What would you expect?

On losing weight and exercise

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27/03/2013 at 12:26

It's been a cold, tough winter, I'd got lazy and fallen into slovenly ways.

In an effort to kick start a bid to try a triathlon (sprint) this year I engaged in a 6 week programme at my local gym. I started February 1st, I had a 7 kgs (about a stone) to lose and I really needed to ramp up my fitness. During which time I have been spinning, body pump, and some cardio and resistance in the gym. My first goal is a 10k at the end of May.

Yesterday I turned up for a progress report including weight and bicep, thigh and waist measurements.

I wondering whether to be disappointed or not, so I'm asking you guys what would you expect in order to consider I'd made good progress.

Thanking you in advance for your feedback.

WildWill    pirate
27/03/2013 at 13:36

is it just me .... or have you missed the line that informs us of your progress? 



Crash Hamster    pirate
27/03/2013 at 13:41

The answer is...it depends!

Have you been dieting? How many times have you been to the gym? For how long? At what intensities?

If you were overeating by 500kCal a day and then exercised to burn 500kCal a day, you'd weigh the same...

cougie    pirate
27/03/2013 at 13:42
I think we are meant to guess before the big reveal.

Maybe he's lost fat and gained muscle and he's not lost weight ?

I'd think only the OP can judge anyway. We've almost zero info. If he's exercised properly and watched his diet - he can only have improved.
27/03/2013 at 13:56

Also, when you say you had 7kgs to lose, who says? Is that to get within a healthy BMI? Or some other measurement?

I would generally say over 6 weeks if you're really committed and had the weight to lose at the start (i.e. you were genuinely overweight and hadn't already been dieting before the start), you could get close to losing 7kgs. But I would be impresssed if you had. A loss of something more like a pound a week is more sensible and sustainable.

27/03/2013 at 14:14

Nicky is on the money. a pound or two a week is good going if you can maintain it consistently. You don't really want to aim to lose weight much more quickly than that.

So, in seven and a half weeks, I'd say something between 7 and 14 lbs would be on track.

But as hamster points out, your diet is key, and you've mentioned nothing about it. So we're left guessing. Perhaps you've been slurping on the "power shakes" and gained 1 kilo or two since Feb.

27/03/2013 at 14:15

Only having a stone to lose isn't a bad starting point, my friend. I guess the amount you can expect to lose depends on how much you've scoffed to fuel the workouts! A lot of stuff suggests that it's hard to lose weight and significantly improve athletic performance at the same time. Easier to do one, then the other. Soooooo in coclusion.... no straight answer .

27/03/2013 at 14:53

Okay, thank you for your interest. 

I was obviously not clear enough in my previous post. I'm at the top of the BMI range for me, I'd like to be in the middle, about a stone lighter.

As for dieting, I cut down massively on bread, pasta and rice; yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, salad or soup for lunch, and meat and veg for dinner (although I didn't avoid tomato sauce based foods). I did a very bad job of trying to give up wine.

I was hoping to lose around 2lbs a week. I didn't. I put on 2 or 3 lbs overall!!! 

However, I lost 6 cms on each bicep and 8 cms on my thighs. I feel better, to be honest. But I'm disappointed I didn't lose weight.

27/03/2013 at 14:54

slowerthanilook - that's what made it so hard. I was blinkin starving after going to the gym!!!!


Crash Hamster    pirate
27/03/2013 at 15:07

I have lost 26lb over 21 weeks (and over 2st in 23 weeks) and taken 5.5 min off my HM PB (and 14 min off my 20 mile PB) since last October.

I was 13st and started dieting in a haphazard way for a couple of weeks, before signing up on myfitnesspal.com, tracking calories and maintaining a deficit. I'm now just under 11st and in maintenance. During that time, my running has got faster for longer, my measurements have decreased and I've certainly exchanged some fat for muscle...

...but it's been hard work. I've ruthlessly monitored calories consumed and burned every day in order to maintain a deficit (except over Christmas, when I monitored, but didn't maintain a deficit) and it does take some commitment. Having said that, it's not rocket science, either

I certainly thought I had it all under control, but it's surprising how many calories there are in some innocent-looking snacks and how few calories you can burn with 30 mins' exercise

27/03/2013 at 15:15

short and sweet, it sounds like you may have lost "some" fat and replaced it with "some" muscle, but if your goal is weight loss you'll need to be much more conscious about what goes in, as Crash Hamster has been.

