Miserable and still gaining. what am I doing wrong?
I've been increasingly vigilant in keeping to my diet, yet my hunger is only increasing, and so is my weight! It seems the more I try to eat healthy, the less effective I am at beating my hunger. I've been eating more than a pound of green beans a day lately in an attempt to just feel full, but it hasn't been working. Other 'staples' like oatmeal, slimfast, and tuna aren't working anymore either. I'm averaging around 1700 calories a day. I fluctuate as high as 2300, or as low as 1000, depending on the day. I'm constantly hungry, even when I eat more, sometimes especially when I eat more. Yet, I'm gaining weight, and fast. I've put on 4 lbs in the last week, and 3 the week before that. I'm now up more than 10 lbs over where I was in January. I'm still walking/jogging at least a mile every day. What am I doing wrong?
No one is ignoring your post - in fact, I had a response typed this morning and then lost satellite signal and it didn't post. I've not had time to rewrite it. Sorry. Try to hang in here for a bit, we will answer you........
NoLeafClover - Thank you for sharing your feelings and your questions, and for your patience while we work to formulate your answer.
What I would sincerely like to suggest is that you start writing down and measuring absolutely everything you eat as well as the time you are eating. If you know the calories, include them .. if not, then we can help you calculate them. MedHelp has a new FOOD JOURNAL that will be released very very soon .. I highly urge you to use it. Then, with that information, we can provide you with some feedback and perhaps some small changes you can implement that will help you begin to lose again.
Please consider trying to keep your calorie intake in a closer range day to day. For instance, you mentioned 1,000 calories and 1,700 calories. A 700 calorie swing is too much and confuses your body. Your body may think you are starving on the 1,000 calorie day and go into self preservation mode where it works to hold onto every calorie it can. It does this by making you feel tired to conserve energy, calling for hunger to encourage more food intake .. and slowing your metabolism to again conserve energy. Your body does this as a protective mechanism to keep you from starving.
I did not have your height, but used 5'6" in the following calculation. So .. based on 5'6", male, 23, 237 lbs and an active lifestyle (30 min activity day), it takes approximately 2,700 calories to MAINTAIN your weight. Since it takes a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories to lose 1 lb, if you shave off 500-750 calories from the calories needed to maintain your weight, you should lose approximately 1 to 1/2 lbs a week by lowering your calories to 1,950 to 2,200. As yo can see, this is considerable higher than what you are eating. Even if you went to 1,700 calories a day, I would highly urge you to not go any lower. It seems funny, but sometimes we have to eat MORE to LOSE MORE and get out of "starvation mode".
Here's a journal entry on "How to Survive A Plateau" that will explain in a little more detail and give you some concrete ideas regarding eating and exercising, what constitutes a plateau and why .. and how to get beyond them.
Now .. as far as eating and feeling "full" .. there are soooo many foods that can help you with this. I believe we all face this from time to time and there is no reason to be hungry while trying to lose weight.
Here are some "filler" foods .. that I hope you might consider.
Watermelon - Each cup contains approximately 46 calories .. go ahead and eat 4 cups!
Campbell's Select soups - Try those with 110-130 calories. The entire can is two servings so eat it! Then, combine it with a HUGE salad of greens .. an entire dinner plate .. and add only 2 TBSP of Paul Neuman's low calorie dressing (choose your favorite that has 40-80 calories a TBSP). Try putting it all in a large bowl or cup with a lid and shaking it a LOT before putting it on your plate. It coats every leaf and you never fill shorted on the dressing. You can add a TBSP of parmesan cheese for a little kick!
Oatmeal - Eat a couple of servings if you need to .. at about 150 calories each. Add a scoop of protein for even more "staying" power!
Eggs and toast .. Each egg is only 70 calories and a good whole grain toast is 70-80 calories. 3 eggs and 2 pieces of toast is 350 calories or you can add another egg to make it 420.
Try to remember to eat protein when you're feeling hungry as it takes longer to process and keeps you feeling fuller longer. For the carbs, try to keep them whole grains as it also takes longer to metabolize..
Two more things, and then I'll be quiet. Sorry for the length of this .. it just takes a lot of words to share my thoughts.
As for the exercise, it appears you are doing the same type from day to day. Try mixing it up! Our bodies adapt very quickly to a routine. Change your exercise up from one day to the next in a random pattern. Walk, bike, pilates, swim, walk, aerobics, weights, pilates, bike, walk .. Then, try new things .. jump rope, basketball, hoola hoop, dancing, boxing, rowing, tennis .. open your mind to many possibilities.
When we stay with the same thing day to day, our body gets more and more efficient and burns less and less energy in performing the same task. When we keep things mixed up, our body never knows what to expect. It is commonly referred to as muscle confusion and it keeps our bodies burning calories at maximum efficiency. Don't forget to fill in your exercise tracker .. it gives us a good history of what we're doing and allows for feedback in times when we simply get stuck or are going the wrong direction.
