Those last five pounds are a...
Well, suffice to say, those last five pounds SUCK! I think I've lost and gained the same three pounds since my most recent low a dozen times. It's super frustrating.
Who else has gone through this? Any tips?
I'm running three times a week for about 1/2 an hour and doing yoga at least twice a week. I do this mostly for fitness, but exercise occasionally curbs my appetite. And I've always found that yoga makes me more aware of my body and less likely to junk out.
I've been trying to restrict my calories while still maintaining a decent volume of food (veggies, vegan chili, etc). Sometimes I'll replace a meal or snack with something caffeinated. I eat breakfast, and when I get hungry, instead of picking at junk food, I usually just eat a small, healthy meal. I only eat after 8:30 p.m. when I get home at 8:30 p.m. and haven't had anything else since midafternoon.
At least, that was my habit for about a month.
Then, last weekend, I really fell off the wagon. My bf came back from his last business trip, and we decided to go out and eat all of our favorite foods, and totally overdid it. Ever since he flew back out last Monday, I've been ... so ... hungry!! I don't know if it's the time of the month, or some sort of weeklong blood sugar issue, but I swear, I could eat a (tofu) horse. Maybe twice a day. With peanut butter... mmm.
And NO, I'm not pregnant. (That's the first thing I get asked whenever I say I'm hungry -- why is that? It's rather annoying.)
Also, it's definitely not a "You've gained muscle and lost fat" sort of deal. My "skinny jeans" still result in the most horrific muffin-top you've ever seen (if they button at all).
How do I get my appetite back under control and lose those last five (well, it's more like eight at this point) pounds?
As long as you don't gain weight, you don't need to restrict your calories.
Instead, spread your total daily calories over more (small) meals per day (5-6) and drink lots of water (and keep running, of course).
After two weeks, post your results in this thread. ;)
I've been reading the free, online, downloadable book THE HACKERS DIET. It is written by an engineer. It is fairly down to Earth focusing on monitoring of food intake and weight. It includes excel spreadsheets that will show your weight in trends. The book explains that you can gain or lose several pounds of water on a daily basis. The graphs in the excel sheet can weed this out and show you the trend of your weight. It is great for not getting psyched out and it also is great for getting an early warning if you are backsliding.
I've read that people tend to be diligent about their weight when they feel uncomfortable, but once they lose enough to go about their lives without being self conscious about it they backslide. I also read that people who successfully keep the weight off for 5 or more years monitor themselves on a frequent, regular basis.
So I would say, keep it in your mind and don't give up.
Weight lifting may help. Protein drinks are good for reducing calories and killing your appetite.
I was wondering how you feel about the boyfriend coming and going. I would think having him leave again would make you really hungry...and nothing but him can satisfy that kind of hunger.
I may be off, but in my life...the emotions tend to rule. Holding those few pounds you gained while he was sharing the fun with you might be a way of holding onto him.
Something to consider anyway.
best of luck,
Are three pounds really worth that much annoyance and suffering? Maybe they are if you are an Olympic athlete or a Supermodel ...
Some people have leptin problems when they get real low. There was a article write up about this, I'll try and find it if I can.
Elainevdw, since you mention appetite control ... I found the Shangri-La Diet on the Internet and used it to conquer a pretty monstrous sugar addiction and completely eliminated my afternoon slump. Lost some tonnage, too.
It's pretty simple, you just add a tablespoon or two of light in flavor olive oil (not the regular yummy kind) to your diet at specific intervals. You don't have to buy anything (except the oil), as you can find all the information on the 'net without buying a book. It sounds pretty unlikely, but it worked for me.
Michelle: a few pounds does make a difference in quality of life. Imagine picking up a 5-pound bag of sugar and being forced to carry that around all the time, and the relief on your muscles and skeleton when you finally put it down. Elainevds's 8 pounds can be the difference between her clothes fitting comfortably and attractively, or NOT. Also, we all know how fast 3 extra pounds can multiple to a lot more!
Thanks for your responses, everyone!
Frans, I'll let you know how it goes. I'm going to be more diligent about the workouts. Perhaps I let one too many days go by between, even though technically I was still in the 3-4x a week range.
Cron, was it you that suggested the Hacker's Diet in another thread? I downloaded it last Sunday, and I absolutely love it! But the charts do show that I'm in danger of backsliding. :eek: Not quite there yet, but I do need to do something about it.
