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Old 06-09-2011, 04:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Only lost 5 lbs in 6 weeks?

I am a 5'3" female, 32 years old... eat 1300-1600 cals per day and started out weighing 160. I now weigh 155 and its been six weeks. I work out 4-6 days per week, do 25-60 minutes cardio each time, and weight train at least 2 times per week. I'm in a calorie deficit of 300-600 cals per day, I burn 300-600 cals each time I go to the gym... I drink 2-3 Liters of water per day.

I understand I am gaining more muscle (I've always been athletic), but if stats say I should be losting 1/2 lb to 2 lbs per week, and I've only lost 5 lbs in 6 weeks, is there anything I'm doing wrong that is making everything soooo slow? I

I can now fit in a size 6 dress and my pants of size 8 are all big on me, but should I see more progress, or is this okay?

I want to drop down to 125 lbs since its a healthy BMI, and be a size 3-4, and want to make sure my timeline is normal... I wanted to get there in 6 months, but from the slow progression, I'm afraid I wont get there....

Any help?
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The estimates are really hard to verify. Burning this much? Eating this much? I tend to believe the stuff that is printed on the label of a can or box more than what I estimate myself. So, then, weigh and measure every single thing - that's the solution to sharpening up the accuracy there.

But then there's that exercise part of the equation. Don't even estimate that. It's so, so difficult to do that with any accuracy. For one thing, your body gets lighter gradually as you lose weight, and you are moving less body mass. So you use fewer calories for that. Maybe it's not much in terms of absolute numbers, but it's a process that is going on in your weight loss journey. People tend to forget about that. (Weight Watchers doesn't - as you lose weight, they calculate your 'points' downward! As food goes, that's just common sense, despite howls of protest from people who don't like the idea... but your calories burned are also going to be gradually affected.)

Also, there's a lot of mention of 'building muscle' and how much muscle weighs, etc. However, you have to be really muscle-bound to have that figure in a big way. Body-builders might be concerned. For most of the rest of us, it's just not that great an issue. Definitely not a show-stopper when it comes to weight, for most people. But it sounds like it'd be a nice explanation - wish it was.

As you're 'building muscle,' as you are, but not as a body-builder, you're also moving your body mass more efficiently. Because your muscles are there, they move your body mass (which is decreasing gradually) more easily, with less effort than when you started with less muscle. See where I'm going with this? Your estimations of calorie-burning get murky, which is why looking at what seem to be hard and fast numbers just makes it more imprecise rather than more precise.

So relax. What's your hurry? You're on a downward trend with weight. Your exercising has firmed up muscles and made you stand straighter and hold yourself better upright and that's why you're clothes are fitting better. Just appreciate it all, keep up the good work and don't worry so much about the rates of weight loss.

Been there!
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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On average, you have lost more than a 1/2 pound a week, so that is not bad, at least it's going in the right direction!

If you are not happy with the results, I would dial in on your diet. Be sure how many calories you are really consuming and what kind of deficit you really require to lose.

I wouldn't rely too much on the exercise portion for weight loss. Although good for you, it is not the key to losing pounds (diet is).

You are not likely gaining so much muscle that it is covering your fat loss and it is very easy to over estimate calories burned.

Are you weighing all of your food and entering it in FitDay? It is tedious to weigh (weigh-not measure) every morsel of food and enter it but it so works!
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I gotta agree--slow and steady is what wins this "race". I'd dump 5, 6, 8 pounds a week when I was bigger. Now I'm averaging around 2 lbs a week eating the same or a tad more. And that is perfectly fine. In the past I've lost weight really fast and it has always come back--this time I decided to take my time, eat good, (mostly) healthy foods and let the losses take care of themselves--sort of put this on autopilot (with FitDay as my "black box").

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Old 06-09-2011, 05:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy13118 View Post
The estimates are really hard to verify. Burning this much? Eating this much? I tend to believe the stuff that is printed on the label of a can or box more than what I estimate myself.
I run at 5.0-7.0 mph on the treadmill consistently for over 60 minutes on certain days of the week for cardio. I know for certain I burn over 600 calories when combined with weight lifting a couple of days a week... other days I run for at least 30 mins. I use fitday religiously for every morsel I put in my mouth to be sure I target my calories under the right macros.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy13118 View Post
Also, there's a lot of mention of 'building muscle' and how much muscle weighs, etc. However, you have to be really muscle-bound to have that figure in a big way. Body-builders might be concerned.
I dont understand...

