Young Calorie Counters
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Why Can't I Lose Weight? Advice NEEDED(Teens Especially)


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I've been on a 1300-calorie diet before and I went form 142 to 120. But then I gained it back to 135. And I. CANNOT. lose it.Again. I've tried since the beginning of Janaury and I just can't. I gain or maintain. And my stomach looks like a huge blob and I look fat and horrible.

So I decided to try intuitive eating which worked okay for the most part, but unlike kids my age (14, 5'5, 135 lbs) who can eat over 2,000 calories and lose weight, above 1500 causes me to gain. Technically, above 1300 does. Wh yis that? Many people tell me to try eatin more for awhile, which I did even if it wans't always healthy, for two weeks. What ahs that got me? FAT and gained weight. I feel so BAD.

I mean how cna other people my age eat so much more and look SOOOO much better?

What can I do? What do you teens do to lose weight?:

Calories:            Exercise(Length, Type):  

 

PLEASE HELP ME!!!

THANK YOU AND GOOD LUCK ALL!!

28 Replies (last)

you are still growing and aren't eating enough, plain and simple. your body is trying to survive and everything you eat is being stored because you've restricted your calories too low to lose the weight. this is what we call starvation mode. I suggest you eat your maintenance calories for a while, that will be more than 2000 and then reassess your weight goals but as of right now you're going to do more harm than good with dieting and confusing your body. 

#2  
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I know how you feel..

Everyone keeps saying that you need +1500, yet whenever I eat that much, I gain. I've gained 5 pounds so far just by eating that much :( 

I really really wish people could clarify this up. I'm scared of gaining weight, because I know how hard it is to keep it off. While it sounds nice to be able to eat 1500 a day, what if that makes my 5 pound weight gain permanent?

To both of you.... the reason why teens are advised not to cut calories but to lose weight through an improved diet and more exercise is precisely because of what you're experiencing.   If you restrict your food intake too drastically (which you have) then your body will shut down, stop losing weight and try to 'manage' on the tiny amount of food you give it.  When you eat more than that tiny amount your body grabs onto it with both hands and stores it as fluid and fat.... because your body is desperate to recover and grow.

You have to trust that your body is the same as everyone else's in order to get past this vicious circle.   Give it the 2000-2200 cals a day that it really needs for several weeks.  Let your weight naturally stabilise and your nutrition and energy levels come back up.  If you then still need to lose weight (and the person at 135lbs and 5'5" is not even overweight in the first place) create a deficit by doing more exercise rather than by cutting calories.

Here's the thing... it might take awhile to accept this, but I promise you that it's true.  As a teen, you're supposed to gain weight.  Your body is developing.  You're growing boobs, hips, and your internal organs are developing.  You might even grow a little taller, too.  Basically, you need to eat MORE than 1500 calories a day, because you're taller than 5'0 and you aren't sedentary (sedentary basically means laying around all day, so please don't argue that you are sedentary).  

Basically, that extra 5 pounds will likely be permanent, because it's supposed to be there.

Also, you will gain weight when you increase your caloric level from levels of malnutrition to reasonable amounts.  As Chrissy said, your metabolism is used to storing every calorie it gets, so it takes a little bit of time to readjust.  However, the gain will only be temporary, unless your weight is too low to begin with.

Instead of stressing over minor imperfections, you should strive to love your body as it is.  I know it's hard as a teen, because your body goes through so many changes.  But it does so many good things for you, so you need to treat it right by eating properly.

#5  
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Body is developing as in expanding stomach and thighs? I get what you're saying and all, but what about if you're not underweight or average weight to begin with? If you're close to being overweight, are you supposed to become obese then? And I really don't understand how its supposed to be there when half of the girls in my school are slimmer than me (and I'm pretty sure that half of the school does not have an eating disorder). I have not grown taller at all for several years, and my weight loss attempts have had no effect on decreasing the size of my thighs or stomach bulge. 

But thanks for the advice, really. I just hope that it really is temporary like you said, because ridiculously, weight gain is my biggest fear. Even though technically we shouldn't focus on stupid things like body image, image IS  everything. No one wants to talk to an orange whale. The fact that I got more friends in high school after losing 10 pounds proves that. People say that we shouldn't judge each other by outer appearances, yet that happens all the time, so clearly looks are a better asset to have over personality. 

Original Post by aiko_li:

Body is developing as in expanding stomach and thighs? I get what you're saying and all, but what about if you're not underweight or average weight to begin with? If you're close to being overweight, are you supposed to become obese then? And I really don't understand how its supposed to be there when half of the girls in my school are slimmer than me (and I'm pretty sure that half of the school does not have an eating disorder). I have not grown taller at all for several years, and my weight loss attempts have had no effect on decreasing the size of my thighs or stomach bulge. 

