Eating less/exercising more - putting on weight!!!

For the past 4-5 weeks I have been religiously monitoring and counting calories. Have cut out snacks and sugary foods so I only eat 3 times a day. I am now walking over 3 miles/day (before I was only managing around 0.5 miles/day). My calorie intake averages around 1600-1700 cals/day for 5 days out of 7 (for the other 2 days I am only eating around 200 cals/day) . Despite all this change I have put ON around 2-3 lbs. My BMI is 32 (ie obese) and my resting metabolism is 1750 cals/day. Why am I not losing weight if I am eating less calories than my resting metabolism figure????

7 Replies

  • Hi! Because you are walking 3 miles a day, you will have lost fat but put on muscle which obviously weighs more. Have you tried doing your measurements instead? It's normally a better way to gauge if you're gaining muscle. Also, sometimes if you are doing a lot of exercise, you need more food (healthy food obviously) to compensate. Maybe try increasing your calorie intake? Hope this helps!

  • Keep at it - well done for doing 5:2! I lost three stone in six months on it and have maintained my weight since April by just fasting one day a week. Be patient and carry on doing what you're doing and the weight will go. Make sure you're logging every mouthful - you're probably already using the MyFitnessPal free app. Don't eat your exercise calories and, on your fasting days, don't click on the 'complete your day' button. Take all your measurements and only weigh once a week and take your measurements once a month. I presume you've checked out your TDEE and watched the original Horizon programme - there are some excellent supportive 5:2 Facebook groups. Try 5:2 for Life and Health - there are a few men on it too.

  • Useful links. I hadn't seen the TDEE calculator before, and I had been wondering what I should be eating on my '5' days. Did you follow these calorie recommendations when doing the 5:2 gingernut? My TDEE is almost 1,000 calories more than I have been eating on a calorie-controlled diet, so I don't want to end up 'over-eating' and not seeing any weight loss.

    Also, if my TDEE is 2600 calories then should I be eating a quarter of that on Fast days (650 cals)?

  • You're lucky - at my age mine is only around 1600 but I still ate up to 500 calories on my fasting days rather than 400. I don't know if you're male or female but if you're male you can try to stay under 600. I wanted to lose weight quickly - I'm an 'all or nothing' kind of gal - so I counted calories every day and lost half a stone a month. Have you read either The 5:2 Diet by Kate Harrison or The Fast Diet by Michael Mosley? They go into it in far more detail. I never eat breakfast nowadays and I find that I'm far less hungry than when I used to eat breakfast and it 'opened the gates' so I was starving by 11am!

  • I'm female and 5' 10", hence the higher TDEE I presume. I've got Michael Moseley's book, but I don't think I've read it all (I abandoned a previous 5:2 attempt, my motivation is different now). I've already eaten this morning and I've got soup planned for lunch and dinner, and 2 pieces of fruit for snacks.

  • And you're probably a lot younger than me - I'm 5'8" but aged 64. I've got some curried parsnip and lentil soup bubbling away now which will last me a few days and on fasting days I'll also have a bowl with some vegetables in it for my evening meal. I don't eat snacks during the day but I'll have an apple and a plum for 'pudding'. I think you'd probably enjoy Kate Harrison's book more. I tend to recommend Kate's book for women and Michael's for men.

  • Hi, I tried the 5:2 diat and it did not work at all for me. I lost 4lbs in about 2 months but it was hard work, I did not enjoy it, and I felt horrible, tired and sick on fast day. I have since lost 46 lbs on a "traditional" low fat diet of about 1400 cals per day. It took 10 months but I felt well right from the start and find I could fit it around my life no problem. I think it is all about finding out what works for you and sticking to it.

    Perhaps you are having too many calories on 5 days and too few (200 is very low) on fast days. It could be that eating more consistently will work for you as it did for me. Best of luck

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