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Fat and Frustrated

Starlord

Level 5 Valued Member
Thoughts/possibilities:
1-I could be consistently miscalculating my calories...
2-My basal metabolic rate could be lower than others...
3-While I think I fit into the light exercise category, I could be more sedentary than I think...
4-It could just be an off week...
5-gaining muscle...
No doubt all of these are true simultaneously right now.

BMR calculators are commonly horrendous. Unless you are going to use something like a dexa to gauge your BMR my common recommendation is -20%.

People often over rate how active they are.

Your body will fluctuate depending on hormonal responses to a variety of environmental factors.

You will be gaining a little bit of muscle. If this is the case then then it'll lead to better long term success when losing fat. As calories burnt will increase when idle and when active.

Calories counters have an error rate. IIRC on average it is 20%. So I often advise people -20% from whatever your calories burned is.

As with all people who engage in a drastic weight cut, your approach will have to become more and more extreme as you get deeper and deeper into the cut.

Things like increasing protein intake, lowering calories, increasing cardio, increasing strength training sessions and increasing general activities.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Thanks for the input and the thorough write-up and resources. I'll dig into this for sure.
The 3 day average, IDing a base calorie load and meal planning are the tripod of success. Rotating cals up and down on a 2-3 week schedule also very helpful.

I'm not low carb, the most important factors are contained in the 3 (4) principles above combined with exercise to keep your metabolism high. For me, I always want to include some notable glucose depletion from my training several times a week. It improves insulin sensitivity better than many approaches (particularly if one is at a high bf%) and increases fat burning on the downtime.

Don't check your weight more often than 2x per week.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I have not been through a weight loss journey, but I have been through some pretty long and frustrating rehabilitation of "body issues." So if it helps I'd like to give a little encouragement in any way I can.

Getting to a long term goal is a bit like watching water boil. It always seems to take longer if you stand there and watch it. So I definitely second the advice people have given to keep yourself out from under your own microscope a bit more. Pick an approach, stick with it for at least a few weeks, and then see where you are at. As others have already said, 1lb fluctuations are nothing to be even considering. You want to look for trends over time.

Putting yourself under your own microscope also can have the effect of giving you the illusion that things are going a certain way when in fact they are not. In other words it can make you feel worse about your progress when in fact you are making progress.

Keep the long term goal in your sights, pick a plan and stick to it until you can tell whether or not you need to adjust, stay consistent, and most of all be kind to yourself and give yourself credit for your hard work and dedication. Give yourself the space to feel frustrated; it's okay and normal to feel it, just don't let it cloud your judgement and take over your thought processes.

I hope any of that is helpful/encouraging!
 

spc

Level 1 Valued Member
We don't eat out or order takeaway, but I do eat in my company canteen
Does this mean you eat "warm" twice a day? At the canteen and at home?
Drop one of those, if so. I suggest to prepare some oatmeal to take with you. I mean...canteen.. ?? Just don't ;)
Personally I don't count calories or fast or care much about what I eat.
My average day looks like this:
I have 2 slices of rye bread with cheese for breakfast.
No lunch.
Maybe a cookie with coffee.
Protein shake with banana, soymilk, peanutbutter after training.
A plate of pasta/rice/potatoes with vegetables for supper. Stricktly vegetarian although I'm not. But my girlfriend is and I cook.. so no meat here...
A glass of wine.
So actually I run all day on my breakfast and a lot of coffee.
And I'm fairly active. (Training that is.. Rucking, running, KB..)
I'm going to be 48 this year and I wear the same size I wore when I was 20. (32/32)
 

JeanneRising

Level 1 Valued Member
Just to add another perspective - no aggressive converting intended - I had a tendency to gain weight until about 7 years ago when I switched to a vegan diet. Since then I more or less got the feeling I would really have to try hard to gain a lot of fat. Experiences are of course different from person to person, so what works for my metabolism maybe doesn`t for others. I can say, however, that I am not a hardgainer or sth. per se...it did develope like that when changing the diet.
Just for the sake of completeness: I train in more of a kettlebell sport style these days; about 45 min 3 days per week. Not with the intensity needed for competing, but it turns out to be my thing somehow. Again - not for converting. Just for the complete image.
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
I'm seeing a lot of good advice and some stuff that is a bit too 1% imo.

