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Can’t lose weight unless I starve myself. Please help!

I am female, almost 30, currently 282 pounds. Two years ago I began my weight loss journey at 380 pounds doing low carb/paleo. I got to around 270 and stopped, managed that weight for a few months and tried to diet again the same as before (calorie restriction with low carb and exercise). I was unsuccessful. I was desperate to lose so I severely cut back my calories, eating only a few tablespoons of cream cheese and pistachios a day (maybe 500 calories a day) and it worked; I lost 40 pounds in about a month and a half. Unfortunately it was, obviously, not sustainable and I gained back those 40 plus a bit more.

So I’m back again trying to diet, eating barely 1200 calories daily and exercising an hour or more daily and I’m still not losing. It has been three weeks and I move down two pounds and back up two pounds every day. I eat spinach, usually a cut of chicken or tofu, only drink water, no sweets, no cheats. I don’t want to go back to practically starving myself but I don’t see any other way to lose weight. I’m considering a possible thyroid issue but I have no other symptoms. Please help.
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Avatar universal
Hi Lauralette,

I am in a similar position.  I came across this video (i haven't tried the stuff in the video as yet).  However I plan to follow the advice in the video this week -


I found that the person in the video was explaining weight loss from a hormone point of view.  Did you or anyone ever come across this video and if so any reviews on it?

Anyway I'll let the you and community know what happens as times goes along...

Helpful - 1
I'm off to an appointment this morning and don't have time to watch the entire video right now, but within the first few minutes, I see that this doctor is advocating the use of phentermine and HCG...

Phentermine is a drug and although it may work to lose weight, chances are the weight will be regained as soon as one goes off the drug and goes back onto a reasonable eating plan.

Secondly, there is no basis for the idea that HCG causes weight loss.  When one is on the HCG treatment, they must also be on a restricted 500 calorie/day diet.  Anyone on a 500 calorie diet will lose weight, with or without the HCG... This is very unhealthy as it doesn't provide adequate nutrients.

That's just the beginning of the video...I'll try to watch the rest of it later...
Thomas, you have posted this before which makes me wonder if you have some affiliation, but to add to what Barb has said, I would not try any diet that relies on radical diet changes sand drugs based on a youtube video alone, even if that video was made by a doctor.

You should discuss any radical changes with your own doctor.  ANY radical diet program can be dangerous for an individual based on his/her underlying conditions and history.

I do not have any affiliation. I posted it before yes but no one commented.  I was just a little desperate to get some feedback or reviews on the mentioned video / program. Apologies and I am definitely NOT promoting I just want make that clear.

Thanks and well let me know your thoughts on it when you get time.  

Thanks again.
Thomasward... I've already given my thoughts - any doctor that promotes drugs and, particularly, the HCG diet before they recommend a sound, nutritious diet and exercise does not earn my respect, since there is no proven basis for the use of HCG at all and the 500 calorie diet that goes with it can actually be dangerous to one's health due to the lack nutrients.

Safe weight loss is 1-2 pounds/week, eating a balanced nutritious diet with moderate exercise. One's diet should be based on your own calorie needs, not some arbitrary figure.  If one is not able to lose weigh in that manner, I suggest seeing your own doctor to have proper testing to confirm or rule out medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or insulin resistance or in the case of women, PCOS, etc.

I noticed that the video you posted is over an hour long and at the risk of sounding rude, I rarely have that much time to watch something I don't think is going to be worthwhile. If I do get a chance to watch it, I'll come back and update here.
973741 tn?1342342773
I'm wondering . . . if further intervention wouldn't be in order here.  You sound like a good candidate for a surgical procedure for weight loss. Insurance will often cover that when the patient's health is in jeopardy.  I'm not the biggest advocate for this but there are some people it would make sense for.  You CLEARLY have the commitment to keep the weight off post procedure.  Then it is a matter of maintaining.  

I feel for you.

I do know when at my heaviest, when I looked at the number of calories I needed to eat (or not eat) in order to lose weight, it was significant.  That was hard.  But as I slowly took the weight off, and I mean SLOWLY to where I felt like I wasn't doing anything, I found I could eat more regularly.  Then once I started losing weight, it came off.  I wasn't extreme, but If you limit your calories (not starve yourself) and do that for a long period, it should have an effect.  If your metabolism isn't showing any affect, that sounds medical and I'd talk to your doctor.  I didn't read everyone's whole post (I know, I should) but I saw that Barb mentioned hypothyroidism.  Good to look into along with cushings disease.  Metabolic disorders can create a situation in which losing is very difficult unless you treat those underlying issues.  

I admire your drive and will to lose the weight!  Stay with us and let us know how it goes!
Helpful - 1
Just to note, calories are not the factor in weight loss or gain.  They are a factor.  That's why counting calories so seldom works permanently.  Metabolism, both in energy output and in how quickly food stores as fat, is the more important factor.  My now cliche is to mention salmon, high in calories but you won't find it making you gain weight.  
649848 tn?1534633700
I'm a little late here and I don't know if you're even still monitoring this thread, but I have ask if you've been tested for health issues that cause weight problems.  Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormones) and insulin resistance are the first ones that come to mind. PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is another condition that often causes women to gain weight or be unable to lose it.

Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism and if you aren't producing enough of them, you'll have a very hard time losing weight.  Insulin is, often called the "fat storage hormone" because food we don't use for energy is shuttled off to fat cells and stored as fat. PCOS is an imbalance in the reproductive system but also relates to insulin resistance.

