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Eating right, Working out but NOT losing weight

I was wondering if ANYONE has any advice for me.  I have been trying to lose about 5-10lbs over the last year. I am 31 years old , 4'8" and weigh 101 lbs. I used to weight between 89 and 94lbs at the most!
I am pretty atheltic. I ran a marathon a few years ago and shortly after that is when I gained the weight. I have been training for half marathons (I ran one in April 2006) so I have been keeping the cardio up with running 3-4 days during the week and then 5-10 miles on the weekends.  
Recently I got so frustrated that I went to a dietitican. She claimed that I needed to rev up my workouts by doing interval training and then eating more protein and more times of the day.

For the last two months, I have been eating 5 times a day (about 1000-1200 calories) Each meal has protein and carbs and I get my 5 a day fruits and veggies.
I do cardio 5 days a week (3 days are interval training for 45 min--60 seconds at 65% target heart rate and 60 second 85% target heeart rate) The other 2 days of cardio are a 45 minute dance class and then a weekend long distance run that lasts between 1-2 hours. I also weight train 3 days a week. 1 days lower body and two days upper body.

My body fat has increased and my pants size has increased. Why can't I lose the weight or at least the body fat? Does anyone have advice for me?
177 Responses
Avatar universal
The rule of thumb in exercise is this.  Exercising at a fast (aerobic)pace will burn fat, exercising slowly will build muscle.  If you combine the two, weight is maintained.  When a woman hits the age of 30, the body will gain about 5 pounds.   This increase is due to the body beginning to shift hormonal balance. Women who exercise alot may begin peri-menopause as early as 30 where you experience some weight gain, mood swings, and changes in the period.  Hormone production begins to shift from the ovaries to the fat cells.  The need for more fat cells leads to the increase in weight around the middle. A blood test for hormone levels may be your answer.
Avatar universal
A blood test to test what hormones? What kind of answers will I get?  So by doing interval training it's causing me to maintain weight. Should I do 45min of cardio at 85 % of my target heart rate 5 days a week?
I have not idea why anybody is talking to you about your hormone levels.. the answer is clear...put quite simply... you are not eating enough calories and pushing your body into starvation mode... it will then hold onto every fat cell for dear life. I am not a health proffessional but I've managed to lose over 100lbs in the past 18months.
Avatar universal
The blood test is for female hormones.  This will show if you are entering a perimenopausal state.  That is a pre-menopause that shows some body changing and hormones are now reduced.  Based on the findings, the doctor (see and OBGYN)can tell you what to expect and suggest changes in lifestyle and diet that can help you along.  If you are entering menopause, there is a possiblity you won't lose the extra weight and may have to learn to "live with it". It is a rare thing when a woman can go through life wearing the clothes she wore in high school.  We naturally gain some poundage as we age. It is a 'rule of thumb' that women gain about a pound a year after the age of 30.  Like all things, it varies with the individual. My personal ideas of exercises do not match the mainstream ideas of cardio/resp balance, so I won't comment on those exercise programs. You might try different exercises. When you exercise a muscle group in the same way all the time, the body can "get used" to the exercise.  When you change the way you work the same muscle group, the body will often use more calories to do the same work because it isn't "used to" doing it that way. Try to vary your workout. Consider adding an exercise ball workout to work the legs and lower back.  Do crunchies on the ball instead of the floor.  Boxing is a good alternative to arm and shoulder workouts.  Swim or bike instead of jogging.  You get the idea.  Watch what you eat, get rid of packaged processed foods and eat whole foods.  Consider juicing. Get at least 20 minutes of sunshine without sunscreen each day.  If you are worried about cancer, stay in the shade, go out in the early mornings or late in the day when the sun isn't so strong. good luck
Avatar universal
Are you positive your body fat has increased and not your muscle mass?  Muscle weighs more than fat, and it's possible that you have gained more muscle.
Avatar universal
I had the calibers done and I went up 4%, even if there is a margin of error, it still increased my some amount. Also, I have a layer of fat on my tummy that I didn't have before and my pants size went up 1-2 sizes.
I have been eating non-processed food, only lean protiens, and healthy carbs. IT's about 1000-1200 per day.
Avatar universal
star queen, no offense but it sounds like you are mostly uninformed.  I am a Registered Dietitian and ACE Certified personal trainer and the main recommendation that I have to "little1sk" is centered around the type and duration of exercise.  The current recommendation for wt loss with regard to exercise is at least 6 days per week for at least 90 minutes.  It does not have to be 90 consecutive minutes, you can break up the time into different "chunks".  

As far as the type of exercise-the fastest way that you can burn body fat is through a combination of strength training AND cardiovascular conditioning.  If possible, I would recommend splitting the time 50/50 between the two.  Try to keep your cardio intensity between 60-85% of you max predicted HR (220-age)*(.6-.85).  I would recommend doing higher reps (12-20) for each set that you perform and try to do as many sets as you can, time permitting.  I would also recommend full body strength training (try to do at least 1 set on each major muscle group at least twice per week, remembering to not strength train the same muscle group 2 days in a row).  Interval traning is a good way to burn more calories during cardio, so I don't think that's a bad idea-I think you just need to add strength training and do it effectively.  Change your entire exercise routine every 6-8 weeks.  I also think that based on your ht, wt, age, and activity level that 1000-1200 cals is appropriate.

If you REALLY cannot lose weight after these measures, you may want to talk to your provider about checking your thyroid (a tsh/t4 test), not "female hormones".  You are 31 for goodness sakes, the odds you are perimenopausal are extremely slim.

I work in an outpatient setting counseling patients like you 40hrs/wk and you don't have to just "live with it".  You can always do something about your weight, sometimes you have to work smarter, not harder.

hope this helps-

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