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Why Am I Exercising and Not Losing Weight?

Posted on July 2, 2009 by Glenny's There have been 16 comment(s)

Laura asks:
I've been diligent about getting daily exercise and yet I can't seem to shed any more pounds. What is going on? Please help. Thanks.


This post was posted in Diet Q&A, What's New

16 Responses to Why Am I Exercising and Not Losing Weight?

  • dri
    dri says:

    This is a great question and alot of people face this same exact problem. There are several reasons why you may be exercising alot and still not losing weight.

    One common trap is that after you work out you feel as though you can eat a little more. The fact is that a little bit of exercise can increase hunger beyond the amount of calories you burned. Psychologically, a little bit of exercise may also tempt you to treat yourself. For example, you have an extra large serving of lunch or dinner, since you did workout. So instead of losing weight, you don’t lose any at all.

    A good way to fight this added hunger from exercise is to add more vegetables to your meals, and fill up on low-calorie, fiber-rich foods.

    Posted on July 2, 2009 at 2:27 am

  • Sandra Seidel

    I just read your comment about working out and not losing weight. You allude to people think they could eat more because they are working out, so therefore they eat more - this may not be true for many people. It is diet and exercise for weight loss results.

    I cut out as many carbs as possible and ate healthy plus exercised every day and still had a hard time losing weight. I always said I have stubburn fat. It doesn't want to leave home.

    85 % of a woman's thyroid burns out as they age - this is a proven fact. Many women, such as myself, have had Ovarian cysts - Polycystic Ovarian Disorder, which also involves the thyroid.

    It is very hard to lose weight. We lose by ounces not by dropping pounds at a time. No one talks about this connection and what can be done to increase the metabolism.

    What can be done to increase the metabolism?? What is a good diet for raising one's metabolism?

    Posted on July 2, 2009 at 4:02 am

  • Laurie
    Laurie says:

    Also, you may be building muscle with working out which weighs more than fat.

    Posted on July 2, 2009 at 4:20 am

  • William Blau

    I agree with Laurie. You might be building muscle mass. If not, you have to examine what your eating. Carbs are killers as are too many fruits, cheeses and spreads. Yellow and green veggies will definitely reduce you and cutting back on fatty meats and large protein portions will work. 4 ounce portions will keep you from hunger. Salt is not your friend so back off it as much as you can.
    A good challenge is a friend you can contest with to monitor each other's progress. Good luck.

    Posted on July 2, 2009 at 12:52 pm

  • Nancy
    Nancy says:

    How much are you eating daily, and how strenuous are your workouts? Eating too FEW calories can actually slow down weight loss...your body goes into 'starvation' mode, where your metabolism slows down in order to conserve body fat in preparation for, if you'll pardon the pun, lean times. If you're eating less than 1200 calories/day, try increasing by adding a healthy 100 calorie snack or two a day. Sounds incongruous, but it works! Also vary your workouts, increase the intensity, make sure your heart rate increases over 100 for a sustained period during your workouts. Good luck!

    Posted on July 3, 2009 at 1:09 am

  • Shirley Callahan

    Glad to see all the responses. It’s still calories-in vs. calories-out. A pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh the same, don’t they? At a WW meeting, I learned to plan on a few vegetarian days whenever I plateau. Be patient. Sometimes it takes me 3 weeks to lose a pound, but I never give up. It’s a lifestyle. Have you thyroid tested too.

    Posted on July 3, 2009 at 6:20 am

  • Wendy
    Wendy says:

    I'm frustrated because I'm having this problem, and every one I've asked has told me "calories in vs calories out." I'm 80lbs overweight but had been the same weight for the past two years, with no diet, no exercise. Now, for the past three months, I'm exercising almost 90 minutes a day, five to six days a week, with no less than 45 minutes a day in a working heart range. I have a Polar F4 heart monitor, so I can fairly accurately track my burn rate. I'm averaging 500 calories per day between weight training and cardio (cardio = HIIT). Still, I haven't lost any weight in the last month. My daily diet is pretty static, and I'm eating veggies for lunch every day, but otherwise my diet remains unchanged. No sugar based drinks, no desserts, no snacking (other than on whole fruit). My thyroid tests came back normal. Any other ideas?

    Posted on October 12, 2009 at 11:19 am

  • Keiva
    Keiva says:

    when you start to build muscle you need to wait a day in between intense weight lifting because your muscle's are torn and are holding fluid, they heal and then the process is repeated over and over as you continue to build muscle mass... Lots of people get discouraged because they dont see a difference on the scales, I have even gained weight when I began my exercise program which consisted of 70 minutes of intense cardio and 45 min of weight training.. dont quit! Once your body is used to your new routine, you will drop pounds like crazy!! You didnt put them on overnight so they are not leaving that way either... instead of weighing yourself everyday, measure your self.. you will see more of a diffence quicker that way than what the scales say... If your eating right and exercising at least an hour a day, you will lose weight!!! Rule of thumb weigh yourself only once monthly, otherwise your just torturing yourself.. it will come off if you want it bad enough.. For me to lose 20 pounds the healthy way, took me about 3 months.. but I gained 10 of muscle! Make sure you drink lots of water also!!

