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Old 09-12-2014, 05:17 PM   #1
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Default Weight training but not losing fat pls help!

Hi everyone! I am new here, and hoping to get some advice!
Quick background: I am 5 foot 10, roughly 165 pounds, 25 years old and eat on average 1500 cals per day...

I started going to the gym about 4 months ago. One month in, I added in weights (leg press, squats and lunges with dumbells etc). Once I had been doing this for a month I measured (I only go by measurements) and I had gained 3cm in my thighs!!! A friend told me I must stick at it and I will lose fat with time.

It has now been 3 months of including weight training, and I am up a total of 6cm in my thighs! And, I have not lost anything in my stomach! My stomach and thighs are my troubled areas that just won't go.

How can it be that I am not losing fat now? I basically went from a normal healthy diet and no exercise, to exercising well for 4 months and no loss..

I go to the gym 3-4x per week, for 45mins to 1 hour.

Can anyone pls give me some advice, or maybe you have had something similar happen to you? I will do anything to lose the fat once and for all!!!

Thanks in advance Hannah
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:40 PM   #2
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Since you don't use the scale, you may be losing weight in other places. Like breasts, or buttocks, or back, etc. That is certainly one explanation. I still have a pot belly that I'm working on, while other parts of my body look almost gaunt. It's inconvenient, but true: we don't get to pick and choose where the weight comes off or in what order it comes off, either.

As for your thighs getting larger I supposed you could be putting on muscle mass.

If you are sure you really are averaging a caloric level in a deficit, I'd say just keep doing what you're doing and the body fat in your "problem areas" will eventually be impacted.

Last edited by Mrs Snark; 09-12-2014 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I do have other body measurements also. I know my measurements from my arms, bust, waist, and 3 parts of my legs. However, I haven't measured them as they aren't my troubled areas! So it may my worth me measuring there soon too!

Has anyone else had a similar problem?
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:45 AM   #4
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Weight training does not burn (much) fat. Its most significant role is to maintain and/or build muscle which you appear to be doing.

To burn fat (and a little muscle) you need to eat less and/or do cardio.

To build muscle you need to eat protein and weight train.

I used to think fat could be converted to muscle through exercise. It doesn't work like that.

You need to adjust your exercise and diet based on your goals.

I am trying to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. It is not easy as I often see gains in one area one day and losses in the other the next. But my diet and exercise regime looks like this:

A 4 mile run.

Oats (complex carbs) and fish (protein) for breakfast

Weight training

Lots of fish (protein) and salad for lunch.

If I just wanted to just lose fat I would cut calories and do tons of cardio.

I'd burn a lot of muscle doing that as well though, which for a guy would look bad.

If I wanted to just build muscle, I would eat a lot of red meat and weight train.

But I'd put some fat on with that approach as well.

So I am trying to build lean muscle. Not easy.

Proper bodybuilders often do "bulk" and "cutting" phases. On a bulk phase, they eat a lot of calories and protein, weight train and limit their cardio. They build muscle and fat.

On the cut phase, they restrict calories, and do more cardio. This burns their fat but they also lose some muscle as well which is why many continue to weight train during the cut phase and to eat lean protein to maintain as much muscle as they can.

Sounds like you need to go on a cut.
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Last edited by IanG; 09-13-2014 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:12 AM   #5
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I was thinking about this some more last night (insomnia for the win) and if you are putting on that sort of muscle mass in your legs, you may not be in the calorie deficit you think you are in. Building significant muscle while in a calorie deficit is pretty darn hard and comes with a tricky set of circumstances, google "building muscle in a calorie deficit" for an overview. I think at your current weight and height you are probably not doing that.

So the answer may be that you need to take a closer look at your calorie tracking as see if your daily average hasn't slipped up a little higher than you are thinking it has. Depending on your build, you probably aren't far off from your goal weight, and that often means you have to be stricter to see results!

Good luck to you and congratulations on being a gym rat, too! That habit will serve you well!
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:49 PM   #6
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It sounds like you're building muscle in your thighs and not burning much fat. As the people above said, that could be because you're not in the calorie deficit you thought you were in. Examine your calorie intake more closely, and recalculate how many calories you should be consuming. Also, are you doing any cardio? That's what burns fat.

Do some cardio right after a strength training routine. When you're doing muscular exercise, that releases fat cells into the blood. That's when cardio for fat burning is most effective. If you do muscular exercise then just stop, the fat cells will go right back to where they were. So try power walking or jogging on a treadmill for only 10-20 minutes right after strength training. HIIT cardio is very effective at burning fat, so I suggest researching that and incorporating it.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies!
I will take on the advice. I am now counting calories much more carefully. And, while I am trying to burn fat I am only going to do cardio, and in a month or so I will bring in strength training again but not very much!!!
Still very interesting that I was able to gain so much leg muscle though, because I'm 99% sure I wasn't consuming enough calories to do so!
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:32 AM   #8
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It sure does seem weird! I look forward to hearing about your success, so keep posting and don't leave us hanging!
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
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I highly recommend HIIT for fat loss. Here's a website that has some info on studies conducted, but you can Google it and find more info:

http://www.muscleforlife.com/high-in...d-weight-loss/
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:46 AM   #10
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Leg muscles develop quickly. Other muscles less so.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:44 PM   #11
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The others have given you really good advice, OP. Weight training preserves (or minimises loss of) muscle mass that you already have in a calorie deficit diet. Your aim is to remove the fat so that muscle underneath can be seen (but of course, not all the fat or you'd be dead!).

To burn fat, you need to do cardio (aerobic exercises). But doing only cardio without resistance exercise may cause you to lose muscle mass if you're losing weight as well so I'd say do both.

WRT leg muscles, I've always thought it was easy for me to build muscle and thought that was why my legs were "big". However, I found that this was not true. I've been doing a lot of strength work for my legs but I've not gained inches at all and in fact, my problem area - my "thighs" have visibly reduced in size (fat loss cause they were my "fatty" areas, lol). So I guess from my experience, it's actually not easy to build muscles and I'm not even at a calorie deficit, I'm maintaining.
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