Eating at a deficit but not losing fat or lbs.

I *thought* I was doing really well. I started lifting heavy in October (though, December was just a cardio month since my gym membership had lapsed). I have been eating around 1800-2200 calories and trying to hit my macros (averaging about 25-30% protein, 40-45% carbs, and the rest fat). Feel free to look at my diary (the past few days are not typical, I think I just got discouraged and kind of gave up trying to hit my macros and eat well). I know my diet isn't very clean, but it's a heck of a lot better than it used to be. My bodymedia fit shows me burning an average of 2700 calories a day. I am a SAHM and I'm on my feet a lot. I lift 3x a week (doing NROLFW now) and do 2-3x 20 min HIIT sessions after lifting and an extra hour or so of cardio 1x a week..

I haven't lost ANY fat since October. (I was tested at 34% in early October and 33.7% this Thursday). My weight (which I don't care as much about) has remained the same as well.

I would think that eating at a deficit of even 600 calories, I'd lose SOMETHING. Do I need to consider a reverse diet to get up to maintenance first? I had lost 30 lbs prior to October. I was eating about the same, but also breastfeeding (so burning more).

Any thoughts? Thanks!

ETA: Bodyfat was tested using calipers at the gym.

Edit: When I say "eating the same" I mean calorie-wise. It was probably mostly carbs and fat, though!
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Replies

  • wilsoje74
    wilsoje74 Posts: 1,720 Member
    Your diary is closed. You are eating at maintenance if you aren't losing. Try lowering cals or only eating back a portion of your exercise cals.
  • editorgrrl
    editorgrrl Posts: 7,060 Member
    Take photos & measurements, too. But according to your diary you're not weighing your food, which means you're underestimating your calories. Weigh everything.

    Read this: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/1080242-a-guide-to-get-you-started-on-your-path-to-sexypants
  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member
    Thanks. I am weighing my meat. But I will start weighing the rest too.
  • Newfiedan
    Newfiedan Posts: 1,517 Member
    Stress hormone for women can halt fat loss in its tracks just like it can for men, despite calories consumed. Skip breakfast decrease carbs and increase protein and see if that helps. Opt for eating your carbs at night, despite what many people will say otherwise, but I have been at this for a long time and have moved beyond the simpler concepts and broscience that gets spewed on here daily. Also opt for whole fats from animal sources as these are best.
  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member
    Thank you. I workout after breakfast. Would you still recommend skipping breakfast? I feel like those carbs are what fuel my workouts.
  • editorgrrl
    editorgrrl Posts: 7,060 Member
    It doesn't matter when you eat, as long as you stay within your calorie goal. It will take trial & error to find what works for you.

    Read the Sexypants link: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/1080242-a-guide-to-get-you-started-on-your-path-to-sexypants
  • MelissaPhippsFeagins
    MelissaPhippsFeagins Posts: 8,063 Member
    Thank you. I workout after breakfast. Would you still recommend skipping breakfast? I feel like those carbs are what fuel my workouts.

    Try it and see. The worst that happens is you go back to eating breakfast before your workouts. Everyone is different. I eat a Luna Bar first thing in the morning if I'm going to work out then have the rest of my breakfast calories at the end of the workout. (Only my Saturdays work out that way, but I feel sick if I work out after a full breakfast - Zumba, running, even coaching soccer.) But I do know a lot of lifters (even my hubby, when he lifted - need to get him back to the gym) who don't eat before a morning workout. You have to find what works for you.

    In the meantime, weigh it all, measure it all, eat half your exercise back and keep at it. Your body will catch up to your habits eventually. :drinker:
  • ILiftHeavyAcrylics
    ILiftHeavyAcrylics Posts: 27,732 Member
    Thank you. I workout after breakfast. Would you still recommend skipping breakfast? I feel like those carbs are what fuel my workouts.

    I need carbs first thing in the morning or I can't complete my workouts. Meal timing shouldn't matter except for adherence/performance issues. The overall calorie balance is what matters.

    I'd start with weighing all your food. If that doesn't work then drop your calories a bit.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
    Thank you. I workout after breakfast. Would you still recommend skipping breakfast? I feel like those carbs are what fuel my workouts.

    I would recommend structuring your carbohydrate timing around gym performance and personal preference. Simply moving carbs to evening, or skipping breakfast, while not changing your energy intake, isn't going to do anything significant.

    Start using a food scale for two weeks and see what happens.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
    Stress hormone for women can halt fat loss in its tracks just like it can for men, despite calories consumed. Skip breakfast decrease carbs and increase protein and see if that helps. Opt for eating your carbs at night, despite what many people will say otherwise, but I have been at this for a long time and have moved beyond the simpler concepts and broscience that gets spewed on here daily. Also opt for whole fats from animal sources as these are best.

