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Frustrated with weight loss
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An_243122 posted:
I am trying to lose weight but have hit some problems.
1. If I keep my calorie count down to what is recommended for me to lose weight with my exercise program I feel nauseous and lightheaded several times during the day. I do eat 3 meals a day with a snack in between. But at 1200 calories I feel to ill to exercise some days.

2. I have been exercising (3 days a week at Curves using their Smart Track program to keep count of calories burned and intensity of workout plus 30 minutes walking daily, plus gardening and housework) for 5 months.) and have only lost 8 pounds. I weighed 188 lbs. when I joined curves and now I am only down to 180. I have lost a total of only 4 inches. I look like I've lost more than this. Even my doctor was shocked that I had only lost 8 lbs and had his nurse reweigh me to be sure because he thought from the way I looked it was more like 20 lbs. Why am I not seeing a bigger weight loss. This is frustrating me to no end.

3. I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea and after much resistance started using CPAP and use it regularly. I do sleep better and feel more rested in the morning. I was told this would help me lose weight. Have been on CPAP for 5 months and have become adjusted to using it.

4. I have been checked for thyroid and diabetes, both of which were, thankfully, negative. I do have osteoarthritis and a knee injury so can't do intensive regimens of running or high impact aerobices.

What in the world am I doing wrong?
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Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
Almost certainly one of two things is going on.

1. You are consuming too few calories and your body senses that and slows down metabolism. In addition, so much calorie expenditure from exercise contributes to this. If that's the case than you need to consume more calories, and if you think thi sis the problem, then I suggest you either see a registered dietitian in your area (your doctor can refer you or check www.eatright.org). You can also check out the WebMD Diet Community:
http://exchanges.webmd.com/diet-exchange

2. You are consuming more calories than you think. People can underestimate calorie intake by as much as 40%, and they can overestimate calorie expenditure by about the same amount. Although people are certain of what they consume, research is quite clear that people can underestimate. Even dietitians make mistakes. With that said, the bottom line to losing weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn, and this is true no matter how much exercise you do. Even if you run a marathon every day you will not lose weight if you consume more calories than you burn. I understand the frustration, but I can assure you that there are solutions.

You're obviously serious about losing weight and so I suggest the following:

1. Continue with exercise. It burns calories, it will keep you fit and strong, and it's the best predictor of keeping your weight off.

2. For the next week write down every single morsel of food you eat, and every ounce of beverage with calories you drink. Estimate the portion sizes as accurately as possible, and weigh and measure everything. Get a food scale and measuring cup to do it accurately.

3. Then go to the following site to figure out how many calories you are consuming
http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-food-calorie-counter

4. And to this site to estimate how many calories you burn all day (called the 24-hour energy expenditure (24-hrEE)
www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-fitness-calorie-counter

5. And here http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-metabolism-calculator to estimate your metabolic rate. Use the "Inactive" activity level for an additional cushion for underestimation of calorie intake.

If your calorie intake turns out to be wrong and you're consuming more than you think, and you know your 24-hrEE, then you can modify your intake accordingly, and/or increase exercise, so that you burn more than you consume. For instance, if you consume 1500 calories in a day and burn 1000, then you know you have to either cut back on your calories and/or increase your exercise by more than 500 to lose.

If all of this is too confusing then just continue to exercise and do #2 and #3 to get some insight into the problem.

As I already mentioned, you can post your diet-related questions to the Diet Community:
http://exchanges.webmd.com/diet-exchange

And you can select one of the Diet Clubs for advice and support.
http://exchanges.webmd.com/dieting-club-10-25-lbs-exchange
http://exchanges.webmd.com/dieting-club-25-50-lbs-exchange
http://exchanges.webmd.com/dieting-club-50-100-lbs-exchange
http://exchanges.webmd.com/dieting-club-100-lbs-exchange

You'll find pretty much everything you need to lose weight on these sites. And of course, feel free to post back to the Fitness and Exercise Community any time you like.

Take care, Rich


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