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TOPIC: Help! When I exercise I don't lose weight!

 
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April 9, 2013 12:23 PM
Hey all! I have an issue that i've been dealing with for a while and i wanted to get some input on that. To put it simple: when I exercise I stop losing weight.

To give a little more detail, when i exercise I maintain the weight I was when I started exercising. i'm doing turbofire 6x/week and before that I was following LiveFit. For both programs I have not lost any weight until I cut back on exercising. When I exercise 6-7 times per week I dont lose weight, but if I only exercise 1-3 times a week I lose like 5lbs...does anyone have any idea on why this happens?

I know people state water retention; but please realize that I have been doing this LONG TERM. this is not a "hey, i started a program last week and i'm gaining" problem.

Also, please dont say "it's muscle!" Women gain a max of 0.5lbs of muscle per month and that's if they're hardcore lifters...which i am not.

I am also making sure i eat enough to stay out of starvation mode, given the workout calorie deficit, and i eat healthy. My diary is private as i have a medical condition that affects my overall intake and i do not want this turning into a post about my medical condition. Having said that, please also note that I have worked with a dietician, who told me she has no clue why i'm not losing because i'm doing everything she would recommend someone to do.

i appreciate any insight you all can offer!
Edited by fitOsaurus_Rex_we_changed On April 9, 2013 12:26 PM
April 9, 2013 12:30 PM
Even if you're not new to it, you could be pushing yourself harder gradually without realizing it and that means you could still be dealing with the water weight issues. Not sure how it's been explained to you so I'll just put all the details out there. When you exercise intensely enough, it can cause tiny tears in the muscle fibers. This is what usually leads to that next day soreness (aka DOMS). As a result, the fibers need water and glycogen for the healing process. You may not be able to see it visibly but it's basiclaly the same reaction that's going on when you twist your ankle and it swells.

Watch your sodium intake and drink plenty of water. Without being able to comment on your calorie intake, that's all I got...
Edited by MinnieInMaine On April 9, 2013 12:31 PM
  5367199
April 9, 2013 12:39 PM
Thanks...I'm still pretty sure that im not consistently staying at the exact same weight because of water. But I appreciate the input
April 9, 2013 12:52 PM
Hi there,

I am no expert by any means... however I have experienced what you are talking about. I was losing about a pound a week, then added exercise to my life. Once I did that, I totally plateaued. I was still losing inches, but no pounds.

Since I have Lupus, I meet with doctors pretty regularly. I brought up this exercise/lack of change on the scale issue with one.
I learned I had been working out in the wrong "cardio" zone for weight loss. She told me to burn fat, you should expend about 70% of your energy during a work out. If you go higher than that, your exercise becomes anaerobic, and doesn't affect your metabolism as much as it does your heart and muscles.

Anaerobic (high intensity) excercise is important. But the way she explained it to me, lower intensity exercise is more likely to burn fat.

Once I heard that, I cut out some of the work-out routines I was doing and started spending more time on the treadmill/eliptical.... at a much slower pace than I had been doing. It really helped me kick start the scale into moving down again.

Good luck to you!
Ann
April 9, 2013 1:56 PM
QUOTE:

Hi there,

I am no expert by any means... however I have experienced what you are talking about. I was losing about a pound a week, then added exercise to my life. Once I did that, I totally plateaued. I was still losing inches, but no pounds.

Since I have Lupus, I meet with doctors pretty regularly. I brought up this exercise/lack of change on the scale issue with one.
I learned I had been working out in the wrong "cardio" zone for weight loss. She told me to burn fat, you should expend about 70% of your energy during a work out. If you go higher than that, your exercise becomes anaerobic, and doesn't affect your metabolism as much as it does your heart and muscles.

Anaerobic (high intensity) excercise is important. But the way she explained it to me, lower intensity exercise is more likely to burn fat.

Once I heard that, I cut out some of the work-out routines I was doing and started spending more time on the treadmill/eliptical.... at a much slower pace than I had been doing. It really helped me kick start the scale into moving down again.

