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  • Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

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    Old 10-14-2004, 07:42 AM   #1
    HollyGoLightly
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    Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    I always read on here that to lose weight, you have to eat a proper balance of this and that, make sure you eat five meals a day, and basically follow a lot of rules beyond the basic "eat less, exercise more." That's fine, but, we all know a million people who have lost weight simply by eating less, not by paying attention to any specific thing, or even losing weight eating junk.

    Just as an example, I joined Weight Watchers with a friend's mother. We both needed to lose the same amount of weight. She had the most disgusting diet, in my opinion--lunch would be popcorn and diet soda, follwed by a big hunk of cake, lots of processed goodies and lots of sweets. She never did one bit of exercise, but as long as she kept to her allotted points (points = calories) she steadily lost weight every week. She got all the way to goal weight and looks great, yeah, I know what she did wasn't healthy, but she still got to where she wanted to be. Me, on the otherhand, totally revamped my diet to include lots of fruits of veggies, lean meats, good fats, whole grains, no junk or added sugar. I never went over my allotted points. I also worked out 6 days a week for 1-2 hours a day, I'd come home completely saturated. I didn't lose any weight! I'd cry every week after my weigh-in. Now before you say I was gaining muscle, no, my clothes didn't fit any better, and besides, I have always worked out, so I wasn't new to exercise.

    So what gives? Why can some people eat what they want as long as the calories are reduced and lose weight and someone else can't? I know there are differences in metabolisms between people, but I doubt a 60-yr-old sedentary woman has a better metabolism than a 28 -yr-old exerciser. And I can tell you without a doubt no cheating went on with me. I ate nothing that wasn't weighed or measured in some fashion.

     
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    Old 10-14-2004, 08:23 AM   #2
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    You pose a good question, but not one I can answer. I just wanted to say I also have NOT been exercising due to some health constraints, however, I've lost 37 pounds in 6 months just be cutting back my fat and calories to a normal diet. Sometimes I wonder how much more I'd achieve if I were able to exercise? I'm actually having surgery on my knee in a few weeks and hoping once I'm on the mend that I'll be able to get a bit more active again. But, like you said about your friend, for me it seems that all I needed was to cut back and I guess that I'm burning more than enough calories in my daily routine of working and living to get rid of a lot of the weight.

    I'd be interested to hear some theories about this too.

    Laurie

     
    Old 10-14-2004, 09:07 AM   #3
    Saint_Jo
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    You say you've always exercised but have you recently started exercising more than you used to? If so, could it be that even thou you are eating more healthily (your diet sounds great by the way ), you aren't eating enough? If your body finds its burning more than its getting, its going to start to hold on the fat because you're in starvation mode. Also, are you changing your exercise routine? If not, your body could have adjusted to it.
    Could it be possible that you could have a metabolic dissorder such as thyroid problems, and thats why you cant shift the weight?

    I must admit, you'r case does sound unusual. What are your stats (weight and heigh etc). Do you know what your body fat percentage is by any chance?

     
    Old 10-14-2004, 10:00 AM   #4
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Devil_Saint_Jo
    Also, are you changing your exercise routine? If not, your body could have adjusted to it.
    See, that's what I mean. Why does one person have to change their exercise routine in order to lose weight, while another person can lose weight without exercising at all? What makes my friend's mother so different than me that she can slim down effortlessly on junk food and without moving a muscle?

    Any way, to answer your question, I change around my exercise routine. Six days a week I either run 5 miles, or walk for one hour on the treadmill at a fast clip + incline (actually I do interval training), or bike for an hour as fast as I can at high tension. I also do 2-3 weightlifting sessions/week. I am drenched with sweat when I am done, and I've been doing this since <sigh> January 1st with no change in weight or how my clothes fit. As for diet, I've tried increasing my intake over what is recommended by WW for my height and activity level, and all I do is gain weight. I'm 5'7" and weigh 187 and my normal weight is high 130s, I don't know my body fat % other than what I could calculate myself by plugging in those numbers.. I had a complete physical and nothing was wrong, I feel fine too, I might add. I am very frustrated by this and if someone told me they carefully watch what they eat and exercise as much as I do, but still can't lose weight, I'd think suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure. But it's true.

