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You Asked: Why Can't I Lose Weight?

You Asked: Why Can't I Lose Weight?

Dear Sugar,
I am 22 years old and am a healthy girl. I don't eat junk food or sweets and I hate chocolate. I pretty much live on my greens. I'm not fat and I'm not skinny. I exercise every day and I'm generally a very active person but I just can't seem to lose weight! I don't want to lose a lot; I just want to get back into the shape I was in a few years ago. I've been on every diet possible and I've even been to the doctor about it, yet nothing has worked. I even went to the extreme of starving myself for days, and even that didn't work.

I'm completely stuck of what to do! I recently got fired from my job too, and my love life has been nonexistent for the past year and half, my sex drive is completely gone, and I'm becoming resistant to even leave the house. Please offer some advice.
— Really Trying Regina

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Really Trying Regina,

Trying to take off those last few pounds can be the most frustrating task on earth, I know, but it sounds like you are doing everything you should be doing to get your desired results. Since you're going through an emotional time right now, the stress could be making it harder for the weight to come off. Also, I happen to think that overthinking weight loss has the opposite effect — it seems like when I don't put so much thought into it, it's easier for me to lose weight.

As we all know, fad diets do not work — sticking to a healthy diet and getting your heart rate up does. Avoid eating late at night and keep the drinking to a minimum. E. Jean said it best: Everything in moderation. Keep exercising, keep eating healthy, and try not to obsess too much on the number on the scale; rather pay more attention to how you feel inside. If the weather is cooperating, take walks outside with friends so your exercise won't seem like such a chore. If you're feeling depressed, use your friends and family for support as keeping your feelings bottled up inside won't make them go away. Losing weight doesn't happen over night so stay patient and keep your spirits high. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
Vsugar Vsugar 9 years
I double and triple the acupuncture comments. It sounds like your whole system is just out of balance, and acupuncture can really help with this (seriously). I went to see an acupuncture physician for allergies, but in general I was tired, and my skin was breaking out, and I was having terrible periods... I just felt blah and icky. And now I feel GREAT - seriously. You should look for someone who is licensed, and who is affiliated with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine ( and other groups ( (for example), and their state oriental medical board (if your state has one). Look for someone who has DOM in their title, which stands for Doctor of Oriental Medicine - this means at least 5 years of schooling in traditional oriental medical treatments (which includes acupuncture and medicinal herbs), and make sure that they use single-use needles, which they should open in front of you. Try it - you might be surprised!!
Ch0chaL0ca Ch0chaL0ca 9 years
First off, if you're gonna starve yourself, u have 2 be committed to it..not just a couple days but more like a couple months and not so much a starving yourself as cutting caloric intakes by about85-90%. Plus, maybe it's the thyroid..listen, ladies, ALWAYS GET YOUR THYROIDS CHECKED!!!! I know I had thyroid issues and once they took out half of it (precancerous cells) and on and off my meds and after my Son, I started to lose like crazy!!!! I may be hyper as opposed to hypo, now..or hopefully regulated, either way, calorie restriction, exercise (ALWAYS STAYING ACTIVE),and thyroid stuff has worked 4 me..
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 9 years
Leilanic1 - i love your sister's idea. I'm going to try that too! one small goal a week...
A lot of people can stop losing weight if they aren't getting enough calories. If you eat more, and continue working out, you should see a difference. Helped with me, my mom, and a few friends.
redhotgirl redhotgirl 9 years
stress doesn't help wtih losing weight either...
Moonlight_mins Moonlight_mins 9 years
petite42 petite42 9 years
You absolutely must eat more. If you are exercising every day, you probably need at least 1500 calories. To metabolize fat and build lean mass, the body requires certain vitamins and minerals. It is hard enough for a woman to meet her vit & mineral requirements on 1200 calories a day - impossible on 600 cals a day!! If you have been eating only 600 cals for a long time, then your body is surely malnourished, which could explain your lack of sex drive as well. And no - taking a vitamin pill will not solve this (though it can't hurt to add one *on top of* another 800-1000 calories). There is no vitamin pill that has ever matched Nature's perfect vitamin delivery system: FOOD. I lost the last stubborn 10 pounds eating no less than 1500 calories a day, and I'm only 5'0 tall, did no weights, and only modestly exercised (running 10-12 miles a week) while being highly sedentary the rest of the day. When you get to those last 10 lbs, it is very important to shave off only a modest amount of calories and don't go overboard. Anytime I'd try to have a deficit of more than 300 calories, my weight loss would stall out completely.
