Hello! Hoping someone can help! I'm in week 6 and I haven't lost any weight and not even an inch off anywhere. I keep hearing people say they've lost sizes or can see the changes. I can't. I'm very discouraged. I lost 45lbs last year and reached a plateau, so I thought I would try BFL. I still have a good 30-50 lbs to go, so it's not like I'm at my goal weight. I work out to failure. I do my cardio till I'm dripping sweat and can barely breathe, in the morning before eating & wait and hour to eat. 70-100 oz water everyday. I count my calories because that's what I have always done. 1500-1600 daily. I make sure I get protein at every meal and make sure I get 6 meals in a day. I have always had trouble losing weight & I was overweight from 10 yrs old on up. About 10 years ago when I was 22, I made a committment and lost a lot of weight. Of course my mind wasn't right and it came back on from stress & stopping the program. I have had a child since then. I've been to the doctors and they have told me that I can do some radical hormone therapy diet. They have checked all my blood levels and hormone levels (cortisol, adrenal glands) and every thing came back normal except vitamin d & iron. I've been on those supplements for 4 weeks. I've always tried doing it the right way by eating right & exercising. I have a desk job & take 2 15 minute walks a day to get up and moving. I don't want to give up, but I'm at the end of the rope.
Special K protein cereal & cup of milk 18 g protein - 180 cal
Myoplex Lite 20 g protein - 170 cal
KFC grilled chicken filet & mashed pot & gravy 29 g protein & only 250 cal
Zone bar 14 g protein - 210 cal
Greek yogurt & peaches 12 g protein - 150 cal
Qdoba chicken salad - no shell with double chicken, pico, corn salsa, & salsa verde 50 g protein - 500 cal
It looks like the fat content of the foods you are eating is really high. My recommendation for you is to use baked and broiled chicken *** or turkey (plain-no fat added) and increase your steamed vegetables and raw salads (being conscious not to add fats to either). On this plan, added fats are a sure fire way to sabotage your results.
Lose the mashed potatoes with gravy and lose the chicken salad-use plain baked potato with non-fat sour cream and use chicken without the extra mayo they put into the chicken salad. With just these 2 changes, you could let go of probably 400 calories per day. If you are more careful, it could be more.
1200 calories per day for women using the right foods will keep you going and you will lose weight.
200 calories per meal is the goal, give or take 100 calories.
Maybe look at any medication you may be on. After my 3rd child I was on an antidepressant and could not drop any weight for a year. After I came off of the meds my body started responding. If you are taking any medication at all you need to read up on any and all weight effects. I know how frustrating it is from my personal experience.
The thing that catches my eye the most is seeing the two restaurant meals in there. While you are definitely making better choices at those places than you could be... nutritional content and values that are advertised and what you actually get can vary so wildly at places like that. Regardless of the cal/protein content... is the chicken fillet the same size as the palm of your hand or a deck of cards? The mashed potatoes may not be too bad but can you say for 100% sure that there isn't butter and oil added to those? And gravy... well... it is very rare that you are gonna get gravy at a restaurant that doesn't have some type of fat in it. It is hard to make a (good tasting) gravy without some type of oil, fat, butter, etc... in it. If it were *me*... I would forgo eating out the twice a day and make sure I've prepped meals at home that I can take with me so I know EXACTLY what is going in it, what the portion sizes are, etc... and save the eating out for my off day.
The eating out and your choices there may not be your problem at all and it could be totally something else. But that is what first caught my eye.
Wow. you exercise a lot. I'm in week 8 and while I have only lost 8 lbs but all my clothes are super loose and co-workers are commenting on my physical changes. I suggest you read the book again and follow the exercise plan and the eating plan by the book. I think you are not eating an equal portion of carb and protein in each meal. Your total calories seems right (pg 63 of Eating for Life avg calories for a women 1,545) but your not eating complex card, lean protein, and probably way too much fat. I'd watch some of thsoe protein bars - some have a lot of fat in them, stick with just the Myoplex Lite or use the protein drinks - I use an EAS product it only has 2 grams of fat per serving as opposed to protein bars I saw at Costco on the weekend that had 10 grams of fat per bar.
