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Where am I going wrong?

OK so wedding is August 2014, I know I've got plenty of time but I need to lose around 2 stone (ideally 2 and half but I'd be happy with 2) so I want to get it over and done with early before we start to get to dress fitting time.

I'm 5"3, age 26, weigh 12 stone and wear a dress size 14 (some shops 16). When I met my fiance I was 10st 5lbs and was happy at that weight, although I'd like to be 9st 7lbs but that might be a step too far as I've not been that weight since I was 18!

Currenly using myfitnesspal with 1500 cals per day, and I do some form of exercise 7 days per week. Current exercise regime as follows:

Mon - AM Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, PM horse riding approx 30mins

Tues - AM Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, PM horse riding approx 45mins

Weds - AM Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

Thurs - AM Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, PM horse riding approx 45mins

Fri - AM Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

Sat - AM Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, PM horse riding 1 x 30mins, 1 x 45mins

Sun - AM Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, PM horse riding 1 x 30mins, 1 x 45mins


I'm on level 1 of 30DS and do plan to have a rest day once I've finished level one (probably another 3-5 days time).

So you'd think with all that exercise and 1500 cals per day I'd be losing weight right? Wrong. Still gaining?! A few weeks ago I was 11st 10lbs, now I've crept up to 12st. Typical day's food as follows:

Breakfast (9AM) - Branflakes with semi-skimmed milk

Morning snack (11.30AM) - ceral bar

Lunch (1PM) - soup (approx 172 cals) with 1 slice wholemeal bread and butter (trying not to eat too much processed food so going with natural butter rather than margarine)

Snack (4PM) - hummous with 4 breadsticks (to stop me snacking before going horse riding as I'm normally starving around 6pm!)

Dinner (8PM)- something like Basa fillet in tempura batter (again around 220 cals), 2-3 new potatoes roasted in a tiny amount of oil and salad. Chocolate mousse to finish (around 90 cals)

So can anyone give some insight as to why I'm still gaining weight and where I'm going wrong? I physically dont have any more hours in the day to exercise, thinking about maybe adding a run in on Weds and Fri evenings but apart from that I cant fit anything else in. So must be the food, but I'm at a loss where I'm going wrong because I'm sticking to my 1500 cals (not including the defecit from the exercise) and I'm not eating tonnes of sugar or processed foods.

Any ideas welcome - this is driving me mad!


  • Perhaps you need to up your calories considering all the exercise you're doing? I'm your height and 1500 is probably the minimum I'd eat if I wasn't doing any exercise, add your exercise into MFP and eat them back. The forums on MFP are really helpful, look for the 'eat more to weigh less' group.

  • I would say you are consuming too many carbs, I managed to lose nearly 2.5 stone before my wedding in August in 6 months. (starting weight 11st 4, finishing weight 9st and i'm 5ft 2) I was on a very low carb diet, hardly anything during the week with cheat days at the weekend. If you do consume carbs you need to stick to wholemeal ones, brown rice, brown pasta, Sweet potatoe is excellent for filling you up whilst being nowehere near as many carbs as regular potatoes. If you research the paleo diet there are alot of amazing recipes on there, you'll be so suprised at what you can actually have! One really great website is PaleOMG. Also, dont be so fixated on the number on thescales, get yourself a notebook and write all your measurements down, waist, tummy, bum, legs and arms then repeat that at the exact same time of day on the same day each week. That will keep you motivated even if the pounds arent falling off. Good luck! You've got loads of time and your goal weight is totally achievable if you stick at it image x

  • FranitaFranita Posts: 487

    I would agree with both the above - too few calories if you are exercising hard and although you are not eating lots of calories, you need to look at WHAT you are eating too.  Try and cut down on refined sugar (cereal bars and chocolate mousses!) and carbs (especially if eating later in the evening) and eat smarter - veg, fruit, nuts etc.

