Couch to 5K

feeling disheartened by weight gain

i am now on week 4 and although i've found it tough at times, i have managed each run with no problems and am looking forward to doing more in week 5. previous to this programme i was a complete couch potato. i weighed 12 stone and had recently quit smoking. am loving the running and would not trade the feeling of well being for skinniness- HOWEVER- i do feel a a bit cheated.i have been going to slimming world, i admit that my weekends are a little bit relaxed around food but i have not gone crazy or binged on anything terrible, and mon to fri am sticking to the eating plan. for 2 weeks now- i have actually gained weight, despite all the extra exercise. i have read on here that some people lost inches not weight (i feel firmer but not smaller!) and i have also read that some people maintain their weight, but to actually gain it, seems cruel!! i am not sure wether to drop slimming world as it seems a rip off to pay a fiver each week to be told i have put weight on, but at the same time i am frightened in case, without it, i pile even more on! i have gained 5 pounds so far. (and lost £20!) i attend with my daughter who is dropping a couple of pound each week and whilst i am pleased for her, it seems so unfair. the leader said that when exercise is new, muscles can go into "emergency mode" and retain fluid. i am an ex nurse and have never heard of this theory. also i could deal with the gain if my jeans were getting looser but they are not. i will definately keep running cos of the other benefits but can any long term runners please reassure me that eventually i might get at least a little trimmer? I have never seen a flabby runner!! am i destined to be the only one?????i also admit that running does make me hungrier but i have been eating lean protein and plenty of vegetables etc



16 Replies

ps am 44 years old


Hi Anna

Firstly well done on reaching week 4 that’s already a massive achievement. Well done too for joining slimming world.

I’m currently on week 9 of the C25k plan, and through stringently sticking to weight watchers, running, circuits classes and cycling and playing tennis and cricket I’ve lost over 2 stone since Christmas! Some weeks I lose less which can be demoralising – last week I was fantastically good and did loads of exercise and lost just 1lb.

I’m gradually starting to lose inches too – today’s issue is a builder’s bum due to falling down trousers! Some weeks I lose weight/ sometimes inches but I do recommend you measure yourself! Once a month is best – do it now – then stick to the plan, keep the SW up and measure yourself in one month -I can guarantee you will have lost inches (and hopefully weight too!)

I feel a bit cheeky saying this but I wonder (as a SW veteran too) – are you filling in a food diary? You alluded to “not sticking to the plan” at weekends, I wondered if you’re being wholly honest – and if you might be unpicking all your efforts during the week with a few syn-full snacks at weekends. SW does work – especially when teamed with exercise (I lost 2 stone+ with SW too in the past). However you’ve got to record what you eat and keep track of our syns etc…

Good luck!

1 like

I didnt start to lose any weight until about week 6 when the runs got longer & more frequent for longer runs.

even now, if I have more than a couple of days off running I gain a couple of pounds. if Im worried about the gain I "track" my food on the weightwatchers site, as I still have this after reaching goal.

dont be too disheartened. you will get there & like you said you wouldnt trade running anyway.

good luck with the rest of the plan. X


I really wouldn't quit slimming world - it really does work if you stick to it. I lost almost 4 stone without doing any extra exercise - you can too if you are honest about what you are eating and you follow the plan. I managed to do it with having more syns on Saturdays (a few wines) so am sure you can still enjoy your weekends as long as you don't go over the top


Remember a pack of cigarettes a day speeds up your metabolism by the equivalent of 200 cals a day (this is not a good reason to take up smoking of course). Running three times a week burns roughly the same amount.

My weight loss slowed down around the same time as you are gaining. Fit muscles contain more water than fat does, it's not something that goes away, it's a permanent shift in fluids. But fit muscles also burn more energy and once you've made that one-time gain then the weight loss starts again. Just stick with it and you will see.



Well done with getting to Week 4. I'm starting my first Week 8 run in a few minutes!

To share what's helped me. I've lost 18lb since Christmas doing this and using (free). It means you have the discipline and effort of keeping a food diary, but to be honest, it's helpful because you really know what you're eating and it's a simple equation - stick to the calories myfitnesspal gives you, log your runs and you'll lose the weight. If you have a smartphone it's easy to log on the move or scan your meals. You're not shooting in the dark.

There are occasional weeks when you're building muscle, but at least with the food diary you won't slip into starvation mode where your body resists losing the fat.

All the best, and you're welcome to friend me on MFP if you sign up.

Andrew (goodmanco)



A sudden increase in exercise does cause a lot of people to retain water but once your body gets used to it it will drop the excess. Though, as always, drinking more water is the key to a good weight loss.

I am a 12 stone flabby runner so at least there is 2 of us :o)


3 of us - lol (and 13 stone)....


