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One for the: I can't seem to lose weight collection

yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,632 Member Member Posts: 6,632 Member
Most of you here know me. You know I know how CITO works and I've been logging thoroughly with a scale for years and lost and maintained weight. I have a good idea what my daily calorie need is, and it's a wee bit above what MFP gives me. I know about water weight of course. When I'm depressed I have a tendency to gain weight as I'm eating too much candy on top of what I log. Or I stop logging.

Now here's the deal: I had one such period earlier this year and have been trying to lose a bit of weight again for two month. Result: nothing! Lots of fluctuation, but no loss. Trending app flat-lined.
Current weight 65kg
Size: 169cm
Maintenance calories according to MFP etc 1600, in reality more like 1750 plus exercise
Calorie budget: 1400 plus a part of exercise, though usually just 50cals

Exercise: run 4x per week, around 20km per week currently. 1-2x strength training, 1 hike (10-20km) or cycle (40-100km). On the long cycle or walk day I eat a substantial part of the extra calories back due to needing the energy there and then. On days without running/walking I still try to get 10k steps in. e.g. by walking to work or doing a little round in the evening. I've been doing this since before I wanted to lose those 3-4kg again. Thus it's not new exercise.

What's different to previous times? More running, less strength training because I have a running goal. Plus I'm currently unemployed. Not much difference there as I tend to work behind the computer. Though I have a side gig twice a week where I'm on my feet quite a lot. Could lead to water retention. But then there would still be a downward trend over two months.

Others: contraceptive pill on longterm cycle. Thus this doesn't play a role. Hypothyroid, well under control. Not constipated either. Changed scale battery, changed position: no change.

Basically, I can't explain what's going on.

Here's the unicorn bit (I'm sure you've been waiting for it!). In January I had an exercise test due to some potential muscular/metabolic issue I've been fighting with all my live. Not much came out of it, other than an unexplained high (as in: 100%) use of glycogen as energy compared to fats (and a lactic acidosis was found that persisted for days after racing to the doctor for the first consult. I know this happens sometimes). This at a heartrate that encompasses all my running, even the slowest trots. There's no explanation for it, and doctor closed case due to covid. His explanation is that the test went wrong and showed a faulty HR and in fact all is working normal. My argument that the data seems in line with 7 years of running data was wiped away.

But still, this can't just happen as I know I can lose weight, even though running has never been my primary exercise while losing weight. In case you're wondering: I also don't fret much about it. I step on the scale in the morning, curse, go on with my life until the next morning. I'm not stressed out either. Sleep well, all fine.



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Replies

  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Member, Premium Posts: 8,844 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,844 Member
    Is peri-menopause a possibility (or pregnancy for that matter even the pill is not 100%)?
    edited June 10
  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 1,235 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,235 Member
    I was also going to suggest a pregnancy test just in case, it's an easy thing to rule out.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,632 Member Member Posts: 6,632 Member
    Is peri-menopause a possibility (or pregnancy for that matter even the pill is not 100%)?

    Yes, peri-menopause is quite possible. But weight loss should still work like always. I'm rather tempted to stop the running and go back to full-on strength training to see if that makes a difference (even though that would be ridiculous and very unlikely!), but I'm training for an event. I also checked and double checked all the food I eat commonly. Found that I'm overcounting my breakfast oats by 1 calorie each day, and the yogurt I have with it under by about 2 :D
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,374 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,374 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    Is peri-menopause a possibility (or pregnancy for that matter even the pill is not 100%)?

    Yes, peri-menopause is quite possible. But weight loss should still work like always. I'm rather tempted to stop the running and go back to full-on strength training to see if that makes a difference (even though that would be ridiculous and very unlikely!), but I'm training for an event. I also checked and double checked all the food I eat commonly. Found that I'm overcounting my breakfast oats by 1 calorie each day, and the yogurt I have with it under by about 2 :D

    Fat loss should work like always, but maybe not water retention.

