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year of gym - no weight loss

(43 Posts)
tatt Sun 14-Sep-08 12:58:35

Initially I couldn't exercise too intensely because my heart rate went through the roof. That has improved, so I guess I'm fitter, but no weight loss and very little change in my body fat. My metabolic rate is still that of someone 15 years older. I exercise 3 times a week for an hour mainly on a cross trainer or bike with some weights. Some weeks I manage a few short sessions or a walk other days.

My diet is a little odd because gluten exhausts me but I eat fairly healthily e.g bolied egg breakfast, salmon salad for lunch, meat and veg in the evening. I do eat cake or ice cream after the salad more often than I should but I rarely eat snacks or drink alcohol and I don't put dressing on the salad.

Anyone any suggestions? I've had a negative test for an underactive thyroid. Short of spending all day in the gym don't see what more I can do.

Rachie97 Sun 14-Sep-08 14:21:19

I spent a whole month eating only good stuff no chocolate or icecream or anything naughty. and I still put on weight!! it was because my portion sizes were wrong, my friend didn't lose weight because she wasn't eating enough, so we both joined weight watchers & lost weight.
have you thought of trying a weightloss club such as weightwatchers, slimmers world etc?

If it doesn't make a difference there maybe some other health issue that could be hindering your efforts. my other friend has polycistic ovaries & can't lose weight

tatt Sun 14-Sep-08 15:41:27

well I do have pcos but normally they reckon you can still lose weight with exercise. My gp isn't interested although I suppose I could try camping in the surgery until they are a bit more useful.

Have wondered if I should try eating more to see if that helps. Clubs don't appeal to me at all but would have transport issues anyway as there don't seem to be any locally.

DabblesInDabbles Sun 14-Sep-08 15:48:56

try low carbing, or GI, best for pcos.

mckenzie Sun 14-Sep-08 15:55:41

when in the day are you exercising Tatt?
Are you staying on the cross trainer for the whole hour?
Do you eat any carbohydrates at all?
What is you average heart rate now when you work out?

tatt Sun 14-Sep-08 20:30:54

time of day varies with when I can fit it in but is usually late morning. I am currently doing two sessions on the cross trainer, one on bike or rower and one on weights - the order and length varying depending on who else is there and what I can get on smile. Doesn't bother me doing the same things but I should be varying the weights more.

Heart rate is in the cardio rather than fat burning range most of the time but I can work a lot harder before it gets really high.

Yes I do eat carbs. Ihe problem with being gluten free is that they are often high GI value - like rice cakes with the boiled egg. Can't do very low carb, makes me too ill to exercise. Think I shall have to try and go low GI though.

mckenzie Mon 15-Sep-08 09:10:38

off out now Tatt but will reply this afternoon.

mckenzie Mon 15-Sep-08 09:46:07

DD playing so nicely I have decided to delay my trip out so here goes.

It would look to me as though you are not eaitng enough complex carbs for the amount of exercise you are doing so your body has gone into starvation mode for want of a better description. It will be hoarding anything that you give it that it thinks it can make energy out of because it will need to use it when you next ask it to do exercise. Also, please remember that you cannot burn fat in the absence of carbohydrate.

what do you eat after you exercise? Is it fairly soon afterwards? I'm hoping yes as exercise mid morning will be followed by lunch huh? But lunch for you is a salad so not much carbs there. What about bananas? Do you like them?
Have you been a dieter in the past? (trying to establish why your metabolic rate is as you describe it)

tatt Mon 15-Sep-08 20:37:31

yes I've tried lots of diets but my poor metabolic rate is possibly due to having undiagnosed problems with gluten - so that for years I was tired all the time and unable to do anything very much. Hence I started this year with very poor muscle tone. I had expected to have gained some muscle by now and hence had some improvement. But its not really happening - only a slight improvement.

I come back from the gym and make lunch. Salad but too often followed by ice cream or a Mrs Crimbles gluten free chocolate brownie - so carbs. If I try eating more carbohydrate I very rapidly put on a lot of weight.

Dinner includes carbohydrates because I do have new potatos or sweet potato or basmati rice - and a lot of vegetable. Sometimes I'll have gluten free pasta, although as that's pretty terrible not very often.

mckenzie Mon 15-Sep-08 20:52:35

so, I think you know what you need to do tatt but it's whether you have the will power. If you cut out the ice cream and the cakes and assuming your salad is low fat (ie not covered in coleslaw or mayo) and you dont smother the new potatoes in butter then you'll only be putting good stuff into your body.
Then increase your weight training and lower your CV work to build up the muscle tissue and increase the length of time that your body will continue to burn calories after you've stopped exercising. Eat a banana within 15 minutes of finishing your gym session.
And don't ever 'diet' again. It f''ks up your metabolism for ever!

Rachie97 Mon 15-Sep-08 21:54:50

mckenzie has made some good points, take your body measurements too,i.e bust, waist hips, so as well as monitoring your weight you can also see your improvements on tape measure, some weeks you may lose inches rather than pounds

nikkid21 Tue 16-Sep-08 08:48:39

What sort of intensity are you reaching on the cross trainer & bike? An hour plodding along on the xtrainