7 weeks in and not lost anything

I came to this not to "diet" or lose weight in particular but to make life style changes that I will carry with me forever but 7 weeks gone, knowing I am in the obese range and having made some changes I feel I can live with I have not lost anything (I lost 3lbs week one, another 2lbs week 2 but now it's all back on so I am back where I started).

I record my food intake and am doing about 1400 - 1600 calories per day. I have taken up exercise and am following the Couch to 5km (C25k) running programme (on week two). I am especially pleased with my progress on the C25k. I honestly didn't think I was capable of any exercise but I am.

I have increased my water in-take, cut down on the crisps and am actively trying to have my 5 a-day and succeeding most days which again I am pleased about and I feel better for it.

But not having lost any weight I wonder if I am being honest with myself with regard to what I am eating. I write it all down and look up the calories online or on the packet but the weight is not shifting. I've had some bad weekends where I have gone well over 1600 cals so perhaps this is having a knock on effect to the rest of the week?

It is frustrating because even on my bad days it's not like I am stuffing myself without a second thought.

It feels like I have to cut right down to eating practically nothing to shift the weight. What is wrong with me?


15 Replies

  • Most posts on the C25K community where runners are "watching their weight" and therefore reporting it, say they have either lost no weight or in fact in some cases even had a small weight gain. But what also seems to be true is that all have reported being physically slimmer and toned despite this. I think from this it's safe to assume that this is due to toning and building of muscle, the latter being more denser than fat.

    You also need to keep in mind is that where running is a fantastic cardio exercise, in week 2 of the C25K program you are not going to be burning big numbers of energy, in fact even running a full 5k on normal terrain at an average pace is only going to at most burn around 400 calories. However once you've completed C25K it's quite straightforward to get to where you are running for an hour plus each time, it's then you will really notice a difference, when you start to burn upwards of a 1000 calories a run several times a week :)

    It's my understanding that you should not just break your calories down to daily, you should look at it on a rolling week, looking at it that way then going over on one day does have a knock on effect as you put it. Perhaps if you go over one day you could try reclaiming the debetis on subsequent day to see if that works.

    I would try to not get too disheartened by these numbers you've obviously made some positive changes and are well on the right track, keep it up and all will come right in the end.

    Good Luck

  • Thanks for this.

    I know from past experience you have to do an awful lot of exercise to make any real impact on your weight.

    I'm exercising because it's good for me physically and, most importantly for me, it's good mentally, and an awful lot better than sitting watching TV snacking!

    I feel happier because of it eventhough the scales are not showing it and I don't think I've done enough yet really for my clothes to feel significantly looser but I feel better in myself so long may this continue. Even when the day comes that I'm running an hour (what a day that will be - I will be celebrating and broadcasting it from the roof tops!) I will still not count it towards my eating as I know me and I know I will overdo it so I'm not going to take my exercise into consideration until I can see that I can - which means to me being in the normal BMI weight range.

    I've gone back over my last 7 weeks of calorie counting each day (in reply to bunblebeaz below) and I think I've answered my own question.

    Also on your suggestion, looking at it weekly, I'm not making any real deficit at all, I've been kidding myself, so not surprising I have not lost any weight!

    Yes I've had days on 1400 cals but they are in the minority and whereas I am eating less than before - so not snacking inbetween meals and I've upped my fruit & veg - what I'm putting in my mouth is still not what I feel to be better/best choices but I'm not sure where to start. What I think is OK doesn't seem to be.

    I've made some good changes in my lifestyle over the last 7 weeks which I know I can continue but now I really need to figure out food.

    It helps to write this down and get other people's perspectives without which I don't think I would address my problem areas quite so well

  • Being able to run and exercise will stand you in good stead for the future and give you a tool to hopefully control your weight once you've reached your target. Also having more quality muscle equates to a higher BMR, which should mean you can eat more without putting on weight :)

    What you eat is definitely the biggest factor when it comes to losing weight, I lost over 10 stone in my first year and did not do a single step of exercise, mainly because I was incapacitated and could not. Hopefully that helps enforce the knowledge that if you want to shed those pounds that you need to be very proactive about what you put in your mouth.

