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My start weight is wrong. How do I change it?

Your Weight Tracker chart will have picked up the very first starting weight you entered into your Personal Details. You need to change this in two places...

  1. Click on the 'My Profile' tab and select the 'Personal Details' tab. Enter your correct start weight and then reset your goal weight further down the page. (Remember we advise that you set your targets in steps that are no more than a 10% loss). Then press '+Update' to correct your Profile. This will update your daily calorie target and also reset your goal weight date automatically.
  2. Now click on the 'Weigh-in' tab and click on the 'Update Weight Tracker' link, then click on 'Show Barchart' and select 'Show Data' from the drop down. This will display weight entries as text rather than a bar chart view. To delete previous weight records, click on the grey dustbin next to each one. (You will need to remove each entry one at a time)
  3. Enter your correct start weight in the 'Add new weight' section above your charts. Press the '+ Update Chart' to enter your new start weight for today's date.

Tip!
If you want to enter your new start weight on a date before today, you need to use the calendar. This is the small icon with what looks like a number '7' on it (to the left of the 'update chart' button). Click on the calendar icon to open it, select the date you want, then close the window by clicking the small x in the top right corner. Press the 'update chart' button.

Your start weight entry must be the earliest entry by date for your overall weight loss to be calculated correctly.

Why aren't my rosettes showing on my forum profile even though I have reached a milestone?

There could be 2 reasons:

  1. Check you've ticked the option to display your rosettes. Go to the forums and click on 'Create Edit My Forum Profile' in 'Community' section. Then scroll down to where it says 'Show rosettes for weight lost so far' and ensure the box is ticked to 'show' - then press the 'Save my profile' button.
  2. The system is still updating. It can take a couple of hours for your rosette to show after you have updated your Weight Tracker. If it still doesn't show, please send an email to customercare@nutracheck.co.uk and we'll look into it for you.

I seem to have hit a plateau - any advice?

First and foremost don't give up! It's really frustrating to feel that you're sticking to your targets and the scales aren't moving, but the weight WILL come off if you keep going.

Here's a few things to check that may help:

  • Are you sure that you are honestly entering everything you are eating and drinking? If yes, then check that you are being accurate with the portion sizes. It's very easy to eat more than you think of certain foods unless you weigh them. Examples are potatoes, pasta, rice, cereal, bread, cheese etc. The other source of 'hidden' calories is dressings and spreads, so make sure that you count these too (initially measure them out until you get a visual idea of how much a 'serving' is).
  • Don't be too impatient. Remember losing weight happens slowly over a period of time and so it's unrealistic to expect it to drop off overnight. If you are achieving a weight loss of half to one pound per week, that's good as you are far more likely to sustain it. Remember that for every pound lost you are one nearer to your goal.
  • Are you increasing your activity level? It is really important to try and 'up' your exercise level to achieve the calorie deficit required to lose weight. To lose 1lb a week you need to create a calorie deficit of between 500 - 600 calories a day. The best way to do this is through a combination of eating less and increasing your exercise level.

    The exercise part is not just important to burn extra calories while you are doing it, but it will also help to change your body's composition over time. As you start to lose the fat and build more muscle, it has a positive effect on your metabolism because muscle is an active tissue that will burn calories just by being there - as opposed to fat which doesn't.
  • Also remember that weight loss rarely follows an exact pattern. Rather than following a steady downwards curve, it is more often a series of stops and starts. So don't expect to lose exactly the same amount every week as it may be that one week you lose 3lbs and the next 1lbs - it is down to your individual body. As long as you are consistently getting a green tick in your Week View, then your overall weight loss trend will be downwards, even if the odd week has a blip!
  • When it comes to your 'weigh-in', tempting as it is to jump on the scales every day(!), try to only weigh yourself once a week. And it is important that you follow the same 'weigh-in' routine to ensure that the weight you read is more easily compared to the previous week. So weigh yourself on the same scales, at the same time of day and after the same routine.
  • The hardest part of losing weight is getting started. It seems like a hard slog BUT when the weight does start to come off - and it WILL if your stick to your calorie targets and increase your activity level - it is motivation in itself to stick with the plan! You've made the commitment to try our service, so giving up would be a real shame as you done the hard bit by getting started.

My weight loss isn't showing correctly in my Progress Chart - how do I change this?

Your Progress chart compares your most recent weigh-in with the very first weight recorded on your Progress chart to calculate your weight loss to date.

If the first recorded weigh-in was a while ago when you were a member before and it has now changed, you will need to delete it and enter your new start weight.

To remove your start weight (and any other old weigh-ins so you can have a fresh start):

  1. Click on 'Show Barchart' and select 'Show Data' from the drop down. This will show your weight entries as numbers.
  2. To delete your start weight click on the grey dustbin icon. If you wish to remove all your previous weigh-ins use the link below the table and 'Click to delete all the above measurements'.
  3. Now enter your correct start weight in the 'Add new weight' section above your charts. Press the '+ Private Weigh-in' to enter it for today. If you want to enter a weight for a previous date, use the calendar which is the small icon with what looks like a number '7' on it.

