Confused gym lover. New here.

I'm frustrated. After years of slowly gaining weight and failing to lose it dieting (and I have tried all kinds of diets, making myself miserable in the process) I decided to hit the gym. I used to go and had told myself I would go back when I was thinner and less embarrassed. But I bit the bullet 5 months ago and I have really persevered. I go and I work hard there 3 times a week. For as long as I could afford it one of those times was with a personal trainer who really pt me through the wringer, and I make sure i work as hard as I can. In addition I do zumba once a week and a body combat class once a week. And I swim once or twice a week. I can feel the difference in my fitness, and I now have visible muscles on my arms and legs, but I haven;t lost any weight. And as someone who could lose 8 stones and not be at the low end of normal this is a concern for me. I'm not an angel when it comes to eating, but I don't eat much sugary and processed food. My trainer marvelled at how strong I am, but I am worried that I am damaging my joints by doing so much exercise when I am this heavy, and although I am glad to feel healthier I also feel sad that I have not lost the weight I hate so much. I hate the way I look and it takes a real effort to suspend my emotions, put on the leggings and start on the cross trainer. I am much too self conscious to go to a slimming group and when I went to see my GP last year she told me to just get on with losing weight before my blood pressure gave me a stroke. I understand that muscle is heavier than fat-but how long do I have to wait to see the scale move down?


Featured Content

Join the NHS Weight Loss Plan

Join over 40,000 others on our 12-week diet and exercise plan. Keep motivated to develop healthier eating habits & get more active.

Get Started!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

12 Replies

oldest β€’ newest
  • Hmm. Strange, i'd expect you to see results after a few months.

    Are you taking any measurements? What's your calorie intake like? Are you eating back the calories you burn?

  • I agree with Cooper27- have you taken any measurements of your body to see if they have gone down or body fat?

  • I haven't-although my trainer did after about 6 weeks and at that point my waist was smaller and my arms and thighs bigger. My husband says I look thinner (he would though) and clothes are a bit loser I think which does give me some comfort.

  • Hello Eleuthera and welcome to the Weight Loss Forum 😊

    Very well done on your perseverance with the gym, you long term health will definitely benefit. 😊

    However, I'm afraid to say that to lose weight you need to have a calorie deficit. It is very difficult to create this through exercise alone, you have to eat less calories.πŸ˜• But don't despair, you don't need to starve yourself, cutting a few hundred calories a day can add up to very big difference. Please read these suggestions about navigating the forum in particular check your BMI and find your target calories, which is often more than you would think. From what you say you are already half way there with eating the right foods, it's just a question on tweaking portions. 😊

    The first place to look is at the Pinned posts section to the right of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile), read the Welcome Newbie thread first and move through to the challenges, where we hope you'll find at least one that will appeal to you 😊

    Move down to the Topics, to find a variety of threads, collated into specific topics for ease of access and we ask that you also 'file' your own threads, so that others won't miss your important news 😊

    Have a look at the NHS 12 week plan, as many people have had success with it. Also use the BMI checker to find your target calories, it's important to eat enough. This was a major turning point for me, realising I could eat anything I wanted as long as the calories are accounted for 😊

    Don't forget to take your starting measurements and a 'before' picture, as they can be very motivating on days that the scales refuse to co-operate ☺

    The forum also have group weigh-ins every day if you wish to take part. The posts can always be found in the Events section on the 'home' page 😊

    You'll notice a grey box next to people's names, these are achievement badges, and as a new member you may have a 'Newbie' badge. If you have any questions or would like a Newbie badge please just ask 😊

    We've found that to get the best out of this community, we need to be active on the forum, as it's where we exchange information, get motivation and inspiration and make friends. We hope that you'll join us here, regularly, too 😊

    Best wishes


  • Hello Eleuthera. I have to commend you on the exercise you have been doing. Truly tremendous, I wish I had half of your get up and go.

    I can only agree with the others and everything that Anna61 has said. Whether or not sugar is a main part of what you consume, you need to consume less calories in total than you are burning.

    Good luck!

  • I see what both of you are saying, but I eat the same as I did before I started going to the gym and am burning maybe 5-600 calories a day more. That's the root of my concern. if it is a simple equation I should be losing weight, hence my confusion. My personal trainer advocates eating a lot of protein over carbohydrates but this goes against a lot of the advice for a healthy diet, and because I have high blood pressure I worry that a high protein diet might be a bad choice for me. I will go and look at the other information here. Thanks for responding.

  • Remember losing weight is different to losing fat . . . By the sounds of it you are doing just this 😊 At the end of the day we want to be 'smaller' rather that lighter 😊

    Best wishes


  • Maybe keep a food diary for a week or two, and take measurements to go with. It'll just help in general.

    When you say your diet is the same, can you maybe tell us what a typical day looks like? I can maybe make a few suggestions! You're right carbohydrates aren't awful, if they're from the right sources, but protein is really good for helping your muscles recover from exercise, and it's also incredibly filling. Don't knock it! ;)

  • Hi there, I think I may have had a slightly similar experience to you. I joined a gym expecting to lose weight, and after several months weighed myself and found I'd actually put on a couple of kilos :( my PTs all insisted that it must be muscle weight, and not to worry too much, and I was visibly more toned, but it still got me really down. I'd been trying to make "small changes" to my diet, and clearly that wasn't working, so it was time to make big changes.

    I'd already done things like cutting down on sugar, having salads for lunch and so on. So I swapped my toast out for mushroom & spinach omelettes, cut down drastically on carbs (I haven't eaten a potato in months) and learned to make veg more exciting so I could have a few portions on my plate. I now use My Fitness Pal to calorie count (because we all have days where we just want something bad, but it can be balanced out if it's not too often). I've heard people say on there that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise - I'm definitely starting to believe that, since I've had good results since I've made changes.

    Good luck to you x

  • Yes, I think I am going to have to start keeping a really close watch on what is going in. I also suspect my diet is too low in protein. BUT on a good note I was working in the city today, something I rarely do and I popped into Next to look for a couple of new tops for the summer. Now I hardly ever shop for clothes, I find it disheartening. I picked up usual size, went to the changing rooms, put both on but they felt all wrong and the sleeves of the sweatshirt were too long. Then the penny dropped. They were too big! Can't remember the last time that happened to me.

  • Hi ya, I have heard that Muscle weight weighs more so this would be the reason why you are not actually losing any weight. What you are losing is not actually showing on the scales because you are putting this back on with what muscles you are creating. This is also the reason your arms and thighs are bigger. Your muscles are bigger. If you are to feel around them they are probably firmer though and not as loose as they would have been when it was fat.

  • For sure, my arms and legs are solid now where they were wobbly before and I am fine with the size increase there because I can see it is muscle. I just wish my abdominal muscles would put in an appearance! Thanks for the encouraging comment.

You may also like...