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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?

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LeoandBoosmum Sat 12-Oct-13 17:00:11

I'd only eat one banana, not two, and not every day...vary it if you don't already. Plums, berries, cherries, apples, pears are all great. Dried fruit is also really high is sugar and calorie-dense. I wouldn't drink fresh juice, even watered down. There are an awful lot of calories in fruit juice. You'd be better off eating one small banana a few times a week and either 2 satsumas, 2 plums, berries or an apple or a combo.
Also, measure out the olive oil (it's easy to think a drizzle is much less than it is) and weigh out the pine nuts, as I think they are quite calorific. As others have said, grill or steam your salmon smile
Drink plenty of water, stops you snacking if you're tempted.

itwillbebetter Mon 30-Sep-13 13:18:21

A really interesting thread, I have been so engrossed I have forgotten how hungry I am grin

happyali I am really interested in your posts and wondered whether there are any particular cook book or recipe sites you are able to recommend? I normally cook from scratch and would love to ditch the calorie counting and just think about proper nourishment instead.

Many thanks and sorry OP for the hijack!

bunjies Wed 25-Sep-13 13:08:34

Cloudy - thanks for sharing the details of your situation. I completely understand how frustrating it must be especially when you get people churning out the same old advice day in day out. I will PM you for details of the study you were involved. Did anyone ever suggest taking drugs to speed up your metabolism? Are these even available legally grin?

Blog - thank you for starting this thread which has been very illuminating.

solveproblem Wed 25-Sep-13 06:53:58

A recent study has shown that the best way to lose weight is to follow a low carb, high (good) fat diet.

BlogOnTheTyne Wed 25-Sep-13 05:59:54

Hello - it's me the OP back again and just read quickly through the thread I started ages ago.

Ploughing through all the discussion, the things that stand out of relevance to me are that two different posters have suggested that I eat around 2000 calories a day - on the meals I described - or that I vastly undereat and am on too low a calorie diet.

Then there's the interesting issue about whether metabolism simply changes to match the input/output level - ie calories/exercise. I suspect I have one of those bodies that acts in that way.

Other factors for me are that my protein intake is MUCH higher than it was for yrs and yrs as I used to be a vegetarian for about 20 yrs and only after having DCs began to eat their leftovers - meat and fish.

Ages ago, I posted my vegetarian diet on here and was told I ate, regularly, what most people would consider a severe, calories limited diet all the time, so my metabolism had adjusted accordingly.

Nowadays, I'll have salmon or chicken but maybe only twice a week and the rest of the time my diet would be like the one on my OP but no fish or meat.

I'm definitely more of the 'eat and live healthily' vs ' diet like mad and fret about body weight and shape'. Since my OP, I've lost 2 pounds and then put them back on again and am back at the same weight that my body seems now to have adjusted to.

I have literally no time to exercise formally but spent a good 2 weeks of the summer having to singlehandedly clear out ceiling high boxes of stuff and furniture from 2 garages and take a lot up 2 flights of stairs and a loft ladder. So this was a natural form of weight training and cardiovascular workout!

However, there just isn't time in my normal life to go to a gym or exercise on a machine, as my days are full one on-stop from 5am till around 10pm. However, my core job is sedentary and my body much prefers to be naturally active - gardening, DIY etc. I have a naturally muscular upper body and used to have a tiny waist - which since DCs and ageing, has filled out.

I want to be healthy far far more than I want to be slim and a 'socially acceptable' weight and shape but my OP was born of the frustration that what I do now at 50 has no impact compared with me doing the same at 21.

I've followed the discussion here with interest this morning as it's possible that metabolism simply adjusts to match the level of intake and exercise and that makes a lot of sense biologically. Would like to say more but must get up and go now.

happyaliw Tue 24-Sep-13 19:03:18

What an accusation! Please could you cut and paste what you consider to be a 'nasty' comment I have made, unless you consider highlighting the truth to be nasty, of course.

I perceive your comments to be immensely unhelpful, poorly researched and based on personal experience only.

I believe that if people like yourself stopped involving themselves in subjects over which they hold no expertise we could accelerate peoples health.

CoteDAzur Tue 24-Sep-13 08:59:15

Wow, you're a nasty piece of work hmm

You don't know anything about me, "happy" (not).

There is actually a mechanism through which doing cardio could help Cloudy lose weight (aside from the health benefit my previous link was talking about) but I didn't mention it because I didn't have the time to find & link the evidence. And frankly didn't think it would be worth my time to lock jaws with you again.

Cloudy - I will send you a quick PM on this when I have a minute. Good luck.

happyaliw Tue 24-Sep-13 08:41:17

CoteDazur - you have no knowledge of nutrition beyond what your dietician has told you and no knowledge of exercise beyond what you've read on a website that was founded by the most obnoxious cheat that ever walked the earth.

Yes cardio after weights CAN be better - well done for explaining that. If you knew anything about the reasons behind WHY it was better you would understand why it would not make any difference to cloudy.

CoteDAzur Mon 23-Sep-13 20:23:45

"Have had 3 trainers in last 7 years and they have all done the same - aerobic, then anaerobic"

And yet they are not infallible.

