Couch to 5K
52,788 members84,884 posts

6 weeks of diet and exercise and not a single lb lost!

Very demoralised this morning. Have been working my a**e off for the last 6 weeks- religiously running 3x a week, plus getting more exercise on top of that and watching what I was eating very carefully. I know there's the muscle for fat argument but I really would have expected to drop a couple of lbs by now.

I'd deliberately avoided the scales for over a month because I wasn't losing and it was getting me down but I jumped on them this morning thinking I must have lost something and needing that boost. Now, quite the opposite has happened and I'm feeling a bit down.

Any suggestions anyone?

Booooo :(

26 Replies

Have you checked that you're eating enough and not triggering a store mode in your body? Don't give up Jany. Are your clothes feeling the same, some people don't see the scalles move so much, but, lose inches.


Thanks Ryansson- yeah the clothes are feeling pretty much the same too! I've definitely toned up but I haven't really seen any inch loss either. The only real benefit I can actually see (I'm sure there are loads that I can't see) is my knees are much less chubby. Maybe that should be enough in itself! A chubby knee is a friend to no one!


I agree with your reply of not seeing the scale move but your clothes size changed dramatically..I was over weight 142 lbs at 5 feet 2 inches, female 45 years old, High blood pressure. I've been exercising 3/4 days a week 3 hours a day including swimming. I'm at 136lbs as of today. My clothes size was a size 9 and know I'm a size 5 some times I can wear a size 3.My health is in excellent condition.Mt body fat us almost perfect for my age..I also do the clean diet , no red meat, chicken and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, organic..The clean diet is No Processed food at all ever I coock everything from scratch, nothing in a jar or can, with very little exceptions like canned Garbonzo beans or my condinments..well , eating out, yes I do,but on occasion. Well that's my success story Thanks : Yvette...


What does the tape measure say? How are your clothes feeling?


Are you using something like myfitnesspal for logging your food to be sure your eating what you think you are?


Well, I'm very aware of my food because I've done WW in the past so I'm quite clued up about portion size, calorie intake etc. I've just signed up again so I'll have their online tracker, but I really don't think anything is sneaking in when it shouldn't! Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I've just hit a plateau? It happens sometimes I think. Have to focus on the good things that are happening, not the things that aren't.


First stop panicking....breathe, ok :-) chances are you are already perfectly balanced what goes in = energy expended, weigh yourself same day, same time, same clothes, same place once a week so you note the ups and downs, women fluctuate especially around that time unfortunately.

My dietician told me to keep to 1400 calories I looked at her like what? Turns out she was right and the pounds are coming off, but I have to really watch what I eat - mainly just all veggies with a bit of fruit, odd nugget of meat/fish in there and no nice goodies, don't even miss them anymore truth be told, diet is balanced and healthy (I am diabetic)

keep at it as you do more any extra fat turns to muscle and definition looks fantastic, lets face it nobody wants to be a stick :-)


There have been quite a lot of posts on here about not losing weight. As long as you are being careful with your diet it may be water retention. Apparently your body retains water when you start exercising to help it repair muscles. I actually put on 3 pounds at the beginning. At week 8-9 it suddenly all came off! I now weight 4 pound less than when I started. I suspect it will happen for you too :)


Hey Jany. Well done on completing 6 weeks. I'm about to start week 8 and haven't noticed any change in weight so I guess you are not alone. My take would be to carry on enjoying the plan and I guess the weight will take care of itself.

Sounds simple but burning more calories than you consume should ultimately do the trick.

Good luck anyway.


This is a really good post on just this topic. Although you will have got much fitter and done wonders for your general health running for 30 mins three times a week does not burn load of calories (sadly). Hopefully now you are running longer distances you will start to see the pounds drop but without attention to the diet it will be slow. Lots of people on here swear by myfitnesspal tho I've never used it myself. I've been running now for over a year and have lost about half a stone without changing my diet at all BUT I feel fantastic, I can run up the stairs without needing an oxygen tent and I have discovered what a fantastic destressor exercise is. I wish I had done some measuring at the start because there is a real difference in my clothes. I'd say the benefits of C25K are way beyond weight loss so do stick with it. Good luck! :-)


I think like me you are losing fat from all the important places, like your fingers and the back of your head, and building muscle where you don't realise. :)

I have had people saying 'have you lost weight? you are looking well' for quite some time and I have lost very little until recently and even then I fluctuate by about half a stone per week. I daren't wear my wedding ring whilst running, because it is now too loose and I will lose it. I have just had to have another link taken out of my watch strap.

The upside is I feel pretty damn good have loads more energy. And I am now capable of running!

I have been using myfitnesspal and that has taught me that biscuits and booze should for the most part be avoided, that gardening and decorating are the sports required to burn the calories. You can get too hung up checking your weight all the time, but I still do! :)

Just be happy that you're jogging in the right direction and everything else will take care of itself! :)

Take care and happy running!



