I am 5'8 and 184 lbs. When I started the gym about a 6 weeks ago, I was 189 lbs. My goal was to lose weight with the help of cardio (running and bike), which was going fine until recently (past 1.5 week), when my weight started to plateau at 184. I have been rigorously following myfitnesspal, recording every caloric intake, trying to balance nutrition and my daily caloric intake comes to about 1300-1400, far less than approx 2200 recommended for me. However, I should be losing weight as per that calculation. My conclusion seems to be resistance training. I have started doing resistance training rigorously (low pull, chest incline, shoulder, to name a few). Is it possible that this could be the reason why I am not losing weight at the rate I used to before (due to bulid up of muscle mass)?

I wanted to switch to only cardio for time being, but feared losing the already built muscle mass.

Any suggestion/advice is appreciated!

P.S.: Using myfitnesspal, I have managed to eat recommended protein, vitamins, fiber and keep the sugar, sodium carbs, well under the recommended level.

  • What is your body fat percentage and waist circumference? Weight is not the best measurement to track your progress because as you increase your lean muscle mass, your weight can increase as your body fat decreases and your body composition improves. See How to Calculate your Body Fat Percentage and Useful Measurements to track fitness. Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 7:44

2 Answers 2


Eating well under your recommended levels can also be a reason for not losing weight.

The body needs a certain amount of calories to simply carry out its daily activities such as breathing, digesting, and keeping up with your physical activities. Every person has an amount of calories required each day to maintain their current weight. People who gain weight are usually eating more than they need to and people who lose weight usually eat less than they need. Let us assume that your recommended daily intake for maintenance is 2000 calories. If you would eat only 1000 calories a day you would essentially be slowing your metabolism down as opposed to the intended goal of speeding it up. The reason is because the body is not getting enough fuel to survive and as a result cant afford to expend energy by burning fat, so instead it saves up as much as it can which leads to stagnant weight loss. In extreme cases the body even begins to feed on muscle tissue to survive, so people may even see the numbers on the scale drop but it is obviously not the number they are looking for.

The correct thing to do in order to lose weight in a safe and effective way is to eat only about 500 calories less than the RDI (recommended Daily Intake). I should also mention that the RDI takes in to account your activity level, so if you do exercise then depending on how often and how rigorous you work the more calories you must consume to maintain your weight. There are calculators that you can find online that can tell you how many calories you should consume on a daily basis.


This particular one will ask you for your age, gender, and activity level. Once you have that info put in it will tell you how many calories you should eat to maintain your current weight and also how many calories you should eat to lose weight. I dont know how accurate it is, but it is certainly a good place to start. Once you know basically how many calories you need, you can then pay attention to your results and then tweak the amounts accordingly. If you are not losing then you know you should be eating a little less. If you are losing then you know you got it right and so on.

Another thing worth mentioning, and with this I will conclude, you should pay closer attention to your waist line rather than paying attention to the scale. The scale tells you how much you weigh, but it does not single out your fat. It includes bone density, muscle mass, water, and finally fat, so when you see the number dropping you cant be certain what it is.


I had the exact same experience with doing everything right (with the intake of calories and myfitnesspal tracking, plus exercising) and didn't see any result. Our weight and height also seem the same. I did that for about three months and I actually gained a pound. I gave up, started eating normally and not going to the gym and guess what? I lost two pounds.

I don't know if I was stressing my body over so much exercise or if just cutting calories was not the right thing to do. Then I decide to cut all the wheat, sugar and dairy from my diet, but forget to count calories. After two months, I'm 8 pounds lighter! I am not saying you should do the same, but for my body that was what did the trick. My body took forever to digest wheat and dairy, so even though I was eating under the 1300 calories that MyFitnessPal said I was allowed to, I couldn't burn that fast enough. But the lesson I learned from that is that isn't all about calories.

  • Thats right! I also started eating 2000 calories a day, and then started burning about 200-300 calories, and I actually lost 5 lbs over the course of 1 month!!! I agree the lesson I learnt is also the same.
    – user85390
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 14:33

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