I'm violating the laws of physics- very little weight loss

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Help!

I'm aware this is my first post, but I'm desperate and frustrated. In 2010, I was a lean mean 165, and then I put on thirty pounds in just six months. I've been to a doctor, but they can't find anything really wrong with me, but man, does anyone realize the sustained overeating involved in something like that? I didn't even realize because my waistline only changed by about 1.5", meaning I'm lucky and I can hide weight gain fairly easily I guess, but, ugh. So this past Fall, I started marathon training again (I have a history of long distance running), cut out beer and excess carbs, and expected a pretty good drop. Lost eight pounds within about two months, not bad.

The problem started February 5th. Super Bowl Sunday, I started a nice long training run for the marathon, about 14 miles. Suddenly, I took a curb wrong and tore three calf muscles. I'll pause for the athletes here to cringe. It was bad. It's not that I couldn't run for two months- I could barely walk without feeling searing pain. I kept with the diet expecting to still have some weight loss. That was three months ago.

Now I haven't just plateaued, I've stopped weight loss to the point of it violating the laws of mathematics. I've been honest about my intakes, even when I'm going over. I congratulate myself when I hit my numbers or do a hard workout. I should be losing at least a few pounds every month, and basically I've only lost one pound since April 20, and two pounds before that. I can finally run again, and I'm taking it slowly, but I'm almost throwing my hands up and giving up. Unless there's a twenty-pound rock in my pocket I'm entirely unaware of, my metabolism has all but stopped and it's inexplicable. Is it possible this happened two years ago and something is just wrong with my metabolism?
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Replies

  • Rae6503
    Rae6503 Posts: 6,294 Member
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    How many calories are you eating? What is your TDEE (the calories you burn each day from living plus exercise)?
  • jonjoefischer
    jonjoefischer Posts: 13 Member
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    I'm averaging about 1500 calories a week, a few weeks ago I was 183 and went up this morning to 188! I'm going to run tomorrow and start my regimen again of 15 miles a week and see if that helps.

    Caloric Need:
    Estimated Base BMR: 1677 Calories.
    Estimated TDEE: 2012 Calories.
    Estimated Daily Caloric Need For Weight Loss: 1512 Calories.
  • DixiedoesMFP
    DixiedoesMFP Posts: 935 Member
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    Height, current weight, age? Please?
  • Rae6503
    Rae6503 Posts: 6,294 Member
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    2000 seems too low for a man your size. I'm a 5'9", 160lbs woman and mine is around 2500.

    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/how-to-estimate-maintenance-caloric-intake.html


    So if you are eating that low and working out this might apply to you:

    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/why-big-caloric-deficits-and-lots-of-activity-can-hurt-fat-loss.html

    Basically if what you are doing is really stressing your body, which means your hormones are out of wack, which can prevent weight loss.
  • kalynn06
    kalynn06 Posts: 368 Member
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    I'm averaging about 1500 calories a week, a few weeks ago I was 183 and went up this morning to 188! I'm going to run tomorrow and start my regimen again of 15 miles a week and see if that helps.

    Caloric Need:
    Estimated Base BMR: 1677 Calories.
    Estimated TDEE: 2012 Calories.
    Estimated Daily Caloric Need For Weight Loss: 1512 Calories.

    These numbers are pretty low. Eating below your BMR can obviously make you lose weight, but it probably isn't the best for sustainable loss in your case. You don't really have enough weight to lose to take 500 calories from your TDEE (and that estimate is on the low sideIMO). Have you tried eating a more modest deficit with the goal of slower loss?

    For me, eating more actually makes the weight come off more predictably with fewer stops and starts. I actually eat more calories than you do even though I'm smaller and female and around the same age.
  • jonjoefischer
    jonjoefischer Posts: 13 Member
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    @dixie, 33 year old, male, 5'9" 188 this morning but was 183 last week. Might be water retention.

    Thanks for the advice, I was just going with what MFP was telling me 1460/day based on the 183 weight and my activity, etc. Would I hopefully see a marked improvement if I went much higher? I've been down this road before back in late 2008 and I went from about 190 to 170 in only about seven months. The only problem is, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I DID. I know it sounds silly, but I just got on the scale one day and gasped.

    What's weird is that I've lost about an inch in my waist, down to just under a 33" and in recent photos I can see my face looks slimmer. I'm aware that we're almost talking vanity pounds here because my waistline isn't that huge compared to my frame, but it would be nice to go down to a 32 again.
  • DixiedoesMFP
    DixiedoesMFP Posts: 935 Member
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    Ok, so when I calculate your TDEE at sedentary, its 2266. At just moderate, its 2927. So why are you only eating 1500?

    I'm 5'4", 140, 32 and I'm losing while eating between 1800 - 2000.