    What do you drink during the day?  Are you drinking tons of water?  How much alcohol do you drink, as when you start totting up those empty calories it can be scary!

    Also agree with the notebook vs scales.  

    (I should also add that I put on weight when I did 30DS. I don't think it works for everyone!)

    Good luck! x

  • I love PaleOMG! She's hilarious! Great blog image Yes totally agree to take measurements too, good tip! Also, if you do gain weight it could be muscle, so taking your measurements helps you to see if you're actually shrinking. The scales can lie!image

  • It took me 4-6 weeks to notice any weightloss but I lost inches doing 30ds after a few weeks. Stick with it it will happen x

  • MrsNoelMrsNoel Posts: 486

    Your nutrition! You're eating a lot of sugar and very little beyond carbs. You need them for fuel but your blood can only hold so much glycogen before it has to store the rest. As fat...

    You need around 5-10kg of carb per kg body weight a day. Bear in mind that 10kg upper limit is aimed at athletes training for 20+ hours a week at a high level.

    Your diet should consist of around 50% carbs. Protein should be 20-30% and the rest from quality fats.

  • MrsNoelMrsNoel Posts: 486

    Oh and on a side note, you need a rest day. The body changes through recovery and repair which it can only do at rest. Even elites take a rest day!

  • ReeRee Posts: 119

    Are you recording your calories correctly? You should 100% be losing weight if you are eating 1500 calories and doing the 30 day shred each morning, plus all that horse riding etc. You seem to be approximating and guessing what you believe the calories are, which might be the key.  

    Weight loss is 80% what you are eating. You can easily lose weight through healthy eating alone whereas no amount of exercise will ever outweigh a bad diet.

    Have you ever tried to weigh your food and record exactly what you are eating and drinking? When I am being really good I weigh my food and record everything that passes my lips.

    If you take bran flakes for example, the calories on the box says 142 calories for 40g with no milk. 40g is actually a tiny portion!  then when you add the Semi skimmed milk is also higher in calories than skimmd for example.

    Why dont you try something like poached/boiled egg on wholemeal toast for breakfast? or Greek Yogurt with Almonds? Or porridge?

    And instead of a cereal bar - an apple? or banana?

    A bass fillet doesnt need to be deep fried in Tempura batter to be tasty either. Tesco seabass fillets are 180 calories on their own. If you were to bake the fillet in lemon juice in tin foil, it would taste just as amazing I promise you! add to that a sweet potato instead of 3 mini roasted in oil new potatoes and add vegetables which dont need any dressing and you will have a much more satisfying dinner with far less calories and may not need to eat the Chocolate Mousse after dinner. If like me you need something sweet, fruit is always good - or a piece of dark chocolate which has that sweet fix, but its impossible to over eat!

    Cutting out all the processed foods and eating clean will totally help your weightloss.

    Sorry to sound like Im preaching, however I have spent along time getting things wrong and feeling demotivated before I realised the key. I know how depressing it is when you feel youve been really good and youre gaining wait.

    Just keep a food diary, weigh everything and count everything - and you may be surprised and turn that corner.

    Good luck! x


  • Thanks everyone - drinks wise I have water during the day (always between 1 and 2 litres whilst at work) and then no added sugar squash when I'm at home (probably another 2 pints at home). I might have 2 glasses of wine per week maybe, but some weeks I'll go without drinking alcohol at all, other weeks I might have 3 glasses of wine but that's a bad week.

    I do keep an accurate food diary using MFP so I am making sure I eat 1500 cals a day, MFP actually recommended I had 1200 per day but that is just too low for me to function properly, with the dressage training with the horses I cant function off such a small amount of cals, I get the shakes! I dont think I need to eat more, I've always naturally had a slow metabolism and have been on the chubby side so eating more only makes me put on weight faster.

