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Couch to 5K
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im usless

I have been on weather restricted calories or slimming world for the past few months and I have gained 2lbs! for the last three weeks I have be religeous about writing everything down (on slomming world) and I am up to week 7 on couch to 5 so have done at least three 20m plus runs now (and other gym work I normally do) and according to my scales I haven't lost even an ounce and my fat has gone up and Muscle down! I absolutely give up! to say I'm not happy is an understatement- I'm now off to do my 25 min run and have a swim in a min, but I can't help but think why am I bothering :(

17 Replies

Oh I feel for you, thats tough... the only thing that properly worked for me was Myfitnesspal, but you have to do it religiously!! Could there be anything else contributing to the gain? Pregnancy etc??? I hope you have a good run, don't let it get you down you are doing really well on the programme :)


Your experience is quite common here -- but the sad truth is that we put on weight very slowly over a long time - and it takes the same time to lose it!! But it can be lost - we can see many examples on the internet of people who have lost huge amounts of weight - I personally know a woman who has lost half her bodyweight -- but she has had to change her life completely to be able to do so and it has taken a long time.


see the thing is I had a big weight loss when I was younger so I have been dieting for about 20 years now- and everytime i go on holiday, have christmas etc for a week at a time I gain like 5lbs and then I can't shift it for about 12 months if I'm lucky! it sickens me as so many people report "cutting out two chocolate bars a day and cutting down form 4 takeaways to one helped me lose weight) - I've had two takeaways this whole year and oh maybe one chocolate bar at easter! I'm vegetarian too so have a very low fat diet anyway. apart from starvation there's nothing left (and no I'm not pregnant lol)


Can I give you some constructive criticism?


It's a difficult one. It's quite a common question on this forum too. Do trust me your not alone. I remember posting the same question. I use my fitness pal but the only thing that has worked for me is only trying to lose 1lb a week and that is up and down. For some especially after yoyo dieting the body is confused so adding exercise which burn calories is just another confusion. The way I can lose weight 3 out of 4 weeks is cut 500 kcal a day and always make sure every seven days there is. A 3500 kcal deficit. But this only has a chance to work if one your honest about food and two you know how much exercise calories you have burned. Sometimes you have to play around with finding a calorie counter that fit with you. They are all a little different. But most of all sometimes the main problem is your not eating enough and that for me causes my weight to stay static. I work o. The principal it's better to try and lose 1lb a week and it work than try and lose more. Good luck you will find your sweet spot and running will help you get there.


Have you checked the tape-measure? You might be changing shape without dropping weight. In my own case, I haven't dropped any weight (or centimeters come to that) but things are definately firmer and sleeker and my clothes fit better.


Just some general comments:

You are absolutely NOT useless. You are committed to running and swimming and are more active than 95% of the population. You are not far off graduating from C25K and that is a real achievement. I am sure that there are plenty of people in your life who love you, want the best for you and envy your fitness regime.

On the weight loss/ weight gain. Those BMI scales are notoriously unreliable, so I would not be too worried about the fat/muscle results. A calorie controlled diet _should_ help you lose weight. If you are not losing weight, then it could be that the plan is over-estimating your basal calorie requirements. Through trial-and-error I've found my tracking system needs to be set for 'Nearly sedentary' activity level to calculate my daily calorie requirements accurately. Don't try and cut out too many calories at once, though. Aim for a long-term, gradual reduction in weight. If you try to cut out too many calories, you'll just get hungry, lose will-power and scoff a cake. Better to lose, say, 6kg over 6 months than 2kg in one month.

Don't overestimate the number of calories you'll burn through C25K... in week 7 a run may be 400 calories only, and that's the same number of calories in a diet sandwich. You do sound to be quite active, though.

I agree with ajwyld - I bet that you are more toned and trim than before, even if your weight has not changed.

Don't lose heart: keep posting about your running here and enjoy the motivation and encouragement from everyone on this forum.


If we get to the nitty gritty, and check exactly what you're eating we'll find the missing link. It's there, and if you can't see it then it's because you're not looking hard enough. Sorry to be harsh, but if you are eating moderately the weight is bound to shift. If you eat less and do no exercise at all you should still lose weight if you're limiting your calories

I don't understand you when you say you don't know why you're bothering. A swim and a run is always worth the bother. You want to be fit and healthy don't you?

The answer is in your own hands. You have to be honest with yourself about what you're doing, rather than just giving up because you say eating less and exercising is not working.

You have to give it time. Weight loss and fitness doesn't happen over night. It takes time and patience. You have to make CHANGES and it's those changes that will make things happen for you

Lots of people quit, don't let it be you. You're a winner!