But thanks for the advice, really. I just hope that it really is temporary like you said, because ridiculously, weight gain is my biggest fear. Even though technically we shouldn't focus on stupid things like body image, image IS  everything. No one wants to talk to an orange whale. The fact that I got more friends in high school after losing 10 pounds proves that. People say that we shouldn't judge each other by outer appearances, yet that happens all the time, so clearly looks are a better asset to have over personality. 

Actually just over one in three of your female classmates will be on the eating disorder spectrum already. It's about 33 to 40% -- so not quite half but close enough.

Of those, about 40% of them will go on to develop immediate and serious clinical cases of anorexia/bulimia/orthorexia and anorexia athletica. Young women between the ages of 15-24 are 12 times more likely to die of an eating disorder than of any other cause (including car accidents).

There's the real big elephant in the room for you.

And those that are on the eating disorder spectrum but don't end up full-blown? Well they struggle throughout their lives and could at any point be triggered by life stresses to develop a severe case requiring hospitalization. At best, they will have food and weight gain issues for life that will affect their health and lower their life expectancy anywhere from 7-12 years.

And you know what the trigger is for ending up on that eating disorder spectrum in the first place? Having certain gene mutations that are inactive and they activate as soon as you restrict calories for the first time.

And those activated genes actually skew the neurotransmitters in your brain. Those neurotransmitters create all the compulsions and anxieties around food and weight gain.

Of course environmental factors play a part in where you will sit on the eating disorder spectrum (sub-clinical to severe), but once those genes are activated, they never go back. Russian roulette.

I know appearance is everything right now for you and I'm not going to talk down to you and tell you your personality is more important -- but I will tell you that there are dozens of women on these forums that want you to know that they would give anything to go back to where you are right now and make better choices.

Choices that would've meant they never would have lost their hair, teeth, digestive system, friends, family, regular periods, bones, muscles and years of the possible life they could have lived. Many never dreamed they'd be as close to death as they have been.

If you are sure that won't happen to you, then the next time you're side by side with two other girlfriends, can you figure out which one of you will be the unlucky one?

A better choice is not calorie restricting, but being physically active and making healthy food choices. And maybe by doing that not only do you make a better choice for yourself, but maybe you're an inspiration for the 33-40% of all the females in your school who are already living the shame, misery and loneliness of eating disorders.

to aiko-  I've read your other posts, you are nowhere close to being overweight.  And yes, you will gain weight in your thighs and stomach too.  Please try to stop focusing on every perceived imperfection, and stop comparing yourself to everyone else.  I know it's hard, and it will take awhile, but when you learn to appreciate your body for what it is, you will stop obsessing over every little ounce you gain.  Please try to up your calorie intake, and take the post hedgren gave you to heart.

Original Post by gi-jane:

To both of you.... the reason why teens are advised not to cut calories but to lose weight through an improved diet and more exercise is precisely because of what you're experiencing.   If you restrict your food intake too drastically (which you have) then your body will shut down, stop losing weight and try to 'manage' on the tiny amount of food you give it.  When you eat more than that tiny amount your body grabs onto it with both hands and stores it as fluid and fat.... because your body is desperate to recover and grow.

You have to trust that your body is the same as everyone else's in order to get past this vicious circle.   Give it the 2000-2200 cals a day that it really needs for several weeks.  Let your weight naturally stabilise and your nutrition and energy levels come back up.  If you then still need to lose weight (and the person at 135lbs and 5'5" is not even overweight in the first place) create a deficit by doing more exercise rather than by cutting calories.

I know you're trying to help, but you're doing the opposite gi-jane. I mean, you're telling me I will gain weight. For 2 WEEKS I've eaten more and now I'm at 140!!!! I don't have that much time to exercise and I already do as much as possible and besides that extra 20 mintues of exercise a day won't slim me down if I'm still eating a lot.

That comment like ruined my day.

Don't blame Gi-jane for your own actions. It's not her fault if you have put your body under so much stress. It's not her fault if your body is trying to survive.

And don't let comments on the Internet ''ruin'' your day, I'm pretty sure there's a lot more important things in life. Like why Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift broke up, for example...x)

For someone of your age, height, and weight, the proper caloric intake is ~1900 calories if you sit around and do nothing all day. Eating less, as other posters have explained, will cause your body to reduce its metabolic processes in order to keep you alive (in other words, you won't burn off your food because your body thinks fuel is scarce and needs to be stored).