    Your daily deficit is around 350? Water weirdness can hide fat loss progress on the scale for a long, long time, with a small deficit, IME (actual experience).

    Also, with (clearly and admittedly minor) changes in both daily routine and exercise modes (with exercise estimating a bit of a black art in the first place), there could be some small changes in calorie needs to confuse things. I'm not saying the changes would wipe out your expected deficit, but if it's a bit smaller than you expect, that would give water fluctuation more scope to confuse scale results.

    I can totally understand the perplexity, though. I hope you get a "whoosh".
    edited June 10
  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Member, Premium Posts: 8,844 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,844 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    Is peri-menopause a possibility (or pregnancy for that matter even the pill is not 100%)?

    Yes, peri-menopause is quite possible. But weight loss should still work like always. I'm rather tempted to stop the running and go back to full-on strength training to see if that makes a difference (even though that would be ridiculous and very unlikely!), but I'm training for an event. I also checked and double checked all the food I eat commonly. Found that I'm overcounting my breakfast oats by 1 calorie each day, and the yogurt I have with it under by about 2 :D

    I am not sure that's entirely true, those hormones being out of whack can cause longer term water retention and elevated cortisol, which in turn can impact metabolism (CO) and your thyroid function so might be worth a chat with your doctor to make sure everything really is under control.

    Also is the running regimen progressively getting longer/more intense? I noticed when I was doing either progressive cardio training for an event (rowing) or strength training that I'd hold onto water weight longer than normal and would only see a shift on the scale when I took a few days break. Have you noticed any improvement in body composition?
    edited June 10
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,632 Member Member Posts: 6,632 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    yirara wrote: »
    Is peri-menopause a possibility (or pregnancy for that matter even the pill is not 100%)?

    Yes, peri-menopause is quite possible. But weight loss should still work like always. I'm rather tempted to stop the running and go back to full-on strength training to see if that makes a difference (even though that would be ridiculous and very unlikely!), but I'm training for an event. I also checked and double checked all the food I eat commonly. Found that I'm overcounting my breakfast oats by 1 calorie each day, and the yogurt I have with it under by about 2 :D

    Fat loss should work like always, but maybe not water retention.

    Your daily deficit is around 350? Water weirdness can hide fat loss progress on the scale for a long, long time, with a small deficit, IME (actual experience).

    Also, with (clearly and admittedly minor) changes in both daily routine and exercise modes (with exercise estimating a bit of a black art in the first place), there could be some small changes in calorie needs to confuse things. I'm not saying the changes would wipe out your expected deficit, but if it's a bit smaller than you expect, that would give water fluctuation more scope to confuse scale results.

    I can totally understand the perplexity, though. I hope you get a "whoosh".

    Thanks a lot AnnP, I always enjoy reading your non-nonsense replies <3

    My deficit is around 350, probably a bit more due to working out and not eating back all exercise calories. Being conservative I would have expected about 2kg of loss in those 2 months. I did have a couple of whoosh kind of things, but they never lasted more than 1-2 days, and then the weight went back to 65, and a few grams above, and continued fluctuating thereabouts. On the other hand I had a pill break early on, and I for once didn't really seem to have gained some water weight and lost it again. It's not visible at all on my weight graph. Maybe it really is some really weird, super sticky water weight. It would certainly be the most logical reason. Not sure though what to do: not drink anything after my evening run at current temperatures is not the right idea. Yeah, trust the process is the only thing I can do. This is a first though, and super frustrating!
  • HawkingRadiationHawkingRadiation Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    Your hormones changing may also mean your 'calorie out' has changed. Also keep in mind that the more 'in shape' you become, the fewer calories you burn for any given exercise. I would look into how many calories you are eating back.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,632 Member Member Posts: 6,632 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    Is peri-menopause a possibility (or pregnancy for that matter even the pill is not 100%)?