I graduated last week and have also been watching what I eat with Myfitnesspal. So far I have only lost 2 pounds over the whole 10 weeks! BUT - in the last two weeks or so my shape has definitely started to change and I'm starting to see some muscles emerge and some flabby bits retreat, even though I weigh more or less the same. I'm hoping that this is the start of a bigger change, we shall see.

The other good thing is that you're changing your habits - you know from WW that it's the lifestyle changes that you can stick with that will help lose but also keep the weight off, and that's what I'm hoping for with the running - yes that I'll lose weight but also keep it off and not put it straight back on again when a diet ends.

Good luck and don't be discouraged, the hard work will start to pay off soon I'm sure.


Hi everybody!

Thanks for all the support and advice- I think you're all right. Running is better than not running. All the health benefits/toning/increasing fitness don't go away just because I'm not losing weight. I committed to running with the intention that it would be a long term thing so who cares if I don't lose weight in my first 6 weeks of doing it? If I keep doing it for years, as I intend to, I'll lose weight at some point. That's a physical certainty!

Thanks again for all your thoughts- it's nice to know we're in it together : )

1 like

Hi Jany, I would bet money that you are not eating enough. Your body goes into starvation mode and hangs onto everything you eat, especially if you are exercising a lot. I plateaued for about a month, then started eating a bit more and the weight started to come off.


Well I had been on various diets for about 45 years and ended up very obese. I decided to give up diets and just get fit. I started C25K towards the end of last year. I've only just graduated and I've only just lost one dress size and about 10 lbs in weight. I don't care that it is so little (although I am nearly 'obese' now as opposed to 'morbidly obese') because I feel so much better, I can do much,

much more in my day to day life and have gained so much in confidence. The weight took 45+ years to go on so it's not going to fall off any time soon. I think the weight loss is a secondary thing to fitness from the C25K programme. Try my fitness pal for logging food and a supportive community aimed at weight loss in addition to the C25K.


Take heart read my blog today I didn't loss weight till after I graduated and then one morning I was down 4lbs . Pat. :-)


Found this blog really interesting as weight loss is one of my goals on this progaramme. I started it last week....I also started the 5:2 diet where you fast on 500 calories for two days a week then eat 'normally' for the rest of the week. Not weighed myself as last week was 'that time of the month' and didnt want to be downhearted.....have decided to get weighed after 4 weeks as that hopefully should show a realistic 'loss' if any. I will be very disappointed if i dont have a loss though! May it is something you could try.....maybe shock your body out of its comfort zone? Just a suggestion. Good luck with it all..


This post really rang a bell with me - am feeling that same sense of frustration after 3 months of exercise and careful diet I have lost half a stone but I feel that I deserve to have lost more.

My shape is definately different thanks to C25K and I am miles fitter so I take comfort from that.

I have been sticking to a diet of around 1250 a day then exercise for on average 500 cals per day - I have come to the conclusion that this is not enough food so I have raised my calorie count this week to 1400 cals and vowed to try to avoid getting the extra calories from junk.

I guess that if what you are doing is not working maybe shake things up a bit and see what happens - maybe a different balance of foods, more veg,?

Whatever you do dont give up! I wish you every success in your weight loss journey and continuing witrh the C25K program can only help :)


I know this thread is a little old, but I have to comment. As another person said, running for 30 minutes does not burn a lot of calories. You need to do resistnace training that helps you build muscle in order for your body to maximize fat burning. You didn't mention what other exercises you are doing, or the frequency or duration. Resistance training involves strength building exercise, but doesn't necessarily mean lifting heavy weights.

You are probably tracking your food pretty well, but the kinds of foods you eat impact your ability to lose. Try eating as "clean" as possibe by eliminating processed foods, and eating whole natural foods. I also suggest that you cut wheat, other grains (rice, pasta, and corn), things with added sugar from your diet, and replace those calories with more veggies, root foods (yams, sweet potatoes, taro, etc.), and fruits (limit your intake of fruits very high in sugar content, pineapple and cherries). If you eat meat, try to eat grass fed instead of the standard hormone filled grain fed meat, poultry, and seafood. Drink green tea, and don't add creme and sugar. Drop all sweetened drinks, including "diet" or "low calorie" beverages; stick with water and add fruit for flavor if you want. All of the things that I am telling to get rid of are unhealthy, especially the gluten and other properties in the wheat farmed nowadays.

Try these suggestions for four weeks, and I am sure you will lose fat, gain muscle, and improve your health in that time period. You may also learn to desensatize your pallet to a lot of the foods that block your ability to get to and maintain a healthy weight. It has worked for me, and I have lost 13lbs., and 2 dress sizes in 6 weeks. This is not a weight loss diet for me, but rather a lifestyle change that I plan to follow from now on.

