Yet another "not losing weight" question

I have been eating between 1500-1600 calories per day for about 3 months. I log my food and exercise on Spark people. I do cardio 4-5 days a week (spin or elliptical) and weight train for one hour twice a week. I have been stuck at the same weight, 215 lbs. the entire time. It is making me crazy. I drink my water--6-8 glasses. I eat at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies per day and limit animal protein to chicken, fish, eggs and a little cheese on my salad.


Can you suggest an eating plan that I can follow? I am so discouraged to work so hard and have so little progress.



Answer:

I understand why you're frustrated. It sounds like you're doing all the right things. Have you had your thyroid checked?!

I'd encourage you to take a closer look at your cardio sessions if you think your food is right on.

How long are your cardio sessions? That is, how many hours per week do you actually spend on the spin bike or elliptical...not including drive time, talk time with friends at the gym, etc.

Hypothetically...if you do 30 minute cardio sessions, 4 days per week, that's a total of 2 hours of cardio per week. You can roughly figure you burn 6-8 calories per minute. Therefore, 2 hours (120 minutes) of cardio per week results in 720-960 calories burned.

Weight training burns fewer calories in the moment (but results in the body burning more calories at rest if you build muscle tissue as a result of doing weight training).

Keep in mind it takes a 3500 calorie deficit to burn through 1 pound of body fat. If you burn 800 calories per week in exercise x 12 weeks (3 months), that's 9600 calories, or only ~ 3 pounds of fat.

That doesn't seem like very much payout for all the effort, right? You may not even notice a 3 pound weight change! But that's how the numbers work.

I'd suggest getting a heart rate monitor so you can more closely monitor how many calories you're burning. See more of my favorite "diet tools."

On the food side...

...if you're not 100% sure you're right on with 1400-1500 calories per day, and want to take all the guesswork out of what to eat, and assure your caloric intake is constant, I suggest ordering diet meal delivery for a couple of weeks to "jump start" things!

Hope that helps.

Whatever you do...don't give up!!! I know it's frustrating not to see results quickly.

In my 17 years as a dietitian, I have witnessed people who struggle, struggle, struggle, and then finally...

...things start moving in the right direction for them because they never threw in the towel.

Weight loss is a process...not a destination. :)

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