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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why am I not loosing more weight and body fat?

    I'm a Female, 26yr, 82kg, 152cm tall. I eat a good balance of carbs (simple&complex), protein and healthy fats everyday, even having 2 days per 6 weeks on super juices. I exercise 6 days a week with 1/2 cardio and 1/2 strength training. I can see my body very, very, VERY slowly changing but the scales have only shown a loss of 700grams in 5 weeks. Is there something I am doing wrong? Its very frustrating because I feel like I am working really hard, but am still very heavy!
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    Dr Adam Gavine

    Chiropractor

    I am a chiropractor who specialises in Active Release Techniques and instrument assisted soft-tissue treatment. I have a keen interest in everything nutritional as I ... View Profile

    Weight is not the best measure for body composition change. You must remember that muscle weighs 3x as much as fat, so if you lose 3 units of fat but put on 1 unit of muscle your scale will not change, however your body composition has changed dramatically. Simple ways of assessing your body composition are: take pictures of yourself wearing the same clothing (preferably in workout shorts and a sports bra) once a day or every few days if you like. Have a picture from the front, back, and side. As the weeks go by you should notice changes in how your body looks compared to pics from early on. Another non quantative measure is to simply see how your clothing is fitting you; as the week of diet and training roll on you may start to notice your pants getting looser on you, shirts becoming less tight fitting, having to tighten your bra strap or belts. These are all signs of changes in body composition.

    If you want quantative measures, try taking girth measurements once a day or ever few days using a simple measuring tape. There are plenty of websites that you can look up that teach you how to do this. The general areas you want to measure are your waist (tape around the waist at the level of the umbilicus), hips, thighs and arms. The goal is to decrease the girth of these areas. Be sure to log your measurements so you can track your changes.

    If all this sounds like too much hassle you can have a body composition scan done that tells you your body percentage of fat, lean muscle, water and other stuff. There are a few different method but Dexa is generally accepted as the most accurate. A Dexa scan will set you back $100-200 and may need to be done every few months.

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    Elizabeth Newsham-West is committed to optimising the health and well-being of people across all ages within the Mount Tamborine community.  She works as a domicillary ... View Profile

    Weight loss can be very frustrating when you are trying so hard.

    Juicing does not mean it is healthy or low in energy. Certainly the foods you may be choosing are healthy for you. The research shows that we can consume more energy if we drink it than if we eat it. You would be far better to eat the food you are juicing as the nutritional value to you would be higher.

    I would recommend that you consult with a Dietitian who can show you how to eat to lose weight , correct portions of foods that make up a healthy weight loss diet and provide you guidance for long term healthy eating rather than being on or off a diet. Choosing the right food can be enough for some people to lose weight. For others it is knowing how much of the right food you need to eat.

    Waist circumference can be a far more rewarding measure especially when your weight loss is slow.

    Also different types of exercise are better for weight loss than others and the level of intensity you are doing this is also fundamental. More cardiovascular exercise will be of more benefit for weight loss especially if done at moderate to high intensity. Strength/ resistance training is for muscle building and will help weight loss in the longer term so shouldn't be eliminated.

  • Accredited Dietitian and Nutritionist specialising in food allergies, food intolerance and strategies for weight loss. I'm passionate about good nutrition and love working with clients ... View Profile

    This is a tough question to answer because everyone is so different. And yes if you are doing strength based training there is a chance weight loss is slowed due to the growth of muscle. If you haven't already done so I would recommend doing a food dairy for at least a week, writting down everything you eat and drink including qunatities. This is a great way to get feedback yourself on whether you are eating too much. Otherwise get some advice from a Dietitian.

  • Laura Majewski

    Exercise Scientist

    Laura Majewski is a qualified Sports and Exercise Scientist and an accredited member of ESSA. Laura graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Applied ... View Profile

    Hey there,

    I know just how frustruating it can be to lose weight, especially when you think you are doing everything right. All points mentioned above are great, here are some extra tips which may help.

    1. Food diary - even if it for just 1 week. Sometimes it is easy to say we eat right but its not until we write it down on paper that we realise just how much we are actually eating and what. After you have written up your food intake for the week - try see a nutritionist or dietician for further guidance. One thing I get my clients to do, is to also add the time they consume the food, where they were when they ate it (e.g. at the park, home, cafe) and how they felt when they ate it (lethargic, energised, happy etc…) These will all give indications as to the psychology behind food and nutritional habits.

    2. Great job with the exercise - keep it up! Just one thing to ask yourself, do you vary your routine? It is possible when you become stuck in a rut, doing the same cardio or same strength training can leave you with the same results. Try venture out of your comfort zone a little and try intveral training, boxing, rowing, stairs etc… and with strength there are 100 and 1 ways to vary that. Also give yourself some rest - you may be doing too much exercise and burning yourself out without even knowing.

    I hope that helps,

    Laura

  • Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been ... View Profile

    You may find this article of interest which helps explain soem of the concepts above. The study highlighted in this article concluded that a mix of cardio and resistance had the best outcomes in terms of body composition and compliance. In saying that you can't out exercise a bad diet. 

    http://www.precisionnutrition.com/rr-cardio-vs-weights

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris ... View Profile

    To add to the comments above, I have seen this issue in practice many times, and the issue may also be that you are not getting in enough energy to support your training needs. Over time this results in a lower metabolism which sets you up to burn less fat (you become less efficient) but most importantly sets you up to store more body fat (survival mechanism). You may have to actually increase your energy intake slowly until you start to see some body composition changes or changes on the scale.

    Keep in mind that other metabolic/hormonal factors may also be influencing your weight loss attempts so it is best to have a chat to your GP to get these investigated.

    My best bet would be to seek the advice of an Accredited Sports Dietitian (AccSD). An AccSD will be able to perform a full nutritional assessment plus assess your training demands and target your nutrition towards this. AccSD's specialise in nutrition and exercise and may have the answers you need. Feel free to contact me or head to www.sportsdietitians.com.au/findasportsdietitian

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