(Not) Losing Weight - and Why That's OK

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.

It hasn't.

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!


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78 Replies

  • Omg, that sounds too good to be true but I am definitly up for giving it a go..Will let you know if it happens to me..

  • Best of luck to you! I am sure you will get good results from sticking with the running.

  • Nice bit of information that and entirely understandable.

    I've been running for around 4 weeks now, and i'll be honest; when I started, I wanted to lose weight so a month in, I think i've lost a pound in total.

    Slightly disheartening until I noticed my "skinny" jeans weren't so skinny and my work shirts were starting to look big.

    So my theory was that all the running I'm doing is losing me weight, but it's gaining me muscle too. Muscle has a smaller mass than fat so even though I'm losing inches, I'm not losing pounds. I'm shrinking but my extra muscle is making up for the weight I'm losing.

    It's no bad thing.

    And then come week 9 when I'm hitting 30min runs and levelling off at that level of fitness (the plan for me), my muscles shouldn't need building up much more as they'll be at the level they need to carry me through 30mins of running. At that point, the muscle stops gaining mass whilst the running is burning fat. Ergo, weight loss.

    But now I'm looking forward to after the adjustment period :)

  • I think you have the gist of it. If you are shrinking, but not losing weight, it is very probable that you are losing fat and gaining lean body mass, including muscle. So if your skinny jeans are fitting better, you are already reaping the rewards of "losing weight" regardless of the scale.

  • Thank you, thank you! Just what I needed to hear. On week 5 and have lost nothing even though I am following weight watchers as well. But like mrqwest, I have lost inches....so I will keep going..... I hope your doctor is right


  • Good luck to you, and keep watching those inches. They mean more than the scale. :)

  • Hi

    I am currently week 2 weeks after graduation.. Only just covered the 5k in 36 mins and really enjoying it... But I must confess have been a bit miffed that I have not lost a stone or two?!?.. Though I love feeling fitter will be lovely if the weight loss kicks in.... Maybe I need to drop my celebratory post run wagon wheel!!!!

  • 5k in 36 minutes is a good time, and something to be proud of. I certainly hope you meet your weight loss goals, and also that you set reasonable expectations so you stay motivated. Up to two stone in 9-11 weeks may be possible for some, but difficult for others. Certainly I have never lost that much weight that quickly. That said, are you losing anything at all, or losing inches? Gaining muscle tone? Those are worth celebrating too!

  • You have no idea how happy it makes me to read this. My parents keep asking me why I'm not losing any weight but I couldn't give the answer. Hey, I am doing everything I can but they do say muscles weigh more than fat! But thanks to you there is hope :D.

  • Definitely, you can tell your parents that if you are doing your best and following the program, good things are happening to your health. And most likely, you will lose fat. Possibly you already have lost some and it just isn't showing on the scale yet. But most important is to believe in yourself, do your best, and try not to let people (even well-intentioned supporters) discourage you.

  • That is great news! Iam on Wk 4 and although my weight hasn't really shifted, my shape is changing significantly! I will keep going back to your blog when I need encouragement! Good luck to us all!

  • If your shape is changing (presumably in a good way!) then you are already losing fat almost certainly, regardless what the scale says. Good for you! Keep an eye on those measurements and you will know that you are getting results, even if the scale is slow to show it. Keep up the great work!

  • Very relieved to hear this! I put weight on in the first few weeks then lost it but not lost any more! I've lost an inch round my thighs which is nice but I would like that number to go down on the scales! ??

  • I totally understand the desire to see the scales change. I get frustrated too. Gridlet, I have seen quite a few posts from you, and hope you will understand my question for you: why do you want the number on the scales to go down? (There are perfectly good reasons to want it, including stress on the joints, etc.) What I mean is, why does losing an inch off your thighs count less than the number on the scale? You are clearly losing fat, and truly succeeding at getting stronger and healthier. I hope you will agree that you are already winning this race, XD

  • I graduate tomorrow and have lost a grand total of one pound in nearly 9 weeks. I too have lost inches tho especially from the middle age spread areas.

    I was told that the body retains fluid when a new exercise regime is started to counteract the dehydration.

    Not that bothered about the weight loss tho as I feel great.!

