I don’t understand what to do to lose weight. F/30 years old. From 18-27 I did all the diets (OMAD, keto, IF, only eating 1200-1300/day with workouts 5-7x/wk) before realizing it was f’ing up my relationship with food. Switched to weight lifting, mindful eating w/balanced plates the past 3 yrs but gained all the weight I’d lost with the diets + some. I’ve returned to calorie counting (though staying above 1400) and I’m within 10lb of my goal but my progress yo-yos each week. Feel discouraged 😞

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Try a slight cal deficit - only going 3-500 under cal output is more sustainable and worked for me. At 12-1300 a day you were probably starving and doesn’t nourish enough. Make sure there’s a lot of protein in your diet

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If your resting is closer to 2000, such a big cal def may be harder to sustain, which is why a slight cal deficit could be more effective long term. But if you’re doing ok on 1400 that’s great! I always struggled with the more restrictive model so just throwing this out there

Diets and counting didn’t really work for me. Calorie counting helped me lose a little weight and get a better understanding of what’s in my meals but it didn’t get me anywhere near where I wanted. Strength training with progressive overload, light cardio and intuitive eating with high protein got me to a stable 20-22% body fat and it’s way less stressful.

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Yeah that’s what I did. I had a solid routine for 6 months and was gradually adding weight once the routine was easy at the previous weight. Someone below commented that I make be bulking rather than cutting which is why I’m seeing the gain.

Ugh I knooow. I think it’s just the old dieter in me that can’t help but see it. But I’ve learned it’s about how you feel. The 2 years I was just working out, mindful/intuitive eating, and not counting at all were my happiest I’ve been eating wise for a looooong time (and my weight reflects that 😅) but as I commented below, the sudden pooch I’ve gained while wearing clothes (despite my measurements not really changing) also isn’t making me FEEL good about the number.

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The equation for weight loss is rather simple: calories in < calories out

Unfortunately most people underestimate their calorie intake and overestimate their expenditure.

Since you are not losing weight, you are likely not in a deficit (with some medical exceptions). I would first truly understand the current caloric picture and then move closer into a true deficit, either by counting/cutting calories or by adding cardio.

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ED territory and crazy deficits should be prevented! But keep the first law of thermodynamics in mind, energy isn’t lost of created in your body. So you are likely either eating more than the 1450 calories or burning less than 1950 calories.

Eating more:
- Estimating calories for eating out is tough
- Using measuring cups or labeled serving sizes can be inaccurate (weighing is the best way)
- Rounding between weighing and tracking can easily add up

Burning less:
- Your BMR is lower than you think (e.g., through being in starvation mode or hormonal issues)
- Your exercises burn less calories than you assume (e.g., most wearables and equipments estimate calories with deviations of up to 80%)

Again, thoughts from afar are tough but I would look at the above topics before thinking about additional measures.

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Move to a country where the food isn't legit poison.

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Ugh don’t tempt me. The food plus how much movement you do in other countries always has me losing or maintaining despite how much I may eat. When I studied abroad, I was in the best shape of my life with all the biking and walking as well as due to the food portion sizes.

How has consistent cardio worked for you?

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^What D2 said. Also too much high intensity cardio can negatively impact recovery if you’re lifting heavy/frequently. The idea of “let me just punish my body as much as possible” is such a terrible outdated mentality towards health and weight loss.

Also make sure you’re staying property hydrated throughout the day which is important too.

likesmart

This response may be slightly unpopular because it sounds too easy, but I just lost 20lbs by counting my calories and weighing pretty much EVERYTHING to make sure I’m in a deficit. I’ve learned over time that people underestimate their calorie intake on average by over 500 calories a day, so I make a point to track everything that enters my body. I’m F/32 years old. I literally only eat what I cook myself right now because otherwise you can’t accurately account for what you’re eating. Also, weigh yourself regularly at the same time (usually first thing in the morning) so you have a really consistent measuring point. Hope this helps a little! Wishing you good luck and don’t get discouraged!

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Yeah I have a food scale and weigh everything. Been doing it for as long as I’ve calorie counted the past decade. Sometimes it’s not enough unfortunately. It also may depend on your beginning weight. I’m already within 5-10lb of my ideal weight so it’s naturally going to be harder unfortunately.

I lost weight by increasing the length of my workouts and doing more cardio. Things like bicycles, crunches, v-ups instead of just squats and weights. I was plateauing with personal trainer but then switched to Future app where trainer customized workouts and I’m able to exercise more often and consistently each week. I was able to lose 20 lbs in 6 mo. I’m 5’7 F/age 36, current weight is now around 130 lb. For the longest time was around 155, sometimes 160.

I don’t count calories but I do monitor heart rate during a workout. When you get to your max heart rate for gender and age during a workout you get a good afterburn on calories for hours after the workout. About 3x a week it’s getting muscles burning and heart rate sky high. In between intense sessions I’m doing stretches and improving balance on my legs.

I don’t do anything special with my diet other than not drinking alcohol. The human body cannot metabolize alcohol. It has to push out the alcohol before it can burn out stored body fat. Most fitness professionals abstain from alcohol completely. It dehydrates you quickly, weakens joints and a lot more difficult for body to recover after hard workout if alcohol is in your system. I do still eat my sugary treats without any guilt due to the afterburn from intense workouts.

