Help with my diet plan

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    Help with my diet plan

    So, I`ve been around for a while, haven’t really posted anything, but I`ve been struggling with my diet lately – 2 years ago I started off with horrible weight, 130 kilos on 173 cm – due to a poor diet, depression and PCOS. I managed to make it to about 90 and then it just stopped. Not proud, but I have done breaks of my diet/exercise a few times {with the excuse that it would stabilize my weight and help reduce the excess skin) , which hasn’t really helped, and has gotten me back to 95 kilos currently – in fact I’ve been stuck around there for a while. Recently I got back into my diet/exercise rhythm, but I`ve been wondering, since it kinda failed last time, due to low motivation and bla-bla, if what I`m doing is actually right – I`ve tried to contact a dietician several times, but it`s rather difficult to get to anyone right now, especially due to corona, so I would be more than appreciative, if someone would tell me if what im doing is right/which part of could be wrong, or.. like anything, because as much as I’ve been reading, I`ve probably missed something important. I`m currently doing the 1&1 meal plan, plus keeping my “free” days tighter, than its probably recommended – it goes to something like that (I do count calories – with my fitness pal) – so on a control day goes up to about 600-700, no carbs, no fats – mostly eggs, tomatoes and some broccoli, and on the free days, up to 1200-1300 calories, while keeping the suggested 120g protein/ 105 carbs /33 g of far loosely (I try not to go too hard on myself, if something goes slightly over, although I`m trying to pay attention to the carbs more). Currently I`m exercising twice a day – small jog on the spot inside in the morning – 5 sets of 2 minute runs with 30 seconds in between and a different HIIT program in the afternoon for about half an hour or a long walk – also twice a week, I switch the HIIT with strength orientated ones. And I have my meal 5-10 minutes after a workout, trying to have a protein shake or a smoothie after the longer workout. My sleep isn’t that regular, and I do feel demotivated and tired a lot of the time, but that`s mostly due to the fact I`m not quite sure if what I`m doing is right – so any feedback would be appreciated, advice or just if I`ve missed including something important, just ask me.

    thanks in advance

    Wait, just a short question to see if I comprehend your words right: are you eating 600-700kcals on your control days and 1200-1300kcals on the off days, or is that your deficit (wouldn't make much sense that you eat at a bigger deficit on your off days), but I just want to be sure before I start writing more


      Yeah, thats right.


        Edit: After two posts mentioning that the part about harming ones metabolism in my post is outdated and (seemingly) not true any more, I just want to note for later to disregard the line about metabolism and stuff. I don't want to edit the original post, though, for reference.

        Okay, first of all, it's great that you're trying to lose weight again despite your depression and PCOS. That makes it harder for you, but you're doing it, and that's already fantastic.

        I don't have PCOS myself (but tried to educate me a tiny little bit to see if I can even give some advice). I really want to implore you to eat more. It seems that the amount of calories you need is less because of your PCOS than it would be for women without, but still then I'm convinced 600-700kcals a day with your workout schedule is way too less. With so few calories, chances are you might do harm to your metabolism (I'm reasonably sure this is also true for your condition. So, plugging your stats into a TDEE calculator and setting your activity to sedentary, we come up with around 2,100kcals a day to sustain your current weight. Going from this, I would try to shoot for 1,600kcals, 1,500kcals at the max (or min, in that case). That might also help with your constant feeling of tiredness. It's also much safer and healthier in the long term (and more sustainable) if you shoot for a slow weight loss.
        For your off days you could try 1,800kcals. If you have the feeling your weight loss stalls after a few weeks, try going about 100kcals lower. Yes, you have a lot of weight so going without much food can work, but I'm a big fan of doing important things the slow and steady way (your mileage may vary)

        That's the basic theory.

        Now, it seems that with PCOS you have to look for food that helps you with those insulin spikes, but I'm not educated on this, so I can't really give much advice about this. A bit of research on the internet (and asking your doctor) would probably be the better idea (or maybe another Bee here has the same condition and can share some insight). At least I've read on various places that drinking a glass of water before and after a meal seems to help women with PCOS losing weight (suggested by American studies).

        I also want to throw in that enough and good sleep is somewhat important for weight loss, are there any chances to fix your sleep schedule?

        Anyways, you've already come a long way, that's admirable and I'm sure with a bit of tweaking and tuning here and there you can continue on your progress.
        Last edited by Nihopaloa; September 10, 2020, 07:53 PM. Reason: Put a short notice at the top about the line referring to harming the metabolism


        • #5
          Ok. I don’t really know how to start this off so I’m just going to dive right in. First of all, I don’t really love counting calories. I’ve tried it before, with my fitness pal, but it just made people around me crazy, and me crazy. Many people do it, I’m just not a fan. Instead, I would say, you shouldn’t think of the calories, you should think of what you’re eating. I started counting calories when I was at a weight loss plateugh, and It didn’t work, but when I started just eating healthier, it did. I mean it does sound like you’re eating pretty healthy, so I would just say eat protein. Also, there is a reason that you’re supposed to be not as restricted. It’s because you don’t want to lower your metabolism. Also, it might be controversial, but instead of paying attention to carbs, you should be paying attention to fats. Fats are good for you, but when your eating a good amount of carbs, fats are what doesn’t get burned off. There are many different ways to diet so I’ll just tell you what has worked for me. I tried to follow a hard diet, but it didn’t work. What I try to do is just eat healthy, avoid foods with added sugar, and make sure I’m eating a lot of protein. It isn’t strict, and I can snack as much as I want, just on things like cheese, carrots, or strawberries. I also have a bit of a sweet tooth so at the end of the day I allow myself a small dessert. With this “diet”, it’s very easy to lose weight because, I find, that these foods make it easier not to eat as much.


