating breakfast ... don't worry about it. I haven't had breakfast in over a year.
I was EXACTLY the same way about food in the morning as you are. For like 20 years i was like that. Only when I decided to take this weight loss journey did that change. And it did not change easily. Eating in the mornings, at first, was a lot of work for me. It didn't matter what it was, the concept of food in the mornings made me nauseated.
But, I decided that I wanted to get healthy, I wanted to get thin, and i wanted to have energy, and to do those things I was going to have to learn to eat breakfast. So i started with 1/2 cup of cheerios with a tiny bit of milk...within a couple of weeks, i was HUNGRY if I didn't eat within 30 minutes of getting up.
I have seen such an change in my energy levels now that I am eating regular (healthy) meals and snacks, at regular times. I had to LEARN how to do it, but it has been SO worth it!!
"There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path, don't let yourself become one of them" ~Unknown
I don't know if you need professional help or not, it depends on whether or not you can change your habits on your own once you make a plan to do so. If you can make a plan and stick to it, this may all just be a cluster of bad habits, that you haven't tried very hard to change. However, if you make a plan and can't follow it enough to make progress, you may indeed need eating disorder threatment.
During many times in my life, I also ate a lot like you, and blamed the pattern on lack of weight loss too, but it isn't the pattern, it's the calories.
I still eat on a very unpredictable pattern. I usually don't have breakfast until at least two hours after I'm up. I often graze rather than eat regular meals, and I don't lose weight if I don't document what I'm eating.
I use an exchange plan, and when I use it, I lose - even if I don't eat breakfast - even if I don't eat a "full" meal, even if I graze all day.
It's what you're eating and how much, not when.
I like exchange plans, because I set a minimum and a maximum for each food group. I know I'm eating a balanced diet and not starving myself if I reach my minumum, and I know I'll lose weight if I don't exceed my maximum.
Whether I eat one meal or 12 snacks, as long as eat according to my plan, I lose weight. I do have to keep carby foods to a minimum, but my exchange plan helps me do that too.
I buy a lot of foods that are easy and quick to eat with little or no preparation.
Writing down everything you eat, and it's calorie or exchange count, really is one of the best ways to lose weight, and gain control of your eating. Even if you eat "off-plan" whatever your plan is, write it down. The more you write down, the easier it is to make and follow changes.
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I'm going to tell you something you may not want to hear. Your eating patterns are most certainly not the cause of your weight not going down.
It's not your eating patterns. It's just not. I have a job where half the week I work 5am to 3pm, and the other half of the week I work 2pm to 11pm. My eating schedule is way whacked out because of that.
But my guess is that your eating patterns show that you are being undisciplined in other areas as well.
It sounds like you are trying to justify convenience eating and we all know that eating for convenience sake almost always means making poor choices.
It's hard to believe that you are really following portion control, weighing your food, making the best choices for your health.
I challenge you to REALLY count your food for a week. Write it down. Weigh it. Measure it. Be honest with yourself.
I agree with John and Katy. I don't think it's your pattern, it's WHAT you're eating in said pattern.
I am not a breakfast eater either. I normally have my coffee, but now that I am trying to get in a mid-morning workout, I force down a bagel just to have a little energy. It seems to be working for me so far, but other than that, I have always been the kind of person to consume the majority of my calories from 2-7pm. And I still do. My bagel is only 110 calories and I use a tbsp. of strawberry cream cheese. That and my coffee is all I have until around 2ish.
Like someone else mentioned, it could be that even though you are skipping meals, you are eating a whole lot more (calories) than you think at a later time because you're so hungry, and this can happen even with healthy food. I would experiment with writing everything down and see if that gives you any insight into what is going on.
I have to agree it's not when you eat it's what you are eating and perhaps your exercise too.
A handful of nuts -how many is that. a 1/4 cup (a big handful IMO) is nearly 200 calories. One yogurt can be over 200 calories. A meat salad, with a lot of dressing can be over 800 calories and so on.