Pam, how intuitive of you! I still haven't taken down the Christmas decorations because it's nice seeing my bf's handiwork around the apartment. We have plans for his next trip home this weekend to eat more moderately, so maybe I'll convince my brain that eating moderately is a way to relive the weekend, rather than bingeing.
Michelle, it's really 8 lbs, not counting water weight. I've lost just shy of 10 lbs already, and I'm really close to the weight at which I feel most comfortable. But it's weird, the closer I get, the more I actually feel it when I gain (or lose) a few -- which I'd hardly notice before. But I do appreciate your point, which is that a lot of women lose sleep over the dumbest things. :D I'll try not to be too hard on myself.
Ibanez, if you find the article, I'd love to see a link.
Angela, thanks for the note on Shangri-La. I'd never heard about it before, but looking it up... it sounds interesting, and the worst that can happen is that it won't work! :D How long did it take for it to kick in?
it's very simple: run!
Run for 45' + 15' warm up + cool down
Stick to this routine for at least 2 months and you'll see what a difference.
Remember, running you burn 1 calorie per kg per km. So, if you weight 110 pounds you burn 80 cal per mile.
Run, and wait, it will happen
ps sorry for my english
One way to lose 5 lbs is to have a goal of losing 10.
I love the authors sense of humor and no-bs attitude.
I've used calorie counting before with good results.
I wish I would have heard about this book last year. I was calorie counting and only weighing myself a few times a month to avoid scale psychosis. One day I after having what I thought was a good month I stepped on a scale in the locker room at my gym and saw that I actually put on a few pounds.
I got demotivated enough to stop calorie counting and a year later I find myself having gained a few pounds back. If I had stepped on that scale few days later I would have noticed that I got a different reading ......in other words the scale needed some work.
It still does. Last week I had a miraculous 20 lb weight loss, then two days later I gained back, and then this weekend I was back down 20.
If I had read his book I would have tried a few other scale and I wouldn't have been so put out by one off reading.
Devlyn, that's my ultimate goal -- but right now I can't run for longer than 20 minutes at a time. :( I used to be able to run regular 5Ks, but I haven't done that for about a year. I'm following a training schedule from Cool Running to ease back into it! I'm on week 6 of the program.
AND, lol, I'll give that a try, but I'm already shooting for a really low BMI (19). If I aim for 10 lbs lower, I'm afraid I'm going to make myself anorexic!
Angela, I'm giving it a try. I did a TB of canola oil this morning just to see what happened, and for whatever reason, I wasn't completely ravenous. ;) I can't attribute that to Shangri-La, though. I'll let everybody know how it goes.
Cron, I love that guy's writing style, too! It's much more congruent with the way I actually diet. The pros say: Eat healthy and use your willpower to conquer cravings, and you can diet without ever being hungry. The Hacker's Diet guy says: Face it, losing weight means eating too little for your body to exist on, making it use its stores of fat. Duh, you'll be hungry! But at least it's only temporary.
PS, You know what's really funny? I read in Fitness magazine last week that they're now recommending that you weigh yourself -- ready? -- EVERY DAY! Hahahahaha! The experts now agree with me! :D Since reading the Hacker's Diet, have you changed your opinion on that?
By the way, I was going to recommend a no-frills digital lithium Tanita scale to you on your other thread. Then I remembered that my boyfriend hates that scale because he doesn't get consistent measurements from it. Which is weird... because I get really consistent measurements from it. Post a link to the model you got; I'm interested in seeing how it works for you.
Elainevdw: I agree that weighing yourself every morning is a good ritual. When you are aware that you'll be "checking in" in the morning, that late-night french dip sandwich with fries looks less appealing. Plus it's easier to deal with a molehill than a mountain.
How are you feeling since you started?
elainevdw -- keep up the good work!
I've been a fairly consistent exerciser (at least 5 x per week) and considered myself to be a healthy eater. But the recent changes that have made the most difference in my weight (in a good way!) are these:
1. Increasing the length of my workouts. Instead of 30 minutes on the treadmill, I'll do 60 minutes (that includes my warm-up.) I'm definitely NOT a runner -- so I can't run for 60 minutes straight, but over time, I'm getting a lot better! Even if you can't exercise at a high intensity for longer, at least keep yourself moving... walk for an extra 15 minutes, for example.
