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Weight Loss
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Help Me Please! Counting Calories & Working out, But gaining!?

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Hey everyone. I have been counting my calories and working out consistently for 6 full weeks now. During this time period (with a daily deficit of 400-700 calories), I have lost a total of only 1.5 pounds, however it ALWAYS comes back. Today was my weigh in day & I weigh exactly what I did when I first started... I avoided sodium yesterday too, so it shouldn't be that.

I currently weigh 163.0 (as of this am) and am 5'6. My Eat Meter tells me to eat 1400 calories daily (on sedentary). I was eating 1200-1300 calories daily and working out about 250-300 calories (stationary bike & now 30 day shred). Since I wasn't losing weight, I upped my calories this week to 1500 daily. Clearly that didn't work since I GAINED a pound and a half.

Any ideas? Anyone? I'm getting so frustrated- it makes it so hard to be diligent and work at this when not only does nothing happen positively, but only negative happens!


16 Replies (last)

One week after increasing your calorie intake is a little too soon to call.   (You haven't gained 1.5lbs in fat by eating 1400 cals more than normal.)    1400-1500 cals should be a good level for someone with your stats.  I'd increase your activity level to 'light' and see if it still holds true.

Apologies if you're already doing the next suggestions......   Make sure you're accurately logging everything you eat and drink... weighing and measuring portions rather than guessing.   Make sure you're eating plenty of good quality wholefoods.... vegetables, grains, lean meat, low-fat dairy products... and cook/prepare your own meals rather than using ready-made foods or eating out in cafes.  Try to drink plenty of fluids, principally water.  You're already dodging the salt which is good... 

Other than that, be consistent.  You're not far outside a healthy weight for your height so it's going to take time whatever you do.  Don't panic, keep going.  I'm sure it'll click into place.


I guess I will keep up with the 1500 calories. I had kept my activity level on sedentary and then individually logged my activity. Up until I started the shred, I would ride the stationary bike 4-5 times a week, so I didn't want to assume more activity than shown.

I really do those suggestions, which I guess is why this is so frustrating. I have been on CC for years and made those changes over the years (including drinking at least 100 oz of water daily), yet it seems like none of the changes have any effect.

In addition to working so hard, my co-workers are having a Biggest Loser competition (I'm not participating) and they have no clue about cals in vs cals out & the math required to lose weight, so they still eat terribly (thinking that they are eating well) and lose weight anyway! Way to kill my enthusiasm for eating well!

We are close in height and weight. I was eating 1200 calories and day and using the treadmill for 60 minutes a day but could not get the scale to move.

I found out that I have a thyroid problem. (I am 50).

My calorie intake is the same but I have increased protein and decreased carbs. I lost 5 pounds in the first week.

Drink water because if you sodium is high you will retain water.

Did you get a prescription or something for the thyroid problem? Maybe I should look into that?


What do you eat to replace carbs with? I'll try to compile a list of things to add protein into my diet to see how that works.

I had the same problem too. I was eating about 1200-1400 calories a day and working out for 30 - 60 minutes everyday. But I found out that because I was eating so little AND working out, I wasnt giving my body enough calories and instead of using any body fat I had it was storing it. Because I had gone below the level that distinguishes between 'burning calories' and 'storing calories' due to that primal mode where we store calories because our body thinks that we are starving if we dont eat enough. Try to only eat 1200 calories if you dont plan on working out. Otherwise make sure that whatever you eat and use while exercising all balance out to 1200.

Also, your body weight can change by (+ or -) 3 lbs because of our water balance. So dont beat yourself up if it looks like you gained a lb or 2.

When Im feeling blue I just put on an old pair of pants and enjoy seeing how much I have lost since I started working out. Maybe that will work for you too?

Good luck! 

If I've done the math correctly, I was eating enough calories to accomodate for when I worked out. I did eat more on those days, and less when I wasn't.


I know that body weight varies a lot day by day, but I am so frustrated because I weigh once a week and have seen ZERO change in 6 weeks- there should definitely be a downward trend..


