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1317224 tn?1378708734

Weight Loss has Slowed

I'm confused. I have a lot of weight to lose but eating healthy and balancing foods, keeping my calories between 1100 and 1400 a day, I lost 17 pounds in a month.
Now it's been another week and I've gained back .4 of one of the pounds I lost. I'm still keeping to my calorie range and balancing fats, carbs, and proteins. Anyone have any idea why I might be slowing so drastically?
I know I need to start exercising...and need to JUST DO IT!
thanks for any ideas?
9 Responses
1285110 tn?1420150978
Several things to take into account:

Calories are very low-  should never go below 1600 on a regular basis -  body starts storing rather than using....

Are you drinking enough water... should be having 8-10 glasses a day

Are you getting enough rest/sleep...surprising how much this can affect weight.

How are your current stress levels -  stress can release hormones which discourage weight loss.

Watch your sodium intake.. fluid retention can be a few pounds due to high sodium intake.

Normal fluctuations can be up to 3lb over the course of a day.. are you weighing in at the same time of day int eh same clothes?

The intitial weight loss is usually fluid based then the easier to shift fat....then the hard work begins as your body constantly needs shaking up to stop it getting used to and adjsuting to what youa re doing... keep your metabolism high and changing.....

Just a few ideas for you :) x
1317224 tn?1378708734
Thanks for the tips! I haven't been drinking enough water, nor moving my booty, and need to watch sodium more.

will work on patience too!

Best to you!
1285110 tn?1420150978
If you master patience please pass on the tips to me lol.
649848 tn?1534637300
Your calorie intake depends on your body weight, height, etc - basal metabolic rate (BMR).

First, you need to calculate the number of calories/day you need to survive (involuntary needs such as heart rate, digestion, etc); then you need to figure your exercise level.  That will help determine the number of calories you need to eat/day to maintain your current body weight; then you need to reduce calories/use calories (exercise)  accordingly in order to lose weight.  

If I eat 1600 calories/day, I will gain weight because I am short and my bone structure is very small.  

I agree with everything else that Whatawoman said - drink plenty of water, get enough rest, watch sodium intake.

In addition to that, you need to change around your calorie intake/exercise because if your body gets used to the same thing every day, nothing is a challenge anymore.......

If we can help you calculate these things, please feel free to ask........

We're just starting a new "challenge" -- the invitation post is at the top of the page, feel free to sign up...........the challenge begins tomorrow morning.......
1339332 tn?1329857966
Thanks, Mary, for your note of encouragement. I've lost 50 pounds 4-5 times in my life and 75-100 pounds twice...but always regained the lost weight and more. At the time of my most recent loss...2005-2007, I'd thought I'd found the secret to keeping the weight off. I was using "food as fuel" instead of "food as friend" and was exercising 2 hours a day (an hour of cardio and an hour of weight training), five days a week. I was able to take up skydiving and rock-climbing and even went to rollerblade camp. I was beginning to overcome my life-long shyness & making new friends and even went on my first date in my mid-40s. I kept the weight off for nearly 2 years, but then I injured my legs doing a half-marathon (they still hurt whenever I do any exercise) and injured my shoulder necessitating surgery. I'd become infatuated with a man who'd been flirting incessantly with me at work and thought things were going down a romantic road when he decided he wanted a 29 year old colleague instead and not only stopped his romantic overtures towards me but cut off our friendship entirely. My Dad's wife died & he moved back home, then a few months later, his cancer came back requiring him to endure a huge surgery despite his multiple other health problems (diabetes, Parkinson's, myasthenia. & hypertension). 3 weeks before my Dad's surgery, my 40 year old brother died unexpectedly and a month before, my sister's new husband was found to have cancer. As the "family nurse", I felt responsible to try to help everyone. I left a back breaking job where I wasn't appreciated...only to learn I'd jumped out of the frying pan & into the fire at my new job. I was working crazy long (up to 18 hour) shifts and then trying to care for Dad during my "off " hours. I had no time for the gym, no time to pursue "active adventures", no time to prepare healthy meals and no energy to eat them if someone else prepared them. So...I retreated to my old habits: grabbing fast food at the drive-thru at 2 or 3 or 5 AM when I left work and using food for comfort instead of fuel. I regained 55 of the 100 lbs. I'd lost. So here I am again...fat and frustrated. I thought joining this site would jumpstart me by making me keep the food diary and be accountable to myself re: diet & exercise. But I'm still trying to help my sick Dad, left the miserable job but am stressed over finding a new one and making ends meet, and am so weak and exhausted that I can't do 10 minutes on the treadmill (where 2 years ago, I was doing an hour daily and 19 miles on long distance training days). I used to bicep curl 25 lbs. for 3 sets of 15 reps, but now can do only 8 with 2 lb. weights! My mixed connective tissue disease (similar to lupus) is flaring, causing joint & muscle pain and I'm not sleeping. My motivation is very low and I'm feeling pretty hopeless that I can ever get back to my good eating & exercise habits and resume the active lifestyle I had achieved. I'm buying nice fruits & veggies and lean proteins, then throwing them away when they spoil 'cause I couldn't muster the energy to prepare or eat them. SOOO...I've been feeling pretty down in the dumps...I will try to take your encouragement to heart and treat myself more kindly until I can find the motivation and strength to get back on track.
1339332 tn?1329857966
Please forgive the Pity Party I threw for myself in my prior post. I just needed to "vent" so I wouldn't explode...or implode.