Finally, stay really, really involved in the community here .. and try to do so on a regular basis. This helps with motivation and the information, friendship and encouragement shared here can be crucial to our success.
Do hope to hear from you and sending you many (((Hugs))). YOU CAN DO THIS .. WE ALL BELIEVE IN YOU!!!
It's important that you have a cheat meal at least once a week. Maybe twice max as this relieves the frustration of dieting. This won't do any damage to your weight loss plans. It's beneficial because of the relief and you will be inclined to keep working at it.
If you are too strict with your diet, chances are you may fail.
For filler foods, I recommend eating lots of protein, especially Chicken. It's a good filler food. Try eating a breast of Chicken and see how you feel.
Thank you! I'm thankful for your help, and I apologize for not replying sooner. I've been in and out of a slump for a while now, due to general chaos on the homefront.
I do like the new food journal, and look forward to using it to its fullest potential!
I discovered a rather appetizing dish of green beans, mushrooms, and chicken breast, that I'm flavoring with Penzey's North Woods seasoning and a bit of parmesean. It seems to provide some "mass" for the fullness feeling, but it doesn't make me feel satisfied, if that makes sense.. I remain hungry, despite feeling full, like my body is craving something of greater substance. I may increase the amount of chicken in the dish to see if that helps.
I also discovered a great beverage for hydrating and working out. Since I hate water, it's been necessary for me to find other things with few calories to drink. I've found unsweetened coolaid type mix at Aldi, that I can sweeten up a little bit with some splenda. I mix it thin, like half the mix, and a quarter the sweetener that the mix calls for, and it turns out very much like a refreshing gatorade, only with 0 calories.
I cancelled the insurance on my car, and will be going through the summer with only my motorcycle. With the money I saved on that, I got a membership to the local Lifetime Fitness club, and plan to work out 12 times a month in an effort to alter my metabolism, and in accordance with the fitness plan I have on my new health insurance.
Sadly, I will be exempt from any coverage for chronic conditions and can't see a doctor for them for the next 12-18 months until my pre-existing condition exemption period expires.
I'm not totally thrilled with this food journal. I've used 3 or more other food journals and this one is very approximate. I used to weigh all my portions, and in grams. MedHelp does not allow for weighing in grams and portions are all approximate. Fit Day is most accurate, IMHO, and easy to use. I used *********** awhile and found it very time consuming, which I think will be there case here too but I'll try it awhile.
I'm 5'4" and if I ate 1800 calories a day I would put on weight. But I eat 3 squares a day and will not eat below 1200 calories a day. I lose best on 1200-1500 calories a day. I eat healthy food and if I ate 2200 calories a day I would be huge.
Even at 1500 calories a day, I can eat very satisfying meals. My breakfast is nearly always Tomato Juice (now low sodium) & Kashi Oatmeal with 50g blueberries and 28 grams of walnuts. 411 calories. The nuts add protein and help keep you from getting hungry.
There are two things I must have at each meal that help me keep from getting hungry and porking out- nuts, and some sort of meat/egg/seafood- I'm an artificial crab meat addict. I also think that the more fruit I eat, the easier it is to lose- just a supposition. So my salads always are lots of veggies, almost no calories, a meat of some sort (calories), 1 oz/28g of nuts (calories), and a low cal/fat free dressing. I add fruit either ON the salad or as dessert.
Probably too much info but that's what works for me, along with the exercise. I've just got to stop stressing and lose my wine habit and keep on track. Good luck!
Depriving yourself from the things that you were used to before your diet will just increase your cravings for those food. Simple things like waiting an hour after you had your meal before you sleep helps A LOT! Drinking lots of WATER! and keeping yourself busy. Try not to think about being hungry, Keep yourself busy and eventually, you'll realize that you are not craving the same types of food anymore. :) Hope this helps! GoodLuck!
I have a feeling your problem may very well be due to a medication that you're taking. A couple months ago I was in the EXACT same boat as you are now, and found out that my rapid weight gain/insatiable appetite was due to a antidepressant I was taking, Lexapro. I had gained 30 lbs in about 6 months (and I'm only 5'2")! Certain other antidepressants can cause rapid weight gain and insatiable appetite in about 25% of people as well. There's a really good article on it from WebMD called "Fat Pharms: Antidepressants and Weight Gain". It REALLY helped me!
Yeah, I'm not taking any medications, nor have I since I turned 18, however they are the reason that I'm trying to lose weight now. It's a long story, but the short version is that I was only 120 lbs at 15, but I was made to take drugs for a condition I didn't have, and I gained 130 lbs in 2 years. I've spent the rest of my life trying to work it off, but my metabolism just isn't what it used to be, even several years later.
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