Weight Loss
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Low Calories, lots of exercise, still gaining

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I'm 5'5 and weigh 159lbs. And for 3 weeks now I've been eating 1300cals a day and doing 30-45 mins on the cross trainer (elliptical trainer) so burning around 350 cals. But I'm gaining weight. I know this may be muscle but its been several lbs in 2 weeks and also I tend to lose weight quickly so it doesn't seem to be a matter of waiting for results... is anyone else finding this?

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This one's easy. 

You're starving, your body is conserving every last calorie to compensate for it.  It's not muscle because you need a calorie surplus to gain muscle, sorry.

Eat more, you'll see mild gains while you're body realises it's ok to have a metabolism again, then you should losses.  Calculate what you calorie needs actually are, with the exercise included, subtract 500-800 calories and eat that. 

That sounds odd to me...are you eating a lot of high sodium foods?  I'd bet it's water weight, especially if you're making big changes all of a sudden.  I didn't check your math or your age, but be sure you're not creating too big of a calorie deficit with your reduced intake plus workouts.  Ideally, you want a deficit of around 500 calories.  You could try cycling your intake (1800 to 1400 to 1300 to 1600, etc.).

Problem is my calorie burn with out exercise is only 1840, so its pretty low. I'm studying all the time so I barely burn calories. So I suppose I may be a 100-200 cals too low from what you're saying, but I would have thought there would be some weight loss...


It may actually be the salt as you say. But then again I would have thought I was eating only the around 4-6g a day as I cook almost all food from scratch.

Original Post by lawface:

Problem is my calorie burn with out exercise is only 1840, so its pretty low. I'm studying all the time so I barely burn calories. So I suppose I may be a 100-200 cals too low from what you're saying, but I would have thought there would be some weight loss...

But you are exercising - you say so in your first post. So why are you worried about how much you burn without exercise?

If you are burning 1850 sedentary, plus the 350 from crosstrainer, that's 2200. If you eat 1700 you'd have a 500 cal deficit.

You're trying to eat 400 calories less than that, and at your weight, it's just not going to happen - the closer you are to a healthy weight (and I'm guessing you are close) the harder it is to lose weight, and the slower it goes.

Hmmm, that is a very good point. I'll try that, and hopefully get some better results!! Thanks a lot!

It is definitely true that the closer you are to a healthy weight the harder it is to lose!

I am 5'6" and started at 152- work out a bout as much as you do.(My BMI was 24.5- so considerd healthy-but not happy:) I average anywhere from 1600 to 1800 cal a day-burn 1900 w/o exercise and 2200-2300 with. I am losing weight-slowly but surely. And I am not starving for once in my life.

 Increase your food intake with some healthy stuff! You should see results. Good luck!

if none of this helps you should probably get your thyroid checked. my friend has hypothyroidism, and would eat very little a day and gain weight. now she's on the proper meds and shes fine. other symptoms are dry skin, fatigue, and you feel cold alot.

I'm 6'0, 178 pounds... trying to get down to 160. I was in the same boat you were because I ignorantly believed that eating 1000 calories for my body was enough. It was not. I was not losing any weight and eventually was feeling sickly. I went up to 1400, began losing again within a couple weeks. Went up to 1500 and began losing even more then I was when I was eating 1000 calories. You have to make sure your body's getting enough food or your metabolism will simply shut down.

Thanks everyone, very useful advice! Weirdly I weighed quite a bit less today, but even when eating too little some weight must come off! I'm upping my calorie intake to around 1450. Hopefully that'll make a difference!

Couple things i learned at the gym i was going to (then stopped and gained weight like something quick!) that I'd love to share with everyone:

the weight difference of muscle and fat - almost nothing, so looking at BMI in corespondance with your weight is best.  Kowing your percentage of body fat is the most accurate knowledge you will have as to wear you are for your specific body tpye (plus it sounds so much better to say/hear.... I have a body fat percentage of 25% than to say yeah I weigh 150lbs and I am very short, whats it to you! LOL)

salt - a total killer for any woman who wants to step on a scale (even worse right before and during that most lovely time of the month) We retain water like dang sponges so avoid the salt whenever possible, otherwise just keep in mind its water and not fat and life is still good :)  

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