Group Forum: How do you kick-start yourself off of stagnancy?

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Joined: May 11
Posts: 199

Posted: 08 Apr 2012, 11:03
Feb 21, I started "getting serious" again. I let FS predict a daily caloric intake for me, I tweaked it downward and had success. As usual, a great first week - 3.5 pounds. Second week another 2.5. Figured I'd stabilize at 1-1.5/week. Third week another 2. I saw 1.5-2 pounds per week most weeks.

One week, an out-of-town adventure had me eating "the wrong foods" (by that, I mean foods that I have discovered I must be VERY careful with, because a little bit seems to add weight, even if the calories aren't high - breads, pastas and dairy for me). So, I had a one pound up week in there.

But, I got down 10 pounds in one month.

And have been stagnant for three weeks.

My RDI is 1800. My history shows that I consume below that 4-5 days a week, and slightly above that (110-120%) the other days. I intentionally set it lower than FS recommendation so that even if I did go over a bit, I'd still be at a weight loss point.

I have discovered that when I exercise (for me, it's running), FS tells me how many calories I burned. But, I cannot "make up" for the seems that to stay at stasis, I have to assume FS number is high by a factor of three. E.g. if FS says I used 2,000 calories for a run, I can only consume 600 cals as an after-workout meal, or I gain overnight. I've read that those calorie-burn predictors are notoriously bad, so this isn't a major surprise.

I'm still coming in below RDI 4-5 days a week. I haven't lost enough weight that the RDI has change notably.

Any tips?

Joined: Feb 12
Posts: 4

Posted: 08 Apr 2012, 21:01
how did you set that up -- calorie intake, etc? I'm doing Atkins, but i'm sure that would help.

Joined: May 11
Posts: 199

Posted: 09 Apr 2012, 10:06
To establish an RDI "Recommended Daily Intake" on FatSecret, do this:

1) Upper left on any page, find "MYFATSECRET" and click. That gets you to your home page.

2) Over on the right side of the page, look for "My Toolbox". It's the second panel down. In that panel, look for "my diet" Click that.

3) When the new page comes up, you'll have a lettered list: a) Change starting weight b) restart diet, and so on. Look for e) setup/change your recommended daily intake (rdi)

4) When you click "e", a new page comes up. It asks for your age, gender, current weight, height, your weight goal (lose, gain, or stay stable), and activity level. This is where your intelligence must be applied.

For me, for instance, I exercise, but I'm not regular. Sometimes I work long hours and then I can't get out to run/bike. So, rather than change my "activity level" weekly, I chose the lowest - sedentary. If, during a day, I actually do get in some exercise, I manually enter it.

Also, know this - rdi estimators can never know YOUR body. Everbody's metabolism is different. I know this from having many foster dogs. I have had two identical-looking 10 pound dogs who were litter-mates. Both will be apparently equally active, yet it takes half as much food to maintain the weight on one of them as the other.

Therefore, the ONLY way to know your RDI is this:
Pick a daily number, any way you want. I allowed FatSecret to choose one for me. Now, STICK WITH IT for at least two weeks, and WEIGH DAILY. First thing in the morning, after you empty your bladder is the recommendation - for most people it's the "most repeatable" time of day. After two weeks, note if your weight went up, down, or was stable. If you stuck with your RDI, but you gained, then you know that your body's RDI is less than the FatSecret prediction.

Thankfully, in my opinion, FatSecret tends to underestimate. If FS tells you 1700 calories per day to lose 1 pound per week, it's probably pretty close.

In my case, I wanted to be conservative about it, so I took FS recommendation and reduced it by another 100 calories per day, so I could go over a bit and still be "on track".

The key to using RDI is to make sure you obsessivly enter every morsel of food that you consume. If you don't have a kitchen scale, get one. Most accurate is by weight.

We finally splurged on a kitchen scale. "Arti" by Escali, was $50. Flat glass top, easily cleaned, no crevices for food to get into.

You set your plate on top, then turn it on. In half a second, it reads "0". Dump two potatoes on plate, it reads 9.7 ounces. Type that into FatSecret. Turn scale off, and back on. Read 0 again. Add the next ingredient of dinner, it reads 5.3 ounces or whatever. This scale has been a real blessing in figuring out how much I'm eating.

I learned:
- Portion control. I didn't know how much "too much" was
- Certain foods pack a LOT of calories into a very small bit of food. Cheese, yogurt and meat were my "dense disasters". A golf ball of cheese has as many calories as a dinner plate piled a foot thick with spinach.

Good luck!