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Weight loss stalled ... ideas?

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Weight loss stalled ... ideas?

Old 11-14-08, 10:01 AM
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Weight loss stalled ... ideas?

Hi all ...

In just over a year I've managed to lose almost 50lbs, through a combination of cleaning up my diet and riding my bike. I've not yoyoed with the loss ... it's been slow, but steady.

However, for the last month or so I've been flat out stalled. I'd really like to lose 5 more lbs by Christmas, and then another 5 - 6 before the Spring. My diet is clean, and I've been putting in about 5 hours a week on the trainer. I've just gotten a HR monitor, so my trainer sessions are becoming more focused, and in the last week I have noticed that I have gotten stronger. I had hoped I was just adding some muscle, but I seem to have been stalled too long for that. I'm not really in a position to be able to cut more calories out of my diet ... I'm a female, and have been consuming 1300 - 1500 daily for the last year with good results. Not happy about the idea of having to eat even less than that, as I am fairly active in my daily life.

Ideas? This is pretty frustrating.
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Old 11-14-08, 10:34 AM
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Have you tried different exercises at different intensities.

Maybe try to put on more muscle to increase you metabolism, of course this will add more weight
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Old 11-14-08, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by trigger View Post
Hi all ...

In just over a year I've managed to lose almost 50lbs, through a combination of cleaning up my diet and riding my bike. I've not yoyoed with the loss ... it's been slow, but steady.

However, for the last month or so I've been flat out stalled. I'd really like to lose 5 more lbs by Christmas, and then another 5 - 6 before the Spring. My diet is clean, and I've been putting in about 5 hours a week on the trainer. I've just gotten a HR monitor, so my trainer sessions are becoming more focused, and in the last week I have noticed that I have gotten stronger. I had hoped I was just adding some muscle, but I seem to have been stalled too long for that. I'm not really in a position to be able to cut more calories out of my diet ... I'm a female, and have been consuming 1300 - 1500 daily for the last year with good results. Not happy about the idea of having to eat even less than that, as I am fairly active in my daily life.

Ideas? This is pretty frustrating.
Change up your workout. Regardless of your fitness level, if you do the exact same workout over and over, your body will adjust.

Change the intensity of your workout. Do something besides cycling. Make your body work at something new. It will help.
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Old 11-14-08, 11:52 AM
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I know some authors refer to a "set point" for your body, where it resists weight increases or decreases. I have no idea where you are relative to a healthy weight, nor do I know if this "set point" idea has much scientific validity, but it's a thought. At the very least, make sure you want to lose the additional weight for a good reason.

For a more practical suggestion, sometimes I find it useful to catalog my caloric intake and output very carefully. I'm usually chagrined to learn that my snack foods or meals contain a lot more calories than I had realized. After a year or so of diet changes it's also easy to overeat "just this once" and discover "once" has happened 4 times in the last week.

Of course, you may be more disciplined about that than I am.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:09 PM
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Sigh ...

The problem is that I really don't like much exercise that isn't cycling ... running? bleh. I will spend some more time on core work and push-ups and see if that helps.

With the HR monitor I've been able to do structured intervals for the first time, and I have certainly gotten stronger. Perhaps I simply need to do more intense workouts?

According to BMI, I am at a healthy weight, but I've still got a jiggly tummy, and I'd like to see that disappear. I feel good, and I'm proud of my accomplishment, I'm just not quite finished yet.

I have been using Fitday over the past year, but have slacked off lately ... will get on that again, though I don't think my intake has slipped much.

I've heard the last 10 pounds are the hardest ... I guess they're right, 'cause this sucks!
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Old 11-14-08, 12:27 PM
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Being female and losing weight sucks. Life ain't fair. Of course, guys get it too, women live about 7 years longer than we do.

Women need just as much in the way of nutrients as men and for things like iron more. But men being a fair bit larger and muscular can eat a fair amount of "empty calories" and get away with it.

Often keeping track of body fat is more accurate than weight. I have lost belt sizes or noticed a thinning of subcutaneous fat when my weight has stayed constant.

There is a notion that fast weight loss is not a good idea. It requires a drastic and unsustainable kind of action. Once the person loses the weight and gets off the regieme, they gain the lost weight back. You could possibly lose 5 lbs by Christmas but just not gaining weight over the holidays is doing better than most people.

One thing you could do is to do a daily log of your food intake and break it down into calories, grams of saturated fat, grams of unsaturated fat, grams of carbohydrates and grams of protein. Sometimes people have times when more calories than they think have sneaked into their diet. It sounds like this might not be what is happening in your case.

If you are down to 1300 calories per day, I would not recommend going any lower.

With your new heart rate monitor, it might be possible to get more control over your workouts and get a manage to burn more calories that way. Once you know your max heart rate, your resting heart rate, your aerobic zones and so on, you can get more efficient in your work outs.

But losing weight by exercising is tough. I figure I have to ride a bit over 70 miles to burn a lb of fat and that is assuming that I do not take in a single extra calorie as a consequence of my exercising (something which is almost never true).