            Thanks to both of you for the fast and helpful responses ;3 About the PCOS, I am on medication for it, plus some hormonal replacements - DIane as birth control and Metformin for the insulin spikes, and as far as they decided to tell me, everything should be fine with that, even though my case is quite severe (which got me to that weight in the first place). I do like numbers, so counting calories isn’t a problem - if anything, it gives me a sense of accomplishment and that I`m actually doing something - Ill try up it up a bit by adding an extra meal to my control days - another 200-300 calories to that and let’s say 1500? for the free days - I hope that doesn`t sound too crazy. On the healthy part, I do try my best to eat healthy - almost no added sugars (every now and then some honey or sweeteners/zero calorie drinks, yes, i know they might be bad, but...), dessert/unhealthy snack once a week... and another than that nothing horrible really - nothing deep fried, generally things low on fats, mostly meat and veggies, whenever i do have dressing or sauce or something, i always make sure its logged and everything.. so yeah. I`ll adjust that, and in a few weeks, I`ll pop in for an update, but I really appreciate this ;3


              I've just got three things to add to the pot.

              First I completely agree with Nihopaloa that you need to up the calories as 600-700 is incredibly low especially for someone at 173cm. Maybe if you were sub 5ft but not 5'6".

              Second you need fats as they are your hormone controller. You don't need a ton of them but you need some each day to make sure your hormones stay in check. There are calculators out there to help with minimal intake but the recommendation for males is 1 gram per kg body weight (I think it is a bit higher for females), look into Lyle McDonald for some good research into women's hormone control and diet stuff (he did some really good research with two other women). Low fat is fine just make sure you hit your minimums.

              The last part is do you weigh your food? Counting calories is great and using estimates are fine but when you are starting off or hitting plateaus weighing things out can really help.


                I do weigh everything, yes - and i tend to hit the goal limit on my app for fats - which is about 34ish - a bit more, after i adjusted the counter = the 600-700 comes from what the diet plan itself suggest for 3 meals - so, I`ll be adding a fourth one.


                  Nihopaloa I am very sceptic about the link you posted, cause the study he used is not comparable to a controlled diet in our days!
                  - constantly ongoing for 6 month
                  - healthy man: maybe at most a bmi of 25... not much muscle mass...
                  - bad food: high carbs, almost no fat and
                  - no strength training, but walking

                  In that setting you get in the rare state of starving mode, but not if your body has enough fat left to burn...

                  I found this:

                  as I assumed, the men were really starved at the end...

                  ​​​​​​​Besides: He states that kids do need less kcal than bodybuilders. Sure, obviously true for absolute kcal... but in relation to their own bodyweight, kids need much more kcal than adults...

                  Not saying, it is useful to cut your calories that much, but not necessarily for metabolic damage reasons... more for psychological reasons and habit building...

                  To cut with maintenance of muscle mass, you have to eat enough protein and use your mucles, aka strength training...

                  ​​​​​​​...and good sleep...I would rather sleep than train to lose weight...


                    Insulin response/resistance is important for trying to drop weight w PCOS moreso than without. You might want to look into diets recommend for type 2 diabetics - less carbs than a standard diet, and focusing on low glycemic index carbs overall. (Whole grain pasta/bread/rice vs not, less sugary fruits and more fiberous ones, etc.)


                      Noted, HellYeah. I think the article was mostly written to scare people away from crash diets or from eating in a huge calorie deficit (Scooby's weird sometimes). I keep your concern in mind, though, for future (non)use


