Originally Posted by WarMaiden
Weight loss is about 80% what you eat, and 20% exercise. Or as they say, "fat loss begins in the kitchen." What are you eating? Exercise alone will not lose you 50 pounds.
Well said! I had exactly the same frustration when I began running regularly about a year ago. I noticed my fitness level had improved and I had a little more energy, but I didn't lose any weight. There was an interesting article in TIME magazine about why we don't lose weight with exercise. One of the reasons listed was that people often burn a limited number of calories in the gym (say 300 or so for example) but then go out and reward themselves afterward by having a 600 calorie muffin at starbucks.
When I started really watching what I ate, THAT was when I saw the pounds really start to come off. Exercise is still really important for a couple of reasons though. First off, of course it helps you burn extra calories (yay!). However, another nice thing about exercise is that increase your muscle mass will increase your basal metabolic rate, meaning that even by doing nothing you'll burn more calories. Also, by exercising and dieting at the same time, you'll lose a higher percentage of fat vs muscle.
One other thing to keep in mind though is that our body weights will vary naturally up to about 5 pounds throughout the day based on what we've eaten, our level of hydration, etc so it's difficult to notice trends right away. This is the reason that so many weight loss programs recommended weighing in less frequently so you don't get discourage by the day-to-day variations.
Also, remember that when you're working out you're building muscle which weighs more than fat. So, in the beginning you may be building muscle pretty quickly and also burning fat so you may be making great progress and just might not be seeing it as quickly as you'd like.
Good luck and don't give up!