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Question
Posted by: Torn | 2004/12/19

No fat lost at gym

Doc.
My friend and i started gym together 4 months ago. I was thinner than her to start off with and after the same duration of gym we have both lost about 2kg's. Her BMI was 25 to start and mine was 20. She's gone down to about a 24 now and i remained at 20. I wanted to lose about 5kg's. The problem is this; i always go to gym a bit earlier than her to get 45mins of treadmill in 5 times a week, and on days that she doesn't go, i still try go. I have also been dieting and watching my KJ intake wheras i know she eats anything she wants - when she wants. She never sticks to a diet and i am always conscious of what i'm eating.
Why then has she lost more weight and i can only see that i've gained muscle and tonned whereas i NEED to lose some fat before i tone up!
Why do you think our results are so different eventhough i gym more than her and eat less?
Please advise me!!!!

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Our expert says:
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Hi Torn

This is a wonderful example actually, of setting goals in an exercise programme are so important. The absolutely critical thing for you to realise is that you started off so differently. There is a massive difference between a BMI of 20 and 25 - you were bordering on being underweight whereas she is at the very top end of being normal. Now, it's much easier to lose weight when you have more to start off with. What you are seeing is how hard it can be to lose weight when you are already at the lower end of the ideal weight. You can diet, you can train 45 minutes extra (I would bet that you could do an hour and a half more than your friend) and you can train harder than her, but the results will be the same. Perhaps this seems unfair, but it's not. Remember that the body is a fantastically designed 'machine' - it's so good at getting itself to the ideal body weight and 'looking after itself' that you are fighting a losing battle trying to get any more weight off. In your friend's case, she is doing everything right - she is eating as she feels, she is clearly exercising well and she is seeing results. There may come a time where she also needs to be a little more conscious of what she eats (assuming she wants to lose a few more kilograms), but eventually, she too will reach a point at which the exercise stops causing weight loss. And this is not a bad thing. Look at what you have achieved. You have lost 2 kg, you have gained muscle, and therefore, you have to have lost quite a bit of fat. Remember that any muscle you gain will make you heavier and so to see weight loss in top of muscle gain means quite substantial fat loss! So, it's going very well, in my opinion, I just think that your goal may have been a little unrealistic and you are getting into difficulty by comparing your friend's results to yours.

Keep up the training, keep getting fitter and have confidence that you are succeeding.

Good luck

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