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weight loss slowing-gonna take forever!

tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
As above-i know weight loss does slow,but it's a bit disheartening when you work hard and the scales say-nah! Is it right that the cycling and swimming that I'm doing might be putting on muscle which is heavier than fat? i eat ( really-i've counted) about 1700/1800 cals aday-this seems to suit me as much less leaves me wanting to eat the carpet! I swim hard 4 times a week,bike (only 10 miles though) 3 times a week,and I've still got at least 3 stones left to loose-do I need to cut the calories a bit/?-bit worried if I eat less I'll be so hungry I'll give in to the fridge at 8pm!

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  • SilverSenatorSilverSenator Posts: 85
    edited June 2009
    Sounds like you may not be eating enough. Work out your Base Metabolic Rate and then your Daily Calorie needs (the link is on the same page).
    Starting Weight: 25 st 13.44 lbs - On: 20/05/09
    Current Weight: 16 st 7 lbs - On: 10/11/12
    Weight Loss: 9 st 6.44 lbs
    Current BMR: 2095 Calories
  • weeksy59weeksy59 Posts: 2,606
    You need to eat wiser and train harder.

    DO NOT eat less.
  • jmillenjmillen Posts: 627
    You need to be eating your "standard" 2500 calories per day...its not about reducing the amount you eat, its about eating 2500 good calories (or more if you're exercising alot).

    Also, you're right, muscle is more dense than fat so for a given volume, its heavier which is why you may look like you're losing weight, but the scales say you aren't.

    In summary, control your eating, and keep working ! You'll get there, its hard work, but it will pay off, good luck :)
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  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    Wow!-That is honestly a real revelation-I feel really thick.-according to the link provided by silver senator I should be eating 2300 cals to loose weight (20% deficit)-so my expectation of eat less than r.d.a. +excecise = rapid weight loss was rubbish! Going to take a bit of getting used to after weeks and weeks at 1700/1800 cals though.Thanks for the advice.
  • weeksy59weeksy59 Posts: 2,606
    tozi1 wrote:
    Wow!-That is honestly a real revelation-I feel really thick.-according to the link provided by silver senator I should be eating 2300 cals to loose weight (20% deficit)-so my expectation of eat less than r.d.a. +excecise = rapid weight loss was rubbish! Going to take a bit of getting used to after weeks and weeks at 1700/1800 cals though.Thanks for the advice.

    Problem when you eat too much less is that your body goes into 'shutdown' and stops metabolising the food and instead chooses to store it automatically as fat.

    The exercise youi're doing is enough to lose weight... but could be more i rekon ;)
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    Your "metabolism" is how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight.

    This includes calories for skin and hair production, cell renewal, heart beat, breathing, blinking, digesting food, making blood cells, etc. This is called your BMR and is the calories you would consume if you stayed in bed all day.

    If you don't eat enough (below your BMR), then your body has to start making decisions about what has to go AND what sources of fuel it can use.

    Muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat, so, in famine, it is a drain on resources and will be consumed in favour of fat which, while bulkier, "costs" less. So, if you're not eating enough (and not eating enough of the right food), you will be fighting a losing battle.

    Also, less crucial systems like hair and skin replacement go first, too, all in an effort to keep you from starving to death and a prolonged severe deficit in calories is, to your body, the inevitable cause.


    It is crucial to constantly adjust your caloric intake based on your BMR to stay ahead of the "starvation zone".

    You may find a very, very brief period of gain straight after a severe deficit, but don't lose heart and keep at it. Once you're properly fuelled, you'll be heading in the right direction again!



    Also, it's worth changing your routine every 6 weeks or so. Your body soon gets used to the same exercise so to keep it working hard, you have to keep it guessing :)
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
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  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    Thanks weeksy- am I right in thinking the overall calorie deficit is what matters,and the ratio of exercise:eating less is not so important,I currently do about 6 hrs xweek of medium intensity stuff-75/85% max heart rate I guess,and would struggle to fit much more in around work etc,but would it actually produce more benefit if i could find a way to do more exercise-I suppose the other thing which would be usefull to know is at what point the body does the shutdown thing,but whatever,it looks like I should be eating more.
    Thanks for your time.
  • weeksy59weeksy59 Posts: 2,606
    WEll yes and no... it's not about calorie defecit totally... as you could eat 3 mars bars a day for your 1800 cals... and that's rubbish...

    it's about what you eat, when you eat it and how much.

    Eat 2 large fish portions with a load of corn and peas followed by an apple and a bannana is going to do a lot more for you than 1 mars bar and a pack of crisps.

    you may be making up your calories very badly... which isn't going to help.

    There's also the argument of training at lower heart rate %ages for maximum 'fat burning' however i know very little about this.

    Don't forget when working out your calories.... 2000 cals is for a normal everyday person... IF you add into that doing 1.5hours cardio that day, you can still do 2700 cals and still be BELOW what you need.

    Anything less than 15% defecit and you're running a risk of 'shutdown'

    However again... LOL.... some people function better on less... some on more... Some will lose it easily, some will struggle.

