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  1. #1
    Registered User Hailey1984's Avatar
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    Weight loss questions for any experts to comment on please

    Hi all. This is my first post & I'm looking for some insight. Any is appreciated.

    I will give you the backstory and info first.

    I’m currently 5’5.5” & 152 lbs looking to lose weight. I have always watched what I eat and work out my whole life, but over the last 10 years have slowly gained 15-20 lbs that I am working to lose. I wear a Fitbit every day, so I see my daily calorie burn & just started tracking my calories to a “T” on january 2, 2020.
    I track them in my Fitbit app, so I am able to see my calories in v calorie out each day. I also have a Fitbit scale that syncs my weight to my app.

    So here’s my confusion. I exercise 5-6 days a week from anywhere from 1-2.5 hours per day. For instance today I did a Zumba 1 hr class & burned 480 calories, followed by 40 min of strength training (back & bis, lift heavy, 3 sets of 12 per exercise)- burned 266 calories, followed by 30 min cardio (today was running on treadmill- approx 2 miles & burned 360 calories.) This is an example of one of my workouts. But every day I do 40-60 min strength train (alternate back+bis, chest+tris, legs, & shoulders) + 30 min cardio (typically run or stairMaster & burn 300 cals in 1/2 hr). Sometimes my cardio is longer than 30 min & some days I also do a 1 hour class in addition (mix of Zumba, Pilates, or HIIT classes). Calories burned today, for example, are 3200. Looking at my Fitbit, my average calorie burn per week though comes out to right about 2600 per day. 3200 like today is a high day bc I did a class and was at the gym for almost 2.5 hours.

    Now my diet. I don’t drink any alcohol, or soda, or juice. Macros are approx 35% carb, 35% fat, 30% protein. I eat approx 5 servings of green veggies every day, some fresh fruit, carbs are (ex sprouted bread, sweet potato, brown rice, rice cake, skinny popcorn, etc), fats Are mostly from avacado, almonds, oils, etc, and protein comes from eggs whites, low fat cheese, chicken, turkey, and lean beef (96/4). I do eat some high protein low calorie ice cream in small amounts like 1/2 cup here and there, once or twice a week. But even with that, I got it into my macros. I aim to eat at 1600 cals a day, but typically end up at an average of 1800/day, bc I am burning so much on some days with exercise I find myself eating a little more, but regardless, every day am ALWAYS in a deficit.

    Since Jan 2, which has been 6 weeks, I have only lost 2 lbs. It’s not that I am not happy with that, bc I am happy with any progress, and I know that this will be a slower progression if I’m not willing to eat a strict 1500 calories a day, so I’m willing for the weight loss to be a little slower for me to be able to eat in the 1700-1800 range on days that I am burning 2800 calories. (FYI that i am at ALWAYS a 500-1000 calorie deficit per day. But I’ve also had a few days closer to 1500 cal deficit). And so yes every day I am hungry.

    Where I stumped is that if it is 3500 calories to lose a pound, well I can do the simple math of calories I’ve consumed vs what I’ve burned, and I should have lost 5-6 lbs by now. Let’s just say 5 on the conservative side in case I was off on some calories eaten, although I track & weigh EVERYTHING on a food scale, so I think I’m pretty accurate.

    However my body scale says I’ve barely lost 2 lbs. I know the scale is often your worst tool to use, and rather you should take photos, look at your body, and see how your clothes fit. Well, I don’t feel any trimmer yet and clothes aren’t fitting different, so I feel like the 2 lbs is accurate.

    Yet I’m still confused over the math. Question is this: is it possible that I am converting fat to muscle (since muscle weighs more) & is that why the scale has not moved with my approx 1000 calorie deficit per day? That would be the only rationale I can come up with as to why my scale weight has not changed. ??

    My only concern with that theory is, I could see this being the case for someone who has no muscle and they are quickly gaining it & putting it on. However, I have strength trained for the last 15 years off and on ( very regularly in the last 2 years), have worked with personal trainers before, etc, and point being that I already have a good muscle base. I have just gotten a lot of fat over it 15-20 lbs in the last 10 years. But my body has always had incredible muscle memory, and although I was pretty much out of the gym for 2 months of 2019 this year (nov & dec 2019), since I got back in jan, I am already seeing muscle gains. I will also note that In Jan, I switched to lifting with 12 reps instead of 8, (which I’ve always only done 8 reps before)

    So is it possible I’m converting fat to muscle and thus why not the body scale weight change to match the calorie deficit? Or is it something else and I just need to be consistent longer? It’s only been 6 weeks after all. I have no problem being patient and continuing to go at this pace....so long as I’m doing the right thing. Should I be losing weight faster for all my hard work? Do I need to be stricter about my macros?....I am pretty close to 35%C/35%F/30%P, but that varies daily but that’s an average. Some days carbs are closer to 40% (but keep in mind my fitbit counts veggies as carbs so that includes spinach and salad etc)

    Do I meed to change macros? Cut calories more? Or keep what I’m doing and just give it another 6 weeks? When would you expect I would see (both scale and in the mirror/clothes) changes at the rate I am going? I just want to know if I am crazy or not for thinking I should have lost more lbs by now.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who took the time to read this & I appreciate any feedback— especially from anyone who has credibility in the weight loss/body building area!
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  2. #2
    Registered User Hailey1984's Avatar
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    Correction to my stats

    Also I am 36, female, 5’5.5”, 152 lbs. can’t figure out how to change my account it says I am 50 year old male LOL.
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    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    All calculators, watches, and apps can provide you (as far as calorie burn goes) are estimates. The only way to truly know the size of your deficit is to track your weight over time and then assess your results. In general, women should compare their weights at similar points in their menstrual cycles, rather than week to week, because our hormonal fluctuations are frequent enough that we can have a lot of changes in water weight.

