Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"I can't lose weight no matter what!"

I'm wondering why I can't lose weight no matter what I do. I've changed the way I eat and I exercise regularly, however, I haven't lost a pound. I am female, 5'3 and weigh 146. I work out on the elliptical machine or on the treadmill walking/running 5 to 6 times a week at least 35 minutes at a time. I've been eating super healthy: oatmeal, salads with no dressing, little to no bread - I get my carbs in fruits. I eat small portions of chicken, fruits and vegetables, lowfat snacks, lowfat cottage cheese, lowfat yogurt, etc. I've been counting my calories at and have followed their weight loss advice...Staying within my caloric intake of 1178 a day to lose a pound and a half a week. I've now been doing this for 3-1/2 weeks, to no avail. I haven't lost any weight and my pants fit the same as they always have. I'm just really frustrated...I follow all of the rules and no matter what I do, I can't lose weight. Can you offer some advice? Thanks, Kim

Dear Kim,

It sounds like you certainly are doing a lot of things to get the weight down and I know how frustrating it is when we don't see results after all this hard work! My first advice is to give it some time. You are very frustrated having made all these major changes for just 3 weeks (which may seem like 3 months!), but remember that you are ideally learning to eat healthier and exercise more as a lifestyle change and not just to lose 15 pounds and then go back to what you were doing before.

A calorie intake lower than 1200 calories really won't allow you to get in all the nutrients you need, and I would recommend upping that to 1300 or 1400 calories and aiming for 1 pound per week weight loss. Be sure to get the recommended 6 servings (at least) of whole grains (see to give your body the energy you need. If you've suddenly cut back significantly on calories, your body will adapt by decreasing your metabolism in an effort to save energy! The result is--no weight loss. If this has been your exercise routine for some time now, your body may have adapted to it, as well, and you may want to consider adding 10 or 15 more minutes to those work-outs to boost the calories burned.

Try giving it another month (which should be easier once you give yourself a few hundred more calories) and plot your weight on a graph or chart at least once a week, looking for a trend. It's very hard to believe that you have not gone down a single pound in over 3 weeks while on a super-low calorie diet, plus exercising almost every day. Sometimes people lose one pound and say, "that's nothing".... have you really not lost one single pound?

If you are recording everything you eat, and every activity you are doing at Livestrong, that is a good way to see objectively how you are doing. Have there been any days you've snacked and not written it down? Skipped a few days of tracking or exercise? Sometimes we feel that we are working so hard that we start to give ourselves a 'break' here and there and that can put back the calories we've worked so hard to shave off.

If you really have been strictly following the regimen, try my suggestions to increase the calories by a few hundred, track your weight at least weekly for another few weeks, and then check with your physician to find out if there could be a medical reason having an effect on your weight. I do believe if you keep up the good work, the results will start showing, even as you read this!

1 comment:

  1. There was no mention of her daily water intake. Shouldn't she be ensuring that she is drinking enough for her body weight to flush her system and keep her on track? A lot of people forget the necessity to hydrate and the positive effects it has on the body. :)