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Stuck at same Weight!

LesliecsLesliecs Member Posts: 929 Member Member Posts: 929 Member
I have now been stuck at the same weight for 5 weeks. Did not lose or gain even 1 oz. Any advice. My calorie goal is set at 1200. I generally eat 1000 to 1100 calories a day. I exercise every day and do not add the calories back to eat. I'm getting so frustrated I'm ready to quit. I have lost lbs. in earlier weeks, but seem to be at a stand still now. I want to cry every week when I get on the scale.

Replies

  • TeaBeaTeaBea Member Posts: 14,496 Member Member Posts: 14,496 Member
    See flowchart in this thread.........

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10484320/why-i-am-not-losing-weight-flowchart

    Unless you are very petite and sedentary, you are likely eating more than 1,100 calories a day. Your daily GOAL is 1,200, a goal is something you want to meet. Water weight fluctuations can be part of not losing, but in 5 weeks you should have lost something.
  • MsCzarMsCzar Member Posts: 570 Member Member Posts: 570 Member
    Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up.

    You aren't alone on this one. I don't know why, but sometimes those numbers on the scale simply refuse to budge - especially when you've already lost some weight. Since last May, I've lost 72 lbs. I weigh every morsel that crosses my lips and don't eat back my exercise calories. Below is a graph of my last week's calories. The scale. Has. Not. Moved. 😡

    Saying it's annoyingly frustrating is a monumental understatement... especially when it goes on for weeks. When it wears on me too much, I declare a deficit break and eat at maintenance for a week or so. That break really helps me re-commit to deficit eating and usually nudges the numbers in the right direction - albeit slowly.

    Oh, and don't give up. ❤️
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    edited April 25
  • tdsimoes67tdsimoes67 Member Posts: 18 Member Member Posts: 18 Member
    My first thought is that you are not eating enough.... Your body needs more than 1,000 - 1,100 calories a day just to function. If you are eating below that your body thinks you are not feeding it enough and holds on to your weight... I had that happen to me too, and once I started upping my calories - now set at 1,330 per day, I started to lose weight....
  • MsCzarMsCzar Member Posts: 570 Member Member Posts: 570 Member
    tdsimoes67 wrote: »
    My first thought is that you are not eating enough...

    Not to worry - most weeks I do eat into the 1300 range. Just posted that to say the correlation between calorie intake and the numbers on the scale don't always work like you'd think they would.
  • L1zardQueenL1zardQueen Member Posts: 8,760 Member Member Posts: 8,760 Member
    tdsimoes67 wrote: »
    My first thought is that you are not eating enough.... Your body needs more than 1,000 - 1,100 calories a day just to function. If you are eating below that your body thinks you are not feeding it enough and holds on to your weight... I had that happen to me too, and once I started upping my calories - now set at 1,330 per day, I started to lose weight....

    Jane is right^^ I want to add to your thought, which is off base by the way, she is eating more than she thinks.


    OP, get a food scale and weigh everything you eat.
  • str82nichellestr82nichelle Member Posts: 996 Member Member Posts: 996 Member
    This is based on MY personal experience-- You may not be burning enough calories during your workouts to put you in the deficit you need to lose. I have to burn, at minimum, 400 calories during my workout to go along with what I burn throughout the day from walking 8000+ steps and functioning to see any lose. Hope you find a solution soon.
  • riffraff2112riffraff2112 Member Posts: 1,755 Member Member Posts: 1,755 Member
    The most likely culprit is that you are eating more than you think you are. Five weeks is a pretty long stall, so it is best to address issues like accurate logging (weighing food) before thinking about less likely reasons.
    You are definitely not eating too little.
  • LesliecsLesliecs Member Posts: 929 Member Member Posts: 929 Member
    Thanks. I do have a scale and weigh everything. ☺️
  • pico6222pico6222 Member Posts: 14 Member Member Posts: 14 Member
    Eating too few calories can cause your metabolism to slow down - your body basically thinks you are in a food shortage and compensates by being more efficient. There are scientific studies backing this up. That's why "diet breaks" or calorie cycles are used for long term weight loss processes. It sounds like you are in a plateau. I have broken through plateaus through 2 strategies. 1 - increasing my intake to what is suggested for "maintenance" calories. It tells your body you aren't starving anymore. and/or 2 - increasing lean protein and fat while reducing carbs, or playing with macros. 3 - you can also increase your metabolism by focusing on building muscle over cardio. Especially if you're not eating your exercise calorie deficit it might be worth it to focus on strength training rather than cardio (if you are not already).

