Why can't I freakin lose weight?!!

I’m over this and I need somebody to be mad at.

Background: I’ve been naturally thin my whole life. But I haven’t taken advantage of that…I’ve eaten really well for a quarter century (I’m going for the dramatic here), I work out regularly, I practice good health habits…and, maybe because of that…who knows…I got through my 40s in pretty good fashion…still weighing what I want to weigh without thinking about it hardly at all.

Then i turned 50 and nothing works! Here’s why I’m mad right now – I spent 10 days away on work/vacation…10 days of eating fish, hardly any dessert, fruit for breakfast, a workout every morning and swimming all day and i gained 4 lbs.


Has your thyroid been checked? It can also be hormonal.

Probably just water retention. I always “gain” on vacation. 1-1.5 weeks later, all gone. Just get back to your normal diet.

Did you recently fly back from your vacation? I can easily gain up to 10 (not lying here!!) pounds during air travel. It all comes off in a day or three.

Menopausal changes make it harder to lose weight. I don’t know if that’s part of your problem, but for some women it definitely is…to the point that some internists really encourage women in their 40s to lose extra weight because it will be a LOT harder in a few years.

Were you less active during those ten days than you would have been at home? No matter what I do, I gain weight when I travel. Travel just includes a lot of sedentary time: traveling to airport, sitting in departure lounge, sitting on airplane, waiting for bags & ride, etc.

Do you have a FitBit so that you could monitor your activity levels/movement during travel days vs home days? That won’t help you lose weight, but might help with understanding.

I’d love for it to be my thyroid…all of the women’s magazines in the checkout counter seem to like that theory too…but the reality is that I have no symptoms of any kind…other than a creeping (really unfair) weight gain…for several years now. i"m 15 pounds over where I was 2 years ago.

As far as vacation vs. regular days…i gain weight on crummy months and gain weight during great months…

The doc says “maybe this is the weight you’re supposed to be” as if I’ve been binging and purging for 40 years and suddenly stopped. I mean, LOL.

I totally get it. I had broken through my plateau but after 2 vacations I was back up and stuck again. Admittedly I didn’t watch what I ate so much on action, but I also think some of the food on the fist vacation was very salty.

Remember the “freshman 15?” There’s a fifty 15 also. I haven’t changed a thing and it requires heroic efforts to make the scale inch downward. Still haven’t accepted that this is my new normal.

ETA: the answer, according to a friend of mine, is that you body is trying to hang on to declining estrogen. The best way to store it is to for your body to add fat reserves in all of the areas where you don’t want it. Jolly, isn’t it?

@mamaedefamilia – but when I gained the Freshman 15 (20 in my case, which was significant on my frame), I did so by drinking a lot of beer and eating a lot of bad food. It was similar with the 50 pounds I gained during my pregnancy…that required a LOT of eating—and a lot of time to lose.

The weight comes on so much more easily now than it did 15 years ago. Sigh…

You can still have a sluggish thyroid with minimal symptoms. Very easy blood test.

Ugh autocorrect-- I didn’t watch what I ate on vacation (not “action”). But-- its summer fruit season. I am a happy camper.

^^^ So jealous of you and your yummy southern in-season peaches!

My 1-2 glasses of wine per evening became 1, then no more than 6 ounces. I’m afraid I may be makng the swirch to strictly LaCroix soon. I also had to increase the intensity of workouts and watch portions. I’d never had to strictly watch what I ate. I’ve always had a good diet, but I find now that the amount I need is less than in the past. I gain weight if I don’t adjust from past habits. Sigh.

@teriwtt Just ate my first peach of the season a few hours ago. Life is good. Peaches come from several states in the SE. But they are fresh and tasty.

As you get older, it gets harder and harder to burn off calories, metabolisms slow due to hormonal changes (men declining testosterone, women hormonal changes through menopause), and weight gain is common. This can be especially true like @op, who said they were naturally thin, likely while they ate well and exercised, they had a natural body weight that tended towards being thin. I have read plenty of stories of fashion models, whose diets consisted of things like junk food, potato chips and booze, who were really thin without trying, never exercised, and then when they got older found out how hard it was to keep the weight down (not saying all models are like that, of course, just using one example of what happens).

I agree with others, if you otherwise haven’t changed your lifestyle, you may want to get your thyroid checked, just to make sure, it doesn’t hurt to see if that is involved.

A couple of other things:

1)What kind of exercise are you doing? For example, if your exercise when you were younger was walking a lot, that may not be enough now, you might have to change your exercise routine…to keep the weight off, you might have to do more intensive cardio and /or weight training, long, slow cardio like walking may not be enough if that is what you always did.

2)I would recommend journaling what you are eating, and look most importantly both at quantity and kind. As you get older, you may find that you can less tolerate carbs, so if you always ate a lot of bread or rice or the like, it may be hurting you, even whole grains can be a problem. Or if you eat a lot of fruit,t hat can cause weight gain, because of the sugar. There is eating well, but there is also eating well based on your body and what it is like now…and also be careful of trying to lose weight by not eating enough, being hungry, you can put your body in famine mode. Try changing what you eat and drink, if you drink diet soda, stop drinking it, if you regularly drink alcohol, cut back and see what happens. If you eat a lot of grains and rice, try eating less of that and more green vegetables and lean protein, and see what happens.

It sucks, being on the other side of 50 the body just doesn’t respond like it used to. The other thing is, don’t use the scale much, don’t weigh yourself ever day, do it once a week at most. You can gain weight if you weight train, so things like losing body fat can actually cause you to gain weight. I share with you the battle, in the last year, thanks to work being over the top and some health issues, I stopped regularly exercising and also with eating became a little less disciplned (I eat well 95% of the time, but given I am not exercising, maybe too much or too many calories), and put on close to 30 pounds. If anything, know you aren’t alone:)

I was very thin, until I hit about 40. I ate and drank whatever I wanted, and didn’t do any “planned” working out. I did chase after two young boys, took them on walks and hikes, walked from metro to work, and things like that.
Then I started gaining weight, for no apparent reason. Turns out I went through menopause at 40, and since then I’ve had to start working to keep weight off. Now I’m in my 50s, I work out at least a couple of times a week, I am conscious about what I eat, and I feel like I might be going through another cycle of weight gain. It is definitely harder as you get older.

I’ll sound like a broken record and CC people will probably roll their eyes reading this again (said in so many threads!) but are you tracking your food and exercise? Having it all in front of you - not in your mind - the calories, sodium intake, carbs, sugar, etc. - and getting calorie credit for the exercise you are or aren’t doing - is important to seeing where you need to make changes.

Also, do your clothes fit a lot differently? When you look in the mirror do you see body changes that = the 15+ pounds you have gained? I ask this because I think often people rely to much on that darn number on the scale - instead of how they actually feel, look and how it might be distributed on your body. Becoming a slave to a number on a scale can drive you crazy!

Remember also that if you exercise, particularly weight training, the muscle growth could cause your weight to increase, but that is typically a good thing. If you are concerned about obesity-related health issues, it is probably better to compare your waistline to your height: http://www.ashwell.uk.com/shapechart.htm

I need to lose weight. However I have a theory that we really may need that extra 15 pounds when we hit 70 or so. Because once you are a certain age you don’t feel like eating as much or you get sick and don’t recover as quickly so that extra 15 pounds is used then.