Feeling great, but not losing weight...

emmhipJanuary 31, 2008

Well, here's the story: after many failed attempts at sticking to a more healthy lifestyle, I'm finally going to the gym 4-5 times a week, every week. I'm eating healthier, cut out alcohol, and I feel much better. Actually, I feel pretty fantastic. The problem is, I've only lost 4 pounds, and I've been on this regimen since the day after Christmas. When I go to the gym, I run a mile to 2 miles, then lift weights about 3 times a week. I know I have more weight to lose, because I am only 5'4" and I weigh about 190. I really don't look it though, no one can ever guess what I weigh, most people guess I weigh about 160 (friends and family, and they are not trying to be nice). Which is my goal weight! I don't understand why I can't lose weight, or what I am doing wrong. I feel great and feel more toned, but the scale is not my friend. I'm 29 years old, and I have had two children within the last six years, as well as a hernia surgery in early December. Is it possible that my body is just taking longer to lose weight?

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You must be my twin!! Back up 40 months ago and 40 pounds ago. I was your weight and height. I was also 49 years old!! I started with walking a mile a day and joined curves. Didn't really see much results but by the end of a year and my 50th bday I was down 10 pounds!! People were noticing!! I kept walking but increased to 3 miles most days and the kids even said I was walking much faster. Quit curves and joined a fitness center where I did weights, yoga, and treadmill and eventually the elliptical. Next year 10 more and now nearly to 40 pounds.

Why did it work?? No idea? I really started watching what I ate, drank a lot of water, tried not to eat in between meals during lent (which is coming up next week). After about the second year, I increased my workout to closer to 90 minutes a day as it appeared my body was getting used to the 60 or so minutes. I have gone from a size 18 to 12-14 depending on the clothes. Interesting enough, my bra size is the same and my calves are still about the same. I am looking into a trainer as in my sweats and now a pair of hip huggers I am thinking this is pretty good; but when I see bare legs--UGLY. I do think my metabolism just was starting to work for whatever reason. I was even concerned at one time that I was losing for no reason. I realize with children at home you may not have the time that I did as I had just sent my youngest off to college.

I also had a theory for a while that it was buying fresh pineapple and strawberries that seemed to be the magic melt a way foods!!! Just hang in there-keep in touch. Deanna

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 10:55PM
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Portion control maybe your problem, but I don't know what you eat.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to have a physical to see if all of your systems are a-ok.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 10:03AM
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Interesting idea about the physical, I hadn't thought of that...
I think my portion control has been pretty good, not perfect, but way better than before. I am eating more protein and veggies/fruit and less carbs. I'm not cutting out carbs completely though.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 12:44PM
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You really should have your thyroid checked. There aren't usually any symptoms and it will really stop any weight loss if you are low

Exercise doesn't really use up an awful lot of calories. Exercise is great - don't get me wrong, but in the diet wars it is mostly about food. I have lost 40 pounds, and need to lose 20 more, but it isn't happening because I don't have my carb addiction under control. I still work out every day including weights. I have muscles in my arms for the first time in my life.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 10:45AM
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I've linked to a fitness blog by NY Times fitness writer Gina Kolata. She says research shows exercise alone doesn't result in weight loss for most people (scroll down the comments to read that). That's been my experience too, and I've exercised most of my adult life (running, biking, step aerobics). The only thing that shed the pounds was keeping track of what I ate & counting the calories.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gina Kolata - NY Times

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 11:26AM
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I had the same problem. I joined weight watchers 7 mos ago and lost 25lbs so far. I really think that writing down what I eat is eye opening. Everything counts! And I am now much more mindful of portion control.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 10:17PM
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posted on Jan 31: "The problem is, I've only lost 4 pounds, and I've been on this regimen since the day after Christmas." -- that's about a pound per week (just slightly under but not much), which is a pretty standard weight loss goal. If you're losing at a pound a week rate, you aren't having a problem with weight loss (you're actually doing good!), you're having a problem with unrealistic expectations.

How'd february go?

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 10:29AM
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Well Febuary was an interesting month. I got a sinus infection one week (didn't excersise much), and then I went on a trip to Hawaii the next. I ate and drank myself silly there, but was super active, and managed to lose 4 more pounds. So, now I'm getting back to the gym and getting back to more sensable eating...

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 12:19PM
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If you're lifting weights 3 times a week, you're most likely building tons of muscle and burning fat. The scale is not an accurate measure because, as we all know, muscle weighs more than fat because it's more dense.

Does your gym offer a fitness assessment? Get a body composition test that measures your % body fat. If you keep going to the gym and eating well, I guarantee you that if you go for a retest in a month or two, you'll see results...and good ones.

Another good way to measure your progress at home is to record your measurements. Your waist, hips, ribcage (just under breasts), thighs, and upper arms are all good places to track progress (I track all of them in a small notebook).

If you think food is your problem (eating too much or even too little, eating the wrong things) I'd strongly recommend tracking your caloric intake (carb, fiber, and fat intake are all good things to track too) in a notebook. Measure your serving sizes out so you know what you're putting in your mouth. Find an interactive website to track your food and exercise (SparkPeople.com is my absolute favorite).

I know how frustrating the scale can be. Sometimes it just doesn't move, or it moves 5 pounds either way in a week, or even in a day. The comforting part is that the scale is not the best way to measure your progress. Factors as seemingly unimportant as time of day, how much water you've drank (you actually need MORE to NOT retain water), how much sugar is sitting around your muscles, organs, and tissues, and other finicky details actually can make the scale go up. My advice? Step off of it (at least for a week or two at a time), and pick a better way to track your successes!!

Best of luck to you!

Here is a link that might be useful: Spark People

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 5:09PM
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When you had the hernia surgery, did the doctor clear you to return to normal activity? If so, can you start a walking program to supplement the exercise you already do?" Fifteen to thirty minutes of walking outdoors every day could be just the extra spark you need to lose weight. Walking uses all the muscles in the lower body,where women tend to have fat stored.. By the way, if you feel good, and your doctor says you are healthy, don't worry about what the scale says. If you have good wind (can breathe easily) , you are probably in good shape. All that exercise at the gym has paid off is what I mean. Keep up the good work!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 12:55PM
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I am having the same problem. It's difficult to lose weight because I am so close to what my weight should be and I don't know where else to cut down. I weigh 138 and am 5'2". I already practice portion control, exercise regularly, cook from scratch, avoid processed foods, don't drink sodas, eat lots of fruits and veggies, eliminated alcohol and eat complex carbs.

BTW, I am also a senior citizen. Don't know if that makes a difference or not in weight loss. It's probably easier the younger you are, since the metabolism slows down as one ages. :o(


    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 7:17PM
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I started dieting with little exercise and lost some weight then I added exercise and the scale stood still but I noticed that I was losing inches. I took a couple days off from exercise and lost some weight. I find when I strike the right balance between eating, exercise, and rest I lose weight but too much of one and it stops.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 3:44PM
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Any update?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 2:31PM
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