Can someone help me with my problem? I am a 39 year old female. I'm 5'2 and weigh around 150. I am about 20 pounds heavier than normal and cannot get the weight off. For the past year, I have battled this weight issue and cannot figure out why I'm not at least maintaining a normal weight. I work out 5 days per week. 5 of those days are spent on the treadmill running 5-6 miles. It usually takes me an hour. I also strength train for 20-40 minutes 5 days per week. I take in approximately 1300-1800 calories per day. Fruit, TONS of veggies, fish and chicken are mostly what I take in. I have a little honey and peanut butter with some fruit for something sweet and snacks might be lowfat popcorn or veggie chips.
To be clear, I have maintained this diet for years and the exercise regimen has been as regular as brushing my teeth for the past 8 years. The trouble didn't start until after I took Zoloft for depression. When I suddenly gained 15 pounds, I stopped taking it. Well, the weight never went back to normal. I work out hard as ever and have only lost weight by cutting back calories to around 1000 per day but I can only keep that up for so long and it only resulted in weight loss of about a pound per week.
Is this a medical issue? Am I not working out hard enough? I need to know if I need to visit a doctor, a nutritionist or a trainer. I am so discouraged about this. I really need help. Thanks........
Had a very similar situation. I recently just had a couple of tests done which gave me my RMR (how many calories my body burns) and therefore my daily caloric intake, and then another one which showed how my body burns fat and at what heart rate zones (VO2 Max). It was all very interesting. Basically I learned that I have been "overtraining" or exercising at too high of a heart rate. Once you get passed you're anaerobic threshold you're not really in a weight loss zone. Based on these tests a trainer was able to suggest some workouts which will help me train my body to burn fat, and then a nutritionist set me up with a "diet" plan of 1300 calories a day (1600 on a day I work out which is a protein shake). Its not even really a diet though. It seems like very few calories, but because I am eating often and eating the right kinds of foods, I don't feel hungry or deprived. It's just learning the right things to eat (i.e. not just assuming a 100-calorie cookie pack is healthy). It might be something to consider. My fitness center had trained people performing these tests, otherwise you should ask your doctor for suggestions.
Just a thought here...but touching on the "is this a medical issue" thing - have you had your thyroid checked recently? Inability to lose weight despite doing everything right, can be a symptom of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). I was diagnosed hypo several years ago. My main symptoms at the time were weight gain, fatigue, tiredness, brain fog, cold intolerance...just to name a few. Having a complete thyroid panel done might be something to consider, and could be the answer to why you're not losing the weight you gained from the depression meds.
I sure wish I could say that was the case, but I had my thyroid checked last month and it was all normal. She did 3 different tests as I recall. I will say that my blood pressure is slightly elevated from normal, I have cold intolerance, fatigue and I'm very very cranky much of the time. I visited with a personal trainer today and he suggested that my body has just plateaued from doing the same exercise to 8 years and eating pretty much the same thing all the time. I have read in some places that this is true and others totally debunk this. I'm not sure what to think. Or if I should hire this trainer.
I know my body DEFINITELY needs to change to stay in shape. If I want to continue with the same exercise, I need to add more time or make it more challenging in some way or another. For running, which I enjoy doing, I make myself go at a faster pace (I used to run at about 6mph and now try to go about 8mph). The elliptical machine seems to not work as well for me because I used it so much in the past! I'd really consider changing it up (at least just try for a bit!). If there aren't any medical conditions going on, it may be what you need. You shouldn't need a trainer unless you think you would enjoy having them for new tips or for motivation.
I gained weight in the past from Cymbalta. Luckily I was only on it for a few months, felt drunk all the time, stopped taking it. I didn't gain a lot of weight, but enough to make me upset since part of the reason I went on it was for poor body image and various other factors leading to depression. I felt miserable on it and so tired, so I quit. I went on the 5 Factor Diet and did the workouts, which were very easy for me, and lost weight! I got down to my goal weight. Then I increased my running/cardio as it became too easy for me to keep myself challenged and interested.
I respectfully disagree with you, XOX. In moderation, LEAN meats and NATURAL (no added salt, sugar, or oils) peanut butter are some of the best sources of protein available. As long as you're not going crazy with it, and eating it by the spoonful right out of the jar...PB is fine to eat...especially if it is paired up with a healthy source of carbs & fiber such as a piece of whole grain bread, an apple, or mixed into a bowl of oatmeal.
