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Obesity and Weight Management

Why can`t I loose weight?



I have been trying to loose weight for the last eight years. I have been up and down my entire life. Seven months ago I had some stomach problems. I didn`t feel like eating much and the only thing that helped was walking. I ate only 500-600 calories a day and walked for 8-10 miles a day. Three months later I had lost 30 lbs. I continued to exercise (I always have) by walking, doing tae-bo, elipitical machine and free weights for 1 to 3 hours a day. I also started to eat more sensibly because I felt/feel so much better stomach wise. I drink alot of water, quit the coffee and carbonated drinks, eat mostly vegies, beans, fruit, and a small amount of fish and chicken. I figure I have been eating around 1200 calories and have worked off at least 500 - 1200 calories per day. I have lost one pound in the last three months. This has been the story of my life. You read that you can`t starve your body but obviously that`s not the case with me. Every time I have lost weight,I have had to eat very little and exercise almost obsessively. My entire family seems to have the same problem. Do I continue to eat little and exercise all the time or go on the way I have been and loose another pound in the next three months? By the way, I`m old, healthy now, and still keep up with my younger friends.


Thank you for your question. You are correct in stating that you can't starve your body.  A calorie intake of 50% less than what the body requires can set a person up for "Starvation Mode".  I think a good starting point would be to determine your resting metabolic rate (RMR).  RMR is the number of calories your body needs to support normal function at rest.  This can be measured through an easy test, and then your calorie intake and activity levels can be adjusted to help you see results.  I would start by contacting a dietitian in you area and ask about having this test done.

Once you have determined your needs, an appropriate meal plan can be established that will help you with your weight loss goals. Food and exercise records will be very valuable to help the dietitian make recommendations.  From an exercise standpoint, you might consider working with a personal trainer to be sure you are incorporating both strength and aerobic activities at appropriate levels. 

Hope this helps. 

Related Resources:

Know Your Number (RMR) to Lose Weight

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Go to the Obesity and Weight Management health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Angela Blackstone, RD, LD
Staff Dietitian
Metabolic Surgery Program
Wexner Medical Center
The Ohio State University