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Trying desperately to loose weight-- what am I doing wrong?!
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Trying desperately to loose weight-- what am I doing wrong?!

I am 21 years old, 5'1", female, and I am desperaltey trying to loose some weight. Before moving to New York two years ago, I weight about 110 lbs. After starting a job that keeps me seated for most of the day, I have gained some weight and currently weigh 133 lbs. My unhappieness and insecurity about the weight had led me to wanting to change my lifestyle... and loose about 30 lbs.

I am going into my 7th full week of going to the gym in the morning before work. I do between 20-37 minutes of cardio (depending on what time I make it to the gym) on the eliptical or treadmill. I go at least 4 times a week, sometimes 5.  Twice a week I do some light weight training. And most recently I've started doing a home workout DVD as soon as I get home from work, which includes 8 minutes of stretching, 8 minutes of ab workouts, and 8 minutes of butt workouts.

I have been religiously couting my calories, and average between 1400-1600 per day. I try not to eat anything with a high fat content. I substituted my 100 calorie pack snacks with raw fruits and vegetables. And, I cut my caffine intake down from 2 or more Coke's a day to just 1, and started making sure to drink 64 oz. of water per day.

My problem is this...I have actually gained weight since starting this, my clothes do not fit any differently, and I'm wondering why I am not seeing results?! Am I looking for change too soon? Any suggestions??

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657315_tn?1319494987
I'm sorry you feel you are not making any progress.  Did you happen to take any measurements at the start of your 7 weeks?  Your clothes might be fitting slightly differently and you just can't tell yet.

Do you have any issues with your knees?  The reason I'm asking is because you are young and I am going to assume you are in good health.  If your knees are fine and if you ARE in good health, have you thought about trying interval training on your cardio days?

Make sure you warm up with a moderate walk (treadmill days) or slower on the eliptical on those days before you begin doing your intervals.  If you are unsure how to do interval training, you can sort of make up your own system.  Since you have been working out for 7 weeks and you are young, I am assuming you are in pretty good shape.  This will kick your butt!  

After 2 or 3 minutes of slow warm up (don't skip this!), do 2 or 3 minutes at your normal pace.  OH:  Do you have a heart-rate monitor?  These are not too expensive at a fitness store/sporting goods store.  There are different models/prices.  Don't go all out!  Pretty soon, you might not feel like you need it any more, although it's a good idea to still use it. Lots of machines have them, too, but they might not be as accurate.  You also need to know, for your age, what your target heart rate is for aerobic workouts.  Look this up online.  There may be/should be a chart in your gym.

Back to intervals:  After 2-3mins. at your normal pace, kick up the pace for 2 mins.  If you do not have a HR monitor yet, you know you are at your target if you cannot talk.  Push through 2 minutes!!!  Go back to your NORMAL pace.  Monitor your HR.  It should go back down to 110-115 BPM.  It might take 5 minutes.  As you get into better shape, it will take less time.  Repeat intervals until you are finished with your workout time.  

VERY IMPORTANT:  Cool down.  If it is a treadmill day, walk slowly until your HR is down to 110-115 or SLOWER for a minute or more.  If you need to bend over for any reason (dropped towel, keys, etc.) DO NOT LET YOUR HEAD DROP BELOW YOUR HEART.  After an intense workout - whatever intense is for each individual, you are at increased risk for passing out.

Please do not get discouraged.  I would take those measurements ASAP.  You are probably doing better than you think.  Let me know if you need more encouragement.  I am proud of you for sticking out 7 weeks!!!  WOW!!!
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541150_tn?1306037443
twehner has a good point. I think should do definitely look into your exercise routine and change it around a little. I'd increase the time you spend at the gym. 30 mins isn't really enough to lose weight. Start exercising for about 45, and then up to an hour.

The HIIT is a great idea. Start running. I used to do all kinds of exercise and never lose weight. When I started running, that was the day I saw the light. It’s hard, but you can do it. Then, once you are able to run for at least 20 minutes, practice the HIIT. Find out what your max heart rate is or should be, and make it your target. Once you’ve reached that point you’ll definitely experience weight loss. Do they offer spinning classes at the gym? I think getting on the bike is also definitely worth doing.

Don't get frustrated yet. Try different things. Tweak your work out a little. You’ll definitely feel it!!! Everybody goes through similar stages during their weight loss challenge.

I would also just focus on doing more cardio and less lifting. You could start doing weight training but make sure your cardio is vigorous.  Remember, muscle weighs more than fat. So, if you want to BURN fat, I’d say focus on the cardio first, loose at least 8 lbs, and then go back to doing weights. This is the only way I lost 25 lbs.

Good Luck! And don't give up!!! You can do it :)




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657315_tn?1319494987
Oh, don't give up the weight-training!  Two days/week is the minimum, and she is doing that.  My weight-loss soared when I began fitting that in - and I lost 70+ lbs.

It's a personal decision, and everyone does what works for him/her.
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657315_tn?1319494987
One more thing:  a pound of muscle weighs a pound...  a pound of fat weighs a pound...  Which would you rather have more of?  Both forms of exercise are important: cardio AND strength-training.  Muscle burns more calories even when you are asleep, so building muscles is like putting dividends in your account!
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541150_tn?1306037443
Ah, when I was training with a personal trainer (I needed to lose 25 lbs) he said I had to focus on the cardio first, just to get the body started. Then, gradually, introduce the weight training. I lost a lot of weight like this. I didn't say for her to give it up. I said if she wants to keep lifting she needs to do more cardio, more than just 25 minutes. Or stop lifting for a while until she starts losing weight. It's been 7 weeks and she hasn't lost anything, according to her. Well, the same thing happened to me until I gave up lifting for a short period of time, focused on the cardio, and then went back to weight lifting. I wanted him to get me into figure competition...yeah right, me, with NO ice cream? lol
Believe it or not, some people do achieve results this way.  :)

So, I started doing only cardio for about 3 weeks. Then, he made me do legs and abs. The next day I wanted to kill him but I did see results this way. Based on that, and based on what the OP says about not losing weight, I gave her this recommendation, see if it works for her as well. And yeah, a lb of muscle would weigh the same as a lb of fat; but weight lifting with little cardio will not help her lose weight.....I don't think it will.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi there. from your information i simply have to say 1600 calories a day is not enough when exercising regularly. if you dont have the carbs to cover your workout expenditure your body will prioritise storage over usage. im pretty sure given your height etc that 1600 isnt that far of your resting metabolic rate, so you certainly need more than that. i know it seems crazy but you really should eat more to lose weight. its the 'famine' response, your body thinks its starving and starts using food to build up fat reserves instead of using it to run your body. and as mentioned by other people, long duration carido is just not the way to lose weight. intervals are the way to go as they dramatically increase your EPOC level (excess post exercise oxygen consumption) i used to run a little more than a marathon distance each week, now i do 15 minutes of intervals twice a week. done properly they will make you want to cry and or be sick, but its only 15 minutes of effort rather than punishing yourself everyday for 30 minutes. also look at eating smaller portions, but 5 or 6 times a day. your metabolic rate increases around 10-15% for a few hours after you eat. so eating less, more often keeps your metabolic rate artificially high all day long. also cut out white bread, white rice, white pasta. go for the complex carbs. they are metabolised more slowly, giving you a steady supply of energy and staving of hunger, lack of energy etc.  
hope this helps.  
P.S. L Carnitine supplements are also a possibililty. just google it and have a look.
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