I have just returned after a break - how do I clear my weight history and have a fresh start?

To remove your selected weigh-ins, click on each bar in your progress chart. Or to delete everything, do the following:

  1. Click on 'Show Barchart' and select 'Show Data' from the drop down. This will show your old weight entries as numbers.
  2. To delete everything, use the link below the table and 'Click to delete all the above measurements'.
  3. Enter your new start weight into the 'Add new weight' section above your charts. Press the '+ Private Weigh-in' to enter it for today. If you want to enter a weight for a previous date, use the calendar which is the small icon with what looks like a number '7' on it.

Why is my Food Summary useful?

Your Reports can help you to see which foods are the biggest culprits in using up your calorie and fat allowance. You can check the food you've eaten in the previous 14 days ranked by...

  • highest calorie
  • lowest calorie
  • highest fat
  • lowest fat

Each report shows the top 20 foods in each category, and works on a 14-day rolling basis.

A good place to start is by looking at your highest fat foods. Fat is the most concentrated source of energy with 9 calories per gram, so reducing your total fat intake has twice the effect of cutting back on protein or carbohydrates.

How do the weight loss rosettes work?

For each 1lb you lose, you get a green rosette which updates for each lb lost until you reach a 7lb milestone - then it turns silver. Once you hit the next mile of 1st14lbs it turns to gold.

Please note! It can take a couple of hours for the weigh-in data from your Progress chart to feed through into your forum profile and update your rosettes.

Weight loss achieved Award
7lbs - 13.5 lbs Silver 7lb rosette
1st - 1st 6.5 lbs14lbs - 20.5lbs Gold 1st14lbs rosette
1st 7lbs - 1st 13.5 lbs21lbs - 27.5lbs Gold 1st14lbs PLUS Silver 7lbs rosette
2st - 2st 6.5 lbs28lbs - 34.5lbs 2 x Gold 1st14lbs rosettes

Displaying rosettes on your forum profile

To show your rosettes to other members, you need to ensure you have ticked the setting to 'show'.

To do this. go to the forum, click on 'Create/Edit My Forum Profile' and scroll down to where it says 'Show rosettes for weight lost so far ' - check the box is ticked and press the 'Save my profile' button.

How frequently should I update my weight in my Personal Details?

When setting your weight loss target, we recommend that you set smaller steps of either of 10% or half a stone rather than going for the full amount. Then when you reach this, go back and set the next step. This is far more motivating that just focusing on a final goal weight which can seem a distant and daunting challenge, particularly if you have a lot of weight to lose. (The drop down list of goal weights shows the % weight loss in brackets so you can see what 10% is).

When you reach a weight loss milestone of 10%, we suggest that you reset your Personal Details. This won't happen automatically as the system allows members flexibility over the decision to reset targets.

To reset your target...

Log in and click on 'My Profile', then click on the Personal Details tab and enter your new starting weight. This could change your goal weight date unless your weight loss has followed the rate you chose exactly. For example if you chose 1 lb per week but in fact your weight loss has averaged at more than this, then your goal date will move forward. However if your weight loss averages out at the rate you set, then your goal weight date will remain the same.

What are Food Triggers?

Many of us are emotional eaters, so we've added Food Triggers to help.

We eat for many reasons other than being hungry. If your diet goes off track, you can tag the culprit food with the trigger that caused you to eat - for example you were feeling stressed, or perhaps you were just bored.

How it works:

  1. Look for the emoticon above your search results when adding a food to your diary and select your Food Trigger.
  2. Add the food to your diary.
  3. Click on the emoticon in your food diary to get helpful tips and practical advice on how to manage that trigger better next time.

How often should I weigh myself?

Tempting as it is to jump on the scales every day(!), we recommend that you only weigh yourself once a week. It is important that you follow the same 'weigh-in' routine to ensure that the weight you read is more easily compared to the previous week. So weigh yourself on the same scales, at the same time of day and after the same routine.

Fluctuations in body water mass can vary by several pounds within a few hours, so the timing of your 'weigh-in' is important as having gone without something to eat or drink for a few hours (or just having been to the loo) could make several pounds of a difference and give a low reading, whereas the opposite scenario could imply a higher than actual weight - and the difference between the two results could be as much as half a stone!

It's also important to remember that weight loss rarely follows a smooth downwards curve. It is more often a series of stops and starts! So don't expect to lose exactly the same amount every week as it may be that one week you lose 3lbs and the next 1lbs - it is down to your individual body. As long as you are consistently getting a green tick in your Week View, then your overall weight loss trend will be downwards, even if the odd week has a blip!

How much weight should I be losing?