  • That is fantastic news! You have earned the "feeling great" and lost inches. And allow me to be the first to congratulate you on your graduation tomorrow.

  • Hi,

    Really glad you posted this. I am on week 4 and haven't lost an ounce yet, and was getting a bit miffed!!

    Now I have read this I will carry on regardless and await the weight dump in a few weeks.

    Thanks, you made my day !!

  • Good luck and keep at it. :) To keep motivated, you may want to focus on how your clothes fit or your measurements, so you can see the progress even if the scale doesn't show it.

  • I agree with you all, I'm on week 5 and not shifted a pound! Can't wait for week 12!!!!

  • You may not even have to wait that long. Any day now, you might start seeing the weight go down. But in the meantime, pay attention to how you feel and how your clothes fit, and you will see the progress.

  • I have just finished week 5 and I was prepared for the lack of weight loss but am still encouraged by your post!

    I have done a detox/eating plan a few times in the last couple of years and it is a really good way to realise the problems with eating certain foods and the effects they have on you. For example, for me bread just bloats me out and can drain my energy ... and there are other things that for me leave me feeling less than healthy.

    I had also learned a lot about water years ago and it helps in all kinds of ways that you would never imagine.

    However I have in the past been on a meal replacement diet due to a complicated break in my arm and the immobility that it caused. During that time I was astonished to learn that although during the first month I had lost very little weight I had lost 13 inches. I couldn't believe it but my clothes were testament to it.

    I am resisting the scales and the tape measure until I graduate but am having a problem with doing some strength training on my days off. I think it is important so am looking into a routine that will support my c25!

    Am loving this forum though so thanks guys! :)

  • Good for you for being so dedicated and careful with both your diet and your exercise plan. I am sure you already know that managing your diet is really key to losing fat. It takes a lot of discipline to stay off the scale and away from other measurements during the whole program, but you will surely be rewarded with a sizeable change at the end.

  • Thank you very much for the post. I am on week 8 and have probably lost a pound - and was feeling rather fed up about that. I am now looking forward to week 12. The very best of luck with all your efforts and thank you again.

  • Good luck to you too! I am sure you will find if you stay with it that you will continue to lose weight. Also, you may want to see how your clothes are fitting now, after 8 weeks, because you very likely have already lost fat, and can probably see it in the way your jeans fit.

  • I'm 7 weeks post graduation (Week16) and I can't say that the pounds have magically dropped off yet! However I did loose around 7lbs in the space of a week when I got to week 4 or 5 in C25K. Then a few more as I progressed to week 9. I've stayed at the same weight ever since, but defiantly noticed my clothes as less tight.

    This week I'm upping my runs to 4 per week and including some other exercises (swimming and kettlebell). My eating is ok, not perfect but I find myself a lot less obsessed by food than before I started running. I'm concentrating more on getting fit which I see as a lifestyle change and far better than the negative cycle of yo-yo dieting that I have done for years.

    Good luck everyone, just keep going and you'll get there eventually :D

  • It sounds like you have already dropped about 10 or more pounds over the course of the program (7 at week 5 and a "few more" since then), and that may be the biggest and fastest drop you will experience for now. Adding more cross training and workouts will definitely continue to improve your fitness. I am so happy to hear you are breaking the yo-yo dieting cycle too. You and your body deserve this kind of loving treatment! Congratulations.

  • i love reading this. i'm half way through week 5 and only lost 2lb since i started as well. i know i'm doing A Good Thing for it's own rewards and i'm not put off running at all by the lack of weight loss, but i certainly am a little frustrated that i've little to show for my efforts so far. i'm patiently awaiting my woosh.

  • Congratulations on making the halfway point. You may already find some changes in how your clothes fit, even if the weight isn't dropping very quickly. Regardless, if you stay with it, you will surely have results you can be proud of.

  • There is light at the end of my tunnel.. thank-you, thank-you. 2lbs lost and I completed week 5 last night so sulked in front of the telly moaning about no lost of weight, but hold on just put on my washed jeans and I didn't have to lie down to fasten them!! somethings happening.... I'm not stopping now!