Also, how do you exercise. A very good friend once told me how many pushups she could do - men's pushups. I was so impressed, until I saw her do them. she dipped maybe an inch or two. She just ran a 5k, she could have walked there faster. She's not pushing herself because she doesn't know how to, so she's not as fit as she thinks she is and not burning as many calories as she thinks she is.
But, if you really think you are eating lightly and exercising strongly and your weight is stuck, get your thyroid checked. That also could be a problem.
I was reading something about a recent study that was done which explains why some of us do not want food in the morning because we feel sick later. It had something to do with insulin levels peaking on average at a particular time, and with the levels already being high in the blood, the food aversion was likely our body's way of trying to prevent even more being released into the bloodstream.
I don't have time to search it, but if anyone else has seen the same story (would've been in the past few weeks), please feel free to post the link.
Restart 10/01/11 at 297 lbs...after being at 265. I won't update this ticker until I'm back to that weight.
Pounds til obese instead of morbidly so.
Ok, reading that made me go "aaaaaahhh!" but that's me. I have to eat regular or I go bananas with my blood sugar. That said, I recently saw my endoc and I took in my food log and I wanted to know WHY if I cut back, I still wasn't losing. And she did the math and was stumped and said to cut back again. My metabolism with the hypothyroid and the PCOS thing must be lower than the guesstimate formulas she was using.
So I cranked it down again to 1800, and lo! I'm losing.
So my suggestions is this. You can work on the regular meal thing. It certainly couldn't hurt. But get to the basics.
What's the food log average? How are you measuring that? Eyeballing it? Measuring cups? A food scale? How do you measure your exercise calories? With a heart rate monitor? Guesstimate?
Are you being honest on the log and tracking very single bite or being loosey goosey with it? "Oh, that's about a 1/2 cup" is a lot different than putting it in a half cup measure or on the food scale.
If you have been accurate and honest, and you find you are maintaining at whatever number this is, then that's what it is. Drop it down a bit more.
If you are already low enough (1200 ish? 1500 ish? I don't know your stats so what may be appropriate there), and dropping even more sounds crazy, you may have hidden health problems causing the stall. Like me -- with the hypothyroid and PCOS. Get a physical.
I know for a fact if my thyroid med isn't right, I can food log and exercise til the cow comes home but nothing will happen. When it is right, things chug along.
As others have mentioned, the problems may be more psychological and deeper than just adjusting your eating patterns. But as a small step towards eating more regularly, have you considered trying a protein shake in the morning? Eating breakfast used to make me gag in high school until my mom started me trying Slim Fast in the mornings (not to lose weight- I was 119 at 5'2, but just to get some protein and calories in my system before going to school). It worked and after a few years I started rotating between Slim Fast, low-fat muffins, and oatmeal. I know some people are opposed to Slim Fast, but for me it was an important step from bad eating habits (not eating breakfast) to good ones (consuming something early in the morning).
I do believe that breakfast is a very important meal, and I do eat it every day. But not always within 2 hours of waking. That said, I have a real problem with some of the "rules" I've been told. I once went to a nutritionist who did tell me I "had" to eat within 2 hours, and I wondered... "Wait a minute... why? Am I going to die if I don't? Get sick?" From the conversation, I understand that it might be ideal to do that, but I personally think if you feel sick or not really hungry, then maybe not everybody is cut out to eat breakfast.
That being said, you might have other problems eating regularly, and I agree with the posters who say that you should really try to track exactly what it is you're eating. You don't even have to count calories, but it might really help to track how much is in the "handful" of nuts...
You might also have body image issues. I certainly understand feeling fat and all, but you really aren't very heavy, all things considered. In fact, you are with the majority of Americans...
Given all the issues you've outlined, is it at all possible for you to talk to a counselor? Or a dietician?
My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences
Heather, I so agree with all the fussy "rules". The insulin levels someone else mentioned could very well be a possibility, among other things. I think mine has to do with my cortisol levels being out of whack, so although my eyes are open, I can listen and talk, I am not "awake" according to my saliva test patterns until around lunch time. My cortisol is highest at night, peaking around 2am when I SHOULD be in deep sleep and most normal people peak around 6-8am. This is something the original poster could explore, but with that said, I am still losing weight so I still agree that it is not when, but what.