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Avatar universal

working out and not lossing weight

I am 42 years old 5 foot 6 inches and the scale will not move off of 154 lbs.  I used to be exercise often when I was younger but have not for years.  April of 2007 I joinned a gym and started a weight training class on Mondays for 1 hour,  Wednesday  night I would do a step for 1 hour and 30 - 45 minutes of total body works and on Friday's  Cardio for 50 minutes.  I went up a few lbs so I joined weight watchers a month later.  The studio changed the classes for the summer and took my Friday's class away so I replaced my cardio for yoga and Pilates on Tuesday and Thursday for the past 8 weeks and the scale still won't move.  People have ask me how much weight have I lost and I say three lbs and I feel stupid.  I take 6 vitamins a day I eat fresh fruit & veggies; I eat lean meat and fish at least once a week. My breakfast is usually two fresh brown eggs with fresh mushrooms and fat free graded cheese or Stony field fat free yogurt with fresh fruit or Kashi protein drink with skin milk; Lunch is usually a salad topped with crab or tuna dry and a little light dressing and flax seed and some fresh fruit if I have it; dinner I eat a salad lean meat 4 ozs never skin always marinated in light Italian dressing, two servings of veggies for a treat sometimes a whole wheat pasta or a baked potato with a little butter and fat free graded cheese  or sometimes light sour cream, my snacks varies from Kashi snack bars to celery and natural peanut butter or just fruit.  A few days of the month I eat ice cream and it's not a small portion but it's usually Eddies light or frozen yogurt.   I have just read up on high fructose corn syrup, hydranated oils and soy and how much it effects weight gain and hormony in balance.  I have currently tried my best to band all processed cheese except graded or block, I have band all catups barbeque sauces, light and fat free dressings that include those ingredients including fake sugar including splenda.  For the last two weeks I have made my own dressing out of olive oil and vinegar and Mrs. Dash, I now use sea salt and raw sugar sparingly I cannot lose past three pounds my body is refusing to allow me to pass 4 lbs.  There is so many diets and advise on the internet it is making me crazy I never want to leave the gym and I feel like I cannot eat anything healthy.  I forgot, in the summer I have a few drinks on Saturday but I surf for a few hours on the weekends so I feel that balances out.  Is it possible I am not eating enough or too much,?  Can someone advise me how to lose weight and still work out?
10 Responses
Avatar universal
You are probably at your 'ideal weight' by the sounds of it. sometimes you don't need to actually lose weight off the scale to look and feel 100% better. The muscle weight has replaced your fat weight so why worry about the last few pounds? Don't put your body through hell just to see a number. I completely understand. I went through the exact same thing and after countless flush diets, changing routines i realized my body just wasn't built to go under a certain weight (and still be healthy). celebrate, it sounds as though you've reached what most people spend their whole lives trying to reach.
Avatar universal
I am not sure what the ideal weight means.  I just want to be in the middle of my BMI.  My current BMI 24.9 and my goal is 21-22.  I also have a lot of extra fat on my hips and belly so my  clothes  don't fit comfortable and that bothers me more then the scale.  I feel that I need to lose at least 10-15 pounds to see any difference in my belly and hips.
Avatar universal
Sorry, that was to healthcrazy....
Avatar universal
I'm not sure of your financial situation, but my advice to you would be if your local gym offers personal trainers, get yourself one.  They are able to set a program up just for you.  You tell him/her your goals and he/she will build a workout routine around everything you have in mind.  He/she will workout with you, show you the correct way to do each exercise, push you when you feel you can't go any farther, and just be the support you need when you just don't want to do it.  

It sounds like you may just need to focus on toning your body and the fat will disappear  because you have your diet under control.  Diet is the hardest thing to conquer and you have taken the first step.  You should be very proud of that.  

Good Luck to you!!
Avatar universal
I would like to hire a trainer but at this time it doesn't fit in my budget.  Someone suggested a protein supplement drink for two days for all three meals and by my second drink I started to get light headed so  I skipped the third meal and ate regular but did the protein drink for three days instead of two.   This week I  still have been drinking one protein drink a day as a meal supplement to see if that helps.  I was happy with the 2lbs I lost last week but I think 1 of those pounds found it's way back home so that didn't help. My total weight lose since April was 4.6 lbs last week and now it's back to 3.6 I cannot get past 5 pounds and it's making me nuts.  

I also have noticed a few girls close to my age joined the gym after me and they have lost alot of noticeable weight, I estimate 15 lbs for the one girl and about 10 for the other.   I am getting fustrated and discouraged because I only see those girls once or twice a week tops and I am there all the time.

Is there anyone who can help me speed up my metabolism?
Avatar universal
I am ready to give up the gym or weight loss it's costing me a lot to eat right and to exercise and I am gaining again.  Can someone put me in the right direction that won't cost me
Avatar universal
I was also in your shoes with the same problem, doing all the right things and still not losing any weight.  Then I had a blood test for my thyroid and discovered that was the problem.  It was out of wack and wouldn't allow me to lose any weight.  I was ready to give up also but a simple blood test let me see what the problem was.  
Avatar universal
I have the same problem - the scale won't budge no matter what I do and my husband is a personal fitness trainer! LOL  (I'm only making light of myself.  I know it's frustrating.)  It sounds to me like you've put on muscle, but it also sounds to me like your body has gotten used to the exercise you do and it's in a "holding pattern."  Every six to eight weeks we're supposed to change our workout routine completely.  (But we can go back and forth, we don't need to find a totally new exercise every six to eight weeks.)

