Monday, February 14, 2011


Is it possible for MY body to go into starvation mode? I didn't think so, but now I'm wondering.

I stayed 100% on plan this week. Journaled everything. The only day I went over 1200 calories was on Saturday, and that was for a planned dinner out with a friend. I only ate 1/2 of my entree, and drank water. I turned down pizza AND birthday cake earlier in the day to account for dinner. I was so proud of myself for having a successful week.

Until I weighed in today at work.

Guess how much I lost?

Nothing. Nada. Zero. "0".

I almost cried. I mean, it's Valentine's Day, and I'm single. I have four kids and I'm broke. My son has the flu. I'm depressed. And the one thing I was looking forward to (weight loss for the week) didn't happen.


I was sure that 1000 - 1200 calories daily would get me the loss I wanted. I wasn't hungry at all and didn't feel deprived. I thought I'd made good choices! My water intake was great. I went to the gym twice and stayed active all week. What gives?

Is that amount of calories NOT ENOUGH? Is my body in shock? I don't know.

According to Sparkpeople, I need 1270 - 1620 calories per day for my height, weight, and age. says I need 1690 to lose 3 lbs per week. That amount is above my usual weight loss comfort zone. What is right? What is wrong? I DON'T KNOW!

So, I guess this week I am going to try to stay between 1600 - 1700 calories and see what happens. I am going to try my best to get at least 3 days in the gym... I went today and walked for 30 minutes and did arm exercises. My coworker/workout buddy is extra encouraging (and btw she lost 8 lbs this week... :/).

I refuse to give up. Today's news was discouraging, but it won't get me down for too long...


  1. I had the same problem before the holidays. I followed livestrong's calorie suggestion for a 2lb loss a week but didn't eat back any that I burnt off exercising and didn't lose. My wellness coach suggested eating 100 calories back that I burned each workout and I had a great loss the following week. It's like a bad science experiment..

  2. I have been stuck for months, it doesn't matter what I do or what I eat, I have no weight loss.

    I was instructed by my physician to lift light weights MWF, and do 60 minutes of cardio which I do anyway, so I am adding the weights this week.

    Being stuck for 6 months or more is the most depressing thing on the planet. I have been so upset I can't even describe how angry I am. I am at my wits end here as there is no science that can explain my stall>>>?????

  3. Oh, sweet Hollie, I wish I could give you a hug!

    I agree, those websites can be confusing at times. You just need to find out what works for YOU and YOUR body...each of us are different. I'm so proud of you for resisting pizza AND birthday cake- definitely not an easy task!

    Don't get discouraged at the lack of a loss; just think, at least it's not a gain! I'm sure you'll knock it out of the park next week, once you body gets used to the changes. :)

    Happy Valentine's Day, girlie!

  4. I have been stuck for six months. I workout three to four days per week. I have been doing 60 minutes of cardio on the elliptical switching daily from their to the treadmill (uphill incline of 10) or biking 12 plus miles and NADA.

    I am so angry I could spit teeth! I was told to add weights three days per week and by GAWD I will try anything. I am so frustrated and at my wits end. There is no science to support this...I do NOT know what to do!!

  5. I've been doing 1200 calories too and it's worked out well, except for the week it hasn't. Stick with it. Your body may just be a little confused but just continue to beat it into submission!You have the right attitude. KEEP GOING!

  6. Yes you need to bump uo your calories the fact that you are starving or even hungry is a sign but STARVING.. I am never really even hungry and I eat about 1400-1500 calories a day. I am never really hungry and I am def NOT starving and if I do get starving it is because I have been running around all day and forgot to eat. That does not happen very often because I dont let it!Eat some food girl!

  7. Ugh, I HATEEE it when that happens. My friend had a very similar problem...only she didn't lose *anything* for 3 weeks straight. Finally, on the fourth week she started seeing dramatic results.

