Weight loss

Help! I'm on a strict diet, but hardly losing any weight!

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21/08/2003 at 16:07
I train 5 times a week (one long run (8 miles), one speed work session, one 5/6 mile run, plus swimming and strength work 5 times a week. I'm working up to a half-marathon, and I'm desperately trying to lose weight (I'm 5'4" and about 11 stone) but despite eating less than 1500 calories a day, I'm losing very little weight. I'm permanently hungry, and suffer from low blood sugar if I'm not very careful. Any advice?
21/08/2003 at 16:18
Yes, eat more!

Strange sounding advice possibly, but your body may have gone into starvation mode, as you are burning so many more calories than you are eating. You burn approximately 100 calories per mile you run, and burn about 1500 calories per day just existing. This means that on your 8 mile day, you are burning 2300 calories but only taking in 1500 (or less?). This means your "net" intake is only 800 calories. From memory (someone correct me if I'm wrong), the body goes into starvation mode at 1000 net calories or less. It is now holding onto fat stores as it assumes that you cannot find sufficient food.
21/08/2003 at 16:30

You are definitely not eating enough. That's jsut about enough to keep your body and organs working correctly. Doesn't cater for all the exercise you are doing. I recently had the same problem. My food intake was upp'd and I started losing weight again.....

You also will start flagging if you don't up your food intake.

21/08/2003 at 16:32
What causes the body to go into "starvation mode" is a lack of carbs. Therefore if you have a constant supply of necessary carbs then the body will not go into "Starvation mode".

This is why I go on and on and on and on about fat burning. Lower the intensity and have more HEALTHY fats (Omega 3& 6) in the diet and you will encourage the body to burn a higher percentage of fat. CLA also helps.

What this then does is lower your requirement of carbs. So you can eat less. Just make sure that you spread your lower amount of carbs t/out the day, but especially in morning, after and during exercise. HCA is VERY helpful as it postpones carb absorption thus making it available to the body for a longer period of time between meals.

This is the ONLY way you can have a lo-cal diet without lowering BMR, IMHO.

4st:1lb and counting... :-)

21/08/2003 at 16:33
The problem with her upping food intake having ALREADY lowered her BMR is that she will put weight on...
21/08/2003 at 16:35
Thanks for the advice - I think perhaps I need to go and see a nutritionist or something who could tell me (or give me) an eating plan, as I really have no idea how much I ought to be eating, to enable me to lose weight (and still train). I'm really not into Weight Watchers or Slimming World as I don't think they cater for people who do lots of sport (also I can't cope with being weighed every week!). Anyway, I've looked on the net for a sports nutritionist / dietician in the Bath area, but can't find one. Anyone know of someone?
21/08/2003 at 16:37
Have you tried the university, they are bound to have one there seeing as half the athletes train there...
21/08/2003 at 16:42
Ah, good point! I'll get on to it....
21/08/2003 at 16:44
Amanda, please let us know how you get on. I am in exactly the same position as you, and have posted about it on a couple of threads and been given loads of good advice. I have been meaning to go to a dietitian for a while but just keep putting it off. I'd be very interested to hear how you fare.
WildWill    pirate
21/08/2003 at 16:49
BMR will almost imeadieatly return to its correct level of a base requirment (for a lady of that hight and weight) of 1500kcals

Based on this and an average of 60mins 'Hard' exersize per day gives a requiremnt of 1980kcals per day

Id say eat 500 kcals less than this (1400kcals) per day to loose about 1 lb per week
21/08/2003 at 16:57
Excuse my gross ignorence WildWill and Pantman, but what is BMR exactly?
WildWill    pirate
21/08/2003 at 17:00
BMR - Base Metabolic Rate - The number of Kcals your body, at its current weight/size, burns to maintain itself - if you do nothing
WildWill    pirate
21/08/2003 at 17:02
You use a combination of weight / height / sex / age to calculate it
21/08/2003 at 18:21
Which is of course about as accurate as 220-age...! ;-)
22/08/2003 at 06:27
Don't you include your lifestyle as weell like sedentary active very active or am i confusing this with something else
22/08/2003 at 13:45
Also, doesn't BMR change depending on your composition (ie. ratio of fat/muscle etc)?
From what I understand, that's why weight-training can help people to lose weight, especially if they've not done something like that before. Muscle requires more cals to just 'be' that fat, so by increaseing the amount of muscle in your body you'll also increase your BMR.

Only skim-read Pantmans bit on the last page (well, I'm at work and s'posed to be busy!), but it's stuck in my head now so I'm off to read it properly now!

22/08/2003 at 13:56
Mmmm... Pantman, I'm not so sure about the that HCA thing (hydroxycitric acid - tradename for this dietary supplement being Citrimax).

Take a read of this report:

22/08/2003 at 16:14
Thanks for all the advice folks. I've finally been able to find a sports nutritionist in Bath, so I'm off to see her next week. Hoping she can point me in the right direction, as I think I've lost the plot a bit with my eating habits. The expression, "spoon feeding" comes to mind!

On the subject of BMR (which I know what it means), a sports scientist once told me that BMR was basically pre-set (at birth) and that there wasn't in fact alot you could do to change it.
23/08/2003 at 11:50
MT, Read the "research" which seems to be testing something (fat burning) that HCA is not claimed to do!!!! HCA POSTPONES Carb absorption meaning that the absorption of Carbs goes on longer in smaller quantities. The most publicised benefit of this is that it helps prevent rise in blood sugar and the insulin response. NOTHING to do with fat burned during exercise...
23/08/2003 at 21:06

You say you are losing very little weight - but so long as you are losing some I wouldn't worry. My partner has been trying to shed a stone for the last 18 months - and she just about has - but it has taken that long.

Eat healthily and exercise and you will lose weight - if you are hungry eat something healthy like an apple.

I know when I lived in Hong Kong for a bit all the guys that worked on the docks near where I stayed had phsyiques like Bruce Lee - hard work and not too much junk food does the trick.
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