Don't give up eating healthy!  Even if you never lose another pound, you'll most likely remain in terrific health and that's priceless.  I know it's expensive to eat healthy because I do and I can't believe how much my grocery bill went up!  But it's worth it.  You might want to drink green tea.  I think it tastes like water, but it does raise the metabolism quite a bit over time.  My doctor said it also keeps the skin young, but I have no idea.  I do put Splenda in it, but I know I shouldn't.  Next time, I'll buy a flavored green tea.  Flavored with fruit.

As for cardio, I think you just need to change the type of cardio you're doing.  If your doing a bike, then try a treadmill or just plain power walking outdoors.  If you live near a park, walking there every day will be free and the fresh air good for you.  My husband does tell me that people don't start to lose weight until they walk for thirty minutes of more, although they do derive health benefits.  If you live where it's getting colder, then your body is going to have to work harder to stay warm and burn more calories.  Interval training is good, no matter what type of cardio you do.  It forces the body to work harder and lose more weight.  If your cardio is already walking, try a bike or stepper or elliptical or aerobic dancing.  When I switched from a bike to a treadmill, I started losing again, but now that I'm back to the bike, which I love, my weight has stabalized and I know I'm going to have to take up an interval power walking program.

I think you need to do cardio six days a week to lose weight.  I'd do one type you haven't been doing for six weeks, say power walking with intervals, then switch to a bike with intervals or try spinning.  It's a lot of fun.

Try crunches for the belly fat.  As for the hips, I gain weight there, too, and it's hard to lose it.  Just try varying your routine and make sure you work up a good sweat or you're not working hard enough to lose weight.  Do you know how to find your target heart rate?  If not, google it, because you need to be working in that range.  I can't tell you here because to be really accurate, you need to know your normal resting pulse rate.  If you work out in the lower range of your target range, you'll burn more calories from fat.  In the higher range, you'll burn fat, but muscle as well.

You speed up metabolism by sleeping regular hours, regular daily exercise, green tea, no sugar.  Make sure your meals/snacks are three to four hours apart.  Also, add about two hundred more calories a day for two weeks, then go back to your lower intake.  And make sure you drink at least eight to ten glasses of plain water a day.  It helps raise the metabolism and it's good for the liver.  If the kidneys don't get enough water, the liver has to take over some of their work in flushing out toxins and we can gain weight.  But the best thing to do to raise metabolism is aerobic exercise, but we need to vary it.

Good luck.  You're not alone.  A lot of us have this problem as the body likes to maintain the "status quo," but take heart in the fact that you seem extremely healthy.  And yes, a thyroid test like the above poster mentioned would be a good idea, though I'd be willing to bet you don't have a thyroid problem.
Avatar universal
To find your target heart rate just subtract your age from 220 if you're a man or 226 if you're a woman.  This will give you the maximum heart rate you should be working at.  It's more accurate if you know your resting heart rate, but if you don't, then this method is better than nothing.  A lot of people who fail to lose weight despite exercise aren't working in their proper training zone.

The zones are:

Warm Up:  This is 50% to 60% of your maxiumum heart rate and it's easy on the joints, is best for preventing injuries, etc.  It does decrease body fat, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels.  85% of calories burned will be from fat.

Fitness Zone - 60% to 70% of maximum heart rate.  Same benefits as above, but more intense.

Aerobic Zone - 70% to 80% of miximum heart rate.  This is the zone to work in to improve respiratory and cardiovascular health and you'll still burn calories, even more calories, however, only 50% of them will be from fat.  The other 50% will be from muscle.  However, you'll be building muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat, so it's sort of a trade-off.  

Endurance Zone - 80% to 90% of maximum heart rate.  High intensity zone, athletes like marathon runners and cyclists train in this zone for endurance.  Helps the body fight exercise fatigue and make more efficient use of oxygen.  However, not recommended for weight loss as only 15% of calories burned are from fat.

It could be you're training to hard or not training hard enough.  I hope this helps a little.
Avatar universal
Don't get frustrated about not acheiving the fast results and don't compare yourself to those other women, everyone is Different!!  Focus on the positive right now, you eat well, you are exercising, which is fantastic for anyone, that is soo positive.   Have you tried the treadmill or elyptical?   What I have found is that to shake those hips and thighs up, get on the treadmill for no less than 30 minutes, get the incline up there (like 7 or above) and crank up the speed, (above 3.1).   After awhile start switching up your routine and confuse that metabolism of yours!    You say you are on weight watchers?   Are you tracking your points honestly?   Here is what I have found  

I am turning 40 this year, had 4 pregnancies and got stuck in a rut  I finally decided it was time for me to get back my figure and get healthy.   I joined weight watchers online and have loved every minute of it, it is like a little guardian sitting on my shoulder.  You are an amazingly healthy eater, I am not.  I pretty much eat whatever I want within the confines of my 20 points per day.   I am 5'4 and when I started this little journey (post baby number 4) I was a whopping 156 lbs.. Pretty scary huh!  It took me over 6 months to get down to 143!  I never thought I would get anywhere and got frustrated but I felt better knowing that I was eating somewhat better.   I rejoined the gym and started going about 3 times a week or averaged 120 minutes of exercise.   I did not lose weight immediately but I immediately felt better emotionally, I bet you do toO!!  

So as of today, 14 months after my last daugther was born I am down to 128 lbs and a healty BMI.  I don't think I will be able to get to 124 but who cares, I have sooo much more energy and feel so much better about me!   You hang in there and focus on the positive and give the stair master a try.  Repetition with low weights can burn calories, strenghten you but not put on a ton of muscle, try that too!!  Good Luck!!
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