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Question
Posted by: anon | 2009/11/09

Please explain

I was cycling and skipping 4 times a week, for 25 to 30 min a time for a long time. I could not lose weight. Two months ago I hurt myself, and haven’ t been active since, but now I’ ve lost 2kg. Why? My BMI is now 18 and I still have the same diet.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi anon

The interaction between exercise and weight loss is complicated. Often, it's something as apparently simple as that when people exercise, they eat more (consiciously and sub-consciously), with the result that they actually OVERshoot the required amount, and end up eating more. The other reason is that when you exercise, you increase your lean muscle mass. And so all things being equal, if you exercise, you will actually GAIN weight for the first few weeks, because your ability to lose fat may not match your increase in muscle. Then, when you stop, you lose muscle.

So in your case, you'd have to ask whether that 2kg loss is lean muscle (which is not a good thing), or fat mass. That's difficult to know without doing fairly expensive testing.

Then finally, the other thing that is important is your weight. If your BMI is 18, then you don't have weight to lose. So when you exercise, you won't lose much weight. You'd maybe increase lean mass, as I said above. So I'm leaning towards that as the answer in your case. I think it would be good to get active again, and see if you can increase your BMI through exercise.


Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2009/11/15

Hi anon

The interaction between exercise and weight loss is complicated. Often, it's something as apparently simple as that when people exercise, they eat more (consiciously and sub-consciously), with the result that they actually OVERshoot the required amount, and end up eating more. The other reason is that when you exercise, you increase your lean muscle mass. And so all things being equal, if you exercise, you will actually GAIN weight for the first few weeks, because your ability to lose fat may not match your increase in muscle. Then, when you stop, you lose muscle.

So in your case, you'd have to ask whether that 2kg loss is lean muscle (which is not a good thing), or fat mass. That's difficult to know without doing fairly expensive testing.

Then finally, the other thing that is important is your weight. If your BMI is 18, then you don't have weight to lose. So when you exercise, you won't lose much weight. You'd maybe increase lean mass, as I said above. So I'm leaning towards that as the answer in your case. I think it would be good to get active again, and see if you can increase your BMI through exercise.


Good luck

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