    So it still brings me back to the question of why weight loss is so easy for other women, especially ones who are older, don't exercise, and eat junk.

    Last edited by HollyGoLightly; 10-14-2004 at 10:01 AM.

     
    Old 10-14-2004, 01:29 PM   #5
    Saint_Jo
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    Im sorry, i cant think what the reason could be then. This must be so, so, SO frustrating for you!
    I hope someone else replies cos i'd be interested to find out what the reason could be

     
    Old 10-14-2004, 02:44 PM   #6
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    What areas of your body are you trying to drop fat from? subcutaneous fat or visceral from the belly region? Sometimes one is much harder to get rid of than the other. One other thing you may want to look into is your hormone levels. They can really wreck havic on weight adjustments. I'm sure you could get this looked at your doctor. It seems like you're doing the right things, there just may something you're not aware of yet that a doctor may be able to help you with. Thyroid problems could also cause a weight loss problems as well. Not to say you have something like a thyroid problem but still....There's more than likely a reasonable explanation for it.

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 05:21 AM   #7
    HollyGoLightly
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    No, no belly fat here. only the classic pear shape I did have my thyroid checked and all was fine, I didn't have other hormones checked, but wouldn't there be other evidence, like abnormal periods, excessive hair growth, things like that? I've been to a few doctors and as soon as they hear "can't lose weight" I can see the "uh-huh" expression on their faces and then they tell me something brilliant like "eat less and exercise more." Oh ok, thanks for the tip, never thought of doing that I'm pretty frustrated by the whole thing and I hate hearing how others effortlessly lose weight by cutting out snacks or exercising for 15 minutes or giving up soda.

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 07:02 AM   #8
    Saint_Jo
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    What is a typical day like for you? What foods do you eat and when? Also, what type of exercise, when and for how long? If you give a detailed structure of what your day is like, there might be more clues

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 07:20 AM   #9
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    Holly,

    Yes, life is unfair and some people DO have much faster calorie burning metabolisms than others (that's the calories burned WITHOUT any exercise.)

    Your mother found the level of points (quantitative) that would give her weight loss no matter WHAT junk she ate (qualitative.)
    You chose to eat too many points and all the attempts at making GOOD choices nevertheless stuck you with too many calories (points) every day.

    Try it again with fewer points (or cheaper, record your calories on your own)...find the sweet spot where you start losing and ENJOY.
    NEVER compare your results with another; compare only YOU with YOU!

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 09:07 AM   #10
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zip2play
    You chose to eat too many points and all the attempts at making GOOD choices nevertheless stuck you with too many calories (points) every day.

    !
    What? No I didn't, if you reread by posts I stated that I NEVER ate more than my allotted points for several months. When I decided to experiment by increasing my points slightly (in case I was eating too little), I gained weight. I also experimented by eating less points, but that had no effect.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zip2play
    record your calories on your own)...find the sweet spot where you start losing and ENJOY!
    I haven't been able to find ANY "sweet spot" where I start losing, that's the problem. Not even if I'm sick! My partner and I both got food poisoning and were pretty sick (use your imagination!) for 3 days, then could only manage a little soup and water for the next 3 days. At the end of the week, he had dropped 16 pounds Me? I weighed exactly the same. Now, I know that's not a good method of weight loss, and it's mostly only water, AND that he is a man, but c'mon! Nothing?

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 10:18 AM   #11
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    Holly, I realize you say you ate the correct amount of "alotted points" but clearly that alottment was NOT correct for you. There are many factors that determine one's ability to to burn calories/fat - and you are experiencing some resistance to that. Some people are just that much more sensitive and require more exact methods. As Zip stated, you can't compare what worked for another and wonder why it didn't work for you.

