Frustration with a low BMR and not losing weight

Hi all

I am a moderately active 34 year old who has a BMR of 1225 so a deficit of 1200 is not low enough to lose weight and see the results of weight loss. I go to the gym twice a week and focus on weights and do a little cardio. I am 116 pounds and want to be 110. I am not losing weight however and I hover between 116 and 118. I’m assuming this is because I either reach 1200 or 1225 cals every day because I find reaching a deficit that low in cals quite hard but I try everyday.

I successfully lost a lot of weight 5-6 years ago and went down to 98 pounds at my lowest. I went too far and too extreme on my weight loss by exercising 4 times a week and eating less than 1000 cals a day. This sent me into a dangerous mindset where I could only see results being so extreme and hard on myself.

Basically I have to go to extremes to lose weight and this obviously isn’t sustainable. But it’s the only time I lose weight. I don’t lose any weight being moderate. This is so frustrating and disheartening. I don’t want to go to extremes again because it was very difficult mentally and physically. I can’t seem to find that middle area and I’m starting to get annoyed and almost like angry at myself for not sticking to 1000 cals.

I work quite a physical job and walk my child to school and go to the gym. I eat between 1200 and 1250 cals a day which yes sometimes I go over my limit but certainly not every day. I understand it’s a deficit of 500 cals a day to lose weight but that’s very difficult at a such low BMR to begin with.
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Replies

  • 8syr4pfpcx
    8syr4pfpcx Posts: 6 Member
    Hi I can understand your frustration. Have you used an online calculator to determine what your BMR is and what your calories deficit equates to?
    Weight loss can only come from being in a deficit but the 1200 that you mention seems extremely low and difficult to maintain.
    If you can get an accurate calculation (try TDEE calculation) once you know your daily calorie intake focus on high protein and low calorie high volume foods. I done this last year and the weight just fell off me. Maintaining your fitness is also key. Hope this helps.
  • Lildarlinz
    Lildarlinz Posts: 276 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    BMR is the calories you burn merely existing...you would burn them in a coma. Your weight loss target is not a cut from your BMR, you cut from your TDEE...presumably you do more than merely exist. In fact, there are many recommendations out there that say not to eat below your BMR since those are the calories your body needs just for basic functions and being alive.

    My BMR is around 1800 calories...if I were to simply just eat BMR calories I would lose around 2 Lbs per week...I lose about 1 Lb per week eating 2300 calories.

    I’ve eaten say 1350 calories today and I’ve put on 2lb 🙈 I guess this is water weight though?
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 5,940 Member
    Lildarlinz wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    BMR is the calories you burn merely existing...you would burn them in a coma. Your weight loss target is not a cut from your BMR, you cut from your TDEE...presumably you do more than merely exist. In fact, there are many recommendations out there that say not to eat below your BMR since those are the calories your body needs just for basic functions and being alive.

    My BMR is around 1800 calories...if I were to simply just eat BMR calories I would lose around 2 Lbs per week...I lose about 1 Lb per week eating 2300 calories.

    I’ve eaten say 1350 calories today and I’ve put on 2lb 🙈 I guess this is water weight though?

    Changes from day to day don't mean anything - they are due to water weight fluctuations or food waste in your digestive tract. Long-term changes are what you need to keep an eye on: at least 1 month (or 1 menstrual cycle if applicable).
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,879 Member
    Lildarlinz wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    BMR is the calories you burn merely existing...you would burn them in a coma. Your weight loss target is not a cut from your BMR, you cut from your TDEE...presumably you do more than merely exist. In fact, there are many recommendations out there that say not to eat below your BMR since those are the calories your body needs just for basic functions and being alive.

    My BMR is around 1800 calories...if I were to simply just eat BMR calories I would lose around 2 Lbs per week...I lose about 1 Lb per week eating 2300 calories.

    I’ve eaten say 1350 calories today and I’ve put on 2lb 🙈 I guess this is water weight though?

    Do the math. It is pretty much biologically impossible to put on 2 Lbs of fat in a day. You would have to consume 7000 calories over maintenance (for the average woman that would be in the neighborhood of 10,000 calories for the day) for it to even be a consideration. Even then, the human body strives for homeostasis. You don't put a bunch of fat on overnight overeating, just like you don't lose fat overnight fasting for a day. Fat gain or loss requires a consistent calorie surplus or deficit to override the body's ability to maintain homeostasis.