    Only time and experience will teach you what works for you.

    I don't do calorie counting myself... i lost nearly 5st a few years ago, put some back and have dropped 1.5st this year. Mostly through not eating shite, working hard and possibly something i use called Thermopure. (from myprotein.com)
  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    Thanks for that Ditch Witch.Do you use the Harris Benedict formula and then take a pecentage off it,also do all BMR calcs work the same?
  • Food Standards Agency have a website, eatwell, which has plenty of useful, easy to understand information on maintaining a healthy, well balanced diet.
    Starting Weight: 25 st 13.44 lbs - On: 20/05/09
    Current Weight: 16 st 7 lbs - On: 10/11/12
    Weight Loss: 9 st 6.44 lbs
    Current BMR: 2095 Calories
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    tozi1 wrote:
    As above-i know weight loss does slow,but it's a bit disheartening when you work hard and the scales say-nah! Is it right that the cycling and swimming that I'm doing might be putting on muscle which is heavier than fat? i eat ( really-i've counted) about 1700/1800 cals aday-this seems to suit me as much less leaves me wanting to eat the carpet! I swim hard 4 times a week,bike (only 10 miles though) 3 times a week,and I've still got at least 3 stones left to loose-do I need to cut the calories a bit/?-bit worried if I eat less I'll be so hungry I'll give in to the fridge at 8pm!

    I agree with Silver. and others..you probably aren't eating enough calories and your body might be going into what they called "survival mode". It basically means that it'll hold on to more than it would if you were to eat more. I know a couple of people it happened to and both started to lose the weight again after eating a little more.
  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    Big thanks to eveyone for advice. Will check out my diet and recommended deficit etc.-weird thing is I don't feel starving,I guess your body/brain gets used to a certain level of food intake-i have seen reference to " famine" mode,but never ever thought it could apply to me-I'm 15 1/2 stone for petes sake!
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    tozi1 wrote:
    Thanks for that Ditch Witch.Do you use the Harris Benedict formula and then take a pecentage off it,also do all BMR calcs work the same?


    The Harris Benedict formula is a multiplier you add to your true BMR. I always use "sedentary" because i have a desk job, then add everything in, including walking the dog.

    If a BMR calculator asks you how much exercise you do, it's applying the HB forumula and is NOT your true BMR.


    Your BMR is the amount you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day. Anything that considers daily activity is not your BMR.
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    www.ditchwitch.me.uk
    www.darksnow.co.uk
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  • DunbarKevDunbarKev Posts: 29
    tozi, you say you do 6 hrs xweek of medium intensity stuff-75/85% max heart rate.

    You really want to drop the intensity to below 60% MHR for fat burning, up above 65% you are using the fuel stored in muscles (glycogen) and only then when this is depleted you start to burn fat. You need to train your body to become more efficient at burning fat. That is why a long easy cycle or long slow run is going to drop lbs off you and be easier to maintain over the long run.

    Of course there is a place for high intensity but you are most likely using all your muscle stores and hitting a bit of a wall, then not taking in enough 'good food' to replace the energy used. It becomes a bit of a cycle.

    Best approach (I guess)

    1. Less intensity for longer to get the weight down.
    2. High intensity as you get near target weigh.
    3. Strength/toning work through out (swimming, weights, gym class etc).
    4. A little protien with every meal/snack (keeps you feeling full for longer).
  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    Thanks for that Kev.
    I've upped the calorie intake a bit with more pasta and a bit more protein.The bike is in second place at the moment as i am training for the great north swim-1k.m. open water,but i am still riding three times a week,just 10 miles though,this week i will do a slightly longer ride at the weekend.I find it difficult to ride at lower effort,so i taped over the face of the bike computer and used the hrm only!
    I must admit it feels weird to up the calories-so does that mean you actually lose muscle mass in this situation?
    just thought,would i be better off doing one long slow ride-say 30 miles plus-not that long i know-as i am getting plenty of high intensity stuff in the swim training?
  • Mike GillMike Gill Posts: 24
    totally agree with Kev; i gave up smoking 7 weeks ago (can recommend hypnotherapy) and put on 8lbs in 10 days. i work abroad and cant go riding but i go to the gym at least 5 times a week; i stopped using weights and concentrated on cardio and fat loss. my weight was up and down for a few weeks as i was snacking due to the not smoking; but i have lost nearly 2kg in the last 2 weeks; just doing fat burning exercises at around 60% effort. I have off days; i smoked for about 22 years; so sometimes i snack a bit too much. What i'm realy trying to say is; don't get drawn into calorie/carbs/BMI watching; weigh yourself no more that twice a week; eat properly and exercise as often as you can. I'm a former british soldier and when i was serving could drink most people under the table; smoked like a trooper and had a censored diet; however; i never failed a fitness test and enjoyed a good beasting in the gym.
  • tozi1tozi1 Posts: 119
    cheers Mike-the message is getting clearer-lower the effort to get rid of the fat!
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