    If you find it hard to diet everyday because of for example family meals and treats at weekends, then you could lookup diets with indulgent days, which work on the principle that you have an indulgent day (within reason) once a week for example and then you reclaim the those calories over a couple very strict low calorie days and stick to reasonably low calorie diet on the remaining days. You could also try a 5:2 diet which some also refer to as intermittent fasting, although on most of the diets plans claiming to be intermittent fasting you are not actually fasting but instead doing a couple of very low calorie days, it seems though to work for lots of people, but I've heard it should not be undertaken by people that have an "Binge" tendency.

    Personally I advocate following a healthy and balanced diet, then lose weight by controlling how much of that healthy diet you eat.

    Quickly looking at your example food you posted below, a couple of things spring to mind.

    Weetabix have sugar in them and are quite high in carbs, switching to an unsweetened oat or bran cereal like porridge would help.

    If you can forgo sweetening your Tea and Coffee, you'll save a ton of calories over a year, especially when you consider that on average a 100 calorie over-eat a day can equate to a pound a month weight gain. Having no sugar in Tea/Coffee is pants at first but once you are used to it, you will not give it a second thought, very easy calories for life saved then.

    Not sure what crackers you are having but if they are not already try switching to Ryvita, which is made with Rye rather than wheat!

    I love Broccoli Cheese but even made with low fat cheese and skimmed milk it's still really fattening :( just something to very aware of if you were not already.

    Watch the amount of fruit juice you are drinking, especially if it's from a concentrate as it can have much higher Glycemic Load as it can contain more sugar (all be natural sugar).

    As for running, if you persevere you'll be running for an hour before you know it. I run for an hour 3 times week, in fact I ran for 90 minutes last Wednesday and if anyone had said I would be able to do that 12 months ago, I would have laughed at them :)

    Good Luck with all!

  • I agree - I want a balanced diet that I can stick to for life and be an example to my little boy on how to eat properly.

    I did look at the 5:2 diet but I know I am a binger (and secret eater) so this really wouldn't be for me, as you say.

    I've done every diet going with varying levels of success but, the usual story, once off the diet it all comes back on again.

    I want a lifestyle change and a way of eating that is "normal" and I can sustain forever.

    I think I 've got the exercise sorted and I'm so so pleased about that. I can't tell you how happy I am that I've found the C25k. I've only just begun but this one small thing has made me feel that the possibilities for me are endless.

    It sounds like you overcame a lot and are now running 90mins - that is amazing and something I hope to do soon. It's just the food now, you are so right. I need to address it.

    As I was typing up my average day I also thought I could drop the sugar from my tea/coffee. I don't have a particularly sweet tooth and I don't need it.

    I also think I'm going to drop my Costa Coffee Skiny Capuccino. I got into this habit while on maternity leave so I should be able to break this habit as I don't need it either.

    I do the broccoli cheese because my toddler is more likely to eat the broccoli with the sauce so he gets his veg (iron + vitamin c), protein/dairy from the cheese and dairy from the milk.

    But I guess it is high in fats so what I think I might do is prepare the broccoli and leave some to one side for me and my husband then make up a small amount of sauce to add to my little boys portion of veg. Then I'm not cooking different meals.

    Best wishes and thank you

  • Hiya,

    I haven't done the C25K but did think about it and Ols Bean is right - there isn't much calorie burning going on. TBH running burns a lot less calories than you think!

    May be if you post a day's food entry we could help you with it, with suggestions for food that would fill you up but with less calories?

  • Hi - thanks for this - I have posted part of the answer to your question to Ols Bean above.

    I've looked over my days eating and truthfully they are not as good as I thought. Yes Iv'e had days of 1400cals but they are in the minority.

