I don't seem to be losing any weight...

Hi all,

In an effort to slim down, from 75 kg (about 165 pounds) I have been swimming almost every day (3 to 4 times per week, 3 hours each time) and eating less. But even after 3 weeks I don’t seem to be losing any weight.

Am I too hasty? Or shall I get a new scale?

Throw out your scale and get a tape measure. If you’re losing inches, then you’re on the right track, no matter what’s happening to your weight.

On the other hand, the most you could safely expect to lose after three weeks would be about 3-6 pounds, which may well be within the margin of error of your scale.

For the next week, keep a journal of all the food you’re eating. See if you can’t get a rough idea of the caloric content, and record that too. You may be eating more than you think, or you may not be eating enough.

What’s your age, gender, and height?

Muscle is heavier than fat. With all that excercise, you’re probably losing fat while acquiring muscle, resulting in no net loss in weight.

I’ll second (or third) the pay no attention to the scale, but get a tape measure vote! That’s some pretty intense working out you’re doing! Also, if you’re losing inches, you should be able to tell within three more weeks by the way your clothes fit! If you’re having to tighten your belt, previously too-snug pants fit just right, etc. then you are slimming down, even though you’re not losing pounds.

I also have to watch it. I get flabby easily now that I’m no longer 18. My weight has stabilized, but I find in the winter, when I am more sedentary, my pants get tighter because I’m losing muscle in my legs (from less walking) and gaining fat that I don’t work off, even though my weight stays the same.

Now that the weather is getting nicer, I’m walking everywhere, perhaps 5-10 miles per day. My pants are getting looser, legs getting more muscular, yet my weight hasn’t dropped.

Everybody is right (above).

I can offer that when I exercise intensely I tend to eat more – if not actually overeat. It is hard to believe that the exercise schedule you have laid out has not resulted in a firmer, less fat body – but if this does turn out to have happened one possibility is that your caloric intake has soared and overcompensated for the heavy exercise.

Let see…

Age: 21
Gender: Male
Height: 165 m (sorry, have no idea how to convert it to feet)

Wow! How’s the weather up there, anyway?

Also, try googling for body/mass index - mine is 20, with which I am most happy. I think it’s a measure of weight/height and factoring age and sex.

I stay near the equatorial, so it’s virtually spring/summer everyday…

Just to give you a sense of perspective, way back when I first started working out and eating better on a regular basis (at the gym doing stairs or treadmill 5 times a week), it took me a full eight weeks before the scale moved. At that point, the weight just started falling off. I think this is especially true if this is a reletively radical lifestyle change for you – you’re actually probably losing a lot of fat, and gaining lean mass at the same rate weight-wise. Give it a few more weeks. Also keep in mind that this muscle mass you’re gaining increases your metabolism as well, so you’ll eventually get to a point where you’re burning fat faster than you can replace it with muscle, not just from exercise, but from sitting around too. (I don’t have actual numbers but vaguely remember a personal trainer quoting me that every extra 5 pounds of muscles burns something like another 200 calories a day just to maintain itself.)

I have a hard time believing that you’re not doing massive amounts of good to your lean muscle mass, since swimming is one of the best toning exercises there is – not just an aerobic exercise, but gives you built in resistence training against the drag of the water. It also tends to reshape your body to a more streamlined shape.

You mean 165 cm, yes? :wink:

With 2.54 cm per inch, you’re about 5’4", so you’re right to be trying to lose fat. Odds are that when you’re lean, you’ll be about 130-140 pounds (that’s about 59-64 kg), but don’t use the weight as your goal. Ideally you’d want to go by your body fat %, but since that’s kinda hard to measure, you’ll have to use the tape measure.

Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced diet (fruits and vegetables are really good for you). Maybe throw in a little weightlifting to keep as much muscle as you can–muscle is a very metabolically active tissue, so the more you have, the higher your metabolism will be.

And do keep an eye on your caloric intake. You need to be getting enough calories that your body doesn’t think you’re starving, or you won’t lose fat.