Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Diet S.O.S.

on February 5, 2014

I’m beyond frustrated.

I like to pretend I know what I’m doing, but really, I have no clue. The interwebs are full of too many differing opinions and it’s making my head spin.

I’m pretty much at my wit’s end and really don’t know what to do to shake things up and get off this plateau I’ve been on, yo-yoing around the same 5-10 lb area for the last 5 months!!

I’ve got my workouts down, that’s the easy part. I CAN NOT figure out what I’m doing wrong with my diet. I’ve mixed things up some more so I’m not eating the same things every day (I’m a creature of habit). I have good ratios of protein/fat/carbs. I’m eating at different times now (when I can). I increased my calorie intake by being all “scientific” and using 3 different websites to calculate my BMR and then subtract 500 calories a day for weight loss of 1 lb a week, but that’s not helping either. By the way, it’s much easier to eat each day adding in more calories than what MyFitnessPal was telling me to eat.




I’m afraid of testing new things, like working on a TDEE calculation or something like that, like one of my fave bloggers, Yankee Girl Gets Fit. She’s dedicated so much time and effort on it. I’m afraid to try something like that out and have nothing change…then I’d be back at square one with all that time wasted.

I can’t really afford to go to a dietitian and my worry is that they would tell me do the things I’m already doing.

Anybody want to help me out? I’m willing to listen to anything and everything at this point. If you know what you’re talking about, that’s even better! Send your friends, coworkers, family and even your pets if they can type – though I won’t eat dog bones. Any and all are welcome to help!




29 responses to “Diet S.O.S.

  1. Wish I knew what to tell you. I’ve been bouncing around the same numbers since August!

  2. Nothing ventured, nothing gained (or in your case, lost). If it’s working for Yankee Girl, why don’t you give it a try?

    Also, are you logging in everything you eat on My Fitness Pal? Perhaps you’re eating more than you realize (portion control is so important). When are you eating? Are you stopping a couple of hours before you go to bed? Have you tried adding some intervals to your workouts? When weight lifting, try hopping on a treadmill or bike for two minutes between super-sets to get your heart rate up.

    You’ve inspired me to write a post on breaking through plateaus. Stay tuned, and good luck!

    • beach3519 says:

      Thanks for the awesome ideas! I do log everything in MFP-every bite. Maybe I will give it a try…just makes me so nervous. I eat breakfast whenever I get back from the gym and showered typically 6 am. I have a snack anywhere from 9:30 to 11:00am (typically fruit). Lunchtime at work is 1:00, another snack around 3:30-4:30 then dinner between 6:30-7:30 after getting home from work. Bedtime is between 9-9:30 and up at 4am. Right now I have changed my workouts for strength for more endurance based lifting instead of for max weight so I added more reps with less weight with 3 sets of each and one min rest between sets. I never thought about cardio in between since I didn’t want to overdo. On the three cardio days I’m trying to start running again and have been doing run/walk intervals. Info overload but that’s pretty much everything in a nutshell! Thanks for helping :). Can’t wait to read your post!

  3. dashingdad says:

    Change your workout. If your diet isn’t helping, then your workout is the culprit. The change can be as simple as switching the order of what you’re doing. But if you’re doing cardio, switch machines (treadmill to elliptical). Good luck.

  4. I wish I had an answer… I think it’s so frustrating that many of the “answers” that work for some people simply don’t work for everyone. Are you at a reasonably healthy weight and not gaining? That’s something to celebrate at least. The healthy behavior stuff is SO much more important than the poundage in the long haul. (Though I’m a total hypocrite, being right in the middle of a MyFitnessPal inspired calorie counting Freak Fest at the moment. But I’m having fun with it).

    My two cents… pick a fun non-weight related goal and shift focus for a while until something comes along that sounds different and fun and inspiring to try out. And pat yourself on the back for all your hard work!

    • beach3519 says:

      Thanks for the advice 🙂

      I still have about 40-60 lb I could stand to lose after the 50 I’ve already lost. It was steady going until last fall and it’s been nightmare city since.

  5. Hey lady! I just stumbled upon your blog and I would really love to help you. I have been coaching/helping people tackle their diets for awhile, and I think I might be able to help you pin point the issues! Feel free to email me – gigieatscelebrities at gmail dot com and let me know what you’ve been eating, etc! I really want to help you 🙂

  6. biz319 says:

    I wish I had the knowledge to help – but I know my couple glasses of wine is probably adding up – I need to fix that – stat – I just loves my wine though! Hang in there – but I will say this – I weigh and measure all my food – I have a food scale and measuring cups/spoons at my office and at home – sometimes if I eyeball a cup of white rice – its actually more like two!

