Weight Loss
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Situation is a bit long winded, but everything must be explained to see if anyone can help. Here it goes. About three years ago, I weighed about 425. I decided to make a life style change and in about a year I was down to 280. I maintained that for about a year and was at my lowest, 275, in June 2011. I knew that I had to level off for a bit because I was at 1500 calories a day and exercising, yet I was not losing weight. So I decided to up it to 2000 cals and up the intensity of my workouts. Then, life happened. I went through a bad breakup, I lost my job, and student loans started to pile up. From August of 2011 to February of 2012 I gained 45 lbs. I couldn't stop the eating, only worked out sporadically, and knew that, because my body could run on such little calories, I was going to explode. And I did. I started to try and get serious about my health and exercising again. I have been fluctuating between 313-318 for the past 5 months. I work out 5 times a week and try and eat healthy. I will eat healthy during the weekdays, but come the weekend I slip and then all the weeks exercise seems to go to waste. Much of the weight is along my midsection. What is crazy is that even when gaining that 45 lbs, all my clothes still fit. I think that's how I got out of hand. There was no seem bursting or pants ripping. Here is what I am having trouble with, I will continue to lift and do cardio, but I need help with controlling my appetite. I can't starve myself like I used to. Eating healthy used to be fun, but now it feels like a drag. Also, I have a great deal of stress in my life (grad school, two jobs, budget constrictions, and relationship issues) that bogs me down. I exercise to relieve the stress and it does help, but stress is still there when I am done and it is impeding with my progress. Then, to add to my complaint fest, in another month I start clinicals and will have even less time. My focus will have to be on eating right and working out when I can. So, here is what I need help with. I don't need a whole answer, but maybe someone out there has dealt with one of my issues and can chime in.

How can I get back to eating on a calorie budget and stick to it? How can I get my metabolism to burn quicker? How does stress impact weight gain or loss? How to handle time constraints and healthy living?

Thanks for any responses. This has been killing me lately and I try to keep pushing forward, but when little progress is made, the self esteem starts to dwindle. It just boggles my mind that people who weigh less than me can work out less and eat more.
7 Replies (last)

Good job turning your life around again and getting back on track!

 

I think the problem was...you were starving yourself.  You don't need to starve yourself to lose weight.  Some of the mistakes I made each time I tried to lose weight, was doing too much at once, cutting calories too drastically and adding in excersize...just going too gung-hoe and then I would get burned out.

 

Stress doesn't make you gain weight, eating too many calories does.  How you handle and control the stress through food is what makes you gain or lose. 

 

Find out how many calories you should be eating to maintain your weight, then shoot for a 500 calorie deficit.  The first week might make you feel like you are starving, but its a healthy way to lose weight.

 

Don't focus on quick weight loss, focus on long term.  Would you rather lose 20lbs in one month, then nothing after that...or 80lbs slowly over 2 years?  Thats the way I look at it.  I want to lose slowly, then not struggle to keep my weight loss when I am done.  I am done yo-yoing. 

Thanks for your reply. I think what I did do was starve myself. Calorie count says I should eat about 2750 calories to create a 500 cal deficit, but that did not work. I cut down to about 2500 and exercise but I've just been hovering. I think my system might be out of whack.

Call it tough love...but. Stress is not a reason to eat because if that were true I would be 500LBs. Stress is an excuse to eat, or an excuse to drink or an excuse to do anything really. 

In the end they are excuses. Many find it easier to find reasons/excuses as to why they fall off the wagon. This is all about your mindset and what you really want. If you really don't care or want to lose the weight, you won't. There will always be this or that that "forced" you off the wagon.

If you really want it, I mean REALLY want it, you can do it. 2750 Calories is a ton of food in my estimate. I eat about 1600 per day max. I am 6'3, and was 251LBs 5 weeks ago. I am now 227. I really wanted to get healthy through eating right. 

You have to WANT the same thing or you will fail. 

Well, logging your daily food intake is a great start.  Log it every day, even when you eat like crap, and that will start motivating you in the little ways.  If you are having trouble jumping right back into it then start smaller.  Start with substituting a single snack for a healthier choice and go up from there.  Cut back the sodium.  If you ease into it then you might have an easier time and little by little you will be back in the swing of things. 

I lost a ton of weight (not as much as you did, but 80 pounds anyway) and slowly over a few years put back on 50.  I could have started back in at 10 pounds gained, or 20, but I didn't want it bad enough.  Then I hit a tipping point and was able to jump on it and now I'm down 40 of those pounds.  So while you make the small steps to get back in, you also have to work on your motivation and your desire for the end result.  You have to want it.