  • That's right, don't even think about stopping now! If your clothes are a little looser, you are already losing fat, regardless what the scale says. And good for you! Keep in mind about those tight jeans, and you can stay motivated all the way through. No more sulking, you are definitely "winning".

  • brilliant news - I have just finished week 5 and although I lost 6lbs before I started I haven't lost anything since - I was thinking I just need to cut down more on what I am eating but maybe it will just start dropping off soon!

  • It is not uncommon for people to feel more hungry when they start an exercise program, so it is theoretically possible that you are eating too much. It is quite likely though, that you are eating just fine (especially if you are eating close to what you were when you lost the 6 pounds), and the weight will come off very soon.

  • Ahhhh this explains so much!!! I'm doing WW and prior to beginning running was losing 1-2lb a week - once I started (wanting to bring fitness in and increase weight loss too) it stopped! One week I stayed the same, another I lost a pound, then I've had 5 weeks of staying within the same 1lb margin - I gain it, lose it, stay the same, gain it, lose it and so on despite following my eating plan to the letter doing this and doing resistance work and swimming - so disheartening!!

    BUT..... I had to take a fortnight off due to a hip flexor/quad injury so I'm not just over 11 weeks in and this week I lost 3lb in one week - I was shocked. I'd done nothing different - diet the same, exercise ramping up a little but nothing shockingly so.

    What's interesting is that up until I started running for every pound I lost I lost an inch - now over the last few weeks I'd lost about 3 inches but no weight - with this sudden drop in weight the weight loss is only a couple of pounds short of my inch loss if that makes send (I've lost 22" and 20lb) so I'm wondering if my body was doing what this post is saying but now the weight is catching up to where it should be? Either way its really encouraging to read this. Its not all about weight, but when you're following a healthy eating plan and 2 stone overweight still and exercising like a thing possessed then the fact that the weight isn't shifting when you KNOW you're burning the calories is rather disappointing.

  • It definitely sounds like you experienced the adjustment period my doctor described. I completely understand about the inches and pounds matching. That is good for you to have both ways of measuring progress. And also, congrats on losing 20 pounds with WW and running and everything. I know it is hard work.

    You may want to consider a different way of measuring your success if the scale isn't telling you what you know to be true. If you are shrinking, you are losing fat, even if the scale doesn't change. I understand you have have goals set in terms of weight, but what if it was size instead? Or body fat percentage? You may find it more encouraging when the scale lets you down.

  • thankyou thankyou thankyou for posting this!! Phew! I certainly hope this is going to be true for me, I have been careful about what I eat (ok maybe too much wine but I cut out all the rubbish and am eating really healthily sticking to my WW pro points but only have lost 4lb since I started the C25k and I am about to start week 9!!! ??? Im so disheartened yet my jeans are definatley looser and I have toned up! I just want to shift about half a stone to a stone but the weight aint going anywhere! Maybe it is all blood volume and muscle and I am actually about to drastically drop those stubborn pounds!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

  • I certainly hope you meet your goals, but if you are all toned up and your jeans are looser, are you sure you really want or need to loose more weight? I bet you look and feel amazing already, and isn't that the real goal? Maybe the extra weight will come off any day now, but if it doesn't, haven't you already won anyways?

  • I have been doing interval training aerobics for approx 18 months and lost about 2 stone with a healthy diet then weight loss ceased. I have since started C25K and carrying on with the above as well and all of a sudden over a 3 week period lost 7lbs!!! so hang on in there.

  • I am thrilled for you! I am sure you worked really hard, and earned the improved health and weight loss. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Wonderful news and really interesting. I wonder if our bodies have got it right. We exercise and we think = lose weight. Our bodies however react to exercise in a more - dare I say it healthier manner - hey she is moving her butt we can get going building muscle and increasing her blood volume. She'll be more able to run away from that dinosaur on the horizon! Health gains first, weight loss second. However, have to admit looking forward to the weight loss bit ...

  • You have the right of it, Rhonal. We are so trained to think the number on the scale is what it is all about, but having good health, strong muscles and the ability to do all the things we want, as well as having toned, fit bodies is so much better. Yeah, the scale is a nice confirmation of what we can see in the mirror and feel on our runs, but so often we all get the real goal confused.

