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  1. #1
    Registered User UkrainianLift's Avatar
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    Question about why My weight isnt going down

    About 7 weeks ago i decided to start living a healthy lifestyle, gave up smoking, junk food, and got back to the gym. I started at 230. After about 4 weeks i got down to about 210. My caloric intake was 1700-1800 a day. 150 g protein, 180 g carbs, 60 grams fat, 30 g fiber on average.

    However, the last 3 weeks my weight has gone from 210 to 208. I notice bigger muscles, increased strength as well. Is it possible i am gaining muscle mass which is why the scale is not dropping rapidly. I used to be a gym rat but havent worked out in 5 years. Is this muscle memory?

    I am kind of confused, as I read if you have a thyroid issue you can have issues losing weight. I am 6'2, 33 years old, and am 208 right now. My diet is pretty much the same I track calories with myfitnesspal. I even track oils, ketchup, mayo that i use. So on any given day my calories would be between 1800-2000, as now I am getting way hungrier. I lift 5 days a week about 1.5 hours each day, with 15 min of sauna, and 10 min of cardio daily. One day a week I do 45 min cardio. Then one rest day.

    My question is how is it possible for my weight loss to not be faster if I am at a big caloric deficit for someone my height and weight and consistent resistance training?

    Some days I wake up and the scale has not changed at all, even though I do not do cheat days at all. I am in a deficit every single day.

    Do i need to go to doctor to check for hypothyroidism?
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    Daily fluctuations are normal, don't read into it much. Assessing every few days is not indicative of true weight loss.

    Take a rolling average and only reassess every 10-14 days. If the last 14 day period is not lower than the previous period, then you're not in a caloric deficit over that period of time and/or you're not tracking accurately. Likely a combination of both. Most people far underestimate their total caloric intake, so this is not all that uncommon. Especially with MyFitnessPal. It's easy to use their database and/or scan food labels... both of which can be very inaccurate. So the convenience is a bit of a double edged sword. Your body doesn't care what the app says.... in the end, if you're not losing weight, you're not in a deficit. Period.

    The next step would be to double down on tracking accurately and/or lower your calories. Or increase your daily energy expenditure. Anything to put you at a negative energy balance. It's that simple.

    Make sure you weigh yourself at the same time in the morning before you've eaten and after you've gone to the bathroom. I think you said you were, but just reiterating.

    If you haven't lifted weights in awhile, you've likely gained a bit of muscle, but nowhere near enough to counteract that large of a caloric deficit. At 200lbs, you will lose weight at 1800 calories/day unless you're literally just laying in bed all day. It doesn't sound like you are.

    I'm not sure where the thyroid thing came from, but it doesn't matter if you have thyroid issues, the process of CICO (cals in vs out) and energy balance is still 100% relevant for weightloss.
    Last edited by daudi81; 02-25-2020 at 11:35 PM.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    My caloric intake was 1700-1800 a day. 150 g protein, 180 g carbs, 60 grams fat, 30 g fiber on average.
    The macro count adds up to 1860 cal/day. That's not a huge calculation error but it's still an error and it indicates that things weren't as nailed down as you may have thought. And you've increased calories since that time.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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    10:1 it's calorie miscounting not thyroid. If it was thyroid, you would be barely able to drag yourself into the gym.
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    If your weight was dropping 3-4 lbs a week you could surmise that you were in a "big caloric deficit", but if you're not losing a significant amount of weight each week you can safely assume that you are absolutely not in the deficit that you think you are.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Registered User UkrainianLift's Avatar
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    I dont understand, If i track my calories using food labels and it pops up as the same on my phone as the back of the food label, how am i tracking inaccurate? For someone who weighs 208 and 6'2 at 33 i should be burning way more than 2000 calories a day especially since im lifting weight for about 1-1.5 hours a day, wouldn't that be fair to say? I understand where your coming from, but i feel like i am tracking calories to the tee. I weigh food on the food scale too.
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    I dont understand, If i track my calories using food labels and it pops up as the same on my phone as the back of the food label, how am i tracking inaccurate? For someone who weighs 208 and 6'2 at 33 i should be burning way more than 2000 calories a day especially since im lifting weight for about 1-1.5 hours a day, wouldn't that be fair to say? I understand where your coming from, but i feel like i am tracking calories to the tee. I weigh food on the food scale too.
    Your serving sizes may be high and people usually overestimate how many calories exercise burns. Either or both could be the case here.
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    Not necessarily. If you spend most of the day inactive, your maintenance calorie level could be in the low 2000s. Most calculators make assumptions about your bodyfat percentage. If you are on the heavy side, they assume there is more muscle tissue than there actually is (which falsely creates a higher metabolic rate). Fat is (almost) inert so you might not have a metabolism that's any higher than any other adult male (that hasn't yet built up muscle by weight training).
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    For someone who weighs 208 and 6'2 at 33 i should be burning way more than 2000 calories a day especially since im lifting weight for about 1-1.5 hours a day, wouldn't that be fair to say?
    Not necessarily. TDEE is affected by lots of different things, lifting being only 1 of them. General activity (NEAT) is a bigger slice of the pie than your daily workout.

