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  1. #1
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    Getting a bit worried

    First off let me just say how much i love reading these forums and I'm learning all sorts of things, but there is one thing that is starting to worry me.. I've lost a grand total of 203lbs from exercise and diet but i feel i'm not done yet.. Lately despite my best efforts I've gained 13lbs and i cant understand why. I eat 1210 calories daily and i ride my bike at least 15 miles per day at an average speed of 13mph and i know its not very fast but when you own a heavy steel frame mountain bike its about the best i can manage.. anyway i drink a lot of coffee and i mean a hell of a lot of coffee and i'm thinking maybe some of this newly acquired weight is due from that. I plan to cut the amount of coffee i drink to about a quarter of what it is now but my real question is should i also cut my caloric intake down by another few hundred calories? I'm beginning to get really worried about this situation. Any advice would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

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    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    You are crash dieting. No one should be eating under 1200 calories per day.

    If you're active you should be losing weight eating around 2000.

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    Most people who "diet" or only do cardio exercise jack up their metabolism to a level so efficient that it simply does not burn enough calories anymore. You will need to calculate calories and macros so that you hit a very small weight loss every week to reset your metabolism. I would also suggest resistance training to add muscle and increase your basic metabolic rate.

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    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dm83 View Post
    Most people who "diet" or only do cardio exercise jack up their metabolism to a level so efficient that it simply does not burn enough calories anymore. You will need to calculate calories and macros so that you hit a very small weight loss every week to reset your metabolism. I would also suggest resistance training to add muscle and increase your basic metabolic rate.
    +1
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    I dont understand.. Whats macros?

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    Senior Member Buzzatronic's Avatar
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    As others have said, you're eating WAY too little. You're burning up to HALF of your total calorie intake per day on your 15mi ride (over an hour at 13mph) leaving you with a net intake of ~600 calories. Your body needs fuel to work and you are literally starving it. Stop.

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    So what should i be shooting for then as far as calories and why have i gained 13lbs in less then a month on a 1200 calorie diet? I'm really nervous about eating too many calories as i've gained 13lbs and i dont know why....

  8. #8
    Senior Member Buzzatronic's Avatar
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    You should consult a doctor or nutritionist if you want specific advice on what and how much to eat. Us Internet Doctors don't know much but we do know the basics of math and calories and you're not eating nearly enough regardless of 13lbs of weight gain. Maybe that's your body retaining water because you're starving it? Who knows.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Buzzatronic's Avatar
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    And to put my money where my mouth is so to speak, here's a little thing I learned when dropping 80lbs in ~8 months recently and THEN picking up cycling after I hit my goal weight. My diet to lose weight was 1400-1600 net calories a day (net means food-exercise=net intake). My exercise was walking 2-4 miles a day. When I started cycling I bumped up to 2300 calories net but kept losing weight (got down to 160), I changed to 2500 net calories a day and still couldn't keep weight on AND I started to bonk on some of my rides. Now I'm working with 2800 calories a day *net* and I ride 150-200mi a week (av. 15-16mph). I'm 6' tall and have been at 165 (give or take a few lbs either way) for a year now and I haven't bonked in 6 months.

    You don't maintain a healthy weight by starving yourself after you hit a specific target weight, especially if you're including significant activity on a regular basis. Your body NEEDS fuel to work, stop denying it because you're scared of gaining weight. You've lost over 200lbs which is fantastic, you're not going to gain 200lbs in two weeks (or two months or even two years) if you make a bad decision on calories now.

    Experiment and find what works for you but do the research to understand the basics of metabolism and calorie intake and you'll find that when you're fit and healthy, it can require MORE calories to maintain weight than it did when you weighed a lot more but sat on your butt all day.

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    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tindo View Post
    So what should i be shooting for then as far as calories and why have i gained 13lbs in less then a month on a 1200 calorie diet? I'm really nervous about eating too many calories as i've gained 13lbs and i dont know why....
    A couple things. First, you haven't put on 13 pounds at 1200 calories/day. You aren't figuring your calories correctly. Second, by keeping your food intake very low you've completely jacked up your hormone profile and down-regulated metabolism. Black coffee isn't your problem. If you're throwing a bunch of sugar and cream in every cup, then that isn't doing you any favors. Drink it black and drink as much as you want. It's certainly better than any soft drink (even diet) by a long shot.

    Macros are fat/carbs/protein. You need them all, but probably carbs are what you need the least. Start by eating real foods. Nothing that goes in your mouth should come out of a vacuum sealed package. Eat as many colorful vegetables as you can stand. Have a good chunk of protein at every meal. Don't be afraid of 'natural' fats like olive, coconut and red palm oil. Grass-fed butter and ghee are also good options if available. Keep grains (i.e. bread) to a minimum. Above all, eat real food.

    Keep your bike riding up, but do some strength training as well. If you can afford a gym membership, great. If not, then do a bunch of body weight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, planks, leg-lifts, etc. When you build muscle, you raise your metabolism. Cycling doesn't build muscle per say, it primarily strengthens what you have and makes it more endurance based.