  • I've been trying to lose the same 7lbs for about 3 months now, 4 oz loss every now and then!!

    Will keep at it though, your information has given me hope and motivation to keep on with the weight loss programme and of course the C25K will be carried on for sure.

    Thank you.

  • Keep working hard, and you will surely get the health you are seeking.

  • I've been trying to lose the same 7lbs for about 3 months now, 4 oz loss every now and then!!

    Will keep at it though, your information has given me hope and motivation to keep on with the weight loss programme and of course the C25K will be carried on for sure.

    Thank you.

  • WOWZA!! THANK YOU so much for this information...I'm a newbie (on W6) and have only lost 2 pounds. To lose weight was NOT the reason I'm in this program...I want to be able to run. I have modified my diet and am doing more weight training in between...what you just shared were concerns that I was going to be taking to my doctor for my appointment with him in a couple weeks, and boy, does it make sense! Again, thank you! I am still sticking with this program and a healthier lifestyle...you have motivated me onward!

  • Good luck to you, and keep up the hard work. I am sure you will find that you look and feel better, regardless of what you weigh.

  • Loved reading this. I am due to graduate on Sunday, and I too have been following WW, I have lost 5 lb in the 9 weeks, but had hoped for much more. I have been feeling disappointed at each weigh in despite the fact I too have lost inches and my clothes all feel more comfortable. Loving the C25K as feel much more energetic and can't believe that I can run for 30 mins now without collapsing in a heap. Will keep running and hope for more weight loss in the future.

  • You may lose more than your first 5 pounds, but regardless, it sounds like you are already reaping the rewards of your hard work.

  • AHA! I graduated at the end of March and have been running 3 times a week since but have lost minimal weight, I just think I am maintaining my weight now so what you say does make sense but I can't see me losing any more now doing what I'm doing :( BUT on the upside I am lots fitter and happier so It's not all bad :)

  • I think there is probably nothing bad at all! You are lots fitter and happier. You lost some fat already, and surely gained muscle and other good stuff. I am impressed with your accomplishment, and I hope you are too. :)

  • Thank you! :-) for this post - Ditto all the above comments - I have been really demotivated by lack of weight loss :-( recently, only on week 5 but expected to lose something. Will stick with the plan & look forward to the weight loss! :-) Thanks for some inspiration

  • Stick with it. You will definitely get all kinds of rewards. Are you perhaps noticing that your clothes fit looser? Or that you are stronger and feeling better? If so, the numbers on the scale will surely follow. But even if not, I am certain you will get the results you are working for if you persevere.

  • Thanks for that, I'm currently on wk 7 of the plan and have lost about 1st since Xmas, but seem to have plateaud in the last few weeks. The running plan is going really well and I do feel much fitter, but it is a bit demoralising not to see the scales moving. I will stick at it and hopefully see some movement in the weeks to come.

  • Best of luck to you. I know from personal experience that plateaus can be awful. It is helpful to me to consider that if I am getting stronger or less "squishy" or smaller, I am losing fat, and the scale will eventually reflect that after the fact.

  • I graduated yesterday and have lost 36lbs since starting this and slimming world simultaneously ten weeks ago.. But I was medically 'morbidly obese'. My bmi was close to 43, it's now at the bottom of 37 about to go to 36.

    When you are as heavy as I was (and am) there are two things which aid good weightloss.

    1) all that fat massively increases your basel metabolic rate, for me that was about 2600 calories. If I lay in bed all day I would need to eat 2600 calories just to maintain my body. When you add an exercise routine like c25k to that you can multiply that by 1.5 to get your daily calorific requirement. Just short of 4000 calories was my daily requirement. If you are following SW diet it would be impossible to eat 4000 calories without rupturing your digestive system.

    2) Pushing 300lbs along horizontally at a pace of 7kmph requires far more effort and energy than doing the same for 200lbs.

    Ps. I would rather be closer to 200lbs and only have lost six ounces than be closer to 300 and lost 30 lbs.

