Scales won't shift but clothes feel looser

Is anyone else getting this frustration? Since upping the exercise but sticking to my calories I haven't seen any change in the scales even though my clothes definitely feel looser and my neighbour commented on Friday that I looked really well. What should I do? Lower my calories? Change my exercise? I do a mix of gym cardio - exercise bike, cross trainer, power walking, free weights and abs along with kettle bells and Pilates classes, plus walking or cycling when the weather permits. I've cut my alcohol intake right down - last week I had 2 glasses of wine and 1/2 pt lager which is well below the 14 unit limit. I eat plenty of fruit and veg and very little processed foods. I'm don't eat dairy or things containing whey protein due to intolerance and apart from drinking too much coffee/Diet Coke I can't see what I'm doing wrong.

Any suggestions would be wonderful

14 Replies

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  • PS don't know why cocaine was added to the bottom of my post Lowcal or moreless are you able to remove?

  • The strange tags at the bottom of the threads are a glitch that the IT team are attempting to fix, but it's an on-going problem, which we're unable to edit, unfortunately.

  • OK thanks - just wanted to make sure people didn't think I was some kind of druggy!

  • I love the tags this forum come up with haha I'm always amused to see what they will come up with. :P

  • I am reporting some of these to the HU team on a regular basis, so they can work on refining it so it hopefully won't keep happening, and I'll include your thread in that. Thanks for pointing it out - and sorry the tag is there! :-)

  • It sounds like you're doing more than your fair share of trying! :) I'm in a debate with myself about how caffeine is hindering my weight loss so I've dropped down to two caffeine drinks a day - I'm not sure if it'll make any difference at all but that's my input on that :)

    I'm sure lots of people on here know more than I do regarding everything else you said but I will say this: your clothes and people around you will notice a difference in your appearance much before you do. Scales are evil and like to cheat us into thinking we aren't doing enough - you're exercising and building muscle so for every bit you lose you're gaining muscle which weighs more than fat :) so this could be why the scales aren't changing yet.

    My advice is this: keep doing what you're doing, the scales will fall into place eventually. Don't be demotivated! :)

  • Thanks Kinbun I might try some lemon and ginger tea instead of coffee - problem with working in an office where most people live on caffeine! Not sure about muscle weighing more than fat, a pound is a pound whether it's feathers, fat or muscle but I know it's more dense so it does take up less space!!!

    Just keep plodding on I guess

  • Lol that's a good point! It's not something I have EVER questioned! Of course a pound is a pound and now that you've pointed it out idk what people even mean by "muscle weighs more than fat" :o it's obviously just something people say! I feel very silly lol.

    I know what u mean about working in an office, I've been getting very funny looks so far for turning down all the tea and coffee offers! :)

  • It really depends what means most to you SportyGirl. If the number on the scale is the be-all-and-end-all, then stop the exercise, but if you wish to be fitter, healthier and leaner, then carry on just as you are :)

    If you cut your calories, you'll be hungry and unable to complete the exercises without feeling tired and grumpy and your body will rebel, by hanging onto its reserves.

    Good luck! :)

  • Thank you moreless I need to lose weight to satisfy the Dr because all they look at is BMI. I'd like to trim my waist to reduce my risk of central obesity related disease - type 2 diabetes being the greatest risk.

    I once had a 'sensible' GP who used BMI as a guide but also took into account stature and muscle percentage. As I'm tall and broad and strong - with a muscle percentage around 48-50%, far higher than the average 36-40% for a female, I'm one of those people who doesn't look their weight. I'd like to be a U.K. size 14 rather than an 18 and generally feel fitter as my fitness has dropped since having to retire from rugby. Guess I'm just frustrated because people generally focus on the scales the whole time 😬

  • I'm going to tag Lowcal, because I think she knows of a different BMI calculator, that takes into account those people that are taller, shorter, more muscular, than your average person.

    If you can be armed with that knowledge, you can take it to your GP and get them to rethink.

    Without a full body scan, all charts etc are just guesstimates. I know that I will always have a waist that's considered too large to be "healthy", but I also know that I could easily be carrying less visceral fat than a much slimmer person. If your GP is so concerned with your measurements, ask for a scan! :)

  • As I’m sure you’re no doubt aware, the figure presented upon the scales doesn’t provide the full picture, since it fails to take into account the ratio of muscle to fat, for example.

    Granted, the figure presented upon the scales does have its use, but it should be used as a guide and not relied upon as the sole indicator of progress.

    Although your weight may not currently be heading in the direction you’d wished, the fact that clothes feel looser suggests improved metabolism through increased levels of muscle mass (an important physiological change).

    Now, I’m not suggesting that you’ve turned fat into muscle (since that’s impossible), more that fat has been burned while muscle mass has developed, allowing for body composition to improve in the process.

    Concerning calories, the calculator that moreless refers to may be that of BMR and TDEE, since both are largely accurate in determining calorific needs, based upon individual measurements (age/weight/height) and level of activity. The ‘sensible doctor’ that you used to visit may have used the same when advising patients on how to lose weight.

    Regardless of whether one wishes to lose or maintain weight, achieving the correct energy balance remains paramount, allowing both to be accomplished long-term. The consultation of BMR/TDEE calculators provide a means of ensuring that balance is maintained.

    In the case of weight loss, having ascertained calorific needs to satisfy BMR and TDEE, by seeking to introduce a daily deficit (preferably 500Kcal) from TDEE, ensuring that the deficit introduced doesn’t take you below BMR, you could expect to lose 1lb a week without exercise (taking into consideration that a lb of fat roughly contains 3500Kcal). By including exercise, weekly weight loss could increase to 2-3lbs per week.

    Bear in mind that as weight is lost, fewer calories will be needed to satisfy BMR so the calculation should be re-performed with every 7lbs lost. In doing so, you’ll ensure that the energy balance is maintained, thus, reducing the risk of plateau.

    Other than working from the recommendation of the BMI calculator, I’m not sure what else you’re using, but if it’s been some time since consumption was calculated, it may be an idea to take check of your progress so far.

    As for exercise, I don’t think that you really need to alter anything except intensity. For example, if cardio exercise is largely steady state, it may be worth trying to incorporate interval training, to increase the uptake of glucose and fat during the higher intervals. Moreover, the increased uptake of glucose and fat during exercise will also benefit insulin sensitivity.

    I’m not referring to HIIT cardio, but given your sporting background, I’m sure you don’t need me to explain how to perform interval training.

    Concerning nutrition, simply continue to keep consumption of processed food and refined carbohydrate to a minimum, in favour of healthier alternatives.

  • Thank you so much

  • You're welcome, SportyGirl75.

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