Since you're growing right now, you probably really jarred your regulatory systems by losing 22 lbs, and it doesn't surprise me at all that you bounced back quickly.

In order for your body to fully mature, it needs to put on weight (especially in the stomach and hips--women are designed to carry children). So even though you restrict beyond healthy amounts, you are naturally supposed to gain 5-10 lbs in the next 3 years.

Looking good isn't just about your weight, though--it's about being healthy, happy, and in shape. Bring your caloric intake up to 1800, deal with the weight fluctuation for a bit, and watch your metabolism snap back to its normal state. Focus on the quality, not the quantity, of your food. While 1800 calories of fruits, veggies, and whole grains will do great things for your health, the same 1800 calories of refined carbs and processed foods will make you feel bloated, tired, depressed, and fat.

Most people who say they don't have time to exercise really aren't just finding the right time. Ever try early morning? Right after school? Even right before you go to sleep--if you really budget your time and think about it, you'll find a window to exercise.

Best of luck to you, and I really hope you allow yourself to focus more on wellbeing and happiness than numbers. Don't waste your youth wrapped up in petty calculations, enjoy it :)

Im 14, 5' 8", and 150, I was( and still recovering,) from the same situation as you. Trust me, you will gain weight. You are fine with the way you look, I guarentee it. Smile you are pretty and have many more talents that you can ever imagine, and dont deny it xD. You're worrying about looking good, the truth is, if someone doesnt like you for the way you look, its not worth wasting your time with them. You have to accept the way you look, and understand that improvements are made over time. If you dont accept this, you are never going to be happy with yourself, and you'll be left sad, and hungry, deprived.

Lets get this straight, like some others said, you are going to gain weight. You have wiggle room. take in 2000 calories, or better yet, dont count calories for a day or two, just eat good, healthy food until you are full,( this might be hard for some people, you can count if you want,) Second thing, you should exercise, exercise bumps up you metabolism, and its good for you, it releases seritonin and other stress relieving chemicals. If you have a goal, or something you enjoy, it makes it so much easier. For me, my goal is to run 3 miles in under 30 min. It makes me motivated.

Just to tell you, Ive lost 50, and have only gained back 5lbs since I tried to  up my calorie intake. The best thing to have is a postitive attitude about yourself,  and your bod. (those other girls, forget about em, being skinney isnt everything, no matter waht you say,)

you need to change the way you are eating, yes, but the problem with most girls i have known is that they'llcut portions and calories and eat like rabbits but that is it. try adding lean protein. take away anything fried. drink diet soda. up on water down on caffeine. if u eat eggs have egg whites. toast? make it whole grain. u still need dairy but make it reduced fat dairy. simple changes like that will help. also please realise you do yourself no good with fruit juices. i had a friend who would drink oj bc it was "healthy" it is so sugary! try lean proteins, non starchy veggies, whole grains. limit fried, breaded, greasy, sugary, etc, but dont avoid food itself!

When i was 16 i did a 1-2-4-8 diet

Each meal i ate one serving of grain, double that in a LEAN protein, Double the protein in veggies, and made sure I drank my 8 glasses of water a day. I ate healthy snacks between meals and sugarfree jello before bed. i lost 60 lbs!i ate just did it healthily and it worked!

Original Post by rachel888:

Im 14, 5' 8", and 150, I was( and still recovering,) from the same situation as you. Trust me, you will gain weight. You are fine with the way you look, I guarentee it. Smile you are pretty and have many more talents that you can ever imagine, and dont deny it xD. You're worrying about looking good, the truth is, if someone doesnt like you for the way you look, its not worth wasting your time with them. You have to accept the way you look, and understand that improvements are made over time. If you dont accept this, you are never going to be happy with yourself, and you'll be left sad, and hungry, deprived.

Lets get this straight, like some others said, you are going to gain weight. You have wiggle room. take in 2000 calories, or better yet, dont count calories for a day or two, just eat good, healthy food until you are full,( this might be hard for some people, you can count if you want,) Second thing, you should exercise, exercise bumps up you metabolism, and its good for you, it releases seritonin and other stress relieving chemicals. If you have a goal, or something you enjoy, it makes it so much easier. For me, my goal is to run 3 miles in under 30 min. It makes me motivated.

