3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > Weight Loss Support

Weight Loss Support Give and get support here!

Counting Calories NOT working for me, what's going on???!!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-25-2004, 09:59 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
ShapelyShay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 3

Unhappy Counting Calories NOT working for me, what's going on???!!

Iím a newbie to 3FC. I am unfortunately one of those people that has been overweight from birth on up.

I got really serious about weightloss and decided to do it the ďrightĒ way after failing at the fad diets, by counting calories and exercising, back on Feb 23. From then until about the end of May I managed to lose 24lbs. I was so excited, felt like this was gonna continue and Iíd be at my goal weight in no time. Ta-huh! Was I fooled. I understand the usually the initial 10lbs is most likely water weight and Iíve researched and researched about losing weight and found counting calories to be the easiest to stick with.

Well now, Iím at a stall and my weight fluctuates weekly, up 2lbs this week, down 1 lb the next week, but I canít seem to continue to lose steadily! I am sooooo confused about the amount of calories I need. Nearly every other site I go to, book I read, they all give me different numbers for my required calories. I get different multipliers and different equations. I embarrassingly started out at 272lbs, the lowest I got to was 248lbs, now Iím back up to 255lbs, which I am dissappointed about . Well when I was losing, I was eating between 1900-2300 calories. After hitting a stall, I was told I may be eating too little for my weight/activity level and my body needs more calories to adjust and continue losing. I went up to 2500 (still power walking daily for 30-40 min/step aerobics 20 min) and dropped an addtníl 4 lbs. Now that the scale is not budging and goes up instead of down, Iím wondering if I am eating too much and need to recalulate my calories? I really feel like I wouldnít win eating fewer than 1800 a day, Iím barely fullfulling my hunger eating the 2100 I eat now.

I just donít get it, why is it I can read success stories of people who exercise, cut calories and manage to lose 60lbs in 9 months or so with no problems and I just have to be that one that canít lose even 25lbs and keep if off after 6 months?!

I have become VERY frustrated and at the verge of saying forget it, I must be meant to be FAT!

Has anyone else been soooo confused about their needed calories and could not seem to lose weight eating those required calories?

I really want to lose weight, I really feel like Iím just too young and have missed out a lot on my youth because my weight bears a burden on my self-confidence.

Suggestions, PLEASE?!!!!!!!
ShapelyShay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 10:27 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,123

Default

I don't have all your stats, but if everything is normal, you may be eating too many calories.

I understand the confusion about calorie levels. It is not that calorie counting isn't working, it's that you haven't hit the right level yet. I don't know what web sites you are referring to, but I do know I see a lot of noise about multiplying your weight by a certain number, blah blah blah. These methods are bogus. The gold standard for calculating an ESTIMATED calorie need is the Harris-Benedict equation. You might check out www.room42.com. That is the website that I have found to give the most accurate calculation based on this equation. That's a place to start. I think their recommendation as to the number of calories you need to lose weight is actually too low. Just look at their number for BMR and AMR. What most reputable experts I've seen recommend is to eat about 250 less than your AMR (as long as you aren't going below your BMR) to lose weight.

Of course, these are just estimates which assume that everything in your body is normal. If you want to be more scientific, I would HIGHLY recommend going to www.healthetech.com and find out if there is a facility in your area that provides the BodyGem or MedGem metabolism test. This is an easy test that actually measures your current metabolism and can tell you EXACTLY how many calories YOU need to prevent starvation mode but still allow you to lose weight.

Keep in mind that, as you lose weight, you need fewer calories. You don't have to adjust your intake every week, but it's a good idea to reevaluate every 3 or 4 months if you've been losing steadily.

Don't give up -- the answer may be elusive, but if you keep trying you will get there eventually.

Last edited by funniegrrl : 08-25-2004 at 10:30 AM.
funniegrrl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 10:35 AM   #3
Princess In Training
 
IWantMyFairyTale2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 46

Default

Let me see if I can help.

