Working out and eating right and put on weight

So I eat well, cook most from scratch, I go to the gym at least 5 times a week with a mix of cardio and weight training. I really struggling with my weight and always have done. I recently invested in a PT to help me at the gym in the hopes this may kick start something. I have been in a good routine for around 4-5 weeks now and been feeling quite good and positive. I have not weighted myself as I am weight lifting and this will only make my weight go up and have been told by my PT this will only dishearten me. So all good until this morning! I put on a pair of trousers this morning which I have not worn for a few months and they are so tight I could not wear them. What am I doing wrong! I have reduced my carb intake right down as recommended by m PT, upped my protein and reduce portion size.

Example of my food:

Breakfast - Diet protein shake

Snack - 0% fat Greek yogurt & Grapefruit

Lunch - Brown rice, chicken breast, salad, low fat salad cream

Snack - Carrot Stick & boiled egg

Dinner - Salmon fillet with spinach, new pots and salad

Snack - 10 almonds & yogurt

I do not drink fizzy drinks, i am on 2 coffees in the morning and the rest of the day water, i drink out of a hydr8mate bottle so i know i am getting plenty of fluids in. the odd occasion i'll have a green tea throughout the day.

Any advice or if you are in a similar situation just so i know i an not the only one!

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19 Replies

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  • Hi Katieanne1984

    Brilliant work with your nutrition and exercise.

    Sorry to hear that you're disheartened with your progress. I bet you're super fit. Sometimes our bodies just change shape significantly when we work out. My bum is probably much rounder than others due to my love of the gym.

    Are you calorie counting and getting a true idea of the amount of food that you're eating? I didn't realise I was overeating until I did this.

    Good luck

  • Thank you for your reply. I try not to calorie count as I find I then constantly think about food and I do enjoy my food, it is good food mind, but I still enjoy it either way. its just so hard as I exercise as I don't sleep well otherwise and I recently stopped smoking so it helps with my cravings. A few people have said if I stopped exercising and just watched my food I would lose weight! i'm not in a good place today!

  • So sorry. Sounds like you are on the right track. Just keep going and you'll get results eventually.

  • The other problem is the amount I eat, some times I get told I'm not eating enough with the exercise I do and then I worry that I am over eating! just one big confusing mess!

  • Hi Katieanne1984 sorry to hear you're feeling despondent at the moment especially as you do so much exercise and your food does look so healthy.

    I know you say you don't like to count calories but once you get into it, it really does become easier and if your food is planned it stops you having to think about it all the time.

    Can I suggest you check your BMI on the main Health Unlocked home page. This asks how active you are and other statistics like weight and height etc. It then gives you a range of calories to work from eg. if it gives you a range of say between 1,500 - 1,800 then you should ideally start at the higher range to see how you get on.

    I started at the bottom of my bmi range and wasn't losing but after taking advice on the forum I upped it to nearer the higher range and now my weight has begun to come off. Eating to few calories sends your body into starvation mode and will hang on to the fat.

    It's worth a try, don't you think?

    Very best of luck whatever you decide.

  • Thank you for your reply. I will certainly check out my BMI and get some calorie ranges and give it a go. Like you say what have I got to lose.......

  • Good for you. Why not check out the Daily Diary to get ideas for things to eat. I'm hosting it for the first time today so hope to see you over there.

  • Hi Katieanne1984 , don't stop exercising just to lose weight.

    I was in the same place as you a few months ago. I ate good healthy food and thought calorie counting was 'old hat' but I was slowing getting bigger despite lots of exercise and fresh healthy food.

    I drew a line under it and checked out my intake. Just a couple of hundred extra calories a day adds up over the months. I also weighed myself and was over a stone heavier than I thought!

    I now calorie count every day, I don't find it becomes an obsession as the app I use keeps tabs (my fitness pal). I just plan the day before and pop it all in the app. If I make a few tweaks throughout the day I adjust the app accordingly. I was worried about this route due to my history of eating disorders but it has worked. I have lost a steady 1lb per week and am not deprived of food at all. Lots of compliments and surprise when I tell my gym mates that I still eat up to 2000 calories and enjoy treats and alcohol in moderation.

    Looking at your menu example, maybe just take out your protein shake and replace it with a lower calorie option or remove this 'snack' completely. I used to used shakes and after giving them up I realised that I didn't really need them. They're just another way of making the diet industry part with your cash.

    It's worth using the Daily Diary thread on this forum. Another poster pointed out quite early on my lack of carbs considering my activity levels and I upped them within my recommended calorie intake. It worked for me perfectly, I now don't get hungry between meals and don't get cravings.

    You can do it, just a few tweaks and you will succeed! I have surprised myself with how well it has all come together.

    :)

  • Great advice!

  • Thank you again for this advice, i will certainly give this a try for a week or 2, what have i got to lose.......

