Why so hard to lose just a little?

I am 5'4 and 145 at age 37. I have had some major changes this last year...neck injury, spinal steroid injections, and some medications that caused a big delay in my fitness goals and some weight gain. I also quit smoking for a little over a year now. I want to be 128/130 lbs again but I can't lose the weight. About 75% of my diet is clean food and my goal is 1300 calories a day. (Just upped it from 1200 because i feel like i am starving) I do intense 20 min cardio every morning before breakfast and eat my exercise calories. My carbs come from oats and veggies and fruit. I drink green tea or water and no soda or juices. I weigh 141 in the morning and 145 at night. I'm obsessed with the scale and calories. It's been three weeks and hardly any change. I just want to lose 15 lbs so I can fit i to my regular clothes and have a flat stomach and then work my way into some weight training and a maintence plan.

Replies

  • wheird
    wheird Posts: 7,963 Member
    As you get to a lower weight and bodyfat percentage, it becomes increasingly important to log as diligently and accurately as possible. This is because you have a very small margin of error.

    -Weigh your food with a food scale in grams and log it as such
    -Log everything, including condiments
    -Patience
  • It's hard to lose weight when you are only 141/145 lbs.

    You also should be eating more since you are doing intense cardio. I would increase your calories to 1500
  • dlionsmane
    dlionsmane Posts: 672 Member
    What @ Reality said

    With such a small amount to lose you should be aiming at .5 - 1.0 pounds per week. This loss is much slower when you get closer to goal. You def. need to pay closer attention to everything you eat. Measure and weigh everything. Don't worry about what you weigh at night - if you weigh 141 in the morning you weigh 141.

    If you haven't checked this out do that. http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/ it will help you get a good range to work in with your daily calories. If you eat more (using TDEE) you won't be eating back exercise calories, but you will be eating more to fuel your exercise. Good luck and just remember it's not a quick fix, it's forever....
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
    Is the exercise routine (or intensity or frequency) new? If so, you might have water weight issues going on.

    In studies in the lab where they train people how to log their calories and then check their logging, people still under-log by around 20%. And that's in the lab. So consider that if you think you're eating 1300 you could be eating more like 1560 or more. We have similar stats and even with exercise I only burn around 1800. At a 240/day deficit, weight will come off at a crawl, like 2 lbs/month. Which could easily be masked for months by water issues from a new exercise regimen.

    Good luck!
  • maca416
    maca416 Posts: 143 Member
    Increase cardio to 40mins minimum @ 20 mins Im just starting to get into it.
  • Smuterella
    Smuterella Posts: 1,623 Member
    Same here. Almost exactly the same. I'm 35, I started at 142 and I want to get to 135 - maybe 130.

    I've stopped drinking almost completely (like once a month) and now, finally, the weight is coming off. Though only at 2lbs a month it seems, but I'll take it! Alcohol really seems to mess with my metabolism.

    Boo - evil alcohol.
  • Jkn922
    Jkn922 Posts: 74
    I'm around 140-145lbs and find it really hard to lose weight too. I had a massive decrease in weight which wasn't healthy so have taken it easy on exercises so my body is able to restore itself for a few weeks but still have a minimum 500cal deficit most of the time.
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
    I just want to lose 15 lbs so I can fit i to my regular clothes and have a flat stomach and then work my way into some weight training and a maintence plan.

    It might be worth mentioning that you're at a healthy BMI at 145, though on the edge with 'overweight'. Maybe start focusing on the weight training now?
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    We have similar stats. I'm a little older, a little shorter, and more sedentary, and I have not had a problem getting the weight off at ~ 1 lb/wk with a calorie goal of 1450. At least until recently - now that I'm close to where I want to be, I've reduced my deficit so I'm losing at 1 lb/mo. However, I have not had the medical issues you have. How long ago were those steroid injections? They can cause you to retain water. Some pain meds can, too.