You should be aiming to lose 1 - 2lbs per week. This is safe, sensible and importantly it is more likely you will keep the weight off. It is not unusual to lose at a rate of more than 2lbs a week in the first few weeks - especially if you have a fair amount to lose. But this will level off, and what you are looking for is an average of 2lbs per week over the duration that you are losing weight.

Our system sets sensible calorie targets that allow for a balanced diet and are sustainable. The lowest our system will set as an ongoing target is 1,400 cals a day on the expert advice of our consultant Dr Campbell. In his experience, trying to stick to a lower target for any length of time results in a higher drop out rate - your diet becomes much more restrictive and therefore harder to sustain. The secret of success is to maintain a reduced calorie intake over a period of time. This approach is far more likely to result in weight loss success - and importantly long term maintenance.

Very low calorie regimes and faddy crash diets may initially result in a big weight drop, but initial weight loss will be largely water (especially in low carb regimes), and you will also risk losing lean muscle mass, sometimes even from areas such as heart muscle which obviously has a potentially hazardous effect on helath. Losing muscle also has the effect of increasing the proportion of fat in the body - which has a negative effect on metabolic rate (muscle being a more metabolically active tissue than fat).

Plus drastic food reduction causes the body to go into 'preserve' mode and become more efficient about calorie usage, your weight loss won't ever go into reverse if you lower your calorie increase drastically, but you will get into a situation of ever decreasing returns in which your weight loss becomes less efficient. In other words the extra pain involved in terms of hunger / risk of nutritional deficiency etc is not worth it matched against the only small benefit you get in terms of extra weight lost. And when you do return to eating normally, your body will want to grab hold of the extra food and store it in case of another lean period! So the overall effect is a slowing of metabolic rate, increase in overall percentage body fat and less efficiency at losing weight!

It sounds like stating the obvious, but weight loss should essentially be fat loss with minimal loss from other sources like water and muscle. Effective 'weight loss' is all about gradual reduction - this way it will be mainly body fat.

Why can't I select the goal weight I want?

You will notice that the drop down list of goal weights also shows what percentage weight loss this constitutes in brackets. The system doesn't allow you to select more than 20% weight loss in one go - hence why you can't go lower as this is the maximum. Once you start losing weight, the drop down will allow you reset your target to be a lower amount.

When entering your weight loss target, we recommend that you set smaller steps of either of 10% or half a stone rather than going for the full amount. This is far more motivating that just focusing on a final goal weight which can seem a distant and daunting challenge, particularly if you have a lot of weight to lose.

When you reach a weight loss milestone of 10%, we recommend that you go back and update your Profile. (It doesn't update automatically because many members prefer to be in control of when they change it). To reset your target, you need to go to My Profile and manually enter your new starting weight and press the 'Save & Continue' button.

Can you give me advice on maintaining weight?

Our 5 top tips!

1) Don't go anywhere - stay with us!

The first important tip is to stay with Nutracheck! For a little while longer anyway. It's tempting to think 'job done!', but while you are making the switch to maintenance by increasing your calorie allowance, we recommend you continue to use Nutracheck.

2) Increase your calorie allowance gradually

The 'official' amount of calories recommended for an 'average' female is around 1,950 per day for a female and 2,500 per day for a male. Of course 'average' varies a lot - and your age, height, activity level and lifestyle will all have a bearing on this.

Increasing your calorie intake overnight to your maintenance level is a bit of a jump, so we recommend going up in small steps until you find the right level for you.

When you switch your goal to 'maintain weight', you will get a handy tool on the website that lets you adjust your calorie intake in steps. This is on your Weigh Tracker and also on the 'My Targets' page (under 'My Profile').

Continue to weigh-in each week. If you stay the same that's great! Increase your calorie allowance a little. If your weight goes up, take your calorie allowance back down. Over the weeks, you will find the calorie intake that's right for you.

Set an upper weight limit you won't exceed

It is quite normal that your weight will fluctuate, but the rules for maintenance are to set yourself a 'ceiling weight' that you not exceed. This is usually 3 - 4lbs above your goal weight. Once you hit this upper limit it is an immediate trigger to take extra care with your eating to lose the few pounds. If you watch the pounds, the stones will take care of themselves! So go back to your 'Personal Details' and set to 'lose' until you have got back to within your maintenance range.

4) Keep exercising

Exercise is so important for maintaining weight. Try to keep going with the increased activity level you've been doing while losing, and consciously look for ways to be more active and burn a few extra calories each day. It doesn't have to be a trip to the gym, just walking more( buy an activity tracker), taking the stairs, getting off the bus a stop earlier - it all counts.

5) Talk to other members

You still have the support of other NC members - which is really important!!! It can be tough to go it alone straight away - many people find they miss the 'high' they used to get from losing weight and other people noticing a difference. So we'd encourage you to keep using Nutracheck until you feel confident that you are comfortably maintaining.

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