    My recommendation is that you look at ALL aspects of your health and lifestyle and look for ways to optimize your metabolism and health aside from just cutting calories. Here are some suggestions:

    1. Get a kitchen scale and weigh every morsel of food you consume. Be exact.
    2. Document everything you eat and calculate your calories, carbs, protein, and fat for every meal and snack. (This is an educational excercise - people often learn they are eating more than they thought they were).
    3. Increase the amount of water you drink and in fact, drink only water. Try drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces (if you weigh 150 drink 75 oz per day)
    4. Improve the quality of the food you eat - reduce sodium intake, increase fiber, eat only fresh natural foods and skip prepared boxed and frozen foods. Also avoid foods that you crave - this is a sure sign of a problem or sensitivity. (for example, chocolate or nuts). Often, the foods you crave are more difficult for you to digest and metabolize. They also play havoc on your willpower.
    5. Focus on detoxification. This entails omitting things from your diet that interfere with metabolism - processed foods, chemical additives, preservatives, yes, even diet sodas and artificial sweeteners. The impact of this step on your success will be AMAZING.
    6. Make sure your excercise is really excercise. Some people simply time their workouts, but they don't actually work hard, work up a sweat, or increase their heartbeat. You want to double your heart beat for at least 20-30 minutes per day and you want to work up a sweat. If it doesn't feel like your working hard, then you are not.

    I will also add that even though your friend had some success with weight loss in the short term, she probably didn't do much to improve her health. IMO a weight loss plan should focus not only on shrinking the body, but also on improving one's health. This sets the stage for long-term success. When a person continues to eat "junk" throughout a weight loss plan, the likelihood is greater that they will continue to eat junk when they are no longer dieting, which will ultimately lead to weight gain and poor health.

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 10:23 AM   #12
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HollyGoLightly
    I haven't been able to find ANY "sweet spot" where I start losing, that's the problem. Not even if I'm sick! My partner and I both got food poisoning and were pretty sick (use your imagination!) for 3 days, then could only manage a little soup and water for the next 3 days. At the end of the week, he had dropped 16 pounds Me? I weighed exactly the same. Now, I know that's not a good method of weight loss, and it's mostly only water, AND that he is a man, but c'mon! Nothing?
    Holly have you ever been tested for a thyroid disease? I agree, eating very little when you were sick should have resulted in some loss, even just water loss. If you're dealing with an underactive thyroid you can kiss any diet plan good bye, your metabolism will be on a crash course and dieting will only make it worse. Check out the thyroid disease forum's Information Archive for a list of common symptoms.

    Nat
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    Old 10-15-2004, 01:20 PM   #13
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HollyGoLightly
    What? No I didn't, if you reread by posts I stated that I NEVER ate more than my allotted points for several months. When I decided to experiment by increasing my points slightly (in case I was eating too little), I gained weight. I also experimented by eating less points, but that had no effect.



    I haven't been able to find ANY "sweet spot" where I start losing, that's the problem. Not even if I'm sick! My partner and I both got food poisoning and were pretty sick (use your imagination!) for 3 days, then could only manage a little soup and water for the next 3 days. At the end of the week, he had dropped 16 pounds Me? I weighed exactly the same. Now, I know that's not a good method of weight loss, and it's mostly only water, AND that he is a man, but c'mon! Nothing?
    WOW 16 lbs in 3 days after getting food poisoning? but anywho i know what you mean, my cousin's metabolism is much faster than mine and it really sucks, but the only thing is that i have been able to lose weight, i'm sorry you're going thru this...

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 01:37 PM   #14
    HollyGoLightly
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jdimassimo
    My recommendation is that you look at ALL aspects of your health and lifestyle and look for ways to optimize your metabolism and health aside from just cutting calories. Here are some suggestions:

    .
    I hope I don't sound too testy (PMSing here, lol) but if you had read my posts carefully, you will see I addressed all those points you just made. I said I don't eat anything that hasn't been weighed or measured, I document everything I eat (that is how you do Weight Watchers), I totally revamped my diet (lean meat, fruits and veggies, whole grains, good fats, no junk food, no added sugar, no fried food, no convenience foods), and I spend 1-2 hours a day in the gym doing cardio and weight training until I am saturated with sweat.

    Even though I do all that and it doesn't work (grrr) my question is WHY do I have to go to such great lengths to lose weight and most people don't. I AM comparing myself to them in the sense of wanting to know what is different about them compared to me.

     
    Old 10-15-2004, 01:39 PM   #15
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    Re: Why Can Some Lose Weight Simply by Reducing Calories and Others Can't?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by baby_bytes
    WOW 16 lbs in 3 days after getting food poisoning? ...
    It was 6 days with no food Mannnn, if there was a famine, I'd outlive everyone lol

     
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