CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Dear Cindy,
After 12 weeks of an intense workout plan, I'm ready to give up. I have increased my exercise and do twice as much as I used to. I used to exercise one to two days a week walking and doing yoga. I am also really active around my house and have a 4-year-old son who keeps me busy. I had hoped I could lose weight by walking four days a week (two-mile walk) and doing yoga two days a week. I weighed 165 when I started and now I weigh 165. I know you are going to ask about what I am eating. I eat fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, fish, steak and rarely a dessert, so I believe it is very healthy. Honestly, I am so frustrated with a lack of weight loss. I need help! -- Becky
Please don't give up yet. What you are doing is great but we need to delve a little further to identify why you haven't been successful. Your activity level is at least doubled, which is wonderful. Increasing time spent exercising is a great way to burn more calories so it is reasonable to expect to drop pounds.
But there are other very important factors that influence the amount of weight a person will lose -- namely the amount of calories you are eating each day.
You explain how you are consuming healthy foods with an emphasis on lean protein and fibrous fruits and vegetables. This is excellent and will help fuel your workouts and enable you to do more, as well as increase the intensity of your walking sessions. But weight loss is dependent primarily on caloric balance. In other words, your calories in must be less than your calories out.
What does it take?
You must expend 3,500 more calories than you consume to lose 1 pound.
Calories In (foods you eat and beverages you drink), minus Calories Out (Calories burned through exercise and basic metabolic needs), equals Weight Loss/Weight Gain.