2. I'd also suggest slightly altering the intensity of your workout. I think I read somewhere (so may or may not be wholly true) that increasing the incline (of treadmill or hill) by 1 degree increases your calorie burn by 15 percent. Even 1 or 2 degrees of increase over time will have an effect. (If anyone has any real data on this, please share.)
3. Cut way back on alcohol. Don't know if this is even an issue for you, but it was/is for me. I haven't cut out alcohol entirely, but it's a fraction of what it used to be.
4. With weighing yourself -- I agree with daily weigh-ins, but am trying to remind myself to expect fluctuations, based on liquid intake, time of month, etc. And thus not get unneccessarily discouraged.
Anyway, good luck! I'm trying to lose 5 more pounds, too. I think it will be a miracle if I do ;) but I've already seen more change than I have in years.
Angela, this week is going much better than the last. I'm still not back to my low from two weeks ago, but it's getting closer, and the wild fluctuations in my weight from day to day are starting to mellow out a bit, as well as my ravenous appetite. :D I'm not behind on working out this week yet, either. My goal is to do running or a yoga class every day this week (since I missed a few days last week.) My bf flies back in on Thursday, so we'll see how the weekend goes, too!
lrose, thanks for the tip. My running regimen is a walk-jog regimen, with the walking parts getting shorter and the jogging parts getting longer. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to add on some walking inclines after the 30 minutes I usually work out.
Good luck on those last 5 lbs -- sounds like we're in the same boat!
However, I don't recommend daily weights for most people. Most people are never going to put the effort into understanding feeback, understanding weighted averages, or taking the time to record their calories. Weight Watchers is basically calorie control combined with peer support and they use a point system because using real calories ( another point system ) is too complicated for the general public's temperament about learning things.
For people who have not learned or who will not do what the HD calls for daily weighings are a from of self flagellation that will most likely kill their motivation.
stick to running 3 times a week but up the intensity and cut down on the time. Cut to 15 mins, doing sprint intervals, of 10 seconds or so on, 30 secs off. Start with 50% of max speed nn the sprints and work up from there.
Diet: cycle carb intake from day to day keeping the protein and fat roughly the same. Drink cold water and dont eat anything an hour after your sprints and 2 hours before bed.
Mark, what do you mean by cycling carb intake? I don't think I'm familiar with that term.
Doc, interesting link -- I enjoyed reading about post-workout muscle twitching. That happens to me a lot. :D
Progress: My boyfriend came home today! And, compared to the last time he was home (when I was at the most successful point in my weight loss -- after which I gained practically 3 lbs and then started this thread) I'm down 0.8 lbs! So the damage control I've implemented with your tips has certainly helped.
Angela, I'm particularly liking the appetite tips. I'm not feeling any huge ramifications, like the total disinterest in food that the author's Web site talks about, but my sugar cravings are mostly gone, too. I can feel hungry without feeling compelled to eat every fatty food in sight.
6 lbs to go!
I'm so glad it's having a good effect for you! For me, too, the most noticeable thing was the sugar cravings -- poof -- gone. the hardest part is timing it so you take your oil or sugar water an hour away in both directions from your nearest eating.
In my experience(over 18 years in the fitness field), the body adapts to calorie deprivation and any further deprivation will result in a sluggish metabolism and lean tissue loss. The only effective and healthy alternative to contiunued caloric deprivation is alternating carb intake.
don't go lower than 8 times your bodyweight in terms of overall calories.
For example, Day 1- 40% of calories, Day 2-25%, Day 3- 15%-Day 4-35%. You get the idea. You can either vary the percentages or grams. Of course, your food choices matter here also. Try to stick to oats(but be careful they are allergenic), rice-my body thrives on thai brand rice noodles, sweet potatoes, and sprouted breads if you wish.
Angela, I find myself wondering if part of the success of that method is that, if you take the flavorless calories three times a day, it makes it so that you're not allowed to eat for six hours over the course of the day! Of course, zapping sugar cravings makes it easier not to constantly snack.
Mark, thanks for the clarification! You keep your ratio carbs-fat-protein about the same, but vary your intake of calories to keep your metabolism from adjusting. That makes sense, because it parallels training to some degree -- for running, example, you're supposed to switch your workouts up between distance runs, interval runs, speedwork, fartleks, etc. Also, I'll keep the 8x your body weight in calories thing in mind so I don't go overboard. :)
I only do twice a day. Otherwise it makes me too verklempt.
