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Am I doing this right? - Desi13 - 10-03-2016 09:22 PM

I have been struggling with about a 15-20# gain over approximately five years. I have always been a healthy person within a reasonable weight even if I thought I should be/could be thinner. After my second child was born I was the thinnest I had been in many years simply due I guess to being a busy mom and nursing an always hungry baby. I have always been physically active in one way or another whether t be hiking, walking or days at the gym including resistance and weight. Lifting in some capacity has always been a part of my adult life, so am no stranger to it.
Feeling frustrated as all of you have felt over working hard to stay fit by eating well and exercising(never obsessively) but steadily gaining weight, has caused me such grief. Why, why, why? I have had bloodwork(fine), I have exercised more, started counting calories even though I knew I wasn't overeating, so I lowered, tried keto for a couple weeks(nothing). Absolutely nothing has changed. And I mean nothing.
I have stayed within a 1650-1850 cal range during all of this, except for the keto which was barely two weeks(I thought it was ridiculous but had friends who it worked for so tried it anyway-it's no way to live).
Then I found this forum and have read similar advice over the years and although it made sense it never really sunk in until now.
So here I am and this is what I have been doing for the last four almost five weeks without any weight loss or visible changes.
I am 43 and 5'9", 170#
I decided to do TDEE with 15% cut(1990) since I hadn't been doing super low calorie really ever(although I wonder what the actual cut off for that would be?). I adjusted my macros and although I lift weights 2-3 times a week, I have been lifted heavier and changed exercises during this time. I also do a one hour Barre class that uses bands and bar pull-ups 1-2 times a week. Basically if I end up doing barre twice I only lift twice and adjust schedule accordingly for rest. My cardio is mostly walking my dog or 15-20 min HIIT on treadmill(. 1-2xwk). So I feel like I am in the moderate exercising category.
I have struggled some days to get all my calories, protein in particular but I at the very least get close if not all the way. I find keeping the fat in the right zone hard with all the protein.
So am I doing this right? I know to be patient but when I feel doubtful and bloated I wonder if I should keep increasing or not? I thought after six weeks I was supposed to go up to TDEE of 2350 and then try deficit again after two weeks. Confused about all that though. Help

RE: Am I doing this right? - AnitraSoto - 10-04-2016 07:07 AM

First of all, welcome!

So, you said you had been eating in the 1650-1850 range prior to starting. Had this been for a prolonged period of time? If so, I would recommend taking a look at the Metabolism Reset Guide and considering doing a reset:


If you have been eating below your TDEE for a long period of time, then you will want to do the reset rather than going right to that cut figure. Take a look at that guide and let us know your thoughts..

RE: Am I doing this right? - Desi13 - 10-04-2016 07:48 AM

I guess I didn't consider those numbers as extreme dieting. Would you advise that my activity level is in the moderate range? My weight sessions are 30-40 minutes give or take a few minutes. Also I have probably never in my life eaten close to my TDEE except maybe on an occasion?!? So why would it so suddenly make a difference if my activity level hasn't changed dramatically. Age

RE: Am I doing this right? - Jc_wt - 10-04-2016 10:29 AM

I think the idea is that you've eaten under your tdee for a long time. It doesn't have to be 1,000+ calories under for your body to adjust to that level.

For the reset, you slowly increase to figure out tdee then stay there for several weeks to months before cutting.

Em2wl likes to keep it simple. While working on your protein don't stress about the fat. Once you are consistent with protein, you can balance the other macros.

RE: Am I doing this right? - AnitraSoto - 10-04-2016 11:56 AM

^^Yep^^^ If you have been eating under your TDEE, and you are maintaining, then your metabolism has adapted to eating at that level, whatever that level may be - 200 calories under your TDEE, or 1000 calories under your TDEE. So, no you were not "extreme dieting", but eating consistently at a level approximately 500 calories below your TDEE has resulted in your metabolism adapting to that level. So 1650 - 1850 is your current *suppressed* TDEE (which is confirmed by the fact that you are not losing while eating at that level)

The reset will allow your metabolism to gradually increase back up to where it should be running (2350). By gradually increasing to that level and then staying there for a while, your body will adapt (upwards) and then when you *do* take that cut, your body will recognize it as a cut.

Did you get a chance to read the Metabolism Reset Guide?

RE: Am I doing this right? - Desi13 - 10-04-2016 11:57 AM

Okay, so I'll keep going until slowly to 2350 TDEE and stay for 3 months or so and then do 15% cut to see loss? Do you think exercise is moderate?
Thank you so much for your advice! I really thought I knew what I was doing☺️

RE: Am I doing this right? - AnitraSoto - 10-04-2016 12:23 PM

YEP! That sounds like a plan! Does that whole adaptation thing make sense now?

And yes, Moderate sounds perfect, but as directed in the Metabolism Reset Guide, you really do not want to rely on a calculator for your TDEE, but instead use it as a baseline and then test it out in real life, as we often mis-judge our activity levels. Most people will find that they can actually eat more than the calculators give them...

RE: Am I doing this right? - Desi13 - 10-04-2016 03:53 PM

I believe so, my reset starts only when I have reached TDEE for 3 months, NoT immediately after I reach TDEE? Just trying t plan my increases.

RE: Am I doing this right? - AnitraSoto - 10-04-2016 08:59 PM

No, your reset will begin once you actually find your TDEE. Once you get there and start eating at that level, that's where your reset will start.

As you will see, however, it can be a bit time consuming *finding* your TDEE, so after you increase your intake slowly over time to what is your calculated TDEE, you really should take the time to test that out and make sure it is accurate by upping your intake until you start to see gains that don't stabilize over time, then you can drop your intake back and any time spent at or over your TDEE will "count" towards your reset. But, like all of this process, you don't want to rush the reset process at all. We recommend an absolute minimum of 8 - 12 weeks at TDEE, but if your dieting history has been a long one, the longer spent at TDEE, the better!

RE: Am I doing this right? - emma - 10-08-2016 09:56 AM

Hi Desi, I missed your posts earlier but just wanted to chime in only because I started this process similarly to you: I'm 5'9", I got up to 170's during reset, and I wasn't sure if this "applied" to me because I wasn't eating 1200 a day, I was eating between 1600 (good day! - that's sarcastic) - 1900 (treat day, shaking my head over here). And doing a crap ton of cardio. And feeling like crap and looking flabby and not losing an inch or a pound ever. You will have challenging days when you doubt the process trying to get up to your TDEE, but its worth it in the long run. Keep at it and keep us posted!