Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Health & Support
Moderators: tigermoth5, autopilotfrank193, nycgirl, bierorama, ksylvan, peaches0405

Can't lose weight no matter what I try

Quote  |  Reply

For the last 10 months, i have primarily stuck to a workout program every day, as well as eating healthy, regularly, but in half-portions than i normally would (or than most people do). I used a Gazelle strider, without the tension rods most of the time for many months, and now I'm using it exclusively with the tension rods engaged. I sped 30 to 45 minutes on it, once to 3 times per day. I might eat, on a normal day, apple, banana, nuts and yogurt mix for breakfast, a turkey breast sandwish on whole grain/baked Lays/pickle for lunch, and maybe a slimfast shake as a snack, and a greenleaf salad for dinner (with some cottage cheese, an egg, bell pepeprs, and ranch dressing. All this adds up to around 1500 calories.

I seem to have this stubborn set point that I can't break through. I've tried eating less, I've tried eating differently...I've tried more exercise, but there are some things I can't do, due to some limitations I have. But I would think the exercise I'm getting, along with mindful eating, and no overeating or dessert, should have produced results after so long.

I don't know if my thyroid disease has anything to do with this set point or not, as I am on meds to correct the condition, and I thought that meant is was no longer affecting my weight. But I still can't break through and lose. I even build muscle doing hand weights and the Gazelle, but it doesn't seem to matter.

I am at my wit's end. I need to lose about 45 pounds or so.

I hope someone can give me some insight.



8 Replies (last)
Quote  |  Reply

Did you initially lose weight? Your body may have adjusted to the low calorie intake, and you need to eat at maintenance calories for a while to speed it up again.

If you have a thyroid condition you should probably go back to your doctor and ask for the dosage of your medication to be checked.  In the days leading up to the appointment keep a food and exercise diary so that you can show him/her that you've been eating healthily, not eating too much and also being active.  It can take a few attempts before the right dosage is achieved.... that could be a factor.

I would also agree about checking whether 1500 cals is enough food.   If you're exercising vigorously up to three times a day (?) and you're 45lbs overweight it could be that you need a higher allowance.   If you've been on reduced calories for more than six weeks you could also benefit from a day where you get your full maintenance calories.... 2200-2500 ....  this can boost the metabolism if your body has simply got used to less food.

Final thought.... try to get a better balance of foods at your meals ie. carbohydrates + protein + fats. Avoid things like Lays and Slimfast shakes (very sugary) and go more for 'real' foods.... couple that with drinking plenty of fluids to reduce the risk of fluid retention.

I completely agree with gi-jane.  100%!   Just don't give up on yourself.  I think at this point, your physician needs to be brought in to this.  They can run further blood work to make sure nothing else is going on.  Your diet sounds great, maybe just a little calorie tweak might do the trick.  Do you like avocados?  They are great on sandwiches and salads and might provide that extra 100-200 calories daily that might bust through the plateu.  Good luck to you!

Quote  |  Reply

Thanks everyone. I was going to check with my doc, but the last time i had bloodwork, my thyroid results all showed normal. So not sure if that's it. And i have gained and lost 10 pounds several times in the last year. I never seem to get past that 10lb loss, and I'll get discouraged and eat normally and not exercise as much and BAM! I've got the ten pounds back.

Maybe I just don't get the rationale, here...I always thought that you had to cut calories and exercise more to lose weight. Is that not true? I've been doing's strange to hear someone say I need a few more calories to break through that set point. Each time i eat "normally" I GAIN weight. So really, I've been in perpetual maintenance mode it seems--but at about 45 lbs too heavy... The reason i went to slimfast shakes was because i used them in place of a meal. I also am staunchly against artificial sweeteners, so it's hard to get around the sugar sometimes. But I don't get much sugar except for that. I always say no to dessert, don't eat candy bars, don't drink sodas.

I read somewhere that I need to burn 500 calories a day for a week in order to lose 1.5 lbs in that time...if I burn 500 calories per day on the gazelle (which i understand is about an hour a day, because I use the tension rods and go at it hard), and if I'm on 1500 calories per day, why don't I ever lose that weight?


Quote  |  Reply

If you eat normally and gain weight, then that's a sign that your metabolism has slowed down a bit. You have to eat at maintenance calories for a while to speed it up, and yes, you might see some initial weight gain.

You're right. It's calories in vs calories out. But some people can eat more than another person and lose weight. Their body NEEDS more food for whatever reason. Probably for the same reason very few people need to go down to 1200 calories to lose weight.

You don't necessarily need to burn 500 calories a day to lose each week, you just need a deficit. And that is 1 pound a week.

Also maybe you could benefit from calorie cycling?

Original Post by jaebaeli:

Thanks everyone. I was going to check with my doc, but the last time i had bloodwork, my thyroid results all showed normal. So not sure if that's it.

Did you have only your TSH checked or also your T3 and T4 levels?  TSH can show normal, but there's more to the story.  If you think it is thyroid related, it might be worth asking to have more tests. Smile


You might also try to trick your body a little bit. Eat at maintainance level or even 100 calories more one day, and go down to 1300 - 1400 the next day. It works with me when I feel I am getting to a plateau. Also, try to alternate the type of exercise you do. Try walking two days a week instead of cycling... or swimming, or dancing. It seems it works, too. :)

Don't give up!

First thing, check with your Dr.

I would add strength training/weight training 2-3 days a week. Mix up your cardio. Add a day or two of HIIT (sprints) Excellent for you. Weight training will also help. The more muscle you have the more calories you will burn.

Skip the Slim Fast and diet, sugar free, fat free crap. Nothing good about it. Think of nutrition. Eating foods that actually nourish your body, foods your body needs. Avoid diet food, sugar free food, fat free food, Stick with whole fresh foods when possible. Replace most simple carbs with complex carbs, eat good fats and lean meats and other protein. 1500 calories a day might not be enough for you. I would starve on that and I am 4'11" 95LB. I eat between 1700-2300 calories a day.

Clean/balanced eating is key, HIIT and lifting will produce better results. Drink plenty of water. Don't get your calories from sugary drinks.

8 Replies