Can anyone help me find the problem here?

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hxfaith

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 3

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 12:20
So I've been cutting calories down to 2000 (minimum 76g fat, 160g protien, rest carbs) a day, working out 3x weekly (strength training, high weight moderate reps), goal is to get my weight as close to lean as I can without going to extremes.

I keep a rather detailed spreadsheet to help keep track of metabolic trends. This is my fifth week on the program. Here's what the summary looks like so far:

Code:
Week     Weight    Change    Avg. Calories      BMR(approx)
1             221.3     -2.7         2000                   3350
2             218.8     -2.5         2000                   3300
3             216.1     -2.7         2000                   3350
4             215.7     -0.4         2000                   2193
5             216.5     +0.6        2000                   1761



My current goal is to get down to 200 lbs, taking it in small increments. My current lean weight is closer to 180-190 lbs, but I figure if I can't get to 200 I won't get below it.

Anyways, my exercise hasn't changed dramatically. I did go on a trip to Chicago with some friends over the weekend between week 3 and week 4, so I wasn't tearing my hair (what little I have) out, but this week the scale has just been all over the place. I stopped recording daily weights in favor of mondays only from here out so that I won't go crazy, but I will keep weighing every morning just to keep an eye. This morning I was up another pound to 217.5 from where I was monday.

I dunno what's going on here. I am following my calories very closely, laying off the alcohol, drinking 3-5 liters of water a day, working out with greater intensity than when I first started trying to lose weight, why is my BMR down in the gutter?
snugles

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 199

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 12:34
Perhaps you have gained in muscle. Maybe you need to change things up a little. Make something spicy or vinegary, or try a new exercise that will workout different muscles. Sometimes our bodies just say hey I am not letting go of and more fat. You must be patience and determined. Good luck.
hxfaith

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 3

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 12:40
snugles wrote:
Perhaps you have gained in muscle. Maybe you need to change things up a little. Make something spicy or vinegary, or try a new exercise that will workout different muscles. Sometimes our bodies just say hey I am not letting go of and more fat. You must be patience and determined. Good luck.


Nothing worth doing was ever easy, eh?

It's just hard to quantify success and continue to feel motivated when the only metric I have for feedback is my scale and it just keeps spitting out that I'm doing it wrong.
snugles

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 199

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 12:49
Chin up. Your only mistake is you didnt take your before measurements...or maybe you did. If you didnt, then pop up a muscle see if it looks or feels bigger. Scales and measurements can be misleading. You could be bloated, retaining water (not likely in your case) etc. Lets face it I bet you didnt gain a lb a week putting it on so why should it be every week taking it off. Live healthy, be happy and enjoy life. Dont let a speed bump throw you off the track.
umdterpsgirl

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 234

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 12:52
I think you are getting BMR confused with total calories burned. BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is how many calories your body burns just to survive (if you laid around in bed all day).

Not sure your age or height, and I think you are a man based on your post (but not positive), but a 6 foot tall 45 year old man who weighs 221 pounds will have a BMR of 2051. The same man who weighs 215 pounds will have a BMR of 2013.

What I think you are describing is total calories burned or
BMR + Calories burned from exercise = Total Calories Burned
Total Calories Burned - Total Calories Consumed = Calorie Deficit. You want your deficit to be in the 500-1000 calorie range for healthy weight loss.

Now that being said, it's honestly hard to say why your weight has fluctuated up without seeing your diet calendar and/or exercise log. Perhaps you have been having too much sodium and you are retaining water. Perhaps you are in a plateau and you need to change things up (add a spike day with a higher amount of calories into your diet, change the intensity of your workout for a day or two, try eating vegetarian for 1 week, etc.). Have you been taking measurements? Perhaps you have lost inches but the scale doesn't show it.

My biggest advice is just have patience and stick with it. I know I have gone 2-3 weeks fluctuating around the same 2-3 pounds and then dropped a few pounds all at once. Our bodies are wired to not lose weight easily so it all takes time. It's a marathon, not a sprint!
BlueWaterBot...

Joined: Apr 12
Posts: 78

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 12:53
You do have other, better metrics, though. You know you're eating at a level that is conducive to your goals. You know you're exercising regularly because you have charted it. You know your macronutrient distributions are sound. With everything in place sometimes you just have to go for the ride.

If you are male, fluctuations in weight are a normal part of the process, but if you are female, the fluctuations are wild. That's the penalty of a biology built for child bearing. I am female and my weight history shows swings that are positively frightening, but on average, I'm dropping about two pounds a week, which is considered a reasonable and healthy rate for a woman. I haven't hit the first plateau yet, but I have no doubt I will reach it.

