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Eating Right, Exercising Plenty, Not Losing Weight?
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Eating Right, Exercising Plenty, Not Losing Weight?

About a month ago, I began dieting and at first the results were wonderful.  I began at 394.5 and now I'm at 364.8 a month later.  The bad thing about this is that I've been at around 364-368 lbs the past week.  I'm eating about 1,000 to 1,200 calories over 2 meals and a late night snack.  I also drink water at all times (NO soda).  Oh, and about the exercise, I work a job where I'm on my feet all day, and I walk about 7-9 miles while I work (according to a pedometer).

I'm not going to a gym currently (because I'm so darn tired from walking around all day), but I do plan on starting to go to a gym once I get down to around 300-325 lbs.

What am I really doing wrong with my diet currently?

Thanks everyone!
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15 Comments Post a Comment
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649848_tn?1357751184
It looks like you aren't eating enough calories and your body has gone into "starvation mode", in which it hangs onto fat because it thinks there's not going to be enough food to sustain it.  

You need to recalculate your calorie intake.  If you'll let me know how tall you are and your activity level, I can help you figure that out.

In addition, sometimes the exercise we get in our jobs is not enough or the right kind.  It's not critical that you go to a gym, but you might want to think about doing some other exercises besides the walking at work.  Even a few minutes after you get home would be helpful - you don't have to start out with a full hour's worth working out.  Start slow and take baby steps.  It will help with your energy level as well as help build muscle.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm 6'4 tall and my activity level is quite active.  I usually work from 7am-4pm - on my feet all day (walking up to 9 miles), then whenever I get home I usually relax for the rest of the night because I'm so tired.

Starvation mode?  Hmm, weird.  I figured I was far away from that since I'm never really getting that hungry throughout the day.
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649848_tn?1357751184
Wow -- for your age, height and current weight, you are eating WAY too few calories.......

Okay, based on the info you just gave, here is what I've come up with:

Calories/day:

  Maintenance:       Fat Loss                      Extreme Fat Loss
4045 Calories/day       3236 Calories/day            2912 Calories/day

See, even for "extreme" fat loss - you aren't taking in enough calories/day.  

Yes, "starvation" --- if you don't take in enough calories, your body will hold onto existing fat, thinking that there's not going to be enough food.......As you lose weight, your body won't require as much, so you will need to decrease the number of calories, so you'll need to keep up with both your weight and calories......

If you aren't hungry, maybe you need to look at what you are eating....maybe too much fat (lots of calories that make you feel full) and/or too much protein (also fills you up) OR maybe there's an undiagnosed medical condition that needs to be addressed, such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, etc.......yes, these things happen to men as well as we women.............lol

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Avatar_m_tn
2912 calories?  Seems like a very high number to me, but if that's what the research says.. then it must be right!

I'm a little confused about how to spend 2912 calories in a day.  Pretty much everyday I've been having a 6 inch turkey sub and baked chips for lunch (around 410 calories), and a Healthy Choice Steamer meal, baked chips, and progresso lite soup (around 450 calories) for dinner.  Occasionally I'll have a Weight Watchers ice cream once or twice throughout the week.  So you're saying I should double the amount of food I'm currently having and somehow that will HELP my weight loss?

Sorry if this all sounds idiotic to you.  I'm just trying to figure out all this weight loss junk! LOL
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649848_tn?1357751184
Yes, I'm saying you need to add more calories AND maybe you need different types of food.  

Your body needs a certain number of calories just to stay alive.  I'd have to do some calculating to find yours, but if you don't take in enough calories to fuel your body even while it's resting, you certainly won't have the energy you need to get through the day.

By the way -- what do you eat for breakfast?  Please don't tell me you don't eat breakfast.  That's the most important meal of the day because it gives you then energy and feeling of well being that you need to start off on the right foot.  

The other meals you mentioned are okay -- just not enough.  What about the fresh fruits and veggies?  Dairy?  "Good" fats?  

Maybe you should think about whether or not this might be why you are too tired to exercise when you get home from work.  Yes, I know you work hard and you move around a lot, but it sounds like you are more than just "tired".  



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Avatar_m_tn
Ok, well what you're saying makes sense.  I know I should probably start eating some better foods.  How's this type of meal sound to you?