TFS TFS 9 years
fireflyFitness fireflyFitness 9 years
I really wish I could delete my comments after I read more of TFS's comments. Of course you are not losing weight if you are only consuming 600 calories. Your body is going into starvation mode. It will do everything it can do to hold on to your fat because it doesn't know when the next good meal is coming! Honestly, I don't know how you are functioning emotionally or physically on 600 calories a day. I agree a Doctor or Therapist would be of value. Once you get the emotional issues resolved, a Personal Trainer can help develop a healthier approach.
fireflyFitness fireflyFitness 9 years
Oh, one more thing! Check out the Good Mood Diet at Living off of greens is not good for you. You need protein and whole grains as well. What you eat has a HUGE effect on your mood! I KID YOU NOT!
fireflyFitness fireflyFitness 9 years
If you are not gaining weight, my guess is you just need to tweak your fitness routines. 1. Start strength training. You must lift enough weight to challenge the muscles in 10 to 12 reps. You must, you must, you must! 2. Do 20 minutes of HIIT cardio 3 days a week. Alternate a minute or two of easy cardio with 30 seconds of sweat inducing cardio. 3. Try to consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day and be sure to drink about half your weight in ounces of h20, else the fiber will blow you up like a blow fish. I'm a personal trainer, PM me if you would like some more info. Also, you should first check with your doctor before beginning a routine to rule out any potential health issues. Good luck!
TFS TFS 9 years
behemoth_the_cat - read my message to sugar first.
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
Try joining a gym or doing a new kind of excersise. Try a new sport, like b-ball or swimming or martial arts or aerobics; anything you haven't tried before! It's a great way to make exercise interesting and to stay motivated.
TFS TFS 9 years
o0 i dont have acne though lol :p im one of these OCD's about hygiene and so vein, its probs the reason im obsessing over loosing a few pounds. :/ but no i do appreciate it all because i know people who fount is easy peasy to loose weight and i just didnt get why i couldnt! ill defo take a trip to them and see what they say! :D
sarahcamp20 sarahcamp20 9 years
TFS - They will ask you questions that you are probably not expecting that are big signals for them about what is going wrong. For example... sleeping patterns, energy level, how often you go to the restroom (a bit weird but it says a lot about your health), etc. The first visit you will be talking a lot... that's how you know a good TCM practitioner. It's very different than visiting a Western doctor because they really want to hear your problems and all of them. But they also can tell how you are doing by checking your pulse (but here they are not checking your pulse) they can tell how your organs are doing on your wrists. They'll check your tongue, another easy way to check what's wrong. Next they'll do acupuncture and/or herbs to take home. (Most of the time they're used to us westerners going to them for the first time... so don't be afraid to ask them what you should expect and what they're doing) If you want to lose weight you can tell them that but they'll probably want to make you healthy before losing weight. (You will never look good until the inside of you is healthy) When I got sick, I lost a lot of weight and it looked bad (I mean bad... no boobs, all bones, it was not attractive) Believe me, you only want to lose weight when you're healthy, then it will look good. When I had bad acne, I told my herbalist about my skin and he told me we would do my skin next visit because spleen was weak. (Well... once we strengthen my spleen, my skin naturally cleared up) Hint... don't wear makeup when you go, the locations of your acne and skin pigmentation are signals about what organs are weak. Everything is connected. Some of your weight might be water weight, if you are bloated, let them know. They're really good at getting rid of tummy bloats. I used to have a big problem with that, it was really uncomfortable.. well, my hands and feet would swell up too. Ugh. But not anymore. Cost... I've paid $55 in the Midwest to $120 out in California for acupuncture. I have gone to Acupuncture schools for treatment and paid nothing. My herbalist in San Fran is $55. When I was really sick I went every 2 weeks, it's all I could afford. It really depends how sick you are. Start with every 2 weeks or every week. The more you go, the faster you will heal. But it's very subtle. It's not a sudden change but those ailments will just disappear and then you will wonder one day, when did I have that again? Now I go for a "tune up" to my herbalist or acupuncturist every month or every 2 months. Anyway, please email me if you have any more questions. I'm sorry it been such a hard struggle for you. The hardest thing for me was to not have adequate answers for my ailments. Please listen to your body, if something is wrong, your body is trying to tell you something. I learned that the hard way. (Sorry... I write way to much)