Okay...XOX, I am not a diet expert but if you think all meat makes you fat you are out of your mind. If that were the case, most of the bodybuilders around would be big fat pigs instead of lean muscle guys and girls. You ever hear of protein?? Read about it and diets sometime. It'll be an eye opener. As far as the veggie chips and peanut butter goes, if I were shoveling the stuff in at a huge rate, yeah, maybe I would say no wonder it isn't working. What I MEANT was, I have a TABLESPOON once per day with a cut up banana. It's about 100 calories. Does 100 calories make you fat??? And the veggie chips are about one serving once per day. About 120 calories. So don't talk to me about this being the reason it isn't working.
Thanks to everyone else for your useful comments and help. I have hired a trainer so wish me luck. And yes. The trainer told me to eat lots of protein. That includes food like meat and peanut butter. In moderation.
Please post how you're doing. I could have written your original post, only I was on Celexa, am now off, gained 15lbs while on it. I VERY slowly went off and now have the final 5lbs that won't go away.
I really got the feeling that you do need to change your exercises. I have recently read a lot of good things about interval training, like 20 minute workouts with 1minute bursts of very hard cardio mixed into moderate cardio. I'm hoping to try that and see if I get results. "They" say it can be better than long cardio sessions. It's all in the intensity.
Again, please post if you're having success/not and what exercises your trainer has you doing.
Oh, gosh, wannarun. I envy you only having 5 lbs! I have over 20 now. I have been working with a trainer now for 3 weeks and nothing. Not a pound. As a matter of fact, I've gained 2 more. We train VERY hard for an hour doing the HIT method, plus weights and it changes every session. My calories are still around 1400-1700 per day and I have seen no results. I get up every morning and cry when I see the scale. I have been working so hard and am seeing zero results. I just don't understand. I know it's hard to lose weight when you are pushing 40, but is it this hard?? Weight loss for me was MUCH easier before the Zoloft. I have been off the stuff for almost a year now but my ability to lose weight never went back to normal.
If I were you, then I'd go to my primary doctor and have my thyroid checked.
If you are sure you're only getting 1400-1700 cals per day (are you writing things down and being truthful...sometimes I skip things LOL) then you might have a sluggish thyroid.
I'd like to hear how it goes for you, so please continue to check in!
I had my thyroid checked back in March. I told my doctor about the problem and she checked it up and down. Came back normal. I also have several notebooks full of daily meal and calorie lists. I mark down everything I eat even if it is a packet of ketchup. Every single thing that goes into my mouth gets written down. I told my trainer about all of this and she even suggested something about diabetes. But don't Gynocologists check for that during standard blood tests?
Standard blood tests include blood glucose. After an overnight fast, 100 mg/dL or 5.6 mmol/L is considered pre-diabetes -- basically a warning to exercise more, lose excess body fat, and eat more healthy (including choosing slower digesting, lower glycemic index carbohydrates over faster digesting, higher glycemic index carbohydrates). 126 mg/dL or 7.0 mmol/L is considered diabetes.
When the scale is not moving, is it possible that you are gaining muscle offsetting fat loss when it comes to weight on the scale? Such a thing sometimes happens to beginners (much less often to physically fit people). It is a healthy thing for that to happen, even though it seems frustrating if you look only at your total body weight. Have you had your body fat percentage measured, or noticed that the places where your body fat is have gotten smaller?
To track progress, you may want to track your waist (measured at navel level) and hip measurements as well as your weight. The usual target for general health is to get your waist less than half your height, and less than 0.8 times your hip (for women; 0.95 times your hip for men).
A gynocologist would not be the person I'd rely on for this, unless they are an OBGYN and you are pregnant.
I'd give a call to my primary doc and talk to him/her about it. It is frustrating at times because they most likely will say to cut your calories and burn more fat in the gym. But you may have a metabolism thing going on here, so go in with specific questions (written down on paper) and don't leave until you're satisfied with the response. They may schedule a blood workup like a fasting glucose test if they are wondering about pre-diabetes.
A standard blood test SHOULD include this, but they did not check my glucose levels the last time I had blood work done! Definitely ask your doctor about this, but I'd also check with a regular doctor rather than your gyno.