Eating at a deficit but not losing fat or lbs.

13

Replies

  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member
    To get a sense if the BodyMedia sensors work correctly for you at all.

    Look at your night time calorie burn per min. Find the average low, like if it alterates between 1.1 and 1.2, you know it's trying to show 1.15.
    Take that average low x 1440 - that's the BMR it's using.

    How would that compare to your Katch BMR based on bodyfat estimate?

    Because the Bodymedia does indeed try to adjust by looking at your temps - but it can only adjust so much.

    Then find some daytime sitting block of time, watching TV or such where there is good steady low value. Same thing, find the average low value per min.
    Take that awake resting low x 1440 - that's the RMR is't calculating.

    RMR should be about 150-250 more than BMR - if the sensors are working well.

    Also look at your section time and graph for intensity and METs for like a workout day.
    Does it show the increased level when the workout started and it remaining high? 3 and above METS is not that intense, and almost any cardio workout should have that shown totally.
    Lifting should at least show the time of the activity.

    If those 3 things don't pan out for you - it's likely not getting good enough sensor readings. Mine never did. I've had several show success when they adjusted their height to cause the initial BMR it starts with to match their Katch BMR, and then the other stuff all got better.
    But if the BMR and RMR are the same, and you notice most time that should be RMR is BMR level - the sensors aren't reading temp well at all. Likely inflated.

    Interesting! I will do this. I had already adjusted my METS because it was showing moderate activity for silly stuff like cooking dinner or taking my kids to school, but I guess that doesn't really change the calories burned.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Correct, that merely changes were the minutes end up showing for review.
    Like someone could make themselves feel all warm and fuzzy by lowering the intense to 1 MET.
  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member
    heybales, I just calculated those numbers. My Katch-McArdle BMR is 1390, and the Bodymedia BMR is 1440. RMR on the BMF is 1584. The armband is picking up elevated activity on my workouts. So, it looks like the armband is overestimating by about 3.5%. Does that sound right?
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    heybales, I just calculated those numbers. My Katch-McArdle BMR is 1390, and the Bodymedia BMR is 1440. RMR on the BMF is 1584. The armband is picking up elevated activity on my workouts. So, it looks like the armband is overestimating by about 3.5%. Does that sound right?

    Considering studies on differences in gender and the metabolically active organs, women's sedentary TDEE is 5-10% less than men at equal LBM.
    The BMR wasn't such a tight bell curve of being lower as sedentary TDEE was.
    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1522233

    So the Katch BMR is based on men and women, so your best estimate Katch BMR is even lower than 1390, which means the BMF is even farther away and inflating even more. It probably already lowered from starting at Mifflin down to 1440, and that's about as much movement as it can make.

    If your are interested, PM me your stats and I'll tell you what height to tell BMF so it's starting with a BMR closer to Katch.
    Age, height, weight, BF% is all the stats needed.

    It'll still take a couple weeks for it to start moving it's assumptions. Because from what I've read, it basically has formula from tables that says this BMR should show this temp reading on avg, and it adjusts from there, but only so much.
  • cmeiron
    cmeiron Posts: 1,599 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?

    I weigh everything but yogurt/pudding cups pretty much, because that would be too much of a pain. Avocado and bananas I weigh without peel, peaches etc... I'm still not sure what you're supposed to do, lol.

    Also make sure to use the correct entries for raw vs cooked for meats, pasta etc.

    This is important, imo.

    You've got to decide where the line is for yourself OP. And then realize that it's never going to be 100% perfect. The idea is to get it as close as you can without making yourself crazy. Like I know people who are fine with taking their food scale to a restaurant. I'm not one of those people. I just understand that when I say I'm eating 2000 calories, it's likely not *exactly* that amount.

    The trouble comes when you're relying on a burn estimate from a device like BMF and saying "well I have a 600 calorie deficit" when you likely don't, even if your BMF is right on. You should still be willing to adjust based on your actual results.

