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Avatar universal

Not losing weight, why?

I am 34, I weigh 260 and am about 5 ft 11'. I eat about 1500-2000 calories a day. I do drink a lot of coffee during the day though (5 cups during work week) I also tend to drink a lot of diet soda, but never regular. I occassionaly drink alcohol  once or twice a week on weekend. but rum and diet soda. I do however walk back and forth to work about 2.7 miles each way 5 days a week, been doing this for 7 monthes (I lost 15 lbs from that, was 275 in March). I have also started going to the gym 5 weeks ago 3 days a week. I even measure my stomach and its the same size so I dont think it is muscle gain (unless I am gaining muscle in other areas and not losing the belly)

I was lifting a few weights as well as cardio, but this week I am going to try just cardio.(people are saying maybe the weights are gaining muscle) I lose about 400 calories on the Skiing machine machine (to work both arms and lose weight), it says in about 35 minutes. sometimes I lose 500 in 42 minutes. Why am I not losing any weight? In fact I gained 3 lbs.

Do I need to cut out weights completely? Do I need to go to the gym 5 days a week and do more cardio? I ate very few carbs for many years. I have just now started eating a few because evreyone says I should. I eat a banana before the gym. I have the occassional low carb bread sandwich. I even eat spaggetti once every 2 weeks or so. Maybe my body doesnt know what to do with the carbs? Should I cut them out again? I do tend to eat dinner at night and sometimes not much during the day other the coffee and sunflower seeds. But I heard as long as I keep the calories down I should be ok.
7 Responses
579258 tn?1250652943
Welcome to the WL&D Community and thank you for being so honest and forthright in your post.  We are all here to sharing the same journey and sharing the path to a successful lifestyle change.  

In using the information you provided, (34, 260, 5'11") and ??guessing?? you are female (numbers would change if you are male), here are the calories needed to MAINTAIN your weight.

1950 Inactive
2150 Somewhat Active (2-3 x a week exercise for 30 min)
2350 Active (Working out most days of the week for at least 30 min)
2750 Very Active

Here's a few things I see that may be stalling your progress.

Calories should be spread somewhat throughout the day, meaning 3 meals and 3 small snacks.  This keeps your energy level up, keeps your metabolism going, your blood sugars more even and does not cause confusion to your body thinking it may be starving.

Next, it takes a calorie deficit of 3,500 to lose 1 pound.  This can be done by cutting down your calories or increasing/changing the exercises and their level or intensity.  Our bodies are remarkable creatures and they adapt easily to the same exercises day after day.  Change it up and make it fun ... cardio, weights, walking, stretching, basketball, volleyball, bicycle, swimming, hoola hoop, dancing, tennis, pilates, yoga .. keep trying new things and do not get into a routine of the same exercises.

As for the coffee .. most of us drink coffee (me too) ..  but it does not count as water to our bodies.  Drink water!  The alcohol (which can be used in moderation) are empty calories that make it very difficult to lose weight if you are doing so on a weekend basis.  Here are some facts ...

Alcoholic beverage, distilled, all (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey) 94 proof - 1 fl oz (not much) is 76.45 calories.

Carbohydrates are okay but I suggest keeping them to a minimum.  And, when you do eat them, eat complex carbohydrates (wheat, rye or multigrain bread (1 slice), wheat pasta) or try using spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti.  Your banana is good before you work out .. you may want to try an apple as it has fiber that has some staying power.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Weight-Loss--Dieting/Plateaus---Physical-and-Emotional/show/1042073 - Here's a group conversation on plateaus we have shared before that may shed some light and let you know you're not alone.

http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/40803 - This is a journal article regarding plateaus that I think you may find helpful.  

Finally, and most importantly, please implement the Food Diary and write down everything you eat (snacks, nibbles, everything) as this gives us a clear picture of the true number of calories we are consuming.  Also, the weight tracker, mood tracker and exercise tracker are key tools in our journey.  With information from all 4 of those, I and other community members can help you see what is going on and provide you with definitive answers to help.

I started out at 330 lbs and am down to 197 ... one day at a time ... and I lost more weight earlier on because there was more excess to lose.  I am 54, female and 5'6" and not as active as I should be (am working towards correcting that).  I keep my calories between 1,200 -1,400.  

Hope you will join us on a regular basis and let us know how you are doing.  We believe in you and know you can achieve your goals!  ;)
649848 tn?1534637300
Welcome to the community.  Ranae pretty well said most everything I would have said, except I have read several articles about exercise equipment and the readouts on their displays. I've read that they are usually set to show that you are burning MORE calories than you really are.  So if it says you are burning 400, you might only be burning 200 or 300.  You might want to ask someone who works at the gym where you work out how the machine is set.  

