Weight loss

I train 5 times a week (one long run (8 miles), one speed work session, one 5/6 mile run, plus swimming and strength work 5 times a week. I'm working up to a half-marathon, and I'm desperately trying to lose weight (I'm 5'4" and about 11 stone) but despite eating less than 1500 calories a day, I'm losing very little weight. I'm permanently hungry, and suffer from low blood sugar if I'm not very careful. Any advice?


  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Yes, eat more!

    Strange sounding advice possibly, but your body may have gone into starvation mode, as you are burning so many more calories than you are eating. You burn approximately 100 calories per mile you run, and burn about 1500 calories per day just existing. This means that on your 8 mile day, you are burning 2300 calories but only taking in 1500 (or less?). This means your "net" intake is only 800 calories. From memory (someone correct me if I'm wrong), the body goes into starvation mode at 1000 net calories or less. It is now holding onto fat stores as it assumes that you cannot find sufficient food.
  • Amanda,

    You are definitely not eating enough. That's jsut about enough to keep your body and organs working correctly. Doesn't cater for all the exercise you are doing. I recently had the same problem. My food intake was upp'd and I started losing weight again.....

    You also will start flagging if you don't up your food intake.

  • What causes the body to go into "starvation mode" is a lack of carbs. Therefore if you have a constant supply of necessary carbs then the body will not go into "Starvation mode".

    This is why I go on and on and on and on about fat burning. Lower the intensity and have more HEALTHY fats (Omega 3& 6) in the diet and you will encourage the body to burn a higher percentage of fat. CLA also helps.

    What this then does is lower your requirement of carbs. So you can eat less. Just make sure that you spread your lower amount of carbs t/out the day, but especially in morning, after and during exercise. HCA is VERY helpful as it postpones carb absorption thus making it available to the body for a longer period of time between meals.

    This is the ONLY way you can have a lo-cal diet without lowering BMR, IMHO.

    4st:1lb and counting... :-)

  • The problem with her upping food intake having ALREADY lowered her BMR is that she will put weight on...
  • Thanks for the advice - I think perhaps I need to go and see a nutritionist or something who could tell me (or give me) an eating plan, as I really have no idea how much I ought to be eating, to enable me to lose weight (and still train). I'm really not into Weight Watchers or Slimming World as I don't think they cater for people who do lots of sport (also I can't cope with being weighed every week!). Anyway, I've looked on the net for a sports nutritionist / dietician in the Bath area, but can't find one. Anyone know of someone?
  • Have you tried the university, they are bound to have one there seeing as half the athletes train there...
  • Ah, good point! I'll get on to it....
  • Amanda, please let us know how you get on. I am in exactly the same position as you, and have posted about it on a couple of threads and been given loads of good advice. I have been meaning to go to a dietitian for a while but just keep putting it off. I'd be very interested to hear how you fare.
  • BMR will almost imeadieatly return to its correct level of a base requirment (for a lady of that hight and weight) of 1500kcals

    Based on this and an average of 60mins 'Hard' exersize per day gives a requiremnt of 1980kcals per day

    Id say eat 500 kcals less than this (1400kcals) per day to loose about 1 lb per week
  • Excuse my gross ignorence WildWill and Pantman, but what is BMR exactly?
  • BMR - Base Metabolic Rate - The number of Kcals your body, at its current weight/size, burns to maintain itself - if you do nothing
  • You use a combination of weight / height / sex / age to calculate it
  • Which is of course about as accurate as 220-age...! ;-)
  • Pammie*Pammie* ✭✭✭
    Don't you include your lifestyle as weell like sedentary active very active or am i confusing this with something else
  • Also, doesn't BMR change depending on your composition (ie. ratio of fat/muscle etc)?
    From what I understand, that's why weight-training can help people to lose weight, especially if they've not done something like that before. Muscle requires more cals to just 'be' that fat, so by increaseing the amount of muscle in your body you'll also increase your BMR.

    Only skim-read Pantmans bit on the last page (well, I'm at work and s'posed to be busy!), but it's stuck in my head now so I'm off to read it properly now!

  • Mmmm... Pantman, I'm not so sure about the that HCA thing (hydroxycitric acid - tradename for this dietary supplement being Citrimax).

    Take a read of this report:

  • Thanks for all the advice folks. I've finally been able to find a sports nutritionist in Bath, so I'm off to see her next week. Hoping she can point me in the right direction, as I think I've lost the plot a bit with my eating habits. The expression, "spoon feeding" comes to mind!

