Help me and my wife!

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by ATL_Gator, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    I need help dealing with my wife with the suggestions I am giving her regarding weight loss. Helping her is getting past this stupid plateau. Helping me is keeping my sanity.

    History:
    Since the beginning of the year, my wife has dropped 45 or so lb. She is still 15 lb or so from her goal weight. (she is doing fantastic, by the way). Her strategy from the start, per my suggestions, was calorie control. She can eat what ever she wants, so long as she stays with her calorie goals. For 4 months or so, that was it. After a while I convinced her to "up the activity" some. Not a crazy amount, but some. When she is at work, she has an active job on her feet all day. On days where she doesn't work, she has started walking. No weights, no strenuous activity.

    When she started, I calculated her BMR, for her weight at the time (1600) and for her goal weight (1350). Based on that info (and before I could go any further), she set 1200 calories a day as her target.

    She sticks to it. And not net calories either (accounting for activity)... 1200 calories eaten or less. EVERY now and again she will go over, but that has been easily a month or longer ago. "Go over" is about BMR of her goal weight, so she should still be under maintenance.

    NOW, the problem:
    From the beginning of the year until about 3 weeks ago, she was seeing consistent weight loss. She had a small plateau at 150 for a week or so, but that was it. The last 3 weeks she is stuck. She only goes by scale weight as measure. The last three weeks she has been between 143 and 147 (which was today, and delivered with a lot of complaining). She is getting frustrated, and bugging me.

    Why am I not losing any more weight? Still eating at or below 1200 calories per day, per MyFitnessPal android app.

    I tell her "it's just a plateau, keep doing what you are doing and be patient, it will come". Is that the right train of thought? Does she need to eat more/less?

    Semi-side thought....

    Regarding food choices. How do you guys feel about stuff like "zero calorie spray butter"? No calories, but there are a bunch of ingredients listed. She has picked up that stuff relatively recently for flavor on veggies. I tell her that I personally don't like the stuff because it has too many ingredients and it is probably crappy for you. I think you are better off just dealing with the actual calories that are in actual butter made from milk. She then shows me the back of the bottle and says "zero calories". I choose not to fight it given the strategy of "watch calories" alone. Could this be the "source" of the plateau. That is one thing that has changed in the last month to month and a half. I struggle with it though due to correlation /= causation.
  2. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    ATL, I've got to go to work but will post something later.
  3. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    Cool, thanks
  4. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    Dream will be along shortly. Listen to him. Best of luck!
  5. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    Ha! How's that for prophecy!!! Posted while i was typing. Back to the religion forum.:laugh:
  6. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    Oh I know. Have asked him about stuff a bunch.

    I would love to say it's the butter and get that crap out of the house. :)
  7. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    My .2 cents is that its not the zero calorie butter. Even though I agree that its crap and I personally would rather find a way to include the real stuff in my diet.

    Have you recalculated her BMR at the lower weight? Lets say its gone down to 1450 roughly and given that eating at 1200 calories is just a guess, if you are over by a little bit here or there you could easily be eating at maintenance over a week.

    Sometimes people just plateau, wouldn't hurt to do a refeed one day either. Then go back and drop calories to 1100 for a little while.
  8. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    Thanks,

    I have been telling her the last part. I am starting to think she doesn't believe me.

    It doesn't help when I go bonkers at Stevie B's pizza and various other places and hold.
  9. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    I hear you about her not believing you. I have been interested in this stuff since I was 15 and read a ton. My sister who just got into fitness in the last two years barely acknowledges my advice. We finally had to stop discussing it bc I pretty much disagree with everything her trainer tells her.

    I really don't get it.
  10. cruzer79
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    cruzer79 Premium Member

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    Her body has likely gotten accustomed to her calorie expenditure and intake. Next step to get beyond this plateau is to increase activity to burn more calories. Something that uses muscles (light weights carried while walking, ankle weights or preferably a little light weightlifting) as well as some slightly vigorous cardio exercise above and beyond walking should do the trick. Building a little muscle will burn more calories for her all day long and a little bit of cardio (power walk, jumping jacks, biking, etc.. as it does not have to be hardcore) will burn some more.
  11. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    ATL, how did wifey arrive at her goal weight ? Has she been there before ?