I'm on a similar journey. I started at 260 and am now at 230. I found that one of the most important things was working on building habits. More so than calorie counting, removing food categories, etc. Especially if it feels like you are "white knuckling" your diet method.

I learned it from Josh Hillis's book "Lean and Strong" (Highly recommended if you are trying to lose weight and are over 25%bf). Basically start out by picking some easy skills. The big one for me was eating slower. So for 4 weeks I tracked how many meals I put the fork down completely each bite. So at the end of every day I would track how many meals I successfully practiced that skill.

Then you add on other things that you need to practice like not eating snacks, plating more protein, plating more veggies, waiting 10 minutes before seconds, etc. Just start with two or three and focus on getting the "reps" up.

It is a bit counter intuitive based off most diet advice, but it is more focused on the psychology of behavior change instead of telling you what to eat, it is helping practice to make better decisions. Sometimes it is better to focus on the reasons for eating excess calories rather than just focusing on the calories themselves.

Anyways, something to try that has worked well for me if you are struggling with compliance with strict calorie counting.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
I'm seeing a lot of good advice and some stuff that is a bit too 1% imo.

I'm on a similar journey. I started at 260 and am now at 230. I found that one of the most important things was working on building habits. More so than calorie counting, removing food categories, etc. Especially if it feels like you are "white knuckling" your diet method.

I learned it from Josh Hillis's book "Lean and Strong" (Highly recommended if you are trying to lose weight and are over 25%bf). Basically start out by picking some easy skills. The big one for me was eating slower. So for 4 weeks I tracked how many meals I put the fork down completely each bite. So at the end of every day I would track how many meals I successfully practiced that skill.

Then you add on other things that you need to practice like not eating snacks, plating more protein, plating more veggies, waiting 10 minutes before seconds, etc. Just start with two or three and focus on getting the "reps" up.

It is a bit counter intuitive based off most diet advice, but it is more focused on the psychology of behavior change instead of telling you what to eat, it is helping practice to make better decisions. Sometimes it is better to focus on the reasons for eating excess calories rather than just focusing on the calories themselves.

Anyways, something to try that has worked well for me if you are struggling with compliance with strict calorie counting.
This is great advice. Focusing on adding things was a huge change for me - more protein, more veggies, more fruit, etc. - and less of a focus on less.
 

musicsherlock

Level 5 Valued Member
@ClayPainter Just to reinforce some of the good items on this thread: Patience, log your food, stay active.

I went from 283 lbs at my recorded heaviest to sub 190 lbs over in about 2.5 years...slow and steady. I'm only 5'9" and in my early 50's. Was basically sedentary for 25 years. Still have a sedentary job.

Weigh all foods and count calories (as you're doing)
Greek yogurt or Oats with fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch, lean meat and sensible portion of carbs with dinners, and larger portions of vegetables every chance you get. Though now I try to stick with 16:8 fasting schedule.
Essentially no beer or sweets...red wine with dinner...Rum and seltzer at social gatherings
I did S&S and rowing machine alternate days. Hike/ruck when possible.

You'll get there!
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
I'm seeing a lot of good advice and some stuff that is a bit too 1% imo.

I'm on a similar journey. I started at 260 and am now at 230. I found that one of the most important things was working on building habits. More so than calorie counting, removing food categories, etc. Especially if it feels like you are "white knuckling" your diet method.

I learned it from Josh Hillis's book "Lean and Strong" (Highly recommended if you are trying to lose weight and are over 25%bf). Basically start out by picking some easy skills. The big one for me was eating slower. So for 4 weeks I tracked how many meals I put the fork down completely each bite. So at the end of every day I would track how many meals I successfully practiced that skill.

