Weight Loss
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teen frustration


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Okay so I'm a 17 year old girl who has always been on the very outer edge of the "healthy" weight for my height chart. I was chubbier in elamentry and middle school but slimmed out some as I got into high school. I'm 5'8" and play three varsity sports a year so I consider myself active. However, I've always appeared to be on the heavier side. I decided in August 2012 to start bringing my lunch to school instead of eating the fried or doused in grease entrees. I also gave up soda and sweet tea and cut out junk and fast food during the week. I ran cross country so that kept me in shape but then during basketball I started to slowly gain weight again so I started going to the gym after practices. I would run either 3 or 4 miles on the treadmill then do weights. On saturdays I would run between 5 to 8 miles and then reward myself with one junk food item such as a milkshake or an order of fries.

At my heaviest I was probably around 163-165 and got down to 149 by december/january. I hadn't seen that number since middle school! But recently, Even though I've kept up with this same routine, I've slowly worked my way back up to 160. I've literally been doing everything the same and have been going to the gym after soccer practices but nothing seems to be working. I've even started to avoid my one weekly junk food item reward and that didn't help either!

It's so hard to go out and watch my 120 pound friends order cheeseburgers, fries, and a shake and them not gain a pound while I opt for a grilled chicken sandwhich no mayo and a water and creep my way back up the scale. I'm getting more and more frustrated and I know if I just give up I'll go back to the way I was I'll be back at 165 and probably higher but I really don't know what else to do. I feel like I'm young and should be enjoying my life but I've just made it impossible for myself to indulge in even a teensy bit of fat or sugar without gaining another three pounds.

CAN ANYONE HELP ME??

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#1  
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Oh and a typical day for me would be:

Breakfast: 1 packet of plain Quaker instant oatmeal with 2 packets of splenda

Snack (9:50ish): 1 banana or 20 or so low sodium almonds

Lunch: half of a turkey roll up on a whole grain flax wrap, a light babybell cheese, and either a cup of light and fit greek vanilla yogurt or about 7 or 8 strawberries

*Hour and a half to two hour long sports practice then either 3 or 4 miles on treadmill plus weights*

Dinner: spring mix salad with sliced turkey and light asian dressing or egg beaters and turkey bacon or whole wheat pasta with organic marinara with ground turkey or a turkey burger on a 100 calorie flatbread with some pretzel chips and hummus

Dessert: 1 cup of dried cheerios or 1 square of 70% coaco chocolate

#2  
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and I seriously doubt I'm gaining muscle because I notice that my fat has shifted around all over my body. One month it'll all be in my stomach then the next month it'll all be in my thighs then the next month it'll move to my face and now recently it's moved to my lower back and around my hips and inner thighs.

How many calories are you eating, and how many calories are you burning? If you exercise too much, and eat too little you can end up slowing down your metabolism. That means you'll gain on lower amounts, since your body thinks you're starving it. You sound pretty active.

Or are you sure you're not eating too much and not recording it or something? I don't think that's it though, because it looks like you burn a lot more than you're eating on a typical day. It just depends on how much you take in, compared to what you burn when it comes to weight loss.

If you don't want to count calories, that's ok. But I think logging for a few days might help you see what you burn vs what you take in from food. That's so long as you don't become obsessive with the counting and stuff.

#4  
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I've logged before but I became obsessive about it and eventually stopped since I pretty much eat the same thing every day and I memorized the numbers. I typically eat around 1200 to 1400 calories per day and I know jogging 3 miles burns 352 calories and jogging 4 burns 470. Sports practices (depending on the day) I would say burns like 300 to 400 but I'm not sure. I also have games two to three times a week where I play all 80 minutes which burns around 500 to 800. And on an 8 mile saturday jog I burn around 890.

the problem is that you are pretty much starving yourself...

1. You are not overweight, and while you may not be defined, you probably have quite a bit of muscle under your skin

2.  You can't gain muscle on a deficit -- so, while you are not shifting anything, you are also not gaining muscle, you are actually probably burning it.  In the absence of sufficient calories, the body will burn muscle before fat

3.  The minimum recommended for an overweight, active teen female is 1800 -- as you are not overweight, your minimum is about 2000, and given your activity level, probably more.

4.  If you really want to change the way you look, and be able to eat more, then start lifting weights, heavy for you. while your bone structure may dictate that you weigh around 155-165, you can certainly make yourself look like you weigh 135 -- through lifting.  Get yourself a program book like Female Body Breakthrough or New Rules of Lifting for Women -- follow it (not the diet part, you are under 21 and still developing).  You may not lose weight, but you will look like you have, and no one but you need see the scale.

Original Post by asidhood:

I've logged before but I became obsessive about it and eventually stopped since I pretty much eat the same thing every day and I memorized the numbers. I typically eat around 1200 to 1400 calories per day and I know jogging 3 miles burns 352 calories and jogging 4 burns 470. Sports practices (depending on the day) I would say burns like 300 to 400 but I'm not sure. I also have games two to three times a week where I play all 80 minutes which burns around 500 to 800. And on an 8 mile saturday jog I burn around 890.

That's the problem. You aren't eating enough. On the days where you burn 300-400 your body is running off of 800-1000 calories, since you're getting rid of calories and not replacing them. And on the days when you burn close to 890, you're really starving yourself.

 There's this calculator people recommend on here: 
 http://www.bcm.edu/cnrc/healthyeatingcalculat or/eatingCal.html
You should use it to figure out how much to eat. 1400 isn't enough for you, though...even if you were sedentary. We're supposed to eat more as teens since we're growing, and especially if we're active.

#7  
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Okay this is making sense. I'm guessing the shifting around of the fat was my body's way of holding onto it...? Thanks everyone for your help!
#8  
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Oh and also, can my extra caloric intake be in the form of normal/junk ish food (I've literally been eating like this since around February so my body is like locked in place on this diet) to get my body jump started again or should I stay with the all healthy foods and just more of it? In other words can I start to indulge more??

You can eat unhealthy foods, or healthy foods. People say a calorie is a calorie.

But I think you should try and eat mostly healthy foods, because then you can eat much more for less calories, and get the nutrients your body needs to function properly/be healthy.

When you eat stuff like chips you tend to keep eating and eating and not feel full/satisfied. Plus they''re empty calories that make you crave more sugar and salt, and often make you bloated (which temporarily increases the # on the scale). I'd say you should have a couple of treats and aim to eat like 80-90% healthy. But it's really up to you.

At your activity level (and your age) you can definitely incorporate some of those treats in your diet! Sounds like you are very aware of nutrition and regularly eat very healthy soba few treats throughout the week can't hurt! You're a teenager....enjoy!!
#11  
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lak111 thank you very much! I've tried so hard to be health conscious that I've forgotten how young I am and I would often get upset about watching my friends eat junk while I eat carrot sticks. It makes me feel a lot better to know that I can indulge every once in awhile like a normal teenager and still maintain a healthy weight.

I think the important point is, you have to eat more. Keep eating as healthy as you do, but add a pile of that on top of your daily portions. This will still leave enough room to eat out with your friends. You will see, once you start eating above 2000 calories every day, your body will have enough energy for all the workouts that you are doing and you will start getting toned and look slimmer (although the scale might not change, but who cares about that? you will see it on your clothes!)

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