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To despair at how hard it is to lose weight?

193 replies

Angel1983 · 02/07/2015 20:29

I know I need to toughen myself up and it's my own fault for letting my weight get so out of control in the first place but my word how hard is it to lose weight?

I have just been to the gym and worked my backside off on the cross trainer (amongst other things). After ten minutes of really going for it (sweating and panting) I had burned only 50 calories. This is not even enough for an apple!

AIBU to feel disheartened? How do you keep your motivation? Help!Blush

OP posts:
IJustLostTheGame · 03/07/2015 10:27

I have lost 5lbs this month following these rules:
No alcohol during the week
Not buying crap bread, it's granary, brown, rye, wholemeal type stuff now. Rye is really filling.
On weekday mornings it's 30 minutes of a fitness dvd
Breakfast is toast and poached egg/ sardines/yoghurt, banana, tea, juice.
Snacks are raw carrots and apples
Lunch is a sandwich and a banana or a potato and cottage cheese and/or tuna/eggs
Dinner during the week is a low cal search on yummly.
On a weekend I have whatever the hell I want. On Saturday I'm making a full fat strawberry cheesecake plus wine plus whatever else I fancy.

I do have to get up earlier, and in the first week I put on a ton of weight. I think my body went into shock, but now I'm starting to look pretty good. And I feel much much better.
I always have the weekend to look forward to but I've found I don't gorge as much as I thought I would.

It's simple. Not easy. But it gets easier.

tabulahrasa · 03/07/2015 10:33

"I totally agree Slimming World is grim. It took me a whole year to lose a stone. Eating ghastly dry tasteless meals."

Why were you cooking ghastly dry tasteless meals though?

You can make whatever you want, there's no set meal plan you have to follow, there's nothing you absolutely have to eat...

It's basically a huge list of ingredients and you cook what you want.

The style of eating freely from lean meat, eggs, vegetables, pulses, potatoes rice and pasta might not suit everyone, especially if they need something more regimented, but it's only grim if that's how you choose to cook.

silverstreak · 03/07/2015 10:38

Lots of good advice here but also lots of rubbish advice - including that exercise doesn't help with weight loss (nonsense, see my post up thread - it increases your body's overall everyday calorie intake) & that it's all about reduced snacking/portions.... This is true for some people but as I also said up thread - some people just like eating and putting things in their mouths! (Fnar fnar) I am definitely one of these types but I've just worked out what works for me.. Exercise I enjoy (+ a bit I don't so much, ie strengthening exercises), plus lots of fruit and veg... Another tip I heard years ago - next time you fancy a snack, have a drink instead, ie a cup of tea (normal or fruit) or coffee or the like... Or clean your teeth! Sounds weird but works! Smile

tabulahrasa · 03/07/2015 10:45

The thing is exercise won't make you lose weight if you're still taking in more calories than you use.

So if your diet isn't too bad, exercise might well tip it into weight loss, but if it's pretty terrible then the best you'll get is not gaining as much.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 03/07/2015 10:54

'The thing is exercise won't make you lose weight if you're still taking in more calories than you use.'

True, but it will slow the rate at which you put on weight.

While it is perfectly possible to lose weight through diet alone you will get far better and longer lasting results if combine a healthy approach to food AND exercise. To just look at either one of these key aspects in isolation is just foolish.

MicronesiaIsMyHome · 03/07/2015 11:01

I am fairly convinced that the "eat less, move more" thing does work. It is certainly working for me. I went on an NHS eat well course in december last year and it really opened my eyes to portion sizes and how snacking has increased over the last few decades. Now I use smaller plates for my meals which I think has made the biggest difference because there is less area to put food but also I can't make the mountains I used to either.
I think we are more conditioned to eat snacks and eat when we want rather than living with our hunger until the next meal time. I also don't eat in the evening and have reduced my alcohol intake a lot.
Losing weight is massively hard but that does not equal impossible. I've lost over a stone since Jan and I am still losing slowly and steadily. I use mfp to track calories. I've still got around three stone to lose until I have a healthy bmi though!

tabulahrasa · 03/07/2015 11:10

"While it is perfectly possible to lose weight through diet alone you will get far better and longer lasting results if combine a healthy approach to food AND exercise."

Oh of course, exercise will help with weight loss and it has its own health benefits, so it's worth doing even if your weight is fine.

But not eating a 600 calorie slice of cake is way way easier than burning off 600 calories.

ElizaCBennett · 03/07/2015 11:14

I've been on every diet going. I've lost weight on them too. But I have found that the only reliable way to lose weight AND keep it off is low carb. It's not a fad, it's science. There are some great books about it - Sugar Busters is one. What if it's all been a big fat lie? By Gary Taubes is brilliant. I find that when I understand what's happening when I eat and trust to what I can eat and enjoy rather than what I can't is more effective.

I do feel your pain though!

Sometimesjustonesecond · 03/07/2015 11:25

I dont think it is as simple as calories in v calories out. There is research to show that not all calories behave the same way within the body and that 200 cals from a choc bar will make tou put on more weight than 200 cals from an avocado.
Reading the low carb, high fat threads, it seems that you need to eat fat in your diet (but sadly not fat combinex with sugar, so dairy milks dont count) in order to metabolise (sp?) fat which has been stored on the body.

Im not exactly sure how it all works - you need to look on the threads to get all the science but the gist is that you eat veg, meat, fish, some fruit, some nuts. Basically a healthy, unprocessed diet cutting out bread and pasta etc.
It can be restrictive but you can eat enough food not to be hungry.