Then you add on other things that you need to practice like not eating snacks, plating more protein, plating more veggies, waiting 10 minutes before seconds, etc. Just start with two or three and focus on getting the "reps" up.

It is a bit counter intuitive based off most diet advice, but it is more focused on the psychology of behavior change instead of telling you what to eat, it is helping practice to make better decisions. Sometimes it is better to focus on the reasons for eating excess calories rather than just focusing on the calories themselves.

Anyways, something to try that has worked well for me if you are struggling with compliance with strict calorie counting.
Yeah, this is all good advice.

+/- a pound or two? Who cares? I mean, I get it and when you are desperate and you have a bad week, then it's really frustrating, but just about anything that's a long road is going to have dips. If I beat myself up about every bad week of squats, I would have totally given up by now...

I'm just going to throw in the "If I were obese and needed to lose a lot of weight, I'd be walking all the time" spiel, so here it goes: If I were obese and needed to lose a lot of weight, I'd be walking all the time. Not because walking burns so many calories, but because it's a good replacement behavior to sitting on the couch and eating chips. It's a great replacement behavior to sitting at a desk and mindlessly web-surfing. It's a great replacement behavior to sitting around and bitching about all the injustices in the world.

So yeah, that's my two bits. It sounds like you're kicking a#@ to me and you need to stop beating yourself up about a bad week or two. Hang in there.
 

BrianCF

Level 6 Valued Member
Good work losing 10 lb.!

Simple and effective tips:
1. No booze. None, nada. If you're a weekend warrior, the first weekend is difficult, but once you get to 10 days, you're good.
2. Get at least a 30 minute walk in every day.
3. 1 -2 TBS of Metameucil in water a day. It will fill you up. It's GREAT for you and it gels up the junk in the digestive tract.
4. Drink water like it's your job
5. Fast 22024 hours once or twice a week on non-consecutive days.
6. Carb sources: Lentils (vinegar/garlic and olive oi) put them in salads, omelets, anything. Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Beans (I like lentils better, no gas with lentils because there are not digestive sugars)
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
If I were obese and needed to lose a lot of weight, I'd be walking all the time. Not because walking burns so many calories, but because it's a good replacement behavior
Yup, I walk on average 12,000 steps a day. Great time to get exposed to new ideas via audiobooks and podcasts (Seriously, get the Libby app and go ham on all those books you meant to read but never had the time for, its free and one of the best things your local government has to offer).
I honestly never thought about it as a replacement for snacking, but I do tend to go for a walk when I'm feeling tired in the afternoon instead of grabbing a snack like I did in my 20s during "The Great Gain".
 

BillSteamshovel

Level 4 Valued Member
Attached is a graph with a moving average plotted. That helps to smooth out random chatter and spikes and helps you to see a long term trend. Like others have said a 1 pound spike is nothing to worry about - you can see 2 pound spikes on the attached graph, but the longer term trend is clear. If you want to use this concept but are not familiar with spreadsheets I can send you one set up to do this or otherwise google will find heaps of examples.
 

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Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
I'm seeing a lot of good advice and some stuff that is a bit too 1% imo.

I'm on a similar journey. I started at 260 and am now at 230. I found that one of the most important things was working on building habits. More so than calorie counting, removing food categories, etc. Especially if it feels like you are "white knuckling" your diet method.

I learned it from Josh Hillis's book "Lean and Strong" (Highly recommended if you are trying to lose weight and are over 25%bf). Basically start out by picking some easy skills. The big one for me was eating slower. So for 4 weeks I tracked how many meals I put the fork down completely each bite. So at the end of every day I would track how many meals I successfully practiced that skill.

Then you add on other things that you need to practice like not eating snacks, plating more protein, plating more veggies, waiting 10 minutes before seconds, etc. Just start with two or three and focus on getting the "reps" up.