    That last bit. In bold. That right there. It doesn't matter what your HRM says, or if you're a little loose with your weighing, or what 10 different TDEE calculators say...what matters is the result. If you're not losing, you're eating more than or near your TDEE, period. Reduce your intake goal (carrying on with the same weighing/measuring practices you're using) or increase your activity and monitor your results, and adjust as necessary. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • evileen99
    evileen99 Posts: 1,564 Member
    I'm a 55 year old female eating at maintenance, and I also use a BMF. Sometimes my burns look insanely high, but they must be on target because I'm not gaining, and have actually lost a couple of pounds over the past few months. My nighttime calorie burn is about 0.8 per minute, which is right on track with my measured BMR, so I'm assuming that my high burn days are accurate. You'd be surprised how much you can burn by just moving around all day. In fact, my highest calorie burn days aren't on workout days, they're on days when I'm hosting a party because I'm on my feet from the moment I get up.

    I have to ditto the weighing thing. Here are a couple of examples I found just comparing the package label to actual weight:

    Oatmeal--says 1/2 cup (40 grams) is 150 calories. If I put 40 grams in a half cup measure, it's at least 1/4 inch below the rim. A full half cup of oatmeal weighs 55.2 grams, or 207 calories. There's 57 calories you'd miss if you were measuring, not weighing.

    My bag of prunes says 5 prunes (40 grams) is 100 calories. If I weigh 5 prunes, it comes out to 51 grams, or 128 calories. Now we're up to 85 extra calories, and that's on only two items. This is why we tell you to weigh--those extra calories sneak up on you very quickly and can derail your weight loss.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    What I find odd is that you haven't seen any change in body recomp at all, even if you're eating at maintenance. Something doesn't add up.
  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member
    What I find odd is that you haven't seen any change in body recomp at all, even if you're eating at maintenance. Something doesn't add up.

    TBH, I think the trainer that did my BF was off on her measurements, because I have seen some changes. (I think 34% is a bit high and would put me in the "obese" category). My waist and lower tummy are smaller, I'm starting to see muscle in my back, my rear end is starting to lift, and I can feel my tricep muscles, where I couldn't before. My jeans fit mostly the same, though. Just a little loose through the hips and tummy. It's just not happening as quickly as I want it to.
  • zoeysasha37
    zoeysasha37 Posts: 7,089 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.

    I just had a conversation with my doctor about this, as I take the depo provera injection and never have had a problem with it. I actually love it compared to other methods! But I hear people talk all the time about not losing weight because of birth control. I've never had an issue, even when I was on the pill. My doctor said a lady made an appt one time to talk about her options cuz she wasn't losing weight and thought it was the pills. So he told her to use mfp for 3 weeks, and see what happens. She came back 10 lbs lighter. So it's not always the birth control. :-)
  • gweneddk
    gweneddk Posts: 183 Member
    I can empathize, I've been stuck at 160 lbs and measuring 30-31% bf for 6 months. Like you, I have noticed some positive changes in my body (I've lost fat and probably gained muscle in my back) but can't seem to get the scale moving no matter how low I bring my calories. Even if I'm overestimating I should be losing and I'm not. *shrug*

    I weigh higher calorie fruits like bananas or pineapple that are difficult to measure otherwise, but I draw the line at weighing vegetables. I tried limiting my veggies when counting carbs awhile back and that was the road to crazytown for me.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    I can empathize, I've been stuck at 160 lbs and measuring 30-31% bf for 6 months. Like you, I have noticed some positive changes in my body (I've lost fat and probably gained muscle in my back) but can't seem to get the scale moving no matter how low I bring my calories. Even if I'm overestimating I should be losing and I'm not. *shrug*

    I weigh higher calorie fruits like bananas or pineapple that are difficult to measure otherwise, but I draw the line at weighing vegetables. I tried limiting my veggies when counting carbs awhile back and that was the road to crazytown for me.

    Here ya go.
    Yes, you can keep eating less and less and eventually you will start losing again - but is that the road to being able to sustain not only the weight loss to health goal, but have maintenance at such a greatly lowered level too?

    And any exercise that could have great potential for changes - won't. Body's not going to make changes that require more energy when it's already get so little it had to slow itself down.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/heybales/view/reduced-metabolism-tdee-beyond-expected-from-weight-loss-616251

    http://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/truth-about-metabolic-damage
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    What I find odd is that you haven't seen any change in body recomp at all, even if you're eating at maintenance. Something doesn't add up.

