Welcome to Gaia! ::

And so it became my turn to request help.

Well, I've been low-carbing for 45 days now, and went from 166 to 156 pounds. But gradually, my weight loss slowed down and spread over the last 1½ weeks I've had a couple of days where I've had some cake and cookies - generally went over my carb limit, those few days.

So I decided - four days ago - to finally add exercise. I use a stationary bike at resistance level four, and it approximately registers 10-15 calories burned per minute, by 11-13 miles per hour. That's my speed.

As said, I've been burning off what equals 400 calories two of the days, and 500 calories one of the days and the fourth I rested.

And I have gained weight.

I generally haven't changed what I've eaten. I've hat some cake, but I'm pretty confident I did not go over my calorie limit for a day. This has happened to me before. I eat well and I start adding cardio and BAM, I gain weight. Why?!
I am NOT lifting weights. Only my leg muscles get worked from this. So what's happening? In the last few days, I've gained about 4 pounds, and I am once again teetering at 158 ish - this is where I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS stall, when I try to lose weight.

But it discourages me, that I am GAINING by doing cardio - I don't understand why/how that is possible.
Is it really because of the carbs? Again, I did not exceed my calorie limit.
Help?
User Image

A little update 27th of April
I continued to exercise on the stationary bike and a little bodyweight training, and the four pounds I gained is gone. They pretty much just disappeared over the last 3-4 days, and now I'm back to 156 pounds.
It's going to be interesting if I then break this weird plateu kinda stall next week.
Black Lust Perfume's avatar

Stone-cold Sex Symbol

Muscles is heavier than Fat, so you may have gained muscles for your legs. Dont give up, you will eventually notice changes such as losing inches. I gained and got upset but after I did inches, I was surprised that I lost few inches and gained muscles, and I keep going and I finally notice weight goes down.
Black Lust Perfume
Muscles is heavier than Fat, so you may have gained muscles for your legs. Dont give up, you will eventually notice changes such as losing inches. I gained and got upset but after I did inches, I was surprised that I lost few inches and gained muscles, and I keep going and I finally notice weight goes down.


Yes, I know muscle is heavier than fat. But is it possible to gain 4 pounds of fat over four days? It seems unlikely to me.
I've been wondering if it's water retain or some such.
Black Lust Perfume's avatar

Stone-cold Sex Symbol

SombreNoir
Black Lust Perfume
Muscles is heavier than Fat, so you may have gained muscles for your legs. Dont give up, you will eventually notice changes such as losing inches. I gained and got upset but after I did inches, I was surprised that I lost few inches and gained muscles, and I keep going and I finally notice weight goes down.


Yes, I know muscle is heavier than fat. But is it possible to gain 4 pounds of fat over four days? It seems unlikely to me.
I've been wondering if it's water retain or some such.
Did you check weight in morning? Because in morning it shows the real weight, not during the day or night time.
Black Lust Perfume
SombreNoir
Black Lust Perfume
Muscles is heavier than Fat, so you may have gained muscles for your legs. Dont give up, you will eventually notice changes such as losing inches. I gained and got upset but after I did inches, I was surprised that I lost few inches and gained muscles, and I keep going and I finally notice weight goes down.


Yes, I know muscle is heavier than fat. But is it possible to gain 4 pounds of fat over four days? It seems unlikely to me.
I've been wondering if it's water retain or some such.
Did you check weight in morning? Because in morning it shows the real weight, not during the day or night time.

Yes. I weigh in the mornings after going to the bathroom and before breakfast. My official weigh in is every Tuesday morning, but I couldn't help but weigh myself this morning - hence why I know I've gained 4 pounds since Tuesday. Throughout my weight loss, my weight has been going down, stably.
writes in white's avatar

Timid Sex Symbol

9,450 Points
  • Millionaire 200
  • Overstocked 200
  • Noob wrangler 100
my suggestion might sound a little strange, but maybe your body isn't getting enough and is keeping it in because it thinks it's going to need it (often called starvation mode).

try relaxing on the strict diet, allow yourself more calories, a little more carbs, and try to keep to the same exercise, don't add more to it.

i'm not saying go out and order a milkshake with a double cheeseburger everyday, just increase your intake by around 200 calories (you want to average 1200 calories a day and get the necessary vitamins, and minerals your body needs.) as long as you're burning over what you eat, your body should go back to normal.

also if you seem to be plateauing, you should consider switching up your diet. my sister did that when she was dieting, she went from atkins (carb restriction) to calorie restriction, and it helped her get past her plateau. she lost a lot of weight in one summer. she started at 145 and finished at 105
Lady Kayura's avatar

Fluffy Bunny

22,950 Points
  • Battle: Level 10 250
  • Grunny Grabber 50
  • Partygoer 500
When a machine is telling you how many calories you've burned, it is probably wrong. Those sorts of things aren't accurate and need calibration that is rarely done. So if you're reading that you've burned 500 calories then eating a cake for 500 calories and you only burned 150, you're screwing yourself.

