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New to EM2WL - definitely not eating enough!
08-17-2015, 02:32 PM
Post: #1
New to EM2WL - definitely not eating enough!
Hi all,

I'm brand new to this page/forum, which I found while searching on "why am I gaining weight when I exercise and eat less?"

I have been working out for a good 20 years. I'm 40, and am a married mom to three (ages 3, 6, and 7). I often find myself skipping food because I DON'T HAVE TIME!

I work out 5 days a week and am currently doing a combination of Beachbody's 21 Day Fix Extreme (workout not diet) and CIZE for cardio. I hate cardio, LOL. I love strength training!

Recently, I've noticed myself getting bigger. The scale is creeping up for the first time in a while. I usually hover around 122 lb and lately, it's gone up to 126 lb. My clothes are not fitting better, either - my waist and butt are definitely larger, and I'm not sure why.

I'm pretty toned and I eat pretty clean - I drink an Isagenix shake daily with 24g protein, and I rarely eat white carbs. Lots of protein, salads, fruit, plain yogurt, veggies, etc. I recently started tracking my food and realized that I am probably only eating around 1500 calories a day, while working out pretty hard - sometimes less.

I think my biggest problem is if there isn't something "healthy" or "healthy/appealing" to eat, I just won't eat, or I'll eat just enough to quell my growling stomach.

Any advice would be great. I hate seeing the scale creep up and I hate that some of my clothes from last summer are tight! Especially when I'm working out so much!
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08-17-2015, 08:23 PM (This post was last modified: 08-17-2015 08:24 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #2
RE: New to EM2WL - definitely not eating enough!
First of all, welcome! So glad you have found us, and know we will be here to help you work through the process...

Have you run your numbers through an on-line calculator like Scooby, or do you have an on-body device like a FitBit to help you determine your TDEE? That's a lot of exercise to be doing while consuming only ~1500 (or less) calories, so it's not surprising that your metabolism has down-shifted to compensate for the steep deficit. Not only are you doing those workouts, but with three young kids to chase after my guess is that you rarely sit down!

Let us know either your stats or what you get when you run your numbers through a calculator like Scooby (and what you used for an activity level), and we will be glad to get you started in the right direction.

In the meantime, it sounds as though you already understand that you probably need to be eating more, so for starters, make sure you are getting in some calorie-dense foods. The salads, fruits, veggies, plain yogurt and protein are a great base, but they aren't very calorie rich, so try adding some nuts, nut butters, seeds, dried fruits, avocado, olive/coconut oil and try switching over to full fat dairy. Small changes like that can add up quickly. Also, even though you seem to stay quite busy, always make sure you have a protein-rich snack with you in case you ever get stuck away from home. I always have two Quest protein bars and a ziplock baggie of almonds and dried cranberries in my purse. Those have saved me more times than I can count!!

Well, get back to us with your numbers and maybe a bit more of your history and we will be happy to get you started in the right direction ... welcome!!

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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08-19-2015, 02:31 PM
Post: #3
RE: New to EM2WL - definitely not eating enough!
Thanks, Anitra!

I did go on Scooby and according to that site, my TDEE for maintenance is 2000 calories, though it's possible I'm underestimating. I am 5'1" and currently about 125 lb. I used "moderate" as my activity level, but you are right - I rarely sit. I do have a desk job but it's onyl 3 days/week and when I'm not at work, I am generally moving.

I don't have a fitbit, but it's on my "I want that!" list. happy

I do eat almond butter on wheat toast occasionally. I'm going to try to eat at least 1/2 avocado/day to help as well. The full fat dairy is a great idea!

I'm discouraged because I hate seeing the scale move up and my clothes get tighter when I work out so much!
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08-19-2015, 08:46 PM
Post: #4
RE: New to EM2WL - definitely not eating enough!
It sounds as though your metabolism has simply down-shifted to account for your lower intake. With all that exercise plus running after three kids, my guess is that you are at the higher side of that Moderate category, if not even a bit higher. All of that running around and daily activity accounts for a lot of your TDEE, so that 2,000 may be a bit on the low side (however you are quite small, so it's probably fairly close...).

How long have you been at that estimated 1,500 level? And tell us a bit more about your dieting history. Even without hearing it though, my guess is that you would benefit from increasing your intake and eating at TDEE for a while ... how long that period of time is would be determined by the length of time dieting and the severity of the caloric restriction. Simply the fact that you are eating at a fairly steep deficit, very active, exercising regularly, eating well and still gaining weight is a sure sign that your metabolism needs a kick-start. We all understand that it can be discouraging going through the reset progress, but at this point, what else are you going to do? Eat less? Exercise more? Obviously, there is a point at which those are no longer options... The good news is: you are in the right place! We can help you through the process!

Tell us a bit more about your dieting history and we can help you make a plan. In the meantime, I would suggest starting a journal of your own in the Personal Journals section of these forums. It's a great place to track your progress, and if you put your history there (and even copy and past what you have above^^^) it will be easy for everybody to refer back to previous posts. It's also a great way to interact with others who are going through the same process... Look forward to hearing back from you!

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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