I am halfway through Week 5, but it has taken me 6 weeks to get to this point. I have been carefully dieting and doing resistance training exercises for 7-8 months now, and added the running into my routine in the hopes I could re-invigorate my slowing weight loss.
Since I began C25K, I have lost only 2 pounds. This is less than I was averaging before I added C25K to my routine. And in that time, I have generally maintained my other exercise regime and my diet.
I saw my weight-management specialist doctor today, and expressed my concerns. I am working harder now that I did before, and the results are less than I expected or hoped for. After reviewing my food journal and exercise regimen, she told me something I had not expected.
It is perfectly normal NOT to lose weight when adding exercise. (What?! Really?!) According to my doctor, many people go through an adjustment period when they significantly increase their cardiovascular exercise, which increases blood volume and prevents weight loss. This period typically lasts 4-12 weeks, depending on the person. After the adjustment period, people frequently lose astonishing amounts of weight really quickly until a new equilibrium is reached.
I read about another C25K runner who lost nothing for 9 weeks on the program, but continued running and lost a mind-blowing 12 pounds in 4 weeks! According to my doctor's advice this morning, it looks like I may be able to look forward to similar success, as long as I stick with it.
So here is my sticking with it - extra blood volume and all. And for anyone else feeling discouraged that the expected fat loss isn't happening, perhaps this will give you some new hope.
**Update: I wanted to let people know about my personal experience with the weight loss as I progressed through C25K and beyond. During the 9 weeks of C25K, I lost 7.5 lbs. In the 4 weeks following, I lost another 5.5, for a total of 13 lbs in 13 weeks. The weight loss was generally slow, with almost no measurable progress for the first 6 weeks, but it did come in bursts after that.
I want to stress a couple of important points to my readers:
1) I was also *dieting* while doing this program (which has the biggest impact on weight loss).
2) I was clinically obese. The more extra fat you have, the faster it tends to come off. I could lose another 50 pounds and be at a "healthy" BMI. If I was losing my last 10 pounds, it would be a lot slower. So feel free to get excited by my numbers, but be gentle with yourselves if you choose to compare your own progress, and consider what percentage of your extra fat you are losing.
3) On the other hand, I had also been dieting and doing other exercise for several months, and was clearly reaching a plateau. If you haven't been very active, and start doing C25K plus watching what you eat, chances are very good you will have similarly positive results
Finally, I have now been running regularly for 4 months, and am down nearly 20 pounds from when I started C25K, so keep at it! Good luck!