"Experts" your opinions, please!

So, I weighed myself this morning after a couple weeks off the scale. Haven't lost an ounce in a month. Now, before you tell me that weight loss isn't linear and ask about measurements, etc....let me say that I wasn't that concerned about the number. Because when I measured myself I had lost inches (not a lot, and unfortunately not from the areas I'd really *like* to lose inches from, but enough that according to various calculators my body fat has gone down about 1%). Not terrible for one month--but not great, either.

Then I took pictures. And there are some *tiny* improvements from the sets I took one and two months ago (but just tiny).

So, yes, there's a little bit of progress happening but of course I'd like to see some more visible results soon. I've been doing this for 90 days and while it's been a great lifestyle change, I really did expect to have some pretty dramatic results by now. So...would you tell me what you think? Should I carry on and be patient? Should I change things up, and if so, how? I really appreciate your advice (as long as it's not "eat 1200 calories and never eat your exercise calories back". I'm not interested in that.

Here's what I've been doing:

First, stats:
Female
40 years old
5'5"
SW 153.5
CW 146.5 (so not a lot of change in 90 days, but I've lost a lot of inches)
GW 135 (or thereabouts--I'm more focused on body fat; would like to be at or just under 20%, I think--I'm around 25-27% now)

Food:
Netting 1550 (I chose this number because I *thought* it put me a 250-300 calorie deficit with a little bit of wiggle room to account for typical underestimating of calorie intake/overestimating burn, but I've been wearing a Bodymedia Fit armband for the past two weeks and it's more like a 500-600 deficit).
Macros have been 40/30/30 for most of this time, but I just lowered the carbs and upped the protein a bit--just this past week.
I try to get in plenty of fiber, eat mostly "clean" (though I hate that term).

Exercise:
I've been doing the New Rules of Lifting For Women program for the last 6 weeks--first time I've ever lifted heavy. I love it. I've seen definite strength gains, and can see new definition in my arms and shoulders (and abs, except those are covered with a healthy layer of fat). I've had a foot injury, so haven't done that much cardio--usually about 20 minutes before/after lifting 3x a week; occasionally a long walk. I'm hoping to increase that a bit in the next week or so, as I've had some treatment for my foot.

So, do you think I should:
A. Be happy with my progress, learn the art of patience, and hang tight? Accept that the last 10-15 lbs are the hardest to lose?
B. Eat more? Go up to a 250 cal deficit?
C. Add more cardio?
D. Take a break? Add in "spike" days? Zig-zag calories or carbs? Change my macros? Shoot myself in the head?

I am actually taking a couple days to eat at maintenance--I feel like I need a break.

That was endless--thanks if you've gotten this far, and thanks in advance for any wisdom you care to share!

Replies

  • frosty73
    frosty73 Posts: 424 Member
    I'm going to play devil's advocate here, and say weigh yourself again tomorrow. You picked one point in time as a snapshot of 2-3 weeks worth of work. Is it accurate? Perhaps today you have more water weight, especially if you lifted yesterday. Take the day off lifting today and weigh again tomorrow.

    Of course the answer is to swtich things up (isn't that always the answer?) "Body for Life" recommends lifting or cardio *before* eating in the morning, as a way of really bringing up your metabolism burn. I have found that to be true--- if I exercise before breakfast, I am usually ravenous the rest of the day but even with (reasonable) eating, my weight tends to drop.

    *EDITED* No way am I an expert, nor do I play one on T.V.!
  • 00trayn
    00trayn Posts: 1,849 Member
    I'm somewhat in the same boat as you. I'm nearly done with Phase 2, so I'll be able to see if my measurements and progress photos have changed next week. I haven't lost a single pound as well, but I did lose 4" total off my midsection after Phase 1. So I'm sticking with it. Some of my clothes from last summer don't fit as well as they did when I was 148 lbs and doing cardio every single day, but I also wasn't eating much. Now I'm 10 lbs heavier, but the clothes still fit and look fine (with one exception of a dress that needs 2 people to zip, haha).

