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I've put on 40 pounds over the past year. Nothing happened to trigger the weight gain, and no matter what I do, I can't loose it. I was always an active person, but I added more exercise about 6 months ago get rid of the weight I'd put on at the time (about 15 pounds from Jan-March). On average, I do 8 hours of ballet, 2 hours zumba, 2 hours power yoga, and 3-5 hours of running and other gym machines a week. I watched what I ate, but didn't exactly diet. Despite all of this, I continued to gain weight.
I started dieting, cutting down to 1000 calories a day, and eventually down to 800. Doing this I managed to maintain my weight, but I didn't loose (this was March- May). I also realized eating this little was unhealthy, so I went to simply eating a healthy low fat vegetarian diet. I did this while maintaining the extra exercise, but put on an additional 20 pounds from May-July. In early July, I decided to cut out all refined carbohydrates. The only carbohydrates I get are from fruits and vegetables, but I'm careful about those too. I've been doing this for the past month, but have only managed to maintain my weight, even putting a couple more pounds on.
This is driving me absolutely insane, and really starting to get to my self esteem. I was never thin to begin with, but I've gone from a size 8 at 140 pounds to a size 12 at 183 pounds. I'm only 5'6”, so that's a drastic change for my body.
In addition to this, I've missed my last two periods (no way I'm pregnant, haven't had sex for 7 months, periods were normal before July). I'm also tired all the time, no matter how much sleep I get. Exercise use to energize me, but now I feel like I'm ready to collapse when I'm done. But the weight just keeps piling on.
My first thought was thyroid issues, but I had them checked in February, and they came back normal. Any ideas as to what else might be going on?
Personally, think you should go see a doctor and make sure there are no undiagnosed medical conditions.
If I'm understanding correctly, it appears you gained 40 lbs but were not totally watching your food intake. Then, when I add up the hours of exercise, you added 15-18 hours of exercise a week, which is pretty rigorous schedule. That gain could have been from not knowing your calorie consumption, carbohydrates and/or muscle mass.
When you cut the calorie consumption drastically, your body was probably thrown into starvation mode where you will get tired. It is the body's natural defense mechanism to try and preserve life. Tiredness is generated so you won't expend so much energy and your body becomes very conservative on its use of calories, which inhibits weight loss. This is all done because your body thinks you're starving.
Cutting out refined carbs are fine but you need to replace them with complex carbs and protein, especially with the amount of exercise you are doing.
Why don't you try getting checked out to make sure nothing major is going on. Then, start keeping a food journal of everything you are eating and record the type of exercise you are doing, the time involved and the level of intensity (low, medium, high).
Then, you'll need your height, weight and age and you can calculate what your weight should be and the calories you should be consuming to maintain your weight.
There are additional calculators that can be used to figure the calories you are burning with each type of exercise.
Once you have this information, you can determine how many calories you need to eat to maintain and/or lose without being in starvation mode.
This is just my humble opinion and I hope it helps. Would be happy to help if you wish to stay in touch. Best wishes ... and don't give up. We're here to help you through the difficult times ... so please keep in touch.
Not much I can add to the above post except to say i know how you feel - When I was 26 I put on 50lbs in a year with no change to my lifestyle at all - My Gp said it could just be my metabolism slowing down or an enviromental factor that has affected my bodies digestive process - like you nothing I did would get it off - I went from being a consistant 140lbs up to 190lbs - then when I was 29 I married a man who was happy for me to be big as it gave him less reason to feel insecure about me and we ate well and I exercised less and I went up to 225lbs.
It was not until my divorce in 2005 that decided it had to come off. Throughhealthy eating I lost 67lbs and settled at 165lbs. I felt great but of course I went back to normal eating and went back to 185lb.
This time round I have changed my lifestyle.
I keep my diet under 1800 calories a day
I work hard to drink more water
I make sure I am active by completing a minimum of 10,000 steps a day
My weight loss is slow some weeks it is0.4lb which is quite hard to see some weeks, but every week (for 7 weeks) I have seen a loss of somesort. Because it is a lifestyle choice now and not a diet for a while I am content to see it come off slowly.
So my advice to you is:
raise your calories to at least 1500 a day
drink more water
add regular walking to your exercise... because you are doing vigourous exercise in short bursts the rest of the time your body is conserving energy and glycogen(glucose) try to make sure you walk more, don't use lifts, dont spend an hour sitting, walk upstairs as much as you can, use every opertunity you can to just move...
Good luck :) and remember you will always find support here :)
You have been given some excellent advice. I echo the advice that your first stop should be the doctors office. You could have a thyroid issue, or some other medical problem, especially with the other problems you describe.
sounds like you need to get your endocrine system checked out since you mentioned you missed periods.. seems like there's more going on there.. Make and appt.. to go see and endocrinologist and get testing done hope that will help.. i'm having probs also I don't each much at all and just gain weight i basically have to starve myself to lose weight and its always been that way even when i take in 1000 calories a day and work out like a mad hatter!!! MY favorite thing to do though is go out dancing and dance for hrs.. but now I'm older and not into all that anymore. Anyways good luck!! Bri
Thank you so much to everyone for your fantastic support and advice. :)
I went to my doctor yesterday, and she also seems to think there's some sort of endocrine problem going on. One thing that was strange about yesterday was that my blood pressure spiked when I went in. At first it was so high the machines couldn't read it. After several attempts, manual readings came out at 150/110. About an hour later it was down to 120/83, but that's still high for me. I don't think it was nerves since 120/80 usually IS what my bp goes to when I'm nervous. My doctor mentioned Cushing's Syndrome as a possibility (yikes!), and is running the entire metabolic profile, lipid profile, TSH level, and cortisol level. I should have answers back on that within a week or two.
Meanwhile, off to the gym. I'm still planning to do my part in the meantime! :D
Thyroid problems could cause metabolism changes. I would also stick my 2 cents in and recommend visiting a doctor for a workup. If you don't have a doctor, we have been recommending over the years to seek out a large teaching medical institution in your area and request a referral.
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