Breakfast-
Yogurt cup
Banana

Lunch-
6" Turkey Sub from Subway
Baked Lays Chips

Snack:
100 Calorie Snack

Dinner:
Healthy Choice Steamer meal
Baked Lays Chips
Steamed veggies
Progresso Soup

Late night Snack:
100 Calorie Snack

I tried to add some more food to what I'm currently eating, but I'm not sure if it's enough.  I added fruit and vegetables, but from what I remember, they're not high in calories.  So I don't think that this would equal my required 2900 calories either.  What other types of foods could I replace/add in the above menu to reach the 2900.  Thank you so much for your help!
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649848_tn?1357751184
I can see you are trying and I'll definitely give you E for effort........A yogurt cup and banana is not enough for breakfast.  Try a couple of eggs (boiled or poached, rather than fried if you want to avoid the fat or use olive oil for some "good for you" fat), a couple pieces of turkey bacon, whole grain toast AND the yogurt and banana.  The yogurt can serve as your source of dairy for breakfast.  All of that will give you lots of protein which you need to build muscles and it will keep you feeling satisfied.  If you aren't used to eating breakfast, try one egg, turkey bacon and one slice of toast.  Breakfast will help give you energy to make it through the day and there are endless options that are good for you ---- veggie omelets, anyone??

For lunch, have your Subway sandwich and chips if you like, but have it on whole grain bread with lots of lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and whatever other veggies are available that you like.  THEN add a pack of apple slices to get your fruit and a milk to get your dairy.  I'm not only trying to fill you up, I want to make sure you get adequate amounts of the food groups.  

For dinner -- you're doing pretty well there, so I won't "pick that meal apart".......LOL

For snacks -- the 100 calorie packs are okay, but it would be better if you'd add some whole fruit and/or veggies........try apple slices or celery sticks with a dab of peanut butter; cheese sticks; make a lettuce wrap with a couple slices of turkey or fat free ham, veggies, etc......Don't forget to add some "good fats" which you can get from avocados, nuts, olive oil, etc.  

There are 3 things that I think are essential --

1) you have to make sure that you get enough of each of the food groups in order to get the nutrients you need.  You are a young man and may not even be done growing yet so you have to make sure you get the nutrition.  You might also want to think about getting a good multivitamin to take daily.

2) Make sure you get enough calories and if the recommended number of calories is too much for you, that's not all bad --- just don't ever drop too low because yes, your body DOES go into starvation mode because there isn't enough calories coming in.  

3) Variety --- you must implement a plan that you can live with over the long haul, not something that you can only do for limited time, otherwise, as soon as you go off your "diet", you gain back everything you lose.  It's not realistic to think that you can live for any length of time on Subway turkey sandwiches and baked chips, steamer meals, etc.  Learn to eat a large variety of things -- even things you might not think would be good for you (they really might be).......  Learn proper portion sizes so you can eat most foods but by keeping portion sizes in mind, you will get a large variety of foods and still not over eat........

Another thought that goes with variety is to vary your calorie count --- maybe you will need to raise the count for a couple of days, then lower it for a day or two......if you eat the same things with the same calorie count, your body also becomes used to that calorie count.  

Same goes for exercise -- apparently you do about the same things every day - mostly walking - so that's what your body expects.  Your muscles have gotten "used to it", so it's no longer a challenge.   Maybe just swinging your arms while you walk or trying to add some weight lifting or something -- anything to keep your muscles "off guard"

I think once you start eating more calories, you will have more energy and might even be able to do some exercise after you get home.  My favorite exercise is yoga -- oh, stop that -- of course, guys can do yoga.......10 minutes of yoga makes me feel much more energetic.  I'd suggest that you visit your local library and see what they have to offer -- doesn't have to be yoga, just something you'd enjoy.  Or check online for a variety of work outs that you can get for free.  

I'll be honest with you --- normally, I work 8 hour days and then I have energy left to go for a long walk or do some yoga, Wii Fit or equivalent....sometimes, I have to 10 hr days, and when that happens -- as this coming week -- I don't feel like doing ANYTHING when I get home, BUT if I *make* myself put in a yoga dvd and do it, I feel so much better AND I sleep better.......

Okay -- I've given you enough things to think about --- go for it and see what you can do, but don't forget to come back.......
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Avatar_m_tn
Healthy eating is an opportunity to expand your range of choices by trying foods—especially vegetables, whole grains, or fruits—that you don't normally eat. So try this along Exercising
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Avatar_m_tn
Barb,

I must thank you for your words of encouragement.  This morning was the first morning of trying your advice on my diet.  So far, this was my eating for today:

Breakfast - I actually got up early and had something to eat for once:
2 pieces of wheat bread
no calorie spray margerine
coffee - VERY little sugar (until I bought Splenda today), and also little half & half
2 hard boiled eggs
banana

Lunch:
6" chicken breast w/ veggies
yogurt cup
water

And I'm about to start making dinner, which is as planned:
Healthy Choice steamer meal
steamed corn
Progresso Lite Soup

And then, as a late night snack I'll probably have an apple or an orange.

