What am I doing wrong?!: Hi. I'm joined here... - Weight Loss NHS

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What am I doing wrong?!

JulesMS2020 June

Hi. I'm joined here as I am at my wits end.

I started a new diet regime plus lots more exercise since lockdown, however, I am not losing the weight.

I exercise around 40 miles a week (cycle and dog walking) and I am a healthy eater. I very rarely have carbs (usually at weekends as a treat!) and during the week I will eat salad with some form of meat.

Where am I going wrong?!

Any suggestions/comments, will be gratefully received!

46 Replies

Hello and welcome, JulesMS :)

It's hard to say without knowing a bit more about how you're eating. I suggest you use the Daily Diary to let us know what you're eating and you should get some helpful feedback. I'm wondering if you have increased your healthy fats sufficiently, when you reduced your carbs.

A good way of getting into the forum is by joining a weekly weigh-in on the day of your choice, and sharing your meal plans on the Daily Diary. They, and lots more besides, are in Pinned Posts and this is where you’ll find them healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

The forum is set up for sharing information and support so, wherever you go, please chat, ask questions and encourage others: that way, we share the support around. You’ll meet some wonderful people along the way who will be happy to share their successes and struggles😊

PS I deleted your other post which was a copy of this

Hey try not to feel to downhearted, it is frustrating when we try so hard and don’t see the results. We should not always rely on the scales though and worth checking measurements to as this is where we sometimes see the difference instead . I’ve only just started today and am trying to tell myself that even though the lbs might not disappear quickly if I’m eating more healthily and excercising more then I’m better off 😀

JulesMS2020 June in reply to Camilla123

Thank you Camilla. It is VERY hard. Had a REALLY bad week last week and ended up calling a mental health charity - everything suddenly came crashing down and felt I couldn't cope anymore. When I put everything into my diet and health and am seeing no results, it's soul destroying and wonder why the heck I'm doing it! :(

Camilla1236lbs in reply to JulesMS

It’s good that you were able to make that call that shows strength when you recognise you need that support. Maybe have a week off, I don’t mean be reckless but give yourself a bit of a break. Also I find drinking lots of water usually helps and not pressuring yourself x

JulesMS2020 June in reply to Camilla123

Thank you. x


Without knowing your day-to-day meals it's hard to say, but the most common mistake people make with low-carb is either (a) not eating enough fat or (b) not eating enough.

You should be eating to appetite, and you should add as much fat as is compatible with good taste: use healthy minimally-processed oils like butter, olive, coconut, or lard, not chemically-extracted seed oils. Never buy "low fat" rubbish.

Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. Don't pretend you've had enough when you really haven't. Don't worry, you may find yourself eating quite a lot the first couple of days and then your appetite will take a nosedive. That's the "calorie deficit" you're looking for , and it indicates that your body has discovered a load of excess fat reserves!

Also, drop the weekend carb treats. This will stop your results dead. You need to stay as low-carb as possible for at least 2 weeks, and then you can start adding carbs back slowly until you reach about 50-100g/day on average (try to stay at the low end of that range). Six months from now, you'll be able to have those "treats" when you feel like them - but by that point, your body will be asking for them a lot less often anyway!

JulesMS2020 June in reply to TheAwfulToad

Thanks. Typical day: breakfast; small bowl of cereal, drinking yoghurt and a banana, lunch: homemade soup with a slice of bread OR a ham and salad sandwich; dinner: salad (lettuce, beetroot, tomato and cucumber) with chicken, sausage. As well as 2 cups of coffee and a cup of tea. That's it! However, yesterday I did have breaded fish with peas and homemade sweet potato fries.

Any suggestions to an alternative breakfast?? Don't really like cereals!!

Kacey12Healthy BMI in reply to JulesMS

Cereals are not always particularly healthy - even the ones branded as such. Oats are a healthy food in many ways, but even porridge for breakfast would be a huge carb load in one go. I love porridge and used to have that or a low sugar granola with berries nearly every morning, but now replace it regularly with eggs in some shape or form (which also have the advantage of keeping me fuller for longer), or a lovely full-fat Greek yogurt with berries. Looking at your lunch, you could cut out the bread and add healthy fats instead e.g. avocado, and the same with the sweet potato fries!

