Weight Loss
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Please help, I'm so lost.

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Warning: Novel ahead! Sorry. Please, please take time to read it - I am so frustrated I've spent the last several days in tears. I don't know what to do anymore.

The basics: I'm an 18 year old female, 5'9'', and 140-145ish lbs (closer to the 145 spectrum, unfortunately...) Not overweight, I know. But I am bigger than I'd like to be - by 8 - 10 lbs.

Long story short, I've struggled with eating disorders (namely anorexia) since I was 9 years old. It's been a battle, but the past few years have been better.

About a year ago, I committed to exercising, starting pilates and cardio and such, doing it about 6 - 8 times a week. I also started religious counting calories again, usually clocking in anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500. I didn't lose a single pound. Not a one. I saw minimal changes in my body, but nothing to write home about - certainly not the results you would expect if you're working that hard, that frequently.

It's been a year of this, and I haven't lost a single pound. WHAT?! Seriously?!

Lots of lovely people here told me I wasn't eating enough, but it seemed whenever I ate more than 1,500, I gained weight (or at least felt like it...I stopped weighing myself because I got too scared.)

The past 2 months have been a bit different - I started weight lifting (heavy!) 4 times a week, with cardio 5 days a week. Much more intense workouts, less frequently than the 7 - 8/week I was doing before. I am dripping sweat at the end of every workout, and though I have noticed SOME changes in my body, I still feel disgusting. My legs and arms are leaner, but my stomach is still flabby and puffy. I've actually GAINED 2 - 3 lbs (muscle, I sure hope...) I've been eating about 1,300 consistently.

I had my RMR tested last week - it came out to be 1,400 calories. I was told my sedentary rate is around 1,600, plus more when I workout, and that the reason I might be having trouble is because I've been undereating by way too much. True? Yes? No?

Then I asked if I would initially gain weight if I increased my calories. Answer? Probably. Maybe. Most likely.That TERRIFIES me. I cannot gain weight.

What do I do? I am so unhappy with my body right now, so unhappy with being unhappy. I work so hard, I eat a plant-based vegan diet (nothing processed, very whole and healthy foods) and STILL, I am fat.

Someone please tell me what to do! Do I increase my calories? To how much? Will I gain weight?! How can I FINALLY lose weight? Why can't I lose weight?

Please help, any advice is more than appreciated :(

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You might not lose more weight, you might have reached your bodies "ideal weight"...especially with your height your quite light anyway!! You will put on more weight if you eat more calories. You exercise a lot, so I guess you're 145lbs of mostly muscle, not fat! Have you had your fat percentage properly measured?

The past 2 months have been a bit different - I started weight lifting (heavy!) 4 times a week, with cardio 5 days a week. Much more intense workouts, less frequently than the 7 - 8/week I was doing before. I am dripping sweat at the end of every workout, and though I have noticed SOME changes in my body, I still feel disgusting. My legs and arms are leaner, but my stomach is still flabby and puffy. I've actually GAINED 2 - 3 lbs (muscle, I sure hope...) I've been eating about 1,300 consistently.


Your doing all this exercise off of 1300 calories? Your body is starving, I know that's probably not what you want to hear, but my only advice would be to eat more.

However, your BMI is 21 and that is perfect!

Weight loss is not easy, never give up!


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Try to love the body you have I know that's difficult but in reality you have a perfect size. Not every body was intended to be a thin model type. My advice is relax a bit and enjoy your accomplishments that you have made. Stress can also lead to your body holding on to weight so relaxing a bit may help. You have done an awesome job of working out and muscle always weighs more. Most likely eating more will not lead to true weight gain. Remember the scale can fluctuate daily. Determining your size by the way your clothes fit may be beneficial to you. Good luck in your journey.

Thank you for all the kind words - but I really don't want to hear that I'm at a
"set" weight. That's incredibly discouraging.

I want to know why, after all this CONSISTENT hard work and clean eating, I have been unable to make ANY changes in my body. Is it truly because I'm "not eating enough"? Does anyone have examples of how eating more actually DID help them lose weight?

I need someone to tell me if I do need to eat more. And if so, how much? Will I gain weight? How do I prevent that?

Bottom line, why am I not losing weight, and how can I lose weight?

You might ask yourself why this is such a big issue with you.  Is it going to make you a better person?  Will you do your job/school better?  Will your family love you more?  You need to learn to love the body you have now and nurture it and appreciate it for what it does for you.  No one has the "perfect" body, even the people that we think do.  The more you strive for some idea of "perfection" the unhappier you will probably be!  Set some fitness goals, concentrate on other things you enjoy in life, not just a number on the scale. So what if you gain a few lbs in the process of getting healthy, is the world going to end?  I just want you to see this is not life and death and it's making you very unhappy and that it's no way to live :( 

I also agree that you are not eating enough.  Frankly I can lose weight on 1400-1800 exercising 4-5 times a week and I am 44.  Yes, you might gain a little initially but once your body recognizes that you aren't trying to starve it anymore, it will burn more cals.  You are lifting weights, are you allowing enough rest time between sessions?  You need rest/recovery time to see progress.  Also with your vegan diet, are you getting enough of the types of protein you need to promote muscle growth?  2 months is really quite early to expect to see huge results.  I would give it 6 months at least.  Are you doing an established weight lifting program?  It's more important to train properly than to train a lot.  You may need to seek professional help if you can't bring yourself to eat more on your own.

Bottom line eat more and be healthy!!  That is so much more important than being thin :( 

Let her speak for herself
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I have the same problem. I am a competative cheerleader normally 5,6 117 workout twice a day and watch my calorie intake.

