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Not losing weight

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Just not losing it. Lost 5 pounds and hit a plateau already? I'm at a crossroads here. What should I do? Part of me is toying with the idea of upping my fitness minutes to about 90/day just to see what happens, and not worrying at all about weight, because strong and healthy is the holy grail after all. Part of me wants to water fast just. to. lose. 10. pounds. fer. chrissakes.

My body is such a pound sucker. I stay within every diet and I gain or stay the same. Usually gain because then I'm thinking about food all the dang time. So....should I cut my calories to 1000 or less? Is that what my new lifestyle looks like? Or just work my ass off and see how it goes? What to do, what to do....
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  • no profile photo CD7542230
    I'm sorry that the scale is not showing you any love right now. How long has it been since you registered a loss? Have you been tracking your measurements? They change more slowly but they'll give you a more accurate read of your progress than the scale does.

    There are a lot of potential reasons why the scale is not showing a loss.

    1) You could be retaining water, e.g., because it's around your TOM, you've significantly increased your activity level (your body responds by getting slightly inflamed and holding onto water), or you've eaten something that's high in sodium.

    2) You're over-estimating the calories you burn. It's possible that your metabolism is slower than average, which means that estimates of calories burned for various exercises could be too high. I usually discount the estimates that SP or fitness machines give me by about 20%.

    3) You're underestimating what you eat. Are you preparing all of your own food and measuring all of it? Or have you been eating foods prepared by others lately (holiday meals? restaurants?) There could be hidden calories in those meals, and that could affect your rate of weight loss.

    4) You might be losing fat but gaining muscle. If you're doing strength exercises as well as cardio, you might be building some muscle. The same volume of muscles weighs more than fat, so you could be losing inches off your body but the scale might read the same if you've built some muscle. I've experienced this recently. My clothes are definitely a lot looser, but my weight loss has been very slow.

    I also wouldn't recommend that you increase your cardio significantly, as you mentioned you might do, unless: a) you think you can sustain something close to that level of activity indefinitely; and b) you also add a lot of strength training. Otherwise, if you just do a lot of cardio while on a diet, you'll lose muscle and your metabolic rate will slow down, which means that eventually it will become harder to lose weight or maintain a loss with the same activity level.
    2982 days ago
    I found most of my weight loss came from focusing on what I was eating, not so much the exercise. When I eat healthy foods and stay somewhere around 1500-1700, I see the difference. I only run maybe twice a week for 25 minutes per run.
    This week I've been exercising every day, but not eating great, and I definitely notice that I am not seeing results or feeling as energetic.
    But everyone is different. Don't get discouraged, you'll find your stride :)
    2982 days ago
    There are lots of great articles here about plateaus - just use the search function. I find for me - a lot of stuff is trial and error. Try something - see how it works. Try something else - and see if that works. You know what I mean? But I totally agree - it can be very frustrating...

    Good luck in the New Year. I am sure you will figure it out.
    2982 days ago
    Yeah, healthy and strong is more important to me right now than thin, although I would be happy to take both.

    I will look into that jumpstart diet you suggested too. Thanks! Oh, and good luck with your hair dilemma. :)
    2983 days ago
    I often do 90-120 minutes of exercise/day, and I am gaining. :( It's all down to diet for me, I know.

    I understand the urge to do something drastic like fast or cut calories extremely low, but that is not sustainable, and can tend to backfire. Maybe the key is to fiddle with your macronutrients? Or do a jumpstart kind of diet? Kathy Smith's 5-day Jumpstart has been good for me in the past.

    Wish I had a better answer. The key is to remember that you ARE making yourself healthier, even if you're not getting thinner. Hang in there!
    2984 days ago
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