T Nation

Helping My Fiance, She Can't Lose Weight


Hi everyone. I thought I would make a post about this, being that I am completely stumped at this point.

My fiance is seemingly doing everything correctly but not seeing any results!

She is an avid exerciser and has always eaten good. For the last few years she was around 125 -130lbs at 5'4. She was a waitress up until about a year ago and because of the constant moving she managed to stay at that weight without too much flucation. After she graduated and got a real job she obviously doesnt move as much as she did as a waitress.

Thats not to say that she isnt active, she participates in very intense 60-90 minute group classes at our Powerhouse gym 5 days per week and goes for 3 mile jogs twice weekly. The classes are difficult and are fairly well rounded -I dont think training is her issue.

On to her diet. She eats great. I put together a diet plan for her that is 1200 calories per day. She follows it religously. Even measuring out one tablespoon of cream for her coffee.

*She gets 7 hours of sleep minimum each night.

*Her stress level is moderate. Demanding job, but not horrible.

The only other thing that comes to mind is that she stopped taking birth control over two years ago after being on it for over 4 years. But she didnt notice a huge jump in weight gain, its been slow and steady.

So what do we do? I am baffled by this. I know she's not cheating on her diet and taking in a max of 1200 calories. I know shes training 5-6 days per week. I know she's getting enough sleep.... what else is there? Knock her calories down to 1000 per day! That seems nuts!

Heres a typical macro breakdown of any given day:

Calories: 1,194

Fat: 38.1

Carbs: 86.8

Protein: 122.8

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


She needs to get her thyroid thoroughly and properly tested.

She needs the following tests: TSH, TPO antibodies, FreeT3, FreeT4, and if she can get it Reverse T3.

Thyroid disease can and does make it impossible to lose weight regardless of diet.

Get those tests get a COPY OF THE LAB RESULTS PAGE INCLUDING THE LAB RANGES come back and post the results INCLUDING THE LAB RANGES and I will read them for you.

And now I admit I didn't even read your whole post going back to do so now...


Okay I read it. Thyroid.

Also 1200 should NOT be her max it should be her MINIMUM please don't have her eat less than that any day.


Everything Hallowed said. 1200 is on the low side for 60-90 min of intense daily activity.

It's also worth thinking about possible food intolerances, primarily gluten. I might be biased because of my experiences and those of my fiance - but she did an elimination diet and found multiple foods that didn't agree with her, and I noticed positive effects after cutting out gluten completely, but keeping rice and buckwheat. Gluten can also trigger an auto-immune reaction that attacks the thyroid.



Thats WAAAAAY too low. Anytime I restrict my calories too much my weight won't do what I want it to do.


1194kcals is within the maintenance range for her height and weight. If kcals in = kcals out, net loss= 0

What is her goal specifically? Is she trying to lose scale weight, body fat, body recomposition? Because for her height, she's at a pretty healthy weight.

So despite everything, she's eating enough calories to maintain her weight. Has she tried manipulating her macros as per the intensity of her workouts? Has she tried to low carb on days off? etc...

Secondly, she could probably benefit from switching things up every once in a while...maybe do sprints, complexes, circuits, etc to boost those GH levels and increase metabolism.

The human body is built to adapt, if you're doing the same thing day in, day out.......

Just a thought.

EDIT: What's her water intake like?
Secondly, maybe she's doing too much? How 'bout switching it up to 3 TB workouts a week to see how it suits her?


As Tom said, get her to cut out wheat and other grains. Keep carbs relatively low and if she must have them, eat them during the early part of the day. I'd recommend her try a primal diet for a while. (See www.marksdailyapple.com )
Also, as Skye says, do sprints and high intensity exercise to mix things up.


how old is she?

what are the group classes? are they like BodyPump:

is it the weight gain that is worrysome or the body composition?

my thought is that the group class might be a bit too endurance / cardio focused for her to be retaining muscle mass.

is she lifting heavier weights than she did before or not?

edit - i mean... if you are doing the exact same class 5x per week then your body will get to be pretty adapted to it. might be really very hard indeed for someone who doesn't do the class regularly / isn't adapted to it, but people who do it regularly get pretty good at pulling the intensity of effort faces to keep the instructors off their backs. i'm just suspicious of group classes fairly generally... especially for fighting the fight against age related muscular atrophy.


oh boy...i know you have the best intentions but i do cringe when boyfriends and husbands get involved with helping ladies loose weight...only because its a personal issue for most. If i am wrong i apologize!

BUT--maybe changing up her training completely. Trying a strength program, maybe come complexes etc and upping her cals cleanly. Typically up the protein and lower the carbs real low for a bit should do the trick or at least wake up her body to a change.

seems like she's active, but her body might just be acclimated to what she's been doing--and her cals do seem too low to me, stagnatingly low for an active person. plus maybe she'll love it and turn into a pl hottie for you :slight_smile:


Someone that manages their calories to the tablespoon and is still gaining weight has something wrong with their metabolism.