I got dropped in a stunt resulting in an acl tear in October and I've gained 20lbs since due to my inability to workout the in the same manner. I know I'm not fat but the excess on my stomach is not as pleasing to the eye as my abs were and I'd like my and back.

Last month I finally could workout in the same duration and I didn't seem to lose any of the weight.

Being a biomedical and chemical engineering major I looked at my situation scientifically. It seems to be helping me so far. This is my advice:

Eating Eating 1000-1500 calories a day while burning 2000 doesn't necessarily mean you will lose weight even thought at first it sounds like it should. Your body needs specifically sodium, potassium, and calcium ions to synthesize ATP for energy in metabolic functions. If you aren't eating foods that have the right nutrients your body does not work properly. You need these ions along with many others to have healthy catabolism.

Exercise For losing weight: weight lifting is NOT the answer. I would sooo much rather lift weights than run but I gain weight this way like nobody's business. It might tone you up but to get lean you need to do aerobic vs anaerobic. Dance hula hooping jumping jacks jump rope kickboxing steps running biking or even little exercises with mini weights repeated. If you want to tone and lose weight at the same time without gaining bulky muscles (this is my problem) then do exercises that require balance and holding. Yoga and Pilates are great especially because they incorporate flexibility so you have better range of motion. Other things that work wonders in this category include like holding a chin up on a bar, holding superman or hollow position, holding planks or side planks, balancing on a core ball, pulsing little exercises, wall sits, or holding lateral dumbells. This works both short and long muscle fibers and builds endurance and cardio strength.
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Also I'm not saying everyone is wrong who has told you that you aren't eating enough but my typical workout only burns about 600 calories. Burning calories is harder than people make it out to be every BODY is different I dont know your body to know whether or not you are or aren't eating enough. Some of it depends on your body's DNA some of it depends on what else other than your workout you are doing and the types of foods you are doing. If you are not feeling unwell or excessively tired you are more than likely okay. Somebody lean like you doesn't have as much to carry around and burns less calories in every day activities. Don't be discourage with what people are telling you. Be smart and be healthy. If you have concerns address them (headaches nausea restlessness or tiredness) this is your body's way of informing you that it is unhealthy and needs something else. Eat right, exercise for your body, get proper sleep, and use your body as a guide to your lifestyle.

I agree with the above comments I think you had previously posted a comment like this before. I think you are at a good weight and perhaps your previous eating disorder doesn't let you see yourself the way you should. Relax a bit, listen to klmink01's advise and hide that scale from yourself.  There is also a website that I think you should get into www.thoughmudder.comthey have groups all over where you do obstacle courses, I am not that fit yet but once i get to my ideal weight which is actually what you weight right now (but im only 5.4) that is what I plan on doing. Also try bike riding, yoga, and what klmink01 said you should try. PLEASE FOR YOUR SAKE HIDE THE SCALE. Try going up about 100 calories from what you eat already until you see what it does to you. Best of luck xoxo

Thank you all for the support. I know it's probably best for me to step away from the scale, but I'm terrified.

But does anyone have any idea about why I can't seem to lose any weight, no matter what I do?

If my BMR is 1,400, how many calories should I be eating? To maintain? To lose?

The reason you can't lose any weight is because you aren't eating enough and your body is holding onto everything in order to feed your body. 

Your RMR and BMR are not your burn rate, it's what you would burn if you laid in bed all day doing absolutely nothing.  If we add on 'life' and your activity level (multiply your bmr 1400 by 1.725) I get a 'burn' rate of about 2400.  This means that normally you could eat 2400 calories a day and not gain weight.  However, since you've been eating this low for so long, upping your calories would initially cause you to gain weight before your body knew it wasn't starving.  Then, once balanced again you could start losing.

If your body wasn't starving, you would need a small deficit (~500 cals) to lose weight 2400-500=1900.  I think you need to up your calories to a minimum of 1900 a day.  But, since you've had eating problems in the past and I am not a doctor, I recommend you talk to your family and physician for sound recommendations.  And, I agree with the others who have said "get rid of the scale."

How about the grumpy answer:

You have been told your RMR is 1400 calories, yet you still eat less than that - you are still struggling with anorexia.  You are not "over it" because you are still starving yourself to lose weight - only it isn't working.

Just for the record you aren't the only one - I am a yo-yo dieter - I have a lot of the same issues - but have found that without dealing with the underlying problem I will never really be over it - and it is not easy- but no matter how hard you try, these forums and all the calorie counting in the world can't make the ten pounds go away until you are over your fear of being at a healthy weight.


I feel like you need to start realizing that your already u are Already underweight and your excessive work out's are probably putting a real strain on your body. I know you don't want to hear it but relax, accept what the scale is telling you, your not overweight so why are you beating yourself up? Just stop
Dukan diet High protein, low carb, low fat Ditch the veganism diet if you really want changes. Works well for people who are weightloss resistant ( very common in people who have dieted/starved on many occasions) Worth the research. Dukan diet also has a book, very helpful.
My rmr is 1400, I'm 5'6" and was 150lbs 6 months ago. I'd been consistently eating around 1200-1400 cals daily for about 5 years and doing cardio and always hovered between 140-145. I upped my calories to 1600-1800 and started heavy weight training and/or running 3 or 4 times a week, burning around 600 cals per workout and I am now 129lbs. The lowest weight I have been since I was 15 (I'm 25) was achieved because I upped my calories. So there you go, that's a success story. I know it's hard to change the way you think after being fed "1200 calorie" diets for so long but our bodies need proper nourishment before they will give up the fat, particularly when we're already at a healthy weight

omg 5'9'' and 140lbs would be a dream come true for me lol, that's the weight I want to be and I'm 5'7" I'm pretty sure if I was standing next to you at the gym I'd be saying to myself I want to be like that girl... minus the anorexia battle.

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