    But a suppressed maintenance because body has already slowed down because of deficit being too big to start with, will the body then make improvements that require more energy, while it drops fat that requires very little?

    Couple good references in post above.
  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member

    Yes, you can keep eating less and less and eventually you will start losing again - but is that the road to being able to sustain not only the weight loss to health goal, but have maintenance at such a greatly lowered level too?

    And any exercise that could have great potential for changes - won't. Body's not going to make changes that require more energy when it's already get so little it had to slow itself down.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/heybales/view/reduced-metabolism-tdee-beyond-expected-from-weight-loss-616251

    http://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/truth-about-metabolic-damage

    This is what I've been wondering about and why I asked about reverse dieting. I lost 30 lbs over a year eating at 1800-2200 calories (I was not weighing everything I put in my mouth, so it could have been more or less). Then I quit nursing my baby, starting lifting weights and paying attention to my macros, and my weight and body fat hasn't budged since. I suspect that the 1800-2200 I was eating while nursing was a larger deficit than I thought and wonder if my metabolism is in rebellion. Assuming my armband is overestimating my burn, and my BMR is 1390 based on the Katch method (which is the lowest of the methods), my SEDENTARY maintenance would be 1668 and I am far from sedentary. I guess I'm just worried that dropping my calories more will mess my metabolism up even further.
  • gweneddk
    gweneddk Posts: 183 Member
    I can empathize, I've been stuck at 160 lbs and measuring 30-31% bf for 6 months. Like you, I have noticed some positive changes in my body (I've lost fat and probably gained muscle in my back) but can't seem to get the scale moving no matter how low I bring my calories. Even if I'm overestimating I should be losing and I'm not. *shrug*

    I weigh higher calorie fruits like bananas or pineapple that are difficult to measure otherwise, but I draw the line at weighing vegetables. I tried limiting my veggies when counting carbs awhile back and that was the road to crazytown for me.

    Here ya go.
    Yes, you can keep eating less and less and eventually you will start losing again - but is that the road to being able to sustain not only the weight loss to health goal, but have maintenance at such a greatly lowered level too?

    And any exercise that could have great potential for changes - won't. Body's not going to make changes that require more energy when it's already get so little it had to slow itself down.

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/heybales/view/reduced-metabolism-tdee-beyond-expected-from-weight-loss-616251

    http://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/truth-about-metabolic-damage

    heybales:

    I've only had a chance to look at the first reference so far but I found it very interesting. I have been observing myself and the way I've felt and acted on 1450 calories per day and I can tell you, I know my voluntary NEAT has gone down, I have a lot less energy to get through my workouts, my mood is impacted, and I have no libido. I was never planning on staying at this calorie level for a long time but the idea was to try it for a couple weeks and see if I would see a loss. Of course my experiment isn't really probably worth anything since I took a free day for my birthday yesterday. But the first 7 days saw a totally steady scale weight which quite honestly I cannot explain. This is the first time I've tried such a big deficit; every other dietary change has been to choose cleaner foods, choose leaner foods, or reduce portions by 10-15%, for example.

    The thing I don't really understand I guess is that everything I"ve read points to "crash dieting" as the cause of metabolic damage, but if anything the last few years have been the opposite. I've lost 30lbs in 2.5 years; I've never lost more than 1#/week and that was when I was still quite heavy.

    Also the referenced paper quite clearly states that the baseline TDEE was not affected in the CR+EX group, and I've been consistently exercising this whole time...

    ETA: sorry for highjacking OP! But hopefully we can learn from one another ;-)
  • angiek123
    angiek123 Posts: 29 Member

    ETA: sorry for highjacking OP! But hopefully we can learn from one another ;-)

    No worries! Sounds like we both need to figure this out. :)
  • DEPick
    DEPick Posts: 70 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.

    that is horrible advise
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    This is what I've been wondering about and why I asked about reverse dieting. I lost 30 lbs over a year eating at 1800-2200 calories (I was not weighing everything I put in my mouth, so it could have been more or less). Then I quit nursing my baby, starting lifting weights and paying attention to my macros, and my weight and body fat hasn't budged since. I suspect that the 1800-2200 I was eating while nursing was a larger deficit than I thought and wonder if my metabolism is in rebellion. Assuming my armband is overestimating my burn, and my BMR is 1390 based on the Katch method (which is the lowest of the methods), my SEDENTARY maintenance would be 1668 and I am far from sedentary. I guess I'm just worried that dropping my calories more will mess my metabolism up even further.

