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    Includes Expert Content
    Not losing weight, despite efforts
    Getfitnhealthy12 posted:
    I am taking 2 fitness classes this semester, weight training & Figure and weight control. I have these classes on MW for 2 hours & 40 minutes. I do cardio on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays either my stationary bike or walking. I eat healthy and log everything going in. Very rarely have a "cheat meal". Typically I do not eat 1000 calories, instead am under a 1000/day. I know that I should be eating more but I eat 3 small meals and 2 snacks and do not feel hungry. My problem is that with all that I am doing I find myself getting frustrated because I have not lost any weight. We did a fitness test last week and my waist, & hips stayed the same. My arms grew about 1 3/4" and my thighs about 2" smaller. One of my instructors suggested in class to aim to burn 2000 calories per day which I do most days. Would welcome any suggestions. I need to lose 40 pounds.
    1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on responded:
    Sorry to hear about your struggles with losing weight, I am not a doctor or a fitness professional, but I am curious if you are not eating enough and your body is almost going into a survial mode? Even though you are working out, your body may not have enough nutrition to sustain the workouts and your body is resisting, just a thought.

    If your buring 2000 cals a day, which by the way, great job! you could afford to bump up to 1500 cals and you'[d still could lose about a pound a week.

    I hope you get the answers your looking for, keep up the hard work and best of luck!

    Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
    Hi Get Fit,

    A number of points.

    1. It would be helpful to know your height, and weight, to know if 40 pounds is a realistic goal. You can read about healthy weight and BMI here and here

    2. If you are consuming fewer than 1000 calories a day and indeed you are 40 pounds overweight, then you may need to increase that because you may have lowered your metabolism so much that your body is "resisting" weight loss.

    3. If you are consuming fewer than 1000 calories a day and exercising that much, then you've created a negative energy balance that is so severe that your body has compensated by changing hormones and metabolism to prevent more weight loss. Again, in this case, consuming more calories would be the right thing to do. And I suggest that you do that only with help from one of the WebMD Diet Experts

    4. If you've already had a lot of weight loss then your body may be at a plateau. Plateaus pass, but you may need to be patient.

    5. If there are medical issues causing the problem, such as a thyroid problem or polycystic ovary syndrome, or stress or depression, then you should speak with your doctor.

    6. Some medications can cause weight gain. The following are some: sulfonylureas for diabetes, mood stabilizers or antipsychotics such Thorazine, Mellari, Zlyprexa, and Depakote, beta-blockers for high blood pressure and some heart conditions, antidepressants such as Elavil, Celexa, Norpramin or Desyrel, hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, corticosteroids for conditions such as asthma and lupus, and antiepileptics such as Tegretol. If you take any of these you should speak with your doctor.

    7. Menopause can make weight loss difficult for some women.

    The thing about weight loss is that to lose you must burn fewer calories than you consume 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 know that it's frustrating when you exercise so much and are certain you're not consuming too many calories, I know, but sometimes it's hard to estimate calorie intake accurately. If you are accurate, then the above factors need to be considered.

    In the meantime, since I can tell you're serious about losing, 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

    4. And to this site to estimate how many calories you burn all day (called the 24-hour energy expenditure (24-hrEE)

    5. And here 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.

    continued in next post...
    Rich Weil, MEd, CDE replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
    You can post your diet-related questions to the Diet Community:

    And you can select one this Diet Club for advice and support.

    Feel free to post back anytime.
    Take care, Rich
    Getfitnhealthy12 replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
    Thank you both for your responses.

    I am 5'7" & my weight has been fluctuating between 174-180. I have been keeping a daily food journal since mid August. I am taking two fitness classes at school to help me get on a regular workout regimen. I have been very good about not cheating on my food. A typical day for me includes breakfast- oatmeal with a tsp of cinnamon, and a slice of toast with Heart Healthy light butter (1 tbsp), sometimes I have blueberries in my oatmeal. Normally during the week I have a Powerbar Harvest bar for lunch with a banana, because I am in class during lunch and only have a 15 min break. On weekends normally a salad with turkey bacon, or tuna in the salad and fat free Italian dressing. Dinner- is normally baked chicken and a vegetable or salmon, tilipia with a vegetable. Sometimes I make spaghetti with whole wheat noodles and heart healthy sauce. Snacks are typically yogurt light or a piece of fruit or baby carrots. I don't have much variety in my meals. I am eating every 2-3 hours but not getting many calories when I do eat. I log my food into myfitnesspal, then transfer to my journal. ( have to keep a written journal for class)

    I had a hysterectomy last May and have noticed the weight has been creeping on since then. I am not one to blame hormones but am wondering if this could be making it more of a challenge to lose the weight. I don't take any medication.

    There is Stress! I am a single mom, who has decided at the age of 40 to go back to school. So not only the stress of school, being a single mom but also the stress of financial issues. To top it off, I get stressed over my weight and the lack of being to lose. I had always been a very thin person.

    I am a club member on beachbody. They have a meal planner to help take the stress off of eating healthy. The problem with it is that most of the things are not things either my son or myself would eat. Also, I don't have an actual lunch during the week.

    Thanks again, for any and all suggestions. I have the motivation now to get the knowledge so that I can get healthy.
    steverb102362 replied to Getfitnhealthy12's response:
    With all due sincerity I will take a stab at this, but my situation is rather different than yours -- I'm a 50 yo man but I was able to sucessful shed 30 pounds in about 3 months. I mostly took the calories in less BMR less fitness calories burned approach and that worked perfectly well. Here are more details, some perhaps unorthidox: I drank 64 oz of water everyday. My breakfast was a power smoothie (check Amazon for Superfoods by David Wolfe) a regular sized lunch and portion controlled dinner. My exercise was running and resistance bands, both for the burn, afterburn and time efficiency (I'm busy). I also did a herbal detox and herbal colon cleanse at the outset to get my pipes clean from the start (and I felt great afterward). During the three months I also took an acai berry supplement from Costco, drank a daily Costco weightloss shake (200 cals) and for about 3-4 weeks took hydroxycut.

    I hit my goal in late June, actually shot past it (too far) but have normalized for about 3 months just below my goal weight. So I guess it worked and still works (I don't take any cleansers or weight loss products any more of course and just eat normally). I don't drink coffee any more (plenty of energy) and don't smoke or drink (ok a couple of parties along the way...).

    I think the "starvation hormonal theory" sounds most plausible to me if your calorie counting is accurate. Your BMR must be rock bottom (mine's 1680). I feel bad for you because you sound VERY disciplined and I admire your tenacity. Another question just came to mine -- are you getting a full eight hours solid sleep? That will impede your weight loss (and add to stress) if not.

    Best wishes to you!
    brunosbud replied to steverb102362's response:
    All animals utilize precise "routines" to survive in the wild. There is never any discussion regarding water consumption, diet, exercise and sleep. They perform all of them, in the exact same fashion, daily. In other words, it's the daily repetition that protects their bodies and insures good health.

    The closer we mimic animals in nature, the more our health resolves becomes automatic.

    The most important part of weight loss is never discussed, here, or anywhere else...

    Routine. The ability to repeat, everyday, so the body can adjust an adapt.
    lindaam responded:
    I hate counting calories so I just have been reducing my carbs and sugars. I eat lots of fish, skinless chicken breast, salads, green vegetables like broccoli and a little bit of fruit.

    I try to exercise as much as I can. Sometimes I get lazy but try to do at least an half hour of exercise each day.

    I started my low carb diet on July 27 and so far I have lost about 23 lbs. The only thing bad is now I have to spend money on smaller size clothing

    Good luck in your weight loss endeavors.

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