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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown

Janet Aylott

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant


Why am I not toning or losing weight?

Hiya, I just want to know why I'm not toning or losing weight, I exercise everyday I go gym 4 times a week, burning 500-700 calories a day, I'm suppose to do 200, I also do weights, my measurements are the same and haven't budged for a while now, I was 12st 7lb when I started now I'm 9st 12lb so iv lost quite a bit and lost 33 inches off my body but now I seem to be stuck, my legs and belly still flabby, I stick to my calories most days, I'm just a bit confused as I'm working harder and getting no where now, so please help, Thanx, Manda X


Our expert says...

Hi Manda,

Firstly, well done on your weight loss so far! Don’t be disheartened by the current lack of change, it sounds like a plateau which is quite normal as the body attempts to stabilise weight after a period of weight loss. Also, as you have a well established workout schedule it is likely your body may be starting to normalise the workout type and this means increased efficiency and decreased calorie burning so look at the following tips and see if you can bust through the plateau:

- The type of exercise doing the same routine - change it!

You should look to change your exercise routine as often as possible and ideally try to do at least one new/different exercise every time you workout! If you have a specific/set program you like doing then how quickly it will need adapting and/or progressing will depend on how often you are doing it!

If you follow a set routine once-twice a week, interspersed with other forms of physical activity/exercise, (i.e. a combination of swimming, classes and gym work), then you could possibly continue with the same gym workout for 6-8 weeks, after which time a progression would be strongly advised to prevent repetitive stress being placed on muscles that may encourage muscle imbalances and result in reduced gains and injury. If you do only gym-based work and follow one particular program 3-4 times a week then you really want to be changing it drastically every 3-4 weeks!

If you are exercising 4 times a week, for example, you could have two different programs that you alternated over the course of the week and then looked to get a program updated alternatively, so you only ever followed one program for 4 weeks at the most. This would ensure that although your body adapts to the training it would not reach the point where it becomes so efficient that the adaptations to training are reduced.

- The sets and reps of exercise try changing one/both of these variables!

- The format of your training sessions try changing the way you structure your training, i.e. try super-setting where you do an exercises for opposing muscle groups (i.e. back and chest) back to back with no rest; this increases the demand on the cardiovascular system and raises your metabolic rate through an increase in the intensity of your session. The higher the intensity the more calories burned!

- Variety is the spice of life is a clique but it IS true and relates to exercise and nutrition equally. Look to increase your super food content within your weekly nutrition plan to maximise the health and energy benefits. The daily mail recently listed their top 10 super foods as: apples, baked beans, broccoli, olive oil, wholegrain seeded bread, salmon, tea, yogurt, bananas and Brazil nuts. See what you can incorporate for a change. The change doesn’t relate to your 1,400 just the supply of energy food sources.

- With relation to your food, make sure you aren't over consuming due to your regular training you are doing on a weekly basis. Often we can end up taking on too many calories because exercise increases the metabolism but can improve our ability to 'refuel' effectively if we choose. Make sure you have a post-training snack in the first 15mins after your exercise sessions, to help curb any overconsumption later on that day. You won't need to do anything drastic with your eating habits because your exercise volume is excellent, so just reduce a tiny element from your daily intake and see if it tips the balance for you. Also, make sure you are adjusting your food consumption on rest days, i.e. not eating as much!

- This may sound strange but make sure you get enough sleep! With 4Xweek training, your body will need adequate rest to recover and adapt. If however, you also have moderate-high levels of emotional / occupational stress, have irregular sleeping patterns and/or stay up late/get up early, then your body may be more tired then you realise. The way we often deal with this scenario is to eat more in an attempt to alleviate the tiredness, keep training, etc. So BE AWARE, consider whether this could be a potential factor for you. Being aware of it is half the battle won already!

- make sure you are re-hydrating! Drink water little and often and ensure you absolutely consume 2 litres of water on the days you exercise. If we are dehydrated our body’s ability to burn body fat is directly affected. Hopefully what I have mentioned will help you consider some small, realistic changes you could make to your current exercise/eating plan and kick start your weight loss progress!

Hope this helps


You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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