Weight Loss
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Working out but not losing pounds!


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I have been on a 5-6 day per week workout plan for the last 10 weeks, yet i've only lost 3 pounds. My BMR is betwwen 2950-3000 per day to maintain the same weight.  I weigh 202 punds and i am 5'9.  I workout on the elliptical machine/treadmill for an hour and five minutes - one hour and twenty minutes.  I alternate light weights 3 days a week and on the days that I dont lift, i do more cardio and abs.  I've added swimming at the end of most workouts (5-8 laps or 10-16 up and down the olympic sized pool).  My average cardio workout burns 880-950 calories not including the ones from swimming. I watch what i eat, dont overindulge, yet i dont totally restrict myself because i'm trying to make lifestyle changes.  i eat 3-4 samll meals per day and 2-3 snacks. what am i doing wrong?

p.s.  i am losing inches but would like to also lose pounds
Edited Mar 27 2007 19:03 by Erik
Reason: CAPS in post description
16 Replies (last)
I completly understand, I have been working out non-stop for 8 months now, and either loose 3 pounds or gain it. My meals are not restricted, but like you I don't over do it. My inches have dropped but it's discouraging to not see the scale drop. So chin up, I know what it's like to work your B**off and not see results on the scale. Health wise we are moving right?! : ) Keep us posted.

Good Luck and don't give up.
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After your explanation the only reasonable answer I can think of is that your are losing fat, but it reflects in your belly where most fat is located, but at the same time, due to your excersise routine it might be that you also gaining muscle even if are not lifting.

Just swiming you use most muscle groups, so you are somewhat activating growth.

The other thing I can think of is the calories in your meals, other than that, I see not logical reason (from my point of view) for you not to lose weight.
So all you want is that number on the scale to drop?

That number is meaningless compared to your health and your current body size.

You are losing inches, that is great. 

So you have a BMR of 3000.  I assume that includes your activities, at an accurate level.  And your swimming is what, another 400 burned?  So thats a total of 3400 expenditure.  That would mean you need to consume 2600-2900 or so calories per day for a safe and healthy weight loss.  Is that what you eat?  Or are you eating way less?

If you are eating under 2500 on a regular basis, sounds like you are not giving your body enough energy (aka calories) to make it feel comfortable and allow weight loss.  You are in essence starving your body.   You can starve your body by burning too many of the calories off that it needs. 

You need 2000 calories to maintain your current weight, at a sedentary level. 

A recommended safe and healthy weight loss deficit is 500-800, which means you need to consume 1300-1500 calories per day, each day, to make your body happy.  Your heart, lungs and such need energy to function properly.

Your body is expected 1300-1500 of energy to function properly.  If you are burning off 1300 of the 1300 you are eating, then your end of day intake is 0.  You are giving your body nothing to work with, so it stores everything up and won't let it go.

I hope I am reading your text and stats right.
to lose 50 lbs by september i need to restrict my calories to 1950 per day.  im about to start recording my caloric intake to make sure im getting enough food.
It sounds to me like you are getting leaner, stronger, and healthier.  Throw that scale away!  It's not all about the numbers.  You are burning fat and building muscle, which is a good thing.  Pay attention to the fact that you are shrinking, and ignore the scale.
The average, healthy and safe weight loss amount is 1 - 1.5 lbs per week.  There are 26 or so weeks between now and end of septembre, giving an average of 26 - 39 lbs lost.  50 may be a little bit ambitious.

While goals are important, I would never compromise a recommended healthy way to lose weight just to meet it.  Doing so can cause problems.

But yes, you should definatly start recording your food to make sure you eat the right amount.   Although based on your stats and your exercise, 1950 would be a pretty big deficit, more than is usually recommended by doctors and professionals. 

While being enthousiastic is great, I would recommend you run this plan by your doctor to make sure that it is right for you.
8 months is a long time but dont give up 

you both say your meals are not restricted, i dont know what that means but it sounds like you are eating healthy enough to maintain your wieght.

I would count calories (intake and expenditure), at least for a month and see what happens

I have 11 more to lose.  good luck.
in my first year after i quit smoking and began exercising again, i lost 1 pound...and TWO jeans sizes. after that, i began to lose pounds.