    I believe you that you are weighing everything! This has happened to me so many times - being super strict with drastically low calories and not eating back exercise calories causes me to stall out, plateau, and has ruined my weight loss efforts in the past. When I hit a plateau, reducing my calories and overexercising DOES NOT HELP ME. This time I have been very successful losing 40 lbs by making sure I maintain a very small calorie deficit, and sometimes taking breaks. I ALWAYS eat back my exercise calories and find that 4x/week workout is best for my weight loss. If I do more I tend not to lose weight! Just my experience, you can decide if you want to experiment.
  • pico6222pico6222 Member Posts: 14 Member Member Posts: 14 Member
    Here is an article on metabolic adaptation:
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19198647/
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,642 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,642 Member
    Per her profile, OP is quite petite (5'), and somewhat older (65), FWIW. At her same age, her calorie goal would be way too low for me, but I'm a little taller, and with an oddly high TDEE. She's certainly in a demographic where 1200 could be a good number. (I'd agree it should be 1200 + exercise.)

    We don't have information about how long she's been trying to lose weight (though her profile goes back to 2011, that doesn't mean she's been counting or losing that whole time). It could be just the 5 weeks, this round. We don't know whether the exercise is new at the same time as the calorie deficit, which could affect the probability of water retention, and imply a need for patience until that sorts itself out. We don't know whether she has a history of losing & regaining, which can effect future results; nor how her current process differs from previous times (did she lose weight at other times on this calorie level, tracked in the same way, for example?).

    I don't know why the PPs about metabolic adaptation got so much heavy disagreement. It's a real thing. It's not "your body holds onto weight no matter how low the calories", which is nonsense. It will not *prevent* weight loss at low enough calories. What it *can* do is make loss slower than expected. And, yes, as stated by PP, the mechanism is slowing of body processes like hair growth, body temp, spontaneous movement (fidgeting, basically), and a subtle fatigue that, as a non-'metabolic' side effect, bleeds calorie burn out of daily life activity (maybe we put off effortful home chores or projects, fix simple meals rather than higher-effort ones, watch a little more TV compared to doing some yard work or other chores/active hobbies, feel uninterested or as if we don't have time for active hobbies we used to enjoy, not realizing that's fatigue rather than non-interest). Also, if the exercise routine is both new and intense - so many people falling for the "HIIT" hype nonsense lately! - that can add to fatigue and daily-life slowdown.

    For a 5' 65 year old woman, losing a couple hundred calories of daily movement can be material. (There's research suggesting fidgety people may burn in the low hundreds of calories more daily than non-fidgety ones, so a couple of hundred calories isn't impossible, from the activity effects.)

    Sometimes, for some people, it appears that there can be a "sweet spot" for calorie intake where fat loss rate improves at a somewhat higher calorie level (or increases probability of it showing up on the scale vs. water retention).

    On top of that, too-low calories (which may be at play here) can trigger some creeping water weight retention, basically a stress response. The stress of a deficit is cumulative with any other stress we may have in our life, physical or psychological. We all know water retention can mask fat loss on the scale, potentially for several weeks.

    OP, as long as you're not feeling weak or fatigued, I'd suggest:

    * Hanging in there for a few more weeks, maybe eating back at least a portion of your exercise calories.
    * Making a conscious effort to increase daily life movement. More details in this thread:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10610953/neat-improvement-strategies-to-improve-weight-loss/p1

    * Making your MFP diary public to MFP, if only temporarily, and mentioning that here so that some of the experienced MFP loggers can take a look, and see if there are any issues on that front. (This is not an accusation or implied criticism: You don't mention your past calorie-counting experience or results, so I'm erring on the side of considering that you may be relatively new at it, and it's a learning process for all of us. (I've been doing it for nearly 6 years now, loss and maintenance at age 59 & beyond.))

    If you *are* feeling weak or fatigued, eat more now, at least eat back a reasonable estimate of your exercise calories. Weakness or fatigue is a bad sign, and at your/my age, managing health risk is part of the weight management scenario in a bigger way than it may be for some others. Also, if you've been losing for some fairly large amount of time before this 5 weeks, that idea of a break at estimated maintenance calories is a really good one. More info about that in this thread:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10604863/of-refeeds-and-diet-breaks/p1

    I think this is a situation that can resolve, and that you can find a path to weight management success. I'd like to help, if possible, since being at a healthy weight has been such an improvement in my own life, and I'll bet others feel likewise about wanting to help you succeed.

    Best wishes!
    edited April 28
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