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Why aren’t I losing?!?

I don’t understand it. I am sticking religiously to under 1,200cals (weighing EVERYTHING, over-estimating if I can’t find the exact food in MFP catalog etc).

I initially lost over 4lbs (first 5 days), and now nothing for the last 9 days.

What am I doing wrong?!?


  • sarabushby
    sarabushby Posts: 784 Member
    Having insufficient patience I’m afraid.
    4lbs is a huge amount of weight to lose in just 5 days and was likely in the most part just water weight & bulk in your gut.

    If you peruse this forum you’ll find a tonne of useful charts and threads on why weight loss is not linear and the causes of scale fluctuation, not the least a woman’s cycle if this is relevant for you.

    Eating UNDER 1200 calories is not recommended so please also read up on safe rates of weight loss applicable for someone of your gender, height & weight.

    Good luck but please be in this for the long game. You didn’t gain 8lb in 10 days so don’t expect to lose it that way either.
  • JessalynLord
    JessalynLord Posts: 3 Member
    Studies and nutritionists have actually started saying that 1200 is arbitrary and some smaller women may be closer to 1000.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,522 Member
    Hey, we've all been there! If you maintain a consistent deficit (not more than 25% of TDEE-- your maintenance intake) you will lose weight. It just takes patience.

    1200kcals/day may be perfect for you, depending on your weight and age. (I will presume you've gotten that number from the MFP website.) When I cut, my base plan is 1500kcals/day (plus exercise).

    Anyway, your weight will naturally fluctuate by a pound or more day-to-day. If you weigh yourself in the morning after the toilet, you will get the most consistent numbers, but still varying around a bit. You need to watch the average over several days.

    Yes, it's hard at times! Most of us love to eat!
  • j1wright
    j1wright Posts: 286 Member
    Studies and nutritionists have actually started saying that 1200 is arbitrary and some smaller women may be closer to 1000.
    Agreed. I only burn about 1464 calories a day if I don’t excerise according to any calculations I use online, Fitbit, and Garmin I have used. I stay around 1000 calories unless I work out and up to 1200 if I do workout. I lose about 1 to 1.5 a week but some weeks I see no results. If this happens I do a cheat day and then start seeing the scale move again. Give yourself at least two weeks for a loss. If you don’t see one, I recommend a cheat day. Good luck!
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,491 Member
    If you’ve lost 4 lbs in 14 days you aren’t doing anything wrong.

    Well, maybe thinking wrong. If you’re thinking about weight loss in terms of what happens day to day you can drive yourself crazy doing this.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 33,027 Member
    If you're female and not in menopause yet, hormonal water weight fluctuations (which can occur at different times in the month for different women) may be part of the picture.

    I'd suggest sticking to your routine - as long as it's manageable - until you can at least compare body weights at the same point in at least two (and maybe more) different menstrual cycles. That'll give you a much clearer picture.

    For anyone, water weight fluctuations are normal, especially in the early days/weeks of weight loss. It's frustrating, but it's part of how healthy bodies function, so the right answer IMO is to strive to understand it, not try to fight it. Water weight shows up on the scale, and can hide fat loss for quite a number of days under different circumstances.

    This is a good read:

    To those suggesting 1200 might be too many calories. Sure, that's possible if OP is small in stature, pretty inactive, already at a fairly low weight, or some combination of those or similar factors. But we know none of those things right now. I'm old and 5'5", not to mention severely hypothyroid, and 1200 was way too low for me (at age 59 when I was first losing, almost 5 years back). I got weak and fatigued, then it took weeks to recover: No one needs that.

    Cut-cut-cut as a reflex, to an extreme point, is a recipe for more than necessary adaptive thermogenesis, increased health/appearance risk, and early drop-out. I wouldn't go there first, personally.

    Another good read:
  • opalbeaulieu
    opalbeaulieu Posts: 14 Member
    I'm 5'3, female, 120lbs and I'm currently sculpting abs losing just a few lbs, and I've lost 1 pound already on a 1900 calorie diet. Sometimes I think we need to eat a bit more in order to get the energy and metabolism to lose weight. For me there is a sweet spot, over 2500 I gain fat as well as muscle, below 1700 calories i basically crash and feel horrible and don't actually lose anything. We can't know you from this post but I wish you all the best figuring it out for yourself and sure the community here will support you whatever path you take.