Frustrated!

rjneeley
rjneeley Posts: 59 Member
So, I've been pretty serious about this whole lifestyle change for the past month. Out of the past 4 weeks, I've gotten at least 4-5 workouts a week, usually 5 full days plus extra over the weekend. I'm drinking over 100 oz. of water a day. I juice daily -- at least 4 days a week I have a juice for breakfast and another as an afternoon pick-me-up. I'm eating tons more fruits and vegetables. So why am I not losing? And not only that, why am I gaining? Since the first of the year, I'm up 1.5 pounds. Not a lot, but I have a lot to lose so I was expecting to be losing this whole time, not gaining.

Am I hurting myself because I refuse to weigh and measure my every bite? I estimate things like how much cottage cheese I have, or how big my apple is. I don't think I need to carry about measuring cups to dish out my food, do I?

Also, I know I'm eating more than this site recommends -- they wanted me at 1350 cals, I'm eating more like 1600. Since this is a lifestyle change, I don't want to starve myself.

Any suggestions?

Rachel

Replies

  • Coolhand1969
    Coolhand1969 Posts: 833 Member
    So, I've been pretty serious about this whole lifestyle change for the past month. Out of the past 4 weeks, I've gotten at least 4-5 workouts a week, usually 5 full days plus extra over the weekend. I'm drinking over 100 oz. of water a day. I juice daily -- at least 4 days a week I have a juice for breakfast and another as an afternoon pick-me-up. I'm eating tons more fruits and vegetables. So why am I not losing? And not only that, why am I gaining? Since the first of the year, I'm up 1.5 pounds. Not a lot, but I have a lot to lose so I was expecting to be losing this whole time, not gaining.
    Are you taking measurements (waist, arms, thights, hips)? Lots of times your muscles can retain water, as well as your body retaining water for other reasons... measurements are a more accurate measure of progress... It's not about losing weight as much as getting fit... weight is only one indicator (and not the best).
    Am I hurting myself because I refuse to weigh and measure my every bite?
    I estimate things like how much cottage cheese I have, or how big my apple is. I don't think I need to carry about measuring cups to dish out my food, do I?
    It's very possible you're hurting yourself, especially if you aren't a good estimator. However, I don't measure everything exactly either, so I can't say much...
    Also, I know I'm eating more than this site recommends -- they wanted me at 1350 cals, I'm eating more like 1600. Since this is a lifestyle change, I don't want to starve myself.
    If you are eating that many more calories, then you aren't in a deficit, or only in a very small one that would impeded your weight progress. If you don't believe the MFP number, you should do some research into finding your BMR and TDEE to see what you should be eating...
    Also, are you inputting your cardio, and eating back your exercise calories? you didn't mention that.. If you aren't, then you may very well not be eating ENOUGH calories with as much working out as you mentioned.
    Any suggestions?

    Most people will want you to open your diary to give you more advice than this... (and it's closed - at least to non-friends)
  • Philllbis
    Philllbis Posts: 801 Member
    Coolhand is right on track with finding your BMR and TDEE. I recommend calculating your TDEE and eat 20-25% less than this number. This will put you at a caloric deficit and you'll lose weight.
  • rjneeley
    rjneeley Posts: 59 Member
    Thanks for your reply!

    No, I haven't taken measurements. I know that's a better indicator of things going on, so I will do that this weekend. And I'll try to stay off the scale!

    I feel like I'm a really good estimator of foods. Drinks, not so much. I like to call a juice glass full of orange juice 1/2 of a cup. Luckily, I don't drink drinks very often. My morning juice (from a juicer, not the orange juice mentioned above), coffee (creamer is measured daily, only because it gives me the right amount for how I like my coffee -- hubby can just guess but I like knowing my every cup of coffee will taste right), and the rest of the time I drink water.