    • beach3519 says:

      We were using measuring but got so that we just needed to eyeball it. Maybe we need to go back to cups and spoons! I’d have to buy a scale though. Are you talking more for like meats in ounces, etc?

  7. Yankee Girl says:

    This is so weird. My other fave blogger Body Like Beyonce wrote such a similar post this morning. Something in the air, I guess.

    My 42 cents (started out with 2, but this got long, and 42 is the most important number, so.):

    First off, weight isn’t everything. You have a partner and friends who love you because you’re awesome just as you are! Wouldn’t it be great if we could give ourselves the same grace as those who love us do? Don’t let focusing on weight loss as an outcome in itself, rather than as a byproduct of training and fitness, be a distraction from the fact that you are awesome and worthy of love and affection. Think about all you’ve accomplished since you started out on this process — you run races! You’re training for a Tough Mudder! You are a total badass!

    Weight loss is not a sprint; it’s not even a marathon. It’s more like a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail: mountains, valleys, boulder scrambling, bugs, snow, blisters, REST DAYS; in other words, a journey, with all the ups and downs that involves.

    Maybe you don’t need to lose any more weight; maybe you need to focus on recomposition instead (lose fat, build muscle). What’s your current height/weight? What’s your goal weight? My goal weight is 180 (!!!) because even though that’s a lot more than women are “supposed” to weigh, with enough time and heavy lifting, at 5’8″ I can be fit and lean at that weight. Amber at Go Kaleo (my hero… I know, I’m a broken record) weighs like 170 and she is thin, lean, and strong.

    You say you figured out your BMR and subtracted 500 calories. Your BMR is what you’d burn if you were in a coma and you shouldn’t eat less than that. Do you mean you figured out your TDEE? Your TDEE is your total daily energy expenditure, or your BMR plus all the energy you burn throughout your day because you’re not in a coma. I’ve looked at a lot of calculators. This one is my favorite: (if you set it to lose fat, the MAXIMUM calorie reduction should be 15%; 10% is better; 5% if you only have a little to lose). But the truth is, this calculator — like any TDEE calculator — can only give you estimates. Every body is different. The only way to know what your TDEE actually is, based on your lifestyle with your activities, is to figure it out, one week at a time, carefully tracking.

    If you’re not losing weight, you’re eating at your TDEE. But your TDEE may not be what you think it is: most people underestimate the amount of food they eat (do you weigh and measure everything?) and overestimate their exercise intensity. If you *are* weighing and measuring everything, and you’re still not losing even with an estimated deficit, your metabolism could be depressed due to long-term restriction and overtraining relative to caloric intake. Some things you can do to elevate your metabolism: lift heavy weights, do HIIT, get more sleep, *eat when you’re hungry* (carb + fat + protein if possible) because eating boosts your metabolism temporarily.

    The world is filled with conflicting information about what you should or shouldn’t eat to be healthy, lose weight, cure cancer, and fart rainbows. Most of that information comes from people who don’t actually know anything about nutrition. The only people you should listen to are dietitians. I have seen one and I loved her but I probably didn’t need her, and unless you have a full-blown eating disorder or nutritional deficiencies you don’t need one. They’ll do 2 things for you: 1. they’ll give you calorie and/or macronutrient targets to hit each day and will adjust them *over the long-term* as they observe your weight change. But you can do that yourself… over the long term. Weight loss is a slow process. 2. They’ll teach you a little about diet and nutrition, most of which is common sense stuff: to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in; eat mostly whole, nutrient-dense foods, with enough calorie-dense nutrient-light foods to keep you happy; food doesn’t cure cancer; and no matter how hard you try you’ll probably never fart rainbows. Other stuff I learned from her: gluten intolerance is grossly overestimated and fear of gluten leads to orthorexia, a form of disordered eating; our paleolithic ancestors ate anything they could find, which included grains and legumes and probably a lot of squirrels and rats; our brains run best on glucose, not ketones, so consuming a truly low-carb, high-fat diet over the long term isn’t good for us.