Sometimesjustonesecond · 03/07/2015 11:27

Oh and be careful of mfp. Have heard it over estimates calories burned through exercise which can then bugger you up if you eat those calories back

vickibee · 03/07/2015 11:30

I think it is beacuse fruit / veg are full of fibre and it takes calories to digest the fibre, whereas fat is absorbed easily into the bloodstream. fibre also helps you go to the toilet easily and is good for bowel health

IrianofWay · 03/07/2015 11:55

Agree that cutting right down on carbohydrate is the best way. Every time I do this I lose the best part of a stone in about a month. I eat lots of green veg and salad, meat and fish, cheese, eggs and greek yoghurt, very small amounts of certain fruits and nuts. No processed foods. No reduced fat foods. Lots of water. My appetite shrinks. The weight comes off.

It works for me mostly because I love carbohydrate-rich food and find it hard to restrict the amounts I eat. I have also discovered that I am wheat-intolerant hence I bloat when I eat bread and wheat pasta.

I also run (well I do when not injured Sad) and although I never use that as a weight-loss strategy, it helps to boost my confidence and mood and tones my legs and arse.

IrianofWay · 03/07/2015 11:57

When I run regularly I was doing about about 20 miles a week which was burning between 2100 and 2400 calories - not a great deal really. You have to do both to shrink.

emmak88 · 03/07/2015 12:53

Hey angel The number one reason why it's so hard for people to lose weight is basically our habits which is controlled by our subconscious mind ,for example every new years when people decide to lose weight they go to the gym for about a week and end up going back to their old routine of eating unhealthy foods and not feeling motivated to work out ,

but once you change that habit ,your subconscious will make you do the right things on auto pilot without even thinking about it and feel any resistance towards it,there's no such thing as a magic pill/diet that people out there keep on advertising ,it comes down to developing that new habit.

i've been using this method that makes you create that new positive habit EASILY and i haven't been missing out on days of going to the gym or do i ever feel tempted to eat junk food,if you want to know how to do this go to this website

PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 03/07/2015 13:18

'But not eating a 600 calorie slice of cake is way way easier than burning off 600 calories.'

The beauty of regular exercise though is that you can eat 'bad' foods in moderation. Makes life a bit easier when you can have a guilt free slab of cake once in a while knowing full well that your exercise regime will burn off the excess calories.

What is often overlooked is that regular exercise increases your resting metabolic rate so even when you are sitting on your arse watching TV you are burning calories at a greater rate tehn the unfit person also watching TV

tabulahrasa · 03/07/2015 13:35

"The beauty of regular exercise though is that you can eat 'bad' foods in moderation. Makes life a bit easier when you can have a guilt free slab of cake once in a while knowing full well that your exercise regime will burn off the excess calories."

If you're actively trying to lose weight though because you are actually overweight...then it is more effective for weight loss to overhaul your diet.

That's where all the it's diet and not exercise comments are coming from.

It's also easier for most people to build up exercise gradually while you're losing weight than to just start a full on exercise regime when you've been doing nothing.

I run about 10k over a week (I'm gradually building up to more) I do weights and other stuff and I walk about 6-7 k a's not enough for me to lose weight without changing my relationship with food because without making sure I eat healthily I would live on chips and cake Blush.

Changing my eating habits so that they are an occasional thing rather than my main food groups is what's actually got weight off .

PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 03/07/2015 13:41

Indeed. Hence my 'you can eat 'bad' foods in moderation' comment in conjunction with a healthy diet.

I just feel there are some of this thread who seem to think exercise is not worth the effort as the benefits are somehow negligible, which is an absurd position.

Lottapianos · 03/07/2015 13:43

'I think there's much more room for positive outcomes if you forget about numbers on the scales and focus on (health) improvements'

Absolutely agree. I understand why people who want to lose weight are focused on the numbers, but its also important to notice the other stuff that's changing in your body when you get healthier - brighter skin, clearer eyes, stronger limbs, better posture, more energy, increased self esteem, sense of achievement.

Overall, I do agree with other posters that it's mostly diet, not exercise that causes weight loss. No-one is going to lose weight by going to the gym 3 times a week but still eating everything in sight. I think for an improved healthy lifestyle though, you do need both.

thegreylady · 03/07/2015 14:07

Details:I was 14 stone 3.5 lbs in May last year and am now 11st 9lbs and aiming for 10st 7lbs.
Dh was 18 St 4 lbs on 8th April this year and is now 16st 7lbs.
Onwards and downwards.

thegreylady · 03/07/2015 14:09


To despair at how hard it is to lose weight?
thegreylady · 03/07/2015 14:09

It's is now other was April

Runningupthathill82 · 03/07/2015 14:32

Sometimes - I think MFP does overestimate exercise calories slightly, but not by much. The MFP estimations were only ever slightly higher than my accurate figures from Strava.

What is the problem with MFP though, is twofold IMO.

  1. People who work in an office don't like to class themselves as "sedentary" so start at, say, 1600cals a day instead of 1200. If you work in an office and spend most of the day sitting - aside from say an hour's walk between meetings, and making tea here and there - that's sedentary. Be honest!

  2. Underestimating portion sizes. I've seen people put down a "small roast dinner" at 500cals or so, when they've eaten two or three times that. It only works if you're honest!
WannaShedthisFatSuit · 03/07/2015 15:14

op you keep burning after excersise so you will have lost more than 50 calories worth.,

try and ignore counting and just keep doing.

Lottapianos · 03/07/2015 15:24

Yes yes - as Wanna said, forget the numbers just keep at it! Concentrate on how you feel (stronger? more energy? overdone it a bit?) not how many calories here or how many pounds there

youareallbonkers · 03/07/2015 15:29

Losing weight is easy if you change your diet for life and exercise more. Those of you who claim to Eat nothing, exercised loads and don't lose weight I guarantee you are eating more than you think. Watch a few episodes of secret eaters

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