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Avatar universal

Struggle With Fat And Weight Loss

About a year and a half ago I set a weight loss goal - lose 15lbs. Today I am 35lbs heavier than when I started! I eat a healthy diet - several small meals that balance complex carbs, fat and protein. I don't eat a lot of junk, I don't snack, graze or nibble. I don't smoke, don't do drugs, my health is fine (tested thyroid etc, all is well and normal) My body composition says I am 44% body fat, which seems high as I have a lot of visible muscle and am very toned except for a thick patch of fat in the dead center of my abdomen. The areas around it look fat free and are very toned by comparison.

I have tried a number of calorie intakes and none help - 900-1600 I gained weight quickly and felt terrible all the time. 1600-2000 is harder to eat that much, but I feel more alert and less weak, but I still gain weight. Currently I am around 1600-1800 per day. A typical day would be:

breakfast:
1 serving plain oatmeal
1 serving low carb yogurt
lunch:
whole wheat bread slice + 3oz lean meat + 1 slice low fat cheese
1 serving of low sodium soup
1 small apple
dinner:
2 cups steamed vegetables (no salt, no butter, no seasoning)
serving of lean meat
whole grain roll or bread slice

This is pretty average, which to me seems like not enough food since I'm hungry a lot, and feel light headed until dinner. However, eating more or less has led to me gaining weight. I've been told to drop down to 1200, or go up to 2300 per day. I don't know which to believe.

Exercise:
I typically do at least 5 hours of cardio per week - 3 hours of moderate intensity elliptical at a moderate resistance on top of either running, jogging or jump rope. In addition to that, I do at least two strength training sessions per week. Doing more or less exercise than that has had no impact on my weight - I gain either way.

So my question is, what am I doing wrong? My boyfriend has gained weight at the same (proportional) rate as I have, and he eats/exercises almost the same as I do, so I have to think it's something we're both doing. The argument of calories in > calories out doesn't seem to work, because I am very precise in measuring and counting, and I don't have the urges to snack or nibble like most people do. Neither of us drinks soda, eats candy or drinks caffeine. There's no medical problems, and the most I've been told is "well muscle weighs more than fat" which, no it doesn't. A pound is a pound. I find it really hard to believe that I've put on 35lbs of muscle in a year, and gained 10% body fat.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Muscle is more dense than fat so the same looking you in the mirror will be a lot heavier if all your fat was exercised away and replaced with muscle!
Avatar universal
Question is, are your critical measurements any smaller?
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
I'd go back and take another look at thyroid issues.  Just because your levels were in the "normal" range doesn't mean that's right for you.  It also depends on whether you are only being tested for TSH, which is a pituitary hormone and should never be used, alone, to determine (or rule out) a thyroid issue.  You need to be tested for the actual thyroid hormones, which are Free T3 and Free T4 (not to be confused with Total T3 and Total T4).  Even if your levels are within their ranges, but low in their ranges, you can still have hypothyroidism.

You might also look at other issues that can cause weight gain, such as insulin resistance, or PCOS.

I'd agree that you should measure yourself to see if you might be losing inches vs pounds.  You are absolutely correct that a pound is a pound.  I compare muscle to fat, like a rock to feathers -- muscle is dense, while fat is "fluffy", so it takes more fat to make a pound than it does muscle; likewise a rock can be relatively small and still weigh a pound, but since the feathers are fluffy, it takes a greater volume to make the same pound.

Your daily calorie count should be based on a calculation using your current weight, height, age and activity level. This determines your Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the minimum amount of calories you need just to stay alive.  If you don't take in enough, your body will hold onto fat stores already there, to prevent starvation, since it takes a certain number of calories just for body functions, such as heart beat, digestion, liver, kidney, brain function, etc.
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649848 tn?1534637300
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