TFS TFS 9 years
wowies they seem pretty amazing! lol but when i go in what exactly do i say to them? like do i just say i want to loose some weight healthy and they will take it from there? how much does it cost etc? and how long will i be going to them for?:]
sarahcamp20 sarahcamp20 9 years
One more thing... sorry can't help it. If you really are only eating 600 calories a day, this is probably the reason you’re so tired during the day. You don’t have enough qi (energy) to keep going, your body needs more fuel. he tricky thing about losing weight is that you body has to be healthy and have energy (qi) to spare. Which means you have to heal your body before you start changing your body.
sarahcamp20 sarahcamp20 9 years
TFS - Actually the best ones don't speak English. Both of my TCM doctors moved to states from China, one has a translator who works in his shop with him. (My favorite doctor has a tiny dingy shop in Chinatown in SF and he is a miracle worker) Healing takes some time but they have changed my life or to say it more accurately, let my life continue (I was really sick). I guess it was just such a relief to find people who would not only answer my questions, heal my problems but also validate my concerns. I started going to acupuncture out of desperation, at that point I had a rash all over my face... it closed up my eyes, ears, mouth, nose and I was 15 lbs under weight (this was not on purpose… I was eating but nothing was sticking to me). By that time I had seen 15 western doctors who didn’t know what to do with me. At my first acupuncturist appointment (when I had the rash), she immediately asked me if I had eaten fried chicken the day before… which I had… it was amazing! She got rid of the rash, helped me gain the weight back and more importantly gave me enough energy to start exercising again. At that point all I could do was stay in bed… no, really, it was hard to stand at the time. Now a few years later, I can eat fried food when I cheat and my face doesn’t blow up. It’s really hard for me to hear stories like yours. I hear them all the time. It brings back so many sad, angry and frustrating memories. No one took my illnesses seriously until I was a bone and the rashes took over my face. I was suffering for years before that. I guess the biggest blessing for me about TCM was that I could find answers. No more guessing. They can tell you what’s wrong (most of the time I don’t really understand) all I hear is that my spleen is weak or my qi is low… stuff like that. (It’s actually a very complex understanding of the body) By the way… a TCM herbalist is really good at healing organs and Acupuncturist helps you strengthen your Qi. Starting out I would do both, most TCM practitioners do both. I used to do more Acupuncture now I find herbs help me more. It depends where you are in your healing. Try to find a TCM doctor that is recommended by a friend. There are good ones… who do amazing work and then there are OK ones that might not make much of a difference. Go with your gut when picking a doctor. Hope this helps...
TFS TFS 9 years
Thank you sugar!:D
7kimba7 7kimba7 9 years
Thanks for that comment, DearSugar... the hotlines is a great idea.
DearSugar DearSugar 9 years
Sorry for the lose, loose error. It's been fixed and thanks for bringing it to my attention. I have to intervene here. 600 calories a day is not a healthy way to eat. According to FitSugar, women should NOT be eating any less than 1,200 calories a day. Put your information in this calculator to find out what your daily caloric intake should be. I understand that therapy is expensive, so if you need a listening ear, contact any of these hotlines to ask questions and get support. National Eating Disorders Association, Something Fishy, or Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Open up to your family and friends and stay healthy!
TFS TFS 9 years
i think i do yes! ive already had 2 naps today and im STILL tired and ready for bed already! (its only 5:30 pm here)
facin8me facin8me 9 years
owe, not own^
facin8me facin8me 9 years
tfs, I am shorter than you, and I eat way more than 900 calories a day to maintain my weight. Staying healthy is about giving your body what it needs to function. 900 calories is not enough for your body to function, especially if you work out once and sometimes twice a day. You're right, therapists cost pennies. But so do gym memberships and TCM practictioners. If you can find money for those things, you can find money to get somebody to help you with your problems. You own it to yourself, don't you think?
TFS TFS 9 years
sarahcamp20 - i actually have 3 TCM's in my town! ive never thought of going to any of them, mainly because they cant speak any english lol. but maybe ill make the effort now!:]
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