  • Congratulations on your transformation, Gazter. Losing 36 pounds in 10 weeks is a major feat (even if it only represents 10-15% of your total weight.) You deserve to feel really proud of yourself, and I hope you also feel physically really well. Being a hefty person myself, I can understand how much harder it is to run. I keep telling myself that it is going to be great when I am lugging 40 or 50 pounds less of extra weight on my runs. And I can also understand how you might feel that it would be better to be at a healthy-ish weight to begin with, but you will get there, surely.

    You are also likely correct about your metabolism, and your BMR. I would like to make one minor correction, for your own info, and for others reading this. "Fat" is not metabolically active. It burns almost no calories. Like 4 per day or something. It isn't your fat that makes you need so much food to maintain your weight, not directly. That said, you must have a LOT of muscle and bone density to carry that fat around, and muscle is a hungry tissue. It needs about 50 cal/day per pound to maintain. The muscle you developed to support your heavy body is what needs all those calories.

    Why does the distinction matter? Because you can do strength training while dieting and running to preserve some/most of that muscle, and keep your metabolism high, which will help you continue to lose fat, and also will help you keep the excess weight off. If you aren't already doing strength training exercises, I hope you give it a try. I bet if you do, you will find yourself near the elusive 200 pound mark before you know it.

  • What strength training do you suggest ?

  • Nice "grad" tag. :)

    Strength training can take many forms, depending upon your preferences. The important part is to work every major muscle group at least once per week, although 2-3x wk is excellent. Options include: weight lifting, yoga, pilates, and calisthenic-type exercises. Some examples of good exercises that will work and require little/no special equipment: pushups, crunches, squats and lunges, leg lifts, pull ups, etc. If you invest in a pair of dumbbells, your options increase a lot. (Lacking dumbbells, I use sacks of potatoes, and water bottles, etc.) A couple resources: mayoclinic.com/health/stren... and exercise.about.com/cs/exbeg...

    I personally do "split" workouts each day, focusing on a different body area (lower, upper and core) doing exercises like those above using mostly my own body weight as resistance... but it is time for me to invest in some additional weights too. It takes me 15 minutes each morning before breakfast except Sunday, and I exercise each body part twice per week. Many people prefer a longer workout less often, and that is fine too.

  • Gazter - that is an amazing change to your BMI in such a short space of time. Well done. Keep at it, what a fab job you are doing. I'm only on W2r3 but am actually starting to look forward to my runs! No weight loss yet for me but feeling so much better for it already :)

  • Thanks. This is an old thread now. I'll give you an update though. I am now at a bmi of 25.2, having lost 124 lbs (8st12).

    I got my 5ks down to 30 mins. But I picked up a knee injury that won't go away. So I haven't been able to run since Christmas. :(

  • Great blog and really good to know all this, as well as see other people facing the same challenge and feeling as I do. :) I really must get started on the NHS 'strength and flexibility' workouts this week, as I'm sure I'd find them really beneficial. I have virtually no core muscles and have never done a real press-up in my life! ;)

  • Good for you taking it to the next level! I am sure it will improve your running as well as your press-ups. :)

  • Wonderful inspiration and comments made after this excellent blog - thank you everybody for posting. When I joined WW a couple of years ago, I had a very interesting conversation with a friend who worked for a clinic in England dealing with eating disorders - from anorexia to excess eating - she asked me if I was aware of the cycle of seven, in response to me moaning about being stuck at the same level on my weightloss journey. I was religiously counting WW points etc and weight did not change. Apparently in the world of dieting (whether to gain or lose weight) this phenomina is observed where things happen in a cycle of seven. So I back-checked and yes, I had been stuck on a plateau for just on seven weeks. I discussed it with my then WW leader who knew all about it and said that WW uses that in their marketing etc. She said that they see big drop-outs at seven months for WW members - even at seven weeks after starting; members say they are 'good' at counting points for seven days and then falling off the wagon, etc. So if you are sticking to your diet, doing your exercises then sometimes you just need to wait for your body to catch up. Mind you I haven't been able to find any proof of this cycle of seven, maybe I am not using the right search criteria, but the more I am speaking to people to more I hear of this mystical cycle of seven!

