Why Don’t I Lose More Weight?
I used to weigh around 300 pounds (in early 2010), and I got down to 223, with an A1C of 5.1 (mid-2011). Now I weigh 240, with my A1C at 5.3. I eat around 40 carbs per meal and 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day. But I struggle to lose weight. Am I not eating enough? Nick Yoder
Cassandra L. Rico, MPH, RD, responds:
Weight regain is common among people who have lost a lot of pounds. Weight maintenance is very complex and something that many people struggle with. Here are a few things to consider in assessing your situation.
Take a look at how much exercise you’re doing. Exercise is important not only for weight loss but also for preventing weight regain. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, most people need at least 250 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise to maintain weight loss. That comes to nearly an hour of exercise, five days per week.
It’s great that you’re keeping close track of the carbohydrate you eat, which is a key strategy for blood glucose control. But your portions of non-carb foods may have gotten larger over time. It’s easy for extra calories to slip in, so try keeping a food diary for a week. Write down everything that you eat, measure portion sizes, and record calorie intake. At week’s end, study the diary to see where extra calories may be sneaking in.
Your calorie needs depend on your height, weight, age, gender, and other factors. Based on your weight, 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day may not be enough for you. When you consume fewer calories, your body’s metabolism will slow down and adjust to that new calorie level. It could be that your metabolism is being suppressed because you are not eating enough.
Find Out More:
The American Diabetes Association has tools that can help. For basic guidance about exercise, a good place to start is diabetes.org/fitness. For tracking meals, try MyFoodAdvisor at tracker.diabetes.org.
If keeping a food diary and increasing your activity level don’t help, you may want to ask your primary care physician for a referral to a registered dietitian (RD) who can develop a weight-loss plan that works for you.