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Avatar universal

No weight loss, any suggestions?

Hello everybody.

I am a quite obese 24 year old person (220 lbs = 100kg , 1.78 m tall). So about a month and a half ago I have started to try to have smart food choices and exercise. Since then, almost every day (with exception to the last week) I would work out about 1hour (or even more). 20-30 minutes cardio exercising and the rest weight training exercising. A friend of mine (who is a physician) encouraged me to use a protein supplement (pure whey protein, no added fats or sugars) which I have been using for a month.

After two weeks of smart eating and daily exercise I have managed to lose 2 to 3 pounds, but as I the scale showed me today, I have gained them back again.

What am I doing wrong here? Any ideas? I even count calories and keep them at 1200 daily . Is that too much? Why don't I lose weight? Some people suggested that I have gained 4 or even more pounds of muscle... Is this possible in such a small amount of time?

Any ideas, help, suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks a lot
7 Responses
436973 tn?1217950689
You probably have gained a bit of muscle and muscle weighs more than fat so a little bit of muscle can tip the scale.   Your weight is not the most accurate measure of your fitness.  Have you tried measuring yourself or just noticing if you feel more toned?
Also be patient with yourself.  It will come in time, and all this work your doing will improve your health as well as your looks, so it's worth it to know the good you're doing for your heart, etc.  
Also,  you could consult a nutritionist,  Protein shakes are what bodybuilders use to gain, not sure that is what you are looking for.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply marissposa.

As a matter of fact I am quite more toned than I used to be (I can see that in my chest and thighs,calves) and my biceps-triceps-showlders and back are now a bit more bulky than they used to be. The physician told me that using protein I could create more lean muscle which can then help me lose weight, as my metabolism will increase. I will consult a nutritionist though.

I know that my physique and fitness levels have greatly increased (I can jog for 40 mins without losing my breath!) but haven't seen any differences in the scale. Yet you are right, I need to start measuring up (any guides on how to do this?)

Also, I am just wandering how much muscle mass could I have gained in 1 month a half?
436973 tn?1217950689
It is true that muscle increases your metabolism so he may be on to something.  But I think it is good to consult a pro.
Measuring;  get a tape and loop it around these spots:
the waist, at the smallest part.  
the buttocks, around the widest part
the chest, around the nipple
the thigh
the upper arm
Repeat every week, comparing the results.
And trust yourself.  Your waist getting small means your toning up, but an arm getting bigger could mean your muscles are developing.   You know if you've lost.
I don't have an answer to your last question, sorry.
Avatar universal
Harry, it sounds like you are doing things right.  As marrissposa said, find different ways to assess your success.  Do your pants fit looser, do you have more energy daily, do you find climbing those few stairs don't seem near as daunting?  The scales especially for a guy are a terrible way to assess success especially in the beginning.  I had a client who only lost 4 pounds over a ten week period---don't worry he wasn't as consistent in his exercise and eating like you have been!--as though I have worked with many clients, I was very surprised when his body compostion was over 8% different.  That meant that yes he had put on quite a bit of muscle and so the difference did not show up on the scale.  When his relatives that hadn't seen him in a while came in--they was awestruck with the change they saw.  I was able to know this information because we had done a body compostion test sometimes referred to as body fat test.  Most any health club will have a personal trainer who can do these.  The most accurate (and most expensive) is a hydrostatic test done in water immersion or a "bod pod" --most health clubs will NOT have these.  The next most accurate is an infra-red system which are readily available at clubs.   Next is a bio-impedence similar to a Tanita scale where you hold with both hands or a machine which will measure from your finger to your opposite toe and at a similar cost--with these food and water will interfere with the test, so you can't have eaten for a period of time before this test.  Finally is the fat caliper test where the trainer will squeeze three areas on you body and calculate skin fold numbers to come up with your body fat.  These have the highest error rate when done by an inexperienced trainer, but can also be more accurate than the infra-red test when done by an experienced trainer.  Although costs will vary--plan anywhere from $20 - $50 for the test (not the hydrostatic), and only test every 8-12 weeks--no sooner.  So hang in there--and YES you need protein.  Protein is used in the body to repair muscles since that is what they are made of.   So when you weight lift (keep doing this--it is equally important in weight loss goals as cardio exercise) the body uses protein to strengthen the muscles.  The brain uses carbs to operate so don't cut those out, muscles use protein and the body still needs healthy fats to operate correctly - fish, nuts avacados, olive oil but they are still fats so go easy!  Keep up the good work and IT WILL HAPPEN!!
Avatar universal
One more thing--1200 calories may not be enough actually!!  If you are not feeding your body enough and exercising quite heavily your body will protect itself by not allowing fat release.  Fat is useful in the body to protect vital organs and cushion against hits to the body.  You need to calculate your base metabolic rate--the amount of calories you burn at rest--and add in the amount of calories you burn exercising and come up with enough to feed your body but enough of a deficit so you lose 1-2 pounds per week.  (One pound is equal to 3500 calories.)  If you attempt more than that, you body will not cooperate and you will not stay healthy.  A good trainer long enough to give you the basics (and not one who just counts reps for you--dump them) in conjunction with a nutritionist will be a great resource.  Hope this helps.
Avatar universal

