18 and unconfident

Hey guys

I'm 18 years old female attending school doing my a- levels so I'm really stressed at the moment. I reallly want to lose weight for the summer so I can feel confident wearing shorts and dresses without comparing myself to other slimmer girls and not be made fun of this year for my weight

I'm 5,6 and weigh 14 stone and have tried to lose weight and I haven't lost a thing. For about a month now Iv been attending gym nearly every day doing 5-15 miles on cardio machines every visit plus other muscle machines to tone myself. I have a healthy diet of

Breakfast- nutragrain bar (quick and on the go)

Lunch (tuna pasta)

Snack- dried fruit

Dinner- whatever mum cooks usually containing meat and vegetables

Drink- juices and fruit smoothies I make myself containing various fruit and either coconut milk or semi skimmed

I do not know what else I can do without changing my lifestyle completely as I am very busy with a- levels. Also my mum refuses to spend extra money or time to cook me a separate extra low calorie dinner or whatever dinners iv seen that are good to have. I myself do not have the time nor money to cook and make dinners myself so I have to a stick to mums dinners as mentioned above.

I don't know what to do. I'm running out of time before my holiday and summer and I'm not losing any weight. I'm really not happy with what I look like and will take any advise that won't drastically change my lifestyle. I just want to feel I look good in the clothes I want to wear to make the most of being a young adult in summer eg shorts, skirts, tight going out dresses

18 Replies

  • Have you counted the calories? Your breakfast seems quite small. It looks like you are not eating enough so your body goes into starvation mode and stores fat. It is important to eat at least 12000 calories a day for your body to function.

    Good luck and please don't give up :) you are doing great

  • *1200

  • Thank you so much. I roughly lol at calories but not too much. I only have a rough idea as the dried fruit packets only have 86 calories in them but that's about it

  • Hi Megan

    I'm sorry to hear that all your efforts havent paid off but I suspect that it's a diet issue rather than an exercise one. You say that your diet is healthy but it seems to contain quite a lot of sugar/ carbs - nutragrain bar, dried fruit, smoothies, pasta. Try to load up on green veg, possibly try something like eggs for breakfast rather than something sugary, and drink more water.

    Check out the low carb, high fat diet at dietdoctor.com/lchf.

    I have porridge or eggs for breakfast, salad with tuna/ quorn at lunch and for dinner prawn/ quorn/ salmon etc with loads of veg. I have these as stir-fries, salads, curries, stews. There are loads of good recipes online. maybe you and you Mum could choose some recipes and everyone could have what you're having! :-)

    Good luck!

  • Thank you so much for your reply. Yeah I think what I'm going to do is replace the smoothies to water and pasta lunch for salad. Worth a try :)

  • Hi I have an 18 year old doing A levels. Massively stressed producing lots of cortisol, the stress hormone, which won't help.

    Have you tried ditching the smoothies, fruit sugar is still sugar and massively high in calories?

  • Coconut milk is very high fat and cereal bars and smoothies have far too much sugar, other than that you seem to be doing okay, have you tried portion control, it made a huge difference to me

    Also I know you're aiming for summer but what are you actually expecting 1-2lb per week is a good amount to loose so you may not see the difference you want by summer, maybe say you want to lose a stone by the end of July so about 3lb this month and take it in small goals to do with your health and wellbeing like "this month I will lose 3lb so I can feel I have accomplished something" or so I con do X sport etc. These types of goal are far more attainable and proven to be more motivating

    Also look up SMARTER goals if you're not already familiar they are developed by psychologists to be the best possible way to attain your goals.

  • Its good that your active but read the packs on what you snack dried fruit is usually high in calories. If you have what is cooked for you try a smaller portion. Good luck

  • The dried fruit packs are meant to be low in calorie snacks. Their 86 calories in each packet :) not too bad I liked them for the natural sugars to help me boost in my a levels to get me through the day :)

  • Glad the ones you are having are not too bad, I got caught out once, didn't want you to do the same :)

  • Bless you Megan, You are certainly trying hard enough and while the Dietdoctor link supplied by MagsMM is cerainly a site that I have gained from. (I have come down from a max. of 13st 10lbs to 11st 13lbs today). There is so much to take in that that I reccomend you make learning about how harmful sugar is for when you have sat your last A level.

    Now this may seem contradictory but when our Daughter was doing her O & A levels ( Before you were born! ) We noticed that one mars bar in the morning of the exams would enable her to perform really well. ( 3 A's & a B @ A level ) so this is nott the time to suddenly change your eating habits. By the way in her maths paper she Told us that she was sure that she had put down the wrong Question number in the exam. Things like that happen you Know and at A level you have a good chance the examiner will spot your mistake andnot deduct all the points you would have made.

    So stop worrying about your weight Till you get home after the last exam! Try to relax,

    You can do it, and when you have... Then start learnig about Sugar and how food manufactuers add it in all sorts of unexpected places. perhaps you will one day take your place among those who will put and end to the slow poisoning that is going on!