    If that's not it, you're either not logging accurately - weighing and measuring are key, or you're overestimating how much you burn and are eating those calories back. Either would decrease your deficit and weight loss rate until water retention from new exercise might mask it.
  • KelsBells37
    KelsBells37 Posts: 3 Member
    Thanks for all the insight! I am logging well and if anything logging in a little under. I measure everything. My cardio is intense and depending on how much time i have I do a little more and sometimes even do an extra 20 later on. I am doing cardio on the eliptical and using resistance and going hard for a few and slowing down. I am breaking a good sweat. Prior to my injury i weighed around 135. I have a fast metabolism and weight under 100 lbs until I was about 25! It's just so unsusual for me to not lose weight fast. I think steroid injections were part of it. I took steroid orally and had some trigger point injections, and one injection in my spine but that was all about 9 months ago. I don't use opiate pain meds and if my pain is tolerable i don't take anything at all. I work a desk job, but work at home. I get up frequently to load the washer or just walk around. I wonder if 1200 cal to low? I've upped it now to 1375 and eat my workout cals. I'm going to keep at it for a couple more months...if I don't lose weight I'm just gonna keep eating healthy, exercising, and go just shopping for some new, bigger clothes. Ugh.
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,553 Member
    As you get to a lower weight and bodyfat percentage, it becomes increasingly important to log as diligently and accurately as possible. This is because you have a very small margin of error.

    -Weigh your food with a food scale in grams and log it as such
    -Log everything, including condiments
    -Patience

    this.

    you may need to aggressively cut- then go to maintenance.

    At 145- and 5'4" I suspect you could easily stand to lose 10-15 lbs before getting to a point where you have to truly fight for it. 3 weeks is nothing- you just haven't given it enough time. .

    It's more the grind of just DOING it that's the issue. I'm 4: taller and 20 lbs heavier- and I barely saw the scale move for my cut- but I could tell I'd lost some body fat- but it took almost 6 months of aggressive dieting to get there.

    It takes time- there is a reason why people tend to rotate through seasons.

    Also when people do heavy cuts- they do that long stead state cardio- like the stair master- because it builds up a nice large calorie deficit without restricting the food to an unbearable amount. try that coupled with the HIIT sessions.
  • jljewell
    jljewell Posts: 28 Member
    I had a similar scenario. I was on here last year, lost weight, and then started having problems with discs. I started all over again last summer. I'm also 5'4", and down from 146 to 133 now. For the first couple of months the scale didn't really move. It was incredibly frustrating, but there were other noticable changes like my clothes fitting differently and sleeping better from the regular exercise. The scale has moved since then, but it hasn't been consistent. I gained a couple of pounds at one point, and then lost again. But I've gone from a size 10 to a size 6, and I am stronger and have more energy than I had before. You can do it if you stick with it. As others have said here, patience is needed. You aren't going to see dramatic changes in a short amount of time. And take your scale and put it away somewhere out of sight -- this really helped me stop focusing on the number of pounds and enjoy the positive changes. I also second the need for resistance training as part of your program -- adding in a strength training routine gives you a visible change in your body that helps motivate you to keep going.
  • Siansonea
    Siansonea Posts: 917 Member
    Take the scale and put it out of sight? What? NO.

    Your weight is one of the only data tracking points you can rely on. Suck it up and weigh yourself frequently. Don't just "wing it".

    Calories in/calories out--you know the drill. Make the first number less than the second number, and you'll lose weight. To do that, you have to know what those two numbers actually are. Find out. Eat the right number of calories.

    It really is that simple. All the cardio in the world isn't going to make you lose weight if your calorie tracking is off.
  • Mr_Excitement
    Mr_Excitement Posts: 833 Member
    As you get to a lower weight and bodyfat percentage, it becomes increasingly important to log as diligently and accurately as possible. This is because you have a very small margin of error.

    -Weigh your food with a food scale in grams and log it as such
    -Log everything, including condiments
    -Patience

    This.

    You're just at that stage where you have to really tighten everything down and be consistent. And keep in mind that if you're running a 200-300 calorie deficit, you can wipe out your week's deficit with one fairly moderate splurge on the weekend.

    It gets a lot harder to drop fat the less you have to drop, but the principle is the same.