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Yeah I used to drink once or twice a week and have cut down to once or twice a month and it’s made a huge difference. Everything is easier now whether I want to gain muscle or lose fat. I didn’t think I was drinking enough to significantly impact anything but Whoop did a study on data collected from college athletes and found that drinking alcohol negatively impacted recovery for 4-5 days afterwards.

I don’t know you or your story but weight doesn’t tell your full story. I know many people who actually gained weight through exercise because muscle is denser than fat. If your weightlifting and eating cleanly and gaining weight you’re most likely adding muscle. In time muscle burns fat. You may simply end up heavier but far more fit. Never let a scale be the definition of your health..

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Women plateau very quickly and gain muscle rather slow. The added calorie burn of 10lbs of muscle is ~50 calories a day, so also not that big of a deal.

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I lost 26 lbs over 8 months being consistent with IF, Chloe Ting workouts and some walks and yoga thrown in. Consistency was key

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No calorie counting or anything? I’ve never stopped working out and have kept the IF habit since my dieting days but it just doesnt seem to matter which is why I wonder if it’s just an age/gender thing at this point.

Thank you all for the insightful responses! It sounds like it’s a few things:

1) upping my cardio. I’ll admit, I’ve reduced my cardio days since lockdown. When I made the change to my non-diet lifestyle, I didn’t maintain my cardio days. Maybe that’s all I really needed to do (maintain high cardio while eating more/protein).

2) Cut vs. Bulk. It sounds like I may have been bulking accidentally given my measurement and body changes over the past few years without getting rid of the fat first. So I will switch to a cut-friendly workout program and eating pattern vs. Bulk.

I will make these changes and hopefully see results. I don’t have an end date or time I need this by (which is nice), it’s more just for me to feel better about myself. I’ve put off buying clothes because I’m not sure what weight I’ll be and that saddens me.

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Cutting just happens in a caloric deficit. Outside a few newbie gains you won’t accidentally bill in a deficit. So don’t worry too much about that.

Very unpopular opinion, I’m 24 about to turn 25, I’ve worked out consistently for the last 8 years and I’ve only gained weight, so I’m going to do a weight loss surgery (for my bad mental health) while continuing my lifestyle and figure out what is wrong with my body. Sometimes your metabolism just bottoms out and you hit a wall, and there’s only so much you can do.

Told you this was going to be unpopular.

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Did you guys ever decide to get lipo? I’m scheduled for it in 6 weeks

Stress and sleep are both major factors of weight loss. Make sure you get enough sleep (7-8 hrs). Also, are you constantly stressed out from work? You might have to potentially manage your stress better.

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I can 100% relate to this. I was constantly stressed out at work and never got enough sleep. I changed jobs, less stressful more sleep, and I started losing weight again. Not saying you have to change jobs, but I almost guarantee as soon as you start getting more sleep and manage your stress, if you’re doing everything else right (diet, excersize, etc.) you’ll start to lose weight again.

“How Stress Prevents Weight Loss and 3 Ways to Beat it”
https://motivation.ie/stress-management/how-stress-prevents-weight-loss-and-5-ways-to-beat-it/#:~:text=Stress%20causes%20the%20body%20to,weight%2C%20especially%20around%20the%20middle.

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What’s your current weight and height?

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Ok we must be the same person…also 30F and active here. The only time I’ve ever lost weight easily was when I first got on Wellbutrin. Now I gained back those 10 pounds after getting off wellbutrin despite working out 6 days a week and counting calories (~1600/day). The working out did shift my body comp to 23% body fat instead of 26% so I guess that’s something!

It's likely not cardio if you are consistently hitting the gym.

Usually when you plateau

a) you are likely underestimating the calories you are eating either spread across your meals or by the 1-2 cheat meals if you have those. For example - One dab vs three dabs of peanut butter is not clearly evident to the naked eye. Try measuring your food with a scale for a week and you can calibrate from there

b) you've cut down calories too much that your metabolism has slowed down. You can fire this back up with certain natural foods and/or mixing intense and moderate workouts. If a) is not true, then try adding back 100-200 calories and see what happens

C) my favorite one - insulin resistance. This is a hard one to overcome but if you don't, no matter what you do in the gym or diet, the fat is locked in. B) and C) together is the Fort Knox of fat storage. You'll need to move way more, cut processed carbs/sugars completely (but keep in complex carbs)

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I was going through the same issues and switched to a vegan diet. Surprisingly I have been losing weight since. I did this a year ago and so far lost 20 pounds.

I can see how it can be a little challenging

I'm in the same boat as you (very similar journey and current situation)! I found that switching up exercise routines kind of works for me (but my issue is that I'm not consistent :/). Between yoga, weight lifting, and cardio, I feel like it's had a bigger impact than if I were to just do weight lifting (which I've tried in the past as well). Our bodies get used to routines and progress becomes minimal over time using the same routine. Same on the food front -- I try to diversify my eating (of course within healthy portions, etc) so that my body can process more effectively. I'm not claiming to be a health expert or anything but wanted to share my personal experience, so definitely do what works best for you!

Yeah that’s basically my routine (yoga, weights, cardio, plus dance) and I’m trying to add in swimming once summer starts. I find that too, I try to switch up my routine every few months (1 because I get tired of the same workouts and 2 I find it also helps).

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Eat mostly, if not all, Whole Foods. Anything unnatural could hurt your weight loss goals.

Check if it’s something hormonal or something else underlying.

Weight gain can be associated with a microbiome imbalance. Ubiome.com does analysis of gut flora. Also check out some of Dr. David Perlmutter’s books.

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