Weight Loss NHS
73,675 members39,429 posts

How can eating badly + not exercising = no change in weight?

Ok, now I'm puzzled - I've been carefully tracking my food intake for a few months and upping my exercise levels but not losing much in the way of weight. (Lost a few lb but not as much as I would have liked)

Having been on holiday for the last two weeks I decided to say 'stuff it' and just forget it all and try to relax. I've eaten what I wanted (within the realms of what I can eat due to digestive issues) including the evil that is chocolate and I've not tracked calories, carbs, fat etc and I've done no exercise at all apart from walking to the car and what difference has it made to my weight ....... Absolutely none!

Its not that I wanted to come home pounds heavier but I'm puzzled as to how eating badly and not exercising at all for two weeks could have exactly the same effect as scrutinising every mouthful and walking for miles every day?

6 Replies

I feel a little like that today. I haven't run enough this week and have not tracked my calories properly (homemade halloween treats being a particular concern) so I was expecting bad news this morning. Instead I've lost 1lb, making me even more determined to keep on the right track and lose at least another half a stone before Xmas (min 1lb per week).

My thoughts are that the regular exercise we do has kept our metabolism high so we can have a brief indulgence. I bet if you carried on the same for another 2 weeks you would notice a difference! Clearly what you've been doing has paid off so consider this a little reward and a big tick for carrying on with exercise and weight loss. That's how I'm seeing it. Good luck. :-)


That actually makes sense, I don't think I'll test it by carrying on indulging as to be honest the bad stuff I enjoyed on hols doesn't have the same appeal at home but its nice to know that a little indulgence doesn't wreck the whole thing isn't it :-)

Possibly bad to say this (and I apologise if its too much info) but due to digestive issues I have some of the bad stuff I ate (specifically chocolate, crisps and diet coke) really don't agree with me and err pass through my body somewhat speedily which possibly helped to avoid hanging onto the sugar/fat maybe? Not something I want to do often as its not pleasant for me or anyone else in the house lol but it seemed like a good idea at the time what with the holiday spirit and everything!

Back to normal now, walking during the day, salad for lunch at work soup for dinner and now off to try the exercise bike as an alternative to walking.

Good luck to you too :-)


Sorry can I ask, I notice your avatar has the couch to 5k logo, are you doing that? If so how did you get started? I walk for miles and can do that easily but I've tried to break into a jog and it feels like I'm going to collapse, literally after 20 paces I'm gasping for breath but my normal walking pace is pretty fast, so much so that my hubby complains that he can't keep up! I don't know what I'm doing wrong?


Hi mazz. Yes, I'm doing c25k (already did it once last year, doing again now!). When I first started I found even running for one minute was tough. I couldn't see how I could possibly ever run for 30 mins non-stop, but I followed the program and got there. :-) Various setbacks after I 'graduated' (as we call completing the program) meant that I didn't run regularly, so a few weeks ago I decided to start again from the beginning and I'm loving it. :-D

I really highly recommend doing the program if you fancy having a go at running. It really works! You won't believe you can do it but you will get such a high every time you complete a run. However, I have to warn you that you might find running addictive and before you know it you may well find yourself hooked. ;-) You run three times a week, and do eight one minute runs (with walking in between) for each run in week 1. You build up from there over nine weeks until you suddenly find you can run for 30 minutes. :-O

I'd tried running before, without a program to guide me, and like you I found it too hard. One of the key points is not to set off too fast. You're only aiming for a gentle jog, barely faster than walking speed. You can work on speeding up later, if you feel the need for speed. ;-) I'd say give it a try and join the NHS c25k community - they are a fantastic bunch of friendly, supportive and knowlegeable people who started off from zero, just like us. You'll find loads of posts from me on the c25k site if you want to read up on what I've been doing and it's always nice to welcome another c25k-er. :-)

1 like

Thank you,that sounds amazing and scary at the same time! I wish I could believe that in just 9 weeks I would be able to run for 30 mins when I'm pretty done in after a few seconds now!

You have a good point about speed, I naturally walk quite fast so maybe I was trying to run too fast? I've downloaded a podcast now and listened to that to see what it was like, the walking pace sounds fine but right now I'm not sure I'll be able to do the jogging for 1minute yet. I'm thinking of starting in the morning before anyone else is awake in the house so if I fail no one will know!

Fingers crossed and thanks for your help, hopefully I'll be brave enough to join the c25k bunch soon :-)


Honestly, I felt exactly the same before I did c25k. I couldn't possibly imagine how someone like me, who had never run before, could be able to run for 30 minutes in only a couple of months time. I read quite a lot of posts on the forum before I started and everyone seemed to be saying the same, which gave me hope. I also didn't tell anyone when I first started. ;-) It doesn't take long before you're hooked though, lol.

Try and remember to set off slow (see if you can run at your walking pace, if you're a fast walker). Just the change in action from walk to run will make a difference that you'll notice. ;-) If you do find it really hard then you don't have to run all of the 8 runs, walk some instead and build up. Once you've properly completed all the runs three times then you're ready to move onto week 2, which you will probably think you can't do and then surprise yourself. Good luck. I look forward to hearing how you get on. :-)


You may also like...