I am no expert, but every time I have lost weight I have counted calories (I just don't maintain very well...) and it does work. It just has to be taylored to your individual needs.

Even though your scale might not be moving in the right direction, how are your clothes fitting? Sometimes the scale goes up but the measurements go down. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, but takes up less space.

There are several things that you may want to look at:

1) How much sodium are you getting each day? Too much sodium will make you retain water (and therefore weight).

2) How much water are you drinking each day? Too little water will make your body retain every drop it can to keep the body running smoothly.

3) I would take your calorie limit up 200-300 calories each day for a few weeks and see if that helps jump start your metabolism. If that doesn't help then I would go see your doctor, maybe there is a medical issue that is contributing to the problem.

The most important thing to remember is that you are healthier now than when you started in February. You are exercising and eating better, even if the results aren't what you were expecting for this time frame.

Every person's experience is different, and every body has different needs to function.

Good luck!
__________________
HW: 205 (Jan. '04) SW: 198.5 (Aug. 2)
CW: 190.5 GW: 130
IWantMyFairyTale2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 11:25 AM   #4
Head Princess
 
StarPrincess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,553

Default

I just wanted a few things to think about.

1. Stalls happen. Expecting steady weight loss is unrealistic. Your body has to constantly adjust to what is happening to it. As your metabolism moves around along with your fat to muscle ratio, you're going to see slight fluctuations and stalls. Step back and look at the big picture. The goal is overall weightloss and the ability to maintain that. It will take time.

2. If you're not already, pay attention to the quality of your calories. A calorie is not a calorie. If you are not meeting your nutritional needs, your not getting the maximum benefit of all your hard work. A 300 calorie candy bar is nowhere near a 300 calorie bowl of chicken stir fry.

3. Eat often. I personally found a lot more success when I gave up the concept of meals. Breaking up your 'normal' amount of food into 6-8 small chunks over the course of the day (along with making sure that it has the proper nutritional value) will not only keep you from being hungry, it will keep your metabolism running at a steady pace.
__________________

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are. - Anais Nin


5'3"
Started Atkins 7/15/2003
StarPrincess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 11:47 AM   #5
Uber-Moderator!!
 
MrsJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Silicon Valley, California
Posts: 5,024

Default

I have to agree with Funniegirl on the calories. 2000+ calories a day sounds WAY too high. Even if you're doing mass amounts of exercise, that still seems high. You didn't state what type and amounts of exercise you're doing right now, BTW.

I definitely wouldn't go too LOW on calories - 1200-1300 a day is probably as low as you should go - but over 2000 is not going to get the pounds off in the long term. The formula I use (which is simple since I'm not a math whiz) is to take my goal weight and times that by 11 - that's how many calories I need to take in a day to get to my goal. So let's say you want to get to 145 pounds - 145 x 11 = 1,595 calories/day.

And like StarPrincess states, it's WHAT you eat that's just as important as HOW MUCH. Nutrition quality! And for the most part, you get a lot more 'bang for your buck' if you eat clean, healthy foods. Like Star sez, 300 calories of stir fry is better for you than a 300 calorie candy bar - but remember the stir fry will take up a lot more room in your tummy and keep you satisfied longer (and BTW one of my cardinal rules for weight loss is to CUT OUT THE SUGAR. If there's ONE thing that can keep you from losing weight, it's SUGAR, the consumption of which only makes a person crave more and more!).

Just my two cents...
__________________
Mrs. Jim
Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

Wanna know how I lost the weight and have kept it off for over 16 years? Click here!
MrsJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 12:22 PM   #6
aka Superwoman!
 
2frustrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Finchley, London, UK
Posts: 6,461

S/C/G: SW:226/16st - about 50lbs lost

Height: 5'8"

Default

Hey Shay,

I gradually lost 42lbs over a coupla years and stuck at 182 for over a year, still trying to lose weight!

