Weight Loss
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Not losing weight, can't figure it out!


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Hey everyone,

For the past month I've been counting my calories very carefully, but the scale has not budged. My stats:

Age: 22

Height: 5'6"

Weight: 161.8 (ugh)

Daily calorie goal: 1400-1500

I've used Calorie Count in the past - I lost almost 20 pounds using it a year ago, but regained the weight over the summer. Now I'm back on the wagon, but even though I've been counting religiously I've not seen any results. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I just started my first desk job, so I'm just sitting around all day. I just graduated in December, so this is a big change for me. I also just moved into my own apartment. Do I just need to incorporate exercise? I've had a bit of a rough month (dog passing, stress from work) so exercising hasn't really been a priority, but I'm planning on starting 30 Day Shred again next week.

I guess I'm just looking for some motivation. It's very discouraging to be doing what I did a year ago, with great results, and not getting the same payoff now. I used to walk around campus to get to class - is the fact that I'm sitting at a desk all day really that big of a factor in how many calories I should be eating? According to a total energy expenditure calculator I looked at, my BMR is over 1500...so why am I not losing weight?!

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I also wanted to give you an idea of what a typical day is for me eating-wise. Just  a heads up that I'm a vegetarian. I use a kitchen scale/measuring cups/spoons, so I know my measurements are accurate. I tend to overestimate my calories as well just in case.

Breakfast: Kashi GoLean Granola bar (either trail mix or honey almond flax), light and fit yogurt - 220 calories

Snacks: Pistachios, tangerine - 160/220 calories, depending on how many pistachios I bring

Lunch: Usually a veggie burger from Morningstar Farms, Smart White bread, ketchup/mayo, some sort of veggie - around 300 calories

So usually during the day I eat between 700 and 800 calories, leaving me 700-800 for dinner.

Dinner: I'll usually have some sort of pasta or rice combo with veggies, always use either whole wheat/brown rice or Barilla plus pasta and measure it out on the scale. Sometimes I'll have a sweet for dessert, either some dark chocolate or some of the Girl Scout cookies I just got. But only if it fits into my calorie allowance, I'm not really into candy.

Usually at the end of the day I've eaten around 1450 calories. So it seems like even if I was underestimating, I should at least be seeing a little change in my weight instead of none at all.

My guess is that either you are eating more than you think you are or you eat a lot of sodium and retain a lot of water weight. After a month, you should see some changes.  I would get a food scale and get in some exercise.

I do use a food scale, which is why I don't think it's me eating more than I think. I also watch my sodium very carefully and drink a lot of water, so I guess that could be it but it seems unlikely. But I think you're right that it's probably just going to come down to me adding in exercise.

I'm not sure why you haven't been losing, but I'd encourage you to start exercising. Even a little bit of exercise is very good for your health, particularly since you are now sitting around all day. It will also make it much easier for you to lose weight. 

You shouldn't eat less than your BMR, so you should probably set 1600 as your absolute minimum. If you do no exercise and eat 1600, you should still end up losing about 0.5 pounds per week. If you can burn an extra 200-300 calories exercising, then you should lose about 1 pound per week.

 

Agree with lkvd! Your diet is very high in simple sugars right now, which are Calorie but not nutritionally dense. Lots of proteins, nuts, veggies, and fruit as a dessert.
Agree with lkvd! Your diet is very high in simple sugars right now, which are Calorie but not nutritionally dense. Lots of proteins, nuts, veggies, and fruit as a dessert.

I understand that protein is important, but I'm a vegetarian. Which means I'm pretty much relegated to...beans. And I'm not afraid of fat, I use plenty of EVOO in my cooking and enjoy greek yogurt. Do you have any suggestions for a vegetarian-friendly diet that's more protein-based rather than carbs? I don't really want to be eating veggie burgers and beans every day. When I lost weight before I was following pretty much the same eating plan so I'm not sure the carbs are really the problem...

Just to add, I don't want to sound like I'm not grateful for the advice - I am! I'm just not sure eating that way can fit into my lifestyle, but again, if you have any suggestions on how to eat more protein than carbs as a vegetarian I'm all ears!

I had the exact same problem! But, I'm almost 39 with two kids, and I was on the bike for almost an hour 5 times a week. Here's what I was doing wrong... Eating too many calories, especially granola! Even though it said I could eat like 1800, that wasn't true for me. So, I lowered my calories, upped my exercise and I am finally seeing progress. Although I'm only a few days into my program the scale is finally going down... and it's PMS bloat time! I Really wish you the best... Don't give up!!!

I've heard good things about quinoa, I'll have to try it. Is it fairly inexpensive? I'm on a tight budget so usually I try to buy things that are on sale. I'm not big on tofu, the texture really weirds me out, but I do have a love affair with pb&j so there's definitely room for that.