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Originally Posted by Kathy13118 View Post

So relax. What's your hurry? You're on a downward trend with weight.
I just want to be sure I'm on the right track and putting in all the effort for the best results. If it seems I only lost 5 pounds in 6 weeks when I should be losing more, then I would like to know... Otherwise, if I'm on the right track to reaching my goal, I would like to know that, as well.

I'd like to know ideally how long it would take me to get to 125 lbs by the rate of how my first 6 weeks have gone.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Are you weighing all of your food and entering it in FitDay? It is tedious to weigh (weigh-not measure) every morsel of food and enter it but it so works!
every day
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I gotta agree--slow and steady is what wins this "race".
If losing 5 lbs in 6 weeks sounds right, then so be it. My body is simply different from others who drop 8-10 lbs in a month. I want to be sure I'm making the "right" progress.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Remember that those who are dropping 8-10 lbs. in a month are likely much larger than you! At 155, you're not burning a ton of calories like larger folks are just keeping themselves alive.

As an example, when I started out, I weighed 215 lbs. and dropped 9 lbs. in my first month without hardly exercising at all (I walked a bit). - Because I was bigger, my body burned more calories just keeping me alive, and changing my food intake was all it took. I burned something like 2400 calories just from breathing, moving around a bit, and having my heart beat Now, when I factor in sleep, my basal metabolism (the amount I burn just by being alive) is more like 1900 -- so that's about 500 "basal" calories I lose per day just by being smaller (and at 179 lbs., I still have a fair amount of weight to go before I'm in the healthy range). I imagine when I get as small as you someday, my calorie burn just for "being alive" will probably be somewhere around 1500-1600. And that's a guesstimate at best! You're likely burning a similar amount just by being alive (maybe 1600-ish? Total guess on my part) and so your food intake of 1300-1600 per day is likely close to your basal rate.

It's fantastic that you're doing all of that working out -- one thing about working out, though, is that if you're doing the same things all the time (like running consistently, at the same speed, every time) your body "gets better" at it -- that is, your muscles learn to do it very efficiently and you will burn fewer calories than you think. Are you calculating your calorie burn using a heart rate monitor? (And I don't mean the one on the machine, which is likely assuming you're a 18-to-21 year old male in great shape who is also 6 feet tall ) If not, maybe you could invest in one to see how your burn is compared to what you think it is?

For instance -- when I do Intervals on the elliptical, the machine tells me I burn ~600 cals/hour (give or take). My HRM, on the other hand, tells me I am burning more like 950. That's a big difference! And when I lift weights, Fitday tells me that I should burn 3 calories per minute on the machines, but my HRM tells me it's more like 1.5-2 cals/minute (probably because I'm little and lifting light weights right now) So -- I enter different activities based on what my HRM says. For elliptical, I tend to enter it as "stationary biking, very vigorous effort" which is 13 cals/minute (very close to my actual burn) and for lifting, I often enter it as walking slowly.

Maybe changing up your exercise routine might shake your muscles out of their "comfort zone" with running. Try biking, or hiking, or rowing -- something a little different, and monitor how your body responds.

You can also, as previously mentioned, tweak your diet, or your percentages of carbs/protein/fat, and different combinations seem to work for everyone (we tend to call these combinations your "macros" -- what works for me seems to be a 40/30/30 carbs/protein/fat, but your mileage may vary!)

The scale is moving in the right direction, so you are making good and "right" progress to be sure!! If you keep losing 1/2 lb. per week, that's roughly 2-2.5 lbs. per month. To lose 30 lbs. and get to where you're going (125) at the same rate, it'll thus take 12-15 months if you keep up the same pace. However, it's very probable you could tweak something to go faster, if you spend some time seeing what might work for you
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Weight 8/29/14 = 180.2 (net: -35.0)
Current mini-goal: 180 lbs.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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this is good information to remind myself with taubele, thanks... i feel a bit better... its very, very difficult to remember all of this and not get discouraged when I "expect" grander results.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think you are doing fine and usually the slower the weight comes off, the easier it is to keep it off because you've spent more time perfecting good eating habits and they stay with you over time.
Don't get discouraged! That is what can sabotage you.
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