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Question
Posted by: hopeless | 2007/04/24

why not loosing weight?

dear fitness doc,

i am a regular runner and i do not eat too much but i am trying to loose weight and it is not working. please can you tell me why? i have done the whole gaining muscle thing, but now the fat is jus tnot diappearing and i am already eating much less than i used to....please help! im desparate! i run about 10km per day...

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Hopeless

There are many possible reasons for this, and it's difficult for me to say why you are not seeing results. It may be nothing to worry about though.

Firstly, I would be curious to know how long you have been doing this for - a month or 6 weeks, perhaps? It's actually not that unusual to gain weight through exercise, and there are a few factors that can cause this. One is your current weight. It seems that there is an ideal body weight for each person, and the body is so clever that it knows just how to keep you there. So, it may be that you just have no weight to lose, and so from that point of view, you are better of going for toning and improved fitness and not worrying about the scale.

The second is diet - often people subconsciously increase the energy intake when training harder. And I know that you have said that you are eating less, but is there even a small chance that you are changing WHAT you eat. So eating less is not necessarily the way to go, it may be that you need to eat DIFFERENTLY? The other thing that often happens, is that because you are now exercising every day, you might take it a little easier during the rest of the day. In otherwords, you may be a little less active outside of the gym, either because you are subconsciously trying to save energy, or because you are actually very tired from training and don't get around as much. Either way, you are likely to use less energy, and that may even cancel out the effect of training.

Finally, the most likely issue - any form of training will increase muscle mass. And you have said you have done the muscle gaining thing, but how do you know it's completed? It's really difficult because I don't know too much about what is going on in the training, how fast you run, how hard it is, and just how much you eat? And also, what your current weight is?

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. Even aiming for centimeters can be misleading, especially early on, because it takes much longer and can be a little bit of a futile and very frustrating goal. So my advice is really to go for fitness - try to get faster and fitter on those cardio sessions and the results will take care of themselves.

Keep up the good work, remember that it takes time, but have faith that you are on the right track!


Ross

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