The thing that jumps out at me is that your meals are literally all over the place. You should be eating six meals of equal portions of carbs and proteins throughout the day.
Cereal plus milk usually = 2 servings of carbs. Carb in the cereal plus carbs in the milk (is the milk skim)
Try having egg whites and plain oats with some splenda instead of the processed cereal.
On Sunday you can easily bake a weeks worth of boneless, skinless chicken *** and cook brown rice, go so far as to cut the chicken in bite sized pieces. Put both chicken and rice in ziploc bags or individual containers and freeze them. They are then grab and go and will be thawed by lunch time. You save the expense of eating out plus the gas money to get to the restaurant.
The Zone bar doesn't quite get you there to the proper "meal sized" portions of BFL.
Increase your portion of FAT FREE Greek yogurt until you hit at least 20 grams of protein. Buy a food scale so you'll know the ounces.
If convenience is what you are after on your Qdoba Chicken Salad, try this instead. Drain a can of all white chicken pour in to a skillet, add 1/4 cup salsa, simmer until heated through. Enjoy on two small WW tortillias (10 grams net carb each). With a spoon of plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream and some shredded lettuce.
Your body can only process so much in a three hour period and I bet any nutritionist would tell you that 500 calories is too much for one meal therefore what's left over is being stored as fat.
www.hussmanfitness.org is loaded with good scientific data to support the whens and whys of BFL eating.
I have successfully lost 150lbs with BFL so I know that it can be done, but the further in the process you get, the more attention you'll have to pay to the details.
EVERYTHING you put in to your mouth begins to matter as you get closer and closer to your goals. Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be willing to keep your free day reasonable and be willing to push yourself harder and harder physically.
If I can do it so can you!
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford
Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory
Looks like you need more protein in meals 4 and 5 and less in meal 6. Have you figured out how many grams of protein and carbs you need per meal? To do this, find out your lean muscle mass. There is a calculator for this in the TOOLS section on this website. For me, it is approx. 120. Then divide this number by six, and you know how many grams of protein and carbs you need in each of the six meals. (120 div. by 6 meals = 20gms). So, use the palm/fist method, but if you are using items like yogurt, or cottage cheese, where it cannot be determined that way, use the labels and make sure you are getting the proper ratio/portions. You should also count grams of protein and carbs if you are not getting the results you seek.
How many grams of carbs are in the cereal and milk? Most cereals are way too carb laden for weight loss / fat loss on BFL. And then when you add in a cup of milk, you may be consuming way too many carbs. You should not be consuming more than 20-25gms carbs per meal.
The zone bars don't have enough protein, and the carb count is about 25gms. The 25gms carbs might be okay for you, depending on your lean muscle mass, but the 15gms protein is not enough. Maybe you could take a TBSP or two of low carb protein powder and blend with water to get about 10gms protein. Then you would have 25 gms carbs and 25 gms protein. There is an awesome protein bar called PURE PROTEIN that you can get at wholesalers, like COSTCO. They have approx. 20gms protein and 17gms carbs. Remember the bars are for emergency only, should not be a daily indulgence, because of all the sugar alcohols, and maybe other reasons...I can't remember.
I love greek yogurts, but they too are a little shy on protein, so I add a TBSP of low carb protein powder to add 5 gms protein, and 0.5gms carbs, to get the protein up higher, closer to 20gms.
Just some suggestions. Hope this helps! Keep working it...the program works if you work it. Good luck!!
YES!!! I meant to mention Hussmanfitness.org. Thanks Champster09. It is an incredible site, that everyone should visit, and read every bit of it. GREAT INFORMATION, especially if you are not seeing the results you seek. There is a section on calorie deficits that is awesome. It is in the SCALE section and titled Caloric Deficits and Fat Loss. But read everything you can on the site. It is right in line with BFL too.