Estimate low on the calories that a machine claims to burn.
writes in white

I've actually been thinking whether I was getting enough calories in, now that I am adding exercise. I think I'll try to add some more calories and perhaps start building some muscle mass, too. (Just read somewhere, that cardio alone is not necessarily that good for burning body fat.)
I do not count calories, but guesstimate or merely eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full, but I doubt I am going any higher than 1700 calories a day. Apparently my resting metabolic rate is somewhere around 1562 (heavy generalization, so not sure how accurate or relevant this calculation is). I just calculated a regular days intake, and it would hit about 1625 or a bit less. Is that too little?

Lady Kayura

Yeah, I know about the inaccuracy of machines and all. And no, it does not take my gender, age and weight into consideration. Apparently, through other calculations, I should - according to my weight and all that - burn considerably more than those 400 kcal by my effort. I go by doing intervals on the bike, like, constantly having my pulse pump at a speed that makes me able to utter short sentences yet not converse, and then take 20-30 seconds of intense-out-of-breath speed and then slow down, and so on. As said, I try hitting 400 calories on the machine and on a good day, it takes me about 35 minutes to sweat through what the machine says is 400, at the speeds and levels mentioned in my first post. I feel like I am getting a good workout, as I use my body as my best "instrument" of measuring the intensity and all that. And about the calories, I make sure to eat at or under my set calorie limit REGARDLESS of exercise. So perhaps writes in white is right - that I don't eat enough. Meh, I don't know.. : /
It is possible that you're not eating enough, but starvation mode is a total myth. If how blown out of proportion it was was really true then PSMF diets, where you're eating only 800 calories a day, wouldn't be as effective as they are. Yes, your metabolism does drop as you eat less, but it's a very gradual process and it's not as big of a deal as people make it out to be.

Did you ever calculate how many calories you need to stay the same weight? If not, there's mistake #1 because you just pulled some arbitrary number out of the air instead of doing the really simple math to get a more accurate estimate for your actual needs.

So first before you do anything I recommend you get a real estimate of your calories if you haven't done so yet.

What's likely happening is that even though you think you're not overeating, you likely are. There's a few reasons this could be happening. For one, you haven't adjusted your caloric needs as you lose weight. Your metabolism goes down as you lose weight because you weigh less.

Now, here's another thing about low-carbing. When you eat excessive carbs you regain water weight. When I refeed I gain anywhere from 6-10 lbs in a day of water weight. So it would make sense if you spent a few days eating 100-200g of carbs after low-carbing for almost 2 months that you'd regain water weight. When you go back to your normal low-carb diet the water weight will go away in a few days as you re-enter a ketogenic state.

But doing cardio isn't the reason you're gaining weight. I'd keep doing the cardio and would suggest doing some strength training too. You're not going to grow on a calorie deficit, so it's not an issue.

Your bike may be more accurate than you think. I can burn 400 calories in 30 minutes on a treadclimber taking a stroll. This is taking into account my age, weight, HR, and so on.

If you're not measuring your food you can't say if you exceeded your calorie limit. If you don't have a good estimate of your calories you can't say you didn't exceed your calorie limit, at best you can say you didn't exceed your arbitrary number. I know when I eat cake, and it's not like I'm binging, but I'm definitely eating more than what one actual serving size would be.

Just to put it in perspective. Snack size candy bars, those tiny things that couldn't satisfy a mouse, are 100-200 calories depending on which one. Just one.

