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Getting nowhere except frustrated

doutri2doutri2 Member Posts: 187 Member Member Posts: 187 Member
I have been a frequent on/off user of MFP for many years now. My weight has fluctuated within a 5-7 pound range for all of those years.
However, within the last few months (since Jan. 1), I have made a more conscious effort to eat more proteins and less gluten (truthful replaced with rice) and have increased the number of workouts, length of workouts and increased weight training.
I cannot lose a pound or two and keep it off. If I lose it one day, it's back 2 days later with still the same diet. Yesterday, I went for a 34 mile bike ride (4 hours) burnt over 1,000 calories and I weigh more today than I did 2 days ago.
What am I doing wrong? (besides being obsessed with the scale?)
edited March 8
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Replies

  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Member, Premium Posts: 28,074 Member Member, Premium Posts: 28,074 Member
    Do you use a food scale?

    You don’t say anything about your calorie target. Are you tracking calories?
  • doutri2doutri2 Member Posts: 187 Member Member Posts: 187 Member
    Yes, I do track calories too.
  • emzoe13emzoe13 Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    I haven't used a scale in over 10 years, and find I'm much better off because of it. Your weight can fluctuate day to day based on what you ate, when you ate, how much water you drank; and building muscle will actually make you gain weight even when you're losing inches!

    I've found that being conscious of how I feel in my body and whether I like how it looks in the mirror is a much better measure of where I'm at than the scale. Maybe try a different tactic for measuring your fitness level?
  • doutri2doutri2 Member Posts: 187 Member Member Posts: 187 Member
    I can't seem to eat less calories. I even cut out starches from my dinners so that it is only protein and veggies. I have a small portion of dessert bc I'm using still starving from dinner. I'm struggling with what to eat to fulfill me, but not to consumer too many calories.

    Oh, and my pants are definitely on the tighter side - not by choice.
  • mikhnpaitsmummikhnpaitsmum Member Posts: 81 Member Member Posts: 81 Member
    Have you had a physical lately to rule.out any other causes?
  • AndreaTamiraAndreaTamira Member, Premium Posts: 272 Member Member, Premium Posts: 272 Member
    You say you cannot eat less calories. So, does that mean you cannot stick to your calorie goals or does sticking to your calorie goals not seem to lead to a loss in weight and you wonder if you should cut calories down further?
  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Member Posts: 7,368 Member Member Posts: 7,368 Member
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,628 Member Member Posts: 6,628 Member
    You won't lose 1/3 of a pound when you burn 1000 calories in a day. It doesn't work like that. Likely your body retains more fluid from muscle repair, you might have been dehydrated a bit and not had a poop, maybe ate a bit more salt, leading to more fluid retention, lots of other reasons. Your weight constantly fluctuates. That means you need to keep this up for weeks to see if it's working to ride out normal weight fluctuations and don't give up after two days.
  • 88olds88olds Member Posts: 3,832 Member Member Posts: 3,832 Member
    Nothing except being obsessed with the scale. But you said that. A word of warning- focusing on the number on the scale instead of fitness goals caused me trouble that took years to correct.
  • geltner1geltner1 Member Posts: 83 Member Member Posts: 83 Member
    Keep up your good exercise! And keep up your (honest) logging of your meals. Maybe you should limit your weighing on the scale to once or twice a week at the same time of day. You can lost the extra weight. Keep trying and keep a positive attitude. Good luck.
  • doutri2doutri2 Member Posts: 187 Member Member Posts: 187 Member
    Have you had a physical lately to rule.out any other causes?

    No, I haven't been in to a doc in about 3 years. I really should up-to-date on some things.

  • doutri2doutri2 Member Posts: 187 Member Member Posts: 187 Member
    You say you cannot eat less calories. So, does that mean you cannot stick to your calorie goals or does sticking to your calorie goals not seem to lead to a loss in weight and you wonder if you should cut calories down further?