    Let me make sure I understand this correctly: You're suggesting that she skip breakfast and eat her carbs at night and this is going to alter her hormones in such a manner as to cause fat loss despite not making any changes to energy intake?
  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member
    Ok. Thank you. And thanks for linking the article. I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated because I do most of that stuff. I feel like I'm pretty meticulous about counting my food, and while I don't weigh it all, I do measure everything and weigh meat. My only other thought is that my BMF is overestimating my burn. I'm already pretty hungry on lifting days--even eating 2100 calories. Sounds like my only option is to drop my calories.
  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member
    This may be off topic (or perhaps I'm grasping), but would birth control pills keep me from losing fat? Someone suggested that to me.
  • mycupyourcake
    mycupyourcake Posts: 279 Member
    Stress hormone for women can halt fat loss in its tracks just like it can for men, despite calories consumed. Skip breakfast decrease carbs and increase protein and see if that helps. Opt for eating your carbs at night, despite what many people will say otherwise, but I have been at this for a long time and have moved beyond the simpler concepts and broscience that gets spewed on here daily. Also opt for whole fats from animal sources as these are best.

    Seriously, what you just said is all broscience. There is no scientific evidence to back up the advice you just gave and you don't even explain why you are giving the advice.
  • OkamiLavande
    OkamiLavande Posts: 336 Member
    You are probably eating more than you think is really all it comes down to. If you aren't weighing and measuring everything that goes into your mouth you can be grossly underestimating your calorie intake. I've learned that the past few weeks with being sick.

    Also, do you count tasting food as you cook? And by count I mean log. Every little bite of anything that goes in your mouth HAS to be logged because a calorie is a calorie is a calorie no matter how small. Even Splenda has 2 calories and I never knew that before. So if you had 8 tsp of Splenda a day, which is the amount that is max, you'd be adding an extra ten calories that can really add up.

    Also are you drinking plenty of water? I notice that as a woman my weight loss is greatly improved when I drink plenty of water. I aim for 48-64 ozs a day if I can.

    Birth control won't stop you from losing weight, it will just make the process slower because depending on your birth control it's added hormones which makes weight loss more stubborn, but it doesn't stall it. It just is like little bumps in the road. I use the Nuva Ring personally and it is low on added hormones which means it doesn't influence my weight much.
  • ILiftHeavyAcrylics
    ILiftHeavyAcrylics Posts: 27,732 Member
    This may be off topic (or perhaps I'm grasping), but would birth control pills keep me from losing fat? Someone suggested that to me.

    They can make you hungrier. But I've never had any trouble losing weight with them, I just notice if I switch kinds or go off and then go back on there's a period of increased appetite.
  • RM10003
    RM10003 Posts: 316 Member
    Is it possible that the Bodymedia is calculating your burns too high? It sounds like you're doing some serious workouts, and it looks like you're about 10 years younger than me so you should still have a decent metabolism, but TDEE of 2700 sounds quite high, especially if you're not that overweight.
  • editorgrrl
    editorgrrl Posts: 7,060 Member
    Ok. Thank you. And thanks for linking the article. I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated because I do most of that stuff. I feel like I'm pretty meticulous about counting my food, and while I don't weigh it all, I do measure everything and weigh meat. My only other thought is that my BMF is overestimating my burn. I'm already pretty hungry on lifting days--even eating 2100 calories. Sounds like my only option is to drop my calories.
    You have to weigh everything you eat—not just meat.

    Right now you're seriously underestimating your food. You can either start weighing everything, or you can lower your calorie goal to compensate for the margin of error in your calorie guesstimation.

    Either one will enable you to finally eat at a deficit. So pick the one that works best for you.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    Yes, you're probably underestimating everything you eat.
  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member
    Ok. So when you guys say weigh everything, does that also mean pre-packaged items that have a set value. For instance, a thinwich bun is 100 calories, or a can of tuna (which I actually did weigh once and my 5oz can was only 3.6 oz I felt totally jipped! Lol) Do I need to weigh things like that too? Or are we just talking fruits, veggies, oatmeal, etc? I imagine I'm actually overestimating on some of these (often putting in a large apple, when it's actually small or medium). And if I'm weighing a banana or an avocado, is that with or without peel?
  • wonderwoman234
    wonderwoman234 Posts: 551 Member
    People who eat breakfast lose and keep it off more often (statistically speaking) than people who don't. It gets your metabolism activated right off the bat. Eating carbs for energy before you work out is a good idea. Fruit and yogurt are good options - anything that is 20 grams of carb or more. Make it low fat and low fiber so you don't upset your stomach.

    I suspect you are eating more than you think. I eat about 1650-1800 calories a day and weigh/measure and track everything but I am sure I am underestimating a bit. I work out 5-6 days a week, doing 5 days of heavy lifting (1 hour sessions) followed by 30 minutes of interval cardio. I am 46 years old. I lose 1 lb. per week doing this.

    In addition, you may be overestimating what you are burning. If you are running at high speed for an hour, you probably burn 700 calories, but most of us aren't doing that, so better to underestimate what you are burning off.