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Why is my weightloss plan not working? (calorie restricting)

(88 Posts)
itsasecret1 Sat 03-Aug-19 19:05:50

Hi everyone!

Hoped that someone might be able to offer some advice here. I'm desperate to lose some weight, not loads but enough that I feel confident in myself again. Currently I'm 11st3, 5"3ft and I had a baby in Jan 18. I work at a desk so pretty sedentary lifestyle although the baby runs me ragged and I walk my dog daily.

My aim was to lose 1lb a week by cutting my calories down to 1430 per day. I've been doing it for just over 2 weeks and hand on heart I know I have stuck to it completely, been super strict on myself! Somedays I even eat nearer 1200 calories.

The weight has not changed, and whats worse if I weigh myself in the evening the scales say 11st4! I don't understand it. I know its only been 2 weeks but for the intense hunger I feel I would have thought I'd lose a pound or something!

I'd be tempted to cut the calories more drastically but I have started feeling genuinely weak and dizzy at times, it really feels like a struggle!

Ant tips / pointers / ideas very much welcome?

Oh forgot to add, I am tracking using MFP and I tend to eat 300cal breakfast, 400 cal lunch and 600cal dinner approx. My snacks are always fruit.

OP’s posts: |
halfmoonbay Sat 03-Aug-19 19:18:42

Hello, you sound just like me! I also have an office job, I'm 5'2" and in January I was 70 kg (11stone).I felt enormous, I started calorie counting and by the 1st March I had lost a stone. I was sticking to 1400 calories a day too. I am now down to 60.5 kg (9 st 7). I weigh myself every day, as soon as I get up and before I have eaten or had a drink. It's inspiring to even see a tiny loss. I find weighing in kilos helps too. I eat lots of fruit now and drink lots of water, I do have treats too but not as often as I did before. I check the calories on things before I buy them, it's probably become a bit of an obsession but I'm happy.

I feel much so better about myself, clothes fit better and can now climb the stairs without puffing and panting. I use an app to track my calories and have recently increased them to around 1500-1600 per day. I intend to lose another half a stone but am no in no rush to do so. Calorie counting does work - just keep at it and don't lose heart. Good luck!

Walnutwhipster Sat 03-Aug-19 19:29:48

I'm 5'3 and maintain on lower than that. I weigh 53 kilos.

CCquavers Sat 03-Aug-19 19:34:28

I would start by walking faster to break out a sweat and be breathless. Your metabolism might need a bit of a push seeing as you don’t have lots to lose.

PixieLumos Sat 03-Aug-19 19:35:23

I second weighing in kilograms - a stone is a huge amount and a pound is not much and will always fluctuate throughout the day. Can you possibly squeeze in some more exercise somewhere? - you can obviously lose weight through just diet but some cardio may speed things up if your getting frustrated. I lost weight very quickly after having DS and then plateaued around the same time as you - running made all the difference because I definitely didn’t want to eat less anymore! (I walked a lot as well like you but it didn’t have the same effect).

trinity0097 Sat 03-Aug-19 19:35:59

Try a different sort of diet, something like keto, where you won’t feel hungry.

itsasecret1 Sat 03-Aug-19 19:36:20

Thanks so much @halfmoonbay its good to hear that it does work!

Did you find it took a while to 'get going' ? I think I just feel impatient and I need to see some results to cheer me on. Its a good tip about using KG though, that may help!

@Walnutwhipster I'm not sure what I am meant to do with this information.

OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Sat 03-Aug-19 19:36:52

My snacks are always fruit.

Too much sugar and carbs would be my guess. Hence the dizzy, crashy feelings. Protein, fat and fibre and lots and lots of water. Those are your friends.

itsasecret1 Sat 03-Aug-19 19:38:36

Thanks for all your suggestions, I am scared to excercise because I am prone to hypoglycemia, even more so now I am restricting my calories. Don't want to be overdramatic but I find it hard just to get through the day, I am worried I will faint.

OP’s posts: |
DianaT1969 Sat 03-Aug-19 19:41:12

I think @walnut meant that she would gain weight with those calories (similar height). She eats less calories and only maintains - doesn't lose. So she's suggesting reducing to lose. I guess you then find your maintenance amount.
Keto? To avoid the hunger. Diet Doctor website is useful for info on that.

itsasecret1 Sat 03-Aug-19 19:44:09

Thanks for explaining @DianaT1969 I honestly don't think I could handle eating less, not at this point anyway. I want to find something I can stick to, I have terrible willpower. I will look into the keto diet now.

OP’s posts: |
halfmoonbay Sat 03-Aug-19 19:51:21

When I started I was meticulous about weighing and logging everything I ate, I do think that helped to kickstart me. I now don't weigh foods so much but do still log everything. I don't exercise as that is something I know I wouldn't be able to maintain long term. I have switched a lot of foods to lower fat versions (butter, cheese etc.) I see it more as a lifestyle change rather than a diet and it works for me.

DissenterWhereICan Sat 03-Aug-19 20:00:40

I don't think I'll be able to give a complete answer, but I learned something not too long ago that I thought was non obvious, but absolutely made sense to me when I understood it. If you are not familiar with the terms "catabolic" and "anabolic", they describe states in the body where it is effectively "burning" energy (catabolism) and "storing" energy (anabolism).. assuming I've got those two terms the correct way round.

