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10592 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2010 9:45 AM by dad2seven 1 2 Previous Next
coffeedrinkingrunner Amateur 14 posts since
Jun 16, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 25, 2010 5:43 AM

Running and Losing Weight - What is wrong with me?

This last week I logged 28.5 miles for my running (I ran 5 days, took off 2 days).  My Garmin said I burned approx. 1100-1148 calories on my 3 6-mile days.  I keep a calorie log each day, and kept my calorie intake between 1500-1960 except one day, when I ate around 2400 calories.  I lost less than a pound over the week.


I am 6'4", and weigh 229.8 pounds.  What am I doing wrong?  Am I eating enough?  I actually have not been starving.  But, I expected maybe a 2-3 pound weight loss over the week.  I am blogging about my efforts, but I have no clue what I may have done wrong over the week, unless I am possible not eating enough.


Thanks for any help you can provide



James Jones

  • rbird Legend 1,073 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I wouldn’t be too concerned about a single week.


    It is virtually impossible to perfectly calculate either the number of calories you consume or burn through exercise.  It is all approximations and averages.  In the short term you can be significantly off, but in the long term the over and under estimations cancel each other out and the numbers tend to get more accurate.


    It is also normal to experience both plateaus with little or no weight loss and weeks where you see the scale fall every day.


    It is possible that you are eating too little and your body has shifted to a “starvation mode” that is affecting your weight loss, but I would just suggest patience and see how the next few weeks go.


    Besides 1 pound per week is still good progress.  I went from 230 to 180 at almost exactly that rate.  It took almost a year, but I was very pleased with the improvement within just a few months.

    2010 Space Coast Marathon 4:27:39

    2011 Charleston Marathon 4:25:58

    2011 Croom Fools Run 50k 6:16:51

    2011 Marine Corps Marathon 4:24:48

    2011 Jacksonville Bank Marathon 4:44:12 (4:45 Pace Leader)

    2012 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay 28:20:47 (3rd place-Mixed Ultra)

    Check it out - I'm bloggin'!

  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jun 25, 2010 7:55 AM (in response to rbird)
    Re: Running and Losing Weight - What is wrong with me?

    The whole concept of the "starvation mode" is blown way out of proportion for the intents and purposes of the normal person on a weight reduction diet.  Although we'd all like to believe that we aren't losing weight because "I'm not eating enough" that just isn't true in the vast majority of cases.  Starvation mode doesn't set in unless calories are drastically restricted - significantly below your Basal Metabolic Rate for an extended period of time.  And that still doesn't mean you won't lose weight while in "starvation mode" but only that your body slightly lowers its BMR to conserve energy for vital functions. (And at the same time you would become listless and lethargic when your body directs its resources to those vital functions.  You would not be well enough to run).  Everyone knows that anorexics starve themselves well into "starvation mode" and yet continue to lose weight until they literally waste away.


    On the other hand I do agree with rbird that what you see in a single week (either loss or gain) is only part of a larger average.  You can create a deficit that should equal the loss of a pound of fat (about 3500 calories) every week and yet lose nothing one week, three pounds the next week, two pounds the week after that, gain a pound the next week, etc.  But over the course of several weeks your average loss will be about a pound a week, all other things being equal. (Water retention, hormonal fluctuations for women, muscle gain from strength training, etc.)


    I struggle with running and weight loss too.  Frankly it just isn't easy to run and restrict calories at the same time.  Yeah, it can be done, but it requires more discipline than I have right now!  It takes discipline to run every day.  It takes discipline to eat less than I need in order to achieve weight loss, each day.  For me, I just have a limited supply of discipline and I use it all on running!

  • rbird Legend 1,073 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I also firmly believe that there is a momentum to weightloss if you keep doing the right things for an extended period of time.  Results may be slow at first but then you will start to consistently see the pounds coming off at a more satisfying rate.

