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Thatmaryelizabeth

Not losing weight at a good pace

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Hi NF! I'm a 5'8 20 year old female, who started my health journey at 185 pounds in August of 2016. All my weight loss has been very gradual, at 2-3 pounds a month. I had very poor eating habits and never exercised, so with how gradual my changes were I was expecting to only lose 2 pounds a month *at first*. I have worked my way to now eating a very healthy diet, and a typical day consist of 

breakfast: vanilla Greek yogurt with raspberries

lunch: baked chicken, 1/2 sweet potato, asparagus 

dinner: (whatever my mom makes) beef, biscuits, potatoes, basically not the healthiest but I don't think it's bad enough to sabotage my weight loss

Snacks: Apple with PB2, cup of skinny pop, handful of almonds

I also started exercising a lot starting in early January. I go to the gym at least 5 days a week, and do 15 minutes of cardio and then mostly focus on weight training, finishing with a protein shake made of Vanilla Muscle Milk and almond milk. I have gotten significantly stronger this last month, and am proud of that, that is until I decide to step on a scale. I went from 173 last month to just 171 today. I can't imagine what I'm doing wrong. I am very strict with my diet besides what my mom makes for dinner, and there's no changing what she makes(trust me, I've tried). But I don't think one meal that isn't nearly as bad as say McDonald's or Pizza Hut is slowing down my weight loss this significantly. I have gotten to a point I feel I'm never going back to 185, and no matter what I will continue a healthy lifestyle, but that doesn't mean it isn't discouraging to step on a scale. What am I doing wrong? Any answers or tips would be greatly appreciated! 

 

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Hi!  Congrats on your progress so far -- especially in terms of cleaning up your diet.  I have no expertise with macros so I will leave that discussion to some of the Rebellion's more seasoned vets.  BUT, I know when I started eating healthier I loved greek yogurt.  One day though I realized that the brand I was buying was equivalent to a pint of Ben and Jerry's.  Literally -- I held one up next to the other and they had the same amounts of sugar, calories, etc.  I'd just check the label and make sure the kind you're using doesn't have too much added sugar.

 

I'm not going to rag on family dinner -- it's one of my big cheat days.  But it may be worthwhile to look at how your portion your dinner.  I try to fill up on meat and vegetables before I reach in for one of my mom's epic biscuits (I used to eat 5+ of these in a sitting).  

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If you just starting lifting weights you might be building some muscle as well as losing fat. You'll have to settle for one or the other eventually but at first it's possible you're doing both. Since muscle is heavy it'll slow down your weight loss, but what matters is fat loss. I'd say keep at it and see how you look and feel. Weight can be deceiving.

Furthermore, don't lose sight of the fact that you are in fact still losing weight. Sometimes these things take a while and the fact that you're still progressing is a positive.

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2-3 pounds per month is a respectable weight loss. It is easier to maintain slow gradual weight loss where you build habits over time. 

 

At a rate of 2-3 pounds per month, in one year you will loose 24-36 pounds. That is weight loss that I assume you want to be permanent? Is it worth it to you to work on losing this weight for one year that you will have the benefit of for your whole life? 

 

I lost 100+ pounds over the course of 10 years. Do I wish it had been faster? Sure. But now I get to spend the next 40 years of my life at a better weight. Slow and steady wins the race. 

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15 minutes ago, Taddea Zhaan said:

2-3 pounds per month is a respectable weight loss. It is easier to maintain slow gradual weight loss where you build habits over time. 

 

At a rate of 2-3 pounds per month, in one year you will loose 24-36 pounds. That is weight loss that I assume you want to be permanent? Is it worth it to you to work on losing this weight for one year that you will have the benefit of for your whole life? 

 

I lost 100+ pounds over the course of 10 years. Do I wish it had been faster? Sure. But now I get to spend the next 40 years of my life at a better weight. Slow and steady wins the race. 

 

All of this.  You want it to go faster and it's certainly not at the top of what you could potentially lose, but it's certainly better than most people get.

 

 

That said, one meal a day DEFINITELY could throw off your weight loss.  It doesn't matter how "clean" of healthy looking something is, a simple, Paleo/diet-approved 1,000 calorie meal is still a 1,000 calorie meal.  And if you are eating that much it will still make you gain weight or keep the losses to a minimum.  I'd say track and count calories to get a real handle on how much you're eating.  And if you aren't going to do that, buy a smaller plate and at family dinner ask to use the smaller plate, since studies have shown smaller plates result in smaller portions.  Portion control is a bitch to deal with, and was my biggest issue when starting out.  So find ways to make sure you aren't over indulging.  (Also, a handful of almonds is actually pretty dense.  I'm a guy with big hands, so I can easily grab 500+ calories in a single handful, and chow down on them in a second.  So watch the almonds!)

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What else do you do besides the scale for measuring? If you measure your waist and belly size, that will give you an idea if you are losing inches. Taking pictures and noticing how your clothes fit are other good indicators. Do you calorie count ? It might be a good idea, even if it's just for a few weeks. Then you can have an idea of portion size.

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As a quick comparison that can illustrate how a scale can be misleading when you are losing fat and gaining muscle, you only have to contrast me in high school, and now.  In both cases I was/am around 145 pounds.  Then I had near-washboard abs and defined pecs.  Now my pecs are smaller and my abs are under a layer of fat.  Same overall weight, very different body profiles.

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@Hazard has a great spreadsheet that he uses for his progress, which I have found is infinitely more useful than focusing on the numbers on the scale. I'd recommend looking at his challenges and seeing if that's something you'd like to use.

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