Look, you have done a terrific job. You have lost 50 lbs in just about a year. That is tremendous. You sound frustrated to not be where you want to be. It would be nice to get there wouldn't it? But really, you have done great. Congratulations. Have patience. I think if you analyze things and make some minor modifications, that you will get there. I would hope that rather than focusing on not being quite there, that you can enjoy the fact that you have accomplished a great deal.
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Old 11-14-08, 01:30 PM
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Trigger,
Have you tried IDC (indoor cycling) (also known as "spinning.") If you find a good instructor, if can be a motivating way to exercise. I always find exercising in a good dynamic to be more "fun." Just a thought..
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Old 11-14-08, 02:00 PM
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^
The problem isn't motivation. If it involves a bike, I'm there! I invested in a Cyclops fluid trainer and have zero problems going downstairs most evenings to spin for an hour or so. I ride the trainer 5 - 6 hours week ... which is, when I think about it, a lot! less than I spent on the road during the season. Perhaps I just have to suffer through the boredom and up the number of trainer hours?

Just tried (ha haha) to do some push-ups ... I've obviously got some work to do there over the winter, and I'll up my core work as well.

It's hard to stay motivated when the scale just won't budge ... that said, I am happy with what I've been able to accomplish so far.
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Old 11-14-08, 02:26 PM
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Do some interval spinning. There was a post about a triathlete who wasn't losing weight although she could run/swim/ride a long distance. in the post some studies were mentioned showing more weight loss by doing 8 second sprints with 12 second rests for 20 minutes as compared to 40 or 50 minutes of steady resistance riding. Might be something to look into.

Mixing it up always seems to help.

If you haven't already watch the more easily processed carbohydrates. Pasta, white bread, etc...
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Old 11-14-08, 03:29 PM
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I know you said you don't like other kinds of exercise, but I'll suggest you keep up with the core work you are doing & consider some weights as well. It won't get rid of the "problem areas" but it will help tone/firm up what's underneath.
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Old 11-14-08, 06:09 PM
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OK, heres my two cents worth. Try adding a Magnesium supplement to your diet. Magnesium is essential to fat metabolism and if you've just lost a lot of weight then you have likely used up your bodies reserves and so now you have stalled.

Anthony
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Old 11-14-08, 06:14 PM
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^

Interesting. Would you be able to suggest a dosage, or should I talk to the folks at the Vitamin store about that?

Thanks.
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Old 11-14-08, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by trigger View Post
^

Interesting. Would you be able to suggest a dosage, or should I talk to the folks at the Vitamin store about that?

Thanks.
There is one, and only one symptom of taking too much Magnesium and its an important one really. Bowel tolerance. If you take too much Magnesium you will have loose bowel movements. If you don't get loose bowel movements then you haven't taken too much.

Look for a magnesium supplement thats in a form such as orotate, aspartate, phosphate or chelated. These are easier to absorb and cause less side effects. Avoid suppliments that contain Magnesium Oxide or heavy magnesium. These are less absorbable and cause more side effects.

Bathing is Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is another way of getting some magnesium although taking magnesium sulfate orally has laxative effects.

Anthony
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Old 11-14-08, 07:27 PM
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You don't say how old you are but I am a female, 48, and I find it much easier to maintain my weight when I do a weight workout twice a week. It firms up underlying muscle and makes everything taut. Your jiggly stomach might just be weak muscles. Weights have also improved my cycling: my legs are stronger and I can stay on the bike for 4 hours without my shoulders/arms getting tired.
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Old 11-14-08, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for the responses so far ...

Money is a bit tight at the moment, so a gym membership is out of the question unless Santa brings me one. I'll keep at it with the core work, add in some push-ups, and will troll craigslist for a a cheap set of free weights.

The magnesium idea is interesting ... I'll look into that. Can magnesium levels be picked up on a blood test? I'm thinking of having my B12 and Iron levels looked at, so I might toss that in as well if it's possible.

For what it's worth, I'm a vegetarian, and am 30 years old.

Thanks!!
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Old 11-14-08, 10:14 PM
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close you mouth and ride more.

I see you say no so happy with this idea. happy has nothing to do with it.

food makes you happy. what is this ? shenanagins ?


close you mouth and ride more.

you want happy, well here is a pic of a cat
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Last edited by 127.0.0.1; 11-14-08 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 11-14-08, 10:29 PM
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^^ uh, yeah ... thanks.

Ride more, I can do ... Eat less, not so much. Less than 1300 calories a day plus riding and life would make me pretty miserable and, I suspect, sick.

Cute cat though ... thanks for that.
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Old 11-15-08, 12:31 AM
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Regarding magnesium blood tests. Yes there is a test, yes someone will do it for you and tell you it means something but it doesn't. The vast majority of the magnesium in your body is in your bones and your muscles. A tiny fraction of your total magnesium is in your blood and your body has a system of keeping your blood levels of magnesium constant regardless of how much magnesium you have elsewhere. Consequently a blood test for magnesium means nothing.