I know what you mean but the reason you are bothering is in your post. You want to lose weight. Running will help and it is a simple calculation calories in (eaten) less than calories out (exercised). I have taken 3 months to shift 5 pounds put on on holiday despite running 7 times in the 2 weeks on hols). I also use myfitnesspal. 3500 cals is 1lb and it is tough to do enough exercise combined with eating less to achieve the drop. Xmas meals are great fun but again this year I will try to be sensible and know I won't be.

The base metabolic rate is interesting as my scales tell me if I eat more than 1788 with doing no exercise I will put on weight. Something to think about when they say the average man should eat no more than 2500 so that assumes I do 700 calories which is a 10k run every day.

I have used intermittent fasting or 5:2 diet to kick start me when it gets stubborn. That mean eating no more than 500calories for a women or 600 cals for a man twice a week. There should probably be all kinds of health warnings about listening to diet advice.

I also avoid "low fat" foods like the plague as they normally have sugar or other fillers. Swedish trials found people eating full fat yoghurt and dairy lost more weight than those on low fat equivalents.

Another recent trial said just 1 tablespoon of olive oil a day on your food would lead to weight loss in 4 weeks. I don't know who to listen to it is a case of bewilderment but I do know to lose weight is simple.

Eat less calories do more exercise.

You have taken the best step ever which is to start - now just keep going!


Thanks for the advice and support everyone, did my 25 min run today (it was hard but I did it) then done a good half hour swim and relaxed with a nice steam :) - I am totally aware of all the maths behind dieting, I've studied it for many years and I know most cakories in everything (yes even my wine) and i have used the myfitness pal where I was advised to eat around 1400 cals a day (I put my life as sedentry as I work in the office 18 hours a week so that's non movement). I probably do my runs/gym/swim a min of twice a week but other days it's walking the dog, cleaning the house - no sitting on my bottom watchin tv during the day for me! So it's just frustrating- id love to lose a pound a week I would be more than happy with that... guess I'm just going to have to find time to excersise more and maybe drop to around 1000 cals a day. I won't give up and I will finish the couch to 5 and then I want to go to 10k - if I'm no slimmer after that..i think a trip to the doctors may be in order! Like they help anyway!!!! -anyway thanks guys x


Just another possibility for you. You say you have been dieting off and on for 20 years and that might be part of the problem. There is a suggestion that this kind of dieting can make your body going into 'starvation' mode. So when you diet your body goes 'uhoh! We're into some lean times here so better store some more fat' The other thing is that muscle weighs more than fat so your weight gain could be muscle rather than fat. My guess is that we don't really have the answer for you and It might just be worth seeing your doctor/nurse or a dietitian as they may be able to help you work out what's happening with your body.

Anyway, good luck with it and don't give up x


I am vegetarian also. I run every other day, plus walk 1 hour at midday 5 days a week. Weekdays I dont eat lunch. I dont eat between meals. My height is 171cm and I weigh 65Kg. My weight hasnt changed in the last 3 months. However, my shape has changed a bit. Muscles are getting bigger on my legs and fat is reducing elsewhere. I'm not too fussed about loosing more weight, but would certainly like to swap more fat for muscle.

It is important not to reduce your food intake too much as this just slows down your metabolism, reducing the calories burned and making you feel tired. You need to get the right ballance of good nutrition and enough exercise to burn more than you are taking on board :)


There's loads of advice on here already so not going to muscle in too much, but just to add a thought nobody has yet: I know I can get a bit hung up on my weight, so I don't have a set of scales in the house and I avoid weighing myself more than the odd time when I'm at my folks and fancy a go on their snazzy 'what percentage of water is in my body' type scales. Improves my relationship with my body a lot and keeps me away from eating-disorder territory. Is it worth not measuring anything except calories in/energy out, and going on how you actually feel instead?


yeah good point - I have the fancy scales and they are not helping at all, if I don't weigh myself once a week I start worrying that I've gained more! I will have a measure though as I am sure my tummy feels a lot smaller since I've been running (good for the core isn't it) x


Really good for your core, especially hilly stuff! I do think if your weight, as in the actual number as opposed to how you look/feel in your skin, is making you feel crappy, then you don't need that number messing up your head.


yeah I agree but I'm technically obese! I'm three and a half stone over my max weigh range so I can't go up any more! that in itself makes my runs that much harder - I'd love to know how it feels to run without a small person on my back


You can find out how that feels! It's in your hands

If you want to ditch that small person on your back then crack on and do it. You have to start by being honest with yourself about what you're actually eating and drinking. Once you've faced up to the need to make changes then you can move forward and do the work to get the results you want.

You can do it!


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