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The Scale - Grrrrr grrrghr. Argh!!!


samanmoran

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Um, that's me growling ferociously with frustration, btw.

 

Hi!

So- is anyone else here doing Paleo or LCHF and trying to drop a few pounds?

Reason I ask is because I lost about 8lbs since Oct 29, then went back up 3, and now I'm stuck there.

It's pissing me off, seriously. But I can't seem to budge the scale back in a downward direction.

Is this common? Anyone else getting the same thing? Any advice?

I'm keeping my calories at a deficit. I should be getting about 1600/day to lose 1 lb per week, but that's hard. I'm getting more like 1800, but that's still a deficit. I'm also counting net calories after exercise. I'm doing CrossFit 3 X a week. But my actual calorie consumption is anywhere from 1600 - 2200 per day.

I'm averaging about 120g of carbs per day, too.  And about the same protein. Rest is fat.

 

Other thing is I'm def retaining water or something. Can't get my ring off.

Thanks!

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Don't Chew what you should Eschew!

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You're miscalculating your intake/output/both. Stop eating back your exercise calories, see if that works.

Hmmm. Ok, yeah I kinda thought maybe I'm eating too many calories. I think I'll quit almonds and start getting in more veggies or something, because I'm def. only eating when hungry, but maybe too calorie dense?

 

Thanks.

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Don't Chew what you should Eschew!

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Also... obsessing over your weight is a route to frustration and failure. I highly recommend either a) weighing yourself weekly and average the last 3 weeks every week (this watches long term progress) or B) use pictures.

Yes, good point, although having made it a previous habit of falling off the wagon, I find that the ritual of getting on the scale every morning sets me up for the day as a reminder that I'm being conscientious about what I eat. Otherwise I tend to "forget".

But I think the pictures will hopefully say it in at least a thousand words. I took a couple of so-called befores and I'm saving up for when I take a look and compare. One more week in my CrossFit 6 week challenge. I hope to see a difference.

 

I do feel better, if a bit puffy. I'm retaining water for sure, which must be affecting the scale as well. Wish I knew what to do about it!

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Don't Chew what you should Eschew!

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Yes, good point, although having made it a previous habit of falling off the wagon, I find that the ritual of getting on the scale every morning sets me up for the day as a reminder that I'm being conscientious about what I eat. Otherwise I tend to "forget".

But I think the pictures will hopefully say it in at least a thousand words. I took a couple of so-called befores and I'm saving up for when I take a look and compare. One more week in my CrossFit 6 week challenge. I hope to see a difference.

 

I do feel better, if a bit puffy. I'm retaining water for sure, which must be affecting the scale as well. Wish I knew what to do about it!

I totally understand that... but it's super hard not to obsess over it. Even after two years (from 220lb to 160 and back multiple times), I still obsess over it when I see that number. Not saying you're the same, but I totally agree the daily reminder is nice. But it also isn't the big picture.

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I totally understand that... but it's super hard not to obsess over it. Even after two years (from 220lb to 160 and back multiple times), I still obsess over it when I see that number. Not saying you're the same, but I totally agree the daily reminder is nice. But it also isn't the big picture.

Ok, so, the scale is still at 174-ish after a solid week. So what does that mean? I promise I'm not obsessing, but I need to get to 140 and so I need to make sure I'm on the right plan of attack. I really can't afford to backslide.

140 isn't an arbitrary number, either. I haven't always been so overweight, it's fairly recent. The last 5 years it's been getting to this point and I know that at 140 with my active outdoor lifestyle, I look and feel good.

So aside from low carb high fat and CrossFit 3x a week, what should I do?

Sent from an alternate universe using Alien tech.

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Don't Chew what you should Eschew!

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Don't worry about low carb/high fat. No macronutrient ratio will cause fat loss in the absence of a caloric deficit. Determine your caloric needs with this calculator and then make sure you're eating about 500 less than that daily (weigh your food if you can); this should result in approximately 1lb of weight loss per week. If you are doing strength training and eating adequate protein (.7g per lb of body weight, or about 130g for you) most of that should be fat loss.

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Don't worry about low carb/high fat. No macronutrient ratio will cause fat loss in the absence of a caloric deficit. Determine your caloric needs with this calculator and then make sure you're eating about 500 less than that daily (weigh your food if you can); this should result in approximately 1lb of weight loss per week. If you are doing strength training and eating adequate protein (.7g per lb of body weight, or about 130g for you) most of that should be fat loss.

