A little background: In January of last year, I decided to shed some weight. I was then 97 Kg (213 pounds), and 1.93 meters tall (6.3 feet). Even without working out, last September, I weighed 82 Kg (180 pounds). (To be fair the diet has been rather blunt: I stopped eating, basically. I lost 10 Kg (22 pounds) in the first 2 months and then 5 kg (11 pounds) in the following 3. Don't know if this is relevant, anyhow). I then started working out according to the following schedule:

  • 2 runs per week (at the beginning it was 6 Km (3.7 miles) at about 8 kph (4.97 mph). Now I do 7.5 Km (4.66 miles) at about 11 kph (6.83 mph). So it is about 40 minutes.
  • 2 times per week a full-body workout at the gym; not going into detail here, but if you want I'll add something! Anyhow it lasts about 1 hour.

Now of course I have seen some improvement, especially at the beginning, but there are a couple of problems.

1) I don't feel so in shape. Even if I miss one time I start to feel a little overweight, more "heavy" so to speak.

2) I like to play soccer, and even though running greatly increased my efficacy, I find myself heavy on the field. I can run forth and back without too much trouble, but when I have to sprint (or to kick the ball really hard), I disappoint myself. I don't feel the muscle in my legs are really "strong". Also, there is a great variance in how I feel when I run. Sometimes, I feel so heavy I really need to push to complete the 7.5 Km. Other times, I feel very good. I suppose this is normal (?)

3) I still have a little "bud" (I don't know how to say that in English, it's the fat in the lower part of the stomach just above the pelvis). It's better than before, but it is about two months that the situation seems to be stabilized (or maybe even worse a little bit). Maybe my metabolism adjusted to this workout, but what do I have to do now?

4) This is a minor point and may be just an impression, but when I went to the gym (about 2 years ago), my muscle grew much more than now. Now I am feeling that, even if the weight I lift is about the same than two years ago, my muscle are not so big. Can this be due to the running? Mind you, I am happy to have muscle which are well-defined over too big, but maybe is there something I am doing wrong?


My diet is not that great, I admit it. I don't control the portions. It's generally pasta with tuna or pasta with ragù. Or, frozen meat. No fish (except from tuna, no vegetables (I don't like them! Maybe you can advise something?) and generally not much else.

What do you advise concerning the aforementioned points? Am I asking too much, or maybe I work out too little?

Thank you in advance ;-)

2 Answers 2



Clean up your diet. The lower your body fat gets, the more insulin sensitive you become, and the easier you store body fat. Basically it gets harder and harder to get leaner. The techniques you can use to go from obese to "fit" aren't the same you need to get from "fit" to "ripped".

You're eating a ton of carbohydrates, which is probably the problem.


Perhaps you're not doing any kind of interval training. Sprinting is a skill, and requires fast twitch muscle fibers (like the kind effective strength training builds). Starting running intervals. Not only will it make you much faster, but it burns a lot of calories and will help you on the soccer field because it assists on anaerobic recover.


If you're going to go to the gym, make sure you're not wasting your time. Do a real strength training program.

Cautionary Note

Interval training is much harder on your body than "going for a run". It is much more violent, especially if you are sprinting and/or doing hills. If you introduce interval training, keep it to once a week and see how it affects you.

  • thank you. I have begun polishing up my diet and doing interval training. Hope it will help! :)
    – Ant
    Jun 11, 2015 at 16:28

Well it looks like you have your exercise portion of things in order. Running and going to the gym regularly is for sure helping, but here is your main problem:

My diet is not that great, I admit it. I don't control the portions.

You should at the least know how much the portions you're eating are as well as adjusting how much you eat (not necessarily what you eat) accordingly. If you can change your habits to properly reflect a close enough caloric intake per day to match what you're burning or less, you can lose weight. Obviously it is easier when you avoid bad foods, but just monitoring your overall intake / burned calories is a great start.

Use this tool to calculate how many calories your body is burning to know how much you should be eating.

As for soccer / feeling you're lacking strength, dedicate (at least) one day a week to do just legs at the gym and really work them out.

This article has quite a bit of information on improving your strength for soccer. The tips here all revolve around the idea of reverse engineering your goals, and starting first with strength to be able to then use that power to obtain speed. It is an interesting read, and you should definitely check it out for a better understanding on how to improve your legs for soccer.

My own tips for training your legs for strength would be to try doing your exercises one leg at a time, and make sure to do high enough weight / reps to really push them to their potential. Legs tend to have more endurance than other muscles since they are constantly being used throughout the day versus something like your chest that doesn't get nearly as much use.

  • thank both of you. I'll try to keept this in mind! :D
    – Ant
    Jun 11, 2015 at 16:27

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