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Weight Loss
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Can You Really Eat More and Lose Weight?

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Okay, i'm not here to argue or prove anyone wrong. I only need help, i want to find evidence. I want actual proof!
I want someone to convince me that eating more helps to break the plateau.
I've asked this question several times, and people kept saying try increasing your calories.
How many of you did increase their calorific intake after a plateau and actually lost weight?

Then Why is it stereotypical belief that only way to lose weight was eat less and exercise more?

I have been stuck in a long frustrating plateau for 4 months and IT'S DRIVING ME CRAZY!

Here are my stats:
- I am a 5'4 female
- Nearly 18 years old
- My start weight was 183 lbs
- I currently weigh between 141-145 lbs
- My goal weight is 130 lbs (10-15 lbs to go!)
- My daily expenditure (set on sedentary) is 1800 calories
- I eat healthy between 1200-2100 calories a day depending on intensity of my  excercise
- I average between 50-60% carbs 20-30% protein and 20-30% fat
- I manage a deficit of 800-1000 or more sometimes
- I Excercise a lot (6 times a week or more)!! I burn more than 5000 calories through exercise weekly:
4-5 days intense exercise at the gym (800-1200 cals burned)
2-3 days long walks for more than one hour
& I take some saturdays off.

What’s most frustrating about it is the fact that it might seem like I'm doing everything right.  I'm eating what i'm supposed to be eating, I don't deprive myself but still i control my intake. I'm working out when i plan to and whenever i can, and i even cut back calories.

So, What on Earth is going on?

One reason behind my big deficit is that i always fear i am under estimating my food intake. A spoon of rice in here, a bunch of grapes in there, a couple of nuts, they ALL make a difference. Yes, I do count them, i just fear my numbers are somehow wrong. I fear that I stopped paying attention to portion sizes..
I check on CC and log my food sometimes but i cant be 100% sure of every gram of food i put in my mouth...

I am really sorry for this long post. I am just sat here crying myself out of frustration. I began to be so obsessed about the whole calorie-counting-exercising thing that i can't relax. I think about calories evey single minute.
I am tired of this!
Please help!

Edited Oct 07 2013 21:55 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unneccesary zombie and/or spam bumps
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As far as feeling your numbers are wrong..your not alone. It can be hard to get EXACTLY everything recorded..

I usually try to overestimate...anything I'm not sure of the exact amount I usually just up it a little more
The main reason you see people posting about eating more is because many people are under the impression that they should be eating 1200 reguardless of exercise.

You are eating 1200-2100 depending on your exercise.  This is perfectly fine.  As I see it, you are not doing anything wrong. 

Plateaus happen to everyone, no matter what kind of exercise or eating routine you have.  It takes different things to break it for different people.
Don't you dare increase your cals if you are trying to lose weight!

Of course you can't eat more and lose! You need to eat less to lose and more to gain.

People on here are telling people trying to lose weight to increase their cals like that will result in weight loss and if that were true then why the heck are they trying to lose weight STILL! Have you ever heard of increasing your calories and you'll lose weight? You probably never heard of this before for a reason. And if increasing our calories lead to weight loss then answer the following questions..

So why the heck is America so fat? Because they increased their calories and don't move their bodies enough..eating more results in more of you!

why are Europeans "just right"? Because they eat in moderation and walk or bike everywhere...oooooh ahhhhh see the pattern?

Edited May 07 2007 17:16 by hkellick
Reason: Removed Offensive Statement
A friend of mine went on a diet.  She was very inactive.  She tried 1200 calories and didn't lose.  She started exercizing 1/2 hour a day and cut calories to 1000 a day.  She lost most of what she wanted to lose, but got into a plateau.  Someone told her to add some fat to her diet, which she did - and the calories that went with it...and immediately began losing weight again until she got to her goal.  She went off the diet, and KEPT losing until she was down an additional 5 pounds. 
So the question is "Can I eat more, and still lose weight".  The word "More" is subjective here.  More than what?

I'm going to use myself as an example

I can consume 1800 calories a day (Sedentary) and stay the exact same weight.