    Yes, peri-menopause is quite possible. But weight loss should still work like always. I'm rather tempted to stop the running and go back to full-on strength training to see if that makes a difference (even though that would be ridiculous and very unlikely!), but I'm training for an event. I also checked and double checked all the food I eat commonly. Found that I'm overcounting my breakfast oats by 1 calorie each day, and the yogurt I have with it under by about 2 :D

    I am not sure that's entirely true, those hormones being out of whack can cause longer term water retention and elevated cortisol, which in turn can impact metabolism (CO) and your thyroid function so might be worth a chat with your doctor to make sure everything really is under control.

    Also is the running regimen progressively getting longer/more intense? I noticed when I was doing either progressive cardio training for an event (rowing) or strength training that I'd hold onto water weight longer than normal and would only see a shift on the scale when I took a few days break. Have you noticed any improvement in body composition?

    My running distance has been pretty much the same over the past 4 weeks, about 20km per week. It might go up next week, but I'm not sure yet. I did increase intensity. Or rather I've gotten a bit fitter and am now able to run faster with a lower HR.

    I had the last blood test in March, and I won't get a new one now. That's how it works here. With thyroid I go largely with how I feel and tell my doctor that I want to increase meds when needed. At the moment I'm in briliant mental shape, and everything else seems to work at well. Thus I guess the meds are fine.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,374 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,374 Member
    Your hormones changing may also mean your 'calorie out' has changed. Also keep in mind that the more 'in shape' you become, the fewer calories you burn for any given exercise. I would look into how many calories you are eating back.

    No. It *feels* easier, and heart rate monitor calorie estimates may be lower because heart rate is lower. Those can be deceiving.

    The same workout (same duration, objective intensity) at the same bodyweight burns roughly the same number of calories, fit or unfit.



  • tinkerbellang83tinkerbellang83 Member, Premium Posts: 8,844 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,844 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    yirara wrote: »
    Is peri-menopause a possibility (or pregnancy for that matter even the pill is not 100%)?

    Yes, peri-menopause is quite possible. But weight loss should still work like always. I'm rather tempted to stop the running and go back to full-on strength training to see if that makes a difference (even though that would be ridiculous and very unlikely!), but I'm training for an event. I also checked and double checked all the food I eat commonly. Found that I'm overcounting my breakfast oats by 1 calorie each day, and the yogurt I have with it under by about 2 :D

    I am not sure that's entirely true, those hormones being out of whack can cause longer term water retention and elevated cortisol, which in turn can impact metabolism (CO) and your thyroid function so might be worth a chat with your doctor to make sure everything really is under control.

    Also is the running regimen progressively getting longer/more intense? I noticed when I was doing either progressive cardio training for an event (rowing) or strength training that I'd hold onto water weight longer than normal and would only see a shift on the scale when I took a few days break. Have you noticed any improvement in body composition?

    My running distance has been pretty much the same over the past 4 weeks, about 20km per week. It might go up next week, but I'm not sure yet. I did increase intensity. Or rather I've gotten a bit fitter and am now able to run faster with a lower HR.

    I had the last blood test in March, and I won't get a new one now. That's how it works here. With thyroid I go largely with how I feel and tell my doctor that I want to increase meds when needed. At the moment I'm in briliant mental shape, and everything else seems to work at well. Thus I guess the meds are fine.

    Hopefully just the water weight thing then.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,632 Member Member Posts: 6,632 Member
    Your hormones changing may also mean your 'calorie out' has changed. Also keep in mind that the more 'in shape' you become, the fewer calories you burn for any given exercise. I would look into how many calories you are eating back.

    Nah, the calorie reduction due to becoming fitter is fairly limited. For running it's still weight * distance * efficiency factor, and for lifting up a weight gravity * mass * height won't change.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,632 Member Member Posts: 6,632 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    yirara wrote: »
    Is peri-menopause a possibility (or pregnancy for that matter even the pill is not 100%)?

