I’ll get straight to the point. I am a 5’5 female, and I weigh 175 pounds. I had a very active childhood, from playing multiple sports, dance classes, cheerleading, swimming, etc. I am 24 yrs. old and have a job where I am sitting down all day and no longer have physical activity in my life. So I’ve started going to the gym consistently for the last 3 weeks, Monday-Friday.
I have been going to the gym after work, and I use the elliptical for 30 minutes, choosing the uphill-random feature. I have also been doing the weight-training circuit, which works arms and legs (2 sets of 10 reps on each machine. And it’s 8 machines in total). I have the ‘hour-glass’ type shape where my upper body is smaller than my lower body. I eat healthy, only drink water all day (and 1 coffee in the morning), and eat veggies and fruit through the day.
My point is, I haven’t lost even one pound as far as my scale is concerned. I have noticed some increased strength in my arms, and some ‘tightening’ in my arms/upper body. I have a digital scale and its over 10 years old (should buy a new one to be sure). I would love to see some weight loss. It’s hard to keep motivated when it’s been 3 weeks and nothing big has happened. Anything I am doing wrong/you can suggest?
Hey Bunny – how are you?
So listen, you need to chill out a bit, I mean it’s only been three weeks!
I know you want big results fast, but truthfully that’s the surefire way to fail on a weight loss program. The slower you lose the weight, the more likely you’ll be to keep it off.
Now with that said, let me explain a few things to you. When you first start exercising, especially with weights, it possible to lose fat weight but not scale weight. Confused? I bet. The reason is very simple – when you start a regular exercise program your body stores more muscle glycogen to compensate for and fuel your workouts. With added muscle sugar, you’ll also store more water in the muscle cell, hence the tighter, more shapely feeling you’ve experienced. Since it’s only been three weeks, you may still be at the point where it’s an even trade – you’ve lost some fat and gained some weight in muscle. But that should start to change in the coming weeks, if your plan is right…
It’s also entirely possible that you’re not eating enough, or too much, and since you didn’t tell me what you’re diet plan involves, I can’t really say. But as a rule, for fat loss and health you should be eating a low of 1,200 – 1,300 calories, and go as high as 1,500 or 1,600 depending on your activity level. Keep in mind these are only guidelines to work from. Make sure you’re eating clean with lots of veggies, a hint of fruit, lean meats, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. The beginning of a program is always frustrating because you have to figure things out, so growing pains are to be expected.
As for the scale I say TOSS IT! It’s useless in that it only tells you your total weight, and not body composition. You already said you feel stronger and tighter, so that’s progress in my book. And it should be motivating as well, because it shows you change is possible. You say “nothing big” has happened, but truthfully you didn’t gain 10 or 20 pounds in 3 weeks, so why expect it to come off that fast? Do you see my point? Stay confident and remain focused – you’re on the right path. But I will suggest that you start using more traditional resistance exercises like squats, pushups, rows, sit-ups, and include calisthenics like jumping jacks, jump rope, and squat thrusts. And don’t tell me you can’t do them – you can. I don’t care if you can only do 1 pushup, 5 jumping jacks, 10 seconds with the rope, or 1 sit-up – it’s a start and gives you room to grow. Each time just try for one more rep or one more second. I’d use these types of exercises in a circuit pattern and get off the elliptical and machines for the next four weeks. It’s simple, pick four exercises, do them in sequence, rest 60 seconds then do them again. Once you’re done with those pick another four, and so on. Got it?
Circuit style training keeps your heart rate elevated, builds stamina and strength, and provides for exercise efficiency. Okay, you get the point. Bunny, you have to be a bit patient here. Losing weight and getting fit is not an easy task to master and plan for. You’ve got to get some time under your belt before you can really say something big hasn’t happened. But one thing is absolutely clear – you must be diligent and consistent with your program. I know you can do it
Send me an update in a few weeks time so we can let everyone know how you’re doing. And if any of you out there would like to book a more in-depth consultation with me – just drop me a line via the How To Book button in the sidebar.
And if you have a question – please just click here. I’d love to help you!
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