Weight Loss NHS
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Why am I putting on unexplained weight?

I have been going to the gym at least three times a week for an hour of cardio (bike / treadmill / cross trainer) for weeks now and seem to be putting on weight (fat not muscle) rather than losing it. I have been eating about 1200 calories a day in order to try and improve my diet but am starting to get really down as nothing seems to be working. I have not made drastic changes to my diet or exercise routine - I just seem to be piling on the weight. I have put on about 6 pound in the last 2/3 months. Any help or ideas would be great as nothing seems to be working and I'm not sure if I should be worried?

5 Replies


The key to weight loss is simple: you need to burn more energy (through exercise and everyday activities) than you consume (through food and drink).

More often than not, people put on weight because they eat too much. It can be hard to accept it but it's true.

You're obviously very motivated to exercise so I'd keep it up. It may be your diet that you need to review.

NHS Choices has just launched a new weight loss plan designed to help you track your calories and stick to your 1200kcal daily limit.

Here's a link to the plan:


Also, the body is very good at adapting to exercise and after a while, your body may require less calories to produce the same amount of effort.

The solution to this problem is to change you exercise regime. You could either make your routine harder, mix the order of exercises you do during your sessions or try a new set of exercises that will challenge your body differently.

Hope this helps. Good luck.


its 1400 calories for women 1900 for men, if your bmi is higher they allow you to have more


Are you really only eating 1200 calories per day, also what is the fat content in those calories. A trick I used while losing weight and still do was to use a smaller plate. My main meal was divided into 4 sections. 1/4 meat/fish, 1/4 potato, 1/2 2 different vegs/salad. I drank lots more water, exercised too. But I very seldom went below 1400 calories per day. I lost just under 3 stone. Good luck, keep at it and you will start to see a difference.


Hi LadyBug55,

Try keeping a food diary of what you eat each day and check your portion sizes. Look on the packaging of your food as most state what a portion is and how many calories are in each portion. Try to weigh all your food out and write it in the food diary for 1 week and you may be surprised by the calorie intake and what a portion truly is (I know I was). Also aim to eat your 5 a day and check the size a portion of fruit or veg. For example a portion of cherry tomatoes is about 8 tomatoes and a portion of plums is actually 2 plums so sometimes we are not quite getting our 5 a day even though we may eat 5 pieces! This helps to fill you up and keep calories low.

Drink approximately 1.5-2 litres of water a day. This will help your digestive system to 'clear out' and also help to surpress your appetite as the part of the brain that makes us think we are hungry also is the one that makes us think we are thirsty and we often can't determine that we are in fact thirsty when we think we are hungry.

Give the diary a go for a week and put a tick for each glass of water (or squash) you drink and how many calories you eat. This will help you identify where you could make changes.

Hope this helps.


Muscle weighs more than fat, the same happened to me . don't give up just keep measuring yourself what won't show on the scales will show there


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