    Posted on December 4, 2009 at 11:41 am

  • Debbie
    Debbie says:

    Thanks Keiva...ur response was the best and makes the most sense.....

    Posted on February 3, 2010 at 7:40 am

  • IDL
    IDL says:

    Yes, Keiva, thanks for your comments b/c I'm getting discouraged which sounds silly considering the fact that I was wearing size 20W in clothes and the most recent dress I purchased was a 14W. However the scale wasn't saying anything different. I'm not doing anything complicated, I just reduced my daily calorie intake from 3500 to 1635, exercising 1/2 daily (except Sun) and I've been following this routine since May 1. I think I also need to stop watching these weight loss shows where people lose 30 pounds in 6 weeks -- I find them very discouraging at this time.

    Posted on July 7, 2010 at 8:08 am

  • Dondi
    Dondi says:

    Congratulations on committing to such an awesome (and vigorous!) weight loss plan! Don't forget though, to forgive yourself if you temporarily fall off the wagon or have a craving breakdown, and consider reconfiguring your diet/exercise strategy. If your regular caloric intake is 1635 and you're not seeing results you may have "plateaued"; this happens even when you follow even a strict reduced-calorie diet...your body may be in starvation mode and because it's used to consuming so much less (there's an awesome article about this in the latest issue of Fitness; click here for the link) now. Check out the story on how to get off your plateau and keep the pounds plummeting!

    Anything less than motivating...I'd suggest dropping it entirely. Not only are those "lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks" shows probably bad for your motivation, they're not necessarily healthy...most nutritionists recommend losing 1-3 pounds per week. 5 is pushing the limit of healthy weight loss and often triggers backfiring after the program, or the show, is over.

    Congratulations on going from a 20W to a 14W!!! That is so huge and worthy and awesome!

    ~Dondi

    Also, don't forget to reward yourself for hitting weight-loss goals and doing whatever you need to do to motivate yourself. Maybe kick up your exercise to 45 minutes a few times a week, or notch up the intensity by doing something you find fun but is also challenging (dodgeball, salsa, swing dancing, and running through sprinklers all come to mind).

    Posted on July 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm

  • IDL
    IDL says:

    Dondi, thank you so much for your advice. Just this weekend I pulled out my swimsuit b/c I've decided to get back into swimming to keep me motivated. I love swimming so I think I'll start back doing this a few times a week. Your message is just what I needed. Thanks for the support. I think I'll print your respone and tape it to my fridge! IDL

    Posted on July 12, 2010 at 5:42 am

  • IDL
    IDL says:

    Dondi, I just reread my message and realized an error I made. I exercise only 1/2 "hour" daily -- my apologies that it read like I was exercising for half a day. Can't do that, I've got a job. But I think you realized that w/your comment to bump it up to 45 min a few times a wk, but I just wanted to be sure. Oh and thanks for suggesting the article, it was helpful.

    Posted on July 12, 2010 at 6:23 am

  • Dondi
    Dondi says:

    So glad to hear my advice was helpful...and truthfully, a lot of it is just what's helped me in the great weight yo-yo I've done over the years. Great to hear you're back in your swimsuit! If you love swimming, you should be doing it: it's healthy activity for mind, body, spirit...can't go wrong there! Fitness ran a cool swim workout this month; if you're interested check it out here.

    Congratulations on your renewed spirit and your awesome progress! Keep up the excellent work & keep in touch! I wish you all the best!

    Posted on July 15, 2010 at 7:03 pm

  • Diane
    Diane says:

    I have been dieting since I was 10. After 40 years of trying everything there is to try in the "let's invent a diet and rip everyone off" circus, I have finally figured out it that it really is all about calories. It's really as simple as that. If you want to lose weight eat 1200 calories a day. You can eat anything you want, ANYTHING. Just stop at 1200 calories. Yes, keep a journal. What you find out though is that you can eat MORE by eating low fat or sugar free. If I want to maintain my weight I eat 1500 - 1800 calories per day (I'm short) ANYTHING I want. I ride a bicyle every day and have a calorie counter on it. My snack treat for the day is never more in calories than what I burned on the bike ride. It really works and what you end up doing is eating a healthy balanced diet because you find out vegetables and fruit and lean meat, chicken and fish - don't have a lot of calories. It seems like I'm always eating something too. Don't let all these diets fool you. Don't buy all those processed bars and shakes and premade stuff. You'll pay for it dearly later in life.

    Posted on March 24, 2011 at 3:52 am

  • Missy
    Missy says:

    Try a plant-based diet (beans, dark vegetables, brown/wild rice, maybe some lean chicken several times/week, healthy snacks, no white flour/pasta), one dessert a week, drink water w/fresh lemon, lime or orange pieces; no sodas, try agave nectar as a sweetener), non-fat yogurt, etc.

    I lost 20 pounds following this "lifestyle change" and it did not take me longer than 9 months.

    Posted on June 24, 2011 at 5:41 am

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