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Dieting never used to be this difficult

84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
Hi All,

I gained weight during lockdown and have just started lifting weights again. I'm 4 weeks in to working out 4x per week and have lost 1lb so far. I'm 164lbs and 5'9" as of today.

5 years ago I got down to 157lbs eating 1,800 calories per day for 6 weeks. This time around I'm really struggling and often end up eating slightly more than 2,000 calories a day. Last week I ate around 2,240 calories per day and maintained my weight.

I can't decide whether it's a lack of motivation this time around or whether I'm just craving food during the day as I've picked up bad habits whilst working from home (constant snacking on chocolate, toast and fizzy drinks).

My goal weight is 155lbs. I worked out if I'm 20% body fat, I'd be 15% body fat at 155lbs and if I'm 15% body fat, I'd be 10% at 155lbs. I've not idea what I am at the moment but I'd like to get a flatter stomach.

This week I'm aiming for 1,800 calories per day with a break from dieting on Wednesday and Saturday were I'll just eat around maintenance.

To hit my calories I'll be eating:

Breakfast: Protein shake mixed with banana (300 cals)
Lunch: Chicken sandwiches (500 cals)
Snack: Protein shake mixed with apple (300 cals)
Dinner: Meat, Veg, Pasta or Rice (600 calories)
Maybe one 50 calorie fizzy drink or small 100 calorie chocolate bar.

Hopefully I can get one good week in. Anyone else in the same boat?
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Replies

  • IdontcareyoupickIdontcareyoupick Member Posts: 1,457 Member Member Posts: 1,457 Member
    Yeah I gained some in quarantine and keep trying to get back on track and I'm having a hard time and think it's getting away from the house and snacks and some emotion eating
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    Yesterday didn't go to plan either. I ended up eating 2,196 calories. My Dinner came to 963 calories (Penne Ragu Alforno) and I had 3 small glasses of Dr Pepper throughout the day.

    I've added up my calories for today and they come to 1,561. No high calorie dinners to catch me out this time.

    I also got an early Chest, Triceps and Shoulder workout in (One exercise per muscle group, 4 sets of 10 reps). Felt good moving up to 29.5kg dumbbells. I'm on to 30.5kg next week and will keep adding weight until I can no longer hit 10 reps per set. Feels like a good way to get back into training after having so long off.
    edited September 15
  • charmmethcharmmeth Member Posts: 408 Member Member Posts: 408 Member
    I wonder if you need something more filling than the two protein shakes? I haven't used them, but they sound as though they might leave one feeling a bit empty? (Very happy to be corrected on this!) There are some great suggetions for lunches with ca. 300-350 calories which might be a bit more satisfying.
  • ALZ14ALZ14 Member Posts: 133 Member Member Posts: 133 Member
    Can you switch to Diet Dr Pepper to fill the craving but avoid the calories?

    I would also examine your protein shakes. For me personally (and you may very well be different) I never fill fully satisfied when I drink my calories, I need to chew and swallow my food.

    What kind of chicken sandwiches are you having? Can you substitute some ingredients for lower calorie options and then add in a side?
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    charmmeth wrote: »
    I wonder if you need something more filling than the two protein shakes? I haven't used them, but they sound as though they might leave one feeling a bit empty?

    I was having Fruit 'n' Fibre cereal for breakfast but my protein intake was low so I switched from cereal to a shake. Luckily as they're blended in a mixer with fruit, I'm making it through to 11am without feeling too hungry.

    I mostly snack between 2pm and 5pm and 8pm and 10pm. I think I've just had many weeks of eating what I want, when I want so I'm getting used to eating 3 meals and 2 snacks a day as opposed to 8 snacks a day.
  • nanastaci2020nanastaci2020 Member, Premium Posts: 586 Member Member, Premium Posts: 586 Member
    You can try experimenting to see what leaves you filling full. For me, carbs only: no way. But some combination of carbs & protein/fat do much better. Example a snack of apples slices would leave me feeling like I did not eat anything. But dab a little peanut butter on the slices and that stays with me for a while.

    If you need/want to make it past 11am: perhaps have a side of ham or some eggs in addition to the cereal? But if you're happy as it is, no worries.

    Personally I use low calorie protein supplements to boost my protein but not as a meal replacement. I need food, drinks don't make me feel 'full'. I have a 160 calorie w/ 30 grams protein vanilla 'drink' and a 90 calorie w/ 20 grams protein flavored protein water that I turn to for those boosts. I feel these are effective as there is not much in them besides the protein.
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    ALZ14 wrote: »
    Can you switch to Diet Dr Pepper to fill the craving but avoid the calories?

