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need advice! Help!

avtloveavtlove Member Posts: 52 Member Member Posts: 52 Member
I just found MFP and I've been reading the community forums. Very helpful! But I need help. I'm a 45 yo female, 190 lbs. I have been tracking VERY CAREFULLY (every single thing weighed and measured) for 4 weeks now. I am down 9 lbs, which I know is a decent number for 4 weeks. The problem is, I lost all of that in the first two weeks of tracking and now, in the last two weeks I can't seem to lose ANYTHING. Every day the scale is within .2 of a pound from the day before (typically going UP) or at the exact same number as the day before. I'm at 1450 cals per day. I have a sedentary computer job all day but I do walk 3-4 miles a few times a week. What am I doing wrong? Could 1450 be my maintenance calories? It seems so low for maintenance. MFP tells me to eat 1380 per day for a loss of 1.5 lbs per week. But in the past I've always eaten at 1600-1800 to lose weight. Is it just because I'm older now? Or am I eating too low?
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Replies

  • nanamerriman2020nanamerriman2020 Member Posts: 161 Member Member Posts: 161 Member
    Congrats on getting started.

    Two words for you: water weight.

    Water weight is constantly fluctuating, and can easily 'hide' scale results temporarily. You could be retaining extra water due to extra sodium, stress, lack of sleep, increasing or changing a workout routine, TOM/ovulating and other things.

    Try to have patience and keep going. A goal (my opinion) is to build 6-8 weeks worth of data, so that you can compare weight 'now' to your weight 1 month ago. Assuming that you regularly weight less using those intervals, you're on the right track.

    For comparison, I'm 45 / 146 / female / also sedentary. My maintenance is about 1600 without added exercise. My target is about 1400 per day.

    A few years back, I went from 180ish to 130ish over the course of 9-10 months. Now I'm working on the 20 or so I put back on in the past year.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,117 Member Member Posts: 23,117 Member
    Nine pounds in two weeks is a pretty rapid drop, so I'm not entirely surprised that your body may be recalibrating for a bit in order to adjust. This doesn't mean calorie counting isn't working, it just means that sometimes our bodies behave a bit unpredictably before we begin seeing the results that we expect.

    It's unlikely that 1,450 is your calories to maintain at your current weight and activity level, so I would just be patient. The other option is to see if there is an opportunity to tighten up your logging -- if you open your diary we may be able to help you troubleshoot. But in just two weeks, I wouldn't get too worried about it especially with the great results you had the first couple of weeks.

    If you're someone who has a period, it's possible you've got hormonal fluctuations that are complicating things for you in terms of temporary water weight retention. I'm 40 and I tend to "gain" weight twice a month, the few days before my period and the few days around my ovulation.
  • avtloveavtlove Member Posts: 52 Member Member Posts: 52 Member
    Congrats on getting started.

    Two words for you: water weight.

    Water weight is constantly fluctuating, and can easily 'hide' scale results temporarily. You could be retaining extra water due to extra sodium, stress, lack of sleep, increasing or changing a workout routine, TOM/ovulating and other things.

    Try to have patience and keep going. A goal (my opinion) is to build 6-8 weeks worth of data, so that you can compare weight 'now' to your weight 1 month ago. Assuming that you regularly weight less using those intervals, you're on the right track.

    For comparison, I'm 45 / 146 / female / also sedentary. My maintenance is about 1600 without added exercise. My target is about 1400 per day.

    A few years back, I went from 180ish to 130ish over the course of 9-10 months. Now I'm working on the 20 or so I put back on in the past year.

    Thank you! I know patience is the key. It's always good to hear it, though. I've been also using Happy Scale app to help me see trends and not just the day to day numbers. Like most of us, it's so hard to be patient. Then, when you feel like you did everything right and put in the work, and you're just certain the scale will be down in the morning, then you wake up and its not, it just feels so frustrating.
  • avtloveavtlove Member Posts: 52 Member Member Posts: 52 Member
    Nine pounds in two weeks is a pretty rapid drop, so I'm not entirely surprised that your body may be recalibrating for a bit in order to adjust. This doesn't mean calorie counting isn't working, it just means that sometimes our bodies behave a bit unpredictably before we begin seeing the results that we expect.