    Keep us informed on how it's going.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

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    I drink my coffee black with the exception of splenda.. i use tons of it.. i just cant stand it completely black but since splenda has no calories in it (or so the packaging says) then I'm not worried about it being a source of calories.. I do however eat a lot of bread.. love peanut butter sandwiches and i eat 2 daily as far as protein i eat it everyday in the form of an egg.. i do however admit i don't get many vegetables if any at all so yeah i have some work to do on the diet frontier it seems..

  12. #12
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tindo View Post
    love peanut butter sandwiches and i eat 2 daily
    That's more than half your 1200 calories alone. I think you really need to recalculate your calorie intake.

  13. #13
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    There are some studies out there (and this will be abig debate) that suggest that excessive use of artifical sweeteners can be counter productive to losing weight

    dr. oz Artificial Sweeteners and Other Food Substitutes: Dangerous to Your Health? | The Dr. Oz Show
    Many people use artificial sweeteners to cut their caloric intake, but the very opposite effect can occur. New research shows that artificial sweeteners stimulate taste receptors that sense sweetness in both the esophagus and stomach. Anticipating energy, the pancreas releases insulin, an important hormone for accumulating body fat. At the same time, chemicals are sent to the brain’s satiety center, which becomes confused as to whether or not the body is actually receiving calories. The result? You feel even hungrier and less full, which can lead to weight gain.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    If it was me I would start writing down everything I ate and making a good effort to estimate the total calories from my diet. Loaves of bread in our house can have anywhere from 60 to 110 calories per slice. Measure the amount of peanut butter you're using. Do the math and don't guess at calories unless you really have to. You need good data to figure out what's going on.

    I agree that you're starving yourself if you're really only getting 1200 calories per day, and that's really a problem. If you've screwed up your metabolism from this strategy, you may need some professional help (like a nutritionist) to help you get back to normal. If you've just been underestimating your calories, you might be able to get back on track more easily.

    I don't necessarily agree with all the advice you'll hear about cutting out carbs. Carbs are becoming the "new fat" in that people are demonizing them, sometimes without good reason. It used to be that people were going low fat at all costs, and in the process cutting out healthy fats and unnecessarily denying themselves the pleasure of less-healthy fats that could be eaten in moderation. Now, in exactly the same way, people are cutting out healthy carbs and denying themselves the pleasure of less-healthy carbs that can be eaten in moderation. Some people should be very careful about carbs (like diabetics) and others can eat moderate to high carb with no issues at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
    That's more than half your 1200 calories alone. I think you really need to recalculate your calorie intake.
    Nice but as i have found out through the reading of labels not all peanut butter is equal in calories and certainly not all bread is equal in calories.. According to the label on the brand i use it has 180 calories per serving with a serving size of 2 tbsp.. The bread i use is sara lee 100% whole wheat and each slice is 45 calories.. Now i do not and never have used 2 servings of peanut butter on a sandwich as its way too much so i divide it between 2 so thats 180 calories of peanut butter and 180 calories of bread which makes 360 calories for the 2 sandwiches i eat daily. Granted thats a lot of bread and i do plan to cut that amount in half starting tomorrow as it is too late to do it today..

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    I measure everything i put into my mouth and the 1210 calories daily is accurate data..

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    Have recently started any new meds? Sometimes they can cause weight gain. If not then I have to agree with some of the posters that
    you may need to more accurately account for what your eating caloriwise.

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    PS Have you had your thyroid checked? Low thyroid can cause low metabolism and weight gain.

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  19. #19
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tindo View Post
    Nice but as i have found out through the reading of labels not all peanut butter is equal in calories and certainly not all bread is equal in calories.. According to the label on the brand i use it has 180 calories per serving with a serving size of 2 tbsp.. The bread i use is sara lee 100% whole wheat and each slice is 45 calories.. Now i do not and never have used 2 servings of peanut butter on a sandwich as its way too much so i divide it between 2 so thats 180 calories of peanut butter and 180 calories of bread which makes 360 calories for the 2 sandwiches i eat daily. Granted thats a lot of bread and i do plan to cut that amount in half starting tomorrow as it is too late to do it today..
    Ok I'll take your word on it.

    The link I gave probably assumes what the average person does. Personally I usually put more than 2 "actual tablespoons" on a single sandwich. I like Smuckers Natural peanut butter, 210 cals of peanuts only, but you gotta stir it. Your 180 cal stuff contains other fillers obviously.

    In conclusion I'll have to agree with the others that say there's something going on with your metabolism.
    Last edited by BigAura; 03-20-14 at 06:08 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Calorie-restricted diets are not a good long term solution for weight loss. Low calorie diets only work for short periods of time and eventually your body adepts and becomes a fat storage machine instead of fat burning machine. Low calories diets will wreak havoc with your hormones and your metabolism. If you follow a low calorie diet for a very long time, your body will eventually become better at storing fat then burning fat...Fat storage is actually a primal survival mechanism on which our ancestors depended for survival during very lean times when food was in short supply, but their lives also had a lot of physical intensity and that's why obesity was never a problem for them.

    Macronutrients are also important. A lot of people will easily gain weight from eating too many carbs.

