Hard to Lose Weight


I am a 5'1" tall and 125 pound female. I don't know my body fat percentage. My goal is to lose 10 pounds.

I go to the gym four-five times a week averaging about seven-nine hours at the gym.

I usually go for at least an hour and a half to two hours at the gym each time but I try to aim for two hours instead.

I do a lot of cardio mostly but I'm trying to get back into my pump class which is an hour of weight training using all the major muscle groups in the body.

I snack a lot but usually they are healthier snacks like hundred calorie bag, low fat food or low calorie food.

Why with all this I can't lose any weight?

I also go on the scale everyday pretty much.

Should I go by the number on the scale to determined if I'm overweight or not?

I also drink a lot of diet Pepsi, is that bad?

Is drinking diet Pepsi holding me back as well?

It is diet so there is no calories but I tried getting rid of my soda-pop consumption before and it gave me bad headaches.

I also try to drink 3 liters of water a day.

Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken

Scale Weight = NOT a Good Way to Measure Results of Fitness Program

body fat measurement accumeasure

Knowing your body composition is important and too easy to disregard. The excess body fat is sub-cutaneous (under the skin) and can be measured with a simple Accu-Measure skinfold caliper for estimating your body fat is a good idea to purchase.

Knowing your body fat percentage is important because it will tell you if you have lost fat, gained muscle, or both. It is possible improve your body composition while your scale weight remains the same.

Snacks & Caffeine

The problem with even 100 calorie snacks is they are usually not balanced and many are made up of sugar. Many low fat/calorie foods which you think are helping your cause may be hindering your weight loss.

Eating a snack or meal without the correct ratio of carbohydrates, protein and even fat will cause your blood sugar to rise rapidly and then crash (green oscillating) line on the following graph.

Blood Sugar Responses

Caffeine in your diet Pepsi will have the opposite effect, causing your blood sugar to drop and create a larger spike the next time you eat.

Unstable blood sugar levels may be why you are not able to lose weight.

To cut your caffeine you should switch to caffeine free diet soda and most likely take an over the counter painkiller for your headaches which will subside in 3-7 days.

It is best to avoid all carbonated beverages so try to stick to water. Eat a balanced diet with healthy fats, lean protein and preferably low glycemic complex carbohydrates (whole grains w/ fiber & green leafy vegetables).

Workout Intensity


Your exercise routine should be periodically changed to make it hard for your body to adapt and plateau. Don't be afraid to increase your weights while you are in weight training. Heavier weights will NOT make you get bulky and may be the reason why you can't lose weight!

2 hours in the gym likely means you are not working out with high enough intensity. Higher intensity workouts have more effect on body composition so if you workout for 1 hour at a higher intensity (higher heart rate in cardio, heavier weights in resistance training) you will help raise your metabolism.

Most people who increase their workout intensity have more energy on their off days, a higher metabolism burning fat around the clock and obviously more free time due to spending time in the gym working out smart.

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