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Avatar universal

Dieting and exercising and not losing weight - HELP!

Hello all!  I have been on a 1300 calorie diet since 1-9-06 (after finding that I've bulked up to 167 after the holidays - ouch!).  I am 35 and am 5'6.5" and am very active running after 2 small children all day.  

I did get down to 157 (yeah!) then I purchased an recumbent bicycle at the beginning of Feb.  Since then I have been biking off 500+ calories a DAY - per the digital readout on my bike.  

My problem - I'm not losing ANY weight...I've gained 2 pounds!!!  I did notice that my pants fit better and that I'm looking leaner but I still want to get back to 145 not bulk up with muscle!  

How do I get back to losing weight WHILE getting in more exercise?  I know I need to move more - that's why I got the bike - but I'm getting SOOOO frustrated now that the scale is going in the wrong direction.  

I hate to say this but being so frustrated has made me eat more; just a few binges, nothing major to put on 2 pounds, just enough to get back to about 1600-1700 calories 2 days in a row.

Any suggestions???  Please help!

99 Responses
Avatar universal
Don't be discouraged.  You've barely been doing this for 1 1/2 months.  I  believe they say it is healthy and safe to lose about 2 lbs. per week.  Right now you have hit a plateau.  Keep doing what your doing and I'm sure the weight will come off.  I wouldn't worry about gaining two pounds.  Contrary to what most believe you don't gain more muscle or lose fat.  The individual cells get bigger or smaller.  Each person has is genetically predisposed to have a certain number of cells.  But keep in mind that 1 lb. of fat burns only 3 calories at rest per day, while each pounds of muscle burns 15 calories per day at rest.  I don't believe you will bulk up buy doing cardio.  Good Luck!
Avatar universal
Oh I also forgot to add this.  Don't worry too much about how many calories per day you are eating.  Sounds like you are stressing yourself out about it.  Just eat about 5 small healthy meals per day.  And you don't have to deprive yourself of things you enjoy,just eat them in moderation.  Usually when people deprive themselves they will end up binging and going back to their old ways.
Avatar universal
Yes, keep at it. In my twenties, I became spoiled....able to eat anything I wanted, and remain slim.  Jogging was extremely effective.  However, things began to change in my 30's.   Yes, your genetic makeup will place limits on your rate and amount of weight loss as will age.  Don't be discouraged.  1 1/2 months is nothing.  If you can, periodically change the type of exercise you do.  Allegedly, the body adjusts to a particular exercise over time, thus reducing the rate of fat loss.  Also, consider the five meals per day plan.  I once scoffed at it, believing that it would only add weight.  A few years ago, though, an acquaintance began seeing a reputable "diet doctor" at one of the country's top hospitals.  He, of course, placed her on an exercise regimen.  He also had her eat a reasonable breakfast, then a small something (even if only a handful of popcorn) after 3 hours.  Eating something every three hours basically amounted to 5 meals a day.  Well, I was so disgusted about jogging but seeing little benefit, that I finally tried this method of eating.  I also reduced my excessive amount of calories, which you have done.  I DID see good results, and continue to eat in this manner.  My snack could be an apple and a handful of peanuts, etc.  By the way, in my opinion, it seems to be an unwritten rule that beginning in your 30's, the scale does not always accurately reflect weight loss.  You just might notice your clothes fitting looser, but the scale might remain unchanged.  Hang in there.
106886 tn?1281295172
Hi, I can sooo relate. I have some suggestions.

As far as my "expertise" I was heavy growing up. I yo-yo'ed in high school from 125 to 180. In college I finally figured it all out and lost 48 pounds. This was back in 1973 when we were all just learning about the long term benefits of working out. Luckily I was in a modern dance class (instead of gym) and they taught us Pilates, so I did this every night and reduced calorie intake, and ate SMART...and, yes, the five meal a day thing is very helpful as it keeps your metabolism reved up and does not put you into "stravation mode".

I will say that my life changed in 1983 when I read "Fit or Fat?" by Covert Bailey. He is my hero. That book saved me and gave me hope and unbelievable success. It is well written and easy to understand. I started pulse-monitored aerobics (which can include using the bike)...I did more of a "dance in place" thing in my small apartment and just put on the TV or played my music. Luckily, I took my inches at the start of all this in two months I'd lost 18 inches from all over my body. When I started this process, I warmed up a bit...did 12 minutes of aerobics, and then cooled down for a few minutes...This routine was suggested in the book. I worked my way up to doing about 20 - 40 minutes, but if in a pinch, I would at least get in my 12 minutes. Some of the newer information reflects other ways to do this, but that is how I started, and the results were amazing.

Do take your inches....and, I mean ALL OVER...not just in three or four places. Record the inches on paper and check the inch loss in two weeks...then again in two weeks...etc. I read years ago that for every inch you lose, you lose a pound of fat. It just won't show up on the scale as you'd like. But, your body will change. How you use food for fuel will change. And, you will lose excess weight.

In Bailey's book "Smart Exercise" (I just ordered one for a friend from Ebay, as I am not sure if it is still in print, but I think you can order if from his website) he explains how long it takes the body to "kick in" and give you the results you are looking for if you have not worked out much in the past. Patience and consistency are the answers. Muscle does weigh more than fat, and you are replaceing fat with muscle, thus you have noticed that your clothes are fitting better.

Bailey explains how your bodies enzymes are changing due to the aeorbic acivity and that the fitter you get....the quicker you will see results. It will just take some time to get there. Don't give up. And, understanding all of this will help you be patient. I will say that when you see the results on the tape measure....WOW...what motivation.