    I think you just really have to find what's right for you and *your* body. Maybe you do need more calories, maybe you're eating too many carbs, not enough carbs, it really is all an experiment in the beginning.

    Stick with it though. Really. I know you're discouraged but really think about what if you lost nothing? You didn't gain anything and that is a huge feat in itself!

  8. Hi Hollie (and Stacey),

    Don't worry about the lack of weight loss. If you keep doing the right things, the weight WILL come off. I'm not a huge fan of counting calories, but science DOES dictate a caloric deficit will result in pounds off. Keep at it, and you will be fine.

  9. Remember it's not just about calories... it's about when you eat and what you eat. Also it's a good idea to see if you are working out 2.5 hours or more a week. It's hard to workout that long for me.. I've been failing often but when I do I tend to lose a pound a day. I just do 45 to an hour on the elliptical in weight loss mode (interval training) or sometimes an exercise video. But I recently added lifting a jar of ragu for arm exercises! You can do it just double check how much you exercise and try to relax.

  10. I also would follow LiveStrong in addition to eating back some of the exercise calories. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but you have got to eat to lose. I know on the new WW program I am actually eating a smidge more than what I was on the old, and on the weeks I am true to plan I have awesome losses. On the weeks I don't eat the majority of my points I stay the same.

  11. That is so depressing! But it is inspiring to see you staying motivated. I just started a weight loss blog and I am glad I have found others to follow and hopefully we can all encourage one another.

  12. I am sorry you are feeling down. Hang in there!

    My initial reaction is that 1000-1200 is low. I am not a nutritionist, but I have done a lot of reading about calorie counting. I'd try increasing it -- maybe even just to the 1400 range. And make sure you're eating the right things (which it sounds like you are). 1400 calories of lean proteins, produce, and whole grains are better than junk any day.

    You can do this! Hang in there!

  13. I know what you mean! How can eating more help you lose weight? It's about calories in vs. calories out. I dont know, I dont get it.

  14. i am a member of sparkpeople and at first I was like that is way too many calories and I am not going to lose weight eating that much and then my weight loss from Jan. 3 I have been following sparkpeople's recommendation and I have lost weight so I would definitely try following what sparkpeople says.

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  16. There are a lot of factors it could be. With one week, it is hard to narrow down. Personally? I think your calories are too low. I am a firm believer in eating as much as you can while losing so you have some room if you need to go down in the future.

    Also, it could be what foods you are eating. Make sure you get a good mix of protein, fat, and carbs and not be deficient in any one of those.

  17. Oh, Hollie...I get so frustrated. I will "be good" and gain a pound then my darling husband will lose 3!!! I really don't understand any of it.

    Maybe you will see a big loss this week. Best to you:)

  18. I have experienced the same thing in the past. I'll bet your loss next week is awesome! :)

  19. Hang in there girl....Maybe this next wk you will lose last wks, plus some. One thing I had to learn was that, just because the scale doesn't say I have lost, doesn't mean I haven't lost inches! I would suggest you measure yourself. I measure, chest, hips, stomach, arms, thighs....all of it. Write it down in a journal, then next time you weigh in, measure and see if inches are gone! It could be water weight to! I hate that your depressed!!! All of your followers Love ya though!!! :)

  20. It is awesome that you get in the exercise. I have trouble with that.

    I have had that happen before, where you do not eat enough and then you do not lose weight.

    I hope this week goes much better for you. I like reading your posts. Keep up the good work you do.

  21. I read an article that that does happen. Your body thinks it's starving so it doesn't allow you to loose any weight even though your eating less! It is crazy!

  22. Hi :) Seems you've got the calorie counting down. Maybe you should try exercising more?

  23. It very well be that you're not eating enough. Crazy concept, huh? Who thinks eating more would actually help you lose weight? lol
    But I've heard it from numerous people and places so you might as well attempt it if you're not seeing results from what you're consuming right now. Best of luck girl!