What I think he means by carb cycling is to keep your protein constant, and your fats constant and then fluctuate your carbs.
In order to do this correctly you'll need to figure out certain elements that will really help you in your quest to shed some pounds.
First, I want to say that you have to stop thinking in strictly pounds.
If you only think about pounds then you are lumping in:
-Whatever you've eaten that day
Most importantly, you do not want to lump Muscle and Bodyfat into the same category.
Fat weighs less than muscle, BUT fat is what makes people "look" overweight.
Does a 220 pound 5'10 bodybuilder who is ripped to shreds, with a 6-pack washboard stomach, look fat?
How about a 220 5'10 couch potato with a gut and no visible muscle to speak of? Does that person "look more overweight?"
SO! What I'm saying is "weight" does not matter as much as body composition.
You can also drive yourself crazy with all the weight fluctuations that happen from day to day based on elements that are completely irrelevant to how good you want to look.
So don't focus so much on the scale. I'd personally say just throw the thing out. But you probably won't do that :)
What I personally recommend people do is find out these critical elements:
-How many calories a day does it take for you to simply maintain your current bodyweight?
-How many calories a day do you burn with activity?
The reason why you need these is because weight loss (or gain) is simply a function of these elements combined with your food intake.
- If you eat less than you burn you will loose weight.
- If you eat more than you burn, you will gain weight.
- If you eat the same amount as you burn you will maintain your current weight.
So, if you burn 2200 calories a day, a safe number to subtract from that is 500, which would make the total calories you should eat in a day 1700.
This way you are in a calorie deficit (meaning you are expending more energy than you put in) this forces your body to get the energy from somewhere. And that somewhere is YOU.
If you want to make this more efficient, you should focus on controlling your macronutrients (Protein, Carbs, Fat) and make them into ratios that work for you.
A great guideline is to eat as many grams of protein in a day as you currently weigh.
-If you weigh 140 pounds, eat 140 grams of protein in a day.
-If you weigh 120 pounds, eat 120 grams of protein in a day.
This will help you preserve your "lean body mass" ie. muscle.
And by the way, muscle burns fat. Fat does not burn fat.
With what you have remaining in calories you'll want to divide that up with carbs and fat.
You need! good fats in your diet in order to hit your goal faster.
GOOD fats though, omega-3, omega-6, Monosaturated, Polysaturated, etc.
Not so much of the saturated, or trans-fats.
These fats can be found in avocados, almonds, peanuts, fish, olive oil etc.
Another good guideline is to just multiply your currently bodyweight by .4 and that’s how many grams of fat you should take in a day.
Say you are 140 pounds. 140 x .4 = 56, so your grams of fat a day would be 56.
The remaining should be carbs.
Preferably complex carbs. Complex carbs can be found in whole wheat foods, brown rice, some fruits, etc.
Here's a bit of a complicated piece...
But the way to find your remainder (to calculate the amount of carbs you need) is to find the total calories you need in a day.
That can be done with the Mufflin Equation:
IF Gender = Male
THEN RMR = (10 * Bodyweight * 0.45359237) + (6.25 * Height * 2.54) – (5 * Age) + 5
IF Gender = Female
THEN RMR = (10 * Bodyweight * 0.45359237) + (6.25 * Height * 2.54) – (5 * Age) - 161
Looks complicated huh!!?
Basically RMR = Resting Metabolic Rate which = how many calories it takes for you to just sit in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. (This does not account for activity)
So since I assume you are female :)
Multiply your bodyweight (in pounds) by 10 and then by .45359237, take that number and then add it to 6.25 multiplied by your height (in inches) multiplied by 2.54. Then take your age (in years) multiplied by 5 and subtract that from your previous number and then subtract 161.
Now find your corresponding activity level below and mutiply the number you got from above. So if you got 1800 calories above and you are "Moderately Active" then take 1800 x 1.55 and you'll get 2790
IF Activity Level = Sedentary
THEN Activity Multiplier = 1.2
IF Activity Level = Lightly Active
THEN Activity Multiplier = 1.375
IF Activity Level = Moderately Active
THEN Activity Multiplier = 1.55
IF Activity Level = Very Active
THEN Activity Multiplier = 1.725
IF Activity Level = Extremely Active
THEN Activity Multiplier = 1.9
If you want to loose weight then take 500 off of that number.
