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TOPIC: Exercising, counting calories NOT loosing weight

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March 15, 2012 6:26 AM
For three months now I have been counting calories (1,200 per day) and walking over 25 miles every week and I have not lost any weight. What am I doing wrong - my calorie intake is definitely less than my calories burned - anyone got any ideas to help me - I need to lose 20 pounds. I am also using FitBit to track my activity and have been meeting all my goals on there also.
Edited by katrusse On March 15, 2012 6:27 AM
  4121451
March 15, 2012 6:31 AM
Not sure if this will help but my friend has just advised me to get my thyroid checked when at the doctors next, for either an over active or under active thyroid, as sometimes this can play havoc with our bodies. I tend to have the same problem as you.
March 15, 2012 6:52 AM
Also probably not reevant to you, but I had a similar problem. I suddenly began gaining weight about 5 years ago, and couldn't lose even a pound. Last September I tried again, but this time managed to keep going until I solved the problem. I went from not watching what I ate at all and doing zero exercise, to eating 900-1,500 cal/day, and exercising about 80-120 min/day, every day. For two months, not only didn't I lose weight...

...I gained weight.

Then, i found my way to discussions of PCOS-related insulin resistance, and it all started to make sense. I was diagnosed with PCOS decades ago, but didn't have any significant symptoms. I'd all but forgotten about it until I saw how my sudden weight gain and inability to lose weight were common among other PCOS women, and that PCOS is linked to insulin resistance. Once I started treating the insulin resistance, the weight started to fall off. I've been steadily losing 2-2.5 lbs/week for the past 2.5 months.
March 15, 2012 6:52 AM
Thanks, good tip - I will.
  4121451
March 15, 2012 6:54 AM
I am a Type 1 diabetic also, so you make a very interesting point.
  4121451
March 15, 2012 6:55 AM
Your calorie estimates and/or your calories burned estimates may be wrong in each direction. A lot of people find out that they are estimating their intake too low or their exercise calories too high. Or perhaps their base setup on the site is incorrect.

At any rate you'll get better results lifting weights than you will walking the earth. Perhaps you can try that?
  4826377
March 15, 2012 6:58 AM
Make sure you measure as well, scales are not the greatest way to watch your progress
  13252699
March 15, 2012 7:00 AM
Yes, I agree with the last comment. Lift weights. Get a strength training program going and continually build on it. You will begin to increase your lean body mass which will actually require more calories to operate. That should move you in the right direction.

Deb
  15656207
March 15, 2012 7:02 AM
If you are 100% with your post, eating what you say and exercising, you definately should be losing weight. I do the same, 1200 for calories and I walk 25-30 miles a week and I've lost 16lbs in 2 1/2 months. (starting weight 170 and I'm 5ft 3) I also eat some of my calories back, after exercise. I think you should see a Dr.! Good luck.
  15245486
March 15, 2012 7:06 AM
First, get a check-up with your doctor.

Then get a Heart Rate Monitor.

Try to keep your heart rate above 80% of your target heart rate during exercise. Anything below and you are barely burning any calories at all. Try joining a class. Exercise should have a combination of strength training and cardio. Walking is fine at the beginning of a lifestyle change, but now its time to add more physical activity.

Your body has managed to be able to sustain itself with 1200 per day. Time to change it up a little. A certified trainer can tell you what you should eat to sustain your physical activity.
  14065953
March 15, 2012 7:06 AM
Since you said you have been walking over 25 miles for the past few months...try switching up your workouts. Your body is too used to your current workouts, so that may be why you stopped seeing results. Google Tabata interval training - you will vary betrween hi nternsity training and low intensity. Try jogging for 35 secs - and completely resting for 25. Repeat this for 10-30 mins depending on your endurance level.

Try some strength training as well. You can start light, and do a bit after your cardio. (It burns more fat the 24 hrs after your workout than cardio)

Also, try green tea extract pills. They help kick start your metabolism and give you energy at the same time. Recommended that you take them 3x a day, 20 mins prior to each meal (or 3 of your largest meals, if you eat more than 3x/day).

Also, you can try juicing fruits and veggies to really shed some pounds quick. Replace a couple meals out of the day with freshly juiced fruits/veggies, or you can do a fast, which will cleanse your body of its toxins, and you will definitely see results. Actually, you may not want to jump into a fast since you are diabetic...But you can google more about it!!