    Real world results tell the truth better than our assumptions ever will. If you're not losing or are losing too slowly, you're consuming too much.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    I dont understand, If i track my calories using food labels and it pops up as the same on my phone as the back of the food label, how am i tracking inaccurate?
    It's inaccurate because your body is telling you it is inaccurate. Your body is the final arbiter and you're ignoring it in favor of an app or a piece of paper. This is where a lot people fall down.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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    Registered User UkrainianLift's Avatar
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    Ok thanks for all the replies. I will add 1 hour of walking every night, and see if this helps. Honestly I am pretty sedentary for all day except for the 1-2 hours at the gym. I am studying for my nursing boards so Im at the desk almost the rest of the day. Does this mean I need to drop calories to 1500 a day?
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    Ok thanks for all the replies. I will add 1 hour of walking every night, and see if this helps. Honestly I am pretty sedentary for all day except for the 1-2 hours at the gym. I am studying for my nursing boards so Im at the desk almost the rest of the day. Does this mean I need to drop calories to 1500 a day?
    the walking will burn maybe 200 extra calories which isn’t much but every little bit helps. Sedentary lifestyles just kill decent TDEE numbers so cardio and walking are a help. Calorie intake gets low with being mostly sedentary so that will mean a lower carb number as protein and fat need to be priorities.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    Ok thanks for all the replies. I will add 1 hour of walking every night, and see if this helps. Honestly I am pretty sedentary for all day except for the 1-2 hours at the gym. I am studying for my nursing boards so Im at the desk almost the rest of the day. Does this mean I need to drop calories to 1500 a day?
    Combination of dropping calories and increasing activity, the exact numbers will depend on you.

    I work part-time at a restaurant on the weekends, and on those days I work there I notice a HUGE difference in my TDEE for those days. No matter how much I eat, I always weigh less on Monday than on Friday because of all the walking I do on the weekends.

    Don't underestimate non-exercise activity, it has a huge effect on TDEE. Maybe put some of your textbooks on audio and listen while walking for an hour. Every little bit helps.
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    Ok thanks for all the replies. I will add 1 hour of walking every night, and see if this helps. Honestly I am pretty sedentary for all day except for the 1-2 hours at the gym. I am studying for my nursing boards so Im at the desk almost the rest of the day. Does this mean I need to drop calories to 1500 a day?
    way too low you need to start counting calories correctly. Men are much less likely to be hypothyroidism and you’d have so many more symptoms
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    It's inaccurate because your body is telling you it is inaccurate. Your body is the final arbiter and you're ignoring it in favor of an app or a piece of paper. This is where a lot people fall down.
    This.

