The past 2 months I have drastically changed my eating habits. I have gone from eating 1 or 2 meals a day of semi healthy sprinkled with cocktails, fried food, and desserts on the weekends to now eating 5 small meals concentrated around lean protein and greens. I have also gone from not drinking anything except coffee to now consuming 50 oz of water daily. I no longer eat out, and portion my meals out accordingly. I understand that I need to add some physical activity to my day. However, with such drastic changes I was expecting more than just the 5lbs I lost the first week. Am I missing something? I'm 44, 5'4" weighing 210.

  • You lost 5lbs the first week or for the whole 2 months? Feb 20, 2014 at 18:20
  • Looks like 5lbs first week and then nothing more
    – Mateusz
    Feb 20, 2014 at 18:28
  • 1
    You said you should add physical activity, you rightly said. Add that to your schedule.
    – Freakyuser
    Feb 24, 2014 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


5 lbs lost could be 5 lbs lost all over your body. If you're pretty overweight it's going to take much longer than 2 months for you to start seeing SIGNIFICANT(keyword) differences in composition.

As harsh as the reality is, I like to repeat the one thing that I read at one time that was also told to someone else: It took a long time for you to allow your body to become the way it is now(presumably overweight)and it's going to take as much time to reverse. And it won't be quick and easy. Well it might be easy depending on your point of view. But, it will never be quick.

A general tip to overcome mental hurdles like this is to pick an activity, for example strength training, and to focus on making strength gains because this is something you can much more easily track and see progress in. It is a lot easier to let motivation dwindle when you're fixated on appearances which honestly don't change much even over 2 months unless you're already at the point where you're carb cycling and cutting drastically for competitions(and even that's just an extreme example for the average person).

But if you follow a program like StrongLifts 5x5 for example, which advocates 5 sets of 5 reps involving compound movements, you'll make significant progress in many different ways.

For example:

  • the program requires that you start with an empty barbell for all exercises to get form down
  • improving your form leads to an increase in flexibility and mobility
  • additionally, starting with incredibly light weight gets your central nervous system ready to perform the lifts with proper technique without much thought later on as you begin to lift heavier weight
  • SL 5x5 is a program where you add weight every day you lift, so you can see just from this example alone that it would be easy to make significant "newb gains" as they are called in a short amount of time.

Just doing the math shows that squatting 3 times a week and increasing the weight by 5lb each session shows you can increase your squat from 45lb(standard olympic barbell) to 225lb in theoretically 12 weeks or 3 months(hopefully I did that math right), and yes, it is possible. 225lb is a lot of weight to be moving especially if you've never squatted in your life. Focusing on stuff like this is an easy way to keep your progress moving forward instead of, as I said, being fixated on appearances.

Let the strength and technique come first and the appearance will follow. I hope this helps you.

  • I would add that when pursuing strength training, the law of diminishing returns applies-don't get discouraged just because gains are slowing down. Feb 21, 2014 at 17:00
  • Great comment and something I should have added to my original answer. Thanks @Ellocomotive. Feb 21, 2014 at 19:50

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