Weight loss and muscle mass

I'm looking for some consolation here. I'm eating well and staying well within requirements for weight loss . But it seems to be a very slow process. At best I'd lose 1.5 lbs week. I know people say it's meant to be gradual but you'd think that sometimes it could be a bit more.

It is true I've upped the exercise a good bit, and I've started doing strength training which I haven't been doing in years. In 6 weeks I've lost 15 cm from my waist but it's a very slow process on the scales.

Any thoughts on what's behind that? Any dietitians or physios on the list? (You'll probably stay in hiding?)


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16 Replies

  • Hi Derrygeel,

    I'd really like to give you some consolation, but I am not a dietician and I am not a physio, and I noticed you were enquiring regarding whether one of those was 'on the list' (I don't think so, as I don't think we have a list - it's a community forum made up of lay people in the main) - There may be some within the community, but like you say, if they were here, would they want to comment publicly that they were? The anonymity of the community means people can enjoy coming here and commenting without necessarily having a professional hat on.

    I was just reflecting on what to say to you in response to your question, and I have to say, that as a lay person (i.e. no qualifications in nutrition or physio or dietetics), I can only comment on the basis of my own experience and on what I've read. I have read quite extensively over the years, and read a range of things relating to nutrition and I also have a passion for exercise too, but I don't feel all that confident discussing issues relating to muscle mass etc, as I'm only recently doing strength training etc.

    I do think that there have been some posts about this subject over the years, but I just tried to look for some good threads, and I didn't actually find many, so I'm not sure I can point you to any useful ones. Perhaps I didn't put in the right search words. You could try that?

    I really would like to say that I think you are making really good progress though, as you're losing weight at a sustainable rate and 1.5 pound weight loss in a week is really great. I often find myself that I can gain weight when toning up - and it's probably the complex relationship between muscle density and fat. Having more muscle mass does help metabolism, so defintely worth working on that.

    I have got a couple of website links which are quite interesting, and you might like to read them to see if they are helpful to your query:



    I'm sure other people will reply, but I have to say, when you mentioned dieticians and physios, I stood back, incase any might pop by - and I suspect other people may also be doing the same. Hence I'm trying to give you some kind of helpful answer, despite not being one of those practitioners.

    Hope you're having a great weekend.

    Lowcal :-)

  • those are very interesting links - thanks. I was wanting to write a post very like this. I lose (maybe) half a pound a week. TBH, I've lost over 2 stone and that's not too bad. I think I need to ramp up the exercise. I just wish I could break through the next stone barrier!

  • These are very interesting links Lowcal. I think I'll bookmark them and go back to them because there's a lot to take in.

    I guess I do need to be patient as other posters have said . I need to lose about 2 stone to get to the middle of the healthy BMI range. But I think 1 stone more would get me to the magical 25.

    When I Google this yesterday all I could get was crank websites saying "Follow my bizarre diet and you too can have the body you want". "Eat all fruits" "Eat no fruit"

    I'm not joking. I came across both of those sites. :-)

  • Hi Derrygeel,

    Really glad you found them useful. I find there are some crank websites out there too - with such conflicting advice etc.

    Wow, you've only got to lose 1 more stone and you'll be at the magical 25 - that is great!

    Hope you have a lovely weekend.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Are you enjoying the journey, that's the main thing?

  • It is my understanding that exercise builds muscle and burns fat. Muscles are pretty dense and you might find you lose inches, but not pounds - because of the change in your body's proportion of fat to muscle.

    I took this from another forum where the writer was explaining why two people of the same size & height can be different weights - it might be helpful? I thought she put it rather well!

    "This can be due to the ratio of body fat and muscle. A pound of fat and a pound of muscle are the same weight, after all a pound is a pound no matter what it is. The difference is the size a pound of fat takes up approx 4 times as much space as a pound of muscle. So 2 people the same height and weight can have totally different body shapes if 1 has a high amount of body fat and low amount of muscle compared to someone with high amount of muscle and low body fat. This is why we shouldn't aways go by the number on the scales and why 'staying the same' isn't always a bad thing".

  • Well said DD that's exactly what I was thinking but couldn't put into words! ;)

  • There's a good visual image in that post. And yes I put on a blouse last night which had been gaping the last time I wore it.IIt was now loose and comfortably fitting. It was expensive too back in the day so it's good it fits. :-)

  • That's really good information DD 😊 And very helpful, I am losing very little 'weight' but the inches are going down 😊😊😊

  • 1.5lbs a week is brilliant! That's a fist-sized lump of fat you're saying good riddance to every week as well as additional fat being converted to muscle. It sounds like you are building some great habits that will become easier and easier to keep up or return to. Go you!

  • Weight loss of 1.5 lb a week is fantastic. I means you are consuming 5,350 calories per week less than you are burning. You say you are exercising, would suggest you continue to take your measurements as very often body shape changes much faster than the weight reduces.

    You do not say how much weight you have to lose but the less you have got to lose the more slowly your losses will be.

  • Towards the end of "your weight loss journey" you might dream of those days you lost 1.5 lbs a week! To be honest I would dance around the scales with a .5 loss. At the beginning of my journey, I needed to do physio after a minor knee op as I wanted to be fitter than the couch potato I had become for a long planned holiday. I went and trained at the local gym on a get-fit-for-health-scheme. I trained at my top limit for at least 6 days out of the 7 and my weight losses stopped. I had a chat to the supervising sport scientist and he said if I wanted to prioritise losing weight then I would be better having a day off between sessions. I explained I was prioritising fitness. He said what I was doing was failing to give the muscles time to recover, so they were retaining fluid. That's a summary of the science! He also suggested that I could do a different type of training on every other day, eg swimming. Which I did. I still didn't lose weight till the end of that month. But I went down about 2 dress sizes, especially around the waist. And everyone noticed! To be honest, I was quite happy with that as a result. So get the tape measure out! Or try some old but tight favourite clothes and take some photos, so that you can really compare.

  • Thanks everyone for your support. The information and personal experiences were very helpful too.

  • I know it's nice to see weight loss as well but you are losing cms and that's more important. Keep doing what you are doing and good luck.

  • I used to be really skinny and I was tired of people constantly asking me if I eat correctly and etc. So, I decided to start exercising to build up muscle mass, for me that was kind of hard because I've always been skinny, my nutritionist recommended me sunestron supplement to increase my muscle mass.

  • 🤔

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