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Nutritionist just shot all my efforts to H-E-**... Now what?

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Old 05-08-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default Nutritionist just shot all my efforts to H-E-**... Now what?

So Ive been stuck trying to lose the last 20 pounds for a few years now - due to varying degrees of effort, complacency, time, etc. 20 lbs is actually just a guess, I'd be happy losing no weight if I could get to a body in which I felt healthy, happy, and comfortable for my frame.

I recommitted myself in February and began strictly calorie counting (weighing) and exercising 3-5x a week (first mostly cardio for 30min, now mostly circuit training with heavy weights for about 35min-50min), although lately with finals month that has fallen to 2x a week . I eat anything, but mostly follow what can short-hand be summed up as a whole-foods, 40-30-30 meal plan with plenty of fresh veggies, lean protein, low fat dairy, monounsat oils, and whole grain carbs. Of course there are times when I have gelato or a cupcake or cookies, or something like that, but it's been worked into my calorie allotment for the day 1500cal.

I saw an RD because I'm frustrated with my lack of losses and I'm at a loss of what changes I actually need to make - there's so much misinformation out there. She basically said I was doing everything wrong, and now I feel completely lost. Her advice was:

1. Don't count calories, just eat protein, fat and complex carb at every meal. It doesn't matter how much I eat as long as I have each macronutrient at every meal... whoa.
2. Don't go too long without eating (I had large breaks between meals) - depending upon how much carb/fat/prot I eat it should be anywhere from 1-4 hours break between snacks/meals
3. Don't lift! - do cardio for at least 30 mins and then weights only if I have time (this one surprises me)
4. Don't eat too close to bedtime, eat larger meals early in the day

I've been a calorie counter my whole twenties - plus I love weights and from what I've read, I believe circuit training can be as good or better than cardio for weightloss. Buutt... obviously I don't know much, I've been plateaued at a weight I don't want to be at for a year +. Has anyone adopted these above techniques with any success? I start tomorrow...
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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What do you know about her credentials and training? You said RD, the nutritionist... I'd be asking her a lot more questions about what certifications she has before taking seriously any of her advice that you've shared here. (Of course, I'm incredibly underwhelmed to begin with by what conventional dietetics programs consider gospel. My doctor actually was in her dietician residency long ago before quitting, because she couldn't stomach the job of having to design such harmful meal plans for very ill people.) Anyway, I'd sure be interested if your nutritionist could back up that advice with quality studies (because I'm suuuper skeptical!)
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:39 PM   #3
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Uhhhhhhh......

I wonder how I've managed to lose almost 100 lbs doing exactly the OPPOSITE of what this lady is advocating. Take all that with a grain of salt. Maybe that worked for her?? But it's certainly not universal, or even very good, advice!!!
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:39 PM   #4
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Interestingly enough, her advice is very similar to what my coworker was told when she started seeing a RD. One thing to note - she wasn't given carte blanche to eat any- and everything she wanted, she DID have suggested serving sizes for her protein/carbs + unlimited veggies, but when i asked her what her calories were at, she said she was told not to worry about that, just the good, nutritious food she was eating. She's lost about 54lbs in 6 months and looks fantastic. I'm not sure what her workout routines are like right now but I know she used to do cardio 3x a week for ~20 minutes at a pop because that's all she could manage at her weight.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:43 PM   #5
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Sounds like her opinions to me. I don't agree with anything she told you whatsoever.

So is she an actual registered dietitian with an actual degree and credentials or is she just a nutritionist (which, depending on the state, could mean absolutely nothing). I just don't see how a dietitian has any business giving you workout advice and telling you not to lift! That alone makes me very skeptical of her knowledge!

TONS and TONS of people are hugely successful going against all of the advice she gave you.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:00 AM   #6
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Lifting = More muscle = More calories burned

I dont get it
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:02 AM   #7
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Lifting = More muscle = More calories burned

I dont get it
Exactly... the afterburn and muscle building of lifting makes it more efficient than cardio. Where did this woman go to school?
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:34 AM   #8
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Actually, all of that advice was really good except the lifting.. but she said to do weights, I guess what she meant was focus on cardio for weight loss, cos some people go to the gym, stay on the dinky machines for 15 minutes and call it a work out.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:41 AM   #9
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I had a nutritionist that gave me a program that was similar in some ways. To eat no farther than 4 hours apart throughout the day. And she said to eat within one hour of waking up to boost metabolism which slows down the longer you go between meals. She also said protein, fat and complex carb for each meal. And at least 2 snacks per day with at least 2 different food groups in them. That could be a dairy and a fruit. Or a protein and a veggie. Any combo was fine. She put me on a plan that did not count calories but had numbers of servings of food groups throughout the day. But she did say it generally would come out to about 1800 - 2100 calories which she said if I were exercising 45 min to 1 hour per day 5 days a week would give a healthy weight loss of 1 pound per week. I will say when I follow the meal plan correctly I absolutely lose at least 1 pound per week. I just don't always follow it perfectly! And she advocated ANY exercise. If you enjoy what you are doing you are more likely to continue doing it.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:01 AM   #10
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This might be great advice for some people, but you have to find out if it's good advice for you (if you don't already know). So you can try it and see, or if you know some of the advice isn't going to work for you, then use what does sound helpful and ignore the rest.

I know from 40 years of experience which would work for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa130 View Post

1. Don't count calories, just eat protein, fat and complex carb at every meal. It doesn't matter how much I eat as long as I have each macronutrient at every meal

Horrible advise for me. I've tried it, and it so doesn't work. The only way I can eat without counting calories and lose weight (for a short time) is by very low carb dieting (like Atkins Induction). If I eat super low carb, I do lose my appetite, but I also get shaky and get headaches... and after a while I do start overeating even on induction. I've stalled weight loss on super low-carb by not having to "count." For me, counting is essential, no matter what I'm eating.




Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa130 View Post

2. Don't go too long without eating (I had large breaks between meals) - depending upon how much carb/fat/prot I eat it should be anywhere from 1-4 hours break between snacks/meals
This is reasonably good advice for me,but it's "most true" when I'm eating too many carbs. Even when they're healthy, whole-grain carbs, I have to be careful not to eat a meal or snack that's too high in carbs. If I have little or no protein or fat, the snack will not sustain me, and I'll be ravenous in an hour. By eating high fiber, but low in digestible carbs, I'm satisfied much longer, and sometimes 4 or even more hours can pass before I'm hungry again. Eating higher glycemic foods (even from complex carbohydrates) and I'll feel like I'm starving in an hour or less.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa130 View Post
3. Don't lift! - do cardio for at least 30 mins and then weights only if I have time (this one surprises me)
This is dumb advice for most people. It assumes that you're going to gain muscle (so see a gain on the scale), but this kind of gain is a good kind of gain to have (and it's usually temporary, because the added muscle will burn more fat).

This is one of those "baby with the bathwater" pieces of advice for most people. If there's some physical reason that muscle gain would be bad (I can't even think of one, but there might be) ok, but mostly it's just people being more concerned with the number on the scale than with true health. In the long-run a pound or two of muscle gain is going to help your health and your waist line.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa130 View Post
4. Don't eat too close to bedtime, eat larger meals early in the day
This doesn't work well for me at all. I understand the logic of it, but I've learned that I am hungriest in the evening, no matter how I distribute my calories. If I eat most of my calories in the morning or forbid evening snacks, I'm miserable all evening and I'm prone to wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though I'm starving.

For me there is no "too close to bedtime" but there is the opposite. If I DON'T have a snack in the evening, I'm prone to mid-night eating - or as bad waking up very hungry and being unable to fall back to sleep because I'm kept awake by the hunger and food thoughts.



The only way to discover if the advice is good for you is by your own experience. If you already have the experience, you can make the judgement now. If you don't have the experience, try the advice to see if it works, but don't be "married" to it. If it doesn't work for you, then try something else or go back to what you know does.

For me, calorie-counting or counting in some format is absolutely essential (I like exchange plans because they "count" both calories and carbs, and they help insure that my diet is relatively balanced). Without exchange plan diets, I tend to go on food "jags." I'll eat too much fruit and not enough dairy, or I'll eat so many fruits and veggies I get sick - and then I'll avoid veggies for a while. Eating consistently helps me insure balance and prevent against digestive problems by eating too much fiber or too much fat from one of my jags.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:23 AM   #11
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Maybe she thinks you are overdoing it? Sometimes LOTS of exercise and LOTs of deficit can be counter productive because the stress can cause your body to resist: Lyle McDonald on Why big caloric deficits and activity can hurt fat loss.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Maybe she thinks you are overdoing it? Sometimes LOTS of exercise and LOTs of deficit can be counter productive because the stress can cause your body to resist: Lyle McDonald on Why big caloric deficits and activity can hurt fat loss.
You're giving the nutritionist WAY too much credit. Regardless of the qualifications her advice is extremely generic and sounds like something out of a textbook.

The situation of the OP sounds nothing like what Lyle is talking about.

To the OP - are you mostly sedentary during the day except for when you exercise a couple times a week?
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:50 AM   #13
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WTF is up with that nutritionist?

Honestly I think it's weight training that helped me drop my weight quickly!! Why would someone ever advise not to lift weights?

Yeah sure, you might be heavier in the end but you'll LOOK smaller!



Go through how much you're eating and double check that you're actually consuming 1500 calories. Every so often I like to check myself and make sure I'm consuming how many calories I think I am.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:41 AM   #14
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I've been to two nutritionists now, both supposedly highly ranked in their field, and I have found that both were useless to me.

I know more about my body and what works for my body than they do. The last nutritionist that I went to insisted that I eat more carbs because I work out so much and ride long distances -- the end result of that was the highest A1C (3 month blood sugar test) than ever before and putting me way too close to "diabetic" than I have been in my entire life.

And it was with a nutritionist that KNEW that I was insulin resistance and had PCOS!!!!!

If her advice doesn't jive with what you know about your weight loss and body, then it's probably not good advice. That's your intuition telling you it's wrong.

My personal, unsolicited advice is to read as much as you can on nutrition yourself, read as much as you can on working out (cardio and weight training should be part of your schedule), and then by trial and error figure it out. A nutritionist is not going to give you any information you can't find on Google or even just on this website.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
You're giving the nutritionist WAY too much credit. Regardless of the qualifications her advice is extremely generic and sounds like something out of a textbook.

The situation of the OP sounds nothing like what Lyle is talking about.

To the OP - are you mostly sedentary during the day except for when you exercise a couple times a week?
I am a full-time pharmacy student and I work on computers, so I would say yes, mainly sedentary. I walk a bit to class (<.5 miles) but unless I'm in the gym I'm sitting in classes or the library for about 5-8 hours a day . My weekends are more active in addition to going to the gym (biking, walking, yoga, etc).



The question about her credentials was a very good and valid one, and something I should have checked before assuming that the free, University-provided wellness counselor was a Registered Dietician... Her credentials just say MS from Michigan. (No major specified).

Now I'm scared to stop counting... ahh.
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