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Obesity and Weight Management

DIFFICULTY WITH WEIGHT LOSS

06/21/2004

Question:

I`ve been exercising (35 mins cardio combined w/conditioning for a total workout of 1-1/2 hours) an average of 4 days a week for 2 months now. I need to lose at least 25 pounds. I eat 3 decent meals(small portions) take vitamins & eat very little "junk food". I average 1 cup of coffee and little to no carbonated beverages. Though I am noticing that my muscles are toning up, I have not noticed any weight loss or reduction in inches, especially around my torso/stomach area. I am 42 yrs old. I am frustrated with the lack of results and wonder if there could be a medical condition that would make my weight loss effort a challenge.

Answer:

It sounds like you have a good physical activity routine in place. In order for a weight loss to occur, you need to burn more calories through physical activity than you are taking in. A good starting point would be to determine what your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is. Your RMR is an indication of the number of kilocalories your body needs when you are resting. This is a simple test that will help you to determine what your individual needs are, so that physical activity and calorie levels can be adjusted accordingly. Remember, metabolism slows when we age, so your calorie needs are probably not as high as they once were. Check with your health care provider to find a location close if you are interested in having this test done.

I would also recommend keeping a daily journal of your food intake and activity levels in order to evaluate your intake versus output. You may find that you need to adjust your calorie levels.

Finally it is important to remember that you do not have to be thin to be fit. If your health parameters (i.e. cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.) are good, you are physically active and are practicing healthy eating habits, maybe you do not necessarily need to lose weight.

Related Resources:

Know Your Number (RMR) to Lose Weight

For more information:

Go to the Obesity and Weight Management health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jaime  Ackerman Foster, MPH, RD, LD Jaime Ackerman Foster, MPH, RD, LD
Extension Nutrition Associate
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University