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Couch to 5K
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Experience on weight loss when just starting out?

I am into week 3 and am not really seeing a weight loss, but I am telling a difference in the way my clothing fits. I also seem to be retaining some fluid. Is this pretty common when starting the program? Its my understanding muscle will retain fluid as it recovers. Can you tell me your experiences? Thank you!! Gayle

11 Replies

Hi Gayle, I just finished week 1 and the weight loss this week has been very surprising- 4.4lb! Although I'm pretty sure this wont last long...

I don't think you need to worry about the weight loss or lack of it, as muscle build up could even out loss in weight (like you say your clothes fit better!).


Hi I start W8 on Wednesday and I have put 3lbs on but like you my clothes are fitting better and people tell that I am looking better,A lot of blogs say they lost weight on week 8 so here's hoping.Pat


You would be better measuring yourself on a weekly basis. The inches will come down over the 9 weeks and the weight might not. Muscle weighs more than fat.

I have dropped a dress size but only lost 3Kgs in the 9 weeks of the proramme.


Weight loss is said to be 80% diet 20% exercise.

Bear in mind that during the programme, you arent really burning that many calories, but once you build up running for longer and then maybe getting a bit faster/doing tempo sessions/intervals, you will burn more.

Another thing is that many people make the mistake of eating more when they take up a new activity thinking they have earned it but over do it.

BUT the good news is you will DEFINITELY tone up and lose cms by doing this.

I had lost 3.5 stone before taking up running over Xmas, and have lost another stone and 5 lb since. I have lost this amount of weight before, just dieting, but this time I am in smaller clothes, having toned up thanks to running (and once a week weights class).

This link from Runners World shows the calories burned at various speeds for each 10 mins of running, might be of interest.


I dont run consistently fast enough for this table to apply to me yet, but my Garmin tells me I burned 640 cals running for 1 hr 25 mins on a hilly route (10k) last Saturday (which I then consumed in delicious cool Chardonnay lol!).

Good luck and enjoy .


As Deryn says you are not yet running enough to burn loads of calories so don't go mad with the biscuit tin! ;-) It is also very common even for those who are actively trying to lose weight to plateau for a bit when they start doing exercise. This is a physiological response - fluid retention to maintain blood pressure and will sort itself out within a few weeks.

While I only lost about half a stone on the programme (but I didn't change my eating habits at all!) my shape has changed greatly for the better. Mostly I lost my tum which means my clothes fit better. I was really sorry that I did not take some measurements at the start as I know there has been a real change from my clothes but have no idea how much.

The really good news is that it is much better to be a bit overweight and fit than overweight and unfit and the benefits of this programme go far beyond weight loss. Have a look at JR21's poll couchto5k.healthunlocked.co... if you don't believe me! Good luck! :-)


This blog has some very interesting info on this topic: couchto5k.healthunlocked.com/blogs/266489/not-losing-weight---and-why-thats-ok

I found I lost 4lbs in each of the first two weeks of doing c25k (and changing my dietary habits) then absolutely nothing for the next 3 weeks or so. After reading the above blog, I decided to relax my calorie counting a little whilst my weight wasn't changing, and was surprised to find I'd lost another 4lbs (week 7 of c25k). This last week I have gone over my calorie goal practically every day, by quite a lot on a couple of days, and have gained one pound (wouldn't have been surprised to find I'd put 4lbs back on!) I'm on week 8 of c25k now, so I think my body has finally adjusted. I'm going to try to be good this week and see if I can record a loss again.


Always frustrated to read these. Since I started running I've put on over a stone and gone up a dress size. It's all very individual and depends on your starting point etc


I started doing the podcasts at the beginning of this year and managed to get to week 7 before going on a two week holiday. During this time I didnt loose any weight at all but again I noticed that my clothes were fitting better and that I had toned up.

After my holiday I found it difficult to get back into the routine of running again but I recently started again and im now on week 3. This time though I am dieting as well and I have lost 7 and a half pounds in three weeks. I think that if you want to loose weight too it is so important to watch what you eat and then I believe that the weight will start to come off!


Am on week 3 myself and have not lost a pound yet although I have cut out snacks/sweets/crisps etc.

I wanted to do this primarily for fitness and hoped I might lose some weight in the process. Althought the scales have not changed my clothes are definitely fitting better, my tummy is flatter and my wait more defined. Maybe the weight I lost round my middle has gone into my calf muscles?

Who knows! I'm sure over a few months some weight has to come off but we will have to keep running to KEEP it off ;)



Thank you so much for the comments! I have lost 33 pounds over the past 14 months and follow a lean diet. I just wasn't understanding the weight gain/fluid retention. Thank you so much for clearing it up for me! I love this group and all the motivation and support you offer as well as the knowledge!


i've lost 80 lbs since i started. i found the c25k empowering, i have took control of my body :)


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