Recently I had a phone appointment with a nutritionist. My doctor thought it might help me with my stalled weight loss. I gave her the short version of my weight loss history, how I lost the weight the first time and gave her samples of some recent day’s eating. I also told her my typical workout schedule.
She was really nice but the whole thing was kind of disappointing. After I read her four days worth of my food and exercise to give her examples, she was silent. After a long pause, she said, “Um…..I don’t really have any suggestions for you….”
She went on to say that I’m already doing “everything right.” She said that my food choices are good and healthy. She liked how much protein and vegetables I get in my daily diet. She asked me about micronutrients and I told her what MyFitnessPal recorded…she said that my carb intake was decent. She said she didn’t really recommend eating less carbohydrates that what I currently eat because I’m at a good number on average.
“Based on estimated needs and reported intake pt should be able to lose some weight if she is consistent with this intake. Diet is well balanced with a lot of fiber, protein and vegetables. Moderate portions of carbohydrates. Unclear why she isn’t losing weight. Suspect she may need to aim for lower end of range ~1600/day most days.
Anthropometric data – BMI is ~25 with reported weight.
Activity – Pt is active 5-6 days/wk.”
The only suggestion she had was to try experimenting with my calories. She suggested that I try to cut my calories down to 1600 for a few weeks, and if I don’t see any progress then I should experiment with eating MORE calories to see if that changes anything.
“Options to consider discussed with patient: Discussed the option of experimenting with calorie intake. Try a couple weeks or more of upper end of range and a couple weeks of lower end. Says she already tried lower end. Discussed different macronutrient distributions for weight loss. She could try focusing on more balance with meals, especially dinner having a starch with every meal.”
She recommended adding brown rice to my dinners. Michael and I don’t eat a lot of “carby” things…Like we rarely eat pasta and eat rice maybe once or twice a month. If I eat those things they are usually in a Lean Cuisine at lunchtime. I do like rice a lot, so I’m okay with adding that back into dinners. We used to eat yams and sweet potatoes with dinner but haven’t done that in years, either. I started eating them again with lunches and I’ve enjoyed that.
She tried to be helpful, but wasn’t really. 🙁 It’s not like I was expecting a miracle or a magic pill but it was disappointing to hear that “you’re doing everything right, you should be losing weight” when you AREN’T losing…She suggested I use the “plate method”:
I don’t know that I agree with the above photo. I think the milk and dinner roll are unnecessary calories. Especially if you are already having a carb (like rice or pasta) on your plate. I like how large the serving of veggies is in this photo:
And if I’m going to add dairy to the plate as they suggest, I would rather it be cottage cheese.
I told Michael about the phone appointment and he said that maybe this is where my body is going to be just naturally. It’s very sweet of him to say that but I am frustrated about it. And to have my doctor and the nutritionist dismiss my concerns with “well you are getting older” seems like BS to me. That’s not an okay excuse. Being older does NOT mean you can’t lose weight. I refuse to accept that as the “answer” and to just give up. I am not giving up.
Then I got sick and took a big break from working out, and the back injury made my fitness levels pretty low already (just swimming and the elliptical). Taking prednisone for a week added about 3 pounds to my number. I weighed myself last week and it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be. But it was still not a good number for me.
After all of these setbacks I’ve decided to try and reduce my calories a lot more than I ever did when I was losing weight the first time. At the very least, my hope is that it will jump-start my body into losing weight again.
I started to analyze my behaviors and I came to the conclusion that using My Fitness Pal I was eating back a lot (if not most) of the calories I was burning in the gym. I think it is entirely mental, too. I would see the green “calories remaining” and think OOOH I can eat a little bit more today because I worked out! Here is an example of a few days:
Since I’ve been sick and not working out as much this isn’t the best reflection of how my calories usually go but it’s close. I TRY and have 150-250 calories left over after gym days but many days I can’t. I just don’t make that benchmark and I wish I could. But analyzing it I started to wonder if it was mental. I see the “Green Light” and think I have more calories to eat and eat them back. I need to be creating a deficit otherwise I just maintain (which is where I have been for months). I’m not really gaining but I’m not losing either.
So I changed the settings in My Fitness Pal to “lose 2 pounds per week”. I know I won’t lose 2 pounds per week, but it reduced my caloric goal each day from 1510 to 1230. That’s low for me, but I’m going to try it for a few weeks and see if it helps. I don’t know yet if I still need to create a deficit–or if simply reducing my calories to 1230 each day will kick my body into losing mode. I am going to experiment and I will let you know!
For now…I am trying to get the most nutritious and filling food into that calorie goal.