    I think you are right about the amount of carbs - I guess I always believed the idea that a calorie is a calorie, regardless of what its made of, but there must be something in the idea that not all calories are equal and the carbs calories are the problem. I'm a fussy eater so this is where I struggle, I hate sweet potato, butternut squash etc, not a big fan of many veg (only ones I like are lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mange tout and baby sweetcorn). Dont like fruit either. Tried many times to get on with it but I just struggle with the texture of it! Again dont like nuts, another food I have tried many times but never have liked the taste. I'll have to do some more research and see if I can find alternatives to the cereal bars, maybe I can start having scrambled eggs in the morning with no toast (no toaster in the office anyway!).

    Unfortunately I dont have time with 30DS to eat breakfast at home so have to eat at work, and that means no hob to do any cooking, limited to a microwave! And as for the chocolate, I have to have something chocolately after dinner! I'm not one of these people that would get sick of eating dark chocolate, I'd eat the whole bar if it were in the house regardless of how dark it was - I'd never stop at one square! I used to eat chocolate after lunch then another bar after dinner, so I feel I've done rather well to bring it down to 1 little mousse after dinner, without that I'd go mad and binge on chocolate I think.

    Thanks again for all of the suggestions - will look at my carb intake and see what I can replace the carbs with. I have taken my measurements at the start of 30DS so when I've finished level one I'll re-do them, I know the scales arent the most accurate but my jeans are getting tighter so I know I'm still gaining, just have to hope it comes to a halt soon!

  • PoppinsPoppins Posts: 3,146

    I can recommend Alpen Light cereal bars, low in calories and they do chocolate ones which might help with your chocolate fix? X 

  • lola28lola28 Posts: 175

    i will just add i put weitht on with the 30 day shread 4,5 pounds but i stuck with it as ppl told me not to get on the scales but i did, plus i never reached level 3 i still felt like i was gona die on level 2 and i droped a hole dress size i coulldent belive it i did diet but not on a fri,sat and had alchol on these days to i am so happy with the results im now on day 40 and just started level 3 witch i am gona do for another 30 days but with the w,end off i think the results are amazing so im well and truley hocked now and gona see what other ones i can do , i got my insperation from specky4eyes check out the thread she droped from size 24 to a 14 in less than a year and she is a big fan of 30dayshread good luckimage

  • I would also suggest a day off. Both from the diet and from the exercise. I found when working at it constantly I wasn't getting anywhere. But one day a week is "fun day" Eat what you like, i'm talking ice cream, chocolate, croissants etc. and don't exercise. It helps kick start your metabolism and reminds it that it needs to keep working hard to burn all the time and not to try and conserve energy.

    Also I found with 30 day shred and ripped in 30 I didn't lose any weight with them, but i lost significant inches!!

  • I was exactly as you, I would eat a bar of chocolate after dinner or cookies or biscuits after dinner and slowly the weight crept up and I was 14 stone 9 pounds (I think I was actually more than this at my peak). I kept making excuses why I couldn't lose the wight, 'oh I can't run', 'I have a slow metabolism', 'I need to have chocolate otherwise I can't function', you name it I gave every excuse.

    I should have started my weight loss before the wedding plans, we went to the Maldives last year and I looked like a beached whale but that didn't stop me eating. In hindsight I should have realised at that point I was too heavy for my frame (I am 5 foot 7) as I was pushing a size 18-20. 

    After trying on my wedding dress and seeing the back fat and cleavage I knew I had to do something. I basically went cold turkey, no chocolate, no biscuits, no cookies, basically anything chocolately and sweet. This was bloody hard to begin with and I am sure I had withdrawel symptoms but over time I did notice I was losing weight. I started walking and then downloaded the coach to 5k app (which i have now completed). Its free and the best thing is you can do it when you want, morning, afternoon or at night. 

    It is hard, I am not going to lie but it is a case of do I want to lose weight or eat this chocolate? I have now lost 2 stone 9 pounds and am on my way to losing 3 stone. You really have to be determined and it really is mind over matter.