Check out LiveStrong, which says cardio after weights is healthier

In your place, I would think that whatever I am doing is not working and get a new trainer + a new dietician.

Good luck.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 23-Sep-13 16:30:33

grin. Good luck Cloudy

CloudyBayDrainageSystem Mon 23-Sep-13 15:48:15

Hahaha. I wondered that too, once, so I gave up work for 12 months. And went absolutely loop-de-loop bonkers grin have you ever tried living without deadlines? Horrific.

I'm actually less stressed these days than I ever was, business runs itself with my fab office mgr doing most stuff, and I am full time with a dream client at the moment which is bliss. I have always been one of those 100mile-an-hour people, though, so am sure there's been far too much testosterone/cortisone in my system than entirely necessary...

Anyway, time for the thread to taper off, methinks. Has been interesting putting it all down in writing and now its here i can link and refer to it instead of repeating.

Thanks all for comments. The minute i slip into a size 12 I will be sure to come back and let you all know.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 23-Sep-13 12:45:47

Just thinking about what I just posted, I realise it may sound counter-intuitive, making your digestion etc more efficient Cloudy, to explain my ponderings, I just wonder if your body is mostly in stressed, fight or flight type mode, what with work, intense exercise, worry about what you are eating, it is actually hyper-efficient at maintaining your body's status quo confused, and if life and food (possibly exercise) became more relaxed, it might be less so and behave more predictably...or how we generally consider predictable?

Sleepwhenidie Mon 23-Sep-13 12:02:11

Oh - we should apologise to blog by the way, we seem to have hijacked your thread somewhat blush.

Cloudy there is obviously some unusual stuff going on with your metabolism and I am interested in all the stuff happiAli asks about too - but in addition, what your day to day life is like. You say you are a very successful businesswoman, would I be right in saying this means quite a lot of stress and time pressure? Do you frequently eat on the run or combine business meetings with meals?

Again, I'm not sure if it would be the answer (and I am aware this may sound a bit woo...), but I think the way we eat and approach meals also affects how our body metabolises them. The more relaxed we are, the more we savour and enjoy meals (impossible when rushed, stressed or discussing work) the less efficiently digestion works? Maybe this happens already but if you let go of the worry about your calories/metabolism/work and just enjoyed the best quality, nutritious meals you could get, regularly, it may, just may change things?

happyaliw Mon 23-Sep-13 10:45:35

Spot on regarding exercise Sleep - good advice.

Cloudy - I read the piece you linked to on metabolic efficiency - a very interesting paper, thank you for suggesting as reading, very insightful.

I'm interested in the changes in your body composition Cloudy?

Are you finding that your partitioning of calories is changing based on certain criteria i.e - are you gaining more fat with a lower calorie intake etc.

As you instantaneously adapt to intake from a weight perspective, it would be interesting to know whether your body is changing composition positively or negatively at either end of the scale.

I suspect no specialist will be able to give you an absolute answer to the intricate workings of your own biochemistry, although I will say from my own experience it is not entirely common to your extremity. MOST people do lose weight once they eat sensible foods, exercise regularly and manage stress.

That said, there is no doubt that many people are more metabolically efficient as you have suggested and even 1% would still represent millions of people struggling in the same fashion.

I see that you have two options - I am sure you have come to the same conclusion.

Either you must take Sleeps advice; relax and enjoy life, eat healthily, exercise well and accept yourself for the healthy, driven successful person you are - OR pursue your bodies reaction to every possible stimulus with meticulous observation until you notice consistent patterns that can be replicated to success or detriment - the answer will lie in your own body and you are the best positioned to discover it - no expert can monitor and obsess in the same way you can.

There is an answer, of that I am sure. Perhaps the answer is in the mind - even the most sceptical of scientists acknowledge that the mind creates processes in the body way beyond current scientific understanding and is far more powerful than we can possibly comprehend.

Obsession is a dangerous game though, and I would never promote this as it can send a person insane - but there again most profound answers are found this way - perhaps you are already closer to a breakthrough than you think.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 23-Sep-13 08:19:19

Oh and Cloudy my next approach after that would be to block the idea of calories from your mind, eat as healthily as you can, enjoy your meals and do yoga smile.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 23-Sep-13 07:10:49

Sorry Cloudy, you must be really frustrated. But have also you tried what I suggest, heavy weights and Tabata (4 mins total, so very short, very intense) HIIT? Interval cardio/boxing for the periods you describe would be exhausting for anyone and although you are clearly fit, it doesn't seem to be working in other respects....I wouldn't expect your weight to necessarily drop with my suggestion but it may change your muscle/fat ratio and leave you feeling and looking slimmer?

Cote, your advice regarding the 30 mins/'fat burning zone" stuff is outdated. Cloudy is interval training with the running, it isn't being done to get to a point where she does long runs, which is what your advice about run/walk periods relates to (as with c25k). The heart rate she reaches when running would be a result of a virtual sprint on the treadmill, followed by a recovery period and repeated.