    It's unlikely that 1,450 is your calories to maintain at your current weight and activity level, so I would just be patient. The other option is to see if there is an opportunity to tighten up your logging -- if you open your diary we may be able to help you troubleshoot. But in just two weeks, I wouldn't get too worried about it especially with the great results you had the first couple of weeks.

    If you're someone who has a period, it's possible you've got hormonal fluctuations that are complicating things for you in terms of temporary water weight retention. I'm 40 and I tend to "gain" weight twice a month, the few days before my period and the few days around my ovulation.

    Thank you! I had surgery years ago so I don't have a period anymore so I am not every sure if it's TOM. I can't open my diary because I've been using the Lose It app, not MFP as I just found MFP today. I'm pretty sure my tracking is on target because I've been very detailed and weighing and measuring every little thing. I'm just wondering if I should drop to 1200 cals for a few days and see what that does.
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Member Posts: 2,716 Member Member Posts: 2,716 Member
    A lot of the weight you lost the first two weeks was water. Like many of us, you probably cut back on carbs, which tend to hold on to water, so you had a big whoosh initially when you lowered the amount. As your body adjusted to the changed way of eating, it probably went back to storing water more normally. That is actually a good thing as dehydration has consequences, but can be frustrating. With time, you will see the results of eating fewer calories.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,117 Member Member Posts: 23,117 Member
    avtlove wrote: »
    Nine pounds in two weeks is a pretty rapid drop, so I'm not entirely surprised that your body may be recalibrating for a bit in order to adjust. This doesn't mean calorie counting isn't working, it just means that sometimes our bodies behave a bit unpredictably before we begin seeing the results that we expect.

    It's unlikely that 1,450 is your calories to maintain at your current weight and activity level, so I would just be patient. The other option is to see if there is an opportunity to tighten up your logging -- if you open your diary we may be able to help you troubleshoot. But in just two weeks, I wouldn't get too worried about it especially with the great results you had the first couple of weeks.

    If you're someone who has a period, it's possible you've got hormonal fluctuations that are complicating things for you in terms of temporary water weight retention. I'm 40 and I tend to "gain" weight twice a month, the few days before my period and the few days around my ovulation.

    Thank you! I had surgery years ago so I don't have a period anymore so I am not every sure if it's TOM. I can't open my diary because I've been using the Lose It app, not MFP as I just found MFP today. I'm pretty sure my tracking is on target because I've been very detailed and weighing and measuring every little thing. I'm just wondering if I should drop to 1200 cals for a few days and see what that does.

    I would not drop my calories after just two weeks, especially since you were losing weight before that.

    I have no idea how accurate Lose It's database is. On MFP, incorrect database entries can sometimes be an issue so even when people are weighing all their solid food, they may be eating more than they think they are if they're choosing incorrect entries. It might be worth checking into there.
  • avtloveavtlove Member Posts: 52 Member Member Posts: 52 Member
    As a 45 yo female it could easily be hormonal. Swings in female hormones cause swings in water retention. Another thing to examine is salt consumption as changes in it can cause a swing in water weight. It could be an electronic scale issue. Mine did what yours has done and I flipped it over and discovered it had a cracked foot. Also, it might just need a battery change. Finally, two weeks is a short period of time weight wise and weight loss is not linear. For most folks, the graph of weight loss looks like a zigzag. Some folks lose with a series of plateau/whoosh (stay the same then drop a couple pounds) cycles.

    You are right that calorie needs tend to go down a bit with age but also they go down as our weigh decreases but in the case you describe it's more likely that this is just a temporary plateau.

