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Weight Loss
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confused! over exercising? under eating? help me please..!

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Some background, feel free to skip to the question at the bottom.  I lost about 30 pounds last year. I am 5'4" and by the end of the summer I was about 116. I was happy with that but on a really strict diet which fell to pieces at college.  I think I had myself on an borderline ED this summer. I SHOT UP to 131.5 lbs in three months eventhough I was continuing to exercise everyday. So Ive been trying to los that by getting back on a diet and exercising more.

 I've been exercing a lot more lately (I do about 75 mins on the ellitical(800cals)...and then sometimes do a spin class for 45mins or weights or some more cardio. So I burn about 1600 cals everyother day and 800 inbetween with a weight of 118 entered into the machine). So i'm burning a lot more calories. I am eating between 1200 and 1600 cals a day. and I am gaining weight!!! I went up to 134.5 from 131.5. I am also trying to drink about 2naglenes a day (abt 64oz toatl)

So finally, here's the question:

 I know that if you dip below 1200casl your body goes into starvtion mode and your metabolism slows. How does working out factor into that? Am I creating too much of a calorie deficit. Some one please help me! If I work out less will I lost weight more quickly? Its easy for me to motivate myself and restrict my diet..I just want to be fully informed and do this healthily.


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Actually - I think your body is making some big adjustments to your workout regiment.  It is storing more water, blood volume is increasing and muscle mass is increasing.  All good things.  You will see benefits on the scale in a few weeks - you will also see huge benefits in energy level, waist size and ability to maintain weight when you reach your target. 

If I made any recomendations, it would be to add some resistance training.

That's a LOT of exercise... I've got a feeling that you aren't eating enough to compensate. Plus there's the muscle-building effects of that much vigorous exercise (and muscle is heavier than fat...) Have you used the calorie counter tools to find out what it suggests for your daily calorie allowance? And the Burn meter to add in all that exercise? If you try to keep them in balance, with the burn meter 1000 calories above the food counter, you should lose weight.

It really works... I never thought I could lose weight, and I've lost 16 pounds since the end of October by watching those counters and keeping to my thousand calorie deficit - no more and no less. (of course, I had a lot more to lose than you... the more you weigh, the faster it comes off. As you get smaller the law of diminishing returns starts to apply... Hopefully someone more your size can give you more accurate information.)

hey there!  i'm 5'3, 131lbs.  and i'm also wondering why i'm losing weight, but i think my problem is a little different.  i haven't been completely honest with myself the last month or so and haven't been faithfully logging calories like i should i think i'm eating at maintenance and not at a slight deficit!  it's time to pay attention for me again!

but this is about you!  :-) 

i know it sucks when you see the scale move up like that, but you can't figure out why.  you're probably right when you think you're over exercising and undereating!

i exercised like a MANIAC this summer...before my body could actually handle it.  i was eating very little and hitting the gym every day, sometimes 2x a day...prob only took in about 1200 cals...

what i didn't realize was that i could have more energy, burn calories more efficiently, exercise LESS!, eat more, and still lose weight.  once i bumped up to 1700 cals, i felt SO MUCH BETTER [i was burning between 2200-2500 cals/day].  maintaining 1200 cals is really stressful...and once i let loose a bit, my body said, "ok, she's not gonna starve, there's no famine going around, we can afford to drop some of this weight."

so, what i'd recommend is increasing your calories to the higher end of your limit...1600-1700, maybe even 1800...good calories, take a day off here and there, drink TONS of water, have plenty of fiber, and relax. 

i know it's no fun not seeing the scale move right away...but if your body thinks it's starving, it's gonna hold on to any calorie that it can find and store that away as fat!  your metabolism will slow to compensate and save energy...  and it will look like you're gaining.

i believe the calorie range for healthy weight loss is 15-30% less than maintenance.  that'll bring you to shedding about 1lb a week.  but if you have to work up to that number, do it at 100 cals per week.  go for an easy deficit of 500 cals per day...or 1000 every other day.

good luck! 

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hey guys thanks for the excellent advice and quick responses! glad to know I'm not going crazy and I no longer feel completely lost and bewildered :o)
I was in basically the same boat as you--over-exercising, under-eating, and losing nothing--until I upped my cals. As soon as I started eating at LEAST 1200+my exercise cals, I lost weight. Well, I gained 6 pounds first--and THEN I lost weight :D
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I too was eating well and excersing and still gaining. After gainng 30 lbs I finally went to the doctor to have my thyroid checked. I'm now on meds. I'm not gaining anymore but not losing either. :(

I also recently found out I was burning way more calories and having way too huge a deficit for my body to give up calories very easily.  I recently have gone to eatting more like 2000 calories on average daily, and I probably exercise a bit less than some of you other girls have mentioned (I still do the strentgh and cardio almost daily), and all of a sudden I'm losing weight a LOT faster. 
I've been a lot happier of course because of the results, and also of course it's a lot less stressful to keep calories below 2000 than to keep it at something I've now realized was insane 1200 or 1300 calories.

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