    Truth: I was afraid of eating more because I was afraid to gain weight. But with all my disordered eating behaviors I was eating a lot more than I wanted to admit, and now that I’m intentionally eating more I am actually eating less. I was afraid that I was different, that I truly didn’t need that many calories. I was wrong. I was afraid that if I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted, that all I’d eat would be cookies and pasta. But that hasn’t happened, because although I like cookies and pasta, I also like fruit and vegetables and fish and Greek yogurt and lots of things that are nutritious and “healthy”. It’s okay to be scared. But sometimes you just have to take a leap anyway.

    • Courtney says:

      This. This is amazing. I can’t even begin to thank you – and can’t even begin to comprehend this right now because I got home from work and went straight to shoveling for the last hour and a half. I’m gonna tackle this first thing in the morning with a clearer head. And I think you may be right about BMR/TDEE…I don’t remember now.

      • Yankee Girl says:

        np. Enjoy. 🙂

        (PS shoveling snow is awesome exercise!)

      • Courtney says:

        OK – so now that I’ve had some more time to take this in – firstly, I want to thank you for the kind words and advice again. To answer your question, right now I’ve gone back up into the 190’s (the lowest I got to was 182 back in late summer/early fall?). I keep going up and down between 193 and 197 for weeks now. And I’m 5’4″. My goal was originally 150, but after seeing what a “healthy” BMI is I went to aiming for 130. I’d probably be happy anywhere in that range though.

        I wish I could track my HR more accurately in terms of accurately tracking fitness. I have a HR monitor at home, but it’s incredibly uncomfortable to wear and it literally ONLY tracks your HR at the current moment, so I would have to be constantly staring at it to have any clue as to how many calories I’m actually burning. I basically just go off of Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal or the cardio calculators on the treadmill/elliptical (which I know are grossly disproportionate sometimes).

        I just bought a food scale last night that should arrive on Friday. In addition to tracking what I thought were the right proportions, I’ll actually take the time to weigh it out now and be better about that. Maybe what we thought we knew isn’t as accurate over time.

        I looked at the scooby calculator. It said my TDEE was around 2500 to maintain weight. Here’s a question for you that I also get mixed results on from Google – do you aim for NET calories eaten? Do you eat back exercise calories or no? So say that I eat 2000 calories, burn off 500, making my net calories 1500 – would you eat more? Or am I thinking the wrong thing on that?

      • Yankee Girl says:

        ah I see the “reply” problem you mentioned. Switching to MFP so we both get notifications.

  8. Weigh and measure all your food. I used to think I was eating under a certain amount of calories, until my nutritionist told me to weigh everything. Turns out, I was eating waaaayyy too much for my total daily expenditure. Good luck mama!!!

  9. says:

    I’m sorry you’re having a hard time getting past this plateau. So frustrating!
    When I lost weight I used Weight Watchers online and it helped me keep track of things… but it was mostly about serving sizes for me (and it sounds like you already focus on that). I wish I could be more help!!

  10. Losing the last few pounds is the hardest. I am bouncing back and forth a lot too. However, I know my problem. I usually eat pretty well, but I do indulge a bit too much.

  11. […] at Don’t Blink, Just Run is struggling with a weight-loss plateau and is welcoming suggestions from anyone and everyone to […]

  12. I’ve been within 10 pounds of this plateau for well over a year now. I detest tracking my food, calories, points, carbs whatever. I am trying to focus on eating less processed food, more fruits and veggies and some kind of reasonable portion control (eat until I’m like 75% full, not until I feel stuffed) and allowing for some splurges for holidays and vacations. Like you, I’ve lost 60lbs and still have between 15-40 lbs to lose (depending on whether I use BMI or my pre-kids, young adulthood set point as my goal). I tend to treat it like a long-term experiment, changing up different things and seeing what the results are. I also really try to focus on the non scale victories, like being able to be comfortable in an airplane seat (well, sort of) and shopping in the regular section of a clothes store and actually liking some pictures of myself sometimes. But I can’t lie, I really want that scale to go down and stay down and it is hard. I hope you find your answers and peace!

  13. Alli says:

    Good luck with this. With all the information (and misinformation) out there it is soooo hard to get it all straight. There are never any easy magic-bullet answer, but I wish I had one! I use MFP too, but lately my weight loss has been slooooow. In my early 20s I would lose 2 pounds a week like clockwork. Now I’m pushing 30 and it’s like .5 pounds here, a pound there, then up again a couple pounds. Good luck… I’ll keep rooting for you!

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