Our expert says:
There are a few factors that cause this, and a lot of this answer will be repeated, but I will try to get through it again and more clearly. Firstly, your situation is very common, as you will see on the forum because it seems like every second question deals with this subject. One very important factor is diet - you can lose weight by doing no exercise if you just have a good diet, and you can also gain weight on a bad diet and so that's something to consider. You do say you eat well, but the specifics are something perhaps best discussed with a dietician. Often people subconsciously increase the energy intake when training harder. Let's say you train harder and use a few hundred more calories a day - you have a little more to eat or drink, and it means that the balance is still there as if you didn't train harder. I am not saying you should count calories, I think that is risky and hazardous at best, but I would say be aware of what you are eating.
Finally, the point you raise - muscle mass does go up. People seem to have a conception that weight training causes muscle mass to rise, and cardio training burns fat. While this is largely true, you must remember that there is considerable overlap. So, let's say you are jogging and walking, this means that if you are taking 80 steps per minute, you are basically doing 80 contractions a minute. Do this for 10 minutes and you have 900 muscle contractions, and so even though the force per contraction is low, you will still build some muscle. What i am saying is that even though you are not doing weight training, it's still feasible that you will gain some muscle by doing cardio. It is therefore not true that only weight training builds muscle and cardio burns it - they complement one another and overlap quite a bit.
Very importantly though, this is nothing to worry about. In fact, it's a good thing, and I guess the bottom line is that you must really focus on how fit you are, how you are feeling and perhaps how you are looking, rather than on the scale. Aim for centimeters not kilograms, and you immediately change your focus from weight to fitness and toning.
Finally a few pointers about your situation. The BMI of 23 is ideal. The range is between 20 and 25, and it has to be wide because people are unique in the bone structure and body characteristics. So, it may be that for one person, who is built a bit differently, the BMI will be 24 and for another it is 21, but they are both at the ideal weight. YOu therefore have to understand that you are really already at the ideal weight, and losing a whole 7kg is very difficult in this case. So, you may have to rethink this goal. The next is the centimeters. I often encourage people to consider centimeters as more important than weight, and this is true, but again, if you are built differently, you won't necessarily lose centimeters in the same area as someone else. Therefore, while this should eventually happen, it might just be that you are measuring at the 'wrong' place to see the results.
All in all, I believe that you are on the right track, but just need to be patient, keep up the good work, remember that it takes time, but have faith that you are on the right track!
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