    Here's what I've been up to for the most part:

    Breakfast: 2 weet-a-bix with fat free milk and 1tsp sugar, 3 x prunes, cup of tea (milk + 1 sugar)

    Mid-morning: 1 small Costa Coffee skinny capuccino + 1 sugar, 1 med banana

    Lunch: 1 Apple, 1 Heinz Squeezy cup of soup, 2 crackers, glass of orange juice

    Dinner: Chicken breast (no skin) grilled, broccoli/cauliflower cheese, breadroll plus 2tsp butter. 2 scoops vanilla Ice cream (not always but more often than I realised and I can cut this out as I'm not really a pudding fan!), 2 glasses of diet coke (if we have it) or fruit juice from concentrate

    And on average 1litre+ of water a day

    I enjoy cooking and cook from scratch for all meals. I'm cooking for my husband (has always been slim) and our little boy so need to take into account their dietary needs as well as my own. My toddler has yogurt instead of the ice cream (something I could quite easily do!). I also need to do quick meals in the evening as we get in quite late from a long work commute.

    On my not so good days I would have 4 crackers rather than the 2 for lunch and probably also add a packet of crisps somewhere along the way. This used to be daily but now I've cut right down to less than once a week for the crisps and now choose snack a jacks instead.

    I'm bored of my lunch but I'm not sure what to have instead - I feel a sandwich is too bready and high in calories and a salad fiddly and makes me feel deprived somehow.

    We have no way of heating up food at work and I eat at my desk which is something I know I need to get out of doing.

  • Always good to reassess the situation - now you've realised what you've been doing you can address it and hopefully get some weight shifted! :)

    A couple of things to try/think about:

    > replace your sugar in drinks with sweetener or cut it out.

    > have you checked the calories in your fruit juice? There's a lot and they don't tend to make you feel full. I only have fruit juice now at breakfast and keep on water for the rest of the day. If I want some taste I will have squash or coke ZERO etc. I have ALDI cranberry light, ASDA also have a good range of no added sugar fruit juice from concentrate

    >cheese - I hate cheese so I wouldn't have it :p but make sure you are correctly working out the calories in it, cheese is by nature high calorie/fat

    I've come to realise/rediscover that everything in moderation is a very good idea.

    Your meal posts don't seem too bad, you have your fruit and veg in there and you're getting some water in. I know a sandwich sounds high calorie, but once your stomach has shrunk you will only want a sandwich and nothing else for your dinner, so I would try a sandwich as the processed soups can have a lot of salt.

    Here's what I have:

    Breakfast: 1 piece of toast (wholemeal with bits)with small amount of jam (5g or so) OR bowl of cornflakes with minimal amount of semi skimmed milk, OR 2 weetabix with 1tsp sugar and minimal milk. Drink: 1 glass of light cranberry juice

    Mid morning snack: box of raisins (snack size)

    Dinner: Sandwich (2 slices of bread as above, 2 slices of ham, sometimes tomato, no spread but only cos I'm fussy) Fruit. Usually I take 2 boxes of raisins and 3/4 pieces of fruit with me to work. I'll have the other raisins and maybe a nectarine at actual dinner time, and the others tend to be spread out over the day. I don't always eat all the pieces of fruit though.

    Sometimes I have a packet of crisps - ALDI curly fries. They're a 15g packet and 66 cals per packet.

    Snack before leaving work: Banana

    Tea: Correct portion of rice/pasta/noodles as per packet, or sweet potato mash, or tinned new potatoes.

    At least 2 different veg. I usually choose from carrot, peas, broccoli, baby corn, sweetcorn, green beans, mangetout, asparagus

    Protein: Chicken, fish, prawns or lean good quality mince and make into a curry/bolognese etc. Bacon and sausage are a treat and only 2 rashers/sausages are allowed

    If I've over ate in the day I might only have protein and veg for tea.

    Afters: Well I've been naughty recently. But a nice plate of rhubarb and strawberries go down well. ALDI have chocolate mousse at 90 cals a pot that are very nice. But for the past few weeks I've been having magnum style ice creams and creating a deficit in the day for them :/

    At work I only drink water, and at home squash water or coke zero etc

    Hope I've given you some ideas, not too long a post either! :)

  • Yes thanks, these are good ideas. I like the way you have broken your meals down.

    I have also downloaded some 1400 cal menu plans off the internet and will use some of those as well - interestingly enough they have more food on them than what I was eating!