It is a bit counter intuitive based off most diet advice, but it is more focused on the psychology of behavior change instead of telling you what to eat, it is helping practice to make better decisions. Sometimes it is better to focus on the reasons for eating excess calories rather than just focusing on the calories themselves.

Anyways, something to try that has worked well for me if you are struggling with compliance with strict calorie counting.
Great advice here. I'd add never snack after supper. Getting a good 12h between your evening meal and breakfast gives a well deserved rest to your digestive system. You'll also get better sleep which is essential for weight loss. Get a good 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
 

Halfakneecap

Level 5 Valued Member
No expert here but I have definitely noticed when I get 2-3 one hour long walks in during the week I drop weight. It’s also great recovery and also a great warm up for S&S when I get home.

I discovered S&S and kettlebells in July 2021. I initially lost 3-4kg, but as the weights got heavier, so did I. But, my pants are a bit more loose and my shirts are a bit more tight.

Just keep going

Also don’t forget it’s January. I think it’s the worst time to start losing weight. Kids are home, lots of catch ups with friends and holiday stuff. Hard not to live the good life
 

ClayPainter

Level 1 Valued Member
Thanks everyone for the balance views. Lots of great constructive advice here and lots encouragement. I appreciate it.
Not despairing. Kept calories to 2000 yesterday too, and am going to proceed with a moderate (low for me) target, increase walking and other non-exercise activity and proceed as planned.
 

Shugyosha

Level 4 Valued Member
@ClayPainter,
I'm not a doctor, nor a scientist. Just my opinion.
You should avoid a too big calory deficit. If you're calory intake is really 700 less than what you need for a day, you're probably eating too less. Some research show that in such cas, the body start to block the loss of weight. You should probably try to eat a little bit more (try somthing like 2400 calories).
It happened to my wife. She reduced the calory intake, didn't loose fat, reduced even more, for the same result. I gave her this advice, which was really counter intuitiv for her. But she gave it a try ... and had good results.

PS Sorry for what is supposed to by my english :)
 

Fredrik

Level 4 Valued Member
Some thoughts and frustrations:
I am on a weight loss journey. So far I have brought my weight down from 270ish to last week 258.8 without tracking weight religiously but through exercise & tracking calories. I weighed myself this morning and am at 260... about 1 pound gained from last week.
I have been religiously tracking calories, not eyeballing, but weighing and measuring everything. My daily intake was targeted at 2200 calories with a an average of 2400 when you average in a 'cheat day.'

I am 40 (almost 41) and 6' tall.
I have been exercising about 4 days a week with S&S and a high volume swing day thrown in.


Using an online calorie calculator:
my basal metabolic rate should be about 2100 cal/day
If I am sedentary-ish, my maintain weight should be about 2550 cal/day
If exercise a little 1-3 days per week, my maintain number should be about 2900 cal/day

By these numbers I should be in a calorie deficit, and I am wondering why in the world I gained a 1+ last week?

Thoughts/possibilities:
1-I could be consistently miscalculating my calories...
2-My basal metabolic rate could be lower than others...
3-While I think I fit into the light exercise category, I could be more sedentary than I think...
4-It could just be an off week...
5-gaining muscle...

1-I don't think I am miscalculating calories and I try to error on the side of caution (slightly over estimating calories and rounding up when needed).
2-Maybe my metabolic rate is lower than others but I feel like this is sometimes an over-used excuse.
3-I do think that even though I exercise, my base movement is not high enough (step count etc).
4-Maybe it's an off week, but I'd rather not backtrack for another 1 to 2 weeks to find out.
5-Gaining muscle is another one of those things I feel like is over-said/used, pluse gaining a pound of muscle in a week... come on.

My current plan is to make sure my daily average for next week is down to 2000 cal/day and to increase my daily steps...

Bottom line. I'm fat and frustrated.
My healthiest adult time was about 14 years ago and I was about 210...