Give yourself a couple of weeks -- maybe two or three -- of just continuing what you're doing and tracking like you have been. The scale may level out to what you're hoping for. After that time, you may want to analyze your caloric intake and your activity level to make sure you are still eating at an appropriate level. I'm sure you realize that weight loss is a tricky thing. Eat too much and you gain weight, but eat too little and your body will fight to hold on to what it has.
StephLynn85

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 3

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 15:13
The best piece of advice that I can give you (and that I wish I would have realized a long time ago) is to lower your net carb intake to 50-70g a day (net carbs are your carbs minus fiber) and preferably the 50-70g of carbs will come from leafy greens and 1-2 small servings of fruit a day. I guarantee if you do this and keep up your workouts and don't cheat, you'll see the scale move down. **note: the first 2-4 weeks of cutting carbs will be the hardest b/c your body is adjusting and you'll most likely crave carbs and feel weak at times. But once you're through that time period you'll find your cravings diminish. You'll be less hungry throughout the day and your energy will increase. It took me 2 times to get through the carb withdrawal slump, but since I've been through it, I've been continuously amazed at the results (both on the scale and how I feel). Good luck! Smile
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 15:46
I strongly second everything that BlueWaterBottle said. The scale is a very poor tool to measure fat loss. You can be losing body fat for several weeks without seeing a change in weight (due to fluctuations in water balance, solid mass, and other labile reserves). Adding a new exercise regimen to the equation is a factor as well.

If you truly are eating just 2000 calories a day, patience is the best advice - for a couple more weeks.
JessWhatINee...

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 275

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 16:41
I've been going thru this to - working out and not seeing a change on the scale aside from my regular daily fluctuations. I could see more muscle forming though. And a body fat test I had done Monday confirmed it. I'd lowered my body fat % -> dropped some fat, gained some muscle. Stick to it.
lisakp71

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 527

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 16:57
Try the suggestion to limit your carbs. I was the biggest naysayer that that could POSSIBLY have that much impact - a calorie is a calorie, right? Um, no. Not for me, anyway.

I don't go crazy-low on the limit because I would surely commit bloody bloody homicide were I to attempt anything near Atkins-level carb reduction ...but 50-70g/day as suggested is reasonable. Most days I attempt around 100g, with a secondary goal of getting my protein g to a very similar number. Some days I do not meet that goal, but I do okay overall and it's been very helpful.

You are SO ridiculously on top of it that I have faith you'll see it (even if "it" is not the carbs) once find theon-switch for your body's weight loss success. Hope you get there soon, lots of luck!

CJT1217

Joined: Sep 11
Posts: 224

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 17:58
Your fat and protein intake sound similar to mine. I can't see your diet calendar, but watch your sodium intake as well. One night I had low net carbs, but my sodium count was close 7000mg resulting in a 4 lb gain the next day. Since watching my net carbs AND sodium, my weight hasnt fluctuated nearly as much. Btw, I've been successful with no sweating the calorie count or cutting the alcohol. It's all about choosing better alternatives without suffering. Also, deinitely use the mirror to gauge results, I've gained weight yet looked leaner. *shrugs* go figure.

Stay the course, stay on point, stay motivated, dedicated, and you won't be stopped. Discipline. Perseverance. Focus. Dig deep and you will be victorious.
Marlboro Man

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 418

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 19:16
lisakp71 wrote:
Try the suggestion to limit your carbs. I was the biggest naysayer that that could POSSIBLY have that much impact - a calorie is a calorie, right? Um, no. Not for me, anyway.

no, a calorie is still a calorie. laws of thermodynamics and law of conservation of energy say so
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
—Aristotle
"It's not a diet, it's not exercise, it's a lifestyle."
-Unknown
yduj57

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 63

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 20:21
[/quote]
no, a calorie is still a calorie. laws of thermodynamics and law of conservation of energy say so[/quote]