  • This is a really interesting idea. Our week has 7 days in it, which I had thought was pretty arbitrary (5 or 10 would make more sense given our counting system), and we aren't on a lunar calendar which is divisible by 7 - although maybe we have our roots there.... if so, then we could be possibly influenced by this cycle of 7. It is anecdotal evidence (which equals "bad science" in the absence of more rigorous study) but looking at my own personal weight loss, it slowed waaaay down at month 7 - after 6 months, beginning the 7th month, prompting me to start running to try to keep up the pace. For the first 2 months of dieting and exercise, I lost 10lb/mo, then I lost 5lb/mo for the next 4, then, starting month 7, I have been losing 2.5lb/mo for 4 months. There may be something to the theory, but keep in mind that when you look for a specific pattern, you are likely to find it somewhere. For comparison, you could also ask people about how they feel a "5"s or "10"s or any other point.

  • Glad I found this blog ! excellent news!

  • I am glad you find it helpful. :) It turned out to be true for me, that waiting a bit longer produced more dramatic weight loss after all. Good luck on your C25K journey!

  • I was starting to get really down about my lack of weight loss. I think women in particular are perhaps too concerned with what is on the scales we want to feel light, not muscular and heavy. I started WW three weeks ago with two work colleagues. They have lost and I haven't (in fact have gained a bit). I'm the only one exercising with the Ct5k and spinning once a week. I have been feeling very disheartened and had myself ready to get an appointment at the doctors for unexplained weight gain. Perhaps I need to wait a bit and chill out about things. But what if my clothes don't get looser. I probably sound like a real pain but it is so so hard not to feel down.

  • Hi Twiggytjt,

    I agree that women are particularly susceptible to the "lure of the scale", and it can be really disappointing to be "doing everything right" and not see the results. First off, allow me to reassure you on the fear of being muscular point: honestly, truly (coming from a big-boned, muscular-prone person who has always been "heavy" for my "dress size") muscles won't make you look big and beefy. Not unless you really work deliberately at it, and also take steroids. The trick, of course, is to remove the pillowy cushion of fat layered over the muscles - that is the stuff that makes "buff" women look a bit like linebackers. You probably already knew that, but it helps to be reminded sometimes. So don't fret about gaining muscle, or any other lean tissue - like denser bones. I promise and pinky-swear that it will make you look and feel better, not worse. AND it will increase your metabolism which will make losing fat, and keeping it off easier.

    That said, you are dieting, running 3x/wk and spinning as well. Since you started 3 weeks ago, it is possible that something isn't quite working, and also possible that you are simply losing fat while gaining some lean mass. Seeing a difference in your measurements usually takes a bit of time, sometimes a month or more. And unfortunately, it can be easy to measure a little more tightly to see the results you want, which means it can be hard to be really SURE.

    I recommend patience, and using your old favorite pair of jeans to see if you notice any change (were they tight before? are they a bit looser now? do they sit a little lower on your hips, meaning your waist is smaller?). You may also notice a change in the fit of your bras (do they need to be tightened a bit over the shoulder, or do they ride up your back - which indicates that your band size is too big.)

    Since you joined WW, I also suggest bringing it up in a meeting, or with your leader. A quick review of your diet (and review of any meds you are on) may be useful. In terms of losing weight, diet is 80% or more, exercise is the remaining small fraction. But of course exercise is very important for your health, for retaining and building muscle, and keeping you on track with your diet, so don't quit doing all that great working out.

    Some people have an easier, faster time losing weight than others, and that can be due to genetics, or medications, or food allergy/sensitivity, insulin sensitivity, thyroid and hormonal balance, and a host of other things. If after 6 weeks you do not see any change in the scale or your jeans or your measurements, seeing your doctor could help. But chances are very, very good that you will notice some results before that. Don't give up hope. It WILL come.

    One final note: it may sound silly, but is very important for staying motivated when things don't seeem to be going your way: Write down a list of reasons why you want to get fit, and put it somewhere you will see it often. AND put together some kind of visual aid of what you will look like when you reach your goal. ("My Virtual Model" has a good free online simulator.) Your mind does not differentiate between your imagination and the real world, so if you want to *believe* it will work, and stay strong, pretending often by picturing yourself "fit" will help trick you mind into really believing it. I know, sounds a little strange, but has been shown to be very effective in legitimate studies, so please try it.

    Good luck!


  • Thank you so much for your encouraging and detailed response. I will keep at it and also try the virtual mode you mention.