JulesMS2020 June in reply to Kacey12

Thanks Kacey. I agree on the cereal and bread - alternative to bread?? Sweet potato fries , I thought, were meant to be good/healthy for you??

I tried greek yog a few years ago. May give it a go again.

Kacey12Healthy BMI in reply to JulesMS

Sweet potatoes are more nutritious than normal potatoes, but are still carbs which are best to be avoided if you are following LCHF for weight loss. Healthwise, it also depends what they are fried in. Re bread - I very rarely eat it now and don't miss it. Perhaps a wrap would be a better option. And Greek yogurt - I use FAGE which comes in 0%, 2% and 5% fat. I used to get 0% but now I am eating a low carb diet I have the 5% which is gorgeous!

StillConcernedMaintainer in reply to Kacey12

Here's Dr Unwin's latest infographic comparison phcuk.org/wp-content/upload... how greens are low carb, but brown aren't.

JulesMS2020 June in reply to StillConcerned

Thanks and yes, if I eat rice/pasta, it's always whole wheat/brown. I think I need some low carb recipes to try!

Reving7lbs in reply to StillConcerned

How do you use the infographic comparisons please

Loraine5182st 7lbs in reply to JulesMS

When I started lowering carbs, I was eating things that I thought were healthy and low carb, but actually had quite high carbs.

It took me several weeks to get it right and start losing weight and even now 3 months on, I have hit a plateau and my weight is stuck.

I cut out bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, including sweet potato, fruit and some veg for the first month.

It took me a while to work out carbs values and stop wanting to eat foods I had been told were "healthy" and eat more fat.

I found this site and all the support and advice really helpful, I also took measurements and measure monthly, seeing that I have lost inches is really motivating.

I also go by clothes and how lose they feel, which is often a good indicator when the scales are not showing a loss.

The other thing is that if you are exercising more you may be building muscles, which weigh more than fat so relying on inch loss and how clothes feel may be a better indicator than scales.

Good luck.

StillConcernedMaintainer in reply to Loraine518

I think one of the things to appreciate is that the body will adjust. Something has to change to keep losing weight. One of the things you can do is increase your intake to maintain quite frequently at a new weight. Then your body won't adjust to the lower intake (see starvation mode as mentioned below).

When you do maintain, take into account that if you lost a pound of body-fat the last week, that was about 13% carb with the vast majority monounsaturated and saturated fat of course. The reason I'm pointing that out is that to maintain the same balance of energy would mean increasing your daily kcal intake by maybe 450 kcal, with the vast majority of that being ingested, natural fat, and very little if any increase in carbohydrate.

This goes for people 'coming off' a diet too. The norm is to think "I was eating 15% protein, 30% carb, 55% fat; I'll increase the amount I eat in that ratio" but then it throws their hormone levels and appetite out again, because, as I say, it doesn't resemble what their body had been living on during the weight loss.

Subtle_badger17kg in reply to JulesMS

That's a high carb diet. I am wondering what you think carbs are. Your breakfast is all carbs and quite high in sugar. Bread is nearly all carbs.

Dinner salad looks OK. Breading fish turns it from low carb to high carb, and sweet potatoes is also almost all carbs.

I was doing something similar to this, and probably working out more. I made a post about it, after someone sent me a photo from the time which really showed my fat belly.


I think a low carb diet would work for you, but you have to cut out all grains (rice, pasta, bread etc), sugars, most fruit (berries are OK), and underground veggies like all sorts of potatoes, and beetroot etc.

No wonder you are depressed and stressed. This sort of eating, at least once you are overweight is a red queen's race where you have to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place.

Good luck. 🤞

JulesMS2020 June in reply to Subtle_badger

Thanks, I read your 'cycling' post. Interesting. Any idea what's the best exercise then for the 'middle'?!

StillConcernedMaintainer in reply to JulesMS

The theory goes that you can't spot reduce; exercising an area doesn't result in fat loss from that specific area of the body.

It's important to note that too much is as bad as too little, and if you train too frequently (less than 24.2 hours between finishing a session and starting another), too intensely or too long, your stress levels will go up causing you to produce more blood glucose for the body to then attempt to cope with by producing more insulin (the master energy storage hormone).