In addition to thanking you for your note, I wanted to congratulate you. 17 lbs. is a HUGE amount to lose over 1 month's time. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You can't expect to lose at such a fast pace for a sustained time...1 to 2 lbs a week is what the experts advise as reasonable...so don't judge yourself too harshly or become too discouraged when the pace slows. BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF!!!!

That said, I think "WhatAWoman" gave you great advice. Lack of sleep and stress both increase cortisol which leads to fat retention, especially around the midsection. And, cutting your calories too severely slows your metabolic rate---your body thinks it's starving so it hangs on to every ounce. When I was losing my weight, I hit some plateaus where I wouldn't lose (and sometimes would gain a bit) for weeks on end. My trainer & nutritionist told me I was limiting my calories too harshly & encouraged me to eat more, but I refused to listen, afraid to regain any of the weight I'd shed. Finally, after stalling for 3 months without losing an ounce, I agreed to increase my calories from the 1000-1400 I was eating to 1600-1800 that they recommended---and I lost 8-10 pounds over the next month. "Barb135" has a point, too, though. Everyone's metabolism is different, so you don't want to increase your calories drastically. Do try to be more faithful about exercising regularly...and try some resistance/weight training if your doctor says it's okay: the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be and the more calories you'll burn even in a resting state. By weight training, I don't mean you have to go lift 100 pound weights at the gym, either. You can use resistance bands, do squats/lunges (they're hard at any age & any fitness level so go slow & be patient) to build up the big muscles in your thighs/butt or even use soup cans as "dumbbells". Start slowly and advance as you gain strength and endurance. And fit in some stretching...it's good for you, helps promote relaxation and prevent injury & just feels good.

Drinking the water is important...it helps flush out the byproducts of fat breakdown; if those substances aren't flushed out, once again, your body thinks it's starving & hangs on to every calorie you take in. And a 0.4 pound weight regain when you're being pretty vigilant about your diet,  is very likely water retention so watch the salt. (Advice I have to try to follow, too. I'm a "salt addict", but I'd stopped using any added salt at all when I lost the weight & for the period of time I maintained the loss...but have since fallen back into the bad habits of adding WAY too much to my food.)

Both Barb & WhatAWoman gave you good advice about changing up your exercise routine, too. The body does "get used to" routines and sometimes you have to shock it by changing things up. So, every 4-6 weeks, change up your routine. Even within the same session, change up your pace. For example, it's more effective to walk at a steady pace for 10 minutes then a quicker pace for 2 minutes and then repeat this cycle 3 times ("interval training") than it would be to exercise at the same pace for 36 minutes. Even though you're investing the same total amount of time, you're going to burn more calories with the program that varies your pace.