Anthony
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Old 11-15-08, 10:41 AM
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^

Ok - cool. I'll look into it, and pick up a supplement at the Vitamin shop. I'd never heard of that before, so thank you.
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Old 11-15-08, 12:43 PM
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I'm no expert and maybe someone can give some insight that knows better, but have you tried zig-zagging your calorie intake through out the week. I've heard that it tricks the body if you hit a wall. An example of how intake for a week would look.
From this site:
http://www.freedieting.com/tools/cal...alculator.htm#

Ex Fat Loss / Fat Loss/ Maintain
Monday / 1400 /1679 / 2099
Tuesday / 1400/ 1400 / 1679
Wednesday/ 1680/ 2015 / 2518
Thursday/ 1400 / 1679 / 2099
Friday / 1400/ 1511/ 1889
Saturday/ 1540/ 1847/ 2308
Sunday/ 1400 / 1679/ 2099
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Old 11-15-08, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by trigger View Post
Thanks for the responses so far ...

Money is a bit tight at the moment, so a gym membership is out of the question unless Santa brings me one. I'll keep at it with the core work, add in some push-ups, and will troll craigslist for a a cheap set of free weights.

The magnesium idea is interesting ... I'll look into that. Can magnesium levels be picked up on a blood test? I'm thinking of having my B12 and Iron levels looked at, so I might toss that in as well if it's possible.

For what it's worth, I'm a vegetarian, and am 30 years old.

Thanks!!
I don't think anyone has enough info to give you any honest advice that might be worth something. You say you are eating about 1500 calories a day and that you like to ride.

What is your exact workout? Do you have one or is it different every night?

What exactly do you eat in a given day? Most people are at least 3-500 calories short when the estimate their caloric intake because they don't measure food and they don't quite account for all the little stuff like dressing on salad etc.
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Old 11-15-08, 04:38 PM
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Over the last year, I've become pretty obsessive about measuring what I eat. I use Fitday (which I know, has it's problems) and I do account for sugar and milk in coffee, salad dressing etc. The 1300 - 1500 is pretty accurate. I very rarely eat out, so it's pretty easy to keep track of things.

In terms of what exactly my workout is, that's where I could use some help. During the season, it was easier ... I just rode ... sometimes faster, sometimes slower, sometimes longer, sometimes with others, sometimes alone. It seemed to work.

Now, in the cold dark of the Canadian winter, I've got me, my fluid trainer, and a HR monitor. Last night I did a 10 min warm up, 30 minutes of 30 sec 85% intervals with 2 1/2 min between each interval, and another 20 min of spinning after that.

Tonight, not sure what to do ...

I can ride 5 times a week easily, for a min of 1 hour and probably a max of 90 minutes. How should I structure those workouts?? Where should I put my interval day (or days?), my long ride (2 hours with a DVD) etc? I have the HR monitor and have more or less figured out my Max HR ... now what?

Thanks all!!
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Old 11-15-08, 09:28 PM
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1. lower your Sodium intake to 1500 to 1800 mg/day. It will force you to eat more healthy, as it will eliminate virtually all junk food. It will also reduce your appetite.
2. 1 to 2 hour morning rides or trainer rides, before eating ANYTHING. Then eat something high protein, with a little carbs. This is a common practice for Pro riders getting down to racing weight early in the season
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Old 11-16-08, 03:32 PM
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I'm glad you're not fond of the idea of eating less, seeing it's impossible for a woman (any age) to be sufficiently nourished if she's consuming less than 1200 calories. The malnutrition will slow your metabolism and you'll start showing various nutrient deficiencies.

If I were you, I'd actually experience with eating more. Your caloric intake is already restricted, and your metabolism may have started to slow, which explains the stalled weight loss. By eating more your metabolism will get back on track, you'll have more energy, and be able to work harder and longer. This takes a little time to adjust, but you'd be surprised how well it works.
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Old 11-16-08, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SeanMA View Post
I'm glad you're not fond of the idea of eating less, seeing it's impossible for a woman (any age) to be sufficiently nourished if she's consuming less than 1200 calories. The malnutrition will slow your metabolism and you'll start showing various nutrient deficiencies.

If I were you, I'd actually experience with eating more. Your caloric intake is already restricted, and your metabolism may have started to slow, which explains the stalled weight loss. By eating more your metabolism will get back on track, you'll have more energy, and be able to work harder and longer. This takes a little time to adjust, but you'd be surprised how well it works.
I agree...I would amp up your workout and increase your caloric intake slightly. If you are on the 1300 side then you are borderline....1500-1700 should be good given your exercise.

I would add 30-45 minutes of aerobic conditioning to your workout. Opinions will vary and you could drive yourself crazy with all the combos..at the end of the day though it's net calories in - net calories expended and that will be your weight loss or gain.

I'd warm up 10 minutes...30-45 minutes of aerobic conditioning type riding....interval training for strength and to stretch your heart rate out....20 minutes of cooldown type riding.

My 2 cents....but there is merit to increasing your calorie intake slightly in order to jump start your weight loss.
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