    Yes, peri-menopause is quite possible. But weight loss should still work like always. I'm rather tempted to stop the running and go back to full-on strength training to see if that makes a difference (even though that would be ridiculous and very unlikely!), but I'm training for an event. I also checked and double checked all the food I eat commonly. Found that I'm overcounting my breakfast oats by 1 calorie each day, and the yogurt I have with it under by about 2 :D

    I am not sure that's entirely true, those hormones being out of whack can cause longer term water retention and elevated cortisol, which in turn can impact metabolism (CO) and your thyroid function so might be worth a chat with your doctor to make sure everything really is under control.

    Also is the running regimen progressively getting longer/more intense? I noticed when I was doing either progressive cardio training for an event (rowing) or strength training that I'd hold onto water weight longer than normal and would only see a shift on the scale when I took a few days break. Have you noticed any improvement in body composition?

    My running distance has been pretty much the same over the past 4 weeks, about 20km per week. It might go up next week, but I'm not sure yet. I did increase intensity. Or rather I've gotten a bit fitter and am now able to run faster with a lower HR.

    I had the last blood test in March, and I won't get a new one now. That's how it works here. With thyroid I go largely with how I feel and tell my doctor that I want to increase meds when needed. At the moment I'm in briliant mental shape, and everything else seems to work at well. Thus I guess the meds are fine.

    Hopefully just the water weight thing then.

    Yeah, me too. I'll let the community know. Maybe I'm on my way to the most persistent and guinness world of record worthy water retention ever :D
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,905 Member Member Posts: 18,905 Member
    To attempt to remove the stress aspect of it that could arise from several items (whatever the metabolic thing is, running more), could you attempt an alternate method for deficit?

    Since you are doing minor reasonable deficit anyway, perhaps the alternating week diet with a tad higher than reasonable deficit, say 500 attempted, off best estimates of what is being burned.

    And how does the calculated running calorie burn formula compare to Garmin using HR?
    https://exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs
    (gross is correct option if you were to compare and correct the Garmin workout)

    Curious if the walking is pushing the Garmin into HR-based calorie burn for those times, or does it seem to be the better distance-based?

    But taking a week break from the diet stress, every other week, may just help some hormones that are just a tad sensitive now.
  • ahoy_m8ahoy_m8 Member Posts: 2,378 Member Member Posts: 2,378 Member
    I get whooshes, but they happen over a 3 week period. I've never had one over a 8 week period.

    What you describe *exactly* happened to me once. Weight crept up as it normally does, but the way I normally lost wasn't working. And I also had a job change. I was really perplexed until I started careful calorie counting and considering my daily activity. That's when it hit me that my new job was much less active. I hadn't accounted for how much activity travel really is. Maybe have a think about activity on the job? Maybe it seemed like a sit-at-a-screen job but actually there was a lot of running around, standing to present, I don't know what. But maybe. It stands out to me as the most obvious change in your life.
    edited June 10
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,632 Member Member Posts: 6,632 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    To attempt to remove the stress aspect of it that could arise from several items (whatever the metabolic thing is, running more), could you attempt an alternate method for deficit?

    Since you are doing minor reasonable deficit anyway, perhaps the alternating week diet with a tad higher than reasonable deficit, say 500 attempted, off best estimates of what is being burned.

    And how does the calculated running calorie burn formula compare to Garmin using HR?
    https://exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs
    (gross is correct option if you were to compare and correct the Garmin workout)

    Curious if the walking is pushing the Garmin into HR-based calorie burn for those times, or does it seem to be the better distance-based?

    But taking a week break from the diet stress, every other week, may just help some hormones that are just a tad sensitive now.

    Hmm.. bigger deficit might be difficult to run if I don't want to feel not so well and not eat all the food. To get through the day fine I would not want to reduce more there. I could potentially reduce 100 cals more from after dinner snacks.