So... 2790-500 = 2290
And there you have it 2290 calories in a day if you want to loose weight.
Remember, in our example 140 of that will be in grams of protein
56 will be in fat
And the remaining calories are going to be in carbs
Protein = 4 calories a gram
Fat = 9 calories a gram
Carbs = 4 calories a gram
So for calories, you'd have:
140 x 4 = 560 calories (for all your protein)
56 x 9 = 504 calories (for all your fat)
And then find the remaining amount of calories allotted for carbs.
Which would be:
Your total calories - your protein + your fat (in calories)
so that would be
2290 - (560 + 504) = 1280 (Left for carbs)
Since carbs are 4 calories a gram we'll divide 1280 by 4
1280/4 = 320
So that brings the grand toal up to
140 grams of Protein
56 grams of Fat
320 gram of Carbs
And that is your total intake for the day!!
That combined with your running and your yoga should really help!
Of course you'll have to adjust the numbers to your specific situation, but this is a great way to start.
You'll want to space this out into 5-6 meals a day.
(Eat every 2-3 hours) this will keep your metabolism burning hot.
This will keep you burning bodyfat rather than just blind "weight" and you'll be looking great!!
So now lets tie this back to the beginning...
If you'd like to cycle carbs then that really relates more to cycling your overall calories (which is one way to speed up the process)
If you hold your fat and protein constant (140 grams and 56 grams in this example)
And then move your carbs down to 150 for 4 days and then back up to 320 or so for the rest of the 3 days in the week. Then your overall calories will go down and then back up again.
This will help to keep your metabolism guessing and force you to burn a little more overall calories. You CAN do this, but you don't necessarily need to.
Oh, and make sure not to eat too little! Because if you do... or if you already have for an extended period, then you can actually force your body into "starvation mode" its a survival tactic used by your body in extended periods of lacking food.
When you are in "starvation mode" then your body stores more fat and your metabolism lowers.
When this happens it becomes harder to loose weight because you burn less in a day as a result... and its just really not good for you.
So do NOT bring your overall calories lower than 1,200 a day. Thats just bad for you and it is actually counter-productive.
You most likely will be wanting to eat 1500 or more a day.
I hope that made sense.
Good luck with your goals!
Hey I'm no exercise/diet guru, but I've found EFT and mostly raw vegan to be the way to go. I don't do grains and dairy, but occasionaly have meat or eggs. Eating lots of fruit and vegies has dropped the kilos off me. Particularly the green smoothies. And my exercise is only a daily walk and a bit of yoga.
The bf may have an influence. If you are feeling at all emotional when he's gone, or about him going away, you may be feeling the urge to eat out of loneliness or whatever. If you do EFT on that then you won't feel the urge to eat.
Joy to you
Hi Sean! Thanks for the extremely detailed reply!
I've actually tried the scientific method to fitness and weight loss several times. Each time, I couldn't maintain it more than a few months. It involved me in the kitchen with my laptop logging foods into Nutribase, measuring spoons and a digital food scale handy, taking hours to create custom recipes and make sure I made the recipes consistently every time. I'm really glad I did it, because it gave me a better idea about portion control, how to read food labels, how to assess the nutrition of nonlabeled foods, and also what it feels like to eat 1000, 1300, 1500, or 1700 calories a day -- and what it felt like when it was mostly junk, or mostly healthy.
However, I've moved on to other hobbies now, and would rather spend those hours doing yoga, henna, or working extra hours so I can get my finances in order.
So I guess I'm searching for a more intuitive approach towards getting to and maintaining my ideal weight. Because even though I know that all those numbers would lead me on a near perfect mathematical curve towards the ideal body fat ratio -- in working reality, it won't, because the human component, the interest that keeps one in the kitchen with their calorie calculator every day, just doesn't exist for me. :(
Anyway, the lesson I'll take from your and Mark's posts will ultimately be: Don't eat too little calories, and vary how much you eat so you don't go into starvation mode and end up with a slow metabolism! That's a nutshell I can digest. ;)
Hazel, I haven't tried EFT yet... but everybody on these forums keeps talking about it, so perhaps I should give it a try. I'm definitely digging the raw vegan additions to my diet, though! A raw smoothie in the morning or half an avo in the afternoon is sheer delight!
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