Need some advice - please help!: Just a quickie... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
107,840 members138,786 posts

Need some advice - please help!


Just a quickie coz I don't want to bore everybody. I know this is strictly off topic and not about running (although I am on W8 and run three times a week minimum) but I'm desperately trying to lose a stone and nothing is happening!!! Like nothing, zilch, nada!! If anybody has any advice could you please let me know and i'll message you the whole sorry saga!!! Thank you in anticipation :-) x

26 Replies

Oh, I'd love to hear some advice too on this subject. Lorraine, I've just completed W6 and am so hungry I'm eating more than ever which is not helping the weight. I know I will just have to curb what and how much I eat but I'd be very interested to know what's best to eat on run and non-run days. I was just trying to get to the end of the plan so I can then run for 30 minutes 3 times a week and was then going to tackle the diet. I really couldn't cope with too much at one time and just getting out 3 times a week doing this plan is enough at the moment. Please keep us posted and I'm sure it's not a sorry saga at all just what a lot of us haven't had the heart to voice. In anticipation too SB x

Aaaww, bless you. Believe me, I have wanted to mention it for a while but nobody likes the "moaner". Hopefully somebody can give me the heads up! On the upside, only six more runs left before I graduate and only 9 more for you - logic states that we must be getting better at this "running" thing - I even nearly bought a running magazine last week - OMGG!!! x


With the risk of sounding simplistic, the best tricks I know are

- eat fewer calories than you expend

- make sure you have a balanced diet

Running unfortunately doesn't really burn a lot of calories. You might use 200-300 calories on a W8 run, and it takes 3500 of them to lose a pound of fat. So dieting is key to bring the weight down (which in turn will make it easier to run).

Please don't do any crash dieting or any of the short-term "totally avoid any x" (replace x with carbs, fat, protein, sugar, or whatever fad is up at the moment). If your diet becomes unbalanced, you won't get the energy needed to run, and if you don't run you won't build muscles which burn calories even when you sleep.

Easy peasy, eh? Now if only I could find out how to lose another stone myself, then I would be a happy chappy.

Lots of people have had this problem including me! Running will not really make you lose weight, especially if you eat more because you're running! To lose weight you have to eat just a bit less. I have done weightwatchers for years, and it really works. I'm an old hand now so don't bother going to the meetings these days - I know what I should be doing (!). I am starting to notice that although I'm not losing weight, my clothes are much looser. People say muscle weighs more than fat - I think the truth is something more like muscle retains more water than fat so although you may not be losing weight on the scales your bmi is probably getting lower and you'll be getting more toned. Keep doing the running and eat healthily but not excessively and I expect you'll notice some nice changes soon :-)


I've managed to lose 2st5 over the last 17 weeks with the nhs 12 week plan. This is just calorie counting and sticking to 1400 calories a day. I try not to eat the calories I burn through running and record everything I eat to ensure I stay on track. There is a really suppotive community on here as well who are always happy to give you support and advice.


The first time I tried C25k I lost 10lbs, but I also cut out alcohol Monday to Thursday! This time round I haven't lost much weight but combining running with other exercise has toned everything up to the extent that PapaMia pointed out the other day that my bum had nearly disappeared! Think he actually meant there wasn't much overhang left, but hey, it was still a compliment :D

Like UseItOrLoseIt, I have noticed my clothes becoming looser and I have dropped one dress size "up top" and am probably on the way to it "down below" - just need to get rid of my thunder thighs and I'll be sorted!

Tomas is right, the only way to lose weight is to combine exercise AND a balanced diet with reduced calories - one or the other isn't going to do it on it's own!

Good luck!

useitorloseitGraduate in reply to Mamma_Mia

Blimey - I hope I don't lose any more up top. My boobs will be sticking out the back!

