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for the last 2 months, I've been cycling for about 2 times a week and eating a little bit less. Last month I've been exercising(read cycling, jogging or hiking) for about 3 - 4 times a week and for last two months I've been exercising 5 times a week. I exercise for at least an hour.

I also drink about 2,5 - 3 liters of water daily.

For breakfast, I usually drink a protein shake at about 6am. Then, at around 9am I eat a portion of melon or watermelon. I drink black coffee in the morning. Then at about 11am I eat a can of tuna fish or another portion of melon or watermelon, or a portion of greek yogurt with blueberries. At around 4 - 5 pm I eat lunch, which is mainly proteins and vegetables ( I eat small portion of bread or something like that, but not everyday). Then I exercise, and after exercise drink one protein shake.

I've been eating like this for 3 weeks now and I simply cannot lose a pound, nor do I look "thinner" in mirror.

What am I doing wrong?

My BMR is 1662. My TDEE is 2275. H: 167cm W: 66 kg age: 21

  • Use a BMR estimator with your height, weight, gender to get an idea of how many calories you need to eat to maintain weight. After that, tally up the calories you are eating. I have some ideas as to what might be wrong, but unless you provide that basic information I can't be remotely sure. – Berin Loritsch Jul 20 '15 at 19:49
  • I've added BMR value. I am 167 cm with around 65-66 kg. I have a BMR of 1662. – n32303 Jul 20 '15 at 19:55
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    BMR will only provide an estimate of what your body would need in a catatonic state (ie, doing nothing all day, every day). Calculate your TDEE to also include your daily activity level (exercise, and non-exercise activities). – Alex L Jul 20 '15 at 21:07
  • @NejcLovrencic, Alex L has provided the answer, also mind if I ask how much you weigh and how tall you are? – Aizul Jul 21 '15 at 2:47
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    What about the calorie count for the food you are eating? – Berin Loritsch Jul 21 '15 at 12:45
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Calories in vs. Calories out is the very first thing you need to truly keep track of. The primary reason for forcing you to do some homework is so that you can see just how close your calorie balance is. Do understand that the calculators are just to get you in the ballpark, and individual physiologies vary.

You can only improve what you measure

  • Track how many calories you are eating every day
  • Track your body weight
  • Track your measurements (waist, chest, arms, legs, etc.)
  • Track everything you eat (snacks included, don't lie to yourself)

Your TDEE (for lightly active) puts you at needing ~2300 calories a day to maintain your current body weight. Considering that you are not very heavy to begin with, you need to aim for slow weight loss. If you've lost as much as 1-1.5 kg you're going at the right pace. Aim for 0.5 kg / week.

Your exercise has a huge cardiovascular component to it, which is good. However, if you want a firmer body you may want to trade some of your cardiovascular work for strength training. I wouldn't give up your cycling or running (whichever you like more), but perhaps spend only 20 minutes doing that and the rest of your time lifting weights. You may end up gaining a little weight, but losing fat--and fat loss is usually what people are after.

Diet tweaking

Lastly, there are a few tweaks to your diet composition that might be beneficial:

  • You only need 1.8g / kg body weight of protein, so for you it would be about 118g for the day
  • You might want to exchange some of the fruit for high fiber carb sources like oatmeal or quinoa.

The high fiber carb sources are low density foods, so they fill up your stomach without packing in a lot of calories. That helps with satiety, and it can also help with adherence to the diet because you don't feel quite as deprived.

Last point is that it is possible to go too low in calories. In at least one study there was a statistically significant population who's metabolism slowed down to the point where they barely lost any weight on the protocol they were testing. The remainder lost weight in accordance with the calories in/calories out balance. Slow and steady fat loss always wins over crash diets. If you cut out too much, you may be undermining your own success.

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  • Great answer, thank you! I've lost about 1kg yes, so I guess this is good. Will also start doing some strength training. Thanks. – n32303 Jul 22 '15 at 6:34
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Your weight consist of many parts, one is fat matt, one is lean mass, but your water level and the amount of food in your digestive system is another one. This last one can be considered noise, they make it harder to know wether one has lost weight or not.

3 weeks is not necessarily enough time to know if you've actually lost fat mass, 3 weeks of good weight loss diet means about 3 pounds lost, but water and food in your body can easily vary more than that.

To KNOW wether you're losing weight or not, I would recommend learning to count calories (google it), weighing yourself every morning and knowing that a single weigh-in doesn't tell your exact weight.

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