27/03/2013 at 15:23

Good work there Crashhamster. I've lost 36 pounds since the 1st of August, similar approach but a bit less tracking (keeping it all in my head has actually worked for me this time where tracking on a spreadsheet just made me build up a deficit in the week then blow it all at the weekend!).


Shortandsweet, do you really need to lose the weight? If you're in the healthy BMI range already, and it sounds like you're toning up, then you're doing well. If you really need to lose the weight then do the monitoring thing like Crash Hamster suggests so you can see over the course of the weeks what you're doing all round, this will give you the data you need to be able to make changes.

27/03/2013 at 15:31
Shortandsweet wrote (see)

slowerthanilook - that's what made it so hard. I was blinkin starving after going to the gym!!!!


Feel your pain. My experience (losing over 6 stone) is that you've got to be prepared to feel seriously, nastily hungry to lose serious weight. I firmly believe the big wins on weight loss are on the diet-side.

WildWill    pirate
27/03/2013 at 15:43

Monday to Thursday ... I do about 3000cals of exercise which helps 

It all takes time don't rush it and avoid the quick fix fads ... they aren't sustainable ... no matter how many people tell you it makes sense

A lot of us have been there ... I was 19st 8lb when i decided to get sorted and i still find it hard work

27/03/2013 at 15:52
WildWill..... wrote (see)

A lot of us have been there ... I was 19st 8lb when i decided to get sorted and i still find it hard work

How much do you weigh now if you don't mind my asking? 19st 8lb is a big old number, I got up to about 17st 7lbs and am now down to 12st.


Crash Hamster    pirate
27/03/2013 at 15:54

It was odd, I'd never considered myself 'fat' and I was certainly in reasonable shape; I thought that maybe I should lose 7lb or so, but it's actually taken 2st for me to be able to see the first hints of muscle under the blubber; interestingly, though I reckon I'd look scrawny if I lost more, my BMI is still 22...

I certainly couldn't have lost weight without exercise; without exercise calories to eat back, I'd've starved! STIL is right about the hunger and I'm with Will on the exercise!

Congratulations to you all on your losses; there are some really inspiring numbers there!

WildWill    pirate
27/03/2013 at 15:56

Im about 14st 6lb  but im quite a big guy ... racing weight is just under 14st 


PS ... BMI is a load of bollox for people who train a lot

Edited: 27/03/2013 at 15:58
WhizKid    pirate
27/03/2013 at 16:47
I was in the same boat as will, I was massively overweight, 21stone about 6 years ago.. Now I'm addicted to some stupid sport and coming in top 10% of nearly every race I do including a IM.. I did nothing special except I worked out insanely hard 6 times a week and just ate better, enever calorie counted never been on a diet, just persistence mate, if u only have a stone too lose some people find they actually put on a bit of weight when they start training (muscle) if u don't have that much too lose.... Keep at it and for the love of god don't weigh yourself everyday that's where eating disorders start and you start doing stupid stuff like under hydrating so the scales say less... Been there.... By the way I'm 6ft 1 and now 12 stone 4..... Good luck!
27/03/2013 at 18:55

You know, you are all very sensible. 

I think ultimately, as much as I didn't want to admit it to myself, I'm going to have a throw a bit more commitment at it. 

I've gonna have to be prepared to be "seriously nastily hungry" to lose weight. On the plus side, I was eating loads more when I first started exercising, I was putting on weight and bulk. It was in response to this I decided to cut out the starchy carbs, so I went back to where I started. I obviously need to make a bigger effort to reduce the alcohol too.

" Keep at it and for the love of god don't weigh yourself everyday that's where eating disorders start and you start doing stupid stuff like under hydrating so the scales say less... Been there.... " thanks Jamie, this is very encouraging.

Oh yes, and as for BMI - its 29.

I don't want to beef up, I'd rather be a lean mean running machine 


28/03/2013 at 10:01
WildWill..... wrote (see)

PS ... BMI is a load of bollox for people who train a lot

I certainly wouldn't dispute that. But it's a very handy rule of thumb for the vast majority of folks provided you bear in mind its limitations. Particularly the vast of the vast majority, so to speak.

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