Thanks timetolose! It's good to hear someone else is experiencing the same thing, and found a way to fix it. I don't feel so hopeless :)

I went through this same type of situation when I graduated. I worked as a waitress all during school and was doing a whole lot more walking during the day than after I graduated and started working at a desk job. That walking or activity as part of your daily lifestyle really makes a difference, even though it seems insignificant. I try to walk during my breaks even if its just around the office, or our desks move to wear we can stand instead of sit. I'm terrified of having that flat but syndrome that I see so many of the older ladies that I work with having..... But its difficult to adjust to having to incorporate that calorie burn when it used to just be part of your normal activity. Keep up the good work with your calorie counting and it will pay off.

I have the exact same fear, staplesh. I do try to make extra trips to the water cooler and leave my lunch and snacks in the fridge downstairs so I have to take the stairs to get them, but it's still not the same as walking a couple miles around campus every day. I'm going to do my best to motivate myself to start getting up earlier so I can workout before I leave, we'll see if that actually works!

Kelrantymus, I'll try with the tofu, maybe if I mask it in something, like the veggie loaf, I wouldn't notice it as much. What kind of stores would have the quinoa in bulk? I live in New England. There aren't any Costcos near me, but there is a BJs, do you think they'd have it there?

Maybe I'll just get a small bag from Trader Joe's this weekend to try it out, then see if I want to buy it in the bigger portions/see if I can find somewhere that offers it at a better price. I usually find pretty good deals at TJ's, so hopefully their prices on the quinoa won't be too bad.

I'm having the same problem.  For some reason I just stopped losing weight.  I'm increasing my exercise 30-60 minutes a week and lowering my calories to 1500.  I also found that having a bigger lunch and less at dinner helps.   Hopefully that formula works. 

I tried Quinoa and it was okay; however, if anyone has good recipes please send them along.

Good luck to all

I was similar in stats to you (5 ft. 7, 160 lbs) and stuck there for a while.  This summer I "discovered" whole grains in a big way and noticed a huge difference!  I was able to lose 20 lbs in 2 months by using more whole grains with almost every meal.  Check out www.wholegraincouncil.org   Try overnight oatmeals, flaxseed meal in yogurt, chia seeds in water, quinoa and barley, etc.  I usually have a bean/grain combination for lunch or dinner (desk job as well), like lentils with barley, red beans with red quinoa, black beans with millet.  And always a salad at dinner, with an oil free dressing (www.vegparadise.com).  Good luck, you'll get there!

Original Post by elliquinnxoo:

I understand that protein is important, but I'm a vegetarian. Which means I'm pretty much relegated to...beans. And I'm not afraid of fat, I use plenty of EVOO in my cooking and enjoy greek yogurt. Do you have any suggestions for a vegetarian-friendly diet that's more protein-based rather than carbs? I don't really want to be eating veggie burgers and beans every day. When I lost weight before I was following pretty much the same eating plan so I'm not sure the carbs are really the problem...

Tofu is another choice. You could make light stir fry meals using tofu and vegetables. You might also change to Dreamfield's pasta brand which has lots of fiber and only a fraction of the carbs as other brands (and tastes the very same). Some people swear by shirataki noodles, which are made from mushrooms..I haven't tried these.

Carbs are not necessarily the problem but as others have said, there seems to be a little too much sugar and things that aren't necessarily doing much for you nutritionally.

Protein shakes are another easy way. I use Premier protein shakes, which are premade, and contain 30 grams of protein each, and 160 calories with only 1-2 grams of sugar.

I buy them by the case since I drink at least one every day. Love them.

Upping protein should help reduce any water retention, and of course protein is better than sugary granola in the morning to keep you going until lunch, or from lunch to dinner. If you like chocolate, it's probably a nice substitute for dessert, too.

 

Original Post by solid555: You shouldn't eat less than your BMR, so you should probably set 1600 as your absolute minimum. If you do no exercise and eat 1600, you should still end up losing about 0.5 pounds per week. If you can burn an extra 200-300 calories exercising, then you should lose about 1 pound per week.

 

solid555:

I definitely eat less than my BMR when trying to lose weight (under both calculations) and that is what CC recommends on both a sedentary and light active settings, so I'm not sure if that's really a rule? I think really small people generally have to if they want a defecit of more than, like 100 on a rest day (which would equate to 0.2lbs/week). It might be that that is a recommendation to people who's BMRs are like, reasonably high on account of their human size so that they have quite a defecit just with the 1.2 factor going on...

Do you use tofu in your cooking?  Cottage Cheese is a great high protein snack as well. 

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