    Losing weight is also not linear...we are complex biological beings, not machines. Your body is comprised of roughly 50-60% water and that composition is going to fluctuate for a myriad of reasons, some of which are natural and others which can be diet or exercise induced.

    Weight-Loss-Reality-Feature-1024x538.png
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,734 Member
    ymarshall9 wrote: »
    Hi all

    I am a moderately active 34 year old who has a BMR of 1225 so a deficit of 1200 is not low enough to lose weight and see the results of weight loss. I go to the gym twice a week and focus on weights and do a little cardio. I am 116 pounds and want to be 110. I am not losing weight however and I hover between 116 and 118. I’m assuming this is because I either reach 1200 or 1225 cals every day because I find reaching a deficit that low in cals quite hard but I try everyday.

    I successfully lost a lot of weight 5-6 years ago and went down to 98 pounds at my lowest. I went too far and too extreme on my weight loss by exercising 4 times a week and eating less than 1000 cals a day. This sent me into a dangerous mindset where I could only see results being so extreme and hard on myself.

    Basically I have to go to extremes to lose weight and this obviously isn’t sustainable. But it’s the only time I lose weight. I don’t lose any weight being moderate. This is so frustrating and disheartening. I don’t want to go to extremes again because it was very difficult mentally and physically. I can’t seem to find that middle area and I’m starting to get annoyed and almost like angry at myself for not sticking to 1000 cals.

    I work quite a physical job and walk my child to school and go to the gym. I eat between 1200 and 1250 cals a day which yes sometimes I go over my limit but certainly not every day. I understand it’s a deficit of 500 cals a day to lose weight but that’s very difficult at a such low BMR to begin with.

    I find some of your statements concerning. If you were previously diagnosed with an eating disorder, contact your team. If not, consider screening for this.

    https://support.myfitnesspal.com/hc/en-us/articles/360032625071-Eating-Disorder-Resources
  • loulee997
    loulee997 Posts: 273 Member
    ymarshall9 wrote: »
    Hi all

    I am a moderately active 34 year old who has a BMR of 1225 so a deficit of 1200 is not low enough to lose weight and see the results of weight loss. I go to the gym twice a week and focus on weights and do a little cardio. I am 116 pounds and want to be 110. I am not losing weight however and I hover between 116 and 118. I’m assuming this is because I either reach 1200 or 1225 cals every day because I find reaching a deficit that low in cals quite hard but I try everyday.

    I successfully lost a lot of weight 5-6 years ago and went down to 98 pounds at my lowest. I went too far and too extreme on my weight loss by exercising 4 times a week and eating less than 1000 cals a day. This sent me into a dangerous mindset where I could only see results being so extreme and hard on myself.

    Basically I have to go to extremes to lose weight and this obviously isn’t sustainable. But it’s the only time I lose weight. I don’t lose any weight being moderate. This is so frustrating and disheartening. I don’t want to go to extremes again because it was very difficult mentally and physically. I can’t seem to find that middle area and I’m starting to get annoyed and almost like angry at myself for not sticking to 1000 cals.

    I work quite a physical job and walk my child to school and go to the gym. I eat between 1200 and 1250 cals a day which yes sometimes I go over my limit but certainly not every day. I understand it’s a deficit of 500 cals a day to lose weight but that’s very difficult at a such low BMR to begin with.


    Hello,

    As a different approach to the same problem, you may wish to look into nutritional supplements. I know--that sounds counterintuitive. For example, if your body is low on magnesium--you'll have a difficult time losing weight. Low potassium can cause a slowdown of the metabolism---which causes low energy and difficulty in losing weight. Vitamin D3 and Omega 3/Fish oil also boost metabolism and promote weight loss. If you are deficient in any of these--it could be really slowing your progress.

    I do recommend you make sure you talk to your doctor to make sure 110 pounds is a weight your body frame can handle. Depending on your frame and muscular denseness, 110 pounds may be a hard goal. Only you and your doctor can decide if 110 is appropriate.