I'm grateful for your encouragement, Mary...please know that I'm cheering for you as well!
649848 tn?1534637300
Welcome to our community; I hope we can help you get back on a good eating and exercise schedule.  

I know what it's like to have to "vent" now and then. I do it myself on occasion.  

Have you been checked by your doctor for possible underlying medical issues?  It sounds as though you might be a nurse, or at least in the medical field, but anyone can have undiagnosed issues.

Our goal here is to suggest healthy means for safe weight loss, support and help motivate anyone who needs a helping hand.  It sounds like you already pretty much know what you need to do; just need a nudge to get started again??

We're just starting, today, a new weekly challenge, in which we are challenging anyone who cares to join us, to lose 0.4 lbs during the coming week.  It's a very small amount to lose, but we are all about taking baby steps.  We will gradually increase the amount of loss as the challenge progresses.  You are welcome to join us.  We have 2 "Weekly Challenge" posts up now - one to sign up and one to post your beginning weight.  

Hope you'll join us.
1339332 tn?1329857966
Thanks, Barb, for the encouragement. Yes, I am a nurse: 6 years in med-surg, 18 in ICU, 4 in emergency room and a few in geriatrics and teaching in an LPN school. Right now, though, I'm unemployed & considering leaving nursing (the industry has changed dramatically & it is difficult to provide even the minimal care that patients need unless you sacrifice your own health)---though it would be quite scary to be a middle-aged, single, mortgage-holding career changer in this economy!

You are right. I do have some medical problems that are contributing to my weight gain/inhibiting my weight loss. I have "mixed connective tissue disease", an autoimmune condition that attacks my connective tissue (which is the "framework tissue" that holds cells together in our joints, muscles, lungs, blood vessels and other organs). The condition is marked by quiet periods and flare-ups and is worsened by stress. Right now I'm in a flare-up which causes extreme fatigue, joint & muscle pain, migraines and shortness of breath. I'm also hitting the "middle year calamities"---arthritis & menopause, which don't help. I  think, however, that the biggest obstacle is severe depression that I've had since I was 10. I've been on every med known to man and have seen many different counselors & psychiatrists with different philosophies & approaches, but nothing has lifted my mood. I've even gone to holistic healers and hypnotists. So, right now, the obstacles are just overwhelming me and I'm sure you understand that when you're feeling like youhave no chance of succeeding, it is difficult to "stay the course". Hopefully, the encouragement from the community---and I've gotten lots so far---will help me get on track.

I want to return the favor and offer you some encouragement. I read your post about your aunt. My biggest life dream---being a Mom---wasn't realized, so I've tried to channel that energy into being an "Awesome Auntie" to my niece (29) and her two boys (10 and soon-to-be 3). There have been times when someone has said, "you're just an aunt; it's not like you're a Mom or a Gramma" which crushed me. So, it touches me that you love your aunt so much. Cancer is very scary and difficult. No matter what difficulties the disease or its treatment cause, however, your aunt will cope with them better because you are there to support and love her. I am sending positive energy to you. Do your best to take care of yourself, too.
649848 tn?1534637300
Thank you for your encouraging words too -- being "just an aunt" is an awesome thing; you can give your niece and her children an awful lot of love and support.  Don't ever let anyone downplay your role in your niece and her childrens' lives.  My aunt never had any children either; but she's been an awesome aunt................always take pride in what you do for them.

Okay, now we know you have medical issues to be dealt with, along with the weight issue.  

To most of our members, I probably sound like a broken record sometimes, but have you had your thyroid checked?  I can almost hear you saying "yes, it's been checked and my levels are normal"............I know through experience that "normal" on the lab report might not be "normal" for you.

I'll give you a bit of my own experience, then you will understand better where I'm coming from.  I have always been a very small person (in stature - 5' tall and most of my life between 95 - 110 lbs), except every once in a while over a period of about 20 yrs, I'd suddenly gain 15-20 pounds for no reason, then after maybe a few weeks/months, I'd lose it all plus some, again, for no reason.  During these years, I was also very tired ALL OF THE TIME.......Sleep did nothing to make me feel better.  

