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I really don't know what I am doing wrong this time. I am going to the gym 5 times a week (every workday). I am eating 1600-1700 calories (TDEE recommended I eat 1800 to lose weight). And I am being consistent!

My stats:

Age: 27

Sex: Male

Height: 178cm

Weight: 230lbs as of today

Caloric intake to maintain weight: 2,283

Caloric intake to lose: 1,783

Diet:

Breakfast : (about 3 hours after waking up)

1 cup steel cut Oats

LUNCH 1 : Whey Protein 1 scoop

LUNCH 2: Either Chicken Salad or Chicken soup or Egg salad sandwich + 1 Avacado

Lunch 3: (After workout) Whey protein 1 scoop

Dinner: 2cup white rice + chicken curry or some other indian curry food + Maybe Whey Protein 1 scoop (if I worked out extra hard that day)


I've been doing this for about 2 months now. I am stronger than before, I can lift more, be on the elliptical longer, but don't seem to be losing any weight.

I've lost 3lbs last month, which I seem to have gained back.

WTF am I missing?

I am counting every single calorie through Myfitnesspal: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/zoobear2014

Please note that I am not logging the calories burned during workouts. On weekdays I do 10k on elliptical daily (about 600 calories burned) + half hour of lifting.


Mistakes I've made

I know I've made some mistakes that I am trying to fix:

  1. Not getting enough sleep: I work 9 hours a day, plus commute takes 3 hours + I spend 1.5 hour at the gym everyday. So I get about 5-6 hours of sleep on weekdays. On weekends I try to make up for it by sleeping 10 hours + 3 hour nap

  2. I go off track and eat extra some days. But I make sure to burn it by working out harder on those days

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

  • Shows you ate 2500 today...Far too high in carbs and low in protein. Cut back on sugars and processed grains/flours. – Chad Mattox May 27 '16 at 4:38
  • Also, are you only drinking water and whey shakes (What are you mixing whey with)? I would aim for 40% of calories from Protein, 35% Carbs and 25% fat So for 1800 calories: 180g ish Protein 157g ish Carb (But not white flour, white rice, white potatoes. Try to stick to non processed carbs) 50g ish fats – Chad Mattox May 27 '16 at 4:51
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    In addition, at your size, with the amount of exercise you are doing, 1800cal is probably too low. Focus on macros (In the proportions around what I have stated above) bump your intake to 2000, but focus, don't cheat, if you have beer or any alcohol (I know cuz that is my downfall) log it. Beer will stall your weight loss fast. – Chad Mattox May 27 '16 at 4:57
  • How much sugar does the Whey have? You are eating way too much carbs. Switch some of carbs with veggies and fruits. – Viv Aug 23 '18 at 1:44
  • you are talking about only weight but what about your body fat percentage and muscularity. If you can lift heavy then sure your muscularity is also increased.Please, check your body fat percentage also. It may be possible that due to muscles some weight is increased. – user29329 Aug 23 '18 at 13:37
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This is your problem right here:

I go off track and eat extra some days. But I make sure to burn it by working out harder on those days

Cutting/dieting/getting in shape is a longer term position affected by short term discrepancies. You could be doing something like this:

If your maintenance calorie level is 2,500 per day, and you consume 2,000 calories (a 500 calorie deficit) 6 days of the week, then have a cheat day containing, say 6,000 calories on the seventh day, here's what happens:

· 500 calorie deficit x 6 = 3,000 calorie deficit

· 6,000 calorie cheat day = 3,500 surplus

· Total weekly calorie balance = 500 surplus

It takes 3500 calorie deficit to move one pound of fat - so you can see how easily you, and many others like you, just spin your wheels and dont make any decent progress in losing weight.

I'll give you a few tips. Be strict all the time until you have met your goals. Its not fun, but it gets you there. Forget these extra refeeds or cheat days. If you need, have a single (moderate) cheat MEAL once a week, but watch the total calories for the week and get back into deficit ASAP. Look for opportunities to do or move more, ie take the stairs not the lift, walk in the evening instead of watching TV etc. It all counts. Sometimes, you will be hungry. If you want to lose weight - deal with the hunger. Fill up on water to kill your appetite. Focus on the end target. You'll get there eventually.