If you really think you've hit a hard plateau then you can take a full diet break. For a week or two eat a normal mixed diet at maintenance calories, and I'm serious about eating at maintenance. The scale is likely to go up a little, that's normal, but as long as you're not eating over maintenance then you're not putting on fat. After two weeks go back to your diet and see if that's helped.
Lady Kayura's avatar

Fluffy Bunny

22,950 Points
  • Battle: Level 10 250
  • Grunny Grabber 50
  • Partygoer 500
SombreNoir


Perhaps whoever is right. Perhaps they're wrong. I've not gone through and read their responses nor do I plan to. I'm merely raising a point that I didn't see was raised.
Absolute Virtue


I've tried different calorie need generators and formulas, and they all seem to give me different numbers, so I don't know what to believe, to be honest, so I just set a limit at 1700 kcal. Also, some include exercise but doesn't have specific options and some just say moderate, sedentary, intense exercise without specification and some are extremely elaborate.

And I have a pretty good idea of how much I am eating, as I eat pretty much the same daily plans, throughout the week. Also, with the cakes and cookies I know the calories per cookie and if it's a whole cake, I do weigh and I've been consistent to take out other foods the days I've had cake, so I haven't gone over the 1700 calories.

But back to the calculations and all that. I am confused as to which to believe.

My stats:

Age: 22
Height: approximately 5'2'' or 1 meter and 60 cm.
Current weight: Teetering on 158 ish.
Exercise: Cardio, 4-6 times a week to burn those 400 calories on the bike (at least, this is my plan).

This one says:
Maintenance: 2119
Fatloss: 1695
Extreme fatloss: 1271
Exercise: 5 times a week (it doesn't specify intensity nor type of exercise.)

This one says:
Maintenance: 2506 (So, for weightloss it should be about 2000 calories, right?)
Exercise: Active (again, no specification.)

This one says:
Maintenance: 2200 (so for fat loss, about 1700 calories?)
Exercise: Active (specification: 30 min of moderate activity most days of the week, or twenty minutes of vigorous activity at least three times a week.)

This one says:
Age: 22
Height: 5 feet, 2 inches
Weight: 158 pounds
Activity Level: Moderate Exercise (Exercise 3-5x/wk)
Gender: female
Calories burned per day: 2360 (And for fat loss, 1800?)

And so on and so forth...
The numbers will be different because there are a few different calculations you can use. All of them are estimates regardless, some of the calculations have a tendency to overestimate. That's where trial and error comes in after getting the estimate.

But with your stats, here's what I'm getting.

BMR = (9.99 x 71.7) + (6.25 x 157.5) - (4.92 x 22) - 161 = 1431.418

Maintenance = 1431 x 1.4 = 2004

20% Deficit = 2004 - (2004 x .20) = 1603

Even then I purposely lower the activity level since people tend to really overestimate how much they're really working out. Also remember, activity level is everything you do. So if you exercise for 30 minutes a day but sit on your a** the rest of your day that hardly qualifies for higher activity levels. But let's just assume you really do qualify for moderately active:

Maintenance = 1431 x 1.5 = 2146.5

20% Deficit = 2147 - (2147 x .20) = 1718

So you would eat at 2000-2150 calories for a week or two and see if your weight stays the same. If it does then you found your maintenance, if not, adjust accordingly. It's not the fast, instant gratification way of figuring it out, but taking your time and doing it right to begin with helps you figure out why you're getting stuck.
Absolute Virtue


Thank you for the info. I will attempt some trial and error and see what happens. : 3
D.e.s.r.o.s.i.e.r.s.'s avatar

Dapper Gekko

Black Lust Perfume
Muscles is heavier than Fat, so you may have gained muscles for your legs. Dont give up, you will eventually notice changes such as losing inches. I gained and got upset but after I did inches, I was surprised that I lost few inches and gained muscles, and I keep going and I finally notice weight goes down.

How quickly did you put on the initial weight when you started exercising (e.g. your first week of cardio?) and when did you start noticing that you were losing inches?
elitsu's avatar

Fashionable Genius

10,650 Points
  • Elocutionist 200
  • Invisibility 100
  • Nudist Colony 200
if you start exercising, your body needs more energy to keep it going (food). if you don't give your body enough energy, it will start to gain weight because your body stores whatever food it gets. so try to eat healthy and filling food that will give you enough energy to work out.
also, try not to weigh yourself every day, but every week.

Quick Reply

Submit
Manage Your Items
Other Stuff
Get Items
Get Gaia Cash
Where Everyone Hangs Out
Other Community Areas
Virtual Spaces
Fun Stuff
Gaia's Games