Am I going about weight loss the wrong way?

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I am a 23-year-old female, 5’7”. The app gave me the guideline of 1580 calories to bring my starting weight of 237 down to my (goal) weight of 165 losing 1.5lbs a week. I am rather sedentary, but have picked up 20-30 minute inclined (I live on many steep hills) walks, and swimming at my gym. My question is... is my calorie amount set too low? I weighed in this morning and came in just shy of 232. I have flabby arms, a tummy that hangs a little, and gobby thighs to start. My loved ones seem to think I am “starving myself”, “dieting the wrong way”, and will “only increase my excess skin.” Is this true? I want to pick up weight lifting to increase my muscle and loose skin. But I wonder because I am not even close to my goal weight yet. Is it too early to begin lifting and “bulking”? (unsure of terms) I do not know how to go about this correctly and not be starving my body or indirectly sabotaging my own success. How can I go about this healthy and properly to go from “flabby” to more toned and uniform? Thank you guys!
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Replies

  • LyndaBSS
    LyndaBSS Posts: 6,964 Member
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    We're here to support you through the process. <3
  • 3701kmathis
    3701kmathis Posts: 5 Member
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    Thank you, I suppose I will try to add more protein in my meals and do more strength exercises while at the gym. I do not log my exercises because I didn’t want it to increase my calories and me not to see results, but I can see how this could be counterproductive. My highest was about 260 a couple years ago, and unfortunately it left a little bit of skin in places, and genetics has not been very fair to me on my paternal side. I would love to keep this up and see what comes of it. I do not have much family support so I am glad to have stumbled into this side of MFP. Thank you for your reply! :)
  • OooohToast
    OooohToast Posts: 257 Member
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    Well done on the good start OP !
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 694 Member
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    It would be worth you taking your measurements as well as your weight, and doing them again every so often.

    It might also be helpful to set a fitness goal, a trail walk or couch to 5 k run program for example.

    I go to the gym and swim a lot, my shape can change a lot (in good ways!) with very little change in my weight.
    I find fitness goals motivating for the same reason, it keeps the momentum going in a positive direction.
  • 3701kmathis
    3701kmathis Posts: 5 Member
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    May I ask what will happen if you do not eat back a portion of the calories you burn? When I input my leisure hour of swimming into the app, it added over 600 calories to my daily allowance... and something in me is just fighting that increase. I deleted it and am pretending like I didn’t even swim, I guess. I feel like my ideas of weight loss are warped. I come from an obese home. And adding more calories when you worked hard to burn them just seems.. I don’t know!
    I guess I misunderstood the phrase “calorie deficit”... to me it seemed you needed to burn more than you all ate. But that seems very difficult, looking at it in retrospect. I am sorry for my ignorance on all of this.
  • mmapags
    mmapags Posts: 8,934 Member
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    May I ask what will happen if you do not eat back a portion of the calories you burn? When I input my leisure hour of swimming into the app, it added over 600 calories to my daily allowance... and something in me is just fighting that increase. I deleted it and am pretending like I didn’t even swim, I guess. I feel like my ideas of weight loss are warped. I come from an obese home. And adding more calories when you worked hard to burn them just seems.. I don’t know!
    I guess I misunderstood the phrase “calorie deficit”... to me it seemed you needed to burn more than you all ate. But that seems very difficult, looking at it in retrospect. I am sorry for my ignorance on all of this.

    No need to apologize. We all started somewhere and you are asking really good questions. 600 calories for that hour of leisurely swimming sounds high to me. Eat back maybe 1/2 that amount. You don't want to just ignore exercise calories because you may not get adequate nutrients. Not a problem occaisionally, but over time can have some unwanted results like hair loss, soft nails, fatigue etc.

