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No real weight loss for 4 months - advice?

MarchmallowMarchmallow Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member
Hey everyone, I've been scratching my head over this for a while now, since nothing I'm doing seems to shift any weight.
I'm female, 5'2, 190lbs and 34 years old. For between 3-4 months I've been calorie restricting, but I've lost 2-3 lbs total in 16 weeks. It's a loss, but that's more what you'd expect to see in one month rather than 4.
I started at 1500 calories plus doing IF (eating between 11am and 7pm), but when I wasn't seeing results there I stopped IF and dropped to 1400 calories and started adding in exercise. I did some weight training for a couple of weeks but I switched that out for a 1 hour walk every other day because I felt that's more sustainable for me atm.

I know that usually the culprit for stalled weight loss is underestimating what you eat, but I'm really careful about weighing and logging everything. If the packet won't scan, I'll manually enter the nutrition info myself. My fitbit estimates that I burn between 1900-2400 calories per day, depending on how active I've been.

My question is, am I missing something, should I drop my calories? I've tried 1200 in the past, but 1400 is the lowest I can manage without being hungry. I'm vegan so I can't really do keto, I rely on carbs too much. I've managed to lose weight in the past doing what I do now, so I'm not sure what's different.

Thanks for reading such a long post, input is appreciated!
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Replies

  • 4legsRbetterthan24legsRbetterthan2 Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 17,767 MFP Moderator Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium Posts: 17,767 MFP Moderator
    Do you allow cheat days?
  • MarchmallowMarchmallow Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member
    the most common reason to not lose weight on MFP is undercounting your calories. do you weigh everything you eat using an accurate digital scale AND make sure that the calorie info you use on MFP is correct as per USDA or the manufacturer?

    Yep, it's a digital food scale. As I said in my post, I'm really paranoid about getting it wrong so if I can't scan the bar code I'll enter it myself from the nutrition table on the packaging.

  • MarchmallowMarchmallow Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member
    Do you allow cheat days?

    I have occasional cheat meals, but if I ever go over on a day it's between 100- 300 cals over, but that's not often.
  • KateB989KateB989 Member Posts: 9 Member Member Posts: 9 Member
    Hi, I haven’t been exercising aslong as you yet but still struggling! I’m 5ft 2 and 126lbs, I’ve been exercising everyday for the last 4/5 weeks and I’ve been doing an hour of cardio and 30mins of weights then a brisk 20-30min walk of an evening! I started on 1200 calories and then reduced to 800-1000 and tried IF and I lost 3lb in the first weeks but now nothing! I know 4/5 weeks isn’t long to see a massive difference but considering I went from not doing much exercise to a lot and eating healthier less calories I thought I’d see more!
  • Talan79Talan79 Member Posts: 749 Member Member Posts: 749 Member
    I had Fitbit for a few years and now Apple Watch. Both have my TDEE over 2000 a day. But by calculation and years of tracking with excel, I know my TDEE is more like 1800’s. I’m also a petite female so I understand the struggle. I’m 5”2 and I fluctuate bn 118-120.

    OP’s BMR is around 1600 with those stats. So 1900 doesn’t seem like that far off with walking an hour a day on top of her daily activity. With accurate logging there should be a drop with 1400-1500 calories.
  • Dogmom1978Dogmom1978 Member Posts: 254 Member Member Posts: 254 Member
    I have a Fitbit and even on days when I do almost nothing, the damn thing insists I burn over 1600 a day. On an active day, it will tell me I burned about 3000. I do NOT use it to track calorie burn AT ALL. I use it for heart rate, sleep, and walking (and even that isn’t accurate as I also GPS my walks through my phone via Gaia).

    If you are eating back the calories that your Fitbit tells you you’ve burned, that would be why you aren’t seeing results.
  • nanamerriman2020nanamerriman2020 Member Posts: 345 Member Member Posts: 345 Member
    Are you weighing the food you are scanning? Weight of packaged food can be off. Example bread that is supposed to be 41g for 2 slices is often 47 to 49g.

