slow and steady weight loss and confusion

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So... I joined MFP at the beginning of the year. I started at at 180, am down to 164.5, and am ultimately hoping to get down to 135-140. This means, I've been losing an average of 1.3 lbs/week.

While I was hoping to lose more like 2 lbs/week, I've been OK with the rate of drop - having read the threads and have focused on changing my outlook to a "long view" with lasting results, rather than a short-term, quick (and likely not lasting) weight drop. And this, on most days, is fine with me.

But today, I've been looking at some of the success stories... seeing people who have dropped HUGE amounts of weight in 30-40 weeks... losing at 3-4 lbs/week. And I think: "Why isn't this me?" Is it because they started with more to lose so it's easier?

I'm feeling a little discouraged today about the "slow and steady" and feeling like I want to hasten the process. (tomorrow, I'll likely feel OK about "slow and steady" again - but right now, am struggling a bit with not understanding why for some people the weight seems to fall off once they make the commitment to lifestyle changes - but for me, it's like an irritating "friend" who never gets the clue that I'm ready for her to go home...
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Replies

  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    yes, they were probably a lot heavier than you when they started so they are losing more rapidly.

    OR

    they are on a crash diet (sub 1000 calories a day) and are losing a lot of muscle along with their fat loss.

    Do you want to just lose weight and look like crap, or would you rather retain as much muscle as possible and look great AND lose weight?

    It sounds like you are doing great, and should not be discouraged. In the long run, slow and steady is going to work out a lot better for you….
  • Branstin
    Branstin Posts: 2,320 Member
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    You shouldn't beat yourself up over the way something affects other people. You found a healthy method that works for you and that's the most important thing. There isn't any law that states that you can't or shouldn't lose 2+ lbs. a week. However, you have to make sure you understand all that's involved which includes eating a lower amount of calories each week in order to create a bigger calorie deficiency. This isn't good for every "body". My advice is to play around and try different "healthy" combinations and see what works better for you.
  • LuvonLuv
    LuvonLuv Posts: 68
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    Trust me...slow and steady is better than fast in short space of time. There are after effects when you lose weight too fast that you simply would not like after the fact, eg. saggy skin. I also know that the more weight you have to lose, the more you would lose than someone who has less...I've seen this. You're doing great...1.3lbs/week, you must be doing something right. Just continue at that and you'll see you goal, just be patient.
  • bwogilvie
    bwogilvie Posts: 2,130 Member
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    You're losing faster than I am! I maintained 1-1.5 lb./week for the first 6 months, but since then I've been losing at more like 0.5-0.8 lb./week.

    As ndj points out, the only people who can safely lose that much have a lot of weight to lose. Your ticker says you're about a third of the way to your 45-lb. goal. You're making great progress! Just keep it up.
  • deksgrl
    deksgrl Posts: 7,237 Member
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    yes, they were probably a lot heavier than you when they started so they are losing more rapidly.

    OR

    they are on a crash diet (sub 1000 calories a day) and are losing a lot of muscle along with their fat loss.

    Do you want to just lose weight and look like crap, or would you rather retain as much muscle as possible and look great AND lose weight?

    It sounds like you are doing great, and should not be discouraged. In the long run, slow and steady is going to work out a lot better for you….

    ^^^ ALL of this.
  • easjer
    easjer Posts: 219 Member
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    I'm losing higher amounts because I started at 350. And even then, I'm closer to 1.5 lbs per week than 2 lbs per week. What you are doing is fantastic and sustainable. Keep on doing it and reflect for a moment on what you've accomplished so far. It's awesome!
  • DeadliftAddict
    DeadliftAddict Posts: 746 Member
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    yes, they were probably a lot heavier than you when they started so they are losing more rapidly.

    OR

    they are on a crash diet (sub 1000 calories a day) and are losing a lot of muscle along with their fat loss.

    Do you want to just lose weight and look like crap, or would you rather retain as much muscle as possible and look great AND lose weight?

    It sounds like you are doing great, and should not be discouraged. In the long run, slow and steady is going to work out a lot better for you….

    ^This.
  • ShannonMpls
    ShannonMpls Posts: 1,936 Member
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    Here's the thing. It doesn't matter at all how long it takes you to lose it. What matters is whether the loss is still maintained 2, 3, 5 years + later.

    I lost 10 pounds a month when I was losing. I've been maintaining since September 2012. I'm still no success story - find me in 3 more years and we'll talk.

    My point it, slower results often result in sustainable results. Focus on where you want to be 5 years from now and now your perceived "slow" loss - which, by the way, is awesome. Good work :)
  • hkristine1
    hkristine1 Posts: 950 Member
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    Thanks everyone. I guess I just needed a bit of encouragement today. I'm going to keep on keepin' on.
  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
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    I've lost ONE pound since January. 11 since September.
  • Kiwi94544
    Kiwi94544 Posts: 23
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    Don't get discouraged. Sometimes I think reading posts on MFP can be a bit of a double-edged sword - sometimes it inspires you, other times, it discourages you, all depending on how you're feeling that day when you log on. The real danger comes, I think, when we start comparing our progress to the progress of others on here. We've all got the same goal, so it's easy to slip into comparing our journey with the journey of others, since we're all headed for the same destination/ goal.... We start to look at the person who's dropping 4 lbs/ week, while we're only losing a measly 0.5 lb/ week and start to think "What's wrong with ME?"

