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Not eating enough?

I was getting really frustrated, and then decided, that's silly..go to the boards..get some input..so here we go. I am 43, female, 5'6" and VERY overweight. I started on this plan on March 21, at 250 lbs. I was patient for the first 5-6 weeks due to reading it takes longer for women to see results. Well, at this weeks weigh in on Sat. morning, I was at 244.6 UGH. I have gotten down to 242 but my body just doesnt want to go past that point. I am losing some inches, but nothing to make me feel like I'm making much progress. I am trying to focus on the positive...I feel better, I sleep better, but I am so tired of being SO overweight and not feeling like I am making much progress. I am trying to stick to things 100%, even gave up my diet cokes, cheese, all the bad stuff..I am out of ideas..except..is it possible I am not eating enough? Breakfast is 1 whole egg and 3 whites with 1/2 c of beans, 2 big handfuls of fresh spinach topped with(when I have it) avocado and 3 slices of turkey bacon. Lunch is a big green salad with whatever legal veggies are on the bar in the cafeteria with olive oil and vinegar, and either whatever baked chicken or fish they have or else a tuna pouch and another 1/4 c. of beans. I dont usually need a afternoon snack but if I do have one it is either a few almonds or a couple of spoons of cottage cheese. Dinner is a chicken breast or 2 thighs or salmon filet or other lean meat and a green veggie. I drink a gallon of water a day. Is it possible that at my weight I need to be taking in more calories? If not, I will certainly welcome ANY suggestions. I dont want to give this up, but my knees and feet really need me to make some progress on getting to a healthier size! Thanks!


The Best Answer

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first of all - you lost inches! that is good... and 8 pounds... don't forget that... 5 weeks is really not that long overall... and even if other people lose faster, perhaps you are different... or maybe you need to eat a bit more. either way, i realize your frustration. you need to see bigger progress to feel motivated to continue. i have tried so many diets for the past 5 years and had zero success... once i hit 33, i seemed to just get fat... and this is the first diet that is working for me... although it has only been a short time i have been on it... i am seeing some results. so i am a newbie on this diet, but have a background in biomedical research and have read a million other diet books... not a doctor, but will still wanted to offer my thoughts on your dilemma as my heart goes out to you... i realize the frustration as i have also been in your same situation...

it sounds like you might need to eat more based on the menu you describe below. i don't know how much avocado or lunch you eat, but the calories sound low when i read your daily plan... for this or any diet. at your starting weight, i would definitely eat more... i am new at this diet, but i am seeing results... and i eat more than you describe. i would also lose the turkey bacon for breakfast (unless it is organic or free of chemicals - read the ingredients and if it isn't just turkey and spices and a few other words you recognize, you are eating potentially yucky chemical or even something with sugar added) and double your beans instead. but that is just my take after reading the book. i usually have 2 whole eggs, 1 egg white, 1 full cup of pinto beans, spinach and tomato. it seems to really kick off my day. my lunch is 2 pouches of tuna (or 4-5 ounces of other lean meat), 3/4 cup of beans, and big salad with oil and vinegar. dinner is another full cup of beans, meat, veggies, and olive oil in my prep. so i am eating more beans than you... and seeing results. maybe you should up the beans?

you may want to measure portions using a scale and count calories for a week or two... if you have more 1300 a day and fewer than 1700 or so and still don't lose much, then maybe consider a blood test to see what might be out of whack. DO NOT go below 1300 calories... that is not healthy in the long run and could mess up your metabolism... make sure you hit a reasonable mark. i personally would aim for 1600-1700 and if you exercise a lot, add 100-200 calories... if you just walk 20 minutes a day, don't add extra food.

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mooncrossed -- first, you do have several positives going on there: you FEEL good, you sleep better, and your weight is going down even though not as fast as you'd like. And it sounds like you are not battling cravings or hunger, which is HUGE! Right? I do hope you are also enjoying your foods.

Your eating plan looks great to me, although it might be a little on the low side. I'd suggest adding fats, and maybe more protein, to your meals, especially when you don't have avocado on hand. You could use more whole eggs at breakfast. The turkey bacon concerns me. Sounds too processed to me.... why not just regular bacon? And it never hurts to pack more green veggies in where you can! We need the nutrients!

What you are doing in the first couple of months of SCD is "rewiring" the hormonal communications that drive hunger, satiety, and fat storage or usage. These things do not necessarily equate to seeing big losses on the scale, but they are SO important for resetting how your body works. Isn't knowing that every single pound you lose now will NEVER return more important than seeing them go quickly? Anyone can lose quickly by drastically cutting intake, and you've probably done that before, which is why you GOT to the "very overweight" place. Just like me. From years of dieting the traditional ways (WW, cutting portions, counting calories etc), my set point ratcheted up each time between diets and I kept reaching a new "highest weight ever". Now that I've done SCD for a year, I know that this is the way to eat so that my body does not think it needs to hold onto stored fat because another "famine" (portion-cutting diet) might come.

I've lost 52 lbs in one year (today is actually my first anniversary on SCD!!!), so, yes, a pound a week. Not exactly a "headliner" rate of loss, but I'm SO happy with it because I am not "dying to get off this damned diet" like I always would be with any other kind of attempt. I LOVE this way of eating, I FEEL great, and I know I'm healing from the inside out. When we're very heavy, there is so much disrepair in the gut and organs, and the body very intelligently works on that before it works on the size of our butts, no matter how much we hate the size of our butts.


I hope you decide to hang in. I think you're doing great! Track as much as you can and tweak/make course corrections. It may be that a little cottage cheese is just not okay for you yet, for instance. But you'll find your groove and be humming along while you get WELL and you get SMALLER.

Take care, and congrats on the work you've already done!

  • Icandoit commented May 15th 2012:

    HI Mooncrossed - You're not the only one with slow but somewhat steady progress. I also read other people's posts about losing at twice (3x!) my rate and feel a little jealous, but I try to focus on the progress I have made. Maybe mid-40's females are particularly good at survival of the species : )

    My suggestions would be add good fats - you're eating very lean. Add some virgin coconut oil and quality (organic/grass-fed cow) butter. Can you get cage-free organic eggs and eat whole eggs? Good fats got me off a plateau. Are you exercising? Try a little weight lifting. This is what I've been slacking on lately. Good luck and hang in there!

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