  24. Thats right ! Don't give up. It is really hard to stay on track. But its nice to see another person persisting and reaching their goal. I hope you continue.

  25. 1200 is the absolute LOWEST you should eat per day--otherwise, not only are your workouts gonna suffer, but your body will go into starvation mode and start holding on to fat...which is definitely what you don't wanna do.

    I was afraid to go up to 1500 and 1600 calories a day--I felt like I was being a fatty and eating too much. But, my workouts were pretty intense (burning about 1200 or 1300 cals per gym session), and I need the nourishment to build lean muscle.

    I would calculate your BMR, see how many calories you should eat to MAINTAIN your current weight, and then try to eat like 500 or 700 calories below that amount. 1000 below is too much.

    This all depends on how much you need to lose. If your weight loss is drastic, you may need to cut a little more. Not sure about your specific needs, though.

    I am no personal trainer, nor am I nutritionist by any means, but I hope I helped!

    Good luck! Don't stress!

  26. 1200 is the lowest NET calories you should ever take in ..... If you eat 1200 calories but then go to the gym and workout and burn 500 calories your NET is 700 calories for the day .... I definitely think starvation mode is always a possibility .... I would follow the 1690 a day and see where that gets you ....

    Have you ever looked into my fitness pal ( ... it allows you to journal count calories and take into account calories burned from working out ... I am averaging a loss of 3 - 4lbs a week using MFP only exercising 30 minutes a day 6 days a week.

  27. i looked over your profile and B4 and after pictures and 'WOW' you look Great woman... your a total inspiration :) lol... so now im following you! I have a weight loss blog as well lol... we'll see how it goes...

  28. Hollie,

    With so many site giving you all types of information its enough to drive anyone crazy. Couple that with you have so many things going on that you are probably stressed out! You are doing the right thing and the key to weight loss is your calorie intake but look at it from a weekly stand point.

    Some people eat great for a few day and mess things up over the next three. Also sometimes the weight loss will not be a dramatic. Keep a journal and make sure you are only eating 1000-1200 calories and watch out for those empty calories from beverages!

    Keep pushing forward sounds like you are doing a great job.


  29. Okay, this post is a year old so I'm hoping (and guessing) that you've learned that drastic calorie restriction like this will make your weight loss stand still. In addition to that, your body will start to eat your muscle right along with fat. The main problem with this (other than making us look flabbier) is that muscle mass increases your metabolism. I have lost 130 pounds (I am currently at 145) and haven't dropped under 1800 on any day. And some days I eat 2000-2200 (and I'm a 34 year old female). Your body needs calories to survive & function properly. You should be creating very small deficits but mainly after 6pm (meaning, you should eat small, protein rich meals every few hrs during the day & then stop eating early enough in the evening where your body dips into your fat stores for the night). Also, keep building that muscle mass!!! Its SO SO important to sustained weightloss! I've subscribed to your blog and I can't wait to keep up with your progress on your new 30 day challenge.
    I hope you'll check out my blog as well. Maybe we can be helpful and motivational to one another!!! Good luck!!!

  30. The best weight loss programs are the ones that do not make you go on crazy diets. You will not lose weight if you are uncomfortable with the food you are eating. You will feel stressed about trying to remember what you can and cannot eat. Being stressed will not help you to lose weight. It might even make you gain weight. Thanks a lot...

  31. Hello Hollie, I am sure you will achieve your goal. Don,t give up. Try your best and you will lose your weight.

  32. Hey Hollie, I also struggled with weight loss since very young. However in the last 15 years I lost 35 lbs and kept if off. Last year I lost another 20 lbs and honestly it was more difficult because now I am 53 years old, but I researched and learned a lot about how our bodies work and made a few small changes that made a huge difference. I wrote a great guide that you can get for free here. I am sure this will help you a lot and you'll love it. Hugs to you!

  33. Yeah, that sucks. I remember when I tried to go on hardcore diets...never worked well for me. But stay strong! This all pays off!


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