Just so you know, I run 5k times a week, on my non-running days, I do 45 min exercise videos that have calisthenics, resistance, and yoga exercises. I also will walk for 30 to 45 minutes on some of those days. I use Endomondo to track exercise, a Fitbit One to track how many steps and floors I have walked, and Myfitnesspal to get nutritional info. I do watch the portion sizes, and the combination of the foods I eat. I eat until I am satiated, but not stuffed, and I find that I don't have cravings, or want to mindlessly snack.

The rule of weight loss has always been thermodynamics. You must expend more calories than you consume. A deficit of 3500 calories in a week should equate to about a pound of weight loss. Depending on how much you have to lose, try not to drop more than 2lbs. per week. As you get smaller weight loss will slow down, and you will have to adjust your food consumption. Never go down below the minimum recommended amount for you sex, age, weight, and activity level. Doing so will sabotage all efforts for trying to get healthy.

Good luck, and remember that you have to really work for anything worth having.


Thanks for your suggestions Keepntabs- they're interesting although I have to say I don't agree with all of them. You're right about processed food- I cook at home every night so I'm eat very little of it but it's worrying how much sugar and preservatives are added to things nowadays!

However, your statement 'all the things that I am telling to get rid of are unhealthy' is simply not true, I'm afraid- fruit isn't unhealthy. It absolutely has a high fructose content but it's a naturally occurring sugar and the cellulose and fibre in the fruit itself slows absorption meaning you don't get the 'sugar high' you would from a chocolate bar. Certainly some of they things you suggest should be eaten in moderation and eating them to excess is not a good idea. I'm sure you would absolutely lose weight doing what you suggest but in my opinion, it's not healthy to cut entire groups of food out. Certainly reducing one's sugar, wheat and red meat intake is a good idea- but I wouldn't stop eating them completely. They have important nutrients and minerals in them and I don't want to end up taking supplements for things that should naturally occur in my diet.

If you can stick to the eating plan you're suggesting long-term then that's amazing because, in my view, it's not really sustainable. I'd rather do things in moderation for a long time then do an extreme eating plan for 2 months and then crack and fall face first into a plate of chocolate cake.

As far as exercise, I run 3 times a week, do 30 mins of cycling 3 times a week, swim once a week (for 30 mins) and do an hour's yoga class so I think things are ok there.

I've lost 15lbs this year already so I like to think I know a little bit about what I'm doing- I just thought the running would help my weight-loss, not stall it completely- hence my frustration.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to the post and I'm glad what you're doing is working for you but it's too extreme for me- I wouldn't be able to sustain it long term.



I think you should do whatever you feel is best or you. I made suggestions, because based upon your post, your current plan didn't seem to be giving you the results you desired.

Your post made it seem like running is the exercising you are doing, and expected to see weight loss just from that activity. You may know a thing or two about weight loss, but there could be someone who isn't as knowledgeable as you, and think that running alone should get them sleek and slim.

I must clarify a couple of things. I never told you to stop eating fruit. I said limit your intake of fruit with high sugar content. Fruits do have natural sugar content, and those are the types of sugars you should eat. I said eliminate added sugar to your eating plan. There is no nutritional benefit to adding sugar to anything that you eat or drink. I also didn't say stop eating any type of meat. I said choose grass fed, if you can.

Lastly, I don't recommend any eating plan that you do one month on, 2 months off, etc. The four week recommendation was for a trial period so you could see if the change helped you I did not mean for you to think I was suggesting an on and off diet plan as a way of losing weight. As I said, for me it's not a diet, but a lifestyle to improve my overall health.

Best of luck to you, and I hope we both are successful at achieving our health and fitness goals.

1 like

Hi Jany! My name is Crystal, and I am going through the same. I have been trying to lose weight for a very long time. I have tried eating right, exercising, etc., with zero pounds or inches lost. I totally understand where you are coming from, and it does get frustrating. I also know that underlying health conditions or stress may also be culprits of stagnant weight. Are you extra stressed for any particular reason, or work or live in a stressful environment? If so, that could be the case. I have started listening to soothing meditation music. Hoping this might help. Also, it doesn't hurt to visit your doctor for a routine check-up just in case. Hope this helps. And if you want a fitness and nutrition buddy, I am here :)


Hi Jany

C25K is not a weight loss program. Given the relatively short distances and slower speeds the calorie burnout is very (very) limited.

Weight loss and running can be associated with longer distances, 10 K or more, and more effort when training (high intensity runs or uphill sprints, weight lifting). Even then, the calorie intake should be less than what you burn.

In any case, this program is a perfect start as it will build and prepare you for anything that you may want to do later.

All the best!


For anyone adding comments please be aware this is a 4 year-old post


Well, let's then just hope that she followed all advice and her problems are now no more. 4 years? I wasn't even fully grey then......................

1 like

I’m in the same boat....hBP....going on 5 weeks. But taking it one day at a time....


You may also like...