Not looking for answers per se, but I did want to externalize some of my frustrations and get thought and input.
Thanks.
Hi,
I have never been overweight but I have worked with and coached overweight people on both diet and exercise. The approach of keeping calories below a certain threshold just by applying your will to it works for very few people and for nearly no one in the long run. Exercise is also hugely overrated when it comes to weight loss, especially cardio since the body always tries to be effective and lower energy expenditure. Energy expenditure is also, frustratingly enough, lowered by to little calories compared to baseline. So your BMR is lowered by to few calories and you have to lower them even more which is unsustainable and eventually you give up.
So you have to adjust your macros in order to give your body what it needs without being hungry all the time. There is no macro nutrient that induces more satiety than protein therefore you should keep your protein intake at 150-200 grams/day. Since you are pretty tall its probably closer to 200 than 150 and high quality protein like meat, fish, eggs and poultry are best for both nutrient density and satiety. You should count all your macros with grams not percentages which is very hard to track accurately and tell you very little about nutrient density.
When it comes to carbs and fat you can choose whether to have a low fat or low carb approach. Mixing both carbs and fat is almost always unsuccessful and most people find that low carb is way easier to sustain than low fat. Again using grams a low carb diet is below 40-50 grams of carbs/day and fat in grams around equal to your protein intake. If you have had problems with weight for a longer time your carbs would probably have to be below 30 grams/day. If you want to try the low fat approach you just reverse these numbers. Just to keep it simple though I wouldn't bother tracking fat if you are doing the low carb approach and vice versa if you are doing the low fat approach.
You can very easily calculate your macros using a food scale and the app Cronometer (or any other app calculating macros in grams). When you have done it for a while you will start to learn how to do it without the scales and the app.
If you find this hard to do on your own I would direct you to the guys at Keto Gains Ketogains I Your Personal Coach for Weight Loss & Fitness They have spectacular results with people and a program with support to follow. Also Dr. Shawn Baker at Revero Health is highly successful with his approach and his community Carnivore Diet Community, Coaching & Recipes
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
@ClayPainter

My approach depending on where the bottleneck is - I look at sensations of hunger the same way I view muscle discomfort from training - unpleasant but evidence of potential "progress". This maybe becomes unhealthy over time but def reframes the issue short term in terms of discipline.

Unrelated but maybe useful, this is a cut and paste formula of stored fat mobilization in a deficit. Is very simplified, but gives a rough theoretical idea of how large a deficit you can maintain and not reduce muscle mass:

"Free Fat Mass (FFM) = total fat mass (TFM) - essential fat mass (EFM)
TFM = Body Weight * Fat%
EFM = (Lean Body Mass [LBM])*0.03 for men or (Lean Body Mass)*0.12 for women
LBM = Body Weight - TFM

Maximum Daily Fat Mobilization = 2.5grams*FFM
Maximum Daily Deficit (MDD) = 2.5grams*FFM*9calories/gram

This is the largest deficit that you can maintain per day and theoretically have all of the deficit be supplied by fat oxidation.

So, let's say you're a 30 year old woman, 5'5'' tall and 180 lbs with 40% body fat. Your total daily energy expenditure is about 2200 calories (lightly active).
BW = 180 lbs
LBM = 180 - 180*.4 = 108 lbs
TFM = 180*.4 = 72 lbs
EFM = 108*.12 = 13 lbs
FFM = 59 lbs
MDD = 59 lbs * 2.5g/lb * 9 cal/g = 1327 calories per day"
 

SteveR

Level 5 Valued Member
You're losing weight, working out 4+ days a week, and reasonably conscientious of a healthy diet. Sounds to me that you're in the right process heading in the right direction.

Patience and maybe a hobby to give you something else to focus on while the magic works under the hood. I've learned that my body will adapt just fine to the right stimulus over time without me supervising.

I think you are doing great. Best of success.
 
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