    I've never thought of giving Diet Dr Pepper a try. I'm not a fan of Diet drinks usually. Maybe I can cut out the baguette at lunch to add in more fats, I'm only getting around 20g per day at the moment and i think I'm supposed to have between 50 and 70g per day.

  • nanastaci2020nanastaci2020 Member, Premium Posts: 586 Member Member, Premium Posts: 586 Member
    84creative wrote: »
    ALZ14 wrote: »
    Can you switch to Diet Dr Pepper to fill the craving but avoid the calories?

    I've never thought of giving Diet Dr Pepper a try. I'm not a fan of Diet drinks usually. Maybe I can cut out the baguette at lunch to add in more fats, I'm only getting around 20g per day at the moment and i think I'm supposed to have between 50 and 70g per day.

    I have always been an avid soda-holic. Years ago, before I even started trying to lose weight, I decided at least I could cut the sugar. Diet Dr Pepper used to advertise that 'Diet Dr Pepper tastes like regular Dr Pepper' or something similar. It has less of a diet taste than other brand diet sodas. SO I started drinking DDP as a gateway to diet soda. Also, Diet Rite is less diet tasting in my opinion as it uses a different 0 cal sweetener. If you like soda and don't see yourself giving it up, it is worth a try perhaps? Now I drink Diet Pepsi and Coke Zero. Can't stand the cherry taste of Dr Pepper/DDP. I think I had too much of it in my transition phase.
  • MithriditesMithridites Member Posts: 499 Member Member Posts: 499 Member
    Flavored fizzy water or diet soft drink instead of the empty calories from the regular dr pepper. Instead of creamy sauces on carby pasta try vegetable based main course with lean protein and a low cal sauce or dressing or salsa. Also, weight lifting is great for health and looking good after you shed the pounds, but it's not exactly cardio when it comes to burning calories. So eat less calories or do at least some cardio or both. Try changing the 2nd shake for Greek yogurt or skyr with fruit. Hight protein with fiber might keep you fuller.
  • richardgavelrichardgavel Member Posts: 895 Member Member Posts: 895 Member
    If you can't handle diet Dr pepper, try what I do and buy the tiny 7.5 oz cans. My brain tends to think of a small can or a normal can or a bottle all as a "serving", irrespective of size.
  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Member Posts: 6,647 Member Member Posts: 6,647 Member
    i feel your pain lol

    i lost 130 but gained back 40 in the past year since i stopped working. its coming back off again, but not without a great amount of effort.

    for me (and its always been the case when i am actively losing) forcing in gym time has to occur. so, for me 2 hours every morning. i stopped drinking full calorie sodas years ago, but diet ones work quite well for me. the more protein and carb combos i have, the more satiated I feel. I also fit in chocolate or dessert every day. I dont eat back my exercise calories BUT i also know my logging, although close, is not perfect, so its a nice buffer and so far im losing 2 pounds ish a week.

    ive been pretty good about logging the past couple of weeks, if you want to take a look at how my days go. breakfast and lunch doesnt change much but dinner is different every day.
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'll try a few food and drink substitutes and see how I get on :-)
  • lgfrielgfrie Member, Premium Posts: 1,160 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,160 Member
    Like a few people above, I've had bad luck with trying to drink my calories in any form, protein shakes included. Just doesn't give me anywhere near the feeling of satiety and fullness I need. Considering that 600 calories per day of your diet is coming from liquids, maybe try substituting in chewing-based solid foods for a few days or a week for those 600 to see what happens. Of course, you might love the shakes and find them filling so this may not be a relevant point for you.
  • springlering62springlering62 Member, Premium Posts: 1,417 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,417 Member
    Yikes! 600 shake calories would lose me in a day or two. I gotta clack my teeth together.

    I lost my weight with a simple 300 calorie almond milk smoothie every single morning for 20 months, but strangely, I’ve found as I’ve been able increase my calories, the smoothies no longer hold me.

    I’m trying to learn to love eggs, but my best morning breakfast has been a simple, protein filled sandwich for under 200 calories. Two slices toasted Healthy Life bread (70), .33 tsp fat free mayo (3), and 2 servings roasted deli chicken or turkey (120).

