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Absolutely no weight loss whatsoever!

(85 Posts)
BlogOnTheTyne Thu 08-Aug-13 06:49:29

So about 4 weeks ago, I decided to cut down on what I eat. I stopped eating all 'junk' foods like crisps, chocolate etc. I'm mostly a vegetarian and am now eating something like half or two thirds of what I previously ate. Yet I'm not losing any weight at all.

I'm 50 and 5ft 7in and weigh 12 stone. I want to return to about 11 st 6lbs, which was my weight that stayed fairly stable after I'd given birth to twins 12 yrs ago. So it's not like I'm trying to lose vast amounts and am quite relaxed about being plump and rounded, on the whole.

Pre pregnancy, I was 10st 7lbs for years and years. I've never been slim but I've always had a reasonable waist and accepted my chunkier lower half.

But now the weight creeps up and up and no amount of cutting down what I eat has any impact at all. Just after each period starts, I lose maybe one pound for about a week or so - and then it just goes back on. I used to get a 4lbs weight loss around that time but it's now as if my body doesn't do the water loss drop and just keeps it all in!

Currently, a typical day's eating is this:

3 cups of tea with a total of about half a cup of milk across those cuppas
2 marmite rice cakes with cottage cheese and a soft boiled egg
2 tablespoons of rice with salad leaves, tomatoes, celery, spring onion, a few pine nuts and a light sprinkle of grated cheese, with a drizzle of olive oil and soya sauce
Half a piece of fried salmon with salad, as above
2 bananas, one apple, a raw carrot
Watered down fresh orange juice

No alcohol (don't drink at all).

I have no idea what calories I'm eating but it's certainly a lot less than I was and yet I'm maintaining my weight. A few years ago, this kind of eating would have meant I lost easily half a stone within a few weeks. Not anymore.

I refuse to cut down so much that I end up feeling light-headed and irritated and feel my body needs a decent amount of food for health reasons. Yet I also think that if I eat less, in fact I sometimes think, even if I eat nothing, I still won't lose weight!

It's almost like my perimenopausal body has decided to cling on for dear life to all the weight it can accumulate and just won't budge! I'm fairly active but don't have any extra time for formal exercise. I swim and am constantly rushing around up and downstairs and heavy lifting, clearing up etc etc. So if I eat any less than the above, I get very weak and dizzy and don't feel healthy.

Do I just accept that at 50, I'm permanently a different weight and shape forever - or is there a sensible, healthy way of losing about half a stone and staying there?

2kidsintow Thu 08-Aug-13 17:57:37

You can look online and try and find your tdee (the total energy you theoretically expend in a day) and that will give you an idea of how much you need to eat to lose some weight.

BlogOnTheTyne Fri 09-Aug-13 06:15:24

Thanks for the advice. I've just looked up my TDEE and it says 1897 calories. So that presumably means that eating less than this should mean I lose weight.

Is the above typical day's food intake really 1897 calories? I just don't know how many calories there are in different foods/meals but I do know that what I'm eating is considered a very restrictive diet to many.

Can anyone else on here, who is very well versed in calorie counting, tell me if my typical day's intake, above, adds up to 1897 calories?

Megsdaughter Fri 09-Aug-13 06:54:28

Try downloading myfitnesspal.
I have now lost over 6 stone using it.
I was so unaware what calories was in the things I was eating.
I ate lots if fruit and veg. In fact fairly healthy foods.
Portion control was way out.
Amount if cheese and carbs was way out.
Hidden calories. As in bought yougurts ( only eat low fat natural now. Have you seen the sugar in ordinary ones!)
It has really chaned how I eat

HeySoulSister Fri 09-Aug-13 06:58:04

Exercise might help. Do you do much? Swimming and housework don't count! Not much anyway

Isatdownandwept Fri 09-Aug-13 07:21:26

Blag I'm close in age to you and have the same problem. I recently completed some medical diet research at imperial where they discovered that as i restricted my calorie intake so my metabolic rate went down to match the calorie intake. Metabolic rate is supposed to adjust by up to 10% when dieting, but mine dropped by over 30%.

Google enhanced metabolic efficiency and you'll find my MN thread moaning about it. And when I exercise I end up almost in hibernation afterwards as my body tries to keep the balance. Even my temperature drops significantly when I diet. And I can't adjust metabolic rate myself - even weightlifting (the most metabolically affecting activity) adds only 3% to your rate. Thyroid is working perfectly - in fact my whole body is working in beautiful harmony to maintain my weight no matter what I do. Have tried normal diet levels, crash diets, even 'normal' 1.800 calorie eating, all the same result (if anything, am more active and healthy at 1,800 but mentally i then think im 'not trying' in terms of addressing my size, which is not a good space to be in). I've been low carbing with no simple carbs at all for close to a decade, now. Zilch effect of course.

I feel as if people like us should be the Guinea pigs for researchers to identify some of the triggers to what are pretty spectacular hormone defence actions, but there is fuck all research going that I can find.

