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*insert scream here*

So I've been actively working on losing weight since last May...and I was doing terrific (if I can be so proud)! I was down 42 pounds and change, and was still going.. (all in all I started with about 90 to lose).

For the past month or so, I've been stuck up. And I say that because rather than gradually creep back up, my weight jumped 6 pounds overnight (not uncommon), but this time, it won't go. I'm working out more than than I was for a while, but not drastically (20-30 minutes 3-4 times/week, rather than 1-2 I was doing). I tried monitoring more closely, and I'm no saint, but I don't see myself "splurging" any more than what was normal before.

What do I do?! It's been 4-6 weeks now, and my inches have finally started to go back up as well, which makes me nervous. I'm trying not to use this as an excuse to throw in the towel and lead to a binge, but it's getting harder...

Suggestions?! Help?! Similar situations?!
Thank you!

Tue. Mar 13, 8:10am

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is your log public? If we can take a look maybe we can offer you some help.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 8:17 AM

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 8:24 AM

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thank you. i don't know if my log is public... its k3s8e4. Also, no. I'm positive I'm not pregnant. (good thought, if scary for me) :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 8:27 AM

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Are you eating enough calories? You might have decreased your calories so low that your body is conserving everything you eat.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 8:57 AM

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...also you need to workout a lot more than 30 minutes 3-4 days. Try to workout 30+ minutes 5 days a week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 8:59 AM

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A few ideas...

1) I started on PT with 80 to lose, and I'm down 44 so far -- took a helluva long time compared to what I expected. I'd lose 4 lbs and hit a plateau for two miserable months, over and over. I tried smart stuff (changing my workouts, increasing fiber, calorie zig-zagging, etc) and stupid stuff (fasting, Atkins) to no avail. These things might work for you though - search on here for threads about plateaus.

2) At 42 lbs less, you don't need as many calories to get through the day. First there's the 80-100 calories a day that the fat used to sustain itself, and then there's the additional calories you burned just moving those 42 lbs around in the course of your daily activities. I don't know how to quantify that on a daily basis, but an example: Walking @ 3.5mph burns 363 cals/hr if you're 200 lbs, and 273 cals/hr if you're 150 lbs. A good guideline for determining your daily calorie level for weight loss is to eat about 8-9x your body weight in calories, more if you have an extremely active job/lifestyle, and never less than 1200.

3) 30 mins of cardio 3x a week is a guideline for health, not weight loss. If that's all you can find time for, fine, but like the above poster said, it's not really enough. The American Heart Association guidelines promote 30-60 minutes 4-6 days a week at 50-80% of your max capacity. Walking briskly gets average-fit people to about 60%, so perhaps you can squeeze some in that way.

4) All calories are not created equal, and the same goes for our bodies. Personally, I can't lose weight eating Pop Tarts for breakfast and pizza for lunch every day even though I keep within calorie guidelines, but I'm sure there are people who can. If there's something you can do better, just a couple of minor changes - a smarter breakfast cereal, 2 more servings of vegetables every day, eating dinner at 7pm instead of 9pm, etc. - can make a surprising difference.

Good luck, and don't give up on yourself. You're halfway there and you know it's totally worth it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 11:20 AM

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All of these are really great suggestions. If you have not made your log public, then it is not public. It is something you have to choose.

You need to up your activity on a daily level. Only you can decide how that is best done, either by increasing "workout" time, or by making lifestyle choices like always park as far away from the store as the parking lot will allow you to, always climb the stairs, carry your groceries out to the car instead of always using a cart to take them out, switch from a riding mower to a push one, you get the idea. Our labour saving devices are killing us.

Increase your vegetables, and increase your water. I personally need far more of both of these items than current guidelines state.

Best of luck

Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 5:29 PM

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Thank you all for taking time to respond. Although I certainly understand where the posters who have told me to get more activity are coming from, I've made most of the "lifestyle" changes, like parking farther away, taking the stairs, etc. As for fitting in more active time, at this point, it's not going to happen. Not for a while. I work three jobs and am a full-time grad student. While I understand that I should work out more, even when it's a priority, 30+ minutes 5+ days a week isn't happening.
And although its only a "maintaining" workout, at least I'm working out and maintaining the habit if nothing else.