Mamma_MiaGraduate in reply to useitorloseit

:D :D :D :D .... the only way that is going to happen to me is in my dreams!!!!! Or maybe when I'm lying down when my boobs could probably meet around my back!!!!!!

useitorloseitGraduate in reply to Mamma_Mia

Humans are odd, aren't we? I haven't got any and would like some, and you would rather a little less. Whatever entity makes us has a rotten sense of humour. D'ya know, when my sister had her 3 kids she got bigger boobs each time. I only had one, and what little I had completely disappeared, despite breastfeeding. So much for sharing the same genes! Life's a b***h!

Thank you all for your comments, they have helped. Logic tells us that if there is more going out than is going in then we see a difference in numbers, yes? Monday to Friday I have a Slimfast shake for breakfast (I know, I know, don't say it!!), either a slimfast shake or 4 x Ryvitas with a tin of salmon for lunch and then a normal tea, either salad or something like fish or chicken with new potatoes and veg, never anything fried or takeaway/convenience food. Everything in our house is the light or low version and everything is cooked the right way, ie., grilled, poached or boiled. I drink at least three pints of water a day (if not more), I actually eat less on the weekends, just generally poached egg in the morning and a ham or chicken sandwich in the evening but we do go out every weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday's so i'll have a few drinks, but not loads, and then back to it again on Monday. On top of this, I am running at least three times a week, either first thing in the morning or after work. I figured I was within my daily allowance for a female and doing exercise as well I thought I would have seen a difference. Totally get the fact that the scales may not change but thought I would see a difference in my clothing, ie., jeans being a little looser, muffin top not hanging out as much, bum not dragging on the back of my knees - but no, nothing!! Where am I going wrong. Am I not eating enough? I've just come back from a holiday to Portugal and we may be going away again at Christmas and I want to feel a little better about myself than I do now!! Perhaps i've got it all wrong so any help/advice/suggestions would be massively massively appreciated. Thank you all x

Clara29Graduate in reply to Lorraine1108

Sounds like you may in fact possibly not be eating enough calories to me: Apparently if you eat too few calories the body's metabolism tries to save as much as it can. I use the 'My Fitness Pal' app to log my calories and it actually gets a bit cross with me on the (very rare!) occasions that I eat significantly under the calorie count it has set for me.


You could always try the 5:2 diet. Our c25k poster girl used that. Other people have lost loads using Slimmers' World with c25k. There's a calorie control app some people use too but I can't remember the name, possibly MyFitnessPal or something like that. Someone else will surely correct me if I'm wrong. Good luck :)

SlookieGraduate in reply to AncientMum

Gingernut is an advocate of the 5:2 diet and perhaps she will be along soon. Myfitnesspal seems great (just been using it for 2 days, so I'm not a great sample). Tells me I should be having 1400 cals a day and is rather brutal about insisting I put in the quantities - no fibbing allowed! Just started the 5:2 this week alongside the myfitnesspal thing so can't say if it works for me just yet, but can confirm, as others above have said, C25K improves body shape and tone no end (and morale and energy) but don't expect the scales to move immediately.


I did this a couple of years ago, and the weight just dropped off "Women's Health 2 week fat loss diet" sorry I can't seem to upload a link, but you can find it on Amazon. It's not faddy, it's largely...

Breakfast - fruit, any but not canned

Mid morning snack - protein like chicken or nuts

Lunch- soup from the recipes, and a salad

PM snack - grain bar or peanut butter stuffed in celery - yum!

Dinner - plain chicken, meat or fish with steamed veg

Bed time snack, cottage cheese or nuts.

I still make the recipes even though I don't need to lose weight, cos I love it so much!. Any diet that advocates a glass of vino and lots of, um, physical exercise (!) gets my vote!

HiddenGraduate .


Hi Lorraine. Here is my simple weight loss plan. I did it and it works. I lost 20lbs over 12 weeks.

Download free calorie counting app called My Fitness Pal. Program in your weight and also what your goal weight is. It will give you a daily calorie target. If you keep to this and run three times per week you will lose weight.

The end!

Good luck.