    I'm not really using the garmin for calories but the numbers that I always used for working out. For walking the Garmin is waaay overstating despite custom HR settings.
    This calculator: 580 net calories for 20km walking do sound fairly reasonable. Garmin would give me about twice this. Better keep on ignoring the watch.

    For running I use kg*km*0.83ish, which seems rather in line with this calculator. Garmin is fairly close if I convert their gross to net calories.

    Garmin might underestimate cycling a bit, thus there I'm also a bit more careful. I generally use 65kcal per 5km comfortable cycling. Might be a bit too low, or a bit too high. But I only 'eat back' of it what I need directly on my cycle rides. Thus likely undereating a bit on these days.

    Interestingly, on days without workouts, other than getting my 10k steps in by walking to work and partially working standing Garmin gives me about 1850-1900 calories. It might not even be too bad as an estimate.

    But anyway, at the end of this month I have a week-long vacation including a flight planned. No tracking, reasonable eating, lovely food, some walking including to an active volcano, and certainly some flight water retention <3
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,632 Member Member Posts: 6,632 Member
    Oh, in case someone wonders: my body doesn't seem to have changed: trousers still fit the same, no squishy feeling, my shoulders/biceps and abs are fairly visible as usual.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 8,195 Member Member Posts: 8,195 Member
    Do you take any days off from your running? Like a couple of days off? Of no activity? Not even deliberate walking... feet in the air?

    Have you done any deliberate high carb refeeds at maintenance or slightly above? (btw: you could do them eating potatoes instead of sugar cubes---the carbs don't have to be nutritionally devoid of substance!)

    There exists SOME possibility that you're balancing on a lower maintenance level than you might be able to manage by some careful intake manipulation. This could still be consistent with your devices over-estimating your burn... but perhaps you may have over-compensated a tiny bit for that over the years?

    Last but not least as I just spotted your response above... fairly visible abs etc on female? Indicates pretty low fat levels? Losing weight?
    edited June 10
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,632 Member Member Posts: 6,632 Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    Do you take any days off from your running? Like a couple of days off? Of no activity? Not even deliberate walking... feet in the air?

    Have you done any deliberate high carb refeeds at maintenance or slightly above? (btw: you could do them eating potatoes instead of sugar cubes---the carbs don't have to be nutritionally devoid of substance!)

    There exists SOME possibility that you're balancing on a lower maintenance level than you might be able to manage by some careful intake manipulation. This could still be consistent with your devices over-estimating your burn... but perhaps you may have over-compensated a tiny bit for that over the years?

    Last but not least as I just spotted your response above... fairly visible abs etc on female? Indicates pretty low fat levels? Losing weight?

    Hey thanks PAV,

    I do eat about 50% carbs, often a bit more. But not doing a refeed. I do 1 totally lazy day per week at the moment. Should probably do a bit more of those I think. Just so bloody restless. And as long as my performance doesn't suffer I'm probably fine.

    Yeah, fairly visible abs. My padding sits elsewhere, mainly bum and thighs. My whole abdomen has always been fairly lean, including very visible ribs and claviculas even when being at my heaviest. Nature is weird sometimes, and bodies are weird.
  • natasor1natasor1 Member Posts: 212 Member Member Posts: 212 Member
    Physical activity plays such a minisculus percentage of the weight loss , that on you place I would desregard it at all. Concentrate on your real weight. How much do you want to loose ? is it 10 12 lb? If so , then compare it to your theoretical water retention weight. water can accumulate in the range 2-3lb. It's such small amount. So to determine your real weight without water, just eat couple days NO CARBS. And don't excercise couple days. All water (glycogenical and theoretical "exercise water retention) escapes and you will see your real number on the scale finaly. Than you will see how much really you want to loose.
    Please, listen. if you exployted all the tecniques, for so many years, just let the low carb diet get in to the play. I predict it will be effortless loss of weight, Why people so affraid to forgive bread, rice, spagetty and fruits? The answer is near, just open your eyes and don't let hormon insulin stop you from simple your weight loss resolution
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