    But the thing is, we are all different people, with different bodies, starting weights, lifestyles, etc. You can't compare yourself or your weight loss against anyone else's - instead, if you want to compare, compare yourself against yourself:

    Am I faster this week than I was last week?
    Can I lift more this week than I did last week?
    Have I felt stronger this week than I did last week?
    Am I eating a little better this week than I did last week?

    If you can look at yourself a week ago or even a month ago and see progress, THAT is what matters most. Not how quickly you're approaching your end-goal (nor how quickly you're moving compared to others on here....) - but how you're improving over where you once were. It may feel like slow progress at times, but it's PROGRESS.

    Everyone has days like that though. I'm down 33 lbs in the past 3 months (January 2nd - April 1st), which 'averages' out to about 11 lbs/ month...(I also started at 264, so much heavier than you)..... but there were weeks when that scale only budged a pound, or didn't budge at all. It's hard staying motivated, and I've "fallen off the wagon" a couple times along the way for a few days at a time. It just comes down to not giving up... not even after you screw up. Slow and steady really DOES win the race. Some people may win their race sooner, but ultimately you're not racing AGAINST them, so appreciate your journey for what it is, and don't let the progress of others make you feel as though you're failing. You're not. You are moving forward - and that's what matters most!
  • deksgrl
    deksgrl Posts: 7,237 Member
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    ^^^:flowerforyou:
  • EvenThatNameIsTaken
    EvenThatNameIsTaken Posts: 164 Member
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    I definitely know how you feel :) I often have the urge to reduce my calories because I just want to get the weight off!

    I have to constantly remind myself that the way I am going about it is just fine and healthy and, I am not suffering for it, which is the most important part. I do definitely get impatient, so it's a weekly self-talk thing for me.

    For comparison, I started at 197 in January, down to 182 now. I lost more during some weeks, less during others, this is just an average. You're doing great!!
  • JoanneLynn
    JoanneLynn Posts: 156 Member
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    You're losing faster than I am! I maintained 1-1.5 lb./week for the first 6 months, but since then I've been losing at more like 0.5-0.8 lb./week.

    As ndj points out, the only people who can safely lose that much have a lot of weight to lose. Your ticker says you're about a third of the way to your 45-lb. goal. You're making great progress! Just keep it up.



    I am losing an average of 0.70 lbs per week. You really are doing great! Sometime I wished I was losing more, but I'm a shorty and I can't sustain on very low calories nor is it healthy for you.
  • kuolo
    kuolo Posts: 251 Member
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    I started after Christmas at 182 and I'm 168 now so we're pretty similar... I figure as long as it's coming off then it's good.
    I think that when someone has loads to lose it comes off a bit quicker, it sounds like you don't have all that much to lose so it will be slower - and my understanding is that the less fat you have to lose the slower it goes but also you actually need to go slow so you don't lose muscle along with it... I think!
  • GBrady43068
    GBrady43068 Posts: 1,256 Member
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    yes, they were probably a lot heavier than you when they started so they are losing more rapidly.

    OR

    they are on a crash diet (sub 1000 calories a day) and are losing a lot of muscle along with their fat loss.

    Do you want to just lose weight and look like crap, or would you rather retain as much muscle as possible and look great AND lose weight?

    It sounds like you are doing great, and should not be discouraged. In the long run, slow and steady is going to work out a lot better for you….
    This. If when you look at the "Reports" on here you see a graph with a slow steady downward trend for your weight, you're doing it right. 1.3 a week means you should be keeping your muscle as you go. Maintaining that muscle will help you with weight reduction because of lean muscle's energy requirements...muscle needs more calories burnt to maintain it so you use more at rest than you will being "skinny fat". You get the added bonus of being able to eat more delicious food.

    For what it's worth, I've been here since October. Started at 264, currently 229. That's 34.6/24 weeks = 1.44 a week..pretty much the same as you. Stick with it!
  • sisterlilbunny
    sisterlilbunny Posts: 691 Member
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    It's nice to see other people are going through this (even when it seems obvious we're all going through it). It seems like everyone in real life is dropping weight like sons of guns and I'm just sitting here plodding along. I know I'm doing things "right" and I'm making these habits stick. It's just frustrating. I'll keep going if you do. ;)
  • Wookinpanub
    Wookinpanub Posts: 635 Member
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    In past diets I would loose 10-15 lbs fairly easily as I was more dedicated early on and I hear it is easier to lose those first 10 lbs (crap in your system). As the weeks went on I found myself cheating a little more, missing a workout and the scale showed no loss. This really discouraged me and led to me giving up and months later I would have gained the wait back plus some more. I know it is a lifestyle change but as they say old habits die hard.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
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    Is it because they started with more to lose so it's easier?

    Very likely....
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
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    It's nice to see other people are going through this (even when it seems obvious we're all going through it). It seems like everyone in real life is dropping weight like sons of guns and I'm just sitting here plodding along. I know I'm doing things "right" and I'm making these habits stick. It's just frustrating. I'll keep going if you do. ;)

    absolutely...we all do.

    I started Jan 2013 and lost my first 25 quickly...it was an eating plan (healthy foods but not a lot of them) but I soon realized I couldn't live like that.

    Since joining here and counting calories I have gone weeks without losing, I have lost 2lbs, 1.5lbs, 1lb, 1/2lb all on different weeks.

    It actually averages out to 3/4lb a week...0.74 to be exact...

    I am glad I am doing it "right" and I am very happy with my choices (mainly the chocolate ones).

    I would rather this be that last time than become an expert in weight loss (I call people who lose the same 10lbs over and over again "experts in weight loss") and that I become an expert at maintaining.