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I set out to loose 40lbs this year. I cycle approximately 50 miles(10 miles Monday to friday) each week, and have been on a diet of less than 2000(~1700) calories each day for the most part of this year. But in all, I have only lost 10 lbs, and struggling to keep it all off. I recently switched to eating about 200 calories of fish each day and drinking about 3 cups of 2% milk, to replace much of the carbohydrate that used to be in my diet, but still no change. It has been 8 months and still only 10lbs lost. Any suggestions on why the weight is not dropping off?

My start weight was 170lbs. Height is 5ft 4inches.BMI was at about 28 when I started. Still around that(27 ish) after more than 8 months. It seems my body struggles to go below 160lbs. It takes me about 1 hour to complete the 10-11 miles each day, and I track my calories in my journal.

I did try reducing calorie but that ended up a disaster. I went as low as 1300 calories/day, maintaining exercise regimen(cycling) for about 2 weeks, lost not even a single pound, but I felt hungry all through.

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You are missing a lot of information. How are you tracking calories? What do you do during the day other than the 10 miles cycling? What speed do you cycle at? What is your current height/weight? –  JohnP Aug 22 '12 at 2:50
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How many calories per day do you eat? Are you getting stronger? How has your bodyfat percentage changed? –  user3085 Aug 22 '12 at 3:16
    
I average about 2000 calories per day. I am stronger but I don't believe I am necessarily gaining more muscle weight over fat. –  Kobojunkie Aug 22 '12 at 5:34
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Why do you say you're stronger--are you doing strength work other than cycling? –  Dave Liepmann Aug 22 '12 at 16:28
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Do you feel a difference in how your cloths fit? The reason I ask is because the scale tells you a very complex story, where as the cloths fitting better means one thing; it means that you're getting slimmer. –  Usedtobefat Aug 22 '12 at 17:29
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2 Answers 2

Cycling about an hour a day burns approx. 300 calories (http://www.nutristrategy.com/fitness/cycling.htm) and according to this site you need to have a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories for each pound you want to lose....so, it seems that there is something wrong with either your burn rate OR your diet. I would recommend:

  • tracking IN DETAIL your diet for 2 weeks (no cheating)
  • tracking ALL activity in the same 2 week period (don't do anything extra to look good)
  • compare the two and see the results

The one 'wild card' is your metabolism, each person's metabolism is a bit different and by going on a diet could slow it down (it's often recommended to eat more often than eat less). If you still can't find the answer - get in touch with a dietician and/or personal trainer. The one thing that caught my attention is the time it takes you to bicycle 10 miles...it seems a little slow - and perhaps you can use that time to develop a weight lifting program that would help burn during/post workout.... Like Albert Einstein said: Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

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-1 3,500kcal == 1lbs again? Make it stop. Please. –  michael Aug 22 '12 at 18:53
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+1 . Just because you don't like a scientific and industry standard doesn't mean you need to down vote it every time. –  JohnP Aug 22 '12 at 19:24
    
Agreed with both commenters. It's not enough for me to downvote, but the 3500 calories = 1 pound has been thoroughly shown to be incomplete and misleading. –  Dave Liepmann Aug 22 '12 at 19:33
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I don't think there could be a general x calories adds/removes x lbs or even x exercise burns x calories - there are to many factors involved at an individual level...it's just a guideline......I think the end of the day it's the results for the person that determine if the change is working or not and obviously in this case, it isn't –  Meade Rubenstein Aug 22 '12 at 20:40
    
I bike 5 miles each way to work each day, through traffic. My thinking is that since I exercise 5 days a week, then I should get better results than if I was, say exercising only 3 days a week or less. But my friend doesn't even exercise much but the weight seems to be dropping off so easy just on a diet, and a couple of minutes of exercise 3 days a week. –  Kobojunkie Aug 22 '12 at 21:00
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If you're not measuring and tracking what your body fat percentage is doing, you probably should be. A scale that can provide some kind of measurement for body fat would be a good investment, and you can find them for around $40 USD. It doesn't even have to be 100% accurate, as long as you can get some kind of measurement to track changes. My bathroom scale reads 3-4% different than when I had my fat percentage checked by a doctor. Doesn't matter because I'm only interested in the trend: decreasing, maintaining, or (heaven forbid) gaining.

If this is your first effort to build fitness and lose weight, you can spend several months replacing fat with muscle throughout your body, and your weight may not change much at all. Tracking your body fat would verify this.

Lastly, don't get discouraged. There are many people in this world who struggle to lose a couple pounds in a year. You've shown yourself that you are capable of sticking with it to lose your 10 pounds in the last 8 months. So keep going. You'll get there.

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Just to give you an idea how inaccurate these calipers are (despite what they say in their marketing material), I have two: one of those cheapo plastic "Accu-Measures" that click, and a digital "FatTrack II". The Accu-Measure says my ab fat fold is 14 mm but the digital one says 7 mm. That works out to either 13.5% or 6.5%... quite a difference. When I had a proper test done, it turned out I was actually somewhere between 11 and 12%. –  Matt Zukowski Aug 28 '12 at 1:33
    
No argument there. I'm not really talking about finding out exactly what it is though. The point is that if you have a consistent measurement you can track a trend. Even if the measurement is very inaccurate, as long as it's consistently inaccurate you can measure a trend and see improvement, even if you don't know your actual fat percentage. –  alesplin Aug 28 '12 at 5:48
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