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Old 08-10-2012, 06:35 AM
 
Location: The great state of Texas
15,794 posts, read 7,426,199 times
Reputation: 18472
Default Question for all you "successful losers" out there - do I need to eat MORE?

I eat a very, very healthy diet - no junk whatsoever, no white flour, very little refined sugar, lots of whole grains and fruit, veggies, etc. Protein mostly from vegetable sources, but I do eat meat (usually fish or chicken) a couple of times a week. I eat an egg a day and also have a cup of yogurt or milk per day.

I made these changes about four months ago and after I got used to them, began seriously trying to lose 35 or 40 pounds. I cut my calorie intake down to 1200 calories a day. I am female, fifty years old, 5'8", muscular build, get at least 30 minutes of cardio in nearly every day, work in my yard a lot, and am generally pretty active.

I was only losing 1/2 a pound a week at the most, and got very frustrated with that - it seemed like such a small return on all my trouble and some weeks I wouldn't even lose ANYTHING. I went to a Weight Watchers meeting and the counselor there told me I was probably not eating ENOUGH, and introduced me to the points system (from what I can tell, a WW point is about 50 calories). My goal is 28 points a day - or about 1400 calories.

I started WW and have lost an average of 3 pounds a week for three weeks. I feel GREAT.

WW gives you extra points each week - about 3000 calories - that you can use if you want, but you certainly don't have to. I have not used those points (well, I think I used 2 one day). I do not adjust my points/calories when I work out strenuously. To be honest, about half the time, I come in a point or two below that goal.

However, most fruits and veggies on WW are zero points - even though we all know they have calories in them. So that being said, since I eat a lot of fruits and veggies, I am probably eating about 1500 - 1600 calories a day.

That being said, I feel FANTASTIC. So here's my question:

I really want to KEEP this weight off. Is three pounds a week too fast a weight loss? Do I need to actually INCREASE my food a little more? What do the successful losers out there recommend? By "successful" I mean people who have lost a significant amount of weight and KEPT IT OFF for several years.

Please advise!
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:29 AM
 
3,647 posts, read 2,862,214 times
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I'm not a dietician or health care provider but I just want to tell you to keep it up! I'm sure others more knowledgeable than I will respond. I just turned 56 in July and I struggled with weight from about 48 until 55, for the first time in my life. I started putting it on at 48 and then it exploded. Nothing I did would budge the weight! I was so frustrated because I was doing basically what you did and exercising (swimming, walking, belly dancing). Finally I lost twenty pounds but I gained it back. This was so disheartening. I thought "I am just going to be gigantic forever." Last year I quit even worrying about it due to some other issues. After some of these issues were resolved I purchased some new clothes and was pleasantly surprised! (I hadn't weighed in months and was delighted to see that I had lost thirty pounds from my heaviest point). This was in early February and I was determined to keep the weight off this time. I started watching carbs and cut out sugar. I was also very active physcially during this period -- getting a house ready to sell or rent and doing most of the painting, walking, going to the gym a bit and doing Pilates. Slowly another ten pounds came off. I thought "yeah . . . I love how I'm looking!" I'm short (5'4") and have a very tiny frame. My next goal was to shoot for the body mass index. I have achieved that (according to what scale you go by) or am within a few pounds of it. I weight 141. When I went to my doctor right before I moved he wanted to know what I had done. I told him and he said "the sugar is the key". I might add that I really watch portion sizes. So keep at it! I don't really know what I did that finally triggered this loss, but once the ball started rolling it rolled in the right direction. Now I am hoping to hear from people who lost weight and kept it off. I am never gaining this much back!
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Wine Country
2,225 posts, read 2,144,343 times
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I think what you are doing is fine. Chances are the 3lbs a week will not last and you will go down to 1 to 2 lbs a week which is about right. When I was on WW I felt like I was eating plenty of food and I lost on average 2lbs a week. But some weeks it was 2.5 and the next week it was .5 and on like that. At 50, my age, it sounds like you are doing everything right. Exercise is the KEY to maintaining a weight loss. So be sure to keep that up and switch it up.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:02 PM
 
148 posts, read 171,949 times
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Way too fast. A pound at most with 500 caloric deficit is probably the most anyone should do and even if you're steadily losing weight I wouldn't jump to 1,000 caloric deficit either. There's going to be a time when your body will just start reserving and not shed the extra glycogen store or the fat cells.

