Long story short.

I've been exercising for 4 months (running 20 minutes/day and dumbbell lifting, both things 5-7 times per week) and I've lost 6kg (~13lb); I was pretty proud of the outcome (mainly because I wasn't expecting that much weight reduction for this light workout) but after checking my BMI I'm still right on the overweight border (24.9BMI) and still 6kg above my ideal weight.

So my questions are, in order to achieve my ideal weight:

  • Am I doing the right amount of exercise but I need more time?.
  • I need to exercise more?
  • Are my workout routines correct or there's something I need to change?



Starting four months ago:

  • Running routine: 20 minutes every day; at first it was 4 days per week (because I ran out of breath pretty easily) but now I'm doing 5-7 days per week and I'm starting to feel like 20 minutes is not long enough even sometimes (specially if the previous day I didn't run) I don't even break a sweat.
  • Running hours aren't regular: whenever I go out to run I go at different time but in the 6PM-9PM range.
  • After running, I'm lifting dumbbells, 200 Hammer Curls and 200 Floor press in alternating series of 25.

For the last 20 years:

  • I'm sitting almost all day long: at my workplace, in my car, at home.
  • Messed up sleeping routine: 5-6h from Monday to Friday and 9-10h Saturday and Sunday.
  • I've been having a daily alcohol intake, between 1-2 can of beer per day (I've reduced it to 1-2 cans of beer per week when I started to exercise).
  • I didn't take any care of the kind of food I was eating, not even sticking to a time Schedule for my meals but for the last 2 years I reduced my meat intake switching it to legume; I still ocasionally eat meat, mainly chicken.
Weight and Height.

I reduced my weight in 6kg (~13lb) from 77kg to 71kg, I always take the measurements with light clothes and without shoes. Being my height 169cm my BMI is right on the limit of overweight.

I wasn't controlling my weight until the last 6 weeks so I don't know at what pace it was falling, but for the last weeks it was decreasing from 74kg to 71kg steadily, after reaching the 71kg mark I'm struggling to make it fall further.

I know that the BMI doesn't take into account the muscle/fat ratio and I've been told that fat is lighter tan muscle, but I seriously doubt that most of the weight I reduced became muscle.

My ideal weight seems to be on the 65kg mark, but it doesn't look like my body wants to hit that mark, so I'm wondering if that "ideal weight" is ideal at all, or maybe I just need to change my excercise routine or I might need more time to achieve the goal. I'm not looking for a six pack nor looking for a toned body, I just want to loose some weight.

2 Answers 2


Lose the BMI

First of all, you shouldn't be looking at BMI. BMI is the relationship between your weight and height, it doesn't take into account what type of weight you're carrying (i.e. fat or muscle).

I for example, have very low bodyfat (between 6-8% most of the year) yet my BMI is average because I'm very muscular which bumps my weight up. Someone who never works out could have the exact same BMI as I do eventhough I'm very healthy and he might not be.

Now that we've got that out of the way, is weight really something you should care about? Why do you want to weigh 65kg? Think about what you want to achieve. When are you satisfied? Do you have a certain goal? A certain distance you want to run, a certain way you want to look?

I would personally suggest not looking at the number on a scale but rather check how you feel and look. If you're happy with your level of fitness or the way you look, you're doing good.

Losing more weight by working out

What you've been doing the last 4 months have been a good start, but as you said the 20 minutes of running have become easier. I would want to suggest to run less often and longer, and maybe do 1 or 2 upperbody workouts with your dumbells or in a gym (so let's sayin stead of running 5 - 7 days + doing dumbell workouts, you could run 4 - 5 days + 2 days of strenght workouts), The problem with this is you'll start gaining more muscle and thus you might actually gain weight. I think this would be more healthy because you'll have a more balanced routine, but it might not get you towards your goal of 65kg.

If your only goal is to lose weight, don't do any strenght training. Start doing 30 minute runs, and try to work towards 1hr runs. If you don't have time for 1hr runs, you can start to switch between endurance runs (maybe in the weekend?) and interval runs.

  • Related: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/15861/…
    – MJB
    Jul 31, 2018 at 12:55
  • 1
    I'm aware of the BMI limitations and I'm aware that fat and muscle don't weight the same (see "Weight and Height" third paragraph). As for my goal, I'm not looking for a change on my appearance but for a change in my weight; I'm assuming that the 65kg mark is the healthy mark (if not, why is it called ideal weight?). I really noticed an improvemnet in my fitness and well being after excercising for 4 months so I thought that it would be even better if I hit the ideal weight mark.
    – PLH
    Jul 31, 2018 at 12:58
  • 1
    @PLH Ok, good to know! I assumed you had another goal and getting towards a certain weight would be working towards that goal. I'll edit my answer.
    – MJB
    Jul 31, 2018 at 13:00
  • Your edit is very interesting and promising! Still I'll wait a couple of days before accepting an answer.
    – PLH
    Jul 31, 2018 at 14:00
  • @PLH Thanks, if there is anything else you'd like to discuss or if you have feedback on anything in my answer don't hesitate to mention it :)
    – MJB
    Aug 1, 2018 at 6:20

One of the remarkable things about the body is that it adapts to the stimulus placed upon it. That is one reason that you see the recommendations to switch your training around 2-3 times a year. This is possibly what is happening, is that you are becoming more efficient, so seeing less gains for the same work. So lets look at changing it up.

First, your running. You've made some great starts on a base, now you are at the point where you aren't going to see much gain from the same 20 minutes routine. If you want more out of it, you are either going to have to play with time, intensity, or both. There is a program I've talked about on here before, 3:2:1. You do one long run of 3x your base, 2 medium runs at 2x your base, and 3 runs at base. So if you are doing 20 minute runs as base, then it would be something like this for a week: 20/30/20/30/20/40/rest. Or, if you don't want to spend that long in a session running, I would bump your base run to 25 minutes per session, and after a few weeks adaptation start adding in strides, up tempo pickups, intervals, and some more work in the higher intensity side.

For the weights, I don't much like what are doing. You're doing a bunch of hammer curls and pushups. This neglects a large portion of your upper body, ignores the lower body and core, and can lead to muscle imbalances. I would recommend a gym type circuit routine 3x per week, designed to target both the upper and lower body. You can build strengh without building size. I would also be doing core work 4-5x per week (obliques, abs, lower back) as that will help counteract the sitting you do for work.

Finally, now that you've achieved a baseline level of fitness, you can reevaluate the whole thing. Do you like running? If so, great. If not, try other sports/activities. Find something that you really enjoy, and you'll keep it for a long time. Congratulations on the progress that you have made so far!

  • Do you have any link where the "gym type circuit" is described? I would like to take a look at it.
    – PLH
    Aug 1, 2018 at 7:38
  • 1
    @PLH - jefit.com/routines/workout-routine-database.php?id=20525 is one. There are dozens, google beginner gym machine circuit or similar.
    – JohnP
    Aug 1, 2018 at 14:08
  • I have a meta question to ask about my question, I've been looking for the meta of this site but I wasnt able to find it, its because is on beta state?
    – PLH
    Aug 21, 2018 at 13:52
  • @PLH - fitness.meta.stackexchange.com It should always be in the menu dropdown at the upper right.
    – JohnP
    Aug 21, 2018 at 15:08

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