Just recently I took up a anew kickboxing class and started doing some cycling, and that seems to have revved up my metabolism. As for counting calories, I tend to stick to around 1500, depending on the exercise quota for the day!

I know how frustrating it is to plataue, I've been there for ages, and ages and ages!! I was counting calories and doing exercise, and then just 2 weeks ago, it started paying off! Although before then, I'd managed to shed some inches, cos I could get into 31 jeans that I'd bought in June.

So in this race I guess it's better to be the tortoise rather than the hare, just chill out, it WILL happen!
__________________
Just. One.. More... Rep.... space Eat rubbish, FEEL rubbish!
BLOG
MARATHON BLOG

Tune In Eat When You're Hungry Eat Whatever You Want Sit Down, Put It On A Plate And Focus Enjoy! Stop When You're Satisfied
Own Your Body Move Support Yourself Be Your Own Guru


The perfect weight for your body is the weight which it settles at naturally when you are eating a balanced diet and exercising moderately
2frustrated is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 01:34 PM   #7
Uber-Moderator!!
 
MrsJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Silicon Valley, California
Posts: 5,024

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobaccygirl
I agree with those above who say your calories sound way too high! Also, when I've successfully lost weight, it's when I take my goal weight........ say, 160 ..... multiply that by ten - equals 1600 calories per day (someone above said they multiply by 11). If you're not losing, over a long period, then you have to be ingesting too many calories.......... that's just how our bodies work. Good luck with making adjustments and getting going on the downward slope again. I'm sure it will happen - don't give up!
10 calories per day per pound for people with an 'ordinary' activity level (walking 3x week, that sort of thing) to 12 calories per lb for someone with a higher activity level (intense cardio 5-6x week, strength training 3x week) who wants to lose weight, is my personal equation.

The original poster didn't say anything about what sort of exercise she was doing, so I just averaged it to 11 per lb.

Another suggestion would be to keep track of every bite that goes into your mouth via Fitday.com or some other type of counter...not necessarily forever, but just to get a feel for what and how much you're actually eating. You might be surprised!
__________________
Mrs. Jim
Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

Wanna know how I lost the weight and have kept it off for over 16 years? Click here!
MrsJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 02:38 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
QuilterInVA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Yorktown, VA USA
Posts: 5,123

Default

You may be counting calories but are you weighing or measuring your food or just eyeballing the portion size? You may be taking in more calories than you think.
__________________
Susan

HW 356 pounds - CW 138 - GW 130


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Forget Yesterday. I am, where I am. I know where I could have been, had I done what I did not do. Tell me, Friend, what I can do today, to be where I want to be tomorrow. - Sigrad
QuilterInVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 02:47 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
ShapelyShay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 3

Default More on the calorie issue

Wow, thanks to everyone for your responses! Oh and Jack-150, I LOVE the sarcasm, lol. Iím used to it, I was raised in a family of smart mouth, outspoken women ;-)

Ok, the equation when calculating your calories are you not supposed to lower them slightly below your maintanence level? Letís say my goal weight is 165lbs, why on earth would I eat 1650 calories now at 255lbs? Iíd have to starve myself by the time I get down to 190lbs right? I used ivillage.comís healthy calculator on weightloss (the one dividing your wieght by 2.2, subracting your age, adding your activity, etc) and my maintanence calories just to live, organs fuction, breath, etc is 1890 calories, would it make sense to eat below the 1890 now? I thought dropping your calories to low (while being so heavy) is what creates the stall in the first place? Augh! This crap is giving me a headache. I thought weightloss wasnít this darn complicated?

I guess I thought the equations works to take your current weight by this multiplier and subtract 500 to lose 1 lb per week on top of exercising.

I am willing to be patient for weightloss, however, Iíd hate to waste so many months eating this or that many calories waiting for it to work, when they were either too high or too low to begin with. Anyone understanding what Iím saying?

I guess best thing to do is to check with a doctor (lawd knows if my insurance doesnít cover it how high this bill would be, lol).