Good luck to you!
Ann


oh my gosh! if i could come thru this computer and hug you I would! thank you SOOOOO much for taking the time to post a reply, and a very helpful one at that. i have a HRM and i know that my turbofire workouts range between 80-100% of my max every single time. Now i know that i need to lower the intensity a little to get my heart in a better range to burn fat. i cannot tell you how much you have helped me and how much i appreciate it! i'll be keeping you and your lupus in my prayers.
April 16, 2013 3:19 PM
fitOsaurus_Re : I have the EXACT SAME PROBLEM as you mentioned that you have.
AnnInTexas : BLESS YOU! I am just as grateful to hear this as fitOsaurus_Re. I'm going to be implementing this immediately! I'm planning on visiting the gym tonight.
Thanks ladies!
flowerforyou
  36914057
April 16, 2013 3:24 PM
Agreeing with AnnInTexas here - I too have read that if your workout is too intense, you've gone beyond the "fat burning" phase of a workout. It might seem counter-intuitive, but cut back on the intensity a bit and see what happens.
April 16, 2013 3:27 PM
No medical conditions, but I've found the same thing. I am not afraid to work hard in a workout, but unfortunately it pushes my heart rate up too high. Do you have a heart rate monitor? I have a Polar FT4 and I watch it closely to make sure I'm in my range for most of my workouts.

Good luck!
April 16, 2013 3:40 PM
The "fat burning zone" is a myth.

Exercise burns calories - and the more intense you exercise the more calories you burn. Period.

You don't say if you're eating back your exercise calories. If you don't, you may simply be creating too large a deficit, stalling your weight loss. Another possibility is that you're hungrier and less accurate with your food measurement after you've exercised.

link chosen for easy digestability: http://www.livestrong.com/article/336935-fat-burning-zone-myth/
April 16, 2013 3:45 PM
When you're performing intense exercise, your body call hold onto as much as 7-10 Lbs of glycogen and water to aid in muscle repair. I'm currently trying to maintain for the time being...but when I take one of my week long breaks from lifting (every 12 weeks or so, I'll drop 8-10 Lbs. I'm about 182/183 on the scale right now...I just recently took a break and weighed about 176 by the end of that week...then right back up to 183 once I started lifting again.

Conversely, if you don't eat back exercise calories (If you're using the MFP method), you could be creating too large a deficit and stalling your metabolism
Edited by cwolfman13 On April 16, 2013 3:48 PM
April 16, 2013 3:54 PM
If you're doing all of what you stated above, then maybe a trip to the endocrinologist can clear up any hormonal issues that may be impeding your weight loss.

To iterate, the whole "fat loss zone" isn't the best way to lose fat. While it is true your ENERGY expenditure comes from fat a lower intensities, it's more important for overall calorie burn to encourage fat loss. Just a quick note: you burn more FAT sleeping than from any exercise you do. That's partially why weight is lower upon waking than the rest of the day.

A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  9285851
April 16, 2013 4:00 PM
Well, I will tell you what I read in the Good Housekeeping article just this past weekend. You may be working out too hard, and burning too many carbs, instead of fat. You need to find out when you optimally burn fat, which means you may need to get a heart rate monitor and keep your heart beat bt 114 and 120 beats a minute. Also, you should try to keep your calories bt 1800 and 2000. We can actually work out too hard to loose weight. I know it seems crazy, but that is what this lady Rhonda said in the article. She went to Illinois State University and was measured by psychologists using a Bod Pod. They measure her body fat, and measured her breathing to calculate when she burned optimal fat, which was at 114 beats a minute. We have been told that our heart rate should go higher, but that seems incorrect. We need to keep our heart rate lower for longer periods. It was in the May 2013 Good Housekeeping magazine with Julianna Margulies on the cover. I am certain that is why I have platooed now, and am in the process of talking with my trainer about it. Hope this helps. Don't give up.
  37020223
April 16, 2013 6:37 PM
Also, track your fat grams that you eat every day, and try not to go over what MFP says. Those fat grams, at my age anyway, go straight to my belly...so I have had to really what what I eat.
  37020223
April 16, 2013 9:25 PM
Either go hard or go long. If you go long, then go lower intensity, but to match the calorie burn from a harder workout you may need to work out twice as long (IE. 1/2 hard intensity or 1 hour low intensity). You don't need to burn fat (source) to lose fat when exercising. Again fat can be burned with diet alone.

QUOTE:
For most healthy people without heart disease, exercising at near-max HR is not only safe; it is also necessary to improve the performance of the cardiovascular system and to become really fit. While not all clients are elite athletes, those who are not can still benefit from more intense exercise. Research has shown that interval training at an intensity greater than 90% VO2max (95%–100% max HR) is the most potent stimulus for improving VO2max and cardiovascular fitness (Billat 2001; Midgley et al. 2007).