WEll, I have kept it up all these years. I am almost 53 now. I have tried to do some sort of aerobic activity at least 5 days a week. People say I look like I am in my early 40's. I am the only one in my family who does not have diabetes. I have added weight training to my routines (all of this in my good old basement....with a mirror for proper form and body-awareness, and my blarring music). I had a surgical menopause in 2000 and had no idea of the fallout from that and I do many things to deal with it, but if I drop the exercise for any period of time.....I truly suffer.

This is great modeling for your kids, too. That is why your patience is also important. I used to tell my daughter (now 20) that I needed to work out because I just felt better...helped me get a few minutes to myself unless she really needed me....but, I didn't want to teach her that my self-esteem was based on the amount of weight I carried (I suffered internally with this due to my history of being a heavy child and teen, so I didn't want to pass this on to my kid). I have worked with kids with eating disorders...and, it breaks your heart when the 5 year olds come in and say, "I am fat." Grrrr.. But, to pass on the message of good health (with the benefit of looking your best anyway) is a gift to our kids.

Ok. Off the soapbox. Boy, can you tell I am passionate about all of this???? Good luck. I am off to my workout. Mary.
Avatar universal
Hi Mary
I got so excited just reading your post. I am 40 years old and last year was my first time every going to a Gym environment,
YMCA. I have to say I loved it so much because it made me feel great mentally and physically. I weigh 140 and I am 5'6". I have a little pooch in my belly and to me my hips are a little big although my husband does not think so. What I think counts. I want to order that book that you were talking about. I love anything that talks about health and exercise.
106886 tn?1281295172
Hi, Sorry I have not responded. I usually hang out at the Ovarian cancer site (I know...I lead an exciting life!). But, gee, I would check with your doctor although I know you were just looking for opinions. Our only child is now 20 years old, but when I became pregnant at 32 I checked on this question and at that time (1984) the recommendation was that if you had been exercising using aerobics for a while and became pregnant then it was probably okay to continue. But, if you got pregnant and then started to take up a vigorous exercise program, well, that was frowned upon. Walking was always recommended.

I would say that the one thing to be careful of is that you don't want your inner body heat to rise too high. So, if you are inclined to use hot tubs, I would skip that. Again, I would check with the doctor. I have heard that it is not wise to have lots of hot water covering your body for lengths of time if you are pregnant.

I was so fatigued early in my pregnancy that I did not keep up with the aerobics. I breast fed our daughter for ten months and as soon as I was finished with that, I started to lose my "baby weight" and then I took an aerobics class a few times a week and supplemented this with aerobics at home. I was back in shape in a decent amount of time. I have been pretty faithful since then about keeping up my routine. It helps me keep up my energy. There are soooo many benefits. Some I had never ever thought of. Helps fight depression, keeps cholesterol and blood pressure in check, awesome and critical for bone strength.....do pick up one of Covert Bailey's books. He is the best. He has a website but he is retired now. You can get books through his site (you can do a google search and put in his name to find his site) or order on Ebay, or wherever. He is the best!

If you get a chance, let me know if you get this message. Sorry it was not more immediate. Mary
Avatar universal
I have been working out 5 times a week for an hour and a half, working to the point of exhaution, eating healthy and sometimes only 2 times a day and I'm gaining weight!  I started at 200lbs, and in the past two years got down to 158.  I've somehow gotten up to 169 and CAN'T seem to shed any weight, or even tone up.  I'm doing everything people say to do and I've been keeping up a routine and my arms and legs are still flabby and my stomach is horrendice!  Someone tell me what I can do, short of starving myself!  :)  I'm desperate.  My goal is to get down to 135lbs.  I'm 23 years old, and 5'3".  Realistically, I should be 125lbs.  Now also, don't think that I'm obese or anything, I'm very porportionate and definiately don't look my weight, but I know what I weigh and that's all that matters!  

Thanks.  If you can, email me with some help at ***@****
Avatar universal
sorry, for some reason it covered up my email address.  it's my first name (debora) and my last name (monzo), all one word at (g)angster mail dot com.  Thanks!
Avatar universal
I can sympathize, I have been working out faithfully since April 2009 and I lost 8 lbs. but not I am at a stands still.  I was diagnosed with PCOS last year which is why I need to loose weight aside from being healthly.  I workout for an hour 5 days a week incorporating 20-30mins. of cardio with 20-30min.s of weight training.  I am really trying to stay focused, but is gets really fustrating when I am not losing any more weight.  Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  I do eat healthier than I use to, which has helped but.... Signed, HOPE
Avatar universal
When your input and output balances you do not lose weight and you stabilise.
Body is a unique system which has great adaptability.

Continue your exercise and weights to lose atleast 500 calories per day and alternatively visit a dietician to design a balanced diet for you with lesser calories required for your age and weight and height.

Take care!
Avatar universal
Hey there, I had gained weight and couldnt loose it for a few years. I was eating very healthy too and excercising alot. My doctor suggested following the south beach diet. I was able to loose all the weight, I mean 27 lbs in 2 months, it was easy to follow. I have maintained it by following the first 2 weeks plan and every once and a while eating other things for a few days, I havent gained it back.
Avatar universal
I have been exercising for most of my adult life and now at the age of 54 years I am now at the whooping weight of 233 lbs, 6ft 1 in tall and I am so frustrated.  The system says that based upon my weight I should have 2834 calories, approximately, to maintain and 500 less per day to lose 2 lbs per week.  Well I have been having the maximum 1600 calories per day, do the gym 4 - 5 days per week, using weights for upper and lower part of my body but still no success.  I need know what I am not doing correctly.  Please!!!
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