    2010 Space Coast Marathon 4:27:39

    2011 Charleston Marathon 4:25:58

    2011 Croom Fools Run 50k 6:16:51

    2011 Marine Corps Marathon 4:24:48

    2011 Jacksonville Bank Marathon 4:44:12 (4:45 Pace Leader)

    2012 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay 28:20:47 (3rd place-Mixed Ultra)

    Check it out - I'm bloggin'!

  • Curtis721 Legend 203 posts since
    Feb 23, 2010

    The weight loss thing is a mystery to me.  I'm eating healthy and reducing portion sizes, but nothing works.  I've been on a plateau for about a month.  I was increasing my mileage to see if that would tip the scale.  Instead of losing weight I ended up with hip and groin problems and had to take a couple of weeks off.  Even w/o running I stayed on the palateau.  Last night I did a very light run helping my wife with week 2 of C25K.  This morning I my weight dropped 1.5 lbs.  Go figure.   The only thing I can think is that I've been trying too hard.

    . . . as surely as spring follows winter, nothing ever ends; after achieving your objective, you must start again, always using everything you have learned on the way.  - Paulo Coelho, The Way of the Bow

    Started C25K Jan. 19, 2010 - Graduated April 14, 2010

    If I didn't have so far to go, the journey would end too soon.

  • CrochetAddict Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 11, 2010

    Have a read of this


    Many people just don't know that fat-loss ...the actual goal when on a  weight-reduction" diet, is rate-limited. In other words, the human body  has factors that prevent more than a certain amount of fatty-acid  release from storage...and even more factors that prevent those released  fatty acids from being used up instead of stored back into the fat  cells.
    A priority of the human body is survival. Anything that  threatens its survival results in the cascade of events to maintain the  previous status quo. Water fluctuations are one way the body does this. you done good on Atkins' during induction...lost 10 pounds the  first 2 weeks. Maybe 7 the first week and 3 the second. But, whoa!Weeks 3  and 4 there is NO loss! And weeks 5 and 6 is only 1/2 pound each!
    So...  what gives? Initially, the body jettisons the water attached to the  glycogen stores that we diligently deplete to get into ketosis...this  accounts for about 3-5 pounds of water. In addition, muscle stores of  glycogen are not being replaced when used...which will account for the  rest. All in all...MAYBE 1/2 pound of fat was metabolized during the  first week... and MAYBE 1/2 pound of fat was metabolized the 2nd week.  Of that 10 initial pounds, only 1 pound was fat and 9 pounds water...  The body senses this lack and sirens start shrieking: Warning! Warning!  Losing water... new to get back to the status quo! Brain  tells body to produce and release that vasopressin antidiuretic  hormone....more water is retained, and no weight loss noticed. Fat loss  is still occuring, MAYBE even 2 pounds per week, because ketosis is  firmly established and appetite supression is in effect...but water  retention is hiding that continuing fat loss. The body is preventing  dehydration with this mechanism, and that's a good thing.
    From the  perspective of the scale, it can be discouraging. Which is why the  mantra: Water retention masks fat loss (repeated frequently to oneself )  is helpful. Water retention will mask ongoing fat-loss for as long as  the body retains the water. We can combat this by drinking more  water...but we aren't going to totally overcome this mechanism during  the initial water-loss phase of the Atkins diet. By weeks 5 and 6,  things start to get back in balance, and the scale will begin to reflect  the true fat-loss...which, as mentioned before is rate-limited.  Individuals vary, but max weight loss runs about 2 pounds per  week...under extremely optimal conditions... or 1% of body weight  (whichever is the lower number).


    It is a copy and paste job which I have had on my laptop for ages, I can't remember where it is from!

    If you are keeping yourself well hydrated your weight just won't go down that fast, which is good, seriously

  • acthealthy Rookie 7 posts since
    May 8, 2010

    What is right with us? 