    Beyond that, have you been checked for any medical reasons that may influence your weight loss? Thyroid, or PCOS?
  • xxzenabxxxxzenabxx Member Posts: 697 Member Member Posts: 697 Member
    Are you making the food yourself? Even if you scan packaged food and weigh it (eg a pizza or ready made quiche) then you will never know exactly how many calories are in it. Food labels can be off by 20%. Something could have 200 calories in on the label but actually have 240. These things can add up slowly. Weigh your oil and fats too. I would start cooking your own food and weighing everything for atleast 6 weeks. Also are you weighing yourself everyday? My weight has ‘stalled’ for 8 weeks and then I had a whoosh and dropped 4 lbs. But now my weight is back up 4 lbs because of PMS but if I hadn’t checked the scale and seen that whoosh a week ago I would’ve though that my weight is stuck at 154/155lbs. Loads to think about. I also suspect your Fitbit is overestimating how much you burn.
  • MarchmallowMarchmallow Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member
    KateB989 wrote: »
    Hi, I haven’t been exercising aslong as you yet but still struggling! I’m 5ft 2 and 126lbs, I’ve been exercising everyday for the last 4/5 weeks and I’ve been doing an hour of cardio and 30mins of weights then a brisk 20-30min walk of an evening! I started on 1200 calories and then reduced to 800-1000 and tried IF and I lost 3lb in the first weeks but now nothing! I know 4/5 weeks isn’t long to see a massive difference but considering I went from not doing much exercise to a lot and eating healthier less calories I thought I’d see more!

    Whoa, you're putting in way more effort than me, that must be disheartening! You seem to be quite slim already from what yoy say, so maybe its just that your body doesn't think it's holding 'excess' fat and is fighting to keep what it has? Unlike me, I'm technically obese but my bod likes having this much fat apparently 😅
  • MarchmallowMarchmallow Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member Member, Premium Posts: 130 Member
    Are you weighing the food you are scanning? Weight of packaged food can be off. Example bread that is supposed to be 41g for 2 slices is often 47 to 49g.

    Beyond that, have you been checked for any medical reasons that may influence your weight loss? Thyroid, or PCOS?

    I never thought to weigh the pre-portioned package stuff actually, I've just trusted the manufacturers. Didn't know it could be off by that much!

    I did get tested for underactive thyroid a few years ago but it was normal at the time. I've wondered if I've got PCOS for a while but haven't had it checked.
  • nanamerriman2020nanamerriman2020 Member Posts: 345 Member Member Posts: 345 Member
    I find packages to have extra weight more often than less. Since your progress is less than expected, being meticulous and weighing everything/making your own food as often as possible so your counts can be accurate would be good to try for 6 to 8 weeks. With food made by others (family, friends or restaurants) your logging would be an estimated value as you can't know for sure.

    As to whether or not your Fitbit is accurate, the 1900+ daily total includes your bmr. Of course bmr is based on an average person and its possible your burn is a little below average.
  • zebasschickzebasschick Member Posts: 185 Member Member Posts: 185 Member
    Are you weighing the food you are scanning? Weight of packaged food can be off. Example bread that is supposed to be 41g for 2 slices is often 47 to 49g.

    Beyond that, have you been checked for any medical reasons that may influence your weight loss? Thyroid, or PCOS?

    I never thought to weigh the pre-portioned package stuff actually, I've just trusted the manufacturers. Didn't know it could be off by that much!

    I did get tested for underactive thyroid a few years ago but it was normal at the time. I've wondered if I've got PCOS for a while but haven't had it checked.

    if you mean you're scanning foods with the MFP app, i've found many "official" MFP listings that are wrong.

    many packaged foods list the calories in a serving, but for example, my husband's favorite bread is between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 servings per slice. so if you count a sandwich as having 1 serving of that bread, you'd be counting low and if you put in 2 servings, you'd be undercounting between a half and a whole serving. just an easy example. some larger single candy bars and smallish bags of chips are 2 servings even though pretty much everyone eats the entire thing.
  • DevietteDeviette Member Posts: 767 Member Member Posts: 767 Member
    As many others have said, the MFP database could be a culprit.

    Something to check as well could be the weight of your dried goods. Often they will list the calorie count in cooked weigh rather than dry weight. Pasta (for example) is notorious for this and will often list something as cooked. If you're measuring dry but then inputting the cooked value then you could be underestimating by more than 100%.
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