    Too many people nowadays relying on apps, treadmill calorie counters, fitbits, etc.. and wonder why they aren't losing weight.

    If you're not losing weight, you are simply taking in too many calories (or not burning enough throughout the day). Your body doesn't care what the technology is telling you.
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    Ok thanks for all the replies. I will add 1 hour of walking every night, and see if this helps. Honestly I am pretty sedentary for all day except for the 1-2 hours at the gym. I am studying for my nursing boards so Im at the desk almost the rest of the day. Does this mean I need to drop calories to 1500 a day?
    Your 1500 is probably a true 1800-2000. More than likely your are just overcounting. I've got a desk job as well, my only exercise usually comes through my 1 hour gym days. 1800 calories would put me at a pretty substantial deficit, and I weigh 20-30lbs less than you. A true 1500/day would be hard to sustain for a 200lb+ man.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
    Your 1500 is probably a true 1800-2000. More than likely your are just overcounting. I've got a desk job as well, my only exercise usually comes through my 1 hour gym days. 1800 calories would put me at a pretty substantial deficit, and I weigh 20-30lbs less than you. A true 1500/day would be hard to sustain for a 200lb+ man.
    One thing to understand is that a heavier person with a sedentary lifestyle doesn't "benefit" more being heavier in relation to calorie burn because unless that extra weight is moving around it isn't burning extra calories.
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    One thing to understand is that a heavier person with a sedentary lifestyle doesn't "benefit" more being heavier in relation to calorie burn because unless that extra weight is moving around it isn't burning extra calories.
    Good point, and very true. In order for that to be applicable, the guy would need to very literally be sedentary. Getting up from the desk, bathroom breaks, walking to meetings, going up/down stairs, running the occasional errand, etc - it all adds up for a heavier person over the course of the days/weeks. I’m about as sedentary as it gets when I'm not at the gym, due to the type of job I have. I just can't imagine he's burning less then I am. But as you said, it's definitely possible.
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    Originally Posted by daudi81 View Post
    Good point, and very true. In order for that to be applicable, the guy would need to very literally be sedentary. Getting up from the desk, bathroom breaks, walking to meetings, going up/down stairs, running the occasional errand, etc - it all adds up for a heavier person over the course of the days/weeks. I’m about as sedentary as it gets when I'm not at the gym, due to the type of job I have. I just can't imagine he's burning less then I am. But as you said, it's definitely possible.
    doubt he’s burning less however probably not much more even though he’s a lot heavier.
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    I bought a food scale at target, i been using this scale. Is it possible the scale is off? I weigh everything out. I am baffled as to why im not closer to 200 by now. But maybe its the sedentary lifestyle. I am gonna add 30 min of cardio daily at the gym plus my 1.5 hours of weights. Even if lets say I am eating 2000 calories a day but workout 6 days a week, shouldnt i have atleast a 400-500 caloric deficit daily? which would add to about a 1 lb a week weight loss. The past 2 weeks i have lost maybe .5-1 pound. So something is def off.

