Very little weight loss :-(

I have around 3 stone to lose so for the past 10 weeks have stuck religiously to 1200 calories a day and used the My Fitness Pal app to keep a track (its a brilliant app so easy and quick to use I definitely recommend it) In terms of exercise I've walked every day for approx 45 mins but when I stand on the scales I'm so disappointed to only have lost 6lb in 10 weeks.

I had my gallbladder removed a few months ago and am on a very low fat diet and also recently I've been tested for thyroid function and diabetes and I'm clear on those which is obviously good but why isn't the weight going?

Getting very disheartened to be honest and wondering whether the effort is really worth the lack of result :-(

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37 Replies

  • Hi Mazz155

    The effort is very definitely worth it - what would have happened if you hadn't lost that 6lbs - would you have gained?

    Check that you are logging every little thing that goes into your mouth - when cooking, are you tasting anything? Weigh everything to check on portion sizes and that they haven't crept up. Check your drinks (I was shocked to find how calorie high flavoured waters were for example, when I got stuck).

    I would try increasing your claorie intake to the NHS recommended 1400 a day for women (not sure on for men but it will be more) - it might be that you are not quite eating enough.

    Have you noticed any changes in your fitness and how you feel? (hopefully the answer is yes!)

    I'd also suggest you talk to your GP or surgeon in case the gall bladder op will have caused any changes that could affect weight loss.

    Keep going - you are already in a healthier place than you were and I am sure the loss will restart very soon.

    Good luck


  • Hi, thanks for your reply. My hubby said I could be eating too few calories but I didn't think that was really possible, surely eating fewer calories than the body needs should mean more weight loss?

    My doctor is currently testing me for a variety of things as since my gallbladder was removed I've had digestive issues and am unable to eat quite a few foods now but so far all tests have been clear. I'm also keeping a food diary logging everything which really helps me to stick to the calories.

    I stick to low fat food (under 5% fat) and only drink tap water and do feel much better for it, I just wish the weight was dropping off faster so I could see a physical difference, I'll stick with it though as I really want to get my old body back, I guess I need to be more patient but patience isn't my strong point :-)

  • I agree that having the 1400 calories would be better for you. Be careful of fruits like grapes they are very high in calories because of the sugar content. Stick with it x ;-)

  • Thank you, I will try upping the calories a little. I love fruit and since changing my eating habits have been quite surprised how high the calorie and sugar content can be so have been limiting myself carefully on that. I will definitely stick with it, I just need to try to have more patience! :-)

  • Excellent Reply :)

  • If you eat too few calories your body will think you are starving and will hang on to every bit of fat it can!

    Don't go too low fat in your food because your body needs fat to transport fat soluble vitamins, like vitamin D, into your blood stream. Better for your health to eat a little butter or olive oil rather than low fat spread. Low fat foods are often loaded with sugar which will just pile the weight on you.

  • I hope this article might be useful when you are working out calories.

  • Thank you, very interesting article and has given me a lot to think about, I've mainly concentrated on calories without giving too much thought to the type of calorie, I will be reading more on that thank you.

  • Its so worth it. Don't give up 6lbs in 10 weeks is a good result, remember the changes you are making are long term. Quick fixes don't really work do they. I just know you'll feel better if you stick with it. Have you looked to build your walking into a group where you can meet up and keep positive.

  • Thank you, I was thinking I'd done pretty poorly compared to many others but you're right, its long term change I need and at least its weight off and not on and I do want to keep it off. I think I was just hoping for a quick fix followed by a sustained weight but in all honesty I realise that's not possible.

  • Keep positive be kind to yourself and keep up the good work xxx

  • Hi Mazz

    It sounds as if you are doing really well. I have also found out that eating too little actually made me put on weight! I now try to stick to between 1300-1500 calories a day. Also I have found that I need to vary my diet because if I stick to the same routine eg. wholemeal toast breakfast, chicken salad lunch everyday for two weeks my body adjusts and stops loosing weight so even if you are on a restricted diet try and add some variation


  • Wow Amanda you must be a mind reader, I actually do have one slice of wholemeal toast for breakfast and a small chicken salad for lunch most days! I do enjoy chicken salad but think I will try more variation and see if that helps, thanks for the suggestion :-) I will also try upping the calories a little although I haven't found myself feeling hungry on 1200 I guess it might not be as good for me as I think

  • Are you weighing and measuring? I am terrible for underestimating things I know are high calorie and overestimating low calorie foods. It's very difficult to stick religiously to an exact calorie amount. I have 1200 too but that is to give me some slack from days when I've not had much exercise or eaten more for some reason... and I don't fuss to make it up if I eat less on other days. Slow progress, but progress.