Reducing carb/alcohol intake can actually result in fat loss around the middle, because the visceral fat that emanates from the liver is lessened.

God bless you!

Subtle_badger17kg in reply to JulesMS

We basically have two types of fat (over simplification), subcutaneous - literally under the skin, and visceral - around the organs. Belly fat is usually a combination of both, though some women who are overweight but retain an hourglass figure may be mostly subcutaneous, while those men with a big, rock hard pot belly are mostly visceral. Subcutaneous is unsightly, but metabolically harmless; visceral fat leads to serious diseases like stroke and diabetes.

Neither is particularly targeted by exercise. Cardio is good for you, but doesn't help with weight loss much, as you have seen. Building muscle is also good for you, and may lead to a reduction in body fat and increase in BMR. But the real way to attack body fat is through diet - as in the food you eat. Calorie restriction or carbohydrate restriction both seem to work, though I would advocate the latter. That will reduce your subcutaneous fat, but from exactly where is up to your body.

I have found that fasting targets belly fat. When I have gone low calorie or fasted completely, my waist shrinks much faster than it did with eating to satiety every day. There are studies that reflect this.

You will also want to do core/abs exercises so when the belly fat goes, you have some muscle underneath to show off.

Edit: I think you need a quick win. I picked up a copy of Michael Mosley's Fast800 and sort-of followed it for a month. It got me started on intermittent fasting and low carb, and took 10cm (4") off my waist in a month. That might be a good way for your to start, and get out of your blues...


JulesMS2020 June in reply to Subtle_badger

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I think I maybe on the meat, veg and fruit diet! I also have high cholesterol (genetic) so can't really eat too much fat.

Subtle_badger17kg in reply to JulesMS

Well, that's where Fast800 wins. Because it is low calorie, but it's also lower fat. It's a good way to reduce carbs without dealing with high fat.

But..if you can convince your GP to cooperate, I think you should try a high fat diet. Get a cholesterol test, try eating LCHF for a month, then get another cholesterol test. If the cholesterol has gotten worse, then it's not for you. But if it has improved, maybe the fat in your diet isn't to blame.

I keep thinking of the NHS consultant telling me to eat less fat to reduce my cholesterol. She didn't believe me that my dietary fat was low, and she did not explain to me why my excellent HDL and HDL to triglycerides ratio needed addressing.

Yeah, she was morbidly obese.

Gizmocat15kg in reply to JulesMS

Start by cutting out the cereal and bread. Both have lots of carbs. Try full fat Greek yogurt with berries for breakfast. Homemade soup is fine but don't have the bread. Have salad instead of sandwiches with the ham or cheese or have something made with eggs such as omelette or frittata with salad. Dinner of meat and veg avoiding root veg to start with.

Have a look at the dietdoctor website. There is a free 2 week plan to get you started and lots of lovely recipes. Also have a look at the LCHF forum on here. @The awful toad has posted some great guides to LCHF on there recently. As he says you sound like you are not eating enough. Keep asking questions. You will get lots of support here. Good luck.

TheAwfulToadAmbassador in reply to JulesMS

Ah, OK ... that clears up that little mystery. You're eating a standard-issue high-carb, low-fat, calorie-controlled diet. This is pretty much guaranteed to give you no results. As someone else remarked, the most likely outcome is that you'll go into "starvation mode".

Anyway, you've had some great advice from the other posters here. Just follow what they've suggested - start with the dietdoctor.com website - and you'll be fine. Regarding breakfast, a common low-carb choice is eggs'n'bacon, or some variation on that theme (I usually add some sort of side salad or some stir-fried veg, and I make my own sausages and/or bacon, depending on what mood I'm in). The Greek yoghurt suggestion is good too - I've never met anyone who dislikes Greek yoghurt!

Eating right really isn't hard - the problem is that many people (diet clubs, dieticians, pharma companies etc) have a vested interest in keeping people chronically fat and ill, so they give out complex, conflicting, and fundamentally incorrect advice. Eat fresh veg, meat, eggs and dairy. Avoid processed foods (particularly low-fat foods). Avoid starch-based foods wherever possible; substitute vegetables. Eat to appetite. You will get healthier, and as a side-effect you will lose excess flab. Simples.