All this 1-2 pounds a week is like the popular eight 8oz glass of water a day theory. Two pounds a week is still pushing it with guys unless they are very big. It'll vary by each person obviously but the more you try to lose, the more you'll leech into your muscles so it's safer to just eat healthy, cut few hundred calories and lose weight steadily so you're not losing your lean muscles.

I understand it's frustrating but don't look at the scale. As long as you're maintaining your body with proper nutrition you will lose that excess unnecessary weight.

Your caloric needs will all depend on your metabolic rate and what you do on a daily basis including stress level, lifestyle and what needs to be taken extra, adjusted or subtracted. But unless you're 100 lbs and are on target with 1,200 calories most women should never try to go on a 1,200 calorie diet. It's too low and they'll likely see their weight loss stall very quickly with the body slowing its metabolism.

You'll always have to adjust your meals, supplements, and calories along with other things on a daily basis. Key is consistency As long as you're aiming to be healthy, your body will follow.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:07 PM
 
Location: The great state of Texas
15,794 posts, read 7,426,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhdriver View Post
Way too fast. A pound at most with 500 caloric deficit is probably the most anyone should do and even if you're steadily losing weight I wouldn't jump to 1,000 caloric deficit either. There's going to be a time when your body will just start reserving and not shed the extra glycogen store or the fat cells.

All this 1-2 pounds a week is like the popular eight 8oz glass of water a day theory. Two pounds a week is still pushing it with guys unless they are very big. It'll vary by each person obviously but the more you try to lose, the more you'll leech into your muscles so it's safer to just eat healthy, cut few hundred calories and lose weight steadily so you're not losing your lean muscles.

I understand it's frustrating but don't look at the scale. As long as you're maintaining your body with proper nutrition you will lose that excess unnecessary weight.

Your caloric needs will all depend on your metabolic rate and what you do on a daily basis including stress level, lifestyle and what needs to be taken extra, adjusted or subtracted. But unless you're 100 lbs and are on target with 1,200 calories most women should never try to go on a 1,200 calorie diet. It's too low and they'll likely see their weight loss stall very quickly with the body slowing its metabolism.

You'll always have to adjust your meals, supplements, and calories along with other things on a daily basis. Key is consistency As long as you're aiming to be healthy, your body will follow.
I'm eating about 1500 - 1600 calories a day - I actually started LOSING weight more rapidly when I upped my caloric intake from 1200 to 1500-1600. I've done a lot of figuring and calculations based on my activity level and yes, that's the minimum range (up to about 1800 if I've really done something strenuous like mow the yard with a push mower).

I know now that 1200 is too few calories. If I keep losing 3 pounds a week (which I bet doesn't happen!), I will up my calories to probably about 1800 - and keep exercising! (I am NOT an obsessive exerciser at ALL - I can't stand going to the gym, so really all I do is yard work, house work, walking, yoga, and just active stuff like furniture refinishing or playing with dogs or kids.)

How much weight have you lost and kept off? How did you do it?
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:18 AM
 
131 posts, read 336,976 times
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If it helps any, I'm 45 and have kept 50 pounds off for eight years - I found that eating too little actually stalled weight loss. I now eat between 2200-2500/day (I am very active) and still lose a pound here or there. I currently weigh about 120#. If I were you I'd try about 1800 cals now, cut if need be. I also wear a fitbit to give me a guestimate on how much I am burning each day.

Oh, and when I was losing, I lost between 1-2 #/week. Try for a lifestyle you can maintain forever if possible!
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:09 PM
 
148 posts, read 171,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I'm eating about 1500 - 1600 calories a day - I actually started LOSING weight more rapidly when I upped my caloric intake from 1200 to 1500-1600. I've done a lot of figuring and calculations based on my activity level and yes, that's the minimum range (up to about 1800 if I've really done something strenuous like mow the yard with a push mower).
That's great! A lot of BMR calculations are an estimate so there's another reason why cutting 500 calories suddenly may end up cutting too much. I personally adjusting according to the activity level throughout the day and basically listen to my body. I won't eat less than 300 calories per meal which is usually every 2.5-3 hours and roughly take in 2,500 calories but generally I count especially the protein intake and try to get at least 800 calories or 200 grams daily to maintain my mass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I know now that 1200 is too few calories. If I keep losing 3 pounds a week (which I bet doesn't happen!), I will up my calories to probably about 1800 - and keep exercising! (I am NOT an obsessive exerciser at ALL - I can't stand going to the gym, so really all I do is yard work, house work, walking, yoga, and just active stuff like furniture refinishing or playing with dogs or kids.)