    Well, there is a simple 2 week 250 test that can pretty much answer where you are in the range, and if lifting you'll get some great progress.

    For 2 weeks eat 250 more than you are currently on average daily.
    If you are truly eating at potential maintenance right now, you would only gain 1 lb slowly over the 2 weeks. If lifting, not even all fat.
    If that happens, then you cut calories to lose weight.
    If you are eating at suppressed maintenance right now, you would gain fast water weight as glycogen stores are finally topped off. There would be no low stores if already eating at maintenance.

    Not bad for a 2 week test. Though, if you get the water weight fast in first week, forget the second week and increase 250 more for 2 more weeks.

    Don't worry, that water weight must be managed by the body, it increases LBM and metabolism.

    Confirm valid weigh-in days, don't start new exercise routine prior to either weigh-in.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    I've only had a chance to look at the first reference so far but I found it very interesting. I have been observing myself and the way I've felt and acted on 1450 calories per day and I can tell you, I know my voluntary NEAT has gone down, I have a lot less energy to get through my workouts, my mood is impacted, and I have no libido. I was never planning on staying at this calorie level for a long time but the idea was to try it for a couple weeks and see if I would see a loss. Of course my experiment isn't really probably worth anything since I took a free day for my birthday yesterday. But the first 7 days saw a totally steady scale weight which quite honestly I cannot explain. This is the first time I've tried such a big deficit; every other dietary change has been to choose cleaner foods, choose leaner foods, or reduce portions by 10-15%, for example.

    The thing I don't really understand I guess is that everything I"ve read points to "crash dieting" as the cause of metabolic damage, but if anything the last few years have been the opposite. I've lost 30lbs in 2.5 years; I've never lost more than 1#/week and that was when I was still quite heavy.

    Also the referenced paper quite clearly states that the baseline TDEE was not affected in the CR+EX group, and I've been consistently exercising this whole time...

    ETA: sorry for highjacking OP! But hopefully we can learn from one another ;-)

    When people say paying attention to their body - you are excellent example of that being done right. Was it the extreme nature of the changes that made it stand out, or you think you would have noticed with smaller changes?

    Seems vast majority think that means the body weight on the scale - totally missing the idea. Well, until several tell them they sure seem cranky, or other big obvious signs.

    I've always likened it to mineral or vitamin deficiency. The negative effects of that rarely comes fast, usually takes a while, and symptoms that can be ignored or applied to something else. Could lead to some pretty bad effects too, that could effect you rest of your life. But eventually, hopefully, a blood test or testing results in improvement, even if not back to 100%.
    Same thing with calorie deficiency. May take a while for negative consequences to show up, and may cause long lasting effects.

    So the TDEE in the study was measured, and the amount of exercise required was exactly measured on treadmill so the burn and diet resulted in that 25% overall deficit.
    They also started exercising basically with this program - so huge room for improvement.

    Rest of us going on best estimates, maybe a VO2max test and RMR test, ect, for slightly better estimates.

    Was that 1 lb that was lost weekly in accordance with what you thought the deficit on paper said you should be losing?
    I only ask because I've seen many times usually ladies respond that their weight loss amount slowed way down, but they accept it as slower is better.
    Well, slower by purposeful wise choices is better indeed, slower because of unwise choices and that's what the body forced on you is not better.

    But stress also makes a difference. Notice the prerequisites for those to be included, never obese (so never any weight loss down to overweight), no sick, ect, ect.
    That and genetics, because even the outliers on the bell curve saw worse or less effects of suppression.
    And the exercise was pretty low aerobic level, 569 calories in 53 minutes isn't intense. Now for someone coming from no exercise, it was like resistance training for them at the start, I'm sure for awhile.

    But as that study shows, recovery did slowly start coming - when they ate at true measured TDEE, which is hard for rest of us to know without some extensive logging of eating levels.

    Might try to 2 week test too, nothing like a diet break anyway.