TriGirl132020 April in reply to JulesMS

You may not be having enough calories and your calorie deficit could to too high. Do you track your macros etc

It’s taken me absolutely months and months to get below 74kg I just couldn’t shift it, until this last two weeks, I’ve reduced and got rid of refined stuff and just eat good wholesome food. I know you said you cycle 40miles a week......can you add another form of exercise in?

JulesMS2020 June in reply to TriGirl13

What are macros??!! I'm wondering what exercise I can do that will help.

Hidden2020 March

You might be overdoing it, go onto Google and do a quick research about "starvation mode" it might be what is happening to you, or you might have just hit a plateau. Look that up also.

If you aren't seeing a difference on the scales it could be because the exercise is developing your muscles which will look like you aren't losing weight, so you might need to grab a tape measure and use it around your stomach thighs etc.

Don't give up!

JulesMS2020 June in reply to Hidden

Thanks and sadly no change in measurements! It's soul destroying. When you put in all the hard work and get nothing back, you feel like giving up, what's the point ..........??

Hidden2020 March in reply to JulesMS

Are you in better shape than when you started?

JulesMS2020 June in reply to Hidden

I'll like to think so, but weight and measurements, no! I'm eating and exercising more tho.

Hidden2020 March in reply to JulesMS

You just need to stick at it, It will come eventually, I know it's frustrating. Try taking a week off from it all, sometimes you need to take a break and restart.

It's not always easy but don't stop.

JulesMS2020 June in reply to Hidden

Thank you. I will keep going and as you say, at some point I may start seeing results! Have a good weekend. :)

Hidden2020 March in reply to JulesMS

If you are overdoing it, losing to many calories to quickly, your body goes into starvation mode, its a survival instinct that we all have. It thinks you are going to starve because you are losing to many calories to quickly so it takes any food that you eat and turns it into an energy source, fat.

You need to calorie count, lose no more than 500 per day to burn 1lb of fat per week. You can get help with calorie counting on here.. Look into it.

Jack20192020 January in reply to JulesMS

Carbs. provide glucose to the body. The body makes all the glucose it needs, which is about 4grams, from protein. Any carbohydrate you eat, will provide extra glucose, so when you eat to much, the body will send the excess energy to fat cells for later use. If you on a daily basis eat carbs, then your body has no reason to use the stored energy. No amount of exercise will empty your stored energy ,fat, if you are constantly replenishing it. If you are not seeing weight loss, that is your

body telling you it doesn't need any more glucose. If you cut out processed carbs and fruit, you give your body a chance to get to your fat stores and use that energy. That is my two cents worth on this subject. I made huge changes to my diet and never lost weight, I eventually had to cut out all fruit and limit veg. Quantity and that made the difference for me. I was very insulin resistant, so it,s what I had to try. Fasting, as in maybe skipping a meal, on a daily basis will also give your body a chance at using up some stored energy, fat.

Isolda12020 June

Keep a food diary. You’re doing plenty of exercise but not enough to burn all the calories you’re consuming. You may have a lot of muscle which would make you a bit heavier so check your waist measurement to endure it’s in the healthy range. Unfortunately most weight loss is mainly due to diet not exercise

Diane21st 7lbs

Hello Isolda1 and welcome to this Forum!

You have a great mind-set there!!

People adopt a mix of approaches on here which you will see as you explore this site. We strongly recommend new members make use of one of our Weekly Weigh In pages and the Daily Diary posts. You will find these via this link following which takes you to our Pinned Posts section. There you will fin_7_d a Welcome message,general advice (eg: internet safety)and guide to our site plus links to a range of groups which we hope will interest you as well as the key Weigh In and Daily Diary pages.....


....it can take a bit to learn how to find one's way around so please read the material carefully and also note, don't use the HU App, it is much easier to use the website.

As explained above, we recommend that members join a Weekly Weigh-In, on the day of your choice, and also use the Daily Diary, where members share their meal plans and get useful feedback. They are found under Pinned Posts (go back to the link I gave you above)

A special feature of our Forum is the degree of support between members which you will experience (and add to yourself !) as you join in and chat with others.