If you haven't been tested for these conditions, I'd strongly suggest you get tested for these health issues can present some specific challenges.  All of these conditions can be ruled out or confirmed with simple blood tests.  

For hypothyroidism, you need to be tested for Free T4, Free T3, and TSH; for insulin resistance, ask for blood glucose testing, such as fasting glucose, A1c, and possibly a Glucose Tolerance Test; for PCOS, you'll need the same tests as for insulin resistance, plus reproductive hormones, including testosterone.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I think for health reasons you need to find a healthful diet that is permanent, not going on and off fad diets like paleo.  Without a balanced diet on a daily basis you won't get sufficient nutrients for optimal health.  While losing weight is obviously important, health is more important.  As for the weight, you don't say how tall or muscular you are but when you get that much overweight, it's going to take a long time to shed it, assuming you can shed it.  Nobody really understands genetics as well as they might say they do, but what does you family look like?  Have you always been overweight, or did it start at some point in your life when some changes were made in how you lived?  What kind of exercise are you doing, and can you step it up so that you burn more off without injuring yourself?  When you're not officially "exercising," are you moving or sedentary?  When you do exercise, are you tired (I only ask because you're starving yourself of nutrients from the sound of things -- when you eat mostly protein, you deprive yourself of antioxidant rich foods which supply a lot of energy, such as greens -- and there are a lot more nutritious greens out there than spinach.  A variety of foods will give you a variety of nutrients.  Protein is great if you're trying to add muscle, for example, but not so great if you're doing a lot of cardio -- you need complex carbs for the energy to maximize that kind of workout.  Notice I'm only raising questions here, because really, you've done so well so far and who knows what anyone can achieve?  Remember when Oprah went on her "diet?"  She never got thin because she probably never can get thin, just thinner than she was.  We do have body types.  But if you raise enough questions, sometimes you find answers.
Helpful - 1
I guess one thing to explain -- how we were raised can lead to very difficult to change outcomes.  Breast feeding, for example, appears to lead to less obesity.  If it wasn't done, though, you can't go back and get a do-over.  If you were raised not getting a lot of exercise the way most kids do, your metabolism may be very hard to adjust now.  If you were no a lot of antibiotics as a kid, that can lead to weight problems later.  Sometimes there are things that just happen in life that can lead to limits, but unfortunately we don't really know what those limits are in any individual case so there's no reason to stop trying.  To me, you're really working hard, and getting some solid rewards from it.  
For loosing weight is required some passion , perfect and healthy diet and exercise also. In these 3 combination , everybody can loose weight easily. In some cases it take place time because of metabolice rate is each persion is different.
649848 tn?1534633700
Laurelette - Thank you for returning to bring us up to date on your situation.  I'd like to say that supplementing with selenium is perfectly okay because that's one of the components necessary for the production of thyroid hormones.  Iodine, on the other hand, can be counter-productive in some cases of hypothyroidism.  

You really should see your doctor and get some tests performed to determine if you have Hashimoto's prior to supplementing with iodine.  Hashimoto's is an autoimmune condition in which the body determines that they thyroid is foreign and produces antibodies to destroy it.  If one has Hashimoto's, taking iodine can make the autoimmune reaction much worse in the long run.   You'll need to get thyroid antibody tests completed in order to confirm/rule out Hashimoto's.  The tests you need are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOab) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb). You need them both because some of us have one or the other and some have them both.  If you only test for one but have the other, you could be misdiagnosed.

If you have Hashimoto's, thyroid function will slowly decline until your thyroid eventually produces nothing.  You may be at that point, already... that's where I am and I'm totally dependent on my replacement thyroid hormones, which are needed to maintain several body processes, including metabolism, heart rate, body temperature and others.

For actual thyroid function tests, you need to insist on Free T4, Free T3, and TSH.  Don't settle for just the TSH that many/most doctors want to order.

All of that said, if you're going to base your diet on calories, daily calorie needs should be calculated based on your current weight, height, and activity level.  A 1200 diet may not be sufficient to provide adequate nutrients, at this point.  Safe weight loss is 1-2 pounds/week.  Losing more than that may not be safe and may make you more likely to regain if you slip off your eating pattern for even a few days.  

MedHelp has a Thyroid Disorders community that you're welcome to join.  We'd love to have you post your labs and other information there when you get them done.  It can be accessed via the following link:

Good luck and I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hello everyone, I just want to thank all of you who took the time to leave your answers. I have been reading more on hypothyroidism and supplementation.

I want to say I do NOT reccommend anyone supplementing before seeing a doctor. I have not been tested and I am supplementing AT MY OWN RISK

Now that being said, upon reading further into hypothyroidism, iodine and selenium deficiencies, I began to notice I did have many similar symptoms so I decided to try taking a very small amount daily, about half the recommended dose for supplementation
Helpful - 0
(Continued; it cut me off?) and in about a week of eating the same (1200 calories) as before I have begun to lose weight finally. I no longer believe this is a coincidence. This leads me to believe that I likely do have hypothyroid and am planning to see a doctor soon. I am happy but sad seeing results because this may mean I have an answer, but also a long road ahead of me.
Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid or low thyroid, is a disorder of the endocrine system in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.[3] It can cause a number of symptoms, such as poor ability to tolerate cold, a feeling of tiredness, constipation, depression, and weight gain. Occasionally there may be swelling of the front part of the neck due to goitre.Untreated hypothyroidism during pregnancy can lead to delays in growth and intellectual development in the baby or cretinism.
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