Struggling with weight loss c25k: Hiya, I'm... - Couch to 5K

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Struggling with weight loss c25k

Emilys24 profile image

Hiya, I'm currently on week 3 run 2 and I haven't managed to lose any weight since starting. Before I started the runs, I'd lost about a stone through diet alone. Currently around 14st and 5' 9, and haven't lost anything since starting. I've spoken to a friend who is a nutrionist and she's advised maybe I need to eat a bit more. I was on 1500kcals before and doing no exercise. So now I'm going to try upping it to 1600kcal as I'm now exercising 5 days per week. Just wondering if anyone had any tips about weight loss on the plan/calories/anything at all! Thanks :)

20 Replies
Katielh profile image

Good to see not only me having this problem! I was gutted on sat at my weigh in to have put weight on after all my eating and running efforts but a few have said the same so I think the body just reacts in a different way to what we think it should when we up the exercise!!

Emilys24 profile image
Emilys24 in reply to Katielh

It's so unmotivating isn't it? I've read a few comments on here that apparently others don't lose much in the first few weeks and then there's a big drop. So fingers crossed!

MarkyD profile image

No real advice, only to say that your calorie burn during the first few weeks of C25K is going to be 150-200 calories per session.

So when you come home and treat yourself to a snack, you are undoing all the good that you've done. Just sniffing a piece of cheese is 200 calories, lots of bottled drinks (even the ones with healthy-sounding names) contain over 200 calories, and even the go-to banana is about 90 calories per 100g of fruit.

Emilys24 profile image
Emilys24 in reply to MarkyD

Yeah the calorie burn is why I've upped my calories by 100 per day - so the calorie deficit I had before starting exercise is the same. And I don't really have any treats after a run. I have a banana before I go and then breakfast as usual afterwards.

Katielh profile image
KatielhGraduate in reply to Emilys24

I'm also eating the same healthy food I was before running so also not increasing food intake. I do think it's maybe the body holding on for fuel, well that's what I'm telling myself or I'll just cry! Lol

misswobble profile image

It can be done but it takes time! Be patient. If you are eating and drinking healthily and exercising regularly then the weight will shift. You sure do need to eat enough, especially as you are putting a lot of work with your exercise. Be sure to eat well balanced, healthy meals, get some good amounts of sleep. Watch what you drink and your portion sizes.

It's not rocket science, it's just common sense. No short cuts to good health


Good luck with it. Happy running 🙂

misswobble profile image

Oh I forgot to say that the body does take time to adjust. Once you get going beyond 5k and your running opens up, the weight loss gains momentum ,so you have to re-adjust to get enough calories to sustain good health

You get into it and it becomes second nature

Sounds perfectly normal, and no cause for concern. To understand why, we first need to understand why weight alone is a rubbish thing to measure.

The first thing to note. You've started exercising. That will be burning fat. Especially if you maintain a daily calorie deficit.

So if you are burning fat, why isn't weight going down yet?

The act of exercising causes micro tears in muscles. This is a normal part of the process of the muscles becoming stronger as those micro tears are repaired stronger than before, during your rest phase.

So muscle mass is increasing. Muscle is heavier than fat by volume.

As part of the repair process of the muscles, the end phase of which being stronger, fitter, heavier muscles (but less fat), inflammation happens. Inflammation basically traps water at the site.

Another thing that happens when you train is your body adapts for the increased demand and may store more water more efficiently. Again more weight.

So the scales are terrible for measuring your progress in the early stages of a new training regime. It is very normal not only for your weight to not go down, but for it to actually go up. But there are two important things to note. Firstly, that increase is extremely unlikely to be fat increase, and secondly that in the longer term, your weight will drop faster as your increased fitness means your body is more efficient at burning fat.