All the best on your weight-loss journey ! 😊

morelessAdministrator in reply to Diane2

Sorry, we have a site issue with links healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...

JulesMS2020 June in reply to moreless

How do I add my weekly weight, plus can I track/log exercise and meals? Can't see how to do this. Thanks.

morelessAdministrator in reply to JulesMS

If you follow the above link to Pinned Posts, you'll find today's weigh-in and daily diary (for meal and exercise plans) once logged, they'll remain visible on your profile replies for all time.

You'll also find the FAQ's in the same place for guidance on how to log and other information :)

JulesMS2020 June in reply to moreless

Do I just add it as a post? I can't seem to see any tab saying weigh in, exercise etc.

morelessAdministrator in reply to JulesMS

You just reply to the weigh-in and daily diary posts.

Click on the title, scroll through the post reading and responding to other members' posts, until you get to the last reply box that will say Reply to Leeleepuss (weigh-in) bikegrrrl (daily diary) Leave a comment ... and log your own stats/meal plan there.

The layout for the weigh-in stats is explained in the header of the thread.

bikegrrrlWorking at it

Dear JulesMS - thanks so much for posting your query, I have read all the replies and found the discussion it really helpful.

I don't follow a LCHF diet - I was a calorie counter - but I have really cut down on carbs and that helped me.

As others have said, cereals, bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, noodles are all high in carbs - it's not just the things that you might think of as "treats".

If you are looking to "swap out" carbs from your menus, a few things that I have tried, and liked, include:

- steaming shredded cabbage or spiralized "courgetti" to have with a pasta sauce;

- grated cauliflower instead of rice;

- grilled slices of butternut squash (or courgette sliced lengthways) as a base for poached eggs, instead of toast;

- berries and yogurt for breakfast;

- having, say, a stew without the potatoes, and just eating it with a spoon;

- or just having a salady lunch with a portion of tinned fish such as mackerel, sardines or anchovies (I realise that those are not loved by everyone!);

- or sometimes just having a half-portion of the carbs.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and I have certainly had to experiment to find what works for me, with my own particular mindsets and my family circumstances. I found that planning, with the Daily Diary and the weekly weigh-in, were all key to my losing weight.

Don't give up - you absolutely deserve to eat healthily.

JulesMS2020 June in reply to bikegrrrl

Thanks for all that and yes, perseverance is key! Difficult tho if you've changed your diet back in January and still no results! Having said that, I am still eating a small amount of carbs, so maybe if I cut them out altogether, I may see a change. Can I eat magnum ice cream??!!

Shredded cabbage and grated cauliflower is a good idea, but TBH, in the summer, I very rarely eat hot food but will certainly give it a go.

I will change breakfast for yoghurt and berries.

bikegrrrlWorking at it in reply to JulesMS

Don't feel you have to take any of my suggested carb swaps if they don't suit you.

I have learned to have soup without bread, and cheese without crackers. It's all absolutely fine. You will work out your own thing.

Har har on the Magnum ice cream. It's 27 per cent sugar and 244 cals per portion. See, this is why I didn't go low carb myself - I can't stand the idea of feeling "deprived"of anything. If I loved them, I would have planned one in. Also, I know you can get smaller choc-ice type things so I might have had one of those instead. (But my refusal to kick carbs into touch is possibly also why I struggle with maintaining...)

Oh, haha, I see that one of the ingredients is "exhausted vanilla bean pieces" - now I should be up for that, as it is anti-waste. 😊

Diane21st 7lbs in reply to bikegrrrl

Can I add to the above excellent suggestions cauliflower is great from a low carb point of view but I struggled with (no)taste till I found a brilliant Joe Wicks recipe for cauliflower tabbouleh where you put florets in processor and pulse till ground down till looks like couscous then mix in bowl with chilli flakes, mustard seeds; cumin seeds, lemon juice a nd zest plus bit of oil then spread across baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 mins et voilá, it's delicious!!

bikegrrrlWorking at it in reply to Diane2

Oh that does sound nice, Diane!

Diane21st 7lbs in reply to bikegrrrl

Its significantly increased my purchase of cauliflower from once in a blue moon to about once every 10 days!! Whrn I havd a sec I'll post a pic with recipe it's very more'ish !

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