How much weight have you lost and kept off? How did you do it?
The weight will definitely fluctuate but as long as you're not starving yourself or eating too much of bad things eventually you'll have a leaner body in the end whether you just keep your activity level the same or do other physical activity.

I've gained up to 60 lbs of my calculated lean mass; but that's at very low body fat which always isn't healthy either. I try to keep the body fat percentage in the healthy range but more so paying attention to how I feel, eat accordingly and supplement properly.

Basic rule of thumb for me is to split the meals to five or more a day. That I would say is the most basic rule I never break. And I'm not talking about snacking in between meals but 350-400 calories per each meal. I do protein shake in between some meals or whole meals.

I eat plenty of fats. Holding back the good fat even from red meat, butter, fish and other food source will be very similar to cutting back too much calories; it will hold back in shedding excess fat storage and other resources so you don't starve or shutdown the body from lack of nutrition. I take in about 20% of fat source from eggs, butter, raw milk, red meat (once a week, not often for me), chicken and fish. I still take organic Omega-3 fish oil everyday along with number of supplements.

Eat junk food once a week. I'm not talking about going to McD's and indulge yourself with two Big Mac, large coke, large fries and eating dessert on top. Slice of pizza and a soda isn't going to kill you either. There's always a healthy choice obviously but my point is don't stress out because you ate something bad. If you're cutting theoretical 3,500 calories a week, having some junk food isn't going to stall your body from burning fat either.

Other than that I really try to keep my lifestyle more simple and avoid stress. Stress is huge when it comes to the body trying to store fat to protect the body or make you crave junk food or something with very starchy calories that's easy to ingest.

So many things I can say why I try to stay healthy but I honestly don't want to see my kids having to take care of me when I get older. My parents are both active, my mom who is in her early 60's does Zumba four times a week and my dad goes to the gym almost on a daily basis. I only go to the gym four times a week and ride my bike but still give few days of rest in between.

Like they say too much of good thing is bad sometimes
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:11 PM
 
859 posts, read 554,811 times
Reputation: 388
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I'm eating about 1500 - 1600 calories a day - I actually started LOSING weight more rapidly when I upped my caloric intake from 1200 to 1500-1600. I've done a lot of figuring and calculations based on my activity level and yes, that's the minimum range (up to about 1800 if I've really done something strenuous like mow the yard with a push mower).

I know now that 1200 is too few calories. If I keep losing 3 pounds a week (which I bet doesn't happen!), I will up my calories to probably about 1800 - and keep exercising! (I am NOT an obsessive exerciser at ALL - I can't stand going to the gym, so really all I do is yard work, house work, walking, yoga, and just active stuff like furniture refinishing or playing with dogs or kids.)

How much weight have you lost and kept off? How did you do it?
Actually that same thing happen to me. I lost more weight when I upped my calories from 1200 to 1800.
This is extremely important if you are tall and muscular. I am 5'11. You should really never eat less than 1500 cal day unless you are doing nothing
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:50 AM
 
7,449 posts, read 7,764,835 times
Reputation: 10856
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

OP, just keep doing what you're doing. When you get to your goal weight or shape, slowly add in some calories until things stabilize. Be wary of getting too thin. At our age (I'm 50 also) too skinny is every bit as unattractive as too fat. Also, anorexia among middle-aged women is on the rise, so be aware.

And congratulations! You're doing great.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:18 PM
 
Location: The great state of Texas
15,794 posts, read 7,426,199 times
Reputation: 18472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

OP, just keep doing what you're doing. When you get to your goal weight or shape, slowly add in some calories until things stabilize. Be wary of getting too thin. At our age (I'm 50 also) too skinny is every bit as unattractive as too fat. Also, anorexia among middle-aged women is on the rise, so be aware.

And congratulations! You're doing great.
Thank you - and I had to laugh at the thing about anorexia, because if you knew how much I enjoy cooking - and eating - you'd know that is not likely to EVER be a problem I develop!

But you are so right about scrawny older people - they look awful. And I DON'T want any saggy skin (so far so good). Things don't spring back on us like they used to!
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