    Even when I think I'm cutting calories, I find that I'm not cutting calories. Meaning, I think I'm making good choices for food, but when I log them, I find out that I am over my calorie goal unless I do a major workout.
  • LegendarySuperSaiyanErokLegendarySuperSaiyanErok Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    Water weight always fluctuates between 5-7lbs and excess sodium causes your body to retain water. And don’t forget, muscles outweighs fat cause it’s denser.
  • doutri2doutri2 Member Posts: 187 Member Member Posts: 187 Member
    Hey, callsitlikeIseeit! That was a really informative post. I do have a food scale, but I have rarely used it for my own food intake. I do cook for a living, so I've used it for that mostly. I will be referring back to the flowchart you shared. Helpful. Though I will be honest that I've never understood the "eating back the calories you burned part" of the weightloss program. So, I eat more, but it doesn't seem to work that way in the formula on the Diary page. For example, on Sunday when I biked almost 34 miles for 4 hours, MFP said that I burned 1,024 calories. I still stuck to a mostly protein, veggie, fruit diet, but felt that I earned my gluten free cupcake with frosting. However, when I logged everything, it only gave me 155 "points" towards my exercise and then I was over though I didn't overeat after my bike ride. I just don't get it.
    edited March 10
  • doutri2doutri2 Member Posts: 187 Member Member Posts: 187 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    You won't lose 1/3 of a pound when you burn 1000 calories in a day. It doesn't work like that. Likely your body retains more fluid from muscle repair, you might have been dehydrated a bit and not had a poop, maybe ate a bit more salt, leading to more fluid retention, lots of other reasons. Your weight constantly fluctuates. That means you need to keep this up for weeks to see if it's working to ride out normal weight fluctuations and don't give up after two days.

    Lots of truth in this. During the bike ride, it was sips of water here and there. Barely ate. Made sure I took an Imodium before biking so I wouldn't have to poop in that 4 hour window. It gets so frustrating bc we talk about calories in vs calories out and I definitely had almost a day's worth of calories out. And, same for the a few days prior to that, but the scale barely moves. I don't expect to lose 5 lbs, but I was really hoping to keep off the 2-3 pounds I had lost, but instead it came right back on the day after my ride. I feel like I'm doing it all wrong.
  • AndreaTamiraAndreaTamira Member, Premium Posts: 272 Member Member, Premium Posts: 272 Member
    doutri2 wrote: »
    You say you cannot eat less calories. So, does that mean you cannot stick to your calorie goals or does sticking to your calorie goals not seem to lead to a loss in weight and you wonder if you should cut calories down further?

    Even when I think I'm cutting calories, I find that I'm not cutting calories. Meaning, I think I'm making good choices for food, but when I log them, I find out that I am over my calorie goal unless I do a major workout.

    Maybe you are one of those people for whom pre-logging their foods is the best way to go. You could plan your meals, prep them in advance and know (as you measured and weighted everything) how many calories you will be eating tgat day in advance. That way you would not have unhappy surprises.
    doutri2 wrote: »
    Hey, callsitlikeIseeit! That was a really informative post. I do have a food scale, but I have rarely used it for my own food intake. I do cook for a living, so I've used it for that mostly. I will be referring back to the flowchart you shared. Helpful. Though I will be honest that I've never understood the "eating back the calories you burned part" of the weightloss program. So, I eat more, but it doesn't seem to work that way in the formula on the Diary page. For example, on Sunday when I biked almost 34 miles for 4 hours, MFP said that I burned 1,024 calories. I still stuck to a mostly protein, veggie, fruit diet, but felt that I earned my gluten free cupcake with frosting. However, when I logged everything, it only gave me 155 "points" towards my exercise and then I was over though I didn't overeat after my bike ride. I just don't get it.