    I would aim for at least 2000, maybe even more, especially since you are still healing from that injury.
  • Polly758
    Polly758 Posts: 623 Member
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    Maybe you're pregnant?

    Seriously, try increasing your calories as others have suggested.
  • kalyy
    kalyy Posts: 59 Member
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    I agree! You aren't eating enough. I'm only 5'2 and lose 2lbs or more eating 1300/1500 calories, aiming for 1630 cal now because I want to lose 1 lb. per week.
  • NancyNiles
    NancyNiles Posts: 145 Member
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    My advice: see another doctor. Minus the injury, I had the same "law defying" experience a few years ago. Was the same general weight for 20 years, then all of the sudden I gained 30 lbs in a year. Saw a doc. Blood test. You're fine, come back in 6 months.

    Six months later, now 45 lbs up from my normal weight (no change in diet or exercise), doc says you're fine. Thyroid tests are normal, there is nothing wrong with you. But just to put your mind at ease, let's get an ultrasound of your thyroid.

    Doh! A tumor the size of a golf ball.

    Not suggesting that's your problem. I'm just saying that not everything shows up in the blood work. If you feel like something is medically wrong, see another doctor. We know our bodies and we know when something isn't right.
  • Wonderob
    Wonderob Posts: 1,372 Member
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    It's not law-defying. If you don't consume enough calories then your metabolism will slow right down so your TDEE will be much lower. As others have suggested, up your intake, boost your metabolism, lose the weight
  • jonjoefischer
    jonjoefischer Posts: 13 Member
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    Interesting. So essentially I'm damning my own weight loss? I'll admit I knew nothing about TDEE until this morning. I'm just following what MFP tells me, and I really thought starvation mode would be kicking in at below 1200, not 1500. So basically, what you guys are all telling me is, I noticed the weight gain, tried to eat less, and then that's why I continued to gain weight? I swear that sometimes I was almost thinking that every ounce I consumed was turning into fat, and it seems like that's exactly what was happening.

    You guys have no idea how much sense this makes for me now, I really thought I was going nuts. I got the notion that, assuming I was supposed to eat around 2000 calories (I know now it's different for everyone, ) that to be actually putting on 30 lbs that quickly I'd have to consume an additional 4,100 calories a week. I'd think that I'd notice that. Call me crazy.

    Looking back at it, what I actually did was crash my metabolism by eating only 1300-1500 calories a day for, oh, the past six months. So basically, assuming everything else is still healthy in my body (I feel fine), if I up my calorie intake and my exercise now at I'm healed again, what kind of weight loss can I expect?
  • BigDaddyBRC
    BigDaddyBRC Posts: 2,395 Member
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    Ok, so when I calculate your TDEE at sedentary, its 2266. At just moderate, its 2927. So why are you only eating 1500?

    I'm 5'4", 140, 32 and I'm losing while eating between 1800 - 2000.

    I would aim for at least 2000, maybe even more, especially since you are still healing from that injury.

    Your body has adjusted to Starvation Mode. Simply put...EAT
  • jonjoefischer
    jonjoefischer Posts: 13 Member
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    I'm sure you all can imagine the level of profanity I'm engaging in verbally now. Does swearing burn calories?
  • autumnk921
    autumnk921 Posts: 1,376 Member
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    Check out this group on here:

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/groups/home/3817-eat-more-to-weigh-less


    And use this site for calculations: Use a -15% loss in there...Don't eat back exercise calories...This tells you the calories to eat each day!! I hope this helps. :)

    http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/
  • LindsayHowlett
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    If it did I would weigh nothing by now!! LOL!

    I'm 5'6, female, 31 yrs with a fairly high activity level - netball twice a week, swim 3 times a week, 30day shred 6 times a week. I followed MFP guidelines of 1200 cals, ate some exercise cals and averaged 1300 cals a day - didn't lose. When I got the advice you have been given I upped my calorie intake to minimum 1600-1700 per day (this was 2 weeks ago) I gained a lb the first week, got really depressed about it (but was told that is common and to be patient while my metabolism readjusted itself, that can take a few weeks!) then dropped 5lbs the following week, and am looking to be on for a 3lb loss this week - who knew, more food equals more weight loss!!!!!!!!

    Good luck, hope you get back on track!!!! x
  • HeidiHoMom
    HeidiHoMom Posts: 1,393 Member
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    You can expect to gain a little at first but it will just be water retention as your body adjusts.

    Then within 4-6 weeks you will start losing again.

    You can't expect a certain amount of loss, your body will do what it's going to do.