    Weight loss doesn't seem to be linear, so you may be due quite a drop. If the low fat diet was prescribed are you getting professional support with it - it sounds as though it might be worth some discussion.

  • hi, thank you for your comment, the low fat diet was prescribed before my gallbladder op but since then I've stuck with it as I have problems digesting fat now which the doctor is currently investigating. I haven't found 1200 to be too bad, basically I eat salad, lean chicken, tuna or occasionally salmon and loads of veg and a small amount of wholemeal bread and I don't feel hungry at all. I drink loads of water though which possibly keeps the hunger away.

    I've been weighing and measuring everything as its still a bit of a novelty but I was quite shocked when I first started just how heavy some things actually weigh and how I was eating far more than I thought.

  • I agree - eating too few calories can lower the metabolism. You must be very hungry on 1200. Also, I would say be guided by how your clothes feel + use a tape measure rather than getting on the scales too often, which can really screw your mind. Since I started Pilates a few months ago I weigh more on the scales but my clothes are looser.

  • I have to say I've not felt hungry on 1200 although have found the food a little boring at times. I've not noticed my clothes feeling better yet but my hubby says they look looser but being a woman I never believe him! I would love to try exercise classes but am too self conscious to join a public group yet.

  • wow I never expected so many replies. I've been feeling a little disappointed at not seeing results quicker but the positive comments have made me realise that any loss is a good loss even if it is slow. I just need to be more patient and stick with it. Thank you all :-)

  • Any loss is definitely a good loss, keep it up! To lose a pound, you need to burn 3500 calories more than you eat, so it pretty much works out. You've been dieting for 70 days, and you've lost 6lb, so that works out at a calorie deficit of 300 per day.

    If you want to lose faster, you could try raising your fitness level (assuming you don't have health problems that make that difficult). If you're able to run rather than walk it will make a big difference.

  • Thanks, I've thought about running as it seems like a good and relatively inexpensive way to exercise, I don't have any health problems that stop me but right now I'm too self conscious to do it for fear of looking ridiculous or collapsing into a breathless heap after a few seconds! Hopefully once a few more pounds have gone I'll feel differently and give it a go :-)

  • When I started running I just ran round the block. I think it was about 700 metres. I managed it but I collapsed into a breathless heap as soon as I got back inside (and started coughing which was an unexpected extra).

    Given the walking you've been doing, your fitness is probably in the same ballpark as mine was, so you might find you can run a similar distance. I don't know how old you are, by the way, but I was about 30 then. Obviously age affects it. If you're younger than that, you'll find it much easier to get fit, and vice-versa.

    I once weighed myself before and after running. Almost all the loss is down to sweating, of course, not burning fat. However, I could work out how much energy it would take to evaporate that much sweat, and that ought to be the number of calories I'd burned during the run. It worked out at about 200 calories, and that was only while I was actually running. Any effect from raised metabolism is an extra bonus.

    This means that running instead of walking could probably double your rate of weight loss, once you'd gained some fitness. Or you could do what I do, and use running as a way of making up for the 'treats' you normally can't eat. :-)

  • I've also started running a bit. Managed 10 minutes yesterday. Mind you I struggle with my breathing usually before my legs give out. Feel sorry for anyone on a treadmill next to me having to listern to my wheezing... but I started only being able to do 2 minutes, so slowly getting there :-)

  • I'd forgotten about that, but it was exactly the same for me! Breathing definitely gave out before legs—although obviously not completely as I'm still here. :-)

    Did you find it made you cough when you first started? That's the thing I always remember about my first run!