  • Glad you are doing the c25k - it has been a life changer for me mentally and as well as good for my health. You have done your homework - and know what you need to do. I really struggle to lose weight - basically really good in the week and binge at weekends. But I am losing albeit slowly - just about a pound a week. My strategy is healthy eating - and really looking a food with a jaundice eye - is it worth the calories type approach. i also don't let myself go hungry or it all goes to pot. What works for me is planning- I am v disciplined in the week - limited carbs and high protein. Breakfast - tinned grapefruit, spoonful of oat bran , yogurt and a small glass of cranberry juice. I make myself wait until 12 00 to have lunch - tends to be meat slices with some sort of salad, low GI fruit and some sort of yogurt. snack time 5 00ish - atkins ceral bar, small glass of milk. dinner some sort of salad with protein. ( I have just discovered a superfood bean salad in marks - which is fab - noticed someone at work had four in the fridge - now that is planning!)

    This I can manage easy in the week - the weekends are my downfall... But still those pounds a week do add up - up to 10 pounds now.

    Best of luck - keep smiling :-)

  • Yes C25k is wonderful. It really is a program that works and doesn't make me feel useless at the the end of a session like so many have before. Laura is great!

    Yes, you are right I do know what to do, I just need to also stop kidding myself that I'm doing it!

    When I wrote my original blog I honestly thought I was consistently doing 1400 cals most days and writing everything down accruately, so what was I doing wrong? But when after reading the responses from bunblebeaz and olsbean I went back over each day I realised this wasn't the case.

    Right, so now I have faced the reality, got some great advice from you all, I can get on with it.

    Thanks for your menu suggestions. I'm going to sit now and plan out a proper week and include some treats for the weekend to see if this helps.

    best wishes

  • Hi Angel

    Congratulations on having the grit determination to pick yourself up and restock to start again.

    I don't want to confuse you with more meal planning but I thought these may help with the other fantastic advice given.

    Check the blood group diet, it will tell you what foods are toxic for your body, what foods a medicine for your body, and what you eat generally.

    I am blood group O negative, I found out I'm wheat and dairy intolerant! I made the few changes it recommended and my psoriasis has nearly gone after just a month and I felt better after just a week, less bloated and smaller tanckles! hee hee.

    This tip can be used for all of your family and it'll be a good visual reference for the kids!

    Draw a circle the size of a teaplate, draw a line through the middle to make 2 equal parts, then draw a line through the middle of 1 of the halves, you should have 1 half and 2 quarters. Now laminate it and you've got it wipeable to reuse whenever needed.

    The big section should be the amount of vegetables.

    1 smaller section for your meat, or quorn, if you do eat meat you should have red meat twice a week to help your red blood cells.

    The other smaller section is for Carbs, wholegrain, brown, wholemeal, seeded etc.

    Best tip of all replace suger in drinks with sweetex sweeteners you don't get a nasty after taste and best of all they're calorie FREE!!!

    Hope some of it helps, good luck and let us know how you get on.

    I'm a big believer in angels and I have asked them to watch over you and your family

  • Thanks for your lovely wishes and ideas.

    I'm not sure about the blood group diet. I have heard of it but because I have tried every diet going I now have diet overload and am wary of them.

    I don't mean there isn't any value in understanding how your body reacts to certain foods and listening to your body, this is exactly what I'm trying to do more of, but I just think I have "diet" fatigue.

    I've learnt a great deal about myself over the last 7 weeks so although I have not lost any weight I'm in a better position to start losing real weight and most importantly having it stay off than ever before.

    Many thanks and best wishes to you

  • Hi Angel

    Hope you're well, just wanted to say hi and hope you have a great weekend.

    Take care and angel blessings

  • How do you know you have not lost body fat?

    That is what we all really want to manage.

    In addition to the scales - a couple of measurements - or a tight item of clothing - jeans are a good measure - can reveal that fat is being replaced by muscle.

  • There's nothing wrong with you I lost 3 stone in 4 months and all done very healthily I'm

    Happy to share with you what I did....it sounds as though you are doing all the right things xx

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