    I have actually been losing the same amount since I upped my calories as when I was eating only 1200...so about 1.2 lbs per week.
  • beachlover718
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    Interesting. So essentially I'm damning my own weight loss? I'll admit I knew nothing about TDEE until this morning. I'm just following what MFP tells me, and I really thought starvation mode would be kicking in at below 1200, not 1500. So basically, what you guys are all telling me is, I noticed the weight gain, tried to eat less, and then that's why I continued to gain weight? I swear that sometimes I was almost thinking that every ounce I consumed was turning into fat, and it seems like that's exactly what was happening.

    You guys have no idea how much sense this makes for me now, I really thought I was going nuts. I got the notion that, assuming I was supposed to eat around 2000 calories (I know now it's different for everyone, ) that to be actually putting on 30 lbs that quickly I'd have to consume an additional 4,100 calories a week. I'd think that I'd notice that. Call me crazy.

    Looking back at it, what I actually did was crash my metabolism by eating only 1300-1500 calories a day for, oh, the past six months. So basically, assuming everything else is still healthy in my body (I feel fine), if I up my calorie intake and my exercise now at I'm healed again, what kind of weight loss can I expect?


    be prepared for a weight gain at first, dont freak out as your body readjusts, it's ok, it will come back off. I also agree with OP who said to see another dr. We dont gain weight like that for no reason. If PCP cant figure it out ask to see an endocrinologist. and keep asking questions until they figure out what's going on. good luck!
  • jonjoefischer
    jonjoefischer Posts: 13 Member
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    Now I'm kind of upset. What MFP was preaching made sense, and also the biggest weight loss I was having was when I was exercising to a degree that would guarantee weight loss, running over 20 miles a week. I only wish I had asked this question far sooner, but I just assumed the weight would start coming off.

    Dead. wrong.

    So if I'm not eating my exercise calories and I'm upping my intake, and if I'm running a ton, can I expect this metabolism readjustment thing to happen a little sooner? Yes I'm impatient, and yes I'm hoping I don't have to wait 4-6 weeks, and yes I know I'm not supposed to feel this way when it comes to weight loss, but come on, I've been screwing up for the past 30 weeks at least.
  • razz02
    razz02 Posts: 36 Member
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    hi there, I saw your post re. the issue of not losing as wanted.

    The laws of physics applies, nevertheless there can be hormonal issues or deceases that can prevent weightloss, but usually not. Studies show that these cases are very rare.

    Re. "you have to eat more, to lose" is totally mumbojumbo. It doesn´t apply at all. If you truly want to lose weight you have to lower the calories to a sufficient number so that your body burns off more than it takes in. Regardless of what people claim, science has proven them wrong, time after time. Check it up, there are a lot of studies proving this. SO, PLEASE DO NOT consume more calories.

    Contrary to peoples beliefs, great amounts of cardio, does not burn off the wanted fat mass. If you want a lean body, start in the kitchen, that is where a lean body is built. Do not rely on workouts to lose weight. You´ve done that, and see where it has taken you. Great amounts of cardio will only give you a "freecard" to eat more and you´ll get into a hopless rollercoaster, where cardio will sooth the feeling of being/getting fat. Its an illusion.

    I am myself a longdistance runner, but I keep a close eye on my calories when I have to train really hard because I know how easy it is to slip. Cardio increases the hungerhormone, ghrelin. I run because I love the feeling of it and I can tell you do to. Let running have that function, nothing else. Not as a way of losing weight, it will only disapoint you.

    Sorry, for being a bit long and rambly, but it breaks my heart to see people wanting to lose weight by working out hour after hour. Then the body breaks down and they start gaining.

    So the short story: This is what you have to do.

    Count calories, get a foodscale, start weighing everything to get a proper insight of your foodintake. Keep close track.

    See that you eat nutritious, clean, organic food. Cut out all nonsense but allow yourself a treat everyday for approximately 150-200 cal/day. My estimation is that your basic metabolic rate should be around 1600 cal/ day, give or take 100 cal up or down. I think you should eat around 1400-1700 cals/ day, no more. Days when you work out, you can eat the higher amount of cals depending on the intensity level of the workout. You should also cut out some cardio and increase heavy weightlifting to at least 2 times a week, total body. Muscle mass burns a lot of cal in resting state. Don´t underestimate that fact. It will alter your bodycomposition totally and the increasing muscle mass will slowly burn of the fat, when you rest. (Keep in mind that cardio burns away muscle mass)

    Do not overeat at any time, you can destroy months of hard work by binge eating. Find a way to eat that you can keep for the rest of your life, also a way to work out that will fit you during your lifetime. No short cuts because there are none. Only plain "calories in and calories out"

    PS: I ve lost 100 llbs twice (postpregnancies) I´ve kept it off for over 10 years. I am 126 pounds (5´5) I train crossfit and run longdistances. (I know a bit about weightloss ; ))

    Best of luck to you