Thanks notanartmajor,

Ok, so I should be consuming about 1600/day  for that 1lb a week weight loss - (BMR about 2100)

I've been tracking everything for the past several weeks and I bounce around most days between 1700 - 2200

I'm not over eating, not snacking, keeping carbs below 120g, not touching sugar and getting about 110g protein/day... (and I gave up BEER!  *sniff* ).

 

It is interesting that if you look at graphs of before I switched fat for most of the carbs in my diet, my caloric intake went down significantly without trying. I find that my new diet really has made snacking, etc. unnecessary. I don't get so hungry now. But I still have a really hard time hitting that 1600 mark!

How can I reduce my appetite or something to eat less?

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Sounds like you just want to reduce your fat intake a little?  A rule of thumb would be that if you eat a fattier cut of meat then your veggies should have little added fat.  If you are eating chicken breast or shrimp then feel free to add more fat to the veggies.  Think of meals you can fit in the 500-600 calorie range x 3.  Paleo meals don't need avocado, butter, bacon, and coconut oil all in one meal.  You could also try eating your protein first and eating slower and more mindfully.

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Sounds like you just want to reduce your fat intake a little? A rule of thumb would be that if you eat a fattier cut of meat then your veggies should have little added fat. If you are eating chicken breast or shrimp then feel free to add more fat to the veggies. Think of meals you can fit in the 500-600 calorie range x 3. Paleo meals don't need avocado, butter, bacon, and coconut oil all in one meal. You could also try eating your protein first and eating slower and more mindfully.

Ok, that's a good idea. I have been trying to be a good paleo girl and using lots of butter on veggies, heavy cream in my coffee, etc. but it's true, I can probably shave off at least 150 calories or so by just having steamed broccoli plain, which I love anyway, or coffee black and so on.

Ok. I have a plan. I'll try that and see how it goes.

thanks!

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Being female, the scale will be heavily dependent on your cycle. It is almost pointless to compare day to day or week to week weights, you are much better off comparing to what you weighed at the exact same point in your cycle last month. Both ovulation and your period causes funny business with the scale that will tend to last upwards of a week for each. No idea what BC does (probably varies by type), but there is like a scale impact there as well.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
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Being female, the scale will be heavily dependent on your cycle. It is almost pointless to compare day to day or week to week weights, you are much better off comparing to what you weighed at the exact same point in your cycle last month. Both ovulation and your period causes funny business with the scale that will tend to last upwards of a week for each. No idea what BC does (probably varies by type), but there is like a scale impact there as well.

I get your point, but I think that any 'being female...' statements are too general. After all it's not as if Male is the norm and Female is the subnorm. And there are about 3.5 billion of us on the planet, so I don't think my situations really reflect what the rest are doing or vice versa.

The fact is, I'm not losing weight. And I'm not chalking it up to a woman thing. Besides I have a very good handle on what's going on with my cycle and don't care to share specifics, as they aren't relevant to the conversation (whatever other people who aren't me may presume.)

So, don't get me wrong, I'm not offended, but I don't think that simply being female has anything to do with using more energy than I consume. And I think it's important to shed intelligent and productive light on these kinds of assumptions when they pop up.

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I really think in the case of weight loss that "being female" isn't really general.  Even if there were 90 billion females on the planet it doesn't change our biology.  Yes, there are some special cases where cycles are not normal or things have been removed, but typically the water weight retained can be a bitch.  It can definitely mask fat loss.  When I lost a large amount of weight it happened in whooshes.  In other words I was losing fat steadily but it wouldn't show up until right after I got my period.

 

Right after period - big whoosh

Next couple of weeks - small losses

Right before period - few lb gain

 

And repeat...  in over 100 lbs of fat loss, I was never one of those people that steadily lost 1-2 lbs a week according to the scale.

 

Maybe it doesn't apply to you and that's perfectly okay.  I know you said you were not offended, but you still seemed a little offended :)

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I get your point, but I think that any 'being female...' statements are too general. After all it's not as if Male is the norm and Female is the subnorm. And there are about 3.5 billion of us on the planet, so I don't think my situations really reflect what the rest are doing or vice versa.

The fact is, I'm not losing weight. And I'm not chalking it up to a woman thing. Besides I have a very good handle on what's going on with my cycle and don't care to share specifics, as they aren't relevant to the conversation (whatever other people who aren't me may presume.)