    I'm inclined to say maybe incorporate a bit more cardio (I tend to have 2 cardio-only days a week) or do HIIT cardio so you get more bang for your buck. I know my downfall is crappy choices on the weekends, so I'm really trying to focus on that.
  • sid719e
    sid719e Posts: 47
    Definitely A. Keep at it.
  • MrsLVF
    MrsLVF Posts: 787 Member
    If you're going by TDEE with a deficit above BMR, keep in mind that as you lose weight, those numbers change so you may need to adjust calories accordingly. :smile: .

    For me & my looooooong plateau....I broke on through with macros40/40/20 & the as far as meat, I've been eating tuna & grilled talapia & breakfast includes turkey sausage.with:smile: good luck
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,489 Member
    If he results are body fat loss even with a modest loss on the scale, then continue. I have many female clients who don't reach scale weight goal, but are continuing to look better and better even though the scale isn't mirroring that.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 28+ years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • vim_n_vigor
    vim_n_vigor Posts: 4,089 Member
    I think you need to be patient. You don't have a lot to lose, so it does go pretty slowly. Plus, starting a new workout routine can make the scale seem even less attractive for a while. You are doing great! Keep it up!
  • DB_1106
    DB_1106 Posts: 154 Member
    This is a forum.....everyone is a so called "expert" on this site.

    :smile:
  • Beeps2011
    Beeps2011 Posts: 11,922 Member
    dande, you know my story....no change for me in my stats from end-of-March to end-of-April. Frustrating! And, my progress sounds *eerily* similar to yours.

    I think you should take ninerbuff's advice. And, I'm going to, as well.

    See you at the end of May when I report back (hopefully with some lost inches)!
  • 4theking
    4theking Posts: 1,196 Member
    With such a small deficit and with weightloss not being linear, its completely understandable to not see any losses after one month. If you are happy with what you have seen after one month, keep doing what you are doing. If you want to speed things up a bit, a big larger deficit will help. How you construct the deficit is up to you. I am a big advocate of spike days but to encorporate a spike day, you would need to reduce daily calories quite a bit.......and eat around the 1200 calorie mark to make it work.
  • Rae6503
    Rae6503 Posts: 6,294 Member
    Yes, be patient. The last few pounds are the absolute hardest. 90 days really isn't that long. You've seen some visual improvements which is great.

    That being said, you could probably eat a bit more. It might help, and it probably won't hurt.

    How's your strength improvements? That's a good of measure of "progress" as anything else.
  • DB_1106
    DB_1106 Posts: 154 Member
    My opinion is to eat 15-20% below your TDEE. Eat however you want. Shoot for 1/2 lb - 1 lb loss per week seeing how you do not really weigh that much.

    Good luck.
  • Z_I_L_L_A
    Z_I_L_L_A Posts: 2,399 Member
    Wow, look at how many experts there are. lol
  • Lift_hard_eat_big
    Lift_hard_eat_big Posts: 2,278 Member
    If he results are body fat loss even with a modest loss on the scale, then continue. I have many female clients who don't reach scale weight goal, but are continuing to look better and better even though the scale isn't mirroring that.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 28+ years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    I agree with Ninerbuff. Continue to lift heavy. As long as you're seeing an measuring results with the tape measure, continue with what you're doing.
  • keekee1804
    keekee1804 Posts: 102 Member
    Not an expert here, but it sounds like you may just be plateauing. I would yes, be patient, but also add in some cardio since your goal is to lose a few more pounds. Just don't overtrain. If you'd like some more tips on how I've broken through past plateaus feel free to add/message me (: Good luck, you will get there!
  • dandelion39
    dandelion39 Posts: 514 Member
    Thanks so much, everyone, for taking the time to read my long post and to offer such thoughtful suggestions! Replies below:

    @Frosty: You're right, of course. It is just a snapshot, but paired with overall slow progress, it seemed like an indication that I should make some changes. Your suggestion of morning cardio is probably wise.

    @Trayn & Beeps: Solidarity in patience with NR results!!