MelanieCheeks Fri 09-Aug-13 07:28:05

It's going to be very slow given your age.

Did you weigh yourself at the start? Have you lost nothing at all?

I'll do a detailed calorie count of your day's intake in a mo, but the things that jump out at me are

2 bananas. TWO!!!! Depends on size, but probably over 100 calories each, and have the most sugar of all fruits.

Sprinkle of grated cheese - how much exactly? Cheese calories can mount up all too quickly.

Fried salmon - could you grill it or steam it instead? Also, white fish will be lower in cals.

Pine nuts - how many? Again, very dense in calories, so it's easy to go overboard on nuts and seeds.

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Fri 09-Aug-13 08:10:39

I'm 53 and have lost 25kg in the last 11 months using MFP and eating around 1700 cals/day.

Currently going through menopause, doing no exercise.

You need to start weighing/measuring everything that you eat and recording it.

helzapoppin2 Wed 14-Aug-13 14:56:35

Next time you are at the doctors you could ask for a thyroid test. The thyroid can influence your metabolism, making it hard to lose weight. I am hypothyroid, meaning low or no hormone and have to take a supplement. I'm just fascinated by how whatever I eat my weight stays the same (far too much) as if its beyond my control!

helzapoppin2 Wed 14-Aug-13 15:00:38

Isatdownandwept, sorry, I only read your post after. It is fascinating, and along the same lines as mine!

specialsubject Sun 25-Aug-13 16:26:57

actually, swimming and housework are exercise. Any movement is exercise and uses calories.

just not as much as we would like. :-(

Nancy66 Sun 25-Aug-13 16:48:36

That's around 2,000 calories there OP - so you'd need to reduce that by 500 or so to start dropping pounds.

Joey8 Thu 12-Sep-13 12:22:35

I know its really frustrating when this happens.

Unfortunately when you get older its harder to lose weight yet its so easy to put on!

What your eating sounds absolutely fine, very healthy. If your not losing weight on it, I would suggest researching the calories like the others suggested. Don't make it all about calories though, its easy to become obsessed.

A lot of foods you presume are low calorie - actually aren't. You will be surprised by what you find.

I would suggest have a decent sized breakfast, something like porridge or weetabix. Something thats going to keep you going for most of the morning. If you have this with skimmed milk or even better, soya then its not going to be any more than 300 cal? I'm just guessing, may be a little more. Bottom line is, its low cal anddd will keep you full.

Then for lunch again have something decent and something thats going to keep you going until dinner. For dinner I would fill most your plate up with veg - filling and healthy. With perhaps some fish or lean meat :-)

If you fancy desert then perhaps some yogurt and blueberries?

Try to stick to healthy, filling low calorie meals. You need to keep your metabolism up if you want to lose weight.

Combine that will swimming twice a week and I'm sure you will see a difference!

Don't get disheartened if your don't see a result straight away. Every body is different, I personally do not lose weight instantly - it comes of gradually. But afterall, thats the most healthiest way!

This is my typical day to day eating. I don't have any chocolate, crisps. biscuits, takeway, tea, coffee, fizzy drinks. Im very strict due to how I used to be and its now just become a part of my lifestyle. Of course I will occassionally treat myself to some haribo (my weakness!)

Try not to think of it as a 'diet' as it then becomes some sort of punishment and short term thing. Try to introduce better diet and exercise and see it as a lifestyle change.

Sorry I always get carried away on these topics!

CoteDAzur Thu 12-Sep-13 13:49:03

Don't fry the salmon. It is an oily fish that is delicious even when steamed (cooked over slow fire in a bit of water).

Bananas are said to be about 100 kCal but that is for a 100 g banana. I just weighed the smallest banana in my kitchen and found that it is 130 g. Two of my larger bananas could easily add 360 kCal to your daily intake. Have some blueberries or an apple instead.

Don't grate cheese on your salad and measure the olive oil you are "drizzling". You might be surprised how much it is.

And exercise! It will not only spend the calories but it will increase your metabolism and you will feel great, as well.

happyaliw Thu 12-Sep-13 18:36:39


My advice to you is this. Stop trying to lose weight and start focusing on doing healthy things, only healthy behaviours can change your body - culling calories can not be considered a healthy behaviour.

The problem with counting calories is that it makes you neurotic and can end with eating disorders; counting calories may work in the short term but you down regulate your metabolism and unless you are able to stay on low calories for the rest of your life you will always put the weight back on.

If you focus on eating healthy, whole foods your body will find its best version naturally, without you having to constantly think about how much you are eating.

CoteDAzur Thu 12-Sep-13 23:40:30

Counting calories doesn't make you neurotic hmm A good dietitian prepared a balanced low-calorie diet for me some years ago. I lost heaps of weight with it and kept it off. Nobody got neurotic as a result.

PeppiNephrine Thu 12-Sep-13 23:49:58

Sorry, but "2 bananas. TWO!!!!" does sound a bit neurotic. Its a banana, not crack laced chocolate filled doughnuts.