So, don't get me wrong, I'm not offended, but I don't think that simply being female has anything to do with using more energy than I consume. And I think it's important to shed intelligent and productive light on these kinds of assumptions when they pop up.

I don't think he's saying what's norm or "subnorm". He's saying what is true and that is that females' bodies are much more complicated and weight loss is not only harder for females (generally), but it also fluctuates more than males. Nothing he said was generalizing you really. Simply being female actually does have something to do with your weight loss.

 

I know Waldo might disagree a bit with me on the next point, but it's not always about calories in and out. Sometimes it is and if you're losing weight, great... but once you stall, you have to start looking elsewhere. Hormones (for males and females) have a lot to do with weight loss and it's too easy to generalize fat loss as burning more energy than we consume... especially if you've stalled. If you've stalled, something else is happening and hormone imbalances can stop weight loss in its tracks. Leptin, insulin, and cortisol all affect weight loss and they're all controlled by our environment and what we eat. That said... if you're interested in learning about that, I suggest the book "It Starts With Food". Otherwise I don't have an answer for you... just don't think you should throw out being female having anything to do with your stalled weight loss.

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I really think in the case of weight loss that "being female" isn't really general. Even if there were 90 billion females on the planet it doesn't change our biology. Yes, there are some special cases where cycles are not normal or things have been removed, but typically the water weight retained can be a bitch. It can definitely mask fat loss. When I lost a large amount of weight it happened in whooshes. In other words I was losing fat steadily but it wouldn't show up until right after I got my period.

Right after period - big whoosh

Next couple of weeks - small losses

Right before period - few lb gain

And repeat... in over 100 lbs of fat loss, I was never one of those people that steadily lost 1-2 lbs a week according to the scale.

Maybe it doesn't apply to you and that's perfectly okay. I know you said you were not offended, but you still seemed a little offended :)

Hmmmm. Ok, well you got me. Honestly I do find it rather irksome to hear remarks like, "since you're a female" or "women don't usually" or a host of other blanket statements. I was trying to be a good sport about it, but couldn't let it lie. File it under "annoying comments you hear all the time".

But consider that hormonal fluctuations or no, everyone is different!

Even in your case, you said you're not one of those people who steadily loses 1-2 lbs/ week, while undoubtedly some, or many women do. As for me, I don't want to take the risk of waiting around a month or longer to see if I'm on the right path.

So I'll amend my constructive to criticism to Waldo, and suggest that you simply ask the female in question if she's taken hormonal considerations into account. It sounds a lot less like trying to explain to a female what females are like. No hard feelings, I hope.

In the mean time, superjenni, I found your earlier advice really helpful, and I started today. I think I can shave off a couple hundred calories a day that way and hopefully start the weight loss going again.

;)

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I don't think he's saying what's norm or "subnorm". He's saying what is true and that is that females' bodies are much more complicated and weight loss is not only harder for females (generally), but it also fluctuates more than males... /snip/

I suggest the book "It Starts With Food". Otherwise I don't have an answer for you... just don't think you should throw out being female having anything to do with your stalled weight loss.

Thanks, Loren. Yeah, it's a bit aggravating to see my husband drop 5 lbs while making no more change than to eat the same dinner as me - so no doubt about sex differences, but we're ALL subtly different from one another, and for me, that's the rub. You could flip it and say to a guy who stalled that he shouldn't be stalling because he's a male and has a steady monthly hormonal balance. Where would that leave him?

While I'm female, what's more important is that I'm me, and so I have to see what works in the Me context, and not simply say, oh well, I'm female. Because that isn't enough information. I've been female for 41 years and that won't change, but my approach to diet and exercise can. So I'm looking at what I'm doing and what I have done and seeing what others do and have done and working with that.

I will definitely pick up that book. I love information.

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Thanks, Loren. Yeah, it's a bit aggravating to see my husband drop 5 lbs while making no more change than to eat the same dinner as me - so no doubt about sex differences, but we're ALL subtly different from one another, and for me, that's the rub. You could flip it and say to a guy who stalled that he shouldn't be stalling because he's a male and has a steady monthly hormonal balance. Where would that leave him?

While I'm female, what's more important is that I'm me, and so I have to see what works in the Me context, and not simply say, oh well, I'm female. Because that isn't enough information. I've been female for 41 years and that won't change, but my approach to diet and exercise can. So I'm looking at what I'm doing and what I have done and seeing what others do and have done and working with that.

I will definitely pick up that book. I love information.

Sent from an alternate universe using Alien tech.