When I was in my early 20's, I had an issue with fatigue and an old country doctor diagnosed me with pernicious anemia and started me on B12 shots.  I took them for a couple months, but we had small children and really couldn't afford for me to go get a shot every week; plus I didn't really think they did that much for me.  Unbeknown to me at the time, I didn't take them long enough for them to help much.  

Anyway, over the years my fatigue got worse and worse; I had the issues with the weight gain/loss; then when I was in my early 40's my menstrual cycle went "whacko" and I eventually had a hysterectomy at age 46; in my early/mid 50's I began having the joint/muscle aches that are associated with arthritis and of course, that's what we all thought was the issue.

In 2007, I had to have a couple of surgeries on my vocal cords to remove excess tissue built up from years of GERD and smoking.  In the process of that, I had to quit smoking.  Just prior to quitting smoking, I had noticed that I was gaining weight like there was no tomorrow, couldn't get it off, but knew nothing about thyroid issues so didn't even think to get that checked.  Later that year, I was re-diagnosed with pernicious anemia due to the ongoing fatigue, plus I'd began to have a lot tingling/numbness in my hands, feet, legs, etc.  I was once again started on B12 shots, continue them today and  will remain on them for the rest of my life.  

Not long after being re-diagnosed with pernicious anemia, I was at my doctor's office getting a shot one day (I now do them myself) and talking to the nurse, I mentioned my weight gain and inability to lose.  She suggested that I make an appt to get my thyroid tested, so I did. I saw the office NP and at first, she didn't even want to let me get tested, but finally did.  When my TSH came back at 55.54, there was no choice but to dx me with hypothyroidism.  

I had a long hard pull back to wellness because my doctor refused to test the proper thyroid hormones and based all his decisions on TSH only.  It was through the thyroid forum here on Med Help, plus tons of research that finally told me what I needed to do to get well.  The first thing was to kick my doc to the curb and get a new one!!  

In the meantime, I got sent back to the ENT who had done the surgeries on my vocal cords because of a "choking" feeling and it was felt that the ENT had "goofed". I knew he hadn't, but I went back to him in hopes that he would help me once more.  He did..He sent me for a thyroid ultra sound and antibody testing.  Because of this, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is another autoimmune disease, along with my pernicious anemia.  The ENT then referred me to an endo, who does the right testing and over the period of about a year and 1/2, testing my levels often and adjusting my med according to symptoms - ignoring TSH and going by the actual thyroid hormones, FT3 and FT4 -- I am now, at age 61, feeling better than I did when I was in my 40's.  

Right now, I'm having a bit of an issue because stress tends to make it hard to keep thyroid levels stable; and of course, I've got my share of stress underway!!  

I've learned through my research that if one has an autoimmune disease, such as my pernicious anemia, the chances of ending up with another are very great.... you have the connective tissue disease -- there's a good chance you have at least one more autoimmune disease (or if you don't have it, will get it).  

My point with this whole missive is to tell you that a lot of your symptoms sound like hypothyroidism/Hashimoto's.  Once I got on thyroid med, my dry skin went away, my joint/muscle aches/pains diminished greatly.  I didn't have a real huge issue with depression, etc but I know there are a lot who do, and once they get on med, that either diminishes or goes away.  Hypothyroidism also causes shortness of breath - I went through that for a while too.  

I understand that your connective tissue disease also causes these things; I just can't help but wonder if you have something else going on.  Like I had the pernicious anemia that caused fatigue, and though the shots helped immensely, knew there was still something else wrong.  

My family is full of autoimmune diseases - I have the pernicious anemia and Hashi's; my son and his son both have Type I diabetes; and my daughter has lupus.

There are forums or groups for nearly all of these diseases if you care to check them out.  Aside from Weight Loss and Dieting, I am also a regular poster on the thyroid community -- trying to pay back (or forward) what I got from the members.  

Best of luck to you and we will help you in any way we can.

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649848 tn?1534637300
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