I appreciate the suggestions for more veggies and water. I'm trying to work on both of those. Should I see an initial increase with either though? (i.e. would my body try to hold more water until it gets accustomed to that amount?) Also, I plan to reassess my calories. I tend to follow WW, and then if I get stuck switch to 1200-1300 calories, but I'm hungry... which makes sense given the info. Thanks!

:) Any other ideas for something I should look at to see if it changed?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 7:25 PM

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When I finally got my water up to speed, I gained a pound for a day, then the tonnage started to move. It was such an issue for me, because I had believed the guidelines and just did not want to believe I needed more. When I increased up to what i needed, all kinds of good things started to happen. I even smelled better, my skin improved, my mental fog lifted, swellings went away, cravings disappeared. Can't believe what I was doing to myself. I now drink 4 litres a day. I manage it nicely by drinking 1 large glass per hour. That keeps me hydrated without giving me digestion problems from dilution of the HCL in my stomach. Similar things happened when I upped my vegetables and decreased my fruit. Fruit acts just like sugar in me, and I really need to watch it.

I also tend to eat too much fat. I have managed to change to no added fats other than olive oil and flaxseed oil, and I keep it below 2 Tablespoons per day. This last was a suggestion of a teammate of mine, and it helped me remember to measure rather than eyeball it.

Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep will cause weight gain in me, I don't know why, but it sure does. Use small plates (serving sizes look so inadequate in todays american sized dishes. I go to thrift stores and find older pretty disshes that are smaller), and put down your fork between bites. I have an eating place, and that is the only place I allow myself to eat when I am home. When I allow myself to eat in front of a movie, then the next time I sit down to a movie, I want to eat, whether I am hungry or not. So I try hard not to allow myself to do that.

I don't know what your jobs are, is there a way to increase your activity there? I travel a lot, and do isometric exercises in the truck. I put a ball between my legs and squeeze them together several times, and bring my loser abdomin in toward my spine as long as I can as many times as I can, and tighten my buttock muscles as I am sitting on them. That sort of thing, several times a day, can really help.

Try small, tiny meals, 6 times a day. A team mate of mine is doing that and it is really moving things off of her. Same calories, just more often, every 2-3 hours

Let us know what you do, and how it goes. We are rooting for you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007, 12:08 AM

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I understand that you can only get in 30 min of exercise a few times a week but I think it is not the duration of the sessions that will make a difference but the intensity. Are you using a bike or treadmill? Try intervals of faster paces every so often. Or try a higher incline or resistance at the same speed you were doing. By upping the intensity you will burn more calories and get a better workout in the same amount of time. You can gradually work you way up in intensity and after a while it won't feel so hard to you and then you can push to a higher level again. Hope this helps:o)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007, 12:54 PM

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After the holidays I gained 6 pounds. I assumed it was from eating christmas leftovers and cookies on a daily basis, and once i resumed normal life and more exercise, they would melt back off. AND IT JUST WASNT HAPPENING! I didnt know what I was doing wrong! Then today I weighed in (as I do everymorning) and I'd dropped 3 pounds?! I was definitely not dehydrated since I'd drank 3 liters of water the night before....and I even had my roommate check the scale to see if her weight was consistent, it was.
Sometimes the science of our bodies is confusing, I thought I was stuck in a rut, and now the normal routine seems to be working just took a little time?
I would suggest talking to your doctor about it, ask to get your rmr tested and have them check your thyroid. Also any hormonal imbalances could be to blame so ask about that as well. examine your lifestyle closely... any new medications of any kind? Any little changes that have gone unnoticed such as a frappuchino instead of a regular coffee? Sometimes its hard to figure out...but keep on truckin! I completely understand the busy lifestyle of a grad student, its hard enough to get in enough sleep 3 times a week let alone enough exercise 5 times a week. Dont throw in the towel! make it a priority to really figure out whats goin on with your body, medically, emotionally, hormones etc etc its worth it!:)

Friday, March 16, 2007, 12:39 AM

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