So, for your clients who want to burn fat and lose weight, high-intensity exercise will burn more calories both during and after their workouts and will also increase the muscles’ ability to use fat. And tell clients not to worry about staying in their fat-burning zone—because there’s no such thing. Just tell them they simply need their caloric output to exceed their caloric intake.

Achten, J., Gleeson, M., & Jeukendrup, A.E. 2002. Determination of the exercise intensity that elicits maximal fat oxidation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 34 (1), 92–97.

Astorino, T.A. 2000. Is the ventilatory threshold coincident with maximal fat oxidation during submaximal exercise in women? Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 40 (3), 209–16.

Billat, V. 2001. Interval training for performance: A scientific and empirical practice. Special recommendations for middle- and long-distance running. Part I: Aerobic interval training. Sports Medicine, 31 (1), 13–31.

Brooks, G.A., & Mercier, J. 1994. Balance of carbohydrate and lipid utilization during exercise: The “crossover” concept. Journal of Applied Physiology, 76 (6), 2253–61.

Horowitz, J.F., & Klein, S. 2000. Lipid metabolism during endurance exercise. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72 (Suppl.), 558S–63S.

Knechtle, B., et al. 2004. Fat oxidation in men and women endurance athletes in running and cycling. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 25 (1), 38–44.

Laforgia, J., et al. 1997. Comparison of energy expenditure elevations after submaximal and supramaximal running. Journal of Applied Physiology, 82 (2), 661–66.

Malatesta, D., et al. 2009. Effect of high-intensity interval exercise on lipid oxidation during postexercise recovery. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 41 (2), 364–74.

Midgley, A.W., McNaughton, L.R., & Jones, A.M. 2007. Training to enhance the physiological determinants of long-distance running performance. Sports Medicine, 37 (10), 857–80.

Phelain, J.F., et al. 1997. Postexercise energy expenditure and substrate oxidation in young women resulting from exercise bouts of different intensity. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 16 (2), 140–46.

Sedlock, D.A., Fissinger, J.A., & Melby, C.L. 1989. Effect of exercise intensity and duration on postexercise energy expenditure. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 21 (6), 662–66.

Talanian, J.L., et al. 2007. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. Journal of Applied Physiology, 102 (4), 1439–47.

Treuth, M.S., Hunter, G.R. & Williams, M. 1996. Effects of exercise intensity on 24-h energy expenditure and substrate oxidation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 28 (9), 1138–43.



A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
Edited by ninerbuff On April 16, 2013 9:26 PM
  9285851
April 16, 2013 10:02 PM
Good stuff here... too bad Good Housekeeping will prevail as the subject matter expert here. *sigh*

QUOTE:

Either go hard or go long. If you go long, then go lower intensity, but to match the calorie burn from a harder workout you may need to work out twice as long (IE. 1/2 hard intensity or 1 hour low intensity). You don't need to burn fat (source) to lose fat when exercising. Again fat can be burned with diet alone.

QUOTE:
For most healthy people without heart disease, exercising at near-max HR is not only safe; it is also necessary to improve the performance of the cardiovascular system and to become really fit. While not all clients are elite athletes, those who are not can still benefit from more intense exercise. Research has shown that interval training at an intensity greater than 90% VO2max (95%–100% max HR) is the most potent stimulus for improving VO2max and cardiovascular fitness (Billat 2001; Midgley et al. 2007).

So, for your clients who want to burn fat and lose weight, high-intensity exercise will burn more calories both during and after their workouts and will also increase the muscles’ ability to use fat. And tell clients not to worry about staying in their fat-burning zone—because there’s no such thing. Just tell them they simply need their caloric output to exceed their caloric intake.

Achten, J., Gleeson, M., & Jeukendrup, A.E. 2002. Determination of the exercise intensity that elicits maximal fat oxidation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 34 (1), 92–97.

Astorino, T.A. 2000. Is the ventilatory threshold coincident with maximal fat oxidation during submaximal exercise in women? Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 40 (3), 209–16.

Billat, V. 2001. Interval training for performance: A scientific and empirical practice. Special recommendations for middle- and long-distance running. Part I: Aerobic interval training. Sports Medicine, 31 (1), 13–31.

