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I've noticed that I'm losing weight when not exercising for about 3 days and exercising the next 2, while not losing any weight if exercising 5-6 days a week. While the additional weight might be coming from the increased muscle mass, I dont see any fat loss from my abdominal area or anywhere else if exercising daily.

I spend 3 and a half hours at the gym when I go: 50-60min cardio and the rest is strength training. I eat the same whether I go to the gym or not.

I would like to keep going to the gym 5-6 days a week since I've dedicated this time and money for it. It was always like that when I started, lost 27kg. Is there an explanation for this?

  • How often did you weigh yourself? – Kneel-Before-ZOD Aug 31 '15 at 17:02
  • @Kneel-Before-ZOD At the end of each workout after I shower, always wearing the same clothes. I don't weigh myself when I'm not going to the gym. – Sam Aug 31 '15 at 22:07
  • Bad idea; you're gonna become a nervous wreck when you do that daily. Your daily weight will fluctuate for many unavoidable reasons; you should aim for weighing yourself once a week or bi-weekly. If possible, purchase a scale and weigh yourself naked after waking up once a week. Also, you might want to include your chest, bicep and waist sizes. Even if your weight remains the same, there should be an improvement in those other measurements. – Kneel-Before-ZOD Sep 1 '15 at 1:01
  • Three and a half hours in the gym? Jesus Christ! – Rob Sterach Sep 2 '15 at 23:46
  • @RobSterach - What's wrong with that? There are a lot of athletes that put in that much time or more in their sport each day. – JohnP Sep 16 '15 at 14:46
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There's a bunch of possibilities:

  • You're gaining water-weight during workout days - either through drinking more, or from retaining more via post-workout inflammation. Personally, I can gain/lose 2+ pounds from water-weight in 24 hours, which easily masks any fat-loss.

  • You aren't as active after your workouts during your workout-days - less walking or general movement can add-up to a lot of calories

  • After the first 27kg (which is a LOT of weight to lose - congrats!) your weight-loss will probably be a lot harder and slower to. Have more patience!

I'd expect it to be a combination of all three of these effects.

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I think you are missing out on a major point here, 'REST'. Although your individual body parts may be getting rest but you need to rest your entire body.

With an intense workout routine like yours, its is even more important. Resting your body plays a major role, whether you are trying to lose weight or gain strength.

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Occam's razor: you obviously are not eating the same. Otherwise, you would be losing weight given the increased caloric expenditure.

My advice would be buying a food scale (incredibly cheap, you can get one for about $10) and actually making sure that you are consuming the amount of calories you should.

In a non related note, three and a half hours in the gym including an hour of cardio every day seems like an absolute overkill. It would probably be helpful if you shared your current stats and workout plan.

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I recommend using MyFitnessPal app to track your caloric intake for a few weeks and tracking any changes in body weight. I don't know if you are doing this already, but make sure you also weight yourself in the morning or at the same time everytime you do it.

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First,

congratulations on shedding that much weight. I know it takes a lot of time, effort, dedication, pain, and sacrifice.

Second,

Past result isn't an indication of future success.

Why did the program work in the past? Most likely, your body was adapting to your new program.

Let me see if I can highlight a few issues I see in your program

Weighing Yourself Daily

No proficient weight-loss coach will tell anyone to

  • weigh themselves daily. Your daily weight will fluctuate (even with no clothes on), irrespective of your consumption of exactly the same items in the same quantity at the same time daily. The general theory of "calories consumed - calories burned < 0 = weight loss" works over a period of time and not daily. You can't control exactly how your body burns those calories daily. You're gonna exhaust yourself with anticipation if you keep doing that.
  • use weight scales as the main determinant for weight-loss. Using a tape measurement, one can include
    • Waist size, etc
    • Chest size (for male), hip size (for females)
    • Bicep size (this should initially reduce as the fat is being burned and then increase as it becomes muscular)
    • Shirt/dress size, pants size, belt size, etc.

    Obviously, no measurement beats the mirror; however, this might not be feasible for small reduction in weight.

  • weigh themselves after exercising. Just because you ran for an hour, you think the numbers will just drop that day?
    • First, you'll need to have burned about 3500 calories. It's highly unlikely that you burned that much with both the cardio and weightlifting.
    • Second, all the liquids consumed to keep the energy up will add to your weight (even if it's simply water). Yup....water still has weight even if it contains no calories.
  • exercise 5 - 6 days for three and half hours. Unless an athlete, that's an overkill. Unless combined with excess calorie consumption or steroids, I'm not sure how you can maintain that regimen for more than a few weeks. I have a few theories though:
    • Low intensity is used at the gym. If you perform cardio for an hour and then perform high intensity weightlifting for two and half hours, your body should be too sore to repeat 6 days a week
    • A lot of the time is spent resting or doing nothing at the gym.
    • If both theories are inaccurate, there's only one other option I can think of: steroids.

In any case, your program needs a revamp.

  • Weightlifting before cardio is the proper way to train. You shouldn't exhaust your energy with cardio before lifting weights. The intensity will be reduced and your gains will be limited.
  • Reduce the time spent at the gym. Three and half hours is too much, especially for weight-loss reasons. Why not? Because after exhausting your body for over an hour, your cortisol level is raised and this prevents further fat burn; energy expended after this point is not from your fat storage.
  • Reduce your training from 6 days to 3 - 4 days. Most effective weight loss programs recommend 3 days for exercises; this allows the body to rest and recuperate, which results in muscle building, metabolism increase, and fat loss. Sometimes, less is more.
  • Increase your general activity level. Because you're not spending all day at the gym, your body recovers fast enough for you to be able to increase your general activities (walking/biking instead of driving, taking the stairs, portion rationing, etc)

In Conclusion

Your body has indicated to you how it plans to shed the weight; listen to it and reduce your intensity. Weight-loss is a long-term program (even if one drops 100 lbs in a day). Commit to an efficient program (along with a nutritious, balanced diet) and be more active for a long term and adjust when it no longer seems to be working.

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