    As for calories, I have done those BMR tests and here's what they say. If I get no exercise in a day, I burn 1857 calories. For moderate exercise (3-5 days a week), I burn 2399 calories. So, what that tells me is that if I don't ever exercise and I want to lose weight, I should be eating 1357 calories a day. But since I do exercise, I should be eating 1899. Am I figuring that correctly? I figured it as having a deficit of 500 calories a day, or 3500 a week, and should be seeing a pound in loss a week. Let me know if I should be looking at it differently.

    As for exercise, I don't input my cardio here on this site. I have an app on my phone that tracks my heart rate (via chest strap) and gives me a calorie count for every workout. Unfortunately, it's not one of the ones that this site will sync to so I just keep track of it separately.

    Yeah, I don't even have my diary open to friends. I'm funny that way :(

    Thanks for your help -- what I think I need to do is take measurements, stay off the scale for awhile, and see about getting more movement in every day. And maybe break out those measuring cups a time or two to make sure that my "guesstimates" are close to being right. It's just that I've been measuring my food for 13 years so I'd really like to get past that.
  • rjneeley
    rjneeley Posts: 59 Member
    OK, so for TDEE, the numbers are slightly higher -- 1926 for no exercising, 2488 for 3-5 days a week of exercise. At a 500 calorie deficit, if I'm eating 1600-1700, shouldn't I be seeing a loss since I do exercise?
  • Coolhand1969
    Coolhand1969 Posts: 833 Member
    OK, so for TDEE, the numbers are slightly higher -- 1926 for no exercising, 2488 for 3-5 days a week of exercise. At a 500 calorie deficit, if I'm eating 1600-1700, shouldn't I be seeing a loss since I do exercise?

    Well, if you're TDEE is 2500, and you're eating 1600, that's a 900 calorie deficit. Subtracting 25% off the 2500 TDEE would leave you at 1875 (or 2000 at 25%) minimum... So you may consider upping your calorie intake (with healthy food) a bit if all your measurments are accurate...

    I believe if you are going to use MFP to track with MFP's system, that it's best to set your lifestyle as sedentary, then input all your exercise calories, and eat back most of those also. (it's basically the same thing as what the TDEE calculation is doing)
  • rjneeley
    rjneeley Posts: 59 Member
    OK, so I just discovered that the app I use for exercise can't sync here, but another app will sync with the same HR monitor and will sync here automatically. So I've got that installed and waiting for some evening exercise to see if it works. So maybe I will add some extra healthier options to my day, and see what that gets me. Thanks for all your help!
  • Coolhand1969
    Coolhand1969 Posts: 833 Member
    OK, so I just discovered that the app I use for exercise can't sync here, but another app will sync with the same HR monitor and will sync here automatically. So I've got that installed and waiting for some evening exercise to see if it works. So maybe I will add some extra healthier options to my day, and see what that gets me. Thanks for all your help!

    Is it endomondo?
  • Philllbis
    Philllbis Posts: 801 Member
    OK, so I just discovered that the app I use for exercise can't sync here, but another app will sync with the same HR monitor and will sync here automatically. So I've got that installed and waiting for some evening exercise to see if it works. So maybe I will add some extra healthier options to my day, and see what that gets me. Thanks for all your help!

    You could have your calculations screwed up somewhere. You should definitely see some weight loss on a caloric deficit. I If you look at the big picture that's really all this is. Burn more calories than you take in and you'll lose weight. That's a general statement but it really is true.

    You'll want to make sure you're eating the right kind of calories too. Your macros are important.
  • rjneeley
    rjneeley Posts: 59 Member
    Well, let me know how I could improve this (my normal day):

    Breakfast: smoothie made from juiced tangerines and pineapple, almond milk, whey protein powder; cottage cheese with fruit, coffee

    Lunch: salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, diced ham, shredded cheese, ranch dressing; wheat crackers, fruit

    Mid-afternoon: green juice if cucumber, celery, apple, carrots, greens

    Dinner: meat, starch, steamed veggie or salad ( something like chicken breast, rice, broccoli or pork tenderloin, potatoes, salad)

    Dessert: usually I will buy something from my local farm bakery and cut it into fourths and have one piece a night. Not "diet" food by any stretch but they use quality ingredients and organic when possible. Or I might have popcorn or trail mix.