I totally agree with you that we shouldn't be simply saying "oh well, I'm female". Obviously there's a cause and we want to find it... I just don't want to assume it has nothing to do with it. And yeah, I think you will love that book.

 

But yeah, you could flip it and say that... as I did say hormone balance is important for both sexes, but females' are more complicated. Sure, we're all different, but there are things specifically about females that make it harder than males. That's all I was gettin' at and I'm sorry if I offended you.

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I get that you don't want to hear generalizations about women and hormones, whateves. However, the fact of that matter is that, as women, our bodies tend to hold on to fat stores just a little bit harder than men for reproductive and biological purposes. Weight also fluctuates wildly around ovulation and period cycles - for a week on either side so, about three weeks of the month :)

 

Am I saying that is the the *only* thing "holding you back"? Absolutely not. You aren't at a place where your body fat is low enough that you have to fight your body to lose weight. People plateau and women plateau often.

 

I wouldn't weigh myself daily either. I get what you are saying about feeling like you are holding yourself accountable by stepping on the scale each morning but man, it can be a total mindfuck.

 

You need to watch the nuts and fats, for sure. You can easily over-indulge there and you may want to lower the carbs on days that you aren't lifting or CF'ing. How are you tracking your calories - with MFP or something of the sort? How are you estimating the amount you are eating - do you weigh your food on a scale?

 

Also - while CF is varied - your body could be acclimating to the activity level and you might want to consider adding in some other sort of activity.

 

This is all just my opinion, of course. I spent several years shedding 80+ lbs and have spent the last year creeeeeeeeeeeeeeping lower on the scale. It's frustrating but it is what it is. Stressing about it is also counterproductive :) Good luck!

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Letting go is the hardest asana. 

 

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I get that you don't want to hear generalizations about women and hormones, whateves. However, the fact of that matter is that, as women, our bodies tend to hold on to fat stores just a little bit harder than men for reproductive and biological purposes. Weight also fluctuates wildly around ovulation and period cycles - for a week on either side so, about three weeks of the month :)

 

Am I saying that is the the *only* thing "holding you back"? Absolutely not. You aren't at a place where your body fat is low enough that you have to fight your body to lose weight. People plateau and women plateau often.

 

I wouldn't weigh myself daily either. I get what you are saying about feeling like you are holding yourself accountable by stepping on the scale each morning but man, it can be a total mindfuck.

 

You need to watch the nuts and fats, for sure. You can easily over-indulge there and you may want to lower the carbs on days that you aren't lifting or CF'ing. How are you tracking your calories - with MFP or something of the sort? How are you estimating the amount you are eating - do you weigh your food on a scale?

 

Also - while CF is varied - your body could be acclimating to the activity level and you might want to consider adding in some other sort of activity.

 

This is all just my opinion, of course. I spent several years shedding 80+ lbs and have spent the last year creeeeeeeeeeeeeeping lower on the scale. It's frustrating but it is what it is. Stressing about it is also counterproductive :) Good luck!

Totes agreesies.

 

(emcee language)

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Hey emcee, thanks. Good point about the CF, and maybe you can suggest something here: since we just finished out 6 week beginner course, we're now going to be doing a month of learning the skills for Olympic weight lifting, and the instructor there told us that we won't be doing those "crushing" workouts. Those will start up again in the regular CF cycle beginning January. So, that being the case, what other diet modifications do you recommend so that I don't backslide due to less of a calorie burn in the CF sessions?

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You may not be doing the crazy WODs, but lifting *can* burn a significant amount of calories. If you're not interested in doing something on your own to burn more calories while learning the Oly lifts, you may want to consider tweaking your BMR calories and, therefore, tweaking what you eat daily to create a deficit.

 

If you don't want to eat less, then the only option is to add some sort of activity in during your intro to the oly lifts.

 

I'm kind of surprised at the way your box has set up their beginner's programming - very interesting.

Letting go is the hardest asana. 

 

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Oh, well, it was advertised as a six week challenge for newbies. We just finished on Saturday. So it wasn't a regular CF. Since December is a whack month schedule wise,they're using it to get us up to snuff on the basic weight lifting skills, so we won't be all confused in the regular sessions.

I have nothing to compare it to, but I still thought it was pretty hard core.

For other exercise, I'll be mountain biking and hopefully soon XC skiing.

I'm using Loseit to track food intake, but yeah, should probably go ahead and get a food scale, too. Someone else also suggested that.

I'm psyched about the weight lifting. I think I'll be good at it!

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