    I did a Vegetable Juice fast in February and lost 20 pounds.  I started walking four miles a day in March, and built that up to 5K jogging and started races in May.   I have actually gained weight when I started running.   Why did I lose weight on a juice fast when I wasnt exercising?  I was losing weight on the juice fast, but had little or no muscle conversion from the lack of exercise.  Your body is converting fat to muscle while you are running.   I can tell you I have lost two belt loops on my waste since I started running.  My wrists are thinner to where I am tightening my wrist watch.   I used to be able to grab a handful of fat off of each leg, and now, I can only pinch a small amount.  I know that my body has lost fat, but at my last weigh in, it shows that I gained 5 pounds.   I know that when I run, my body is converting the fat to heavier muscle, and mostly leg and mid torso muscle, because I can feel it.  Essentially, I am running every scheduled 5K race that I can right now.   I am scheduled for 3 half marathons coming up starting in October.   This week, I am doing both vegetable juice meal replacement, and running...a combination of both diet and exercise, and at this point,   Lets face facts....It is far better to know that you are gaining more health through running, rather than losing weight while running.  I firmly believe in the big AND healthy scenario.  Being emasculated and so thin that it looks like your body is feeding on its own organs is NOT the way to health.    I would bet that the real issue is muscle conversion.


    I am working on the vegetable fast combined with the running.   Essentially, you take one meal per day, and rather than eating, you drink one 46 ounce bottle of V8 juice to replace one of your meals.  Doing this, you get 8 servings of vegetables, and consume about 320 calories with a VERY full stomach.  This is my plan.

  • Beer and Cupcakes Legend 970 posts since
    Nov 19, 2009

    Try some HIIT  High Intensity workouts in your running,  intervals,  hard miles (time trials)  or just hard 3 milers etc.      You can look up HIIT  high intensity training on the web.    Reportedly you continue to burn at an incrased metabolic rate for 36 hours after a really intense workout.  I did this last year and lost 38 pounds in 6 months or so,  dropping from 210 to 172  (6'1 male 45 years old).   I ran 20-30 miles a week during most of that, but did alot of really hard runs that pushed my heartrate to max, literally (beyond actually, my max heartrate is higher than all the calculations state for my age).      Check this site out   and search on HIIT on goog.   Cheers,  Jim

    Virtual Racing Antagonist.  I run for beer and cupcakes.kenyan.jpg

    1 Mile PR 6:44

    5K PR 22:21 

    10K PR 48:30

    Half Marathon PR  1:48:43 

    Marathon PR - 4:09:10  

    i before e except after c, weird?

  • Johnny Webb Amateur 26 posts since
    Feb 3, 2009

    Jim's scenario sounds very similar to mine, although I'm a little older (61). I restarted my running this year in February at about 205 lbs. after my son challenged me to run a marathon in November. So far I've lost about 10-12 lbs. with a good, continued rate of weight lost. I expect to be between 180 and 185 my marathon time in mid-November. I think the key has been my mixing in some hard runs and intervals in addition to the long runs. In the past (7-10 years ago), I would top out running 10Ks with my heart rate going way beyond my "calculated maximum heart rate". I have found that the mixing of hard runs, tempo runs, long runs, and intervals have "trained" my heart to recover more quickly, and thus, my heart rate when I run is much lower and my recovery time is a lot quicker.


    For me, the best thing is 3-4 runs during the week mixing it up with hard runs, intervals, and tempo runs, and a long run on Saturday. I'm currently at 20-25 miles per week with 9-10 mile long runs and ramping up.


    I figure as I lose weight the easier and faster my running will be.


    I hoping that my first marathon will be under 5 hours, but my goal is to just finish.

    PR - 5K = 27:45

    PR - 4M = 38:50

    PR - 10K = 58:30

    PR - Half Marathon = 2:01:05

    PR - Marathon = 5:22:32

  • madsdad03 Rookie 2 posts since
    Jul 27, 2010

    I think there is too much emphesis on weight.  Water bintake alone can effect this.  Water weighs 8.34 lbs/gallon.  Think long term.