Mintyy Sun 22-Sep-13 23:20:58

Hi Cloudy, I believe I am the same. I think my metabolism simply adjusts downwards to whatever level of calories I choose to give it. I am the person who did nearly a year of 5:2 dieting and didn't lose a pound (while my dh has lost coming up to 3 stone), but my thyroid is apparently normal. Your posts make for fascinating reading.

CloudyBayDrainageSystem Sun 22-Sep-13 23:05:22

Have had 3 trainers in last 7 years and they have all done the same - aerobic, then anaerobic. Current one is a triple-Olympian, who's been training people for 15 years. We do vary it (we sometimes run for an hour instead, sometimes we box for 45 minutes), but I was simply wanting to point out some of the detail so you know I am doing proper sessions, not just wimping round a stair machine and a power plate for half an hour.

In terms of raising metabolism the last research i read suggests the effect of exercise on raising RMR is unlikely to exceed a maximum of a 3% swing, so a drop in the ocean compared to the 30% swings in my RMR caused by diet, recorded by Imperial under full medical research conditions at the Hammersmith hospital. It may sound very strange indeed, but its fact. I underwent 12 weeks of monitored medical research to understand it. With every piece of food recorded and controlled.

i am nothing if not thorough and have spent many, many commutes digging through the body of research (not just the abstracts) f anything I can find related to this and if you read the research I've referenced, you'll find what I describe is well documented, so clearly not that extreme. I imagine most people don't end up passing out because most people give up when something doesn't work. Ive certainly cut down from the 7 days a week because it was unsustainable, and I can only do the current regime by eating more to avoid the shut-down. The only reason I ended up shutting down and fainting was because i am quite a driven person, and blindly believed that if I ate a good, healthy 1,200 diet and worked out 7 days a week I would lose weight. So I continued on and on and on. And when nothing happened I simply adjusted the carbs down and upped the exercise. End result - shutdown, medical intervention, etc. I would say there's probably not that many people who have both my level of dogged obstinance and the metabolism effect, no. But I think there's a lot of people with the same metabolism issue who try exercise/dieting for 6 weeks or so and then give up when it doesn't work, rather than (like me) getting stroppy with myself and stepping it up.

CoteDAzur Sun 22-Sep-13 22:25:22

And re your exercise program:

"heart rate to 165 for 30 minutes (on a 2 mins up, 30 secs rest rotation), using bike, treadmill, concept 2"

30 minutes cardio is probably not long enough. You don't start burning fat until 20-30 minutes into a cardio workout. I was told that cardio workout should be 45-60 minutes.

Also, 2 mins up/30 secs rest intervals should be pushed up as your physical condition improves. Thinking of the treadmill, for example, 2 min run/30 sec walk would be fine in the first week, but then you should quickly move on to 5 mins run/2 min walk intervals for example, then 8 mins run/2 min walk etc. In less than 2 months, you would be running for 25-30 minutes without a rest.

"then I have 20 mins resistance work with my trainer"

I'm not sure what "resistance work" refers to here, but if it is similar to weight training, I'm pretty sure that you are advised to do that before the cardio for fat loss/weight loss.

Actually, I would love to know what happens if you start running. I would be willing to bet money that you will see the change in your body before you reach the end of the C25K program smile

CoteDAzur Sun 22-Sep-13 22:14:28

Cloudy - I'm not skeptical about your metabolism being efficient re calories in/out. I was pointing out that it should be possible to increase your metabolism through exercising and increasing your body's muscle mass.

"whether I'm in a minority of say 2% of population or whether what I go through is reflected in 30-40 % of fatties"

If such a large population was passing out after exercising to conserve energy, I think that would have been noticed.

This is not even just about efficient metabolism. What you are describing would mean that your body is not capable of using its energy reserves (i.e. convert fat into energy and use it). It sounds very strange, indeed.

Sleepwhenidie Sun 22-Sep-13 19:31:21

I think you are more evolved than the rest of us Cloudysmile

The only thing I can think of recommending to you is switching your workout around, spend 30 mins lifting heavy weights (by which I mean you struggle to do more than 6-8 reps) then 10-12 mins of HIIT, followed by core work and stretch. The aim being to build muscle (you will also need to adjust your diet to include plenty of protein, which you are used to smile aim for 1g of protein for every lb of bodyweight at your ideal weight). The HIIT will hopefully blast fat and raise your metabolism over the 12-24 hrs following the exercise, without inducing the stress effect that longer cardio sessions can? Apologies if you have already tried this but if not then maybe discuss it with your trainer? I have absolutely no idea if it will work but may be worth a try.....

CloudyBayDrainageSystem Sun 22-Sep-13 16:44:45

Typo in there. Apologies.

By the way, this isn't alien to human physiology at all. Dame Nancy Rothwell was doing research on all of this way back in the 80's. I just think everyone assumes its only a small minority of people, whereas no-one really knows, it could be one of the major factors in obesity these days.

I'm hoping that the Imperial research study I was on might turn up a few of us with the same measured results,showing our metabolic rates doing extra-ordinary things (relative to normal expected ranges of metabolic rate shift capacity), which would be really interesting (even though it isn't the main focus of the research).

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