Some help and fresh eyes for fat loss

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my girlfriend is trying to lose weight. Shes been dieting since april and tracking all of her food and intake. She only eats 1600 calories and shes 217lbs at 5'9. shes barely lost 20 lbs in 6 months. As of recently she is walking over 13000 steps a day and lifting for 3 days a week for about an hour and only lost .8 lbs in 3 weeks. Shes starting to break under the pressure. She hasnt been cheating at all on her diet. what exactly is she missing?
 

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Here's my initial thought without knowing anything else.. she cut her calories too deep for her weight.

Also, it's more than number of steps. It's about cardio load. What is her resting heart rate, and what is the heart rate she holds while doing cardio, and what is the consecutive amount of time she does cardio per day?

Although I talk about cardio, I believe her first problem is that she cut her calories too low from the get go.

Post an example of her daily diet, and the cardio questions I asked.
 

MrRippedZilla

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She has been dieting for way too long without a break. That can cause a lot of bad hormonal adaptations that make the rest of the journey more painful than necessary and, for women, borderline a waste of time.

Re-calculate her new maintenance-level caloric intake. Should be around 2300ish. Get her to slowly work her way back up to that level - 1800 day 1, 2000 day 2, 2200 day 3, etc. Monitor the scale to adjust - if she's gaining weight slightly drop cals, if she's losing weight slightly increase cals, etc. She should be officially at maintenance within 3-4 days max. With macros, don't do anything stupid (maintaining on keto or w/e).

Stick to the same lifting routine. Cardio is up to her - you can keep it, drop it down, dump it, whatever she wants.

Stay at this maintenance level for at least 2-4 weeks. The goal is to reverse those dieting adaptations and, this is important, to keep the weight off. Lets make sure this weight loss is permanent. Then, when she's feeling better (and she will be), you can go again.

In future, get her to take a diet break every 8-12 weeks. It sounds like it'll slow things down short-term but long-term, she'll actually be progressing much quicker :)
 
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140 mins of cardio at average heart rate 137 to 147
carbs 170
protein 140
fats about 50
3 full bodies a week
64 to 90 oz water a day
average 13k to 14k steps a day

i have more details if needed
 

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140 mins of cardio at average heart rate 137 to 147
carbs 170
protein 140
fats about 50
3 full bodies a week
64 to 90 oz water a day
average 13k to 14k steps a day

i have more details if needed
I think the cardio is too intense, and too long in duration, but that's less of a factor than the amount of calories IMO. It's too low for her body weight, and she's been in that deficit for too long.

Follow the protocol that Zilla outlined. And when you go back into a deficit, don't be so aggressive about it.

For reference, my girlfriend started having me train her about 10 weeks ago. Her starting weight was 150lbs. She is eating 1800 calories, and honestly I'd like her to eat more... but women can be stubborn.

She does 90 minutes of cardio per day; 1x 60, minute session and 1x 30 minute session (it's just how she likes to break it up). I make her keep her heart rate no higher than 125 - 130bpm. I also have her on 5 day weight training program, but we originally started with just 3 days a week of PPL.

Over the last 10 weeks, she has dropped 22lbs and is now 128lbs; an average loss of 2.2 lbs a week. This is about the upper limit of how much weight I'd like her to lose, for sustainability purposes.

Everyone is different genetically, so her results will not be the same as your girlfriend. However it just goes to show that cutting out maximum calories is not necessarily better. Matter of fact I tell people to add in more exercise or regular daily activity before they start making dramatic caloric cuts in their diet.
 

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Lastly, and I've been biting my tongue on this... But it's very likely she's under estimating calories or not logging everything 100%. It sounds negative, but it's not meant to be. Please continue reading.

This is very common among both.men and women who first start a weight loss or weight gain journey. I've caught my girlfriend doing it by accident, and once I educated her, she saw that she was off on her caloric intake by as much as 300-400 calories.

Literally every drop, every gram, every little thing counts. Everything must be weighed. Use 5 grams of ketchup, you have to log it. Use 1 teaspoon of salsa, it has to be logged. Ate 54 grams of rice but only logged 50, well that's cheating and you need to log the extra 4 grams.

Like I said, this is common, and it becomes very easy to eat significantly more than you think you are.
 

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Then there the topic of ghrelin; which is produced in more abundance when someone is carrying more fat.