I do thank you for your words of encouragement.  A lot of the things that you were saying made sense about replacing the baked chips and dinner sides with a fruit or veggie.  And also breakfast should be the building block of my day - I've heard it all my life, but never actually used it.  I feel much better about the way things are going, and the numbers aren't lying either.  I weighed in at 362 this morning when waking (what I've been about the past week, which is why I was frustrated), and once I had gotten off work, I was weighing in at 360.8 - a loss of 1.2 pounds!  And the great thing is that my 1 day loss number will be much higher tomorrow morning at my daily weigh-in than the current 1.2 pounds.

Thanks again, and I'll be sure to post back in about a week from today to give you my 1 week total.  You'll most likely be seeing a giant grin from my face!  Well, you can't see it, but maybe you'll be able to tell from the excitement in my words - as if you can't tell already!
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649848_tn?1357751184
Wow -- you're making some good changes there.  My next bit of advice will be to start tracking your food intake to make sure you are staying in a good range.  That will help  you make sure you are getting the nutrients, etc that you need and whether there's someplace you need to cut back - such as with fat, etc (right now you are doing great).  

Another "word of wisdom" -- you are more likely to weigh more in the evening than in the morning, so it could get discouraging if you weigh too many times/day.  

I post a "weigh in" thread every Sunday morning -- please feel free to join us.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Barb,

I said I was going to let you know how my loss were going after a week, but I had a question for you.  My meals have been as I described in my last post, but I've added 3 pieces of baked turkey bacon to breakfast, and I have a snack of a cheese stick and an apple between lunch and dinner.  Everything else is pretty much the same.  I drink water throughout the day, except for when I have coffee for breakfast and a glass of milk for dinner.

NOW to my question.  I'm eating more calories, but I'm now only losing about .5 pounds a day - if that.  I'd like to lose at least a pound a day or more, as I was doing.  I know you're only supposed to lose around 2 pounds a week, but that doesn't cut it for me!  How can I lose more weight, faster?

Am I eating too much bread, carbs, salt, etc?

As always, thanks so much for your help!
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649848_tn?1357751184
Patience, my dear boy -- losing a pound/day is not healthy AND don't forget, I've told you that you have to implement an eating plan that you can stick with from now on or you will most likely gain back anything you lose.  

If you change your diet to something that you aren't going to be able to stay with, you aren't doing yourself any favors.  You need to continue to EAT healthy in order to STAY healthy.  

Once you lose weight, you lower your risk for all sorts of illnesses, including heart attack, stroke, type II diabetes, etc.  But if you lose weight only to gain it all back again, you actually increase your risk of these issues AND each time you put on the weight, the harder it is to lose it.  In addition, the older you get, the harder it usually is to lose weight -- you are at the perfect age to get it off in a reasonable manner and be able to keep it off, by making good lifestyle changes.

It's not always a good idea to weigh yourself every day either.  You have to keep in mind that your weight is going to depend on whether or not you have undigested food in your stomach, if for some reason you are retaining fluid and various other things, so you can't just say you are only "losing 0.5 lb/day".  But even if you are, that would still be about 3.5 lbs./week.  

We usually say "you didn't gain all your weight over night, so you can't lose it all over night"............In my case, I almost did gain it over night, but still won't be able to lose it that way.  ---- I'm 5' tall and weigh 145; I've never had a weight issue until my thyroid went wacko and I gained 30+ pounds in a matter of about 3 months.......now, I've got my thyroid med adjusted to where I *can* lose weight and I'd absolutely LOVE it if I could, within a few days, magically drop back to the 115 pounds I was at before my thyroid went berserk, but I know that isn't going to happen.  I have to be diligent and really WORK at it -- that means eating properly, getting enough rest and exercise, etc.  


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Avatar_m_tn
Well, it's been a week ago since I posted my weight and it's time to post my week weight loss. I've lost 2 pounds this week and I'm not really sure why it's such a low number. I'm pretty disappointed and I feel like I should be getting much greater results than what I'm getting. I'm eating around 1400 calories per day and the weight still isn't coming off. I'm also walking so so much at work, plus working out to a work out video in the evening for 45 minutes. I'm NOT cheating. I'm ONLY drinking water. I'm doing all I can to lose weight but it's not working for me. The past couple of days I've weighed the EXACT same. Ughhh... Any advice?
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649848_tn?1357751184
Try changing things around a bit -- up your calories by a couple hundred for a day or two, then drop them back down.  AND if you do the same exercises day after day, your body can become used to it and it's no longer a challenge, so you need to vary your exercise as well.  You still might not be eating enough calories, so it's possible that your body still thinks it's going to starve.  

Losing 2 pounds in a week is excellent -- I wish I could do that well..............

Don't give up......
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649848_tn?1357751184
Forgot to mention--- you are welcome to join our Sunday Weigh in -- I post it early (well, I *do* like to sleep in a bit since I get up at 3:30 every weekday....lol) Sunday morning.  Just watch for the post, then feel free to add your "2 cents" worth.  
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