And no luck on the pants either... they still fit badly. I really am not losing.

I do take thyroid medication and it has helped. However, I have been working hard to keep my calorie count UP and I think that has helped more. I didn't lose a pound in many weeks on an 800 calorie a day diet.  Also, contrary to the information on the Internet, I do not add back exercise calories. This works for me but may not work for you.

If you have diet recently by restricting calories 1,400 calories may be too many at this time. Add 50 calories at a time until you learn how many calories you need.

Are you checking your heart rate when you exercise? You may want to increase the intensity or shake up your exercise routine.

Take your measurements also. I find that I will lose inches even though I haven't lost weight.

Try shaking up your calories too. For example, eat 1,400 calories for a few days then cut back to 1,200. Have an occasional splurge day once a month where you might have 1,600 calories and then cut back to 1,200, then 1,400.

Eat something every few hours make breakfast or lunch your highest calorie meal while cutting back on dinner calories.

Get enough sleep and watch your stress level.

Keep the faith! The pounds will start to come off after you learn what your body's secret formula is.

Also keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat, so if you are working out and firming up, adding muscle, there's a possibility that you are losing inches, just not pounds. You should take your measurements now and then take them again in a month and see if you've noticed any changes!

i think you are having the same problem as I did. cutting back on calories did not help me, and I am also pretty active. I have thyroid probems as well and have to take pills for it. I think thats mostly the reason I had trouble losing the weight. A week ago, my friend gave me a copy of her meal plan she has been doing, and she has lost 7 pounds in a week and a half. Its been a week for me and I've lost 5. You eat all the time, but your meals are balanced whole foods so they are low in calories and fat. if you want i can give you the meal plan. It might kickstart your weightloss?

Yes please- I would love to look at the meal plan and see if I can implement anything! You can put it here, or send me a message thinger.

Did you have any thyroid symptoms or anything that I should look for?


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I can't say I have an exact answer to this particular problem you're having right now in your weight loss process, but I can say that I have had to try many different things over many different years to get the weight off--and keep it off and so far have been successfully (easily) maintaining a loss of 85 lbs for almost a decade.

I still have about 40 (give or take) more pounds to go and am stymied as well with calories in/out and how many I'm burning and should I eat more and exercise or less. So after many discussions have decided to get my calorie burn rate per day (bmr) tested in a fitness facility so I have exact knowledge to go off and am not playing a guessing game.

My thought is that if you're exercising and dropping your calories and you think this deficit should be working but isn't, I would want to know what is your bmr because maybe you are overeating and exercising or undereating and exercising. You just don't know.

Six weeks is plenty to see that your body is not responding to this program and to try shaking things up. What I have done over the last 10 years and they have all been successful until my body changed and tried to something new is:


--Atkins w/ exercise (got off the first 40)

--Weight Watchers w/o exercise, but walking, moving, etc. (got off another 30)

--Smaller plates w/ walking (got off about 10 in a year)

--Learning more about food, BMR, grams, and focusing on calories: I'm hoping will get off the last chunk.

I know everyone wants to lose the weight right now and people will come on these boards and be so happy about dropping 50 or 75 or 100 in a year, but the stats are that most people can crash that weight off, but they can't keep it off long term in a healthy and satisfying way for the rest of their lives, changing the way they feel, relate and think about food.

So, to sum up: I think six weeks is plenty to see it's not working and try something new. Get your BMR tested so you know scientifically how much your body burns daily just from being alive and go from there. Different things work at different times for different people. I love how Jillian Michaels says that all the diets work and they do, but it's finding the right combination, at the right time: it's this incredible and confusing alchemy.

i have the meal plan in an excel spreadsheet, do you want me to email it to you?

Yes please!



My email is Thanks!

i sent it just now. make sure you dont do this longer than 3 weeks, cuz you might start losing muscle. good luck! tell me how it goes!!

Thanks! I'll probably wait to try this until July when my husband is on business- I doubt he'd be a fan of the same thing every night! lol.

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