Hope I helped a bit!
March 15, 2012 7:07 AM
QUOTE:

For three months now I have been counting calories (1,200 per day) and walking over 25 miles every week and I have not lost any weight. What am I doing wrong - my calorie intake is definitely less than my calories burned - anyone got any ideas to help me - I need to lose 20 pounds. I am also using FitBit to track my activity and have been meeting all my goals on there also.


you dont eat enough to lose weight.
  7369177
March 15, 2012 7:07 AM
Its rather difficult to gauge this where your diary is locked from view.

Start with your diary - make sure you are actually holding yourself accountable for everything... and I mean everything you eat. Weigh things out, where estimating is the biggest problem for some people.

Make sure you are eating enough of a variety... healthy carbs, plenty of fresh foods, plenty of water, etc.....
  11372560
March 15, 2012 7:10 AM
my friend was not losing any weight on 1200 a day. She bumped it up to 1400 and lost 4lbs right away
  4561225
March 15, 2012 7:15 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

For three months now I have been counting calories (1,200 per day) and walking over 25 miles every week and I have not lost any weight. What am I doing wrong - my calorie intake is definitely less than my calories burned - anyone got any ideas to help me - I need to lose 20 pounds. I am also using FitBit to track my activity and have been meeting all my goals on there also.


you dont eat enough to lose weight.


Exactly! Try and eat a little more. There are several forums here regarding people plateauing and not losing weight. Once they kicked up their calories, they actually end up losing weight! Reason being that you are not giving your body enough to nourish and fight fat. I know it sounds crazy, but it really works. Even just an extra 200 a day would help. Eat back those exercise calories!!

That being said, I would still see a doctor. You can verify with them if you are on the right track:)
  4067277
March 15, 2012 7:16 AM
QUOTE:

I am a Type 1 diabetic also, so you make a very interesting point.


Well...you know...insulin triggers our bodies to store fat. Since I'm insulin resistant, that means when I eat, I keep pumping out insulin, because I'm not sensitive enough to recognize I've produced enough. The net result is, without an insulin sensitizer, I'm essentially always in fat storage mode.

Before I learned about my PCOS-related insulin resistance, I was constantly accused of lying about how little I was eating or how much I was exercising. Funny enough, I'm one of those people who measurably OVERestimates what I'm eating and UNDERestimates how many calories I'm burning. (For example, MFP cardio estimates are 2-3X what I enter, and I leave strength training at 0 calories.) It seems there's no consideration for anything other than "calories in/calories out". ...And while that may very well be the nuts and bolts of weight loss for most people, it certainly isn't the be all and end all for everyone. Now that my body has a more normal insulin response to food, diet and exercise are finally working, where the same diet and exercise regime only led to weight gain, before I treated the insulin resistance. From having only gained weight, I literally started losing weight FROM THE DAY I started taking an insulin sensitizer.

Have you heard of dia-bulimia? It's a very dangerous practice where insulin-injecting diabetics will withhold their injections, so they can avoid weight gain. Insulin is so tricky. A little too much, and you gain weight on even a modest diet. Of course, withholding insulin is likely to result in nerve and organ damage, and ultimately death. So, while I am not diabetic (I produce too much insulin, in fact, albeit not very sensitive to it), I can almost empathize with the desire to withhold insulin injections. It tells our bodies to store calores as fat...the exact opposite of what we're trying to do by losing weight.

EDIT: By the way, you may be as skeptical as I was about the claims I was "plateauing" from the day I began exercising and cutting calories, without a single pound lost. I think, by definition, that doesn't qualify as a plateau. If you slash ingested calories and burn more calories each day, and 2 months later(!) you're still at your starting weight, that's not a plateau...it's a general lack of weight loss to begin with. A true pateau is after some progress, and it begins to slow or halt. As I said, in my case, all the helpful (sometimes accusatory) advice was wildly misguided. Had I not investigated a possible metabolic problem, I'd still be at my starting weight or above, 5 months later...probably with others surmising all sorts of reasons why my diet and exercise plans were to blame.