    I am a bit confused there. When I exercise and MFP says I earned X calories this is the calories I am adding. There are no other points to deal with. Ard you using a smart watch or something like that tgat could contribute to that confusion? (I don't, so if that's what is going on not sure what the problem is.)
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 25,744 Member Member, Premium Posts: 25,744 Member
    doutri2 wrote: »
    yirara wrote: »
    You won't lose 1/3 of a pound when you burn 1000 calories in a day. It doesn't work like that. Likely your body retains more fluid from muscle repair, you might have been dehydrated a bit and not had a poop, maybe ate a bit more salt, leading to more fluid retention, lots of other reasons. Your weight constantly fluctuates. That means you need to keep this up for weeks to see if it's working to ride out normal weight fluctuations and don't give up after two days.

    Lots of truth in this. During the bike ride, it was sips of water here and there. Barely ate. Made sure I took an Imodium before biking so I wouldn't have to poop in that 4 hour window. It gets so frustrating bc we talk about calories in vs calories out and I definitely had almost a day's worth of calories out. And, same for the a few days prior to that, but the scale barely moves. I don't expect to lose 5 lbs, but I was really hoping to keep off the 2-3 pounds I had lost, but instead it came right back on the day after my ride. I feel like I'm doing it all wrong.

    You did intense exercise (which can lead to fluid retention) and on top of that you tried to ensure you didn't eliminate any waste (which can also impact your weight temporarily). I think the issue is that you're looking at this in terms of mere days, when weight management is really a longer term thing.

    Weight loss isn't created by one really long bike ride or a couple of days of limiting your calories. It's the combination of your day-in-day-out choices and even while we're losing weight, stuff like intense exercise or elimination patterns can also impact our weight in small ways that can keep us from seeing immediate weight loss.

    The only thing you're really doing "wrong" is having unrealistic expectations and, possibly, focusing on the TYPES of foods you're eating to the exclusion of focusing on calories (since a calorie deficit is what creates weight loss).

    If you want to have a cupcake after your bike ride, that's fine. But if you're trying to lose weight, you'll just want to make sure you're still in a calorie deficit.
    edited March 10
  • brenn24179brenn24179 Member Posts: 2,080 Member Member Posts: 2,080 Member
    I think a 5 lb leadway sounds good. You may be too hard on yourself. I am staying about 5 lbs more than I want to also but I guess I am not willing to eat less food or give up some of my carbs. Congrats on keeping the weight off. All of us are different, I like weighing daily. I know where I stand. One time I didnt weigh for a few months and gained 20 lbs. Dont want that.
    edited March 10
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 2,240 Member Member Posts: 2,240 Member
    doutri2 wrote: »
    Hey, callsitlikeIseeit! That was a really informative post. I do have a food scale, but I have rarely used it for my own food intake. I do cook for a living, so I've used it for that mostly. I will be referring back to the flowchart you shared. Helpful. Though I will be honest that I've never understood the "eating back the calories you burned part" of the weightloss program. So, I eat more, but it doesn't seem to work that way in the formula on the Diary page. For example, on Sunday when I biked almost 34 miles for 4 hours, MFP said that I burned 1,024 calories. I still stuck to a mostly protein, veggie, fruit diet, but felt that I earned my gluten free cupcake with frosting. However, when I logged everything, it only gave me 155 "points" towards my exercise and then I was over though I didn't overeat after my bike ride. I just don't get it.

    You mean you only got 155 extra calories on top of your base calorie goal after that bike ride?
    What activity level are you set at? The MFP activity level is meant only for non-exercise activity, so you can do a ton of exercise, but if your non-exercise activity is lower than your chosen activity level, you'll 'lose' calories in your calorie adjustment.
  • gceincagceinca Member Posts: 16 Member Member Posts: 16 Member
    I would definitely recommend NOT eating your exercise calories. Exercise, but don't log it in your diary. Then, you won't be as tempted to eat them. Besides, as someone mentioned, I am certain that MFP overestimates calories burned in exercise. If I had logged and eaten my exercise calories, I am certain I would have gained weight while staying with the recommended calories to lose a pound a week.
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