Brooks, G.A., & Mercier, J. 1994. Balance of carbohydrate and lipid utilization during exercise: The “crossover” concept. Journal of Applied Physiology, 76 (6), 2253–61.

Horowitz, J.F., & Klein, S. 2000. Lipid metabolism during endurance exercise. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72 (Suppl.), 558S–63S.

Knechtle, B., et al. 2004. Fat oxidation in men and women endurance athletes in running and cycling. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 25 (1), 38–44.

Laforgia, J., et al. 1997. Comparison of energy expenditure elevations after submaximal and supramaximal running. Journal of Applied Physiology, 82 (2), 661–66.

Malatesta, D., et al. 2009. Effect of high-intensity interval exercise on lipid oxidation during postexercise recovery. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 41 (2), 364–74.

Midgley, A.W., McNaughton, L.R., & Jones, A.M. 2007. Training to enhance the physiological determinants of long-distance running performance. Sports Medicine, 37 (10), 857–80.

Phelain, J.F., et al. 1997. Postexercise energy expenditure and substrate oxidation in young women resulting from exercise bouts of different intensity. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 16 (2), 140–46.

Sedlock, D.A., Fissinger, J.A., & Melby, C.L. 1989. Effect of exercise intensity and duration on postexercise energy expenditure. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 21 (6), 662–66.

Talanian, J.L., et al. 2007. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. Journal of Applied Physiology, 102 (4), 1439–47.

Treuth, M.S., Hunter, G.R. & Williams, M. 1996. Effects of exercise intensity on 24-h energy expenditure and substrate oxidation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 28 (9), 1138–43.



A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

April 16, 2013 11:07 PM
It would seem to me that although you think you're eating enough, you're not - because when you cut down the exercise but eat the same, essentially cutting down your calorie deficit, you lose weight. Maybe you do need to eat more when you exercise more.
  16589557
April 17, 2013 8:22 AM
I struggle with this, too. I remind myself I lose weight in the kitchen, I get fit in the gym. I over exercise. Its easy for me to exercise than to not do it and I tend to think if this is good, then more would be better. But it always backfires on me. I have been learning to relax a bit more.

It has helped me in many ways to look at exercise in a different light and now I have more time to play with my kids and don't have all the pressure from my old workout routine. I am toned, I am in great physical shape I just have more fat on my than I would like to grumble

Slowly but surely I am seeing results that I like!
April 17, 2013 8:26 AM
QUOTE:

Also, track your fat grams that you eat every day, and try not to go over what MFP says. Those fat grams, at my age anyway, go straight to my belly...so I have had to really what what I eat.


Everyone is different, I know, but I 100% disagree with this. I eat 35% fats every day and have no issues losing weight. I also got my bloodwork numbers all in the normal range eating this way.
  25040222
April 17, 2013 8:31 AM
QUOTE:

Hi there,

I am no expert by any means... however I have experienced what you are talking about. I was losing about a pound a week, then added exercise to my life. Once I did that, I totally plateaued. I was still losing inches, but no pounds.

Since I have Lupus, I meet with doctors pretty regularly. I brought up this exercise/lack of change on the scale issue with one.
I learned I had been working out in the wrong "cardio" zone for weight loss. She told me to burn fat, you should expend about 70% of your energy during a work out. If you go higher than that, your exercise becomes anaerobic, and doesn't affect your metabolism as much as it does your heart and muscles.

Anaerobic (high intensity) excercise is important. But the way she explained it to me, lower intensity exercise is more likely to burn fat.

Once I heard that, I cut out some of the work-out routines I was doing and started spending more time on the treadmill/eliptical.... at a much slower pace than I had been doing. It really helped me kick start the scale into moving down again.

Good luck to you!
Ann


I would rather lose inches than scale weight any day. No one sees the number on the scale anyway. And someone who is muscular and fit and weighs 180 looks better than someone of same height/gender who is 180 but flabby. And even if you are over your healthy BMI range, if its muscle but you have low fat percentage, that is what really matters.

Besides, the more you weigh, the more you can eat drinker While I like to be smaller, if I have to lower my calories that always brings a little tear cry
April 17, 2013 8:42 AM
if its just a matter of wanting to keep losing weight.

my recommendation would be to exercise 3 times a week instead of 6-7.

that will give your body a chance to rest/recover. I think you are just over doing it with the exercise.

best of luck
  36318957

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