If I consume 1700 calories a day (Sedentary), for a 100 calorie deficit.  I will lose 1 pound every 35 days.  That is about 12 pounds a year.  (3500 cals to 1 lb)  (Divide by 100)

I currently consume 1300 calories if Sedentary, this gives me a 500 calorie deficit.  I will lose 1 pound a week. 

How high your deficit is, is up to you.

You can eat more as long as it is under your Sedentary expenditure and still lose weight.

_____________________Part 2_________________________

Eating more than 1200 calories when you exercise.

What most people don't realize is that when you eat 1200 calories, it's meant to be when you're Sedentary. 

If you burn an additional 300 calories at the gym, you should be eating closer to 1500.  This keeps you at the same deficit, but it also keeps you at 1200 *net* calories.  It seems as though you are completely aware of this, but I'm addressing it for the other members who may still be confused.

Many people suffering from ana, and bulimia, will also Over Exercise.  They will consume a normal amount of food, I.E, 1200 calories, then spend all day exercising until they burn 1200 calories, giving them a ZERO (or close to) intake for the day, starving themselves.

________________Part 3______________________________

Reasons you may gain at first when increasing your calories:

During the first week of introducing more food, you may experience some scale weight.  This is fake weight and can be contributed for many reasons.

1.) Consuming more food means by pure odds that you will also be consuming more sodium.  More Sodium than usual, every day for a week can bloat you close to 2 more lbs.

2.) Waste.  The human body can hold up to 8lbs of waste.  If you eat more, your body is temporarily going to hold more. 

The weight gained in the first couple weeks cannot be fat as long as you are under your Sedentary caloric burn.   This scares many people away from eating more, and in turn causes them to disbelieve the good advice on this board.
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try switching COMPLETELY off carbs for one week.  During this week do some kind of exercise that you have never done before...  (if you never swim, then swim, if you don't lift arm weights, lift arm weights, etc). 

After the week is up, slowly reintroduce your normal weight loss plan (by slowly, i mean just introduce a couple new carbs a day).

Trust me, this works.  I promise.  It'll get you out of your plateau. 

You can do it.  Good luck.
Try eating more!

give it a whirl, cant hurt.

If you ate 2100 calories on a day that you burned 1200 calories, you get a net of 900. Whoops, not enough.

do us a favor and post what you typically eat so we can help you out more.

and the last lbs are apparently hard to lose, so shake up that workuot routine and see how it works.
I upped my cals from 1300-1500 to 1500-1890 and have  broke my year long plateau.

Increase low GI carbs and decrease fat.

DO NOT CUT OUT CARBS COMPLETELY. They are your fuel, you will crash and burn.

Your ideas are very wrong....

I'm mean sure the motto is not "eat more lose weight" but when your exercising 5-6 days a week and eating 1200 calories and wondering why there is no weight loss IT IS TRUE...EAT MORE LOSE WEIGHT

Now if your eating 2000 calories and exercising 5-6 days a week maybe not so much....

All I know is for 2 months I ate around 1300-1400 calories...lost some weight then stopped.

As soon as I upped my cals to go along with my exercise I started losing there ya go  EAT MORE LOSE WEIGHT

The thing I hear is that you have to give your body some variation to break the plateau - one or two days of going over is not going to destroy the 30 odd lbs you've already lost : ).

What it will do is signal your body that it's eventually going to break the pattern and something different will happen.  Also, stress doesn't help. Stress isn't calories, but it can have an effect on your weight.  I would recommend you do cut carbs, but not totally, and increase your protien to balnace it.

good luck
When I first started here I decided to start out eating 1600 calories.  This gave me a deficit of about 800.  The weight started coming off pretty quick.  All of the sudden I was stuck at a weight (I can't remember what it was) for like a week.  I increased my calories to 1800-1900 for four days then went back down to 1600.  I started to lose weight again.  I am getting closer to my goal (I have 9 lbs left) I am increasing my calories a little.  The past week I have been shooting for 1800 calories.  I am still on a downward trend, but not as quickly as I was losing weight at first.

The reason for increasing your calories is to jump start your metabolism.  It gets used to a certain way of you eating and settles into that.  Eating a couple 100 calories over what you would normally it will not cause you to put back on all the weight you have lost.