Oh and work out includes 30-40 min of power walking (4mph) 4 days a week and step aerobics 3 times a week 20 min (20 min is max my joints can take at this weight).

How have some of you lost your weight that have shed off 100lbs or more? I see the numbers, whatís your story?
ShapelyShay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 06:01 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
ShapelyShay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 3

Default

Thanks tobaccygirl. Well with the equations they give me and recalucating all day, it seems like I am still eating either the right amount to lose 1 lb a week or slightly under. So girl I don't know what the deal is. I'm just gonna keep on keeping on and hopefully I'll get a surprise in a few weeks and the pounds start rolling off again. What'd you think?
ShapelyShay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 07:08 PM   #11
Uber-Moderator!!
 
MrsJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Silicon Valley, California
Posts: 5,024

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShapelyShay
Ok, the equation when calculating your calories are you not supposed to lower them slightly below your maintanence level? Letís say my goal weight is 165lbs, why on earth would I eat 1650 calories now at 255lbs? Iíd have to starve myself by the time I get down to 190lbs right? I used ivillage.comís healthy calculator on weightloss (the one dividing your wieght by 2.2, subracting your age, adding your activity, etc) and my maintanence calories just to live, organs fuction, breath, etc is 1890 calories, would it make sense to eat below the 1890 now? I thought dropping your calories to low (while being so heavy) is what creates the stall in the first place? Augh! This crap is giving me a headache. I thought weightloss wasnít this darn complicated?

I guess I thought the equations works to take your current weight by this multiplier and subtract 500 to lose 1 lb per week on top of exercising.

I am willing to be patient for weightloss, however, Iíd hate to waste so many months eating this or that many calories waiting for it to work, when they were either too high or too low to begin with. Anyone understanding what Iím saying?

I guess best thing to do is to check with a doctor (lawd knows if my insurance doesnít cover it how high this bill would be, lol).

Oh and work out includes 30-40 min of power walking (4mph) 4 days a week and step aerobics 3 times a week 20 min (20 min is max my joints can take at this weight).

How have some of you lost your weight that have shed off 100lbs or more? I see the numbers, whatís your story?
If you have insurance, a doctor's checkup should be covered - especially if you haven't had your annual physical this year. That's what I did and what I still do BTW. You might have other circumstances, such as thyroid or PCOS, that makes it tougher for you to lose weight. That does *not* mean you should give up! (Incidentally, we have a very active PCOS/Insulin Resistance forum here at 3FC that you might want to check out.)

The thing about those calculators is that each person is different. From what you've stated - it sounds like your body has become very efficient at conserving calories.

I realize that the 'theme' these days (at least from what I've read here at 3FC and other forums) is to say "you're not eating enough!" when someone posts about not being able to lose weight. In fact there are several popular diet plans/programs out there that insist you eat megacalories worth of food - albeit 'clean' food - and the weight will just slide off. I gotta tell you, from personal experience...if I eat megacalories - I gain weight. It doesn't matter what kind of food it is - it can be healthy stuff like chicken breast or oatmeal or what have you - if I take in more than I burn, I gain weight. There are some lucky folks out there who seem to be like hummingbirds - the moment they eat ANYthing, it seems to burn off like methane into the atmosphere. Of course, most of those folks don't seem to hang out at 3FC.

Back in July, I posted a little rant about calories in the Ladies who Lift forum you might find interesting:

Back to Basics: Calories DO count!