Weight loss is 80% diet 20% exercise. If you burn 500 extra calories a day, that will add up to about a pound a week, as long as you are not eating more to offset those calories. Obviously during the C25k programme you are not burning anything like that many calories but you are getting yourself fit enough to do so. Couple that with a calorie deficit from eating and results will come. Slowly but surely.

In terms of diet long term weightloss is achieved by changing your diet, not going on a diet. Any diet that relies on excluding a whole foodgroup is to be viewed with enormous suspicion, and really, even if it works, is going to reverse as soon as you stop doing it.

Beware 'low-fat' versions of anything - they invariably replace the fat content with sugar. Dietary fat is very seldom the problem in fact , that is a great myth. It is high fructose corn syrup, which is present in everything from sliced bread to ketchup to hot dogs to breakfast cereals to.. you name it.

The easiest and best rule is to cut out or cut right back on anything processed. White flour and white sugar based products first and foremost. Examine the ingredients of anything you buy. If there are any words you can't pronounce or don't recognise what they are: don't buy it. Ideally, if a foodstuff has more than one ingredient, avoid it.

HiddenGraduate in reply to Rignold

I'm with you Rignold, I almost never eat anything processed, white things being my least fave foods...I almost never eat sugar particularly.

Just as a matter of interest Lorraine, is it weight or toning that you need? Sounds a strange question but has someone who lost 4st 9lbs about 8 years ago, I found that I still had a flabby gum and saggy bum. This time around I have started some 3 stone lighter, but the weight hasn't dropped dramatically but the inches have. Since the 1st July gone from 16 to size 12, but only just over a stone weight loss.

I have cut out processed food as per Rignold above and increased the core conditioning! I still have a way to go, but it is definitely coming!

I would certainly shake up the diet you are currently on, and please remember that if you don't have enough calories, the body will slow down metabolism and not burn fat!

Good luck!

LadyP33 in reply to LadyP33

I meant flabby tum! Lol


Some good info here


Nothing much more to add Lorraine, it is all covered above.

You look lovely in your picture, and I bet that you don't really have a lot of weight to lose. What is your BMI? It sounds as though you are doing the right things and you must see some benefit in your body shape, even if you're just becoming trimmer and toned, rather than slimmer.

Once you graduate and maybe run further, you will burn more calories and this will help the weight loss.

Dare I ask about your alcohol intake? Lots of hidden calories in wine & beer.


Yes the 5:2 diet is fab and excellent for your health too - it's said to reduce the risks of diabetes, cancer and dementia. I lost three stone in six months.

Here's the link to the original Horizon programme (if you're not in the UK tell me and I'll post a link)

Quick video that explains more

Best part about it is that I maintain by just fasting one day a week (up to 500 calories) and I run up to 5k three times a week. I've been the same weight now since April 2013.



Are you measuring yourself as well? If so you can ignore the rest of this paragraph:-) A few years back I went down from a near size 14 to size 8 and a year later to size 6. And in all this while I just lost 2.5 kg, because I was doing resistance training and in turn building muscles. And till now when I get fatter (from not exercising) I lose a bit of weight but my waist looks huge.

Also running is something I have always found difficult so even a short sprint shocks my body more than it may do for others. Similarly, maybe you can do some exercise which you normally dont (rowing, resistance, etc) to take yourself out of the comfort zone? I do wish you manage to reach your goal soon.:-)

Thank you everyone, just gunna stick with it and hope for the best - gets really demoralising at times though when you try so hard yet still don't see results!! :-(. Thank you again x


You will probably find that you have lost inches here and there if not total weight....I had been losing weight ( rather depressingly gradually!) by dieting, but it was when I started the running that I (and others) started to notice a difference in what I looked like. After losing 2st with a further stone and a bit to go till I am officially within the 'normal BMI range' my weight is static at the moment BUT I still feel SO much better than I did and can actually see my biceps and collar bones for the first time in years so I am planning to just plod on and try to avoid getting too obsessed with the number on the scales :-) Good Luck in your own journey!

You may also like...