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Question
Posted by: Zoe | 2004/10/23

3 months gym & diet - NO results!

FitnessDoc,
I have been going to gym for the past 3 months and doing a diet (my own) basically cutting out all carbohydrates and fats (like pasta, all breads, HIGH GI foods, sweets and chocolates, fried or fatty foods)
A typical day could consist of the following:
Breafast: small cup of hi fibre bran or Toasted muesli (kellogs) with low fat / fat free milk
Lunch: a bowl of plain, fat free / low fat yoghurt and a 1/4 of a can of fruit salad (Weighless one)
Supper: I & J hake fish (1 piece - low calorie ones) with veggies (broccoli / green beans / fozen sweetcorn / green salad with no salad dressing)
I drink lots of water everyday, rooibos tea mostly, coke-lite and LOW GI fruit juices - on some days.
I don't snack between meals!
I weigh 60kg and my height is 1.75, my BMI is 20 but my target weight is 57kg! And i am STRUGGLEING my arse off to lose those last 3kg's.
I go to gym 4 times per week - i cycle (on level 2) for about 20 - 30 minutes, then do elliptical (orbitrek) (also level 2) for another 20 - 30 minutes. On tuesday i do extra weight training as well - for about 15mins with 1.5kg weights. On wednesdays i do an hour of "workout class" along with my normal cardio before that and on thursdays i do yoga for an hour - again, with my cardio trainging before hand.
I can see a muscle appearing just above my knees. i don't want to build muscle, i want to lose weight, THEN tone! i don't want big, bulky muscles (that's why i cycle on a level 2)
My arms and calves have gotten thinner and they are looking like sticks but my butt and hips haven't toned or lost any inches.
I am getting very dispondent now becos i am really trying hard and all i've lost in these 3 months is about 1.5 kg's.
I really am trying hard and i am seeing no results! Even my hubby says that he feels sorry for me becos i don't eat any junks foods and i gym for like 2 hours a day and my big butt is still visible!
Please advise me as what to do! Money is kinda a limiting factor for me... so i can't hire a physical trainer or go on fancy diets that cost a fortune to maintain.

Thank you for your time and assistance!

Best,
Zoe

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

HI Zoe

I'm worried that you are putting too much pressure on yourself to lose those kilograms. I don't know where you heard that your goal weight is 57 kg, but whoever said that should be shot! NO, just kidding, but seriously, your ideal weight is anywhere between 57 and 70 kg. The reason it is so wide a range is because people are so different and because people might have differences in how much muscle they have. For example, if you have a lot more muscle mass, you will weigh 65 kg, but this does not mean that you are overweight. NOt at all! In fact, as someone on the forum said, it's a good thing to increase your muscle mass, but you have to understand that your weight might go up. You are extremely light for your height. A BMI of 20 means that you are in fact almost underweight, and it really does not surprise me that you are not losing weight. You have very little to lose. Remember an ideal BMI is anything between 20 and 25, and so the average is probably about 23, you are well under it. Your exercise routine sounds very good. You do enough cardio, I would imagine that you are very fit. As for the muscle above your knees, I can vouch for guys that women with well defined legs are very attractive, and if you just keep up what you are doing, you will get there, but you must be patient.

Remember that once you reach your ideal weight, as you have, then the next goal is to improve fitness, to tone and to get some definition. Over time, these will happen, but you have to be patient because they do take more time.

Finally, as for diets and fancy physical trainers, you don't need any of those, you are on the path, you just have to keep going and reshift your focus from weight loss, which I really don't think you need, to toning and improving your fitness. HEre's a challenge for you - perhaps you can set yourself a goal, maybe like doing a womens' road race (10 km) and then train for that. I know that you are not walking or running, but perhaps you could start. Otherwise, set yourself mini goals in the gym, like saying you will cycle 20 km on the bicycle in a certain time by the end of November and then go for that. I think that if you take the focus off the weight, and go for fitness and enjoyment, the results will come as a matter of course, killing two birds with one stone, effectively.

Finally, and this is advice that perhaps you will not want to follow, but I would go out and treat myself to some junk food every once in a while. Regimented training and diet very rarely work, if you are happy without junk food, that's fine, but if you feel like it is a massive sacrifice, then don't punish yourself by quitting altogether - say to yourself that once a month, you will treat yourself and the family to something, and then enjoy with a clear conscience.

Good luck with the training, you are doing well, you are at a great weight and you must just continue to enjoy it!

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: '''' | 2004/10/23

Firstly, you are doing everything correctly. The first thing I must stess though is that muscle weighs more than fat. weight training builds muscle and burns very little fat. This is not a bad thing, if deffinition is what you are looking for. A cardiovascular workout at a medium pace (like youare doing with cycling and orbital training) is good for burning fat. The more overweight you are, the easier it is to loose weight. You, having a good BMI will find it difficult to loose excess weight. Keep drinking lots of water, about 3 litres a day, and more if you are excercising. Don't drink too much water as it may put strain on the kidneys. weigh yourself at the same time everyday, like in the mornings. This also helps keep the checking of weight constant. Don't cut out fats entirely, these too are important, especially if you don't want to yo-yo diet. Just cut back on the fats. Increase the ammount of fibre in your diet, this will help increase your metabolic rate. Otherwise, you seem to be doing well and should see the weight decrease if you follow what you have been doing.

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