Just to tell you, Ive lost 50, and have only gained back 5lbs since I tried to  up my calorie intake. The best thing to have is a postitive attitude about yourself,  and your bod. (those other girls, forget about em, being skinney isnt everything, no matter waht you say,)

You only gained 5 pounds when you ate 2000 calories? But if I eat 1400 I gain 5! You said I'll gain, but i just don't believe that I'll be able to only gain 5, and if I do, I'll be in the 140's at 5'5!!!!!!!!!!how...how...I can't...I....I....I cannot deal with that. Why can adults lose this weight????? I WANT TO LOSE THIS WEIGHT AND NOTHING WORKS FOR ME!I eat 1300, barely lose weight and starve, or eat 2000 and gain like crazy!!!

Original Post by mrsmeans410:

you need to change the way you are eating, yes, but the problem with most girls i have known is that they'llcut portions and calories and eat like rabbits but that is it. try adding lean protein. take away anything fried. drink diet soda. up on water down on caffeine. if u eat eggs have egg whites. toast? make it whole grain. u still need dairy but make it reduced fat dairy. simple changes like that will help. also please realise you do yourself no good with fruit juices. i had a friend who would drink oj bc it was "healthy" it is so sugary! try lean proteins, non starchy veggies, whole grains. limit fried, breaded, greasy, sugary, etc, but dont avoid food itself!

When i was 16 i did a 1-2-4-8 diet

Each meal i ate one serving of grain, double that in a LEAN protein, Double the protein in veggies, and made sure I drank my 8 glasses of water a day. I ate healthy snacks between meals and sugarfree jello before bed. i lost 60 lbs!i ate just did it healthily and it worked!

So....you didn't even count calories? You just ate a lot of protein,w hole grains, fruit,and veggies and water...and you lost the weight?that's it?

no I didnt just pig out and eat a whole bunch, I'll give you an example of a day's menu. Please remember I am 5'11" and was walking about 3 miles a day going back and forth to school and such,but that was nothing that changed when i started the diet.

Breakfast:1/2 a whole grain english muffin topped with 1 egg and 1 egg white fried in 0cal cooking spray 1 ounce low fat cheese and 2 Tablespoons salsa. Drink one glass of water before the meal (while you are making it) and 1 serving low sodium v8

or 2 eggs scrambled with 2cups spinach 1 oz lf cheese and 1/2 a toasted bagel and a glass of milk

For lunch at school i'd eat a large salad with 2 slices each ham and cheese or 1/2 cup tuna salad and a few croutons.

after school i'd have a handful of pistachios or a string cheese or celery and appleswith peanut butter

dinner would be 1/2 a serving of carbs 1 serving of meat and 2 servings veggies such as 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta w/  fresh diced tomatoes and 1 tsp shredded parmesan 1 chiken breast grilled an small salad and brocolli

or 1/2 cup brown rice with 1 cup shrimp and 2 cups veggies

before bed i'd have a sugarfree jello

I drank one glass of water at the start or right before each meal and if i was really craving something i'd eat it, but in a reasonable portion.

That souns like a really good plan! So, sort of intuitive healthy eating?

Unfortunately, I only have access to making my breakfast and lunch. I always have eggs and cheese(not low-fat...). I need to start asking for more veggies and whole-grain, but my parents usually ignore the whole grain stuff. I do  eat a LOT of PB and apples, but probably too much PB.

Instead of focusing so much on losing, maybe work out a lot more and build some muscle. This may give you more self confidence and muscle burns more calories than fat. It sounds like you want to tone up. Maybe two weeks was not long enough to fix the metabolism, I hear many people say if they eat like that for 4 weeks they will end up being less than they were when they started eating more. I think you gain more initially then it evens out. I hope this helps :)

Original Post by kristyntimochko:

Instead of focusing so much on losing, maybe work out a lot more and build some muscle. This may give you more self confidence and muscle burns more calories than fat. It sounds like you want to tone up. Maybe two weeks was not long enough to fix the metabolism, I hear many people say if they eat like that for 4 weeks they will end up being less than they were when they started eating more. I think you gain more initially then it evens out. I hope this helps :)

What do you mean by it will even out? Because I gained like 140 and I feel like a blob.

Well from many people I have heard that raise their calories gain a lot at first but if they keep at it the weight ends up coming off because of the fixed metabolism. I don't know if the case is the same as yours but if it was me I would rather try it, I know it sucks at first to be heavier but it's better than having a wrecked metabolism and you will look/ feel better in the long run. 1300 is so low for a teen and it will get lower as you age. I just don't think two weeks was long enough. But I am so sorry you are going through this I know I would be just as upset as you are but I think the only way to fix it is upping the calories for a while and seeing how it goes, for more than two weeks. But it's your body and your choice, did you have a faster metabolism previous to going on this 1300 cal diet?

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