  • Welcome to the site! This is a good answer, but just as information the 3500 calories = 1 lb of fat idea is outmoded and does not scale to full populations. It may hold true for some small amount of individuals, but overall it isn't true. The ideas/reasoning are sound, but that is a flawed premise. – JohnP Aug 22 '18 at 21:26
  • Many thanks for the welcome @JohnP I appreciate the detail of the 3500cal idea does not always scale, but I believe the explanation demonstrates the principle in an easily transferable way. Different sources state the cal value as somewhere between 3200 and 3700 cals give or take. The point I was making is to demonstrate the idea that a weeks worth of hard dieting and training can be undone fairly rapidly in a single cheat day, if the individual is not careful, hence spinning their wheels and not making the losses they want - even though they only "go off track and eat extra some days". Cheers – 10B Aug 23 '18 at 15:03
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If you've been following the same diet for all this time, it's very likely that your body has adapted and your metabolism has slowed down to cope with this. I won't give too many details here, but first of all, if you're trying to lose weight, the only times I would eat carbs would be right when you wake up, and before and after your workouts. The 2 cup white rice for dinner might have worked at first, but you're consuming a high glycemic carbohydrate with a decent amount of fat and protein, once your metabolism slowed down, its likely that this is either enough to fill up your glycogen stores and hence make u gain water weight, or just be stored as fat.

I would try to carb cycle if I were you since your body will not really adapt to this diet as you're constantly changing it up. I.e eat high carbs 1-2 times a week when youre going to go VERY hard at the gym, eat medium carbs 2-4 times a week, and low carbs on the days that you don't workout. Furthermore, I would add in a cheat day every 2 weeks or so, in order to reduce your cortisol levels, and spike your metabolic rate up, basically shocking the body.

It seems that you barely eat in the morning, and hence this will definitely make your metabolic rate go down over time. Try to get the bulk of your calories from morning to after your workout.

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If you are eating in a caloric deficit you will lose weight.period Given your stats, there is definite reason to assume you will lose weight on 1800 calories certainly if you are eating less whether it's all carbs or all fats, it makes no difference(obviously for other reasons you want to get proper amounts of macronutrients) Are you truly eating that amount? The foods you listed don't really make it clear how many calories you are taking in a day. Chicken salad or curry for example could be 1000 calories for all we know Are you weighing (not volume measuring) and tracking every ingredient? Also it's important to weigh yourself the same time (preferably in morning after going to the bathroom)once a week on the same day to accurately measure progress, as your weight will vary from day to day

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Can you measure your body fat percentage?

This is very important because weight alone does not indicate what your are losing/gaining.

Regarding the food you eat, that seems good except for the rice at each dinner : that's way too much carbs in my opinion.

To lose weight more effectively, you should be very careful at what you eat before sleeping. I only eat meat and vegetables at dinner, nothing else : no carbs (rice, pasta..), no desert.

For the "cheat meals" : it's ok to have one from time to time, the important thing is that you must allow several days between them. In my experience I've seen that it is way worst to eat several extra meals in a row, than a big extra once in a while. Also, if possible, try having these cheat meals for lunch, avoid dinner.

Regarding the salads you eat at lunch, do not use too much sauce, try avoiding bread (really hard, I know!).

Finally, don't focus on having an exact amount of calories, you can have as many calories as you want if you eat lean meat for example.

And if your goal is really to lose a lot of fat, you could try a high-protein diet, but you will have to stop doing cardio. This is a subject for debates I know, but there is the Dukan diet (I can give more info on that if needed) : I lost 15kg in 45 days !

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Replace white rice by brown rice or whole grain pasta. This contains a lot more minerals like e.g. magnesium that you need to burn energy. As pointed out here::

Magnesium is an essential element in biological systems. Magnesium occurs typically as the Mg2+ ion. It is an essential mineral nutrient (i.e., element) for life1[2][3] and is present in every cell type in every organism. For example, ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the main source of energy in cells, must be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically active. What is called ATP is often actually Mg-ATP.[4] As such, magnesium plays a role in the stability of all polyphosphate compounds in the cells, including those associated with the synthesis of DNA and RNA.

Over 300 enzymes require the presence of magnesium ions for their catalytic action, including all enzymes utilizing or synthesizing ATP, or those that use other nucleotides to synthesize DNA and RNA.

You should also make sure you eat at least 400 grams of vegetables per day, about 50 grams of tree nuts like e.g. walnuts and at least 200 grams of fruit. You should aim for a total magnesium intake from your diet of at least 500 mg. You can boost the magnesium intake by using supplements, but note that if you are not getting 500 mg from your diet then your diet is not healthy as it will be lacking other essential minerals and vitamins.

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Please note that I am not logging the calories burned during workouts. On weekdays I do 10k on elliptical daily (about 600 calories burned) + half hour of lifting.

Don't be so sure about these numbers. Some recent studies show that exercises burn much less calories than what fitbit or internet calculators tell you.

http://theplantedrunner.com/the-exercise-paradox-why-running-wont-make-you-lose-weight/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-exercise-paradox/

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