    Lidl chicken sausages are delicious, filling, full a protein, and low cal. (Trader Joe’s has the Adele’s brand, but they are about 25% higher calorie and cost twice as much.) I reheated some Lidl chicken andouille sausages for lunch at my volunteer gig the other day and visitors and staff were hunting me down to ask what I was having.

    I’m trying to get away from the “breakfast food” mentality, and “sweets for breakfast” that we learned as children. It’s a
    Hard habit to break, though. If I’ve got meat leftovers in the fridge, it makes a great start to my day.
  • DanaDarkDanaDark Member Posts: 2,179 Member Member Posts: 2,179 Member
    You've drastically altered your diet and exercise. 4 weeks isn't that much time to really determine if what you're doing is not working.

    Eating less will result in less water retention which will make it seem like fast weight loss at the start. Exercising more will result in significant water retention which will do the opposite.

    Some notes...
    Two protein shakes a day do not indicate a "weight loss" diet but are far more in line for a weight gain muscle bulking diet. They "maybe" fizzy drink/chocolate bar also is not serving you any good if you're looking to lose weight.

    My suggestion would be to wait another month to see how things start settling for you. Then if its still slow going, find ways to reduce some extra calories by replacing/removing items in your diet.
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    Last night I refrained from eating after 8pm and finished off at 1,918 calories for the day.

    I've added up my calories for today and Im around 1,552 with breakfast, lunch, dinner and a protein shake for a snack. If I get hungry I'll eat up to 1,800 calories but I'm trying to have a low day today.

    To give myself peace of mind I made a spreadsheet for my daily calories to show a few days of higher calories won't affect my fat loss. made me feel less bad about eating extra calories.

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    lgfrie wrote: »
    Considering that 600 calories per day of your diet is coming from liquids, maybe try substituting in chewing-based solid foods for a few days or a week for those 600 to see what happens.

    I skipped the protein shake this morning and opted for a bowl of Fruit 'n' Fibre with a cup of hot chocolate instead. I was craving real food this morning after reading these posts.
    DanaDark wrote: »
    My suggestion would be to wait another month to see how things start settling for you. Then if its still slow going, find ways to reduce some extra calories by replacing/removing items in your diet.

    Definately. Think I just need to get used to this new routine.
    I’m trying to learn to love eggs, but my best morning breakfast has been a simple, protein filled sandwich for under 200 calories. Two slices toasted Healthy Life bread (70), .33 tsp fat free mayo (3), and 2 servings roasted deli chicken or turkey (120).

    I'll have to try a sandwich for breakfast over cereal to see which fills me up for longer.
  • DanaDarkDanaDark Member Posts: 2,179 Member Member Posts: 2,179 Member
    Your chart shows what should be a .9 pound loss per week roughly. But you didn't get 3.6 pound loss for the month as you'd expect.

    As you acknowledged, waiting to get used to this routine will be good.

    From there, do your thing and see what happens. If you don't lose weight as fast as expected, move your goal down. In this case, I'd call it "Kentucky Windage" as we used to say in marksmanship. Basically it doesn't really matter what the numbers you see on a website say, but you can use them to help adjust to what you need.

    If MFP says you should be losing 1 pound a week and you aren't, eat less. If what you record shows a 5 pound a week weight loss but you are losing only a pound a week, then fine. Stick with that. MFP is ONLY a metric to give you bearing, it is not the final say on how much you burn or how much you eat. That depends on how you enter things.
  • 84creative84creative Member Posts: 128 Member Member Posts: 128 Member
    I don't pay much attention to what MFP says I'll lose in 5 weeks. My main challenge is sticking to a calorie deficit and not snacking as much in between meals. Hopefully I'll have more lower calorie days than maintenance days going forward as yesterday was almost on target.
    edited September 16
  • HeidiCooksSupperHeidiCooksSupper Member, Premium Posts: 3,782 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,782 Member
    This is just a reaction to your headline, "Dieting never used to be this difficult." Oh, my yes, it was. I first joined Weight Watchers in the early 1970s. One had to eat tuna five times a week and liver once a week. That was hard!
  • msalicia07msalicia07 Member Posts: 246 Member Member Posts: 246 Member
    This is just a reaction to your headline, "Dieting never used to be this difficult." Oh, my yes, it was. I first joined Weight Watchers in the early 1970s. One had to eat tuna five times a week and liver once a week. That was hard!

    Hahaha that’s so true! Thank you for this reminder that things weren’t always better in the “good ole days”!
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