Would that it would be true. But for some of us it just is not that simple. I hung in there with a more traditional low calorie, low fat diet....precisely meeting the USDA recommendations on food groups....actually eating extra on the veggies. Eating my whole grains. Limiting my saturated fats. Eating a few hundred calories less than what they recommended for weight loss. And my weight was not budging. Six weeks straight of up and down in the same two pound range. I increased my exercise through this time... exceeding their suggestions of an appropriate level for weight loss. Cut back on fruits. Eliminated all refined carbs....had already cut out sugars. No change. If a calorie is a calorie, is a calorie, I would have lost at least 5 to 10 pounds during this time period. Nope. Didn't happen.
After reading "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes, I started to understand why my body was so resistant to weight loss. May 31 I started Atkins, and the weight is dropping, easily and painlessly. My blood lipids which were stubbornly resistant to change through all this are finally moving in a good direction. And, I am eating the same general caloric level I was before. The only thing that has changed is the composition of macronutrients.
I understand your skepticism. I would have been skeptical too if not for the extensive research...beyond the above mentioned book...that I have done, and the terrific changes I have seen in my ability to lose weight. Keep an open mind. If you have found something that works for you, great. But don't discount the fact that for some of us, controlling carbs is the ONLY way the weight will come off.
A bad moment does not have to be a bad day, bad week, or a sign that you can't do this. It is a moment. Just that. Pause and go back to the person who really wants to be healthier and happier.
hxfaith

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 3

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Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 23:02
Been pretty bad about keeping up with the replies. This site is so active!

Thanks for all the input, it really helps.
StephLynn85

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 3

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Posted: 21 Jun 2012, 11:49
I agree with yduj57. I was also the BIGGEST skeptic of the low-carb thing and always thought "a calorie is a calorie". But I too read Gary Taubes, "why we get fat and what to do about it" in addition to doing extensive research on the low carb diets out there (b/c I WANTED it to be wrong b/c it goes against everything in the main stream media and social 'acceptance' of diet and weight loss and would mean I was dieting wrong practically my whole life). But the more research you do, the more convincing (based on straight science) the low-carb diet becomes. And since I've been sticking to 50-70g of carbs a day, my last 5-10 pounds have been coming off with MUCH greater ease and much LESS 'starving' feelings. I say give it a try before you knock it. I guarantee if you do (without cheating) you'll be surprised!
CJT1217

Joined: Sep 11
Posts: 224

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Posted: 21 Jun 2012, 15:28
"A calorie is a calorie", sure, but when you look at how many calories 1g of fat, 1g of protein, or 1g of carbohydrates provides and how quickly they become ready for use as energy, that's where things change.
"Calories are needed to provide energy so the body functions properly. The number of calories in a food depends on the amount of energy the food provides. The number of calories a person needs depends on age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. People who consume more calories than they burn off in normal daily activity or during exercise are more likely to be overweight."

Fat: 1 gram = 9 calories
Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories
Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories

Looking at those numbers tells me that carbs pack less energy per gram than fat. That to me is a less efficient fuel source for longer bouts of energy expenditure. By staying low-carb, my body has re-adapted to using the energy source it was primarily made to use, fat, to fuel my long strenuous hikes, trail runs, or mountain biking sessions without a hitch.

If one needs quick fuel for immediate use, carbs has it's place. It does oxidize faster than a gram of fat. But if you're not out doing short and intense bouts of exercise like sprinting, it really doesnt seem like a good all around fuel source to me.

Stay the course, stay on point, stay motivated, dedicated, and you won't be stopped. Discipline. Perseverance. Focus. Dig deep and you will be victorious.
lisakp71

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 527

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Posted: 21 Jun 2012, 17:17
Marlboro Man, I did qualify my statement with "not for me". *puttin' up my dukes*

Apparently the Laws of My Big Fat Butt have gained veto power over your Laws of Thermodynamics.
NCNOLE

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 1,218

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Posted: 21 Jun 2012, 17:43
looks like on week 4 you ate close to your BMR and on week 5 you ate over your BMR - well since I don't know how you estimated your BMR, but if that is your basal rate, then I would think w/ activity you were still burning more calories than consuming, but if that is your total calories burned, then you were not burning enough to eat 2000 calories and still lose weight. BUT I think it is probably more related to sodium intake and fluid balance. Depending on how you are estimating BMR and how you are estimating meal intake - those are all estimates even if you go by the food label. You just need to make sure you are carefully estimating both. And whatever you do, don't give up.
Wanda T

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 4

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Posted: 21 Jun 2012, 19:06
I also am on the Low Carb Diet as suggested by my doctor. She said No Pasta, No Potatoes, No Bread, No Corn, No Rice. It really does give you energy and you feel soooo good. It is my doctors belief that low carb diets are the best for steady weight loss. Which in turn is a healthy living choice. I have had success with Low Carb. My trouble is I have no stay power. I lose weight and then start looking great and people start saying, Wow, you look great...and POW I start eating again...like a starving woman...Horrible but true.
Wanda T

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 4

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Posted: 21 Jun 2012, 19:07
Oh and only 60 carbs a day. I do add a small serving of brown rice, sweet potatoe or baked potato if cooking for the family. I just work it into my 60 Carb aday menu.



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