Hi, well done for doing this programme, It really does make you feel great doesn't it? I too struggle to understand why after 13 weeks of running 3 times a week I have lost a minimal amount of weight, I have only lost 4lb and that ,I believe was xmas excess so really I haven't lost any!!! I am with you in so much as the running in itself has so many benefits but to not lose the weight just makes you feel cheated :( . I think we are all different though and maybe we are just going to take longer to be lean mean running machines ;) I used to do slimming world but gave up for the exact same reason as you are thinking, "why pay someone a fiver so they can tell you you've put on weight"? I suppose it's the motivation and the advice you are paying for but it does seem unfair, Keep it up and let us know how it goes , we are with you all the way :)


I am a new starter on W2R2 tomorrow. I have lost weight since Christmas the hard way, and the reason why I have started the running is to 1) increase my fitness levels BUT 2) because I saw a friend a week ago who recommended this to me as a programme - and she had completely changed shape. HONESTLY - she was a real pear last June, and now is not. And all down to running - but obviously she has been at it religiously for all those months. So it isn't instant, and as other bloggers have said, stick to it. You know that quick fix wont last. All of a sudden you will drop 4 or 5 pounds - I bet.


Wow RibbleLady - your friend sounds a real inspiration! You couldn't persuade her to come on here and counsel us all, could you....?

And well done to you for getting started too - it's hard work but so worth it (despite the lack of weight loss for some of us!). Keep going!! :-)


My goal when I started C25K was to loose half a stone I wanted to get down to about 9 stone which is a healthy weight for me as pre children I was about 8 1/2 stone. I combined running with being careful about my diet Monday to Friday but by about week 4 realised I was a pound heavier despite a reduction in food and alcohol intake. Once I started doing the longer runs regularly I did loose about 3 lbs but no more. However my 49 year old sister in law who is a PE Teacher and constantly battles with her weight assures me that wen she takes up running her weight goes up by half a stone and falls by half a stone if she stops running. Muscle is definitely heavier (and healthier) than fat. However as muscle requires more energy to maintain itself your metabalism will be speeding up so eventually so long as you are sensible about your food intake you will start to loose weight. In my case even though I have lost very little weight and my clothes don't feel a lot different I can see that my belly is no longer as flabby, in fact I think I look OK naked! But more importantly the big difference is I no longer have any trouble sprinting for the bus and I can maintain a conversation while walking up a steep hill in the park and I smile more because I feel good!


well done to you for starting the c25k, I started 6 weeks ago and I have lost 6 pounds most of this was my gain after giving up smoking but happy that it has started to come off.

Keep going I have watched my colleagues in the running club at work some are dropping off the weight and some are finding losing weight a bit harder.

Your shape will start to improve and thats better that counting the pounds honest.

Who cares what we weigh as long as we look good and look after ourselves.



I too struggle with weight and am on week 8 now and finally I am starting to feel a wee bit smaller an have lost around 4lbs, which is good for me as I've been the same blooming weight for over a year! so I think it's a time thing. keep going :)


I struggle with my weight too and am a similar age (coming up to 42), but wouldn't really like to go to any sort of slimming club, so I've been using since the end of January.

I love that fact that I can use it on my smartphone and scan in barcodes, which makes it really easy. I also love that fact that I can count the calories I burn exercising and use them to enjoy some naughtier foods/drinks (read Gin & Slimeline Tonic, Red Wine, chocolate into that).

It is definitely working for me I've lost 18 pounds so far and my wife (who's doing the same thing) has lost 19 pounds.

The other tricks we've both used are the "Endomondo" app to allow us to track the calories we burn when running/cycling/hiking and signing up to the light plan on - good quality snacks through the post - great to stop those 'bad' snacking habits.

Good luck and don't give up! :-)


thank you to everyone who took the time to answer the question! am pleased to say that i have stopped dieting (yippee) fitness pal was useful, in that i now know i was not eating enough, i am eating sensibly but allowing treats on run days, my weight has stabilised (i think but have not actually been weighed) but feel the same size, i have taken my measurements and have put them away somewhere very secret and will re measure in a month. i really do not think i can diet and run at the same time and i feel so fab that even i had the choice, i would not swap this feeling for being a size 10! things are definately toning up and the consesus seems to be that the body will look fab once the distances increase. so staying with the running and trying to be sensible about food (i.e not binge on rubbish) and am relaxed about it now. i know some people have had great results from doing SW or WW and running at same time, but its not going to work for me. am proud to say i have also reached week 5 and completed the dreaded run3!! found it hard but not impossible and already looking forward to the challenges of week 6. thanks again to everyone who replied xxx


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