    Do you really have a pudding after every dinner? Even making that 1 small change, you can do all the exercise in the world but if you are still eating the same you are not going to lose anything. I stopped eating a bar of chocolate (as in the big bars of galaxy) 3-4 times a week and noticed a difference within weeks. 


    I am sorry this is a bit of an essay and I do not want to sound harsh. It is a long slog but you will definitely feel the benefits, you just need to persevere and give yurself a mental 'kick up the arse' if you start waning!! image

    Good Luck!!!!





  • MrskdsMrskds Posts: 396 New bride
    Sounds to me that you should have seen a little difference by now. How long have you been trying for? I only ask as I was in the exact same position a few years back, and have always had a low metabolism....but after a few years of piling it on and not being able to shift it I went to the doctors and found out I have an underactive thyroid, not usually looked at my age (early twenties) but I had a strong family history of it. It was the answer for me, but even with medication I have to work hard to lose it. Might not be the answer for you but I really feel for you as it sounds like you are really trying. Maybe try what all these ladies suggest for a bit longer and see if it makes difference! Sometimes the body needs a jolt to give it a kick start.

    Good luck!! X
  • Hi Katherine - you sound really similar to me!! Same height, weight and dress size and I was also just over 10 stone consistently until a few years ago when the weight started creeping on. I totally sympathise with you as I am having tremendous difficulty shifting any weight as well.

    I am still trying to figure out what will work for me, and if I find something good I will let you know!! It does sometimes seem like I am just destined to always be a bit chubby.

    I would say that it may help to have a bit more protein especially at breakfast. Maybe try keeping your calories the same but have a couple of eggs or a protein shake rather than the bran flakes. Also don't lose hope - I know that I lose weight much slower than a lot of other people I know and it kinda puts you off coz it feels like nothing is working even though you are trying. And then it can be quite easy to fall off the bandwagon when it is taking so long to have an effect. But I think for some of us, it is just a bit more difficult and will take a bit longer for the effects to show...but you will get there in the end.

    As kdw said there are also some medical factors that could be affecting you (thyroid or PCOS etc) so maybe see if your doctor can do some blood tests to rule anything like that out?

    Good Luck xx


  • FH2013FH2013 Posts: 39

    I would try to have your last meal about 6pm as 8pm is quite late to eat. With all the exercise your doing you should definitely see some results just stick with it image x

  • Thanks everyone - Kim its good to hear I'm not alone in all of this! image

    Unfortunately I cant eat any earlier than 8pm, I get home from work at 5.45pm, quick change then straight out to the horses. Get back in between 8 and 9pm depending on how naughty horse has been today image and other half very kindly has dinner waiting for me.

    Country Bride - thanks for your response, you have done amazingly well with your weight loss! I do eat a chocolate mousse after dinner (1 per day) but that is my only treat each day, and the mousse is 94 cals so I dont think cutting 94 cals per day is going to make much of a difference to be honest. I used to eat a full size choc bar during the day, then another bit of chocolate after dinner (probably 2 snacksize bars) so I think going from that to my 1 mousse is still a good effort! Good for you with the 5k, I used to be the same with running, absolutely hated it but I did a 10k a couple of weeks ago and while I was slow I made it! I'm sure it must be the diet for me, I can run 5k without any problems, can even run a 10k if I push myself so my fitness levels are pretty good.

    I think I'm going to swap the cereals for eggs in the mornings, try and up my protein a bit and eat fewer carbs. And just stick with it, I think I might just have to accept my weight loss is going to be slow as hell but even if I lose 1lb per week I'm still going to be my goal weight before the wedding!

  • the basal metabolic rate (BMR) of someone your height and weight is 1559 cals per day. This is the amount of calories your body would need to function if you were in a coma and didn't get out of bed. That's before you get up and walk about and go up the stairs etc etc!!