    Everyone is telling me i am counting incorrectly, but what mistake am i making? I weigh food using a food scale and I use the caloric information on myfitnesspal to make sure once i weigh the food i enter everything i eat. Every day my calories are between 1800-2000. Pretty baffling.
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    I bought a food scale at target, i been using this scale. Is it possible the scale is off? I weigh everything out. I am baffled as to why im not closer to 200 by now. But maybe its the sedentary lifestyle. I am gonna add 30 min of cardio daily at the gym plus my 1.5 hours of weights.
    do you eat out often? Drink coffee with creamer?, do you have cheat meals or days? Do you drink? I can say 100% even without cardio you should lose weight. I’m half you size and cut at 1800ish, desk job, and don’t do crazy amounts of cardio
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    Registered User UkrainianLift's Avatar
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    No, ever since I dropped to about 208 my weight is stuck there. Initially i started dieting at 230 and heading to the gym again. From 230 to 210 It went pretty quick as expected as I ate 1800 a day. But now ive been at like 208 for a week straight even though Im eating the same foods as I did initially to lose the first 20 pounds. Nothing has changed and I havent added more calories. I am lifting heavier weights and I notice more muscle mass and strength forming. I used to be active and in great shape about 5 years ago, I suffered a back injury and had to take a few years off. But the scale isnt dropping, which is why I made this post. One morning ill be at 207.6, then next day at 209, then at 208.6. But it keeps hovering around the same weight for about 10 days. I would think the scale would drop to like 204-205 by now.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    Everyone is telling me i am counting incorrectly, but what mistake am i making?
    You're not getting it. It doesn't matter where the error is. You're getting a number that's wrong and all you're trying to do is being very, very precisely wrong.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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    Registered User UkrainianLift's Avatar
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    Tolerant, so whats your advice? Im missing the point. How do I get a right number?
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    I bought a food scale at target, i been using this scale. Is it possible the scale is off? I weigh everything out. I am baffled as to why im not closer to 200 by now. But maybe its the sedentary lifestyle. I am gonna add 30 min of cardio daily at the gym plus my 1.5 hours of weights. Even if lets say I am eating 2000 calories a day but workout 6 days a week, shouldnt i have atleast a 400-500 caloric deficit daily? which would add to about a 1 lb a week weight loss. The past 2 weeks i have lost maybe .5-1 pound. So something is def off.

    Everyone is telling me i am counting incorrectly, but what mistake am i making? I weigh food using a food scale and I use the caloric information on myfitnesspal to make sure once i weigh the food i enter everything i eat. Every day my calories are between 1800-2000. Pretty baffling.
    Counting incorrectly is the most common culprit, but nobody really "knows" your specific situation we can only guess based off the limited information we get.

    There's only 2 scenarios that can be possible here:

    1) you're counting incorrectly.

    2) you're counting correctly and you simply need to increase your activity levels and/or lower your caloric intake. It sounds like you've chosen the latter, try that for a couple weeks and see if it works. If not, increase activity levels more or lower calories more. Rinse repeat.

    It's really that simple.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    Tolerant, so whats your advice? Im missing the point. How do I get a right number?
    The right number is lower. If your rifle sight is crooked to the left, you aim to the right. You don't keep putting your target in the crosshairs. It doesn't matter how the rifle sight got that way.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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    Registered User UkrainianLift's Avatar
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    When I cook my chicken, or turkey do i count the weight for caloric tracking before or after i cook it?
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    Generally when I was off in this fashion one of the following ended up being the problem:

    1) I wasn't counting everything. Example, at one point I didn't count coffee creamer since I assumed it was trivial, later turned out to be nearly 300 calories a day
    2) I was counting incorrectly. Example, was making homemade pizza but was using the wrong number, it turned out to be closer to 1200 calories instead of the 800 I was counting. (Another Note: Don't trust MyFitnessPal numbers without double checking them)
    3) I was over counting exercise. Example, was using gross calories rather than net for lifting and running which made it seem like I was burning WAY more than I really was.
    4) I was over estimating my TDEE. Example, I falsely assumed that working out five days a week plus cardio would put me in the moderate activity category. Turns out that having an office job and fairly inactive hobbies means that I'm sedentary for purposes of this calculation.
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    Registered User UkrainianLift's Avatar
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    Whenever I enter anything into myfitnesspal i always make sure the calories listed is the same as the calories on the box or package.
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    Originally Posted by UkrainianLift View Post
    Whenever I enter anything into myfitnesspal i always make sure the calories listed is the same as the calories on the box or package.
    Your body doesn’t know numbers all that It knows is if it’s given calories to either maintain weight lose weight or gain weight. Say by your counting style you’re at 2000 calories and not losing. In reality it doesn’t matter just use the 2000 or whatever number you’re at and not losing on and deduct from there. Go with that for now to get things moving then get more accurate and RE adjust incrementally
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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