    That's funny what you said about the scale because after about 8 days of very tiny change (.2lbs!) up or down and three of those days my number was exactly the same, I actually went out and bought a new scale thinking mine must be defective! But alas, it wasn't. New scale is doing the same thing... Must just be my body.
  • avtloveavtlove Member Posts: 52 Member Member Posts: 52 Member
    avtlove wrote: »
    Nine pounds in two weeks is a pretty rapid drop, so I'm not entirely surprised that your body may be recalibrating for a bit in order to adjust. This doesn't mean calorie counting isn't working, it just means that sometimes our bodies behave a bit unpredictably before we begin seeing the results that we expect.

    It's unlikely that 1,450 is your calories to maintain at your current weight and activity level, so I would just be patient. The other option is to see if there is an opportunity to tighten up your logging -- if you open your diary we may be able to help you troubleshoot. But in just two weeks, I wouldn't get too worried about it especially with the great results you had the first couple of weeks.

    If you're someone who has a period, it's possible you've got hormonal fluctuations that are complicating things for you in terms of temporary water weight retention. I'm 40 and I tend to "gain" weight twice a month, the few days before my period and the few days around my ovulation.

    Thank you! I had surgery years ago so I don't have a period anymore so I am not every sure if it's TOM. I can't open my diary because I've been using the Lose It app, not MFP as I just found MFP today. I'm pretty sure my tracking is on target because I've been very detailed and weighing and measuring every little thing. I'm just wondering if I should drop to 1200 cals for a few days and see what that does.

    I would not drop my calories after just two weeks, especially since you were losing weight before that.

    I have no idea how accurate Lose It's database is. On MFP, incorrect database entries can sometimes be an issue so even when people are weighing all their solid food, they may be eating more than they think they are if they're choosing incorrect entries. It might be worth checking into there.

    There are a lot of incorrect entries on LoseIt! So, i cross reference with Calorie King. and of course, using the scanning feature.
  • avtloveavtlove Member Posts: 52 Member Member Posts: 52 Member
    If there were two things I could say about weight loss and long term weight maintenance they would be:

    #1 Know your daily calorie needs by logging food and exercise for several months.

    and

    #2 Relax. Don't put a lot of thought into the daily ups and downs, just the long-term Big Picture.

    My brain tells me that you're right. My heart wants the results yesterday. It seems like i'm "doing all the right things" so I get frustrated when I don't see the fruits of my labor! Thank you for your reply.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,117 Member Member Posts: 23,117 Member
    avtlove wrote: »
    avtlove wrote: »
    Nine pounds in two weeks is a pretty rapid drop, so I'm not entirely surprised that your body may be recalibrating for a bit in order to adjust. This doesn't mean calorie counting isn't working, it just means that sometimes our bodies behave a bit unpredictably before we begin seeing the results that we expect.

    It's unlikely that 1,450 is your calories to maintain at your current weight and activity level, so I would just be patient. The other option is to see if there is an opportunity to tighten up your logging -- if you open your diary we may be able to help you troubleshoot. But in just two weeks, I wouldn't get too worried about it especially with the great results you had the first couple of weeks.

    If you're someone who has a period, it's possible you've got hormonal fluctuations that are complicating things for you in terms of temporary water weight retention. I'm 40 and I tend to "gain" weight twice a month, the few days before my period and the few days around my ovulation.

    Thank you! I had surgery years ago so I don't have a period anymore so I am not every sure if it's TOM. I can't open my diary because I've been using the Lose It app, not MFP as I just found MFP today. I'm pretty sure my tracking is on target because I've been very detailed and weighing and measuring every little thing. I'm just wondering if I should drop to 1200 cals for a few days and see what that does.

    I would not drop my calories after just two weeks, especially since you were losing weight before that.

    I have no idea how accurate Lose It's database is. On MFP, incorrect database entries can sometimes be an issue so even when people are weighing all their solid food, they may be eating more than they think they are if they're choosing incorrect entries. It might be worth checking into there.