    My prayer is for your good Whatever results you get and try to leave just a slowly increasing amount of potato on your plate every day till your mum knows that helping you lose weight is reducing not increasing costs.

    By the way any high sugar containing food Will Produce Hunger and letargy after a period of time has passed so time this and make sure that that Breakfast bar is eaten at a time when the inevitable sugar crash is not going to interfere with your exams.

    Hope I did not lose you along the way. Bye.

  • I agree, focus on your exams first, and use a smaller plate for whatever your mum cooks - it will still be full but with less on it !

    According to some studies, our (as in humans) brain apparently has evolved to be what it is much more rapidly since people started to settle and therefore grow crops (which do include grains) and eat cooked food - all that to say that we do need carbohydrates for our brain to function best - complex ones, not simple sugars though.

    Which leads to why you've been rightly advised to avoid fruit juices - even homemade ones - the sugars in juiced fruit is absorbed immediately and metabolised as fat unless it is used on the spot (which is why on a long distance run people like to have gels containing glucose, that is used by the muscles immediately and not stored, ) If you eat the same fruit, the fiber present in it will make sure that your body metabolises it more slowly.) So if you really want a juice bring it to the gym! And use more vegetables than fruit in it.

    You could try making these and have them instead of the nutrigrain, they are easy to make, and keep for 4 to 5 days - I also freeze them (and take a small one on my long runs)


    My last bit of advice - try to do a few minutes a day of mindfulness meditation - it lowers stress levels and it increases the capacity to concentrate, it is really effective and you don't need to sit cross-legged for half an hour for it to work, start with 5 minutes, on a chair, lying down, standing ... and maybe use it when you notice that your head is all over the place while studying (a good website is headspace, you can try for free - then if you find it good look on you tube, there are plenty of good teachers there (pm me if you need more advice on this, I do practice and teach mindfulness and can send you more links to free meditations) headspace.com/register/free...

    Best of luck for your exams!

  • Thank you so my your tips have been useful and will try them out :)

  • Thank you so much your so kind and words have made me smile :) I'm going to replace the pasta for salad and fruit drinks with water. It's a shame as I just bought a blander specifically for the smoothies haha

  • best of luck to you, personally my head was in a real mess, with stuff outwith my control. this affected my weight loss to where i lost about 4 pounds in 7 weeks. like you i go to gym classes in my gym, i was comfort eating and thinking real negatively like " oh, i wish i'd started my diet last year" Thats just plain crazy.. Then i had a wee think to myself, and rather than look back at what might have been. fast forwaded myself to May next year, and next May/June i'll be able to look back at 2015 and say"thank goodness i got rid of all that weight, and can look myself in the mirror now" Right now you've got enough to deal with with exams, so think positive thoughts and you'll get there. Honest you will. Best wishes from me..

  • Hi I know how you feel, I am a mum and at college full time and trying to loose waight. Very frustrating. Like you I do a lot of exercise, I found I have cut out all junk food, sugary foods, and have just been drinking water and have lost 5kg, also it is good to reduce your portion size, or eat more veg than carbs? Have a filling breakfast as I find it fills you up for the day, also if you are feeling hungry or feel like snacking, take a bath or keep yourself busy ( studying, going for a walk, going to bed early.) am a mum I always mange to find something that needs doing, I have been eating 3 good meals a day roughly 400 cals each and then sipping water throughout the day, ok I was hungry for the first week but now I am finding it easy (don't get me wrong I have slipped up quite a few times).

  • Hey Megan!

    I'm 18 next week and feel the same!! A-levels really do get in the way :( I had the hope that i would be able to get in the swing of things after exams. Then I will be able to focus on myself and not on all the revising and exams!

    I tried counting calories a few months back but it was ever so hard to keep track of it as well as keeping on top of revision. I'd either forget or tried so hard to remember that i wouldn't be able to focus on revision. The app ' myfitnesspal' helped a lot but i soon forgot about it and ended up deleting it!

    I also started doing youtube exercise videos which i still do now! I have not lost any weight but i have defiantly toned doing this! My mum even said i looked different! Also these are much easier to schedule into my day around my revision timetable.

    Im 5"2 and nearly 12 stone. I hope you do well! and good luck in your exams. <3

  • Here is a sample meal plan:


    Soft Cheese

    2 Eggs any style

    2 Serving spoons vegetable casserole.


    Cheese or nuts

    1 small barely-ripe banana or 5 (preservative-free) dried-apricots

    3 oatcakes or quinoa (90g cooked weight).


    1 medium sweet potato or 1 cob sweetcorn or chickpeas (100g cooked weight).

    non-starchy roast vegetables or stir-fry greens

    palm-size meat or fish or seafood or poultry or game

    whipped double-cream and/or coconut.

    Adjust unspecified portion sizes to facilitate individual weight-management requirements.

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