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Nutrition & Dieting/excessive, unexplained weight gain


QUESTION: Hi. I'm a 29 year old female, 5 ft 6 inches, weighing 74 kg. I work out 6 days a week, spending 1500 kcals daily. My diet is 1100 kcals per day, with an increase upto 2000 kcals once a week. Now, the thing is, in 2012 I lost 18 kg, of which I've gained 7.5 kg back to come up to 74. Since my weight loss, I've joined the gym and thus the workout mentioned. I've tested myself for thyroid, pcod, sr. Insulin, dheas. Every hormone is normal. I'm going crazy trying to figure out what is going on. I'm still gaining weight steadily. I see no way out. Please help because I'm an RD myself and my psychological health is now suffering as despite being qualified professional of this very field, am unable to figure this out
Please help.

ANSWER: Sumone,
You certainly have me stumped! The only answer I can think of is that some of your figures are off.
How do you know how many calories you expend when you exercise? Are you saying you burn 1500 calories a day exercising? I would find this hard to fathom, because heavy exercise burns 500-600 per hour.
How do you know you eat 1100 kcal per day? This also sounds extremely low, like you would be dropping weight quickly.
Are there any days or times you exercise less or eat more (other than the one day a week)?

Could you have your metabolic rate tested? It's an easy test, where you just lie still and breathe in and out normally for 15 minutes while a metabolic cart calculates your energy expenditure from your O2 intake and CO2 output. This might give you some answers.

I suggest keeping a strict food intake and exercise diary every day for a month and see what happens. In my experience, we think we are doing so well, we take a little nibble here and there, and it adds up to no weight loss!
What are you doing differently now than you were the year you lost weight?

Let me know what happens!

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QUESTION: Hi. Thank you for letting me know am not the only one stumped. As far as the figures are concerned, no, there's no mistake. I work out two hours a day (continuously) and the machines show up a total of nearly 1600 kcals per day, which I consider to be 1500 as no machine kcals calculator is totally accurate. As far as the diet is concerned, I told you am an RD so I know the calorie content. In fact, I use a kitchen weighing scale to measure the quantity am not sure about. I also kept a food diary and even then, the average is on the lower side of 1100 per day. Plus, I've tried changing my diet, my exercise, nothing works. As far as the metabolism testing goes, we don't have the facility in our city. Yes, my metabolism may be slow due to the weight I had lost, but this has been going on since nearly a year. Tht's what is gotten my goat! I've even tried the high protein diet to prevent rebound weight gain but proteins give me bloating. The only options left are anti obesity drugs and meal replacement powders. I don't want to go in for either as they go against my own policy that weight loss should be through correct diet and exercise. Please help me. Am desperate. Please. Thank you.

Gosh, Sumone, if you are eating less and exercising more and gaining weight I certainly don't have any idea why you would be gaining weight!
Your other option now would be to cut the exercise and eat a little more on the outside chance your body is trying too hard to conserve because you're eating too little and burning too much. Drugs and powders aren't going to do anything your rather extreme dieting hasn't.
I would suggest you try switching the focus to being healthier instead of being thinner. Perhaps when you stop the daily struggle things will settle into place.

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Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD


As a registered dietitian (RD)I am fully qualified to accurately answer questions regarding weight loss, including those from people with health conditions requiring dietary restrictions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc) who want to lose weight, or who have been advised to do so by their physician.


I have been a registered dietitian for over 30 years and have a certificate in Adult Weight Management through the commission on dietetic registration at Level 1 and Level 2. I am also trained in coaching through Coach U and currently work as a diet coach to help people lose weight the healthy way, through gradual habit changes.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Nutrition Entreprenuers, St.Louis International Coach Federation, Toastmasters

Publications,,,, Today's Dietitian

Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida, 1983; Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University 1985; Certificate in Adult Weight Management 2006; CoachU core essentials grad 2007; Level 2 certificate in Adult Weight Management 2010.

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