  • I also hate calorie counting as I get obsessive and upset and feel deprived. What I do now is meal plan for the whole week on a Sunday (including treats of course!), buy my food and then stick to it. All choice is then taken away, as I've planned stuff I love in advance. It's all calorie counted on a Sunday so I literally don't have to think about the numbers at all for the rest of the week. Maybe it might help you too as I find this the only way that works for me xx

  • Hi and welcome, katieanne :)

    I'd like to invite you to join our Newbie Club, which we hope will be a good place for you to connect with members, who are also just starting out. If you just post a few words to introduce yourself and respond to others there, you'll soon break the ice. Here's the link

    healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

    Wishing you all the best :)

  • Hello Katianne

    It may be worth counting calories carefully for a day or tow to see precisely what your calorie intake is, You need to be totally honest otherwise it is a pointless exercise . You seem to be snacking between meals which does not give your digestive system a rest and so that may have something to do with it, also your snacks probably add up to a lot of calories

    Do you have a Fitbit or similar as this will help with calculating calories in and calories out,

    The only way to lose weight is to use up more calories than you consume

    Try reading the Fast diet which has a lot of useful scientific and nutritional info as does the 8 week blood sugar diet both by Dr Michael Moseley

    Best wishes

  • This is exactly my problem, you are advising I break between meals and stop snacking to give my digestive system a rest which seems logical, where as others (including my PT) tell me to eat 6 little meals a day, so Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner are all small portions along with snacks and it supposed to keep my metabolism fired up. So many conflicting views and opinions. its a minefield!

    I do have a fitbit but not a fancy one so when I do my spin or weights class it doesn't record the activity so its hard to tell what i am burning vs eating.

    I'm going to give calorie counting a try for a few weeks and see how i get on, thank you for your reply and advise.

  • Do get the books quite cheap on Amazon

    With great respect to your PT I think Dr M Moseley and the scientific research that advises shainst snacking are probably correct.

    I have lost 12 Kg since 29 June by following his advice ( Starting Weight 82 kg ) and gone from dress size 16 to 14 and 120

  • so I have just check on the amount or calories I should be eating on "healthline" website..............WOW

    Maintain - 2371

    Lose - 1897

    lose fast - 1423

    I was at one point trying to keep below 1,000, no wonder I found it hard going with my exercise routine!

    Now to get my head around eating more. Just worked out my calories for today and I am just on 1,200! I better get eating a bit more!

  • You're doing a lot of good things Katieanne1984.

    That said, what is in your protein shake? Too much protein is easily turned to glucose demanding more insulin.

    Reduced fat dairy, such as low fat yoghurt, demands high levels of insulin.

    Most rice is high Gi, which demands high levels of insulin.

    What's in the low-fat salad cream?

    These foods make it hard for your body to regulate how much energy it needs and reduce the portion sizes sufficiently without suffering hunger, plus high insulin levels contribute to accumulation of visceral fat and ill health.

  • Hi Katieanne1984

    WELL DONE for all the efforts you are making! There are lots of great comments already but I would just like to suggest a couple of other things...

    You mentioned sleep - this is a really important part of weight control and poor sleep has very strongly been linked to weight gain. Then, very closely linked to that, is stress. If you are feeling mentally stressed or putting your body under stress (such as eating too few calories and pushing it hard in the gym) the body goes into reserve mode - holding onto all it's reserves of fat for what it perceives is the 'danger' or 'famine' ahead. Throw into the equation some guilt and a bit of fear and anxiety and no wonder the scales won't move despite all our efforts!

    You said you love food, that is great - go ahead and fall in love with real, fresh whole food! Enjoy it, savour it! Food is not the problem - it is what 'we've' done to food that has messed everything up in the last 30 or so years. Whole foods will nourish you and help to regulate your hunger hormones unlike processed 'diet' foods. I know it takes more time (maybe 15mins to prepare) but instead of a protein shake, for example, in the morning try a 2 egg omlette with mushrooms and tomatoes on a slice of ryemeal toast. Our bodies absolutely need healthy fats to function best, so don't be afraid of healthy whole food fats (butter, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, avocados, oily fish etc).

    Exercise is absolutely one of the most important things that you can do for your health and wellbeing. However, don't focus on exercise as the way to lose weight. Your metabolism (including how fast you burn fat) can be influenced by all sorts of things as we have mentioned above (how you sleep, how you feel, your age, etc etc). So the 'calories in - calories out' equation (although correct in theory) is actually far harder to regulate and control than you might be lead to believe. You are not a machine, you are a highly complex incredible being, so listen hard to your body first and foremost, and ask; what is it trying to tell you, what does it need?

    So, to sum up: Relax. Breathe. Sleep. Speak kind words to yourself. Enjoy and slowly savour proper meals of delicious whole foods, but not too much or too little.

    I'm guessing you want to not just lose the weight but keep it off. And if you don't enjoy the whole process and get pleasure from your food or your exercise, you won't stick to it for long.

    Sorry for the essay! I got carried away once I started typing!

    And just to say, I applaud you so much and I'm cheering you on!

  • I can't really add to the posts above, the key for you is contained in them for sure. It is just a matter of finding out what works for you. I would say that you need to focus on eating the right amount of the right stuff at the right time. The reason I am being vague is that what is right is unique to you and your body. You have clearly got great motivation and that is crucial. Good luck with it. James

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