    Random thoughts:

    *Less and less am I asking clients of mine to entertain hard weight loss goals. More and more I'm inviting them to make small changes of the sort they are likely to sustain.

    *I'm not a weight-loss expert. My clients are weight-loss experts. That is to say that everyone of them has lost weight in the past ... and regained it ... often multiple times.

    *Sounds like your wife has been dedicated in this. I applaud that. Has she enjoyed the process or has she white-knuckled it ?

    *'Cheat days' and 'refeeds' aren't even in my lexicon anymore. As far as I'm concerned that's just what we do. We eat in a flexible manner. Indeed, that's how you lost all your weight. You ate what you wanted in the context of calorie budgeting. So, I rarely ask clients to 'tighten up' anymore. Instead, I invite them to have their cake and eat it too.

    *Now, I am working with a woman now who is 5-0 98 who obviously doesn't need to lose weight. Rather, she aims to recomposition. She may be a candidate for 'tighten up' because she's already in fine-tuning stage.

    *Two of my clients were using myfitnesspal when I met them. It didn't work for either of them. I'm all but certain that at least one of them (and likely the other) was grossly underestimating portion size. So, it wasn't the phone app's fault.

    *BTW, I tell people that they WANT to be wrong on their calorie counting. Beats hell out of and is much more empowering than "Something is wrong with my body."

    *Is this an opportune moment, given her frustration, to coax a little strength training out of her ? It hasn't worked with my wife. On the other hand, she weighs about two pounds.
  12. el_lagarto
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    el_lagarto Premium Member

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    1. tell her to stay off the scale.

    2. buy her a dress 2 sizes too small.

    3. if she cant fit into the dress in 4 weeks, tell her it would look good on her sister(or best friend, or somebody she compares herself to, as all wimmen do.

    4. duck.

    5. consult a divorce attorney.

    6. once shes single, the pounds will fall off.
  13. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    If my wife lost 45 pounds, I'd leave her alone for the rest of the year. A plateau is a relative thing. It might just be the place where she needs to stop and rest for a bit.

    If she's up to it, the next step is obvious to me. I don't think you could push past that without picking up things on the fitness front. The walking may have gotten her as far as it's going to. She probably needs to build some muscle to burn through another layer of fat.
  14. jms
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    jms VIP Member

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    Google 'The Real Skinny' UF grad tell her JMS sent u
  15. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Sorry for making the thread and bailing.

    The battle continues, but.... I think she may be pushing through to the other side. 143 the other day on the scale, and that is after 3+ weeks at 146 to 148.

    I have her primed for beginning to lift weights. So much that she isn't resisting me getting some free weights for the garage. :) Which also helps me so I can lift on days that I don't make it during lunch. Now watching craigslist for ensuing deals.

    I also got her to give up the spray butter!!!!! How? In a fit of rage (after the scale told her 148), I expressed my opinion that perhaps "myfitnesspal" is just off, and that I really disagree with the spray butter. If only from a minimization in number of ingredients eaten. Spray butter has a lot, real butter has 1 (2 if it's salted). Later that day, I discovered a sneaky trick that food companies are allowed to get away with.

    IF the amount of calories per serving is less than 1 (could have been 5, can't remember, info was vague on that part), the manufacturer can LEGALLY claim that it is zero calories. The "serving size" on the spray butter is "one spray" ... which is also up for interpretation (is a spray a full depression of the plunger, or a fraction?). Anyway, we discovered that the whole bottle really contains something like 1100 calories, so while less, it wasn't "FREE"... She then caved to my # of ingredients argument also and has significantly reduced the amount she uses. YAY.

    She has also given herself a "free day"... She doesn't track anything on Saturday, and if she wants a burger, she eats a burger. Still tries to be intelligent about decisions though. Ironically enough, last saturday she had a greasy burger for lunch. Then franks spicy chicken dip and chips, fruit with cream cheese and marshmallow dip, grilled chicken wings, and tri-tip steak. Monday morning she weight the lightest she has in a month.

    She has also picked up her walking more again and started doing pilates for 10 minutes a day. (with a band for resistance, this is probably a good starting point for her).

    anyway, thanks...
  16. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    lagarto... the divorce attorney may be needed still... once she finds out I have been talking about her weight on a message board.

    =/
  17. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    ATL, you've been gone so long I stopped caring.

    j/k

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