Weight Loss Help

I often get emails asking for weight loss advice. I always respond and try to be as helpful as possible, but candidly it is difficult to give the best possible advice without a client health/fitness history and nutrition/fitness assessment.

Today I am going to share the persons question and my response, as I am sure many of my readers have similar questions.

Email to Karen


I was reading through the forum on health boards and came across your post on proper diet and exercise.
Now I am trying to do a similar thing and was wondering if you could give me some advice or tips because I don’t seem to be getting the desired results.
For breakfast I am eating 1 bowl of porridge then I go to the gym. My routine is every day 1 hour of cardio. then 30 min of weight training alternating exercise groups ever day. Once done with my workout I’ll have a protein drink. For lunch I normally have a wrap (whole wheat) with a couple slices turkey meat and a humus spread. In between lunch and dinner I will have an apple and a banana. Then dinner is always a mix up chicken/fish/lean beef with steamed veggies. Now I’ve been doing this for about a month and am noticing that i am starting to gain muscle mass but my ultimate goal is to lose weight. I am sitting around the 220 mark and am trying to get down to around 180. Any advice? Ideas or things I’m doing blatantly wrong? Thanks

Karen’s Response

It’s really difficult to give advice without a complete picture, so I will throw out some ideas. Usually when I give out information I have a complete health history and a pre-assessment, so I would know if you had any previous injuries, how long weight has been an issue for you, what your age, height, weight, body fat, BMI, etc… are and more.

Good job on hitting the gym regularly and doing your best to eat right! You are on the road to your goals. It is great that you have put on some mass as this will increase your basil (resting) metabolic rate, so it will be easier to keep the weight off moving forward. Not sure what type of weight training you are doing, but if you are going heavy for 5 to 8 reps, you may want to go a little lighter and do 8 to 12 reps. Not to light though. You still want it to be hard to lift the weight during the last couple of repetitions.

Again, not sure what your cardio routine consists of. Here are some ideas:
1. Don’t do the same routine everyday. Your body will adjust to it.
2. You could create a shorter workout that includes cardio and weights. You could have 5 to 10 exercises you rotate through for a number of sets or rounds. This way you could jump rope, run stairs, etc…
3. Make sure you are interval training. You don’t want to go at one pace the entire workout.

Nutrition – without knowing serving sizes I would guess you may not be getting enough calories. This may sound crazy, but your body will hold on to weight when you don’t eat enough. Initially you may see some weight gain on the scale, but over the long run you will get the results you seek. I also did not see healthy fats in your day. Like avocado, almond butter, olive oil, etc… In the morning you may want to start with a bigger breakfast. Have your cereal with some fruit and a table spoon of almond butter.

I have my one on one clients keep an online food diary and measure their food at first, so I know exactly what is going on. You had emailed what you were eating, but its not enough information for me to be 100% sure you need more calories or healthy fat in your diet. You may want to go to http://www.fitday.com and start a food diary to get a clearer picture of what you are doing.

Lastly, I would suggest getting a metabolism test done. The last time I had one done it ran around $97.00. I workout at 24 hour, but I am sure many other gyms carry the body gem or something similar. Basically, you breath into a machine for 15 minutes or so. The machine gives a read out for your basil metabolism. This will tell you exactly how many calories your body burns at rest. Some gyms will also give you recommendations for fitness and nutrition, based on the read out and your goals. Sometimes this is an extra fee though.


PS Depending on where you workout, you may want to hire a trainer. Just make sure the trainer has a degree in some type of exercise science and a respected personal trainer certification. The degree is important.

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