    Increase your calories from 1200 to at least 1600-2000...Try getting 400 calories from protein, 400 calories from carbs and about 900 calories from healthy fats, get your fats from foods such a: butter, fish, nuts, eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, and various types of animal products...A high intensity weight training routine or a strength training routine using bodyweight exercises will also help you a lot. You can also try sprinting on your bike an all out effort for about 30 seconds, then take 2 minutes rest and repeat that few more times.

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    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tindo View Post
    I measure everything i put into my mouth and the 1210 calories daily is accurate data..
    Sorry to doubt you. A lot of people get this wrong. I think at this point you need a pretty careful strategy, and you should consider seeing a nutritionist or at least do some research about recovering from extreme calorie-restricted dieting.

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    If you are eating 1200 kCal/day, riding 15 miles/day, and gaining weight, you need to consult your physician, something obviously isn't right.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  23. #23
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    As usual, Wolf and I are in agreement. I'd be prone to ratcheting the protein up higher than that, honestly, but 400 cal/day of protein is probably quite a bit more than you're getting right now.

    So ditch the bread/pasta/grains. If you just gotta have bread, then get something that's sprouted grain, like Ezekiel bread and limit yourself to 2 slices a day. At least this will reduce your grain carbs and lower the GI of the bread. Get some real peanut butter if you've got to have it. All it needs for ingredients is peanuts and salt. The fewer ingredients in any store bought food the better. Oh ya, dairy...for now, I'd get that out of the diet as well.

    Also, ditch the sweetener. Yes, it is zero calorie, but even at that, it may very well be triggering an insulin response that is hurting you. If you can't drink your coffee black, then try black-green-white-mate tea. Don't limit yourself on it, but have it black.

    An egg is about 6 grams of protein. You're gonna need to do better than that. Try some wild-caught salmon, chicken or lean beef. If you can find/afford grass-fed beef, that's very good (the fat composition is similar to salmon). Have a good chunk of your protein for breakfast. People tend to be very carb-heavy for breakfast and then get hungry at 9 AM. Having ~40 grams of protein and a good whack of fat will last you much longer.

    Veggies are going to be your friend. There are some that I would say you cannot eat too much of. Any cruciferous is pretty much carte blanche. I have yet to hear of anyone who 'got fat' from eating broccoli or cauliflower. Anything green is going to be fair game. You can make some crazy big lunch salads that really aren't that many calories. Throw a can of tuna on the top to get your protein. For now, limit your fruit intake to maybe 2 pieces a day (say and apple and a pear).

    Now the weight gain that you're seeing right now is of concern. If you are indeed eating 1200 calories/day and the scale is moving up, then you're retaining a massive chunk of water. You're not eating enough to be putting on fat, plain and simple. I think something like congestive heart failure could even be in play. You need to have a Dr. check you out.

    So we've given you a starting point. It's up to you to make it happen. Good Luck!
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

  24. #24
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tindo View Post
    I measure everything i put into my mouth and the 1210 calories daily is accurate data..
    Where did you come up with the 1210 number? I'm 135 pounds and to lose a pound a week, I'm at 1320/day, plus whatever I earn in exercise (about another 3500 cal/week)- so 1800ish cal/day. Because I'm training & trying to build muscle, I eat 100 GM (400 cal) of protein/day and I shoot for around 50% of total calories being from carbs.

    When you really think about it, you don't want to lose weight, you want to lose fat. So you want to create a calorie deficit but not a protein deficit. Likewise, the most productive way to look at your exercise is as a way to build muscle, because muscle is more metabolically active than other body tissues like fat. You are probably better off eating enough to exercise intensely, doing longer & more intense exercise on your "on" days and then resting the worked muscles more so that they can build more muscle on the rested (ie "recovery" days). Sometimes this is more easily accomplished by cross-training, or working different muscle groups on different days. For example, I bike 4-5 days per week, do yoga (focused on core + upper body) 1 day per week, swim 0-1 day/week, and rest 1-2 days per week.

    Calories are important as far as the mathematics of weight loss, but it sounds like you need an overall better strategy vis a vis your metabolism. I definitely know my sister-in-law has gained weight on starvation diets, I think that's a recognized phenomenom.

    I agree with those who suggest eating more. Fuel the exercise.

    H
    Last edited by Heathpack; 03-20-14 at 11:32 PM.

  25. #25
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tindo View Post
    I measure everything i put into my mouth and the 1210 calories daily is accurate data..
    Good!

    Now, go to your Dr for a complete physical, and find a nutritionist who can help you with the details of your diet. You might also want to consider joining a gym and getting a personal trainer so you can add more exercise to your day ... especially if you're going to entertain the idea of adding more calories. 15 miles a day isn't bad, but you can probably start increasing your distance or doing more of other activities.

    And if you are entertaining the idea of adding more calories, I would not recommend going as high as 2000 calories a day unless you're out riding centuries quite frequently!! But if you're happy with the amount of calories you're consuming, stick with it.

    You've done a great job to lose 230 lbs with diet and exercise ... how much more do you want to lose?

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