    Spend the first 6 weeks eating back some portion of your exercise calories and adjust from there based in the trend of actual results. Some of the exercise burns in the database are overstated. Try eating back 1/2 or 2/3 to start and adjust based on real world results after 6 weeks. Nothing harmful is going to happen in that short a period.
  • tracybear86
    tracybear86 Posts: 163 Member
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    Are you swimming laps? If so the below will help as it incorporates pace into the equation making your effort more objective rather than subjective (leisurely, moderate, etc). I find it to be pretty accurate for me. To get pace if you don't have a tracker you would just need to time yourself swimming 100yds (or equivalent). Also make sure you are only counting the time you are swimming vs resting as this could inflate your calories as well.
    http://www.swimmingcalculator.com/swim_calories_calculator.php
  • GettingFitElena
    GettingFitElena Posts: 6 Member
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    I am a 23-year-old female, 5’7”. The app gave me the guideline of 1580 calories to bring my starting weight of 237 down to my (goal) weight of 165 losing 1.5lbs a week. I am rather sedentary, but have picked up 20-30 minute inclined (I live on many steep hills) walks, and swimming at my gym. My question is... is my calorie amount set too low? I weighed in this morning and came in just shy of 232. I have flabby arms, a tummy that hangs a little, and gobby thighs to start. My loved ones seem to think I am “starving myself”, “dieting the wrong way”, and will “only increase my excess skin.” Is this true? I want to pick up weight lifting to increase my muscle and loose skin. But I wonder because I am not even close to my goal weight yet. Is it too early to begin lifting and “bulking”? (unsure of terms) I do not know how to go about this correctly and not be starving my body or indirectly sabotaging my own success. How can I go about this healthy and properly to go from “flabby” to more toned and uniform? Thank you guys!

    Hey there!
    I'm 24 year old female so I for sure understand the hard goals it can be when people can be not be supportive of the goals you are trying to achieve. Loose skin is a tricky subject when it comes to weightloss because if you are going at a moderate rate your skin can adapt to the changes, however, when you loss a drastic amount of weight (i.e. - contestants of The Biggest Loser) your body cannot adapt to the changes as quickly.

    I will say buying a good fitness tracker is important. I love my Polar watch (with the heart rate strap) because I find that it is more accurate than a Fitbit tracker.

    Another important thing to note is that - "do not get obsessed with the number on the scale" I know that can be easier said than done, but there are other ways to measure progress besides a scale.

    Even see if you can speak to a nutritionist or your doctor about your journey to help calculate a healthy caloric goal. I say that because everybody has a different journey and no two bodies function the same or react the same what food we put in our bodies.

    I do agree with some other posters though - try to add more protein into your diet because protein is lean and can help suppress appetite.

    Hope this helps, and congrats on starting your journey OP!
  • DevilsFan1
    DevilsFan1 Posts: 342 Member
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    The starting number doesn't matter. What matters is determining your target daily caloric deficit. It could be that 1580 is too low, too high, or just right. The only way to know is to accurately track your caloric intake each day and check how the scale responds. If you eat at a daily deficit of 500 calories (which translates to a 3500 calorie weekly deficit), you will lose about one pound a week. My suggestion to you is to track your calories and add up the total at the end of the week. Weigh yourself at the end of the week, and repeat the process the following week. Adjust your intake on what the scale does. If you haven't lost any weight, subtract 3500 from your weekly total and divide that number by seven. This will give you your new daily caloric target. Keep repeating this process until you arrive at your preferred rate of weight loss. Don't expect to get a final number for several weeks though. Good luck!
  • nooboots
    nooboots Posts: 480 Member
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    RE the loose skin - it makes no odds how fast or slow you lose weight as to whether you have loose skin. It is your skin quality, whether you have stretch marks which have broken the elasticity of the skin, thickness of the skin and genetics which determine this. If you only have a couple of stone to lose it is very unlikely you will have loose skin. The younger you are the more collagen you have so the more elasticity of course.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,743 Member
    edited June 2019
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    Plug your weigh-ins into trendweight.com/weightgrapher.com/happy scale/or libra, and MFP, of course.

    Set yourself for 1.5lbs for now and lower it towards 1lb when you move into the mid overweight BMI range.

    Do use a scale, verify your database entries, eat more good bargains than bad. Do remember that a large deficit often triggers binges, so let go of the occasional high day without going out of your way to compensate for it!

    Don't worry too much about skin right now. It takes a good 2 years to bounce back as far as it will.

    And I will take droopy skin and normal weight any day over being obese!

    And it sure doesn't sound as if you're doing anything wrong--other than not eating bsck most of your exercise calories!!!
  • liz0269
    liz0269 Posts: 139 Member
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    Exercise is for fitness. A calorie deficit is for weight loss. It doesn't matter how much of your calorie burn is from breathing or sitting or walking to your car or exercise. Exercise increases your calorie burn which can enable you to eat more while maintaining your deficit which making dieting easier. When I am exercising a lot, I don't even feel like I am dieting. I really struggle to maintain my deficit without it.
  • WickedPineapple
    WickedPineapple Posts: 701 Member
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    My loved ones seem to think I am “starving myself”, “dieting the wrong way”, and will “only increase my excess skin.”

    I would avoid getting into the nitty gritty about your weight loss with your loved ones. Many people just don't understand this method and are highly resistant to it.