  • Since my last blog I stopped WW and went to my fitness pal to log calories. I didn't think that WW was working for me. I have continued with the training and am now on W6 R2. I have resisted jumping on the scales regularly but this morning decided to give it a go. I have gained more I am now a total of 3 kilos heavier....... not what I expected. I am not entirely sure my clothes are looser but have forgotten to take measurements. I guess I have to start doing this now. I have not gone to the doctors about this as I feel a bit stupid about it when there are people with other genuine illnesses. I am feeling a bit down with this now - I also do spinning once a week.

  • Ok, 6 weeks in and up 7 pounds, but unsure if clothes are any looser... this tells me a couple things. First, it seems pretty likely your clothes are also not *tighter*, right? (otherwise you would be certain that they aren't looser). And 7 lbs is enough that you should notice a difference somewhere if you are looking for it. So probably, you are staying very close to the same size for the moment, but still getting heavier. This means you are denser, which means you are gaining lean body mass. It also means you have lost some fat (you would have to in order to make space for the LBM without getting bigger).

    Before I go on, it is worth mentioning that you need to be consistent about how you weigh yourself. Same time of day, usually same day of week, wearing the same amount of clothing, dry/wet hair, full/empty bladder, etc. And using the same scale, right? Those suckers can vary by several pounds. One other consideration: where you are in your menstrual cycle - for some women, the variance can be several pounds. (It's annoying how challenging it can be to get an accurate reading, because the first 5+ pounds can actually be entirely influenced by time of day and month.) The rest of this message assumes that you have been taking that into consideration, but if not, then definitely try not to panic - and see if you can get a more consistent reading.

    You may have some mixed feelings about getting heavier and staying the same size, which is understandable. The thing is, even if (for the moment) you are not getting any smaller at all, adding lean mass and losing a bit of fat means you are a) headed in the right direction and b) more likely to continue losing fat, because that new muscle is hungry and gobbles up extra calories 24/7, so it will keep gnawing away that fat over time. You just have to keep up the momentum and be patient.

    In my case, I had already been losing weight on a diet when I began running. (I had found a diet that worked for me.) Through the whole 9 weeks, my weight loss *slowed down* and only picked up again after I had finished C25K and kept up the running. It sounds like you did not find a diet that really works for you before starting C25K, so it may be possible that your weight isn't dropping because of the same reasons mine slowed down - your body is building muscle and increasing blood and all the other things bodies do to handle new exercise.

    I still think it very likely you are doing things "correctly" and that results are on their way, but since you changed your diet and are concerned, seeing your Dr isn't a terrible idea. In reality, your doctor's actual job is to help his/her patients be well, rather than simply treating disease. I expect she will be happy to hear about your efforts, and may offer some additional resources to keep you on the right track. If you want to give it another few weeks and see where you are at first, that is perfectly reasonable too.

    Also, you dropped WW and are using my fitness pal. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, provided you are really carefully logging it all, and taking in the right amount of the right kinds of foods. If you eat an extra 100-250 cal per day while training heavily, you will gain weight, usually muscle. If you eat way too little (less than 1200 cal per day, possibly more than that minimum depending on your size and activity) you can also thwart weight loss because your body goes into starvation mode. Rather than get into a long discussion about nutrition, I just want to mention that running and spinning will not be enough for you to lose weight if you are also eating wrong. Make sure you are being careful with your diet to see your best results.

    Most important thing: don't give up. Promise yourself you will keep trying, and if what you are doing doesn't seem to work, that you will talk to your Dr before quitting. (It happens occasionally that other factors interfere with normal fat loss: medication, hormones, etc. and that is where your Dr can be especially helpful, although she will surely insist you do all the normal good behaviors first before looking for unusual factors.)