  • Didn't cough, just wheezy. I have asthma so am learning how far I can push myself so can stop before it gets triggered. Finding if I take it steady get there slowly. Might take me longer than non asthmatics, but determined it won't stop me :-)

  • I've not tried running yet, its the worry of failing and looking ridiculous that puts me off!

    I have upped my walking though and yesterday completed an 8 mile route including a few hills in 2hrs35mins which I was happy with. I dragged my hubby along and he kept complaining that I was walking too fast and I kept having to slow down to wait for him so I feel hopeful that jogging could well be the next step :-)

  • The funny thing is, you wouldn't look ridiculous to other runners. Everyone who runs will remember starting out.

    Actually you've just reminded me of another reason why I started running. Like you I tried walking first, but it just took so long! If you enjoy walking, you won't mind spending that 2:35 and that's fine—but if it's just a chore to keep healthy, you may find yourself wanting to get your exercise done a bit quicker!

  • I honestly enjoyed the walk and didnt realise how long we'd been walking until the end. We were overtaken by several runners and I have to admit to thinking I wanted to do that but they were clearly experienced and very fit.

    My hubby commented (ok, complained lol!) that I was walking so fast I was almost jogging anyway so maybe I could do it :-)

  • Hi Mazz

    Glad to be of help. I have porridge or oatabix both with fruit or 1/2 tin spaghetti in tomatoe sauce with mushrooms as alternative breakfasts and potatoe salad with raisins or olives drizzled with lemon juice, rice salad with tuna, salad sandwich, mushroom pate with watercress sandwich, ryvetia with cottage cheese and side salad, mixed cold veg with chilli or sometimes last night dinner left overs (I get bored easily!) . Hope I have stuck to options you can eat - not sure about the olives but hope this gives you inspiration


  • Thank you, some great ideas there to get me out of the food rut I'd fallen into :-)

  • Hi me again,

    I do toning exercises for half an hour in front of the telly - usually Emmerdale or Corrie so I dont get bored. Although they dont affect your weight loss much you loose inches round the middle and feel more supple. I downloaded the exercises from the NHS loose weight site- fitness section.

    In a month I lost 1 1/2 inches off my waist and can run up stairs again!

  • That's brilliant thank you, I've now downloaded those exercises too, they are not too complicated and don't take too long or need loads of expensive equipment so they're perfect for me too :-)

  • Exercise

  • hi and well done on your weight loss so far. I also think 1200 calories is too low. I've lost my weight by calorie counting using nutracheck. I had over 3 stone to lose when I first started exercising, I remember standing at the back of the class but was well chuffed that I'd actually gone in the first place! I now exercise every day and do a variety of classes including body combat, body attack, conditioning - and I'm now at the front of the class :-) as well as going to the gym and running. There are so many different classes available that you're bound to find something you will enjoy. The key is to keep mixing things up so you don't get bored. People of all ages, shapes and sizes go and its good fun.

  • I hope one day to feel confident enough to join a class as I think I'd be more motivated in a group and less likely to give up. The biggest problem for me (after my lack of confidence of course!) is that I live 15 miles from the nearest town and my time after work is spent taxiing my daughter around to her various activities so finding any class is a challenge. But I will find a way eventually!

  • LOL. Must admit finding that as well. Went walking in yorkshire with boy friend and stepson. Had to cut it short as they were both knackered :-)

  • Hehe is it wrong that I felt slightly smug this morning having no aches or pains (apart from behind one knee which I think I twisted a little bit on the uneven ground) when I woke up but hubby is walking around like he's 90!! I guess I must be a little fitter than I estimated, to be honest that thought alone has given me the urge to do more so I've suggested another walk today but hubby says I can go on my own this time lol! :-D

  • Thank you all for so many responses, its really given me the urge to do more and maybe not to concentrate so much on what the scales say right now but to carry on eating better, upping the calorie intake a bit and exercising more. I guess I was looking for a quick fix which of course isn't realistic and weighing myself daily hoping for drastic change was a bit naive!

    I have also been told that now I'm in my 40s the body is a bit different to how it used to be so it could take longer to lose pounds anyway which although not great to hear did make me think perhaps I should just be more patient and hopefully the results I'd like to see will start showing before too long.

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