                        Well, here I am for an update. First, I would like to say thank you one more time for all the responses - I`ve read and checked a whole bunch of articles and things, and a few things did pop out. One, being a calculator, specifically designed for PCOS, which also suggested a low carb [20C/45P/35F] diet, which is rather difficult to follow, considering 180 grams of protein on 1600 calories is..well, almost impossible without huge amounts of protein powder - which I do have. Since my scale was being rather random [it was a second hand health box kit from Under Armour, and since they discontinued their app, it started showing different values every 2 minutes with up to a kilo and a half difference], I got a new one from Renpho, which if anything at least appears consistent. I`m not quite sure how much I SHOULD be losing, maybe the kilo and a half for the past 2 weeks is good, although I can`t be sure how much of that is just water adjusting. Sleep-wise - I wish I could add that 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep and everything, but I dont think it's actually possible. Switching to a lower carb diet also made me more tired, than before which in turn means I sort of gave up on the said morning runs in favour of just doing HIIT [the HIIT advanced program] and after that about 45-60 minutes of strength stuff, including the 30 days of gravity and some varied extra ones to fill in the time. I'm not quite sure about the meal times [bigger breakfast, smoothie right after the workout, lighter dinner - about 4ish hours apart - i'm trying to keep it consistent as much as possible], or if I should be adjusting anything to it - like less sweetener to things or.. well, i really have no idea - this is way over what I actually understand. I did however manage to contact a doctor and get myself an appointment - although he did say the same thing as they like to tell me - how well I`ve done, that it's good that I`ve stabilized it and that ill eventually start losing more again [and ofc mentioning less cake and to exercise a bit >.<] I did manage to get full blood work with insulin resistance and everything else - haven't gotten the results yet, but I'm hoping it's not that bad, cause somewhere in the distant future I would like to have a slice of real, white bread. I'm also a little bit worried about so much strength based workouts getting me more towards being more muscular, rather than just thin. Also, I have no idea if the calculator is correct and how much my metabolism has adapted the past 2 years, since that's about as long as i've kept this up, with a little break here and there for holidays and stuff. I don't know if I've missed anything or if even any of this is relevant...


                          If low carb is difficult for you then you really don't need to do it. The reason why it's recommended for type 2 diabetics is because it lowers insulin resistance more quickly, but even for diabetics the most important thing is that they stick to the diet and lose weight (which makes insulin resistance go down much more than a low carb diet). Eating low carb doesn't speed up weight loss and your insulin resistance probably already went back into okay territory when you went from 130 to 90. And if eating carbs enables you to run in the mornings then it's probably better for you to eat carbs.

                          I'm not sure how strictly you're trying to stick to those percentages of fat, protein and carbs. Percentages like that are handy for some people, but for others they're too rigid. Especially since they don't really tell you how much you should actually be eating, because your body doesn't need specific percentages after it has what it needs. What it needs is: at least 63 g of fat per day (for hormones and cell repair) and at least 76 - 101 g of protein per day (depending on how much strength training you did that day, anything over your daily need of protein isn't used for muscle, it's just burned as calories). The rest of your calories you can fill however you want. If you want to avoid the low carb flu and ketosis then you'll want at least 50 g of carbs per day.

                          Don't worry about damaging your metabolism, that website linked above is acting on data from decades ago when methodological errors led to the belief that eating too little can lower your metabolism.

                          Also don't worry about getting too muscular. For women, even women with PCOS, it's incredibly hard to get anywhere near "bulky" without steroids or other doping substances.You'd have to bodybuild as a full-time job in order to get that. It's a disadvantage for women because it means that our strength and strength gains are pretty limited compared to men, but it's an advantage in that you can't really get bulky withouth meaning to.

                          For motivation (and more comprehensible explanations) I can highly recommend "Conquering Fat Logic" by Nadja Hermann (or "Fettlogik überwinden" if you prefer reading it in the original German), who started with stats very similar to you: 175 cm, 150 kg, PCOS and a thyroid issue.


                            I`ll have a look at that ;3 thanks for it. I sorta adjusted to the low carb, to a point where I no longer feel like passing out half of the time, plus the way MyFitnessPal does the grams is 180gP/80gC/62F with 25 on fibre - no idea if thats bad or not either. I`m naturally a bit bulky - did used to work with heavy things in my teenage years, but what you are saying is reassuring, since my main issue is that I`ve always felt out of place, too big, too wide.. and you know - the whole lack of femininity, that comes with the various PCOS side-effects. And while damage isnt a thing, it does adapt to the lesser calorie intake, which makes me doubt eating that much is actually gonna speed this up - the idea here being to lose more, not because I want to be done with the diet - I mean, I do, I really do, but knowing how easy I gain weight, I`ll probably be counting these things for the rest of my life. It`s mostly the idea of being done with it, and possibly getting surgery [if the state agrees to do it for free, because i`m a poor student and there`s no way I could afford plastic surgery otherwise], so I don`t have to look at myself and think about a half-deflated balloon or an empty sack of potatoes - which has always been the goal for this.


                              Oh don't worry about the skin. It will shrink much more than you think.

                              You're kinda at the point where the skin looks the worst: Lots of filling is gone, but there is still enough left to pull it down and prevent it from shrinking. Around 76 kg is where you'll start to see body parts slimming up and the skin shrinking wonderfully. Because once a body part slims up (the first is usually the arms) there's nothing there anymore to pull the skin down and it can adhere to the muscle underneath, where it can stay in place while shrinking. (It takes up to two years to reach its final form after the last kilo is lost.)

                              And I can reassure you: I will also always have to look at the calories. My appetite is that of a tall male marathon runner, while in reality I'm an average-height female couch potato.

                              As for the lack of femininity; I've read that PCOS patients tend to have their fat around the belly, akin to a male pattern. This does give them slim legs pretty early on, but many are unhappy because it means they don't have that feminine shape. But as the weight goes down the belly shrinks and around BMI 25 it starts being very moderate. This is something that also applies to women who smoke, are very stressed or take corticosteroids (a type of antiinflammatory/antiallergic medication).