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Am I really under-eating and can't lose?

I have recently turned 40 and am trying to "fine tune" by body a bit. My primary goal is to be healthy and avoid my family's history of diabetes. Mostly we're talking about a bit extra in the tummy and rear.

I am 5'0" and weigh about 110 lb. Now, please don't lecture me for being thin enough or accuse me of some eating disorder as other sites have done. I am very petite and 110 leaves me doughy in those areas. I am only looking to drop 5 or so pounds to slim that tummy. Muscle gain is my goal, though I'm not that dedicated to weight training to think muscle gain is affecting my weight.

I do weights sometimes, as well as cardio regularly (walking the dogs through our hilly NC town 2x a day, every day.) I eat an average of 1200 very healthy calories a day (real foods, lean protein, limited dairy, lots of veg and fruit, and I drink plenty of water) during the week and a bit more on the weekends. Those numbers do include a regular nightcap with the hubby.

I recently got a Bodybugg which shows I burn an average of about 2000 calories a day. So to make a long story a bit longer, even if I underestimate what I eat or the Bodybugg overestimates my burn I must still have a deficit, why have I not lost a single pound over months? Am I really undereating, is the Bodybugg bogus, or is my beloved nightly Irish whiskey with my beloved Irish husband the culprit?

I would appreciate any thoughts you might have. I feel like I'm following a reasonable plan as this site directs. Thanks!

Comments for Am I really under-eating and can't lose?

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Trying to fine tune at 40
by: Dr. Dan

You bring up some very good points.

First, about diabetes: You are not at increased risk of obesity because of your weight. Many adults, and increasingly children, are developing type II (otherwise known as adult onset) diabetes because of their weight.

So your weight does not increase your risk. A strong family history of diabetes does increase your risk. But not your weight.

Second, about your weight and feeling "doughy": That's not surprising. All other things being equal, we lose some muscle each year and gain body fat.

So at any weight we can have a surprising amount of body fat.

You can remedy this to some degree with cardio, but resistance training (weight training, pushups, situps) is more effective.

Third, your Bodybugg and your calories consumed: Something simply doesn't add up.

It's not something that most people like to hear, but the sad fact is that bodies respond to the laws of physics.

You are not ingesting 1200 calories and expending 2000. The chemical reactions that generate energy in your body would not allow that to occur.

Here's some more information about calories and weight loss.

Fourth, you mention alcohol: Alcohol is a common reason for inability to lose weight. Alcohol is hollow calories -- 7 calories per gram -- and it has a bad effect on your metabolism.

Here's some more information about alcohol and weight loss.

Dr. Dan

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