To be clear, though, I am brutally honest and realistic about what I am doing. I'm not an emotional eater, nor an overeater. I was athletic, so I know what a hard workout is. Plus, I was super-thin nearly all my adult life, so weight gain, and the inability to lose weight, was obviously something a bit abnormal for me.
Edited by privatetime On March 15, 2012 7:58 AM
March 15, 2012 7:17 AM
Like some of the PP I agree your probably not eating enough. If your walking 25 miles per week thats a lot of work on the body and requires fuel. I had a similar issue and was plateaued for six weeks. I suggest you try using one of those sites to figure out your BMR which will tell you how many calories you need to eat to maintain your weight and then reduce it by 200 or so calories. And try to eat back your excercise calories. You many want to get a heart rate monitor watch and chest strap to get a more accurate read on how many calories you are burning during your walks. smile

Good Luck.
  2370358
March 15, 2012 7:17 AM
Not sure if you have figure out whats going on or not, BUT 1. do you own a weigh scale? my advice is start weighing things if you are not already. chicken, pasta(i weigh mine raw and then cook it separate from my families) when i make a dish I figure out ALL the calories on my own it takes time but it works, i weigh my cheese, even frozen chicken strips or pizza i weigh it biased on the weight of their chicken size. The funny thing is you could be TOO under on your calories I used to not eat enough and it worked the opposite way you really need to get regular snacks in too if you are not to keep your insulin going. also make sure if you are burning calories walking that you are making up for that to you don't want to eat only 1200 cals and then work out and bee only at say 800, or something. If you have done all those things , the next step is to, have the dr test your glucose , hormone and thyroid(which i saw some one mention thyroid) also take measurements if you haven't done anything when I first started it took me a bit to LOOSE weight i lost inches first but now i'm at 15 lbs! since nov. other things you can try is no carbs after a certain hour. or try watching your carbs at each meal like a diabetic does as well as calories!! Good luck and don't give up!
March 15, 2012 7:19 AM
katrusse, do you get your heart rate up sufficiently when you walk? I think a lot of people overestimate calories burned from walking. Is there any way you could involve a more intensive cardiovascular exercise? Because if your heart rate isn't elevated, you could walk 100 miles a day and not see weight loss.
March 15, 2012 7:20 AM
I'm willing to bet it's a combo of two things: 1. You're not eating enough, and 2. You need to switch up your exercises. Go to this site and plug in your info on the left-hand side: http://www.cordianet.com/calculator.htm and pay close attention to CALORIC NEED. I don't know where this 1200 calorie diet came from, but it's complete bunk, and is not a one-size-fits-all diet. You have to provide fuel for your body to burn...if you're not eating enough, then your body will not allow you to lose pounds.

If you don't have access to a gym to lift weights, try setting up your own circuit where you do lunges, crunches, push-ups, etc. Site like self.com and many others have ideas for circuits...if nothing else, burpees will burn some serious calories! Also, workout tapes are great, and can be checked out at most libraries. There's also channels on TV, and websites.

First make sure you're eating enough, then switch up your workout! GOOD LUCK!
  469773
March 15, 2012 7:21 AM
Buy a HRM with a chest strap and use i.t Eat back exercise calories (as a middle age women I can't stress this enough--eating too little will stall you severely). This is the most important thing. As I lost weight, especially, I had to raise my weight loss per week and eat more. Slower, yes, but at least still moving. Calories are calories, but cleaner less processed and more green you eat will make a difference. Go high on the protein, lower on the carbs 40 % carbs, 30 % protein, 30 % fats is a estimate of something to shoot for.

Measure and weigh your food. Set your base activity level to the lowest that seems reasonable, and log actual out of the baseline exercise. Weights are fabulous, but go heavy on the cardio at first. Heavy weight training will stall the scale (although inches will be lost and metabolism will boost). Be bruitally honest and log in every single thing every single day. Good bad, and the ugly. Then check your "reports" and log inches, plus take plenty of pictures. What my mind says and what's actually happening in real life timelines is always off. What feels like forever is really not as long as that, and my trends are always on the same slope, even with predictible stalls.

If you stall, keep going, eat cleaner. Because you may just have a predictible stall in the works, and if you keep at it you will see it begin to go down again.

