Weight Loss NHS
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just joined, struggling to lose weight - need help

Hi there,

just joined this website as looks really helpful and need some advice.

Im 23 and over last few months have seem to ballooned in my weight and stretch marks have become really bad! - I eat as healthy as I can - lots of veg and fruit, the occasion treat doesn't go a miss though - i exercise a lot - at least 20 minutes a day but try to get to the gym for an hour 3x a week yet i don't seem to be shifting weight and don't see what I'm doing wrong!

can anyone advice or offer any tips to what i could do to improve this?

thank you!

7 Replies

i'm not sure why its put pregnancy difficulties, but that would explain the weight gain (however i am male haha)

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Hi Andrew,

Welcome to the NHS Weight Loss Forum here on HealthUnlocked - this forum is a great place for support, motivation and inspiration to lose weight.

I was 23 when I started, 16 months ago - I've just turned 25 and have lost over 9 stone!

Also, ignore what it's tagged on the post! The site goes haywire sometimes :D

Take a look at the NHS 12 Week Plan, it contains recipes and exercise plans to follow for the first twelve weeks of your journey. :D

Take a look at the left of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile device) and find the 'Pinned Posts' section, here you can find the 'Welcome Newbie' post, various challenges that are going on in the forum (take part in whatever ones take your fancy - if any do at all!), there is also a recipe collation there and any important posts from Admin :)

Also to your left is the 'Topics' area, here you can find posts related to each topic, it's good if you are looking for something specific :)

The Monday Group Weigh In takes place weekly and is posted alternately by Zest and moreless (I suggest you follow them, they are also our site admins), a morning session post is put live just before 06:30 and runs until midday, while the afternoon session runs from midday until 18:00 on the Friday of that week - it'll be running as usual this coming Monday, so, if you wish, you can go and post your starting weight there :)

We also run a badges system on the forum, you can start with the ‘Newbie’ badge and then work you way up to 7lbs and then in 1 stone increments, they are also avaliable in Kgs too. If you would like a badge, just let Lowcal or moreless know :)

All that remains is to wish you a great first week on the forum - be involved because it's where we get our boost each day :P

Rob :)

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Hello Andrew, my son has lost a total of 5 stone in the past year by calorie counting and making sensible choices with food. He found that recording his intake of food stopped those extra calories that sneak in without realising. he is my inspiration.


Think a food diary could help you to see exactly what you are eating and go from there. Good luck x

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Hello and Andrew and welcome to the forum.

Although you’re eating as healthily as possible and exercising regularly, the quality of food consumed and the intensity of physical activity make a huge difference when attempting to lose weight, as does the maintenance of a daily calorie deficit.

In the case of food, by routinely consuming refined carbohydrates (such white varieties of bread, rice & pasta) over that of complex varieties (lentils, beans, oats and quinoa), your chances of weight loss success are reduced, largely due to amount of insulin secreted to convert the sugar into glucose.

The less sugar your diet contains, the less insulin the body will need to secrete, ultimately improving its sensitivity to the hormone (insulin), something that benefits management of weight.

As for exercise, its intensity is key to increasing the uptake of glucose and fat, thus improving calorie expenditure.

For example, while steady state cardio (SSC) is great for improving endurance and the base level of fitness by serving to increase the efficiency of the heart and working muscles to process oxygen, from a weight loss perspective, it doesn’t deplete the muscles of glycogen nearly as quickly or effectively as interval training or HIIT.

If you don’t already do so, seek to introduce interval training and eventually HIIT into your exercise schedule.

Concerning the introduction of calorie deficits (the most important part), you need to know the numbers required to satisfy both your BMR and TDEE.

BMR refers to one’s basal metabolic rate. It’s roughly how many calories ought to be consumed on a daily basis, based upon measurements (age/weight/height), to ensure that metabolism continues to fire, in addition to providing sufficient energy to keep vital organs functioning as they should.

To ascertain your BMR, use the following equation (Miflin St. Jeor Method):

10 x weight (in KG) + 6.25 x Height (in cm) – 5 x age – 161 = BMR.

Bear in mind that as weight begins to be lost, since the body will weigh less it’ll require fewer calories to satisfy BMR, so the above equation should be re-performed with each 7lb reduction, chiefly, to avoid a plateau.

TDEE refers to one’s total daily energy expenditure. It’s roughly how many calories ought to be consumed if you wished to maintain current weight, based upon level of activity.

To ascertain TDEE, you’d multiply BMR by one of the following:

Sedentary = 1.2, Lightly Active = 1.375, Moderately Active = 1.55; Heavy Activity = 1.75; Athlete 2.

Based upon your level of activity, I’d multiply BMR by 1.55 (Exercises 4-5 times per week).

Having obtained your TDEE, seek to implement a daily calorie deficit from the figure presented (preferably 500Kcal).

Equally, the more active you happen to be, the greater the figure between BMR and TDEE.

As such, if figures allow, you could introduce a larger daily deficit than 500Kcal, but bear in mind that your level of activity will also expend calories, so you don’t want to introduce a deficit that’s so severe, since the calories expended through exercise may push overall expenditure below those required to meet BMR, leading to a reduction in energy and loss of muscular strength/mass.

In the main, a daily reduction of 500Kcal from your TDEE, alongside a reduction in the consumption of refined carbohydrate and an increase in the intensity of exercise should assist in allowing you to make the changes that you seek.

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Hi andrewtxland

Welcome! You will definitely lose weight on here if you log in several times a week and count calories.

Everyone here is amazing and so helpful. You always find someone to answer any query.

Good luck ☘️

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If you are not losing weight, then you are consuming enough calories to match your output. Therefore your body is not needing to draw on your fat stores for energy.

Therefore you need to: 1) consume fewer calories, and 2) increase your activity levels so that you burn more calories off. Preferably do both of these things, and look for a weight loss of 1lb to 2lbs a week to be healthy and sustainable. As you are doing 3 stints at the gym, I'd suggest you need to focus on your calorie intake and portion control.

All the other advice that comes your way - eg eating proteins rather than starches, not mixing protein and starch in the same meal, eating this food rather than that food - does not overcome the basic maths that if you eat fewer calories then you burn up you will lose weight, and if you don't you won't. You can lose weight by eating 1200 calories a day of mars bars - you won't find it easy to stick to, and you won't be well, but the calorie reduction will shift the weight. Similarly, eating 1200 cals a day of steak will also mean you lose weight, although you will better in yourself. That's why the standard healthy eating advice of lots of fruit and veg, a fair bit of protein, a limited amount of carbs and fat and the occasional treat, works. You cut your calories, feel well, and can stick to it for the duration.

The important thing is to weigh and measure your food - it's boring, but it is the only way to be sure that you are not consuming too many calories.

Re stretch marks, once you've got them, unfortunately you are stuck with them. The only way to remove them is via a trip to the plastic surgeon and an operation, which is quite drastic. However, they do fade, and most of the time no one will notice as clothes cover them up! I'd ignore them and focus on your weight loss, and review the situation once you're at your target weight.

Good luck!


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