Stress can trigger gains or losses but only if you allow it.  Stress is a reason we give ourselves but in the end, we still have to let it have that effect.  The stress didn't eat the food, we did.  The more you can do to calm and de-stress, the more it will help you.  Recognizing if you are stress eating helps as well.  Try to distract yourself with a glass of water or gum to keep your mouth busy and see if you can get the feeling to pass.

Healthy living can be done on any time, even if super busy, but might require a little extra planning.  If you know that you are going to be super busy and may have to grab food fast then bring a couple healthy snacks with you.  If you like salads, try cutting the lettuce ahead of time in larger batches (I do this) and that way when you need something quick or head towards the fridge for a snack you can just grab a bowl of salad from the fridge with no prep time needed (lettuce, covered and in the fridge, can last 4-5 days or so with no browning).  Keep microwave popcorn (preferably lower salt/butter) on hand for a filling snack that is low calorie.  That kind of thing. 

For the exercise on a time crunch you can use whatever you have available.  Have a few extra minutes?  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Do lunges in the office when you have 2 minutes, etc.  When you don't have time for a big production at the gym, you can still make every minute count.

Anyway, kind of long winded, sorry for that.  Hope some of it helps.

Original Post by osil1020:

Thanks for your reply. I think what I did do was starve myself. Calorie count says I should eat about 2750 calories to create a 500 cal deficit, but that did not work. I cut down to about 2500 and exercise but I've just been hovering. I think my system might be out of whack.

^ How long did you try eating at this level (2750) ?

Really, it sometimes takes a few weeks for your body to adjust when you make changes. Suddenly eating less or more than you are used to can make the scale jump around a bit until your body gets used to it. 

There really is no need to feel starving, and as long as your diet is 85% healthy foods you are on the right track.

Suggest you proceed with intake goal of 2750 for minimum of four weeks on light to moderate exercise..anything more hard core and you will need to eat more to compensate, or your deficit will be too big AND in that time, stay away from the scale. 

I also recommend you take some tape measurements. When your body is going through a lot of changes, the tape measure can be very motivating as a tool for tracking your progress. Measure once per month and write down your numbers.

If you go slow, it'll be easier on you, your ability to stick with the plan will increase despite stress and other factors and your body won't freak out from too few calories and send you into another plateau... plus (big advantage) your skin will keep up with your loss better if you aim to lose slowly. 

Overall, you've lost over 100 lbs!!!! Congratulations .. that is a real achievement. Now you are ready for the next step..to go down another hundred.. but take it 10lbs at a time.

Set yourself small goals and it will all seem less overwhelming. Also might help to focus less on the number on the scale (because that can and does randomly fluctuate) and onto things like; making sure you eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and veg per day. Eating as many natural foods as possible and making the processed foods and sweets a more rare part of your intake. Drink plenty of water Calculator for your hydration requirements. If you currently drink anything other than water, then make sure that drinks with calories are kept to a minimum. 

Good luck, oh, and keep a journal. You'll see from your entries what is working and what isn't over time and you can then make intelligent adjustments.

Original Post by jayco141:

If you really want it, I mean REALLY want it, you can do it. 2750 Calories is a ton of food in my estimate. I eat about 1600 per day max. I am 6'3, and was 251LBs 5 weeks ago. I am now 227. I really wanted to get healthy through eating right. 

You have to WANT the same thing or you will fail. 

STOP telling people this!

OP-use a reputable burn meter like the one here or this one, input your stats including activity level. Take your TOTAL burn (including calories burned through exercise) and subtract 500-1000 calories from it. This is the amount you can eat to lose 1-2 pounds a week which is a healthy and sustainable loss! It is very very important that you eat enough calories while you are losing or you will not be able to eat as many calories as you should to maintain because your metabolism will have suffered. Jayco hasn't accepted this yet. 

It seems like you mention that eating the right number of calories hasn't worked yet. You might need to spend some time eating at what the calculators tell you for maintenance until your metabolism rights itself. Is this frustrating? Yes. Is it worth it? Hell yes. Do you want to be stuck eating 1500 calories (and risk that possibly getting lower) just so you don't gain weight for the rest of your life? Or would you like to maintain with 2,000 calories +??

Thanks for all the replies guys!

I think the biggest thing was that everything was so much easier when I first started and now I really have to get serious about being healthy again. I have to get it through my head that it a a long, yet fruitful journey.

7 Replies
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