    On the subject of BMR (which I know what it means), a sports scientist once told me that BMR was basically pre-set (at birth) and that there wasn't in fact alot you could do to change it.
  • MT, Read the "research" which seems to be testing something (fat burning) that HCA is not claimed to do!!!! HCA POSTPONES Carb absorption meaning that the absorption of Carbs goes on longer in smaller quantities. The most publicised benefit of this is that it helps prevent rise in blood sugar and the insulin response. NOTHING to do with fat burned during exercise...
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    You say you are losing very little weight - but so long as you are losing some I wouldn't worry. My partner has been trying to shed a stone for the last 18 months - and she just about has - but it has taken that long.

    Eat healthily and exercise and you will lose weight - if you are hungry eat something healthy like an apple.

    I know when I lived in Hong Kong for a bit all the guys that worked on the docks near where I stayed had phsyiques like Bruce Lee - hard work and not too much junk food does the trick.
  • On the question of increased muscle mass raising BMR (or in truth RMR), it goe like this: -

    0.5kg of muscle burns up to 50kcals per day. So adding 0.5kg of muscle would use up to 350kcals per week

    If you loose .5kg of fat and gain .5kg of muscle this is considered a 1kg improvement in body compostion ...

    But adding muscle is hard work - ask any body builder
  • just run more miles, itll fall off :-S
  • I eat six times a day, never feel hungry, have a couple of beers on running days and still manage to lose weight when I follow the priciples layed out by Phillip Goglia. It's about upping your metabolic rate, NOT starving yourself. It works for me. Read more about his book:

  • No BP
    You cant eat like a piggy either!
  • You don't say how long you have been trying to lose weight. Sometimes it takes about 3 weeks to start happening to me and then it really drops off if I continue to be good. I would say, up your milage or intensity once or twice a week, eat more low fat food and be patient! It will happen!
    Also, do your clothes fit better?
  • hmmmmm
    Patouka, you could have something there
    Clothes deffo different
    los 10llb since FLM
    But still v overweight by the scales

    Not dieting AT ALL, BTW
  • Saw a nutritionist this week, and she says that I'm not eating enough, plus I eat too many high glycemic foods (how fab is that? -after 6 months being permanently hungry I can finally eat again!) Also, quite possibly have a wheat intolerance, so I'm cutting it out of my diet for a few weeks to see what happens. Interestingly, the nutritionist (also a runner) said that the best way to increase your metabolic rate is to increase your muscle mass - so she has given me a load of leg exercises to do (mostly squats plus stepping and skipping). My new wheat-free diet (I bought the book, "Lose wheat, lose weight")is actually very tasty and I've stopped feeling hungry all the time, nor have I had any problems with my blood sugar! Hope this helps anyone else in my boat.
  • I have managed to lose 16lbs since May and this has been done through eating properly - at the correct times (even though I work shifts) and on the basis of little and often...

    Your body needs food to keep your metabolism up so that it is constantly burning and not sat idol...

    This doen't even mean excluding the rubbish food out either - you can eat anything - in moderation...


    Mid morning snack - fruit ect

    Lunch ( best time to get your carbs in cos then you have the rest of the day to burn them off).

    Afternoon snack - yoghurt, fruit

    Evening Meal

    This should help you lose weight and then maintain a steady loss.

    And don't forget your fluids.... plenty of water.

    You could have already done damage to your body by doing training with only 1500 cals a day...
  • hi amanda,

    good luck with the weight loss. its very sensible going to see a nutritionist. i wish i had seen one when i wanted to loose weight. however i didnt and practically stopped eating, trained too hard and i now have osteoporosis and havent menstruated for 2 years and im only 21. my eating is getting better and i am beginning a nutrition degree in september so i can educate and help people in a similar situation.

    whatever happens though amanda keep eating. do not stop as the minute you stop is the minute the problems start!

    eat little and often is the best advice i can give you as it stops you bloating up. also eat lots of fruit and veg and eat whole grain foods such as brown rice. also lots of fibre and water and oily fish to ensure you get your essential fatty acids.

    good luck and best regards!
  • I have come from 17 stone to 11 st and am now at a 3mth so far plateau.
    It's getting annoying!
    I workout everyday. 6 days intensively and 3 of those twice a day!
    I eat around 1700-1800 kcal a daty of the right types of wholegrain food what else can I DO!
  • how tall are you verity - you may have a lot of muscle mass which is upping your weight or are you definitely carrying excess body fat - measured on a body fat scales ?
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