Our expert says:
I see that your question has produced a lot of debate on the forum. Some of it is very good, some not so accurate. I'll try to put forward my opinion, but needless to say, it's not an easy problem to solve. It's not uncommon for people to really battle with this problem, and that tells you that it's not easy, else everyone would be fine!
The keys to weight loss are exercise and diet. Diet is something that I would suggest you see a dietician about. I am not a fan of cutting out carbs of certain foods, I don't think that this is the point to eating well. In my opinion, if you eat everything in moderation and make sure that the total energy content is good, then you are on the right track. It is not the type of food often, it is the quantity, though this is a simplification and so avoiding certain fatty foods is a good idea. AGain, though, I would see a dietician, and try to avoid fad diets and huge miraculous claims.
NOw, as for exercise, the 3 key ingredients are frequency, duration and intensity. Frequency is ideally about 4 to 6 times a week, so you've got this down. Duration is ideally between 40 and 60 minutes, so this is also very good in your case, and finally intensity. I think that this is the big one. I see that you have said that you exercise at a moderate intensity, which is what we often suggest. HOwever, I would suggest that in patches, you take the intensity up, by doing what we call interval training. To do this, I would say that you should break your 40 minutes run down into 8 sections of 5 minutes, and then run 4 minutes quite hard (harder than you usually would run over 40 minutes), followed by one minute rest and then repeat this 8 times. I think that this is a good way to do intense training and this is often the way to reduce body fat in particular.
Now, perhaps the more important thing is the goal. If your BMI is 24, then you are in the normal range, so you will find it more difficult to lose the weight than if your BMI was 30. This has to be understood. That's not to say that you won't lose, but you must be realistic. Now, the next thing is the body fat. The skinfold measurement is the worst or least desired method to do this measurement, because it is too subjective. In australia, they require that you take 1000 measurements before you are considered competent to use them, in South AFrica, you just have to do a short course and you're qualified, so this is the least accurate. The other problem with them is that they are not comparable from one month to the next because of the subjectivity of the measurer. Therefore, the Infra red method of BodyiQ is more accurate, because it is at least repeatable. It has been studied and compared, and it compares favourably to the best method, which is an X Ray scan known as the Dexa.
However, as with any machine, the use is important and so you have to be sure that you are using the equipment the same way.
The final point is the gain in mass. I think that some of this could be muscle. It's not uncommon to gain a few kilograms of muscle mass. Whether it is possible to have 5 kg is questionable, but I would worry less about the scale as about how you are looking and feeling. For example, are you getting fitter? Are you gettting leaner? Have clothes sizes or definition changed over the weeks? In the future, these are the things that I would set as goals and just be patient. I think that the interval training will help you, but you have to really be patient and persevere.
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