    There are a lot of incorrect entries on LoseIt! So, i cross reference with Calorie King. and of course, using the scanning feature.

    If the scanning feature works like MFP, it can still pull up inaccurate database entries (I know you're cross-referencing, but just wanted to make sure you were aware).
  • avtloveavtlove Member Posts: 52 Member Member Posts: 52 Member
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    Thank you so much! I always knew that weight loss is not linear, but I guess I alway thought that meant that it's so common for people to eat too much some days or not track accurately. I didn't really realize that the non linear line was also true for people who are "doing everything right"! Ugh. It's a process and I need to remember that.
  • nanamerriman2020nanamerriman2020 Member Posts: 161 Member Member Posts: 161 Member
    Try adding in some 'goals' that are not directly weight related. Set some timeline goals, things you will check or try or do at specific points in the future. Its very frustrating in weight loss to constantly look back at what you've done and be critical about what more you would like to have accomplished. Finding things to look forward to is a totally different mindset.

    You mentioned that you are walking 3-4 miles a few times a week. You could sign up to walk a virtual 10k (6.2 miles) in a couple of months. Keep two of your weekly walks at 3-4 miles, and add a 1/2 mile each week to your 'longer' walk to get ready for the 10k.

    Find a pair of jeans that you can just barely zip/button now, or maybe that you can't. Put a note on your calendar to try them again on July 15 and August 15.

    For me, having additional things to focus on: really helps.
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Member Posts: 26,916 Member Member Posts: 26,916 Member
    In addition to all the good stuff people have said, read this article, OP.

    http://physiqonomics.com/the-weird-and-highly-annoying-world-of-scale-weight-and-fluctuations

    I'm also 45 yoa, 5'9, and am currently 199 pounds (after bulking on purpose to put on muscle). My maintenance calories are ~2400. I am pretty darned sure that you can lose on 1450 or even higher.
  • avtloveavtlove Member Posts: 52 Member Member Posts: 52 Member
    In addition to all the good stuff people have said, read this article, OP.

    http://physiqonomics.com/the-weird-and-highly-annoying-world-of-scale-weight-and-fluctuations

    I'm also 45 yoa, 5'9, and am currently 199 pounds (after bulking on purpose to put on muscle). My maintenance calories are ~2400. I am pretty darned sure that you can lose on 1450 or even higher.
    In addition to all the good stuff people have said, read this article, OP.

    http://physiqonomics.com/the-weird-and-highly-annoying-world-of-scale-weight-and-fluctuations

    I'm also 45 yoa, 5'9, and am currently 199 pounds (after bulking on purpose to put on muscle). My maintenance calories are ~2400. I am pretty darned sure that you can lose on 1450 or even higher.

    That's what I would think, as well. In the pretty recent past, (last two years) I have tracked off and on and I was able to lose at 1600-1700 cals. I just never stick with it long enough. I feel like this time I am sticking with it longer but struggling more. Even though I am super diligent about my tracking. Thanks for your insight and reply :smile:
  • avtloveavtlove Member Posts: 52 Member Member Posts: 52 Member
    Try adding in some 'goals' that are not directly weight related. Set some timeline goals, things you will check or try or do at specific points in the future. Its very frustrating in weight loss to constantly look back at what you've done and be critical about what more you would like to have accomplished. Finding things to look forward to is a totally different mindset.

    You mentioned that you are walking 3-4 miles a few times a week. You could sign up to walk a virtual 10k (6.2 miles) in a couple of months. Keep two of your weekly walks at 3-4 miles, and add a 1/2 mile each week to your 'longer' walk to get ready for the 10k.

    Find a pair of jeans that you can just barely zip/button now, or maybe that you can't. Put a note on your calendar to try them again on July 15 and August 15.

    For me, having additional things to focus on: really helps.

    These are GREAT suggestions! Thank you!
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