  • Hi there. Thanks very much for this. You are really encouraging me to carry on. I take all your points on board and appreciate the time you take to reply. I am going to give it another week before seeing the doc in case it is something else. I have my first 25 minute run today (really panicking about it) so after a week of the longer runs I will see what happens. Additionally and more importantly you may be right about scales .... My son claimed that the scales at the gym he goes to are more accurate than ours and he weighs a couple of kilos over with our home ones. I thought he was just clinging to the idea that he weighed less but I tried the scales at boots too. I was a couple of kilos under so went out and bought a new set of scales - nothing too fancy but it does do body fat. I was pleased to see that when I got on these I did indeed weigh a couple of kilos under than on the old ones. I am going to use these from now on. Interestingly, it shows my body fat is within range and I am wondering what it was before I started the programme. Am sticking at it. Thanks for your help and advice.

  • Hi Twiggyfit

    I have just read this post and agree with you. I joined ww last april and for 11 weeks lost consistently which i have never done before but then had one sts and nothing has gone right since then. I did go on to lose just over two stone but then have started to lose gain lose gain. I admit I am prone to comfort snacking but naively thought running 2-3 times a week plus 1hr of zumba would help the weight loss.I know I have probably gained a bit of muscle. I have been on the verge of chucking ww in because my heart is not in it and I am wasting £21.45 a month but know if i do i will gain everything back and more. Feel trapped at the moment.

  • Wow this explains so much - for me running is a way to get fitter, i love the me time, the buzz of running..but couldnt understand why i hadnt lost any weight..i am on week 7 so after reading all these posts on this blog it makes total sense (after all i couldnt even run for one minute 3 months ago and can now run for 25).

    So now am looking forward to my body adjusting to this and for me to become more toned and shaped - so glad i put weight loss in the search box

    feeling much happier and knowing its not just me, but how its meant to be is just fantastic

    thank you :D

  • Wow! Thank you so much.

    Today I'm about to start week 7. I have gained 2lbs since I started and I am also doing (and not cheating on) Weight Watchers. I wondered if perhaps I just wasn't running fast enough. I feel like I am slow (1 mile in just over 13 mins - I hope that improves with time); but I feel like I'm running as fast as I can in order to manage the duration of the runs. I really struggle with my ankles if I try to go faster, up hill or through the woods (rough ground). Now I am cheered and encouraged that my weight could well still come off in the end.

    Good luck everyone and well done for sticking with it.

    Thank you very much again for your posts. You've made my day.

    Now to tackle week 7 run 1. Wish me luck ;-D

    Take care


  • I am now up to week 12.I have eased back to 3runs a week for 20mins and have upped my pace.I. Was running at 6.6kg and now running at 7.I walk every other day.I am not overweight according to BMi but I am 11pounds heavier than 2years ago.Its gradually crept on and at 62 its hard to get rid of.i have up till now on this exercise programme lost no weight or inches?I. Have drastically reduced what I eat and seen no difference?Any ideas ?

  • I am so glad I found this post. I'm on week 2 of C25K and gained two pounds. The last time I tried the program, I couldn't even run for the full minute interval in week 1 and ended up with knee and foot pain. This time, I worked my way up to starting with a 2 mile walk every weekday morning and 3 miles on one of the weekend days with a one day rest for the six weeks before I started. I also spent the money for some very good running sneakers and I think it has made all the difference in the world. I was able to run all 8 of the minute intervals in week 1 and so far, week 2 has been going well with the 90 second intervals which is very exciting for me but I was getting a little frustrated because I initially lost 12 lbs and then weight loss stalled during my walking phase. However, it now makes sense to me because I can feel my leg (especially calf) muscles are stronger and my stomach is a little smaller, jeans are fitting better, so I'm going to skip the scale for a few weeks and use the tape measure instead! I walk on the non-run days and am going to add some strength training now too. I finally have gotten to the point where I want to work out. Last Saturday was going to be my rest day and I just felt like I had to get out there so I did an easy two mile walk I have a labrador who is my walking/running buddy so it's some extra motivation. Good luck to all, it really is a lifestyle change.

  • Thank you so much for this post! I have just started week 7 and not a pound has shifted! But if what your doctor said is true then it explains a lot! I have been weight lifting, cardio and running as well as yoga so my body is contending with a lot of changes....so hopefully in the not too distant future the weight will start dropping! So thank you xxxxx

  • OH.... thank god.. i am not alone... i just finished my Week 5 day 1... and had only lost 2lbs since i started C25K. I cant tell you, how happy I am to read this. I am fully motivated now.. and will not stop.

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