OP's posted daily diet won't add up to 2000cals unless they are enormous portions. Like HUGE.

happyaliw Fri 13-Sep-13 14:11:22

Hi CoteDazur,

My comment wasn't directed at you, it was to the original poster. I apologise if you felt it was - 5% of people do have success with long term calorie restriction, that would make an awful lot of people, millions in fact, but it does mean that 95% of people are not.

For most, calorie counting simply ends with a down regulated metabolism followed by binge eating from feeling restricted, this is well documented.

Eating healthy foods, like bananas, allows the appetite to self regulate as the neuroendocrine system is not interfered with.

The problem most of us experience is based on the consumption of refined, processed and sugary foods; eating less of them is not the answer.

The food industry has way to much to lose if this message ever became mainstream - so it won't. I just hope more people begin to understand how to look after their bodies better.

CoteDAzur Fri 13-Sep-13 19:27:10

This is a public forum. I don't have to feel your comments are aimed at me to answer them.

"The problem with counting calories is that it makes you neurotic" is a silly statement that is demonstrably wrong. If you have any proof for this allegation that everyone who has ever counted calories ended up with a mental disorder, please share. If not, accept that you were wrong and move on.

Your concerns about calorie restriction makes you sound like you think "restriction" can only mean severe restriction.

With moderate restriction, there is no binging because you are not hungry and you don't feel "restricted". And there is also no depressed metabolism, especially if you start to exercise.

happyaliw Sat 14-Sep-13 07:42:04

" I just weighed the smallest banana in my kitchen and found that it is 130 g. Two of my larger bananas could easily add 360 kCal to your daily intake"

If you need evidence of the problems caused by calorie counting please visit any number of eating disorder charities and websites that are available on the web.

CoteDAzur Sat 14-Sep-13 09:51:14

Some people have eating disorders following diets and not only calorie-counting. That doesn't mean everyone who follows a calorie restriction diet will be neurotic - a ridiculous claim.

A friend of mine followed the Ducan diet and ended up with a life-threatening colon infection & condition. Am I saying "Ducan dieters end up with colon problems"?

I don't go around counting calories, by the way. I have lost my weight, kept it off for years, and now can figure out how much to eat of what without calculating the calories.

happyaliw Sat 14-Sep-13 10:44:12

"5% of people do have success with long term calorie restriction, that would make an awful lot of people, millions in fact, but it does mean that 95% of people are not."

happyaliw Sat 14-Sep-13 10:57:28

"The problem with counting calories is that it makes you neurotic and CAN end with eating disorders"

If you eat healthy, whole foods your body will self regulate; nobody needs to count calories.

The digestive system, the endocrine system and the immune system are all compromised in a calorie deficit. Thyroid function also gets down regulated - I doubt anybody wants this.

When you eat whole foods that can be digested and absorbed correctly your body will up regulate leptin, the hunger hormone, telling you when you are full - it will also improve thyroid function and become anabolic - in a restricted state the body is catabolic - hence you will lose muscle.

Eating processed foods in smaller quantities will do nothing but make you a smaller version of yourself temporarily; if you desire long term change to all health processes(not just weight loss) this is a dreadful method of achieving it.

The key to sustained weight loss is to maintain strong metabolic processes by eating healthy, whole foods.

I profoundly disagree with your comments suggesting limiting olive oil - a perfectly healthy product - and bananas. I find them to not only be unhelpful, but potentially detrimental to a persons health.

You speak from the experience of having dealt with your own body. I speak from the experience of having dealt with almost 1000 people that have suffered significant emotional damage as well as metabolic damage from following diets - all unnecessary damage driven by the profit seeking requirements of the commercial dieting industry, a close relative of the food industry.

CoteDAzur Sun 15-Sep-13 09:20:15

Nobody is talking about eating processed foods and body doesn't "self-regulate" weight. If you eat lots more and move lots less, you put on weight. There is no magic involved.

I don't know what your claim to authority on this subject is, but if you speak to any proper dietician with a real education and professional experience, you will see that they recommend using no more than several spoons of olive oil in a day.

Most foods are good for us but when we are trying to lose weight, we need to be careful with how much we eat of them. There is no dilemma there.

CoteDAzur Sun 15-Sep-13 10:12:57

I would be interested to see where that 5% figure comes from, and also what the equivalent is for low-carb diets is. Both in the long term of many years, of course.

It is entirely possible to lose weight on any of these diets. The problem is keeping it up - i.e. not returning to your old ways once you lose a bit of weight. You need to make your "diet" a way of life, which means it has to be sustainable in the long term.

Diets based on severe calorie restriction are not sustainable in the long term. A good dietician will listen to what you like to eat at each meal, then make small changes to it, so that you eat what you like and it will be sustainable in the long term.

If you can do a a diet with no complex carbohydrates all your life, knock yourself out with it. Make sure you get enough B Vitamins, though.

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