If you are stuck in a plateau of weight loss would you rather just be stuck or try something to break through?
I started counting calories , eating around 1500 and exercising 30 mins a day EVERYDAY, and lost about 25 pounds doing so then I hit a week 3 long plateau...I took the advice of someone in my situation and ate around like 2500 calories or so, and then the very next day only ate 1200, and within a week I lost 3 lbs, broke the plateau and have been losing nicely since. I have noticed that if I drink about 145ozs. of water the weight comes off better. I have recently increased my calories to 1700, and I exercise only 5 days a week intensely for 40 mins on my elliptical. I also only eat 1500 on my off days.  It works wonderful. I have heard throughout these forums that the occasional "cheat"day does wonders at boosting your metabolism , so I do this as well now. I hope you figure out a routine that works for you, it can be very frustrating but hang in there you will find the key.

From the sound of it, nooree, you have a reasonable deficit, a realistic goal, and are doing the right things.  Why then the long plateau?  There could be so many reasons, so all I'm going to do is post links to some articles that some people have found helpful

Tips for Boosting Metablolism

Breaking a Plateau

The Zig Zag Calculator
I would try to cut out carbs and use 'heavy' weights if you ask me. Or like someone else said do a totally different kind of excercise. Just don't over do it and get hurt, it will come off if you are counting right and keeping under your target.
Actually, I disagree with some of the people on here.  I don't think your calorie range is ok.  You're going from 1200-2100...a 900 calorie difference on days you exercise a lot vs. days you don't.  I'm afraid you may be eating back the calories you work off on days you work out, and by doing that, you won't lose weight.  I would say your range should be no bigger than a 500-calorie difference.
Technically you can eat a higher volume of food, but it has to be all unstarchy veggies like celery, lettuce, cucumber...

Seems to me that your deficit is too high... other people have succeeded in losing weight by eating more or exercising less to have a MAX deficit of 500 cals daily.

I'm 5' 7", I started Jan 14th at 225.  I'm now at 183.  I eat 1700-2100 calories a day, I exercise daily, but it's mostly a 30 minute walk, and light weight lifting for 15 minutes 2-3 times a week.  So I'm hardly an exercise maniac.  I almost never have more of a deficit than 500 calories, and I lose 2-3 lbs per week.  I keep my calories from fat less than 20%, and while I have my treats, I eat mostly healthy food.  I'm living proof that one can eat more and still lose.  I feel great, and have tons of energy.

Workoutaddict, I think your style of dieting went out of fashion in the 1950's.  I could never lose weight with the whole drastic cutting of calories thing.  Now that I know how to diet sensibly, I'm 42 lbs lighter.  And it wasn't even very hard.
nooree you said it yourself - you are stuck. so, it is time to try something new. you could try changing your workout, eating more frequent smaller meals to keep your metabolisim going all day, or upping you overall intake a few 100 calories... just try something new and watch the results carefully. if it does not work then try something else.

about overestimating - if you dont have a scale get one! they are affordable, fun and much more exact. without one chances are you underestimate just as often as you overestimate so you should not compensate too much or you may error on the side of far too few calories.

good luck, i hope you start to lose again soon!
The reason that upping calories works is because (supposedly) it confuses your metabolism. Your body is not programed to digest the EXACT amount of calories that you consume each day - it only processes a certain amount of calories based on how much you have eaten the past COUPLE of days. For example, if I was eating only 1200 calories for a while, my body would eventually adjust to this and ONLY burn 1200 calories (possibly less if you are not exercising because the body likes to keep extra energy around.)

Now, if I have been eating 1200 calories for a while and suddenly INCREASE my calories to 1500 for a while, my body will adjust to this new amount and burn ONLY 1500 calories or less. When you return to eating 1200 calories, your body is STILL burning 1500 calories or less because it cannot adjust every day, it burns based on what you have eaten the past COUPLE of days. Since you were previously eating 1500 and now you are only eating 1200, your body is automatically burning an extra 300 calories a day for you without you even doing anything! Of course that extra 300 over a couple of days will help you get out of your plateau! Of course, it will eventually adjust to 1200 again, but I hope this makes sense. I think it is in as simple terms as it can be put. :]
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