    Good luck.

    T
  • musicfan68
    musicfan68 Posts: 1,119 Member
    loulee997 wrote: »


    Hello,

    As a different approach to the same problem, you may wish to look into nutritional supplements. I know--that sounds counterintuitive. For example, if your body is low on magnesium--you'll have a difficult time losing weight. Low potassium can cause a slowdown of the metabolism---which causes low energy and difficulty in losing weight. Vitamin D3 and Omega 3/Fish oil also boost metabolism and promote weight loss. If you are deficient in any of these--it could be really slowing your progress.

    I do recommend you make sure you talk to your doctor to make sure 110 pounds is a weight your body frame can handle. Depending on your frame and muscular denseness, 110 pounds may be a hard goal. Only you and your doctor can decide if 110 is appropriate.

    Good luck.

    T


    Where are the studies that support your feeling that she needs all these supplements?
  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 865 Member
    edited October 2023
    sollyn23l2 wrote: »
    How tall are you? My strong instinct is that you're probably trying to get down to an unhealthy weight for your body. In which case, I would hope nobody here would give you advice beyond see your doctor.

    This could be the case...possible OP should consider reevaluating the goal weight and whether it's appropriate for you. Even if it falls within the 'healthy weigh range' for you height/sex -- it doesn't necessarily mean that's where your body will be happy/maintainable. If you have to continue to restrict yourself to maintain your goal weight...it's worth thinking a bit about it. The 'healthy weight range' for my sex/height goes down to 108 but that doesn't mean that's what I should try to weigh. So without knowing other stats for you, it's hard telling.

    Also, 6lbs to lose creates a razor thin opportunity for creating a deficit at all. I have a desk job and a similar BMR to you (maybe more like 1300 or so bc I'm shorter and petite)...and on days I just go to work and don't do any intentional activity at home, I'm not really using too many more calories than that just hanging out. When your ability to create a deficit with your diet isn't flexible (due to being shorter or sedentary), then you can simply try to think of ways to increase your TDEE (park farther away everywhere you go, always take the stairs, find some more active hobbies if you don't currently have them. Your deficit may have to come from a bit of calorie deficit AND increased activity together.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,194 Member
    edited October 2023
    Unless my height deduction of 164.77cm or just under 5f 5" is incorrect, goal BMI is mid 18 and current BMI is mid 19

    I.e. OP is currently at the bottom of normal weight at a BMI of just over 19 and she is wanting to head into the 18s

    As a health promoting goal it doesn't make sense
  • jr80464
    jr80464 Posts: 7 Member
    The 1200 calorie minimum standard is an archaic idea that was created 105 years ago. I tried that for years and continued to just maintain and sometimes gain. So I joined weight watchers - no real weight loss with it in 6 months, so I started double tracking points and calories and discovered I was eating 800 to 1000 calories a day. So I ate to 1200, felt better but no real weight loss. Than in August I got sick of weight watchers and trying to stay within a calorie amount. I simply ate up to whatever myfitnesspal said I had burned. This was sometimes 2400 - 2800 calories. Guess what?I didn't gain any weight. I was eating almost THREE TIMES the amount of calories I had been and nothing happened. Except I started feeling amazing.

    My point being is that you could simply not be eating enough. Look into reverse dieting- bump your calories until you start gaining weight, then you truly know the calories your body needs and you can deficit from there. All these calculators are just guesses - they don't know your body and what it needs.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,855 Member
    1200 calories is suitable for some people and not others

    It isn't archaic, it just isn't the level for most people.
  • ldanos
    ldanos Posts: 2 Member
    Go get a body scan. Get your true BMR specifically yours only. It’s better than guessing.. You are probably not eating enough. Good luck.
  • jr80464
    jr80464 Posts: 7 Member
    1200 calories is suitable for some people and not others

    It isn't archaic, it just isn't the level for most people.

    1200 calories is just for basic bodily functions - I highly doubt we are all laying in bed everyday. Science has changed substantially since then, so yes it is an archaic number of we're still believing something that was thought up before, say television. I'll use television as an example because are we still using the same TVs from the 1920s? No, we learned and improved.