When you engage in some activity (imagine foraging or hunting for food) your body enters the catabolic state (so it can have energy available for your body to use, blood is diverted to the muscles and brain), then when you get the food and eat it your body attempts to store the energy it absorbed (by entering the anabolic state) and enters a restful state to allow the blood to be diverted to the intestines.. It is more nuanced than that with the body continuously having both states active to varying degrees, but I think the important thing is that only one state should be dominant at a time.

In contemporary life people often don't restrict their eating to "traditional" mealtimes (choosing habitual grazing, snacking etc), and they often spoil the mealtimes by remaining in an energy burning state (eating at the desk during work), or by returning to an energy burning state too soon (eat a quick meal then rush to somewhere instead of sitting and having an after meal conversation) to allow the storage stage to complete. I think this results in high levels of the hormones for energy storage and energy release being in circulation at the same time, and so rather than alternatively completing the storage and then the burning stages, the body tries to do them both simultaneously, and then ultimately because more stored energy increases survival probabilities (my guess), the body opts to store the energy rather than burn it.. which may lead to the stubborn weight that people can have difficulty shifting.

This could mean that an easy lifestyle change might be to follow a more traditional pattern of adequately spacing eating times from activity times with long enough intervals, and not spoiling the activity times with snacks even if they are in the form of fruit. My personal experience is that I tend to feel hungry if I'm idling (i.e I'm in a resting phase, absorbing energy after a meal) and very little hunger if I'm active (in the energy burning phase).. hope this helped.

DissenterWhereICan Sat 03-Aug-19 20:07:20

Actually, rereading my post, maybe the last paragraph is the key.. when I'm in activity mode, my mind is not thinking about food because the hormones for releasing energy from the stores are dominant, but when I'm inactive the hormones for putting energy into storage are active.. and that's what might make me feel hungry and more likely to eat even if I've already eaten enough.

PixieLumos Sat 03-Aug-19 20:57:56

I also do exercise DVDs at home when DS is in bed, as DH works abroad at times in which case I obviously can’t go out running. If you worry about feeling a bit faint you can then just stop when you want and take a break - you’re not as vulnerable as you would be out running or at the gym/exercise class.

Crazzzycat Sat 03-Aug-19 22:21:07

I’d give it some more time if I were you. Weightloss is a funny thing. You can be good as gold and not lose a thing, or have a couple of days of overeating and lose weight 🤷🏻‍♀️

What matters is not what happens from day to day, or week to week, but what’s the longer term trend.

If it makes you feel better, I didn’t lose weight in the first two weeks of dieting either. But in the seven months since then I’ve lost three stone. So don’t despair quite yet smile

Stevienickssleeves Sat 03-Aug-19 22:34:17

You as a short, not super heavy woman will not expend enough energy to lose 1lb a week on 1400 cals per day. You need a 500 cal per day deficit. Find a tdee calculator. I think for stats you gave you burn about 1700 cals per day so you need to drop to 1200 to lose a pound a week.

Jupiter13 Sat 03-Aug-19 22:35:34

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Stevienickssleeves Sat 03-Aug-19 22:36:01

Ps if anyone tells you you are not losing weight because you are not eating enough you can safely assume that they don't know what they're talking about.

BananaFace5 Sat 03-Aug-19 22:36:44

Try team rh

Seer Sun 04-Aug-19 00:06:37

I'm quite a bit taller and slightly heavier than you and I'm eating around 1200 cals/day and I lose just over a pound a week. In practice, I aim for 1k cals mon-Thurs with 1200-1500 cals fri-sun.

The only way I seem to be able to stay this low is to fast, that way I don't tend to feel hungry. I usually do a 16-18 hour fast (miss breakfast and lunch altogether or have a late lunch or a small snack).

If you want some support please come join us on the Lose 2 stone in 12 weeks thread smile

BlueCornsihPixie Sun 04-Aug-19 01:23:41

How many snacks are you having? Fruit contains calories too, and if you are having a couple of snacks it adds up. Milk in your tea? Any extras like that?

I'm 5'7 and 11st and last year I would easily lose 1-2lb a week on 1400, however started a new job and I am much more sedentary with this one and literally can't lose anything on 1400 (hence why 11st!), need to drop to 1200. I think sometimes we are more sedentary than we realise. If you are sitting still all day you are barely burning anything, and so the 1800-2000 doesn't stand.

managedmis Sun 04-Aug-19 02:47:16

Hi op,

Please tell us what you are actually eating and we'll help.

Secretlifeofme Sun 04-Aug-19 02:59:45

I think it might help if you tell us what you're currently eating. It might be that there is a way to cut calories more without you feeling hungry if you change the type of foods you're eating.

Yeahsurewhatever Sun 04-Aug-19 03:15:39

I'm about your weight and taller than you.
When dieting I cut to 1200 and then 1400 at weekends. And I try to walk loads and go to the gym a few times a week too.
1450 a day seems a lot and I would expect slow progress, especially when you eat 1300 in meals - most people underestimate too.
And then fruit 'snacks' plural.
Most fruit is 50-100 calories
Two pieces of particular fruit could easily take you over your allowance.
However, I'm never hungry, if I'm hungry I eat, even if it means going over my 1200, but actually I almost never do, and I'm often under.
You shouldn't be hungry, it's not good for your body. I'd say maybe you're filling up on the wrong things.

That said I don't know anything about hypoglycemia, so I'm not taking that at all into account in my advice! You know your body better than me.

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