    @4TheKing: My deficit is 500-600 cals per day, or at least 3500 per week, which should (in theory) mean I lose a lb. a week--which isn't happening, obviously. Eating at 1200 would put me beneath my BMR, which is 1440 (TDEE is 2200) on low days. What do you think?

    @Rae: I may raise my cals a little bit. And I have had good strength gains--from 65# to 110# on squats and from 85# to 115# on deadlifts. I'm happy with that progress.

    @DavidOcean--15%-20% of TDEE would be 1760-1870; I've been NETTING 1550 (but eating higher, as I've been eating back my exercise cals). Maybe I should just go to 1800 gross, and forget factoring in the exercise cals? I've been considering this.

    Everyone who said have patience--thanks so much for the encouragement. And again, I REALLY appreciate the input and support!
  • 4theking
    4theking Posts: 1,196 Member

    @4TheKing: My deficit is 500-600 cals per day, or at least 3500 per week, which should (in theory) mean I lose a lb. a week--which isn't happening, obviously. Eating at 1200 would put me beneath my BMR, which is 1440 (TDEE is 2200) on low days. What do you think?

    You think your deficit is 500-600 a day but we can't be sure. Eating below bmr is not 'death' especially with a spike day in there. Keep protein high on your 1200 calorie days and eat 2500 for one day a week. Give it two weeks!
  • laurarpa
    laurarpa Posts: 244 Member


    You think your deficit is 500-600 a day but we can't be sure. Eating below bmr is not 'death' especially with a spike day in there. Keep protein high on your 1200 calorie days and eat 2500 for one day a week. Give it two weeks!


    Why do you recommend eating below BMR for that many days? I assume that is NET, is that right? And what do you do after the 2 weeks are up?

    Just curious, because I'm in the same boat. On paper and by a "MET" test, my BMR is 1430. My TDEE estimate is 2200. My Gowear Fit shows most days at 2100-2200 (range from 1850-2600). And I've been eating at 1800 lately (up from 1400- 1500) but have gained a bit. I don't want to go back to eating 1200.... I woudn't mind 1500 for a short bit if I had to, but I like eating more.
  • 4theking
    4theking Posts: 1,196 Member
    No this is not net. Total calories eaten.....1200. Why do I recommend it......to see results. I said two weeks because thats generally enough time to see movement on the scale. This setup can be done until desired results are reached.

    Not to sound rude but I like eating more too, thats why I used to be fat.
  • twinmom01
    twinmom01 Posts: 854 Member
    No expert here - but I do lift - so you may not see big jumps on the scale but rather see a lot more in inches coming off...

    I say hang in there - you mentioned you increased protien and cut down on carbs - you may start to see a difference on the scale...I spent a lot of time focusing on calories and not budging a lot - once I switched the mindset and incorporated more protien (I eat about 100+ grams/day) and lowered carbs (try to stay under 100 grams/day - with vast majority coming from fruit and veggies) - I started seeing the scale go down...all while doing things the same (i.e. same exercise, same calorie intake)

    My dairy is open - I actually eat closer to 1500 calories a day because I don't track things like olive and coconut oil I use to sautee food in or to roast veggies (only time I account for those is when I actually ingest measurable quantities like when i make salad dressing) - and I have been known to grab a strip of jerky or a few strawberries here and there that i don't record
  • laurarpa
    laurarpa Posts: 244 Member
    No this is not net. Total calories eaten.....1200. Why do I recommend it......to see results. I said two weeks because thats generally enough time to see movement on the scale. This setup can be done until desired results are reached.

    Not to sound rude but I like eating more too, thats why I used to be fat.


    Just in case anybody sees this and thinks it's a good idea, I'd like them to check out Eat more to weigh less group. I still have hope that this will work. In any case, at least I know I don't have to be a starving raving lunatic on 1200 calories (you try doing NROLFW and other things on 1200 and then talk to me).

    Here's just one other plateau-busting success story: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/lillebanon/view/my-take-on-eating-more-to-weigh-less-254554