Hi Kelly, Long story short, I am trying to lose about 10-15 pounds. I am 29 years old, 5ft 7in, and about 135. I have been at and maintained at 120-125 in the past and am just looking to get back into my clothes comfortably and feel good about myself again! I am currently eating about 1500-1700 calories per day and working out about 4-5 days a week, at least 45 min of cardio, either a kickboxing class, or treadmill runs, and I try to do one strength training day per week (this is my weak area). I have been doing this schedule for about a month with literally no weight loss. I am, in fact, upset to say that the scale today said 4 pounds heavier than last week. I spoke to a trainer today who implied that somehow I am eating more than I am burning, but I’m not sure how that is really possible, as I am being really prudent and trying really hard to stay in my range, and most calorie counters I have seen say this is a good range for losing about 1/2 pound a week for my stats. The only thing that is not healthy in my life is the fact that I have a really crap job that requires me to get up super early (315 am) and I generally live on about 5 hours of sleep a night. I do take daily naps of about 1-2 hours during breaks in my schedule, but I cant really get to bed any earlier because of a volunteer job I have in the evenings. Is the lack of sleep really causing me to not only not lose weight but GAIN it, despite my serious efforts to lose weight? I am desperate and really need help. I appreciate anything you can tell me to point me in the right direction.
There can be about a million things going on, but the ones that really stick out to me are these:
4 pounds is kind of negligible - I know it doesnt sound like it but your weight fluctuates about 5 pounds a day, so you might have had too much salt, may be on or near your period, drank a ton of water or just havent digested your food yet. I find it hard to believe that if you are eating what you say you are, and working out as much as you are, that that is fat gain. highly doubtful, so relax about that. itll probably disappear soon.
You’ve only been working out with this program (i say that meaning the specifics you stated above, not an actual program) for a month. I dont know if you were working out before, but if not, or if onloy a little bit, its going to take a while for your body to catch up. I know a month seems like a long time, but when you start something new with your body sometimes it reacts in weird ways. I would give it a few more weeks of consistently doing what you have been doing, and i wouldnt be surprised if you see some results.
You’re getting older. I know, no body kill me, 29 is NOT old, but you are getting oldER and your body changes. It can’t maintain the weight it used to as easily, your metabolism starts to slow, so you have to make sure you are being realistic. The good news is, you can speed up your metabolism by…
Add more strength training. You said yourself you know you aren’t doing enough, and strength training is essential to making sure your metabolism is running at its highest. Muscle burns more calories at rest, so the more you have of it on your body, the more calories you are going to scorch. try and fit in about 3 days a of strength training, with weights, a week.
Lack of sleep will slow down your metabolism, so you should really try and get as much as you can. Im really no one to talk, I get about 5 hours a night because my schedule is a lot like yours, but it really is important. Your body grows stronger while you rest, so to get the most from your workouts, you need your rest. People also say that lack of sleep produces cortisol, which causes you to gain weight around your middle, so if thats what you are referring to, it just means that you are more likely to gain weight- you still have to consume more calories than you are burning to gain weight.
Add more weights, and give it a little time, and Im sure you’ll start seeing results.