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Question:
I am a 20 year old female who is 155lbs. for the past three weeks i have been running for one hour three times a week and taking a one hour weight training class twice a week. I have kept my calorie intake at around 2000 per day. I also have been drinking plenty of water. I have not lost a pound. what am i doing wrong? Also i haven't lost an inch. I run at a high intencity and lift at a moderate weight. I would like to loose some weight and gain a more athletic body. I feel a change in my stamina, but do not see a change in my body. what should i do? is it possible for someone not to be able to loose weight? thank you
LT
Answer:
Dear Angela, Thank you for your interesting question. Your concern is a very common one for persons wanting to change their weight or general level of fitness. It is important to understand the physiology of what happens when one starts to restrict caloric intake and increase their energy requirements through increased exercise. First of all the body tries to hang on to the "status quo" ie. Metabolically your body will try and hold the current weight as a stable set point. Sometimes initially the basal metabolic rate drops in order to hold on to fat stores. In terms of basic animal physiology this makes sense, as when a mammal on "the savanah" has scarce food, metabolically the animal's physiology gears down to preserve fat stores for as long as possible, a sort of protective mechanism. A reflex involving many hormones through the pituatary, adrenal glands etc. Humans have similar intrinsic physiologic responses to stresses on our fat stores. The most sensible way to change one's body weight is very slowly, through a balanced and slightly reduced calorie diet. Slightly, because if too extreme the above protective mechanism will activate. It is far less stressful on the body to cut calories slightly. A calorie intake of 2000 per day is a bit extreme especially if your energy requirements have gone up. Note, however that this combination may be difficult to adopt as a long term pattern and you may experience cravings. A suggestion is to increase your calories to 2500 minimum ensuring that the diet is balanced, all food groups included and don't cut out your favourite foods, just limit them. Also in the beginning of calorie restriction and utilization of fat stores, each pound of fat is replaced by water, ie. The same weight. As a general guideline weight loss greater than 1 to 2 lbs per week or 8lbs per month is too extreme. A suggestion is that you not weigh yourself at all, and focus on what feels good, don't forget that in a balanced state, with enjoyable exercise and a balanced diet your body will find the weight that is natural and healthy for you. Hope this information is of some help to you. Kind regards
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