Originally Posted by cazlar
Hi everyone! I wondered if you had any advice for me in losing a few pounds!
I'm a 22 year old female, 5'5, medium frame, and my weight tends to hover around 140lbs. I've been going to the gym 5-7 times a week, burning off around 750 calories each session (according to machines) with an hour of cardio followed by weights. I also do a keiser cycle class and body pump once a week with others thrown in occasionally. Using the 'fitday.com' calorie and activity tracker i am currently getting a calorie deficit of 1000kcals per day, (eating 1800, burning off 2800 for example). I feel like I am following all the fitness advice I can find online but don't seem to be losing much weight. I measure myself with a tape measure and weigh myself regularly and the losses im experiencing are not very impressive (I have been following this routine for a month now, where previously i went to the gym 4-5 times a week and didn't count calories, and would estimate that i've only lost around 2lbs in total, and 0-2cm in measurements). Occasionally I have a weekend off (visiting friends etc) where i dont go to the gym or watch what i eat for a couple of days and drink alcohol. Could this be what is setting my weightloss back? I only want to lose around 5-7 for the time being, do I need to lower my calorie intake further? Or am I just being too impatient?!
Just a few suggestions / comments:
- Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so while you may be getting rid of that adipose tissue you are also building muscle, and that won't make a big difference on the scales.
- I agree with upping the protein. I estimate about 1 gram per kilo of body weight at least- 1 kilo is 2.2 lbs. You may even want to increase that if you are working out hard - protein is the building block for the body. All forms of fish are great sources of protein, and so are eggs. Eggs are packed full of goodness, despite the bad publicity they get from the cholesterol they carry, but we all need some cholesterol, and it's your overall diet and genetics that determine your cholesterol level.
- Have you tried interval training? It's a form of exercise where you do short bursts at full speed on any cardio workout, followed by short rest periods. Better than just plodding along, interval training gives your heart a good workout and rises your metabolism for the rest of the day, thus burning more calories! Interval training is great for getting rid of those stubborn last pounds towards your weight goal. Google it, I'm sure you'll find plenty of suggestions. With working out, quality is often better than quantity, and remember to allow your body enough rest days to allow it to recover (you don't want to run yourself into the ground). Also, try varying your workouts every week - it keeps you in better shape by keeping your muscles on their toes rather than lulled into a false sense of security.
- For weight training, also vary your workouts, that create more efficient muscles. If you want to increase muscle, do heavier weights and shorter sets, like three sets of four. To increase stamina, do lighter weights and longer sets, like three sets of twenty. I tend to stay in the middle, doing three sets of ten or twelve, to tone my muscles without overbulking. Free weights help build more equal strength on both sides of your body, and give your muscles a better rounded workout. Try to work large muscle groups, and work ALL muscle groups, eg. if you work the biceps you must work the triceps to maintain a healthy balance, and go through a full range of motion when weight lifting. Keep a note of your progress, and always try to push yourself. Don't be afraid that you will get all muscly - you're not a guy :-)
- I also agree with tracking those days off - you may have worked hard all week just to lose it all on those "days off". Remember that alcohol are empty calories. I'm not saying don't have fun or take a break: maybe just moderate food and alcohol intake, and keep your goal in mind.
- Finally, be patient. Sometimes it is harder to lose a couple of pounds than many. Have fun losing weight, but maintain your discipline. Remember that you are already within a healthy weight. Perhaps turning fat into muscle and changing your body's shape could be an alternative goal.
Good luck, and have fun being healthy and fit!