Couch to 5K
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Weight Loss Plateau?

Hi there! Short-time lurker here, about to embark on W5R3 (shudder) tomorrow.

I'm exercising to build up fitness levels and lose weight before starting uni in September - I started at 94kg in October (having come down from 120kg a few years ago), and got to about 81.5kg before starting C25K 5 weeks ago. I've been maintaining a 1200-1400 calorie diet, and cycle ~8 miles (including a nasty half-mile hill) 4x a week on top of running.

The thing is, I haven't seen any weight loss since starting C25K, and I'm seriously freaking out. I'm exercising even more than before, and still maintaining a calorie deficit. Yes, I've lost a few inches, but... my BMI is still as unhealthy as it was before, and I'm no closer to reaching my ideal weight. I feel a little devastated, to be perfectly honest.

Has anyone else experienced this before, or does anyone have any advice? I'd very much appreciate anything anyone has to say. I've got an appointment with my GP next week for something unrelated, but I'm thinking of bringing this issue up too...?

Thanks + sorry for the long post!

7 Replies

Well done you're making great progress.

Yes I hoped to loose weight while doing the C25K but in reality I only lost about 5lbs in total, I want to loose approx. 21lbs in all.

I've been eating healthier too. But whilst I haven't noticed the weight going I have definitely noticed the inches going. My clothes are becoming looser so I guess things are toning up. I've noticed this more once I got into the longer runs, around week 7.

I was advised to make sure I drink plenty of water, fruit and protein foods so eggs, lean meat etc as the body does need fuel to cope with all the exercise. Hope this info helps.

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Thanks for the reply! I've got about 21lbs to lose, too, and am fitting in to clothes I certainly didn't fit in to before, so I guess we both keep chugging along then. Good luck to both of us!

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It's actually quite common.

I appreciate what you say about the cycling but bear in mind that your runs to date have actually been quite short and even with W5R2 you are likely only expending 200-250kCal.

With the exercise you will have been adding muscle mass and at the same time losing fat. When all is said in done, it is excess fat that we all want to lose, surely. Bodybuilders are overweight according to BMI.

That addition of muscle mass will itself begin to plateau soon enough and as your runs become longer, I would expect that you would begin to see some weight loss.

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Devastated is a strong word.

You have to stick like glue to healthy eating and exercise. The weight will shift, your BMI will come down, but you have to keep going no matter what.

If you follow a healthy regime you can't go wrong 🙂

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A strong word for a strong emotion ;) I've been struggling with my weight since I was a kid, so I get panicky when things don't go as I expect with it.

I've been following a (mostly) healthy regime for almost half a year now - to the point where it's just become normal. Hopefully keeping it up will see the weight start to fall again soon!


Thank you for the reply, it's very reassuring to hear you say this!

I think my worry is that I was losing weight before C25K and have gone from losing ~0.8kg/week to not losing at all, but if it's muscle gain (and my legs are v much more muscular than they were before) this could make sense. I ran W5R3 today so I'm starting to get into those longer runs - hopefully in a few weeks' time the weight will start to shift again!

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If eating healthily has become nature to you then you are doing it right 😀👍 if you eat and drink healthily, and do plenty of exercise then you can afford to treat yourself once in a while 🙂


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