As of today, I've lost 120 pounds and KEPT IT OFF since 1990. How did I do it? I get a LOT of PM's from people asking for my 'secret'. The secret is - there IS no secret. I ate - and eat - WAY less than I did in my obese days - and the food is more nutritious, 'clean' food; I got off my butt and started exercising - at 265 lbs it was mostly powerwalking, but I did it every day, along with a large-size women's aerobic video; after I'd lost around 20 lbs, I got the courage to join a low-impact aerobics class at the local rec center - after that got boring, I joined Jazzercise and did that for a few years (loved it - and I TOTALLY recommend it for everyone - there are women of ALL sizes in those classes and they're fun to boot!) until my work schedule interfered - 10 years ago I joined 24 Hour Fitness and I'm still a member today. Up until 2001 I was doing mostly cardio (elliptical, treadmill, Spinning class, outdoor cycling) - in 2001 I added weight training, horseback riding, and this summer I started with Pilates and yoga. Exercise is ESSENTIAL for keeping weight off and looking good while you're losing it - but during the weight loss period, nutrition probably counts for 80% of your results...
__________________
Mrs. Jim
Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

Wanna know how I lost the weight and have kept it off for over 16 years? Click here!
MrsJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 07:53 PM   #12
Biker Chick!
 
VermontMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Northern Vermont
Posts: 4,244

S/C/G: 162/152/Smaller; tighter, fit!

Height: 5' 6"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsJim
... There are some lucky folks out there who seem to be like hummingbirds - the moment they eat ANYthing, it seems to burn off like methane into the atmosphere. Of course, most of those folks don't seem to hang out at 3FC.
too funny, Mrs. Jim! and CONGRATS on your anniversary date!!!

The only different advice I can offer is to shake up your exercise routine. Maybe your body has adapted, and needs to be challenged from a different direction. I read and understand that you power walk and do step aerobics, that isn't too hard on your joints...can you do a different step routine? Changing my workouts to more cardio is what helped nudge me towards some more fat loss.

Lots of gold advice above, and funny tongue-in-cheek from Jack Getting discouraged happens; come here often, get support, and keep on doing a great job!!
__________________
Holly - but my road name is Cupcake

My program - Modified South Beach & exercise at home. Slacked last summer and now need to lose the regain.
My motorcycle - '04 Honda VTX 1300C. Candy Apple Red!

VermontMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2004, 08:47 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 34

Default

Several of the very successful people on these boards have said (here and elsewhere) that they've found that the calorie estimators don't work for them. There's a good thread on calorie needs in the Maintainers forum: Maintenance Calories

If you're still looking for advice, I'd suggest staying on your current plan for another two weeks, and if things don't start to move, try bumping your calories down by say 200 a day, do that for two weeks, and repeat as necessary until you're at the desired rate of weight loss. It's an empirical way to find out how many calories the real you needs, not a mythical average you.

There is a way to figure out how many calories you should be eating to lose at a specific rate, but it requires some tracking and calculating. Basically, you track your daily weight and calorie intake over say a month, calculate a trend from the weight numbers (a moving average) in order to take out the fluctuations caused by water gain and loss, and use that trend number to figure out what your calorie surplus or deficit was for the month. All of this is explained very clearly in the Hackers Diet, online: http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/www/hackdiet.html . Then you can adjust your caloric intake to create the desired deficit for your body and weight loss rate.

I found this site very useful, not least for the author's unscientific but affirming views on overweight. Hope this helps.

Linda C.
lj_cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 08:23 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
sh0rtydeee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Miami
Posts: 26

S/C/G: 240/236.5/140

Default

If you have a phone download an app called MY PLATE by livestrong. I have used that and it has helped . My starting weight was 240 last week. Up to today I am at 236.5. I put down in the app that I wanted to lose 100 lbs and that I wanted to lose 2lbs a week and I have a sedentary job.. So it said I had to eat 1224 calories.. Try it out. I also read in a report from the CDC that if you get to a point where what your doing does not work u have reached a plateau. You have to change your workout habits and what u eat cause ur body is use to it.
sh0rtydeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice
and no guarantee is made against accuracy.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Featherweights - what's your story? Doughnut Featherweights 409 Today 05:53 PM
Sept. Counting Calories Chat beach bum Calorie Counters 143 10-01-2009 02:05 PM
What eating plan is working for you? Truffle 300+ Club 20 04-18-2008 06:45 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:24 PM.






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2