I'd also say that you aren't eating enough total calories and you'd be a lot better off eating  breakfast.  Yes, mother told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day and she's right, it is.  Eating a high protein breakfast might give you enough energy to make it through without drinking so much coffee and/or diet sodas -- you don't mention if you use cream and/or sugar in it.  Also you said you drink a lot of diet sodas.  Even though diet sodas have artificial sweeteners, it can still keep you from losing weight.  Why not try replacing a couple of those diet sodas with a glass of water?  

Avatar universal
I am male by the way. I use sweet n low in the coffee too. Should I go to the gym more then the 3 days, If i am walking over 5 miles a day between work and home 5 days a week? Is there a point of working out to much at the gym? I heard Lactic acid needs time to go down or something. Or maybe 3 longer days at the gym and 2 shorter days?
649848 tn?1534637300
I calculated you at "somewhat active" which is exercising 3X/week and you would need about 2300 calories/day to lose weight.  

I think your exercise is just fine -- I just don't think you are eating right.  I think you should try tracking your calorie intake -MedHelp has an excellent food diary - in which you write down everything you eat - including the hershey kiss or mini chocolate bar you pick up from a co-worker's candy dish.  Sometimes, we actually pop more calories into our mouths than we think, without even realizing it.  

Additionally, since you only eat in the evenings, it's a good chance that you eat enough at that one meal for the whole day??  You should try to do as Ranae suggested and eat small meals and snacks often.  However, that doesn't work for everyone.  Personally, I tried that, but found myself obsessed with when my next meal was and when I was allowed to eat.  Now I eat when I'm hungry, but I make sure I have at least 3 meals/day, beginning with a high protein breakfast.  My largest meal of the day is lunch and the smallest is dinner.......

I don't understand your reference to lactic acid??
Avatar universal
I am not sure about the lactic acid reference either. People have just told me you need time for muscles to heal, un tire, and such and that doing too much excercise everyday doesnt give the body time to do that. SO they say every other day is best. Something to do with the acid build up in the body and just start burning off carbs instead of fat, and slow the system down. Maybe the trainer was wrong I have no idea. So I shouldnt ocunt the walking 45 city blocks (about 2.9 miles each way i hear) in nyc each way to and from work part of my excercise and just count the 3 workout days because they are more vigorous, when I am counting my being active?

I worked out back to back day mon and tues and although I feel good and not sore, my legs feel kinda dead. I was going to go back today but maybe I better wait till tomorrow and just get 4 days in including Saturday. (Fridays night after work I am too tired, and Sundays I go to the store, laundry and stuff) I will try splitting up meals thanks. So it is actually possible to not eat enough calories in a day? Thought you should eat as few as possible.
Avatar universal
In my opinion drinks like coffee and diet soda prevent weight loss.  Recent studies have shown that diet soda are linked to weight gain.  Coffee has also been shown to cause water retention.  The amount of caffeine that you take in everyday from your coffee is not good on your metabolism.  I've lost 155 pounds since March.  No supplements, no surgeries.  Some might think that is too fast, but I have done things the right way.  In march I weighted 415 pounds and now I weight 260.  It's all about dedication and hard work.  I eat about 1700-2000 calories a day.  My diet consists of lean means, veggies and fibers.  I workout 5-6 days a week(cardio and weights).  I drink about 4-5 liters of water a day.  I do not drink soda of any kinda or any other types of drinks with sugar and other bad stuff.  I'll occasionally have some fruit juice or something like that.  I think water is the most vital part of losing weight.  I used to hate water, I drank mountain dew and dr. pepper all the time.  I just decided one day to give it all up and get my life straight.  It's the best thing I've ever done.  Weight loss is simply about calories in and calories out for most people.
649848 tn?1534637300
You are right that your muscles need time rest, but you can do different types of workouts every day - if you want to work out daily.  I *do* think the 2.9 miles you walk to work every day counts as exercise.  Walking is one of the best exercises there is.  

I think you placing too much importance on the exercise -- yes, it's very important;, but I believe your problem has more to do with WHAT and WHEN you are eating than any thing else.  You *do* need to make a point of eating breakfast.  Actually, caffeine can raise your metabolism, but of course, too much is not good.  You DO need to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated......
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649848 tn?1534637300
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Arlington, VA
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