  • KilliansGal Amateur 40 posts since
    May 30, 2009

    If at all possible go and see a nutritionist, it will probably cost about 50 bucks and to me worth every penny.  I was having problems with weight gain and exercising.  I went to see my doctor and told him of my exercising habits and eating habits.  I felt as if I was NOT eating a great deal of food and with the exercising I should be losing at least something.  He referred me to a nutritionist.  I found out that my sodium intake was too high.  We focused on the sodium intake and then carbohydrates.  My first week I lost 6 pounds, I am sure water weight but 6 pounds is 6 pounds!   In the past I had been a member of Weight Watchers and that focuses on calories and fiber. I never once looked at sodium and carbs.  Now I do.


    Hope that helps. 

    Looking forward to my "Runners High"


  • Marta Rivas Rookie 1 posts since
    Nov 2, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Aug 19, 2010 10:07 AM (in response to Marykb)
    Re: Running and Losing Weight - What is wrong with me?

    I have been running since October of last year.  I was committed to improving my health first and foremost, I use to be a recreational runner and when I was in my twenties and thirtiest I seem to be at my ideal weight.  But now that I am 38 soon to be 39, I struggle with the same thing you describe with relative no change when I am running daily.


    I would suggest to determine what your goals are and if it is to loose weight focus on that.  I made that shift. I decided that I wanted to change my eating habits and in the last few months went from 175 to 165lbs.  I still love to run but have discovered that when I was training for the LA marathon, I was running daily but was so hungry and my physical well being and energy was awesome but I was not loosing weight; I was just maintaing.


    Now that I am not training for the marathon,  I am running 2-3 days a week, 3-5 miles but have reduce the amount of bad carbs that I felt I was entitled to when I was running and I seem to be heading back to my ideal weight of 145lbs for me at 5'5.


    Best to you.

  • ShonaP Pro 125 posts since
    Jul 6, 2010

    Another thing that you may want to consider is going to your doctor and getting a thoroough blood workup done.  I had been on the C25k program for about 5 weeks in addition to walking 2-3 miles a day, 3-5 days a week.  I'm married to a nurse and he's the cook.  And he makes sure we eat fairly healthy.  I'm guessing I was eating somewhere between 1500-1700 calories a day.  Within those 5 weeks, I had not lost one pound or one inch.  Talk about frustrating!  I went and talked to my doctor and he did a full blood workup on me.  Come to find out, I'm in the early stages of diabetes.  He told me it explained the weight gain I've had over the last 2 years and the difficulty to losing it.  So, now I'm on a diabetic diet and taking meds to help my insulin do its job.  In a year or 2, I'll be able to come off the meds if I do this right.  And I will!


    So, I'm not saying to go out right now and get a blood work up done.  But if you've tried everything else, you are exercising and eating healthy and you still aren't losing lbs/inches, you may want to go see your doctor and make sure everything is ok.

    Pain is temporary.  Quitting lasts forever ~~Lance Armstrong~~

    07/26/2010 - C25K Started

    10/01/2010 - C25K Graduated!

    W9D3 - Completed

    Completed Runs

    10/09/2010 - North Central Alabama Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure - 42:20

    My Blog

    My Couch to 5K

  • StanleighCO Pro 69 posts since
    Aug 25, 2010

    What is your "ideal weight" for your height? My dad was 6'4" and around 217. When you're close to your ideal weight it is harder to see those pounds "melt off". Don't be afraid of hitting plateaus.The further you are from your ideal weight the weight will drop off. As I said, you'll hit plateaus but work through them.Weigh once a week at the same time. Due to meds etc my weight went up like crazy. So when i started running (regularly) the weight is dropping and my per mile time is improving too.


    BTW, i personally dont believe this weight chart:


    Enjoy the exercise

    Stanley (stanleighco1 on Yahoo Messenger)

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