The database is pretty good. For somethings I work harder according to my HRM. For some I work less than the database. But I very often see people say "I did XXX but only logged half" or none of it. Which means they are undereating. Undereating makes me hang on to pounds like crazy. Then when you do get lighter you will be mushy and soft, still "skinny fat". You want to be lean and smooth with muscle, still. Muscle needs to eat. The body needs to know food is still plentyful before it lets go of it's resources. Water drinking is a big deal, too.
Edited by NatalieWinning On March 15, 2012 7:25 AM
  1407960
March 15, 2012 7:21 AM
QUOTE:

Also probably not reevant to you, but I had a similar problem. I suddenly began gaining weight about 5 years ago, and couldn't lose even a pound. Last September I tried again, but this time managed to keep going until I solved the problem. I went from not watching what I ate at all and doing zero exercise, to eating 900-1,500 cal/day, and exercising about 80-120 min/day, every day. For two months, not only didn't I lose weight...

...I gained weight.

Then, i found my way to discussions of PCOS-related insulin resistance, and it all started to make sense. I was diagnosed with PCOS decades ago, but didn't have any significant symptoms. I'd all but forgotten about it until I saw how my sudden weight gain and inability to lose weight were common among other PCOS women, and that PCOS is linked to insulin resistance. Once I started treating the insulin resistance, the weight started to fall off. I've been steadily losing 2-2.5 lbs/week for the past 2.5 months.



I have PCOS as well...I've never done anything to treat the insulin resistance & it has never been advised. I lost over 100lbs. about 3 yrs ago on my own w/just diet & TONS of exercise. I've gained 20 lbs since then & now I'm trying to get that off & it's going NOWHERE!!! If you don't mine my asking, what are you doing to treat the insulin resistance? Thanks.
  18975041
March 15, 2012 7:48 AM
QUOTE:

I have PCOS as well...I've never done anything to treat the insulin resistance & it has never been advised. I lost over 100lbs. about 3 yrs ago on my own w/just diet & TONS of exercise. I've gained 20 lbs since then & now I'm trying to get that off & it's going NOWHERE!!! If you don't mine my asking, what are you doing to treat the insulin resistance? Thanks.


I had PCOS for 20 years without any signs I was insulin resistant. I was quite thin most of my adult life (5'4", 97lbs) without trying. The sudden weight gain and inability to lose weight indicated I'd become overtly insulin resistant...which is linked to PCOS.

Like many women with PCOS-related insulin resistance, I take a daily cinnamon supplement. I found success at 3g/day. Literally from the day I began taking it, I began losing weight, where I only had weight gain on the same diet and exercise plan, for months prior.

There is a lot of information on the Internet about cinamon as a natural insulin sensitizer, including this synopsis at the Livestrong web site:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/546844-cinnamon-for-pcos-weight-loss/
March 15, 2012 7:55 AM
1) Open up your diary. People can't give you a fully informed answer without seeing what and how much you eat.

2) You may not be eating enough. You do not burn every calorie you take in (which, by your words, it sort of sounds like... but I can't check because I can't see your diary). You still have to NET your goal calories. Eating too low for too long is unhealthy and unsustainable.

3) If you are netting enough calories and you are still not seeing any loss, then go see a doctor.
  3112724
March 15, 2012 8:55 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I have PCOS as well...I've never done anything to treat the insulin resistance & it has never been advised. I lost over 100lbs. about 3 yrs ago on my own w/just diet & TONS of exercise. I've gained 20 lbs since then & now I'm trying to get that off & it's going NOWHERE!!! If you don't mine my asking, what are you doing to treat the insulin resistance? Thanks.


I had PCOS for 20 years without any signs I was insulin resistant. I was quite thin most of my adult life (5'4", 97lbs) without trying. The sudden weight gain and inability to lose weight indicated I'd become overtly insulin resistant...which is linked to PCOS.

Like many women with PCOS-related insulin resistance, I take a daily cinnamon supplement. I found success at 3g/day. Literally from the day I began taking it, I began losing weight, where I only had weight gain on the same diet and exercise plan, for months prior.

There is a lot of information on the Internet about cinamon as a natural insulin sensitizer, including this synopsis at the Livestrong web site:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/546844-cinnamon-for-pcos-weight-loss/


I wouldnt run to the pharmacy or store to take this right away if you are already under the care of a physician or specialist. PCOS patients who are currently taking medications (like myself and my patients) with controlled sugar/insulin levels by Metformin will definitely need to be discussed with the prescribing physician...
  11372560

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