I won't make a long winded explanation... I'll just say I would not fault a heavier person to succumb to hunger pangs on such a steep deficit and eat a little bit of something and then they forget to log it. We are only human after all.

Maybe none of my last 2 posts apply, and I mean no disrespect by it. I'm just making sure we're covering all aspects of this.

Weight loss can be difficult... and being honest with ones self is critical for success.
 

CJ275

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Definitely diet fatigue, and too intense of cardio. That heart rate is too high. Time for a reset, I agree with the above comments.
 
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thank you for the replies. I think we are going to try this. should this be full body days or a different split?
 
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Then there the topic of ghrelin; which is produced in more abundance when someone is carrying more fat.

I won't make a long winded explanation... I'll just say I would not fault a heavier person to succumb to hunger pangs on such a steep deficit and eat a little bit of something and then they forget to log it. We are only human after all.

Maybe none of my last 2 posts apply, and I mean no disrespect by it. I'm just making sure we're covering all aspects of this.

Weight loss can be difficult... and being honest with ones self is critical for success.
id like to think this isnt the case. She has already attacked this problem 1 month in. She weighs everything and use my fitness pal for the macros from weight
 

CJ275

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thank you for the replies. I think we are going to try this. should this be full body days or a different split?
Doesn't matter, whichever she prefers.
 

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id like to think this isnt the case. She has already attacked this problem 1 month in. She weighs everything and use my fitness pal for the macros from weight
Sounds good. Just remember at the end of the day it's calories in and calories out (regardless of macros). It sounds like she's burning a lot of calories, and not taking in very many.

If you make the other recommended changes, and still don't see results, it may be time to take another good hard look and be hyper critical of the dietary component.

Good luck to you both.
 

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I haven’t read the other replies here but metabolic adaptation is/has set in. Once you dump your calories like this, over time, your body will acclimate and you will have set a new resting maintenance energy expenditure.

Reality: she needs to eat more now to re-establish a higher baseline. For someone who wants to lose weight, this is an enormously large mental hurdle. Once your body acclimates to a new metabolic rate, then you can cut again by decreasing calories very slowly and increasing cardio output.
 
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Literally every drop, every gram, every little thing counts. Everything must be weighed. Use 5 grams of ketchup, you have to log it. Use 1 teaspoon of salsa, it has to be logged. Ate 54 grams of rice but only logged 50, well that's cheating and you need to log the extra 4 grams.
I used to have a friend that tracked even tic tac calories. 1.9 calories each fwiw.
 

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I used to have a friend that tracked even tic tac calories. 1.9 calories each fwiw.
That's not crazy if you eat a lot of them.

I make home made protein gummies, and I track each on. Each gummy is 4 calories. So it doesn't take many of them to add up to something significant.
 

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my girlfriend is trying to lose weight. Shes been dieting since april and tracking all of her food and intake. She only eats 1600 calories and shes 217lbs at 5'9. shes barely lost 20 lbs in 6 months. As of recently she is walking over 13000 steps a day and lifting for 3 days a week for about an hour and only lost .8 lbs in 3 weeks. Shes starting to break under the pressure. She hasnt been cheating at all on her diet. what exactly is she missing?
How did you decide to move forward? What happened?
 

Sityslicker1

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That's not crazy if you eat a lot of them.

I make home made protein gummies, and I track each on. Each gummy is 4 calories. So it doesn't take many of them to add up to something significant.

Protien gummies, what??!! Get out! Man you got to post a recipe for us here.
 
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140 mins of cardio at average heart rate 137 to 147
carbs 170
protein 140
fats about 50
3 full bodies a week
64 to 90 oz water a day
average 13k to 14k steps a day

i have more details if needed
The scale can be deceptive when you’re talking about losing fat. Did you guys get measurements? My ex went through similar issue for a few months. Also a similar diet. She was losing inches and the scale wasn’t reflecting the same. My assumption was she was gaining muscle because of the weight training so the scale wasn’t telling the whole story.
 

TODAY

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my girlfriend is trying to lose weight. Shes been dieting since april and tracking all of her food and intake. She only eats 1600 calories and shes 217lbs at 5'9. shes barely lost 20 lbs in 6 months. As of recently she is walking over 13000 steps a day and lifting for 3 days a week for about an hour and only lost .8 lbs in 3 weeks. Shes starting to break under the pressure. She hasnt been cheating at all on her diet. what exactly is she missing?
This should be addressed.

How much of this pressure is self-imposed, do you think?
 
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