    So as you are out and about like a normal person AND doing exercise you are not eating enough I'm doing this, I've been set free from the diet trap and feel fantastic. I don't weigh myself as I had issues a few years ago but my clothes are looser and I notice the difference in the mirror.

    Hope this helps image

  • BanariBanari Posts: 1,847

     also used to eat one chocolate bar everyday (sometimes 2 or 3) with biscuits thrown in for good measure! Whilst I have managed to pretty much cut that out all together I do agree re still needing a little treat every so often. I have been having Muller Light Chocolate desserts 99 calories but only 2% fat. Make sure you are checking the fat content of food as well as the calories! 

    Keep up the good work and you will get there. I think its best to lose weight slowly as it will stay off longer! 

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    Definitely try and replace the bran flakes with something else - I used to eat them every day but switched to porridge around 6 months ago (basically because I wanted something warm in the mornings!) and it has made a massive difference! xx

  • PoppinsPoppins Posts: 3,146

    I was the same but with weetabix, I cut them out and lost 3lbs the next week! Sometimes you just need to try different things and you might see a difference! X

  • Some really helpful advice from everyone, it'it must be the diet and you have a few processed foods in there. 

    It must be difficult not liking veg/fruit, but for the sake of the wedding dress and your ultimate goal you might have to suck it up and try these gastly foods lol Although i doubt the chocolate pot is having that much of effect on your weight loss, but maybe try having one every other night instead?

    Have you had horses all your life? or atleast since before you started dieting/exercising? I only ask this because i imagine if you have your body is used to that 'workout' and won't be helping towards you weight loss as your body has always done it. (not sure if this is making sense?)

    My friend at work is a size 16/18 and 5 foot nothing, has horses, rides, mucks outs everyday and has done for the past 10 years or more, her body is simply used to this routine so doesnt help with her weightloss!

    Not sure how useful my reply is but i think your on the right track!

    Good Luck!


  • Thanks Mrs P to be - yes I have had horses on and off for 18 years so my body definitely does not see it as a workout, although I still get sweaty as hell with one of my boys (he's the laziest toad alive!) and out of breath so clearly its doing something.

    I used to use the horses as an excuse - oh I'm so active because I ride 5 times per week but I realised I was still gaining weight so no amount of horse riding is going to make me slimmer! Hence why I started running and now the 30DS every morning, I used to think the riding would be enough exercise but its not so I'm doing extra exercise in the mornings as well as riding in the evenings to combat this.

    Clarefell - I thought I wasnt eating enough but I looked at the BMR calculator (which does indeed say mine is 1559). It then allows you to workout your daily calorie needs (to maintain current weight) using the Harris Benedict Equation. So to maintain my current weight I need to eat 2416 calories per day (based on being moderately active 3-5 times per week). They also say on the same website that to loose 1lb you need a calorie defecit of 3500 per week, so 2lbs is 7000 cals per week. If I ate my 2416 cals per day to matain my weight, I'd consume 16,915 cals per week. If I eat 1500 cals per day to try and lose weight, I'd conume 10,500 cals per week.

    So the defecit per week is only 6415, not enough to even lose 2lbs per week - I think that shows that I am eating enough. If my defecit were huge then I would be inclined to agree that I were not eating enough, but if my calorie intake is currently high enough to prevent me from losing much more than 1.5lbs a week then I think I'm fine. But thank you for your response - I did initially think the same as you and did these calculations to check!

    Porridge is another food on my cant eat list, the texture makes me feel sick image Wish I wasnt such a fussy eater, and I know the wedding dress is a big motivator but no wedding dress on earth makes it worthwhile feeling sick for the next 10 months! Definitely going to swap the breakfast, then try and think of 2 snacks to replace the current ones with so that cuts out a lot of the processed/sugary foods. Fingers crossed that will be enough to start shifting some weight! 12st feels so wrong for my body but its hard thinking back to when I was 10st 5, I was single and used to eat McDonalds all the time and drink wine! How the hell did that work?!

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