    That being said, six weeks is enough time to say that your deficit is much smaller than you think it is. You are averaging less than a half pound lost per week, which means that your deficit is under 250. If you want to lose weight at a faster clip, you'll need to increase that deficit.
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    Registered Soul faithbrah's Avatar
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    yup, you expect the fitbit to be accurate when it's not. i could have a piece of equipment tell me i'm burning 4000 calories a day, yet still gain weight on 3300 calories

    also, no point in macro percentages
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    Nerd That Lifts MeadxHole's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by faithbrah View Post
    yup, you expect the fitbit to be accurate when it's not. i could have a piece of equipment tell me i'm burning 4000 calories a day, yet still gain weight on 3300 calories

    also, no point in macro percentages
    Macros do kinda matter. For overall body composition/muscle retention/energy levels

    1600 calories of twinkies vs 1600 calories of appropriately distributed macronutrients matters

    But the traditional best practice is make sure you get enough protein, and try to eat generally clean.

    e/ but I agree, for losing weight purposes it's not necessary to calculate percentages.
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    Registered User hardyboysare's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MeadxHole View Post
    Macros do kinda matter. For overall body composition/muscle retention/energy levels

    1600 calories of twinkies vs 1600 calories of appropriately distributed macronutrients matters

    But the traditional best practice is make sure you get enough protein, and try to eat generally clean.

    e/ but I agree, for losing weight purposes it's not necessary to calculate percentages.
    I'm sure he means percentages of macros are pointless as minimums are based on your weight not on the split of macros into the three macro sub groups as technically carbs are not essential for body composition and health although generally are the highest macro group due to energy supply and some other factors. Not that macros are not important just not as percentages per gram per lb is what matters.

    Read this OP:-

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=173439001
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  7. #7
    Registered Soul faithbrah's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hardyboysare View Post
    I'm sure he means percentages of macros are pointless as minimums are based on your weight not on the split of macros into the three macro sub groups as technically carbs are not essential for body composition and health although generally are the highest macro group due to energy supply and some other factors. Not that macros are not important just not as percentages per gram per lb is what matters.

    Read this OP:-

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=173439001
    exactly what i meant. do macros matter? yes. do exact macro percentages matter? no.

    using certain percentages is pointless and inflexible imo. let's say you're at 40% protein for the day and you still have 300 calories "free", you couldn't even eat a delicious protein ice cream
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  8. #8
    Registered User Hailey1984's Avatar
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    Thank you for your feedback! I felt like wearing a heart rate monitor should be fairly accurate, but perhaps not always ?

    Also my macros that I calculated based off of my weight are
    107g P minimum, 61g F minimum



    Originally Posted by faithbrah View Post
    yup, you expect the fitbit to be accurate when it's not. i could have a piece of equipment tell me i'm burning 4000 calories a day, yet still gain weight on 3300 calories

    also, no point in macro percentages
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  9. #9
    Registered User Hailey1984's Avatar
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    Thank you so much. I also had read that section you sent and just read it again. For reference, my macros I calculated are 107g P min & 61g F min, but i am generally eating higher protein and fat than that. For ex, yesterday I was at 165g C, 67g F, & 127g P.
    Carbs again are coming from whole, clean, foods, not processed. Total calorie intake yesterday was supposedly 1752 & calorie burned (supposedly via fitbit Versa 2 lol) were 3196.
    That being said, after seeing yesterday’s macros, do you think I need to reduce my Carbs more? If so, how do I figure how much, and then how do you know whether to replace those Carb calories with Fat or Protein?


    [QUOTE=hardyboysare;1597692241]I'm sure he means percentages of macros are pointless as minimums are based on your weight not on the split of macros into the three macro sub groups as technically carbs are not essential for body composition and health although generally are the highest macro group due to energy supply and some other factors. Not that macros are not important just not as percentages per gram per lb is what matters.

    Read this OP:-
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  10. #10
    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    I would aim for a minimum of125 grams protein and 63 grams fat. The rest can come from whatever (carbs, more protein, more fat.) I'd probably start by lowering your calorie goal by 100.
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    Registered User Hailey1984's Avatar
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    Thank you for your suggestions!!

    Originally Posted by spradish View Post
    I would aim for a minimum of125 grams protein and 63 grams fat. The rest can come from whatever (carbs, more protein, more fat.) I'd probably start by lowering your calorie goal by 100.
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