You can try eating 6 small meals in a day instead of three. Also please check the labels of all the food items that you consume for calories. Good luck!
Avatar universal
Hi Harry,
You describe yourself as "quite obese". That may not be true. Your BMI is 31.6, but BMI is a screening tool, not a diagnostic one, and it is greatly misused.

In most people, BMI correlates well with body fat, but there are exceptions. You should ascertain your body fat percentage, because it is possible to have a BMI which is higher than "the ideal" yet have a "normal" body fat percentage.

You say the scale shows you have "gained back the 2 to 3 pounds you lost". That may not be true, either. Your weight will vary somewhat on a daily basis based on the amount of water in your body. You might get a somewhat more reliable figure by weighing daily and then computing an average once a week.

I agree with poster "Peggy_Sue", who suggested you begin by computing your BMR - basal metabolic rate and adding in the amount of exercise you do to achieve your total daily caloric requirement, then backing it off by about 500-1,000 calories per day, achieving a weekly deficit of 3500-7,000 calories a week, or 1 - 2 pounds
of fat loss per week. This is a widely-touted formula for safe, sustained weight loss, although, like everything else in the "weight-loss biz", I don't know is there is any science behind it. 1200 calories a day sounds way too low for a man
who exercises an hour every day.

You ask "what am I doing wrong?" Everyone of whom you ask that will have a ready and glib answer - "Eat less, exercise more"..."You need protein shakes"..
."you need to cut carbs"..."you need to drink gallons of water"..."you're eating too much"..."you're not eating enough"...:"you need to buy my "fat burning" supplements"..."you need more fiber"..."You need to eat from this list of "super foods"..."you need to totally avoid this list of "bad foods"..."you have to buy my book or subscribe to my web site"...."you need me to cut out a big slice of your intestine"..."you need to "detox" with my special formula"..."You need to eat my prepackaged meals for three months"....I could add three dozen more....they are all useless in the long run.

No diet and exercise intervention of any kind - moderate calorie restriction, starvation, or fasting - has ever been shown with good science to be effective for long-term weight loss. Sorry, but there it is. 95-99% of all people who lose weight gain it all
back and more. You may be the exception, I hope you are. Keep in mind that, (it is said), that "yo-yo dieting" is far more dangerous than just being overweight. Doing nothing about your weight may be the medically safest course of action

A couple of other things...obesity is wildly overblown as a medical problem. While I am sure many people have good intentions, it cannot be denied that there are trillions of dollars to be made in pushing unproven, ineffective and even dangerous weight loss products and services.

You've made a great start with your exercise program and calorie counting. As someone who has read widely on the subject of obesity and tried just about everything, I say to you...keep up your exercise program...concentrate on enjoying
your workouts...take any money you would spend on weight-loss products and put it in your retirement plan...try not to develop an eating disorder or exercise obsession...

BTW, if you change four pounds of fat to four pounds of muscle, you will burn four extra calories a day. I made up that last number, but in truth, the metabolic effect is negligible. I know other people will have different opinions, so spare me the venom, I've heard it all; just show me the clinical trial data.
Best of luck to you.

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