Not that i think it'll take an entire year for you...i'm just saying, i saw inches melt off me before i ever even saw the scale budge. youll get there. :)
Well, I feel kind of the same way.....i've lost an inch in the month and a half of working out. That includes free weights and aerobics 4 and 6 times a week respectively. That's a lot of calories I'm burning, along with my other activities. I usually burn at least 2500 cals a day.
Now, CC has estimated that I should eat about 1571/day.For me, that's just not enough. Maybe I should increase it a little bit, someone mentioned that you can starve your body without realizing it and not be losing the weight. I've only lost 4lbs, since coming to CC 2 wks ago. I am just doing this by trial and error. But, I do feel better about the inches lost, than the weight. My body is starting to change and it feels good. I actually feel thinner. Any suggestions would be great. Good thread fma424.......
if you lost 4 lbs.(2 lbs a week) after starting only 2 weeks ago, you are doing very well.  congratulations.  but you sound disappointed. how much more should you have lost in that time. CC advocates 2 lbs a week as the healthiest way to lose.
Sounds like you're doing a lot of the right things, and you are seeing progress. There are still a couple of things you can look at.

You can shift your macronutrient ratios (percentage of protiens, carbs, fats), you can stop eating carbs on your last 1-2 meals of the day and replace those calories with more protien.

You can do double cardio a couple days of the week that you don't lift weights (morning & evening), and you could reduce the calories a little at a time and see what happens (like 100cal at a time).
thanks for all the suggestions, but i'm still confused. Yes, I'm proud that I lost 4lbs, don't get me wrong, but that was in the first week, and I was actually eating more and doing the same workout routine..since then, i've seemed to just be stabilized at the same weight. I drink 3 protein shakes a day also. My total fat per day  is less than 55 on a bad day, and the analysis 
keeps giving me an A or A- for my nutrition each day.
I think I have a good workout routine, and I do have one dvd that is extended, I'll try your suggestion antonio and do that one on the days i don't lift. Hope that helps me.
Ok, i finally get it..........did lots of reading posts on this topic, talked to a personal trainer and found another cal calculator just to check my allowance.
I understand now that I have to eat back the calories i burn from my workouts back to what i'm allowed for the day. Since I used to be a blonde, boy was I being thickheaded....
I am allowed 1886 cals a day, have to drink more water to flush the fat. Be proud that I've lost an inch, not obsess on the scale but rely on how my clothes are fitting, and up my cardio/weightlifting workouts on some days. In other words, change things up a bit.
And, it's ok to give my body a rest once in a while, but not go over my allowance. You can't work out when you're either exhausted or in pain.
So that's my new goal, hope it works....thanks for all the suggestions that i'm reading in all your posts! Peace.....

Maybe you should try lowering your calorie intake. I lowered my calories to 1400-1500 a day and I have lost 12lbs in 3weeks. I walk everyday at least 40 minutes and 3 days a week I do my easy shaper. The calorie cutting really does work. Try it for a month and see what happens.

Blessings and success to you!!!
today i am totally frustrated, like someone else mentioned, i keep losing or gained the same 3 lbs.
I'm watching my allowance and expenditure, bumped up my cardio and weightlifting.. trying to change up my workouts for variety.
Yes, I would like to see some weight loss. I don't think that's too much to ask for.
I know I have to eat more protein, for my muscles, which I am. But, I think it's constipating me. I'm going to just go back and up my fiber to my former level.
I just don't know what to do, and it doesn't feel good right now. I'm not giving up. I know I'm learning to eat right, so that's a plus, but that's about all i can be thrilled about right now.
Myw suggested lowering calorie intake, and this might be a good option.  That's what I've done and in the past two weeks I've seen my weight drop.  I do anywhere from 40 mins to 2 hours of cardio 7 days a week, plus resistance training 3 days a week, but I work a desk job part time and sit in class at university the rest of the time, so I consider myself sedentary despite my time at the gym.  What you may have to realize is that even if you're burning 500 calories per workout 5 or 6 days a week, you may still technically live a sedentary lifestyle, and your normal calorie expenditure might be lower than you think.  So say 500 calories per workout, plus 1800 calories normal expenditure, and you're consuming 2000+ calories per day, its not much of a deficit.  And if you don't work out every day and still consume 2000+ calories, then you're over your normal expediture. 

But this is just a hypothetical scenario, I don't know what your diet/exercise is like.
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