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more exercise/less food? yet again?
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nettita posted:
Hello all,
It is my first time on one of these forums. I've been reading webmd for a long time now and think you guys can help me!
I've been keeping a healthy diet and exercise plan for a long time now ( 3 years+). I lost around 25 pounds in a year at some point thru running and dieting. My diet was based on a 1200 calorie plan filled with healthy foods. It was all good, until i reached my so called "set point" weight. Ever since highschool my body seemed to settle at this weight, which is around 15 pounds higher than my current weight now. So, I've been spicing up my exercise plan, doing strength training and increasing intensity on my running. I know that I can reach my goal , i am pretty motivated to say the least.
I know that in order to lose more I need to either increase my exercise or decrease the amount of food i am eating. But the problem is , i have been on this diet for such a long time, my body is used to the 1200 cals and doesn't seem to go further down in weight. Now, if I decrease my food intake that brings me below 1200 which is not advisable right? But it is also very difficult for me to push even more with my exercise.
Another issue is that it takes me way more time to lose any bit of extra weight that I put on. Say, one weekend i go travelling and i eat slightly more than my body is used to. It takes way more time to get that extra weight off than the calories the extra food really represented ( related to the amount of time i would need to exercise it off).
So ..my question is ? Do I have to increase my exercise even more, be even more strict? Should I go lower than the 1200 calorie plan?
any idea might help ! thanks a lot !!
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Tomato05 responded:
Hi Nettita - it sounds as if you are following a very healthy lifestyle. Congratulations on the weight loss so far.

Some people say that it could help to restart/increase the weight loss if you do interval training. If you don't want to spend more time exercising, maybe just increase the intensity, which should burn a few more calories.

Another option is to stick to the same calories, but eat different foods, in particular, reduce your carbohydrate intake and eat more low-carb (or zero carb) foods. For example minimise your intake of bread, pasta, cereal, rice, potatoes, corn, peas, etc. and eat more low-carb vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. Some fruit is also high in carbs.

You didn't say how tall you are or how old. If you are short, you could maybe reduce your calorie intake by 100 or 200, but make sure that the calories you eat are high in nutrients. No room for "empty calories" then.

Also, as we age, we need fewer calories of course.

Are you measuring your calories correctly/no chance perhaps of underestimating the number?

For myself, I have to dip below 1200 if I want to lose weight, and even then I lose very slowly (say 1/4 lb a week). It may seem very slow, but any progress is good, and in the long term you will lose the weight, it may just take a couple of months. I believe one can still eat very well and balanced below 1200 if you eat "nutrient bombs", but a lot of people disagree with that - it's just my view and my experience.

E.g. if you eat:
Breakfast: a boiled egg, a small fruit and 3oz yogurt;or an egg-white omelet with veg;
After exercise: 1/2 protein shake;
Lunch: Salad (various ingredients like celery, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, raw cabbage, bean sprouts, capsicum, olives) and 3oz tuna (canned in water);
Snack: 1oz of nuts, raw veg slices or sticks;
Dinner: steamed veg and 4oz grilled chicken (use 1tsp of olive oil during cooking),

you could eat 1000 -1100 calories and cover your nutritional needs, just not your calorie needs (which is the aim),
 
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nettita replied to Tomato05's response:
Hi,
thanks for your response!
I am in my late twenties, 5'6'', 145. I have increased the intensity of my training, am now training for a 5k in less than 25 minutes. I
ve been running for years now but I kept it at a constant speed, so I've been increasing the speed. It's hard but worth it. Also I have a strength training schedule that changes every 6 weeks. So that's great.
About the food and the carbs, I don't eat potatoes,rice, pasta or the likes. I eat bread in the morning and a bit cereal, and some crackers (ryvita rye crackers) for lunch. The thing I noticed with reducing the carbs, is that I don't have enough energy to work out any more. So I need some carbs, but I don't even eat the normal ones you also mentioned. I hope I've been measuring my calories correctly .. It's not soo difficult cuz i rarely eat processed foods and my main meals are salads anyways, so I control what's going in. Sometimes i feel i am a food control freak and think that maybe I should go easy on the calorie counting. But then I just start gaining a bit and feel that all my effort was in vain. It's really as if I am this tip of balance, and need to push a bit toward the minus side of the calories. I'll try to go 100-200 cals less than what i have now and see how that goes. I agree, even if it is small weight loss it is still weight loss. Actually, my weight loss rate now is around what you mentioned.
I just keep hoping there is something more I can do to accelerate the process. I am growing tired of this weight loss path since I've been on it for such a long time. I wish I could just go out and eat a larger healthy meal ( i don't even like junk food, i am not even craving that!) but not be worried that I'll have to run for a week to get the extra pound/s off.
...
 
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Tomato05 replied to nettita's response:
I think you are probably in the range of normal weight for someone your height; however, if you wanted to lose another couple of pounds you will still be in the normal range, just towards the lower end of it.

Just keep experimenting with food types and calorie intake, different patterns in your exercise routine, etc. E.g., if you exercise in the morning, you could try to fit in another "mini session" of 20 min in the evening or late afternoon - only if you have the time, of course.

I understand the need for carbs for exercise - I have the same experience. Sometimes something like 1/2 banana and/or 3 oz yogurt 1/2 hour before exercise helps, or another fruit. I sometimes even take 1/2 protein shake before exercise and find that helpful too. For the "before exercise" shake you could choose one that also have a bit of carbs in combination with the protein.

Just persevere - just think, once you get to the weight you want to be, you can eat a little more, to maintain instead of lose weight!


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