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View Diary: Lose Weight by Eating MORE?? (133 comments)

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  •  Congrats on your weight loss so far. (6+ / 0-)

    At a guess, you are building denser muscle mass and losing fat but not weight.  That's fine. The fat weight will fall, but don't be surprised if you plateau for a while.  That's pretty normal, even for a few months at a time.  I've been researching this topic for a while now.  I've lost 12 pounds and have plateaued for the last three months, but haven't gained any weight back, which is good. It's still progress.  

    I think the advice you have been given relates to the following:  your body lowers it's metabolic rate when you eat less over time because it's geared to remain at a stable weight over time.  It's as though there were a "set point" that it wants to return to.  When you withhold too many calories at once, your body tries to stabilize by retaining water and lowering metabolic rates.  (Starving!) When you only withhold a small amount of calories a day, the metabolic "set point" doesn't activate, because it's within whatever it's parameters for the day are.  

    Occasionally, our body "resets" and you plateau for a while as your weight stabilizes at a lower weight.  All longterm weight loss includes plateaus. It's normal.  It's desirable, actually, because you stand a better chance of keeping the weight off in the long run.  

    Weight lifters trying to get "ripped" trick their bodies into losing weight by with holding calories and then flooding themselves with a big carb meal something like every five days or so.  (Famine is over!) It triggers the body to release the extra fluid it's been hanging onto and produces a weight loss.  Of course, these guys are more extreme than older people like me.

    I calculate my caloric needs given my exercise expenditure for the day and try to stay only 200 calories below that, instead of the 500 calories advised everywhere, and I eat more occasionally and figure it's part of the plan. I'm gradually changed my eating habits to foods with fewer calories by volume, because some foods aren't worth the extra calories.

    So far it's working for me and I think you're doing very well so far, because you are absolutely healthier. You might try the weight lifter's trick, but I would track the calories very carefully vis a vis caloric expenditure.  I use an online calorie and exercise tracker to collect empirical evidence on what works for me and what doesn't.  Everyone is a little different.  

    Good luck!

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