    If I need to add or subtract something, PLEASE let me know! I've been doing this a long time but am too old school for anything to work anymore! Thanks!
  • Coolhand1969
    Coolhand1969 Posts: 833 Member
    That looks pretty healthy... I personally think you might not be getting enough cal's especially on your exercise days, but can't say that for sure. maybe others can chime in. there are a couple of nutritionists and personal trainers that have joined the group. You might explore calorie cycling or Intermittent Fasting.
  • chrisaray
    chrisaray Posts: 3 Member
    Hey RJNeeley, just wanted to chime in and say I think this is the hardest part about sustaining momentum when trying to make these types of changes. Two things I would say is you have to find a balance that works for you between an ocd approach to recording your caloric intake and estimating. But Coolhand is right, in my experience when I get a little loose, I'm amazed with how I underestimate my estimations. I'm too easily fooled. Secondly, the hardest part of this (in my opinion) is developing the awareness of how YOUR body is affected by the foods you eat. I personally suck at this, but know that different people metabolize food differently. But MFP really helps with this because you can look back in your diary in relation to your weight graph to see if you can find any correlations.

    With all that said, if you are recording your eating, making healthy choices and excercising you are doing GREAT! and it WILL PAY OFF!

    Sometimes when I level off, I consciously focus on my goal of being consistent, recording every day, meeting my exercise pact. Regardless of my weight, I can feel good about accomplishing those goals. Stay encouraged! :) (and I'm from Columbus! I live in Indy now, but a lot of good memories down there)
  • Dont give up!! If you are going to juice...do a juice fast. If you are juicing and eating you maybe getting too much sugar. Try to juice more vegetalbes than fruit. I did a juice detox fast for 7 days and lost 10 lbs. The week before juicing I ate only vegetables and fruit. The next week I have juice for breakfast and juice for lunch and dinner. It was very hard the first day, then got better after that. I had more energy and I sleep better. Check out www.rebootwithjoe.com. Now I am following Dr Joel Fuhrman"s Eat To Live Six week Plan. Unlimited raw vegetables and cooked vegetables. Goal of one cup of beans and at least 4 fresh fruits daily. Limited amounts of cooked starchy vegetables or whole grains (not more than one servings or 1 cup per day) Raw nuts and seeds (1 oz max per day) Avocado (2 oz max per day) groung flaxseeds (1 tbl max per day) OFF-LIMITS..dairy products, animal products, between meal snacks, fruit juice, and oils.
  • jlbeals
    jlbeals Posts: 65 Member
    You may be underestimating your caloric intake/portion size. Especially if drinks are your weak spot with estimating. There's a lot more calories in juice than some people think.

    You don't have to measure everything forever, but it might be helpful to rule out estimation errors (while training yourself to be a better estimator) by measuring for a week or so or one meal a day or something. I don't pull out the scale every time I eat, but when I was first starting this, I tested to see how many cups my ladles held, etc. to get a grip on how much I was eating at a time. It was really helpful.
  • rjneeley
    rjneeley Posts: 59 Member
    Well, I went back to the basics this week -- lots of exercise, lots of water, and I measured almost everything. Down 2 pounds. Perhaps I didn't "estimate" as well as I thought!!! Thanks for all the encouragement!!!
  • Coolhand1969
    Coolhand1969 Posts: 833 Member
    Great news!
  • Philllbis
    Philllbis Posts: 801 Member
    Well, I went back to the basics this week -- lots of exercise, lots of water, and I measured almost everything. Down 2 pounds. Perhaps I didn't "estimate" as well as I thought!!! Thanks for all the encouragement!!!

    That's good to hear! Salad dressing and cheese are evil!
  • jonward85
    jonward85 Posts: 534 Member
    Great news. I'll say my biggest problem when i started was estimating...i didn't realize just how off i was on my estimations. I was estimating like 2100 calories but i was eating close to 3000...it was crazy. Good luck on your journey :)