Katielh profile image
KatielhGraduate in reply to

Thank you for this reply I've been so disheartened as I was losing more weight pre couch 2 5k and I've kind of thought my recent little gains and maintains might be due to muscle repair fluid, I didn't think I could be exercising enough to build the muscle up to make that much of a difference and was sick of everyone saying muscle weighs more that fat but your explanation makes it sound more realistic than just beefing up! Thanks! 😊

in reply to Katielh

I think 'weight loss' in the context of someone trying to slim down is a terrible term. Much better I think would be 'fat loss'.

It's very easy to lose weight. All you have to do is starve or dehydrate yourself. That's far from healthy though.

The trouble is scales don't differentiate between fat and muscle and bone and water. Just weight.

A better measure of progress therefore is girth around the waist. Measuring such that the tape measure is at the height of the belly button. Even with this, you will get a lot of variance as the measurement will change depending on how full you are. So it's best to always measure at the same point in the day, and take an average over the last 3 days each time.

My doctor (a bit of a pessimist) said running exercise etc don't particularly help you to lose weight - it is cutting down the calories you consume that does it. And there is a certain logic. According to Strava, my 30 minute runs (week 9) are burning about 600 calories (I'm 15 1/2 stone so quite overweight - height 6ft). Now in order to lose a pound in weight you have to lose 3000 calories, either by exercising or cutting down the food you eat. So on running alone, I'd have to do five of those runs just to lose a pound.

HOWEVER - I don't think he's telling the whole story. Exercise increases your metabolic rate - your heart rate stays elevated for quite a while after you stop running - I don't mean it stays at 120-130, but it might stay in the 80s when the resting heart rate is in the 60s. This means that exercise causes you to burn calories at an accelerated rate long after you've stopped exercising.

I have lost around 5-6 lbs while doing C25K - but that's also due to doing the 5+2 diet (doesn't work for everyone - seems I can survive on low calories two days a week, being careful to do my runs on the non "starvation" days!

But strictly speaking, to lose a pound weight while running, I'd have to run for two and a half hours! Depressing thought!

Charlottetrip profile image
CharlottetripGraduate in reply to iain-strachan

I do the 5/2 diet and run and so far have lost over 2 stone. I think the fasting days really help.

iain-strachan profile image
iain-strachanGraduate in reply to Charlottetrip

Do you run on a "5" day or a "2" day? I was thinking it might be overdoing it to run on a 2 day, but maybe it's ok to do this?

Charlottetrip profile image
CharlottetripGraduate in reply to iain-strachan

I run on a 5 day. i can't see any harm in trying though.

IgaT profile image


100kcal more may not be enough.

In the beginning of exercising sometimes the muscle gain is bigger than the fat loss, thus increase or no change in weight. But soon it will change and definitely your circumferences will change ;)

Keep up the great work you are doing and remember about the rest days and good old-fashioned sleep.

I am mid week 3. My weight loss also stalled when I started running, but I have lost inches (2 inches on both stomach and hips) in that time.

I eat healthily and didn't up my calories on the run days. I figured it's a change in muscles being used so weight loss would be slow to start.

Running-girl profile image

Hi Emily Hang in there and don't worry about the scales too much. You will start to see how much you are toning up and your clothes will start to feel looser. Find out your BMI and measure with a tape

around your tummy.I

rutheliza profile image

Hi, I haven't lost any weight, sadly. Would love to lose a stone, but have put on a couple of pounds, probably due to overeating. But my clothes are a bit looser, my waist is a bit smaller and the other day I noticed that my upper arms won't wobble anymore. So hopefully I'll see some weight loss eventually. I'm sure you'll get there

ladyharvills profile image

I didn't lose any weight doing C2 5K, but since starting B2 10K a few weeks ago I have lost a couple of pounds. I'm not overweight so it doesn't really bother me.

Option 1. GM Diet for a week.

2. After 6pm diet. No food after 6pm.

3. No rice, bread, cakes, sweets. Eat complex carbs like potato and sweet potatoes instead.

4. Drink a lot of water. With lemon is recommended.

Good luck! Focus and hang in there!

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