It is my understanding that it is very diffficult to lose weight when you have a vitamin D deficiency. How much D are you supplementing with? It takes some time to get those levels up again.
Also are you sure that you have had your thyroid properly tested? Have you had tests done on TSH, FREE T3 and FREE T4. Anyone having such trouble losing when eating properly and exercising strongly makes me suspect thyroid problems. Which, By the Way go hand in hand with vitamin D and iron defficiencies.
Sorry, but mine is going to be a very long response. I hope you don’t mind but I wanted to address not only what you are asking but also to help with the frustration that you are clearly feeling.
You did not say how tall you were or what your current weight was, just that you wanted to lose 30-50 pounds. While I am on my 3rd week of the BFL and only want to lose 10 pounds total, therefore certainly no expert, I was a nurse for 10 years and can speak to your current exercise level and the nutritional aspects of your sample meal day and perhaps shed some light on the issues you might be facing.
The first issue is caloric intake, and I think you have this one down fine. According to Bill Phillips a person should be eating 6 small meals a day with one protein equaling 100-150 calories and one carbohydrate equaling 100-150 calories at each meal. This means you should be eating roughly 250 calories at each meal, not including the added vegetable servings you are mandated to include at two meals. Your total intake therefore should be around 1500-1600 calories a day. If you eat less than this your body will start to fear that food for survival is not readily available and go into starvation mode and hold on to every single fat cell in place and drop of water you consume. That is just a fact of biology. If you are exercising as you report, and I have no reason to doubt you, your body must have sufficient caloric intake. To eat less is to slow your ability to lose weight.
The second issue is your nutritional intake and it is here that I think you might actually be sabotaging yourself and your goals. You didn’t mention fat grams. This is a significant issue in weight loss and from your sample diet, a very significant issue for you in your lack of weight loss. Fat is important. It’s got a bad reputation, but it IS vital to our health. For a 1500-1600 calorie diet you should be eating around 20 grams of fat a day. By eating six meals a day this means you should be consuming around than 3.3 grams of fat per meal. Obviously, one meal might have more than another, but that is a healthy goal. Your sample day does not show a healthy eating plan.
Your cereal and milk. Are you using whole milk or skim milk? Whole milk is 150 calories and 8 grams of fat per cup. Skim milk is 80 calories and 0 grams of fat. Yes, you might not like the taste of skim milk, but your goal is to lose weight and within that goal sacrifices must be made to succeed. I used to drink whole milk and switched to skim years ago. At first it was odd but now my whole family drinks it and prefers it.
One cup of Special K original, one cup of whole milk = 270 calories and 8.5 grams of fat and 220 mg sodium. This is OK calorie-wise but your fat grams are way above the 3.3 grams that you should be shooting for.
One Myoplex light equals 190 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 260 mg of sodium.
I am not trying to be mean, just helpful here, but your lunch choice is a bad one! According to the nutritional website, KFC grilled chicken ranges from 70-190 calories per piece, 3.5 – 9 gm of fat per piece, 230-550 mg sodium, and 10-34 gm of protein. The mashed potatoes and gravy have 120 calories, 4gm fat, 530 mg sodium, and 2 gm protein. If you chose the chicken *** with mashed potatoes this meal alone was 310 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 1,080 mg of sodium.
Zone Bar equals 210 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 260 mg of sodium.
I don’t know what kind of Greek yogurt you are buying or whether you are adding peaches, but Chobani Greek Yogurt (my favorite) with peaches is 140 calories and no fat, with 65 mg sodium.
The Qdoba chicken salad equates to 390 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 1,380 mg sodium but you said you doubled the chicken and counted 500 calories. You did not mention the fat or sodium intake of this item, but the regular size portion is quite a bit too much, so the double portion would only make those totals worse. A guess would make the fat grams around 13 and the sodium 1650 mg.
Your nutrition intake for your sample day totaled: 1,620 calories, 43 grams of fat, and 3,535 mg of sodium.
You consumed 20-120 too many calories for the day, 23 fat grams too many, and 2,535 mg too much sodium. The American Heart Association recommends that a person keep their salt intake to less than 1500 mg a day. Your 3,535 mg is just over 7 teaspoons of salt (almost 2.5 tablespoons). Salt causes water retention in the body and high sodium foods typically come from processed and fast food choices, which typically lack proper nutritional balances.
The fat gram total is self explanatory. If you eat too many fat grams (meals too high proportionally in fat) you are not eating healthy and you will gain weight.
Consuming an extra 20-120 calories a day adds up to 140 to 840 calories a week. Typically a person burns (and this is an average) 100 calories per mile whether they are briskly walking or running (this is because it takes less total time to run than to walk so you are engaging in longer exercise if you walk). So just those little extra calories each day mean that you will have to complete 1.5 to 8.5 miles on the treadmill just to break even with where you should have been if you hadn’t eaten them. If you do the math, that’s 33.6 miles on the treadmill EVERY month just to be even with where you should have been before you even start exercising to lose weight at your 1500-1600/day calorie goal.
In the end, I think your problem is less about calories and more about food choices that are processed and high in fat and sodium. In my opinion you need to start eating fresh foods that you prepared yourself and stay out of the prepared/processed aisles and fast food places. If you do that, you will see success I am sure!
Thank you everyone for your time and responses. I wanted to answer some of the questions and ask a couple more.
In response to your questions. I am 32 years old, 5' 3" and weigh 175 lbs. I'm a size 12. I would like to be about 135-140. The last time I was there, I was a size 6. Last January I weighed 220 and was a size 16 - 18. I loved how you really brought it home about the having to walk 33 miles a month before even exercising. I've come a long way from how I used to eat by making healthier choices, but I guess it's still not good enough. I'm going to have to change a lot more. I've always known that I eat too much salt, and know I need to be more conscious of that. Does too much salt stall weight loss, besides the storing water weight?
I need to clear up one of my meals. The cereal and milk is Special K PROTEIN PLUS and skim milk. That meal is 180 calories (I measure) 23 carbs, 2 fat, and 18 Protein. It seems to fit in the ranges everyone is looking for, so is that a good meal then? I usually do that meal one week for breakfast and then my other one is a Protein shake. Frozen fruit, 1 cup skim milk, and 1/2 scoop protein powder. 220 cal, 33 carbs, 2 fat, 20 protein. Now from what everyone is saying it looks like that one is too high in the carbs, even though it's coming from fruit. I went back and checked my food journal online through sparkpeople.com. My fat content averaged 25% a day. Is that too high? My daily protein intake is right in line with what everyone says but it's not equal for each meal. I'm working on that today. i checked my carb intake and my daily intake was too high. On the days that I ate less fat, I substituted with carbs. I do eat out a lot, I carry all the calorie count menus for the places I go. But that is why I eat so much sodium. On the KFC grilled chicken filet, it is the size of my palm, that meal is 260 cal, 20 carbs, 7 fat, 29 protein. I'm very interested if the sodium intake is what is stalling my weight loss. Thanks for your help!
I just want to add that the calorie and protein count is very low.
You might be going through what I went through in my last BFL challenge = my body was using my muscle as an energy source and kept the fat!
I then made sure I ate a lot more protein and put in enough calories so that at least my body wouldnt be on starve mode where it decomposed the muscle (because muscle as stored energy is easier to decompose for the body than fat.)
I feel for you tho. I really do. To feel like you're working so hard and getting nowhere is frustrating.
Let's keep going and lose those extra pounds no matter what! (I need to lose 20 pounds extra myself).
Improve to live better, faster, stronger!
I have "cut and pasted" some answers to your two questions that I found online doing some research for you. I figure the experts can say it a lot better than I can! hehe I hope this helps clarify what you are asking:
#1 SALT INTAKE AND WEIGHT: Many people believe any excess weight gained will be composed of fat. In fact, all weight gains comprise of 3 components, fat, water and lean weight. As weight is gained all 3 components vary according to several factors, the most common include diet, activity level, genetics and the time taken to gain the extra weight.
In this case, maybe as much as 90% of the excess weight will be made up of mostly extra fat stores. However, a small percentage of any gain will comprise lean weight and water. The water gain is often due to an increased daily sodium intake.
Sodium in the body is mainly found in the fluids that surround the body's cells, such as the blood and lymph fluid. When sodium intake exceeds the amount the body can handle it builds up within the interstitial areas and the kidneys have to work extra hard to excrete a constant rise in daily sodium intake. A build up may cause the body to hold extra fluids in the blood and around the cells which contributes to increased blood pressure and also excess weight gain from water.
The average diet in the western world is commonly made up of fast, packaged or convenient foods. These most always consist of high levels of salt and salt contains sodium. If a diet is mainly composed of high sodium foods then naturally the sodium intake also rises thus extra weight is gained quickly as the body holds onto water. It has been estimated that many people in the UK and USA may be carrying up to 5 pounds of extra weight due to the effects of a high sodium intake.
The opposite effect also happens when an individual reduces food intake in order to lose weight quickly. A percentage of the loss will be water because a reduction in high sodium foods means a reduction in daily sodium intake which results in water loss as the kidneys have a chance to finally rid the excess sodium from the body. This also helps partly explain why a dieter may experience the yo-yo effect when dieting, water weight is lost with food reduction but quickly regained when old eating habits are back to normal and daily sodium intake rises once more.
It’s possible to retain up to five pounds of water weight retention which can easily be hidden within the natural fluid that surrounds cells (extra-cellular fluid). Heavier people may experience more water retention especially if their intake of processed, convenient food is high. For some it can be as much as eight to ten pounds of fluid retention if weight gain is quick, say just over the Christmas season.
There are a few causes of water retention but for many an increase in sodium through the diet (mainly salt intake) is a common cause and research suggests it may contribute to high blood pressure and other health complications.
#2 PERCENTAGE OF FAT IN DIET: As a very general rule health experts recommend that not more than 30 percent of our total food calories should come from fat, although this does not mean that you should avoid all foods with more than 30 percent calories from fat. A healthy diet will comprise both low fat foods (e.g. 5-10 percent calories from fat, or less) and high fat foods (e.g. healthy oils, nuts, seeds, cheese etc).
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends this distribution for the energy nutrients:
•Fat: 20 - 35% of total calories (average 30%)
•Protein: 10 – 35% (average 15%)
•Carbohydrates: 45 – 65% (average 55%)
It is useful to know how to calculate the percentage of calories from fat in order to identify high fat foods and drinks. To calculate percentage of calories from fat:
Fat Grams (per serving) X 9, divided by the Total Calories. Then take that number and times by 100.
Say a Candy Bar has 12 grams of fat and 250 calories. To figure percentage of calories from fat you:
12 grams of fat x 9 divided by 250 calories. Take this number and X 100. It will equal 43.2%.
That final number shows you that the item you are eating has a disproportionately high percentage of its calories from fat and is thus not a very good food choice.
My personal opinion is that eating more healthy foods will leave you feeling much fuller throughout the day and more satisfied than eating unhealthy processed foods which don't leave you satisfied long and condition your brain to want more.
As a side note, I get the feeling that you are poised on a whole new way of eating and living and that you are going to make changes that will lead to great outcomes!! Yeah You!!! =)
lipirata, regarding what you said about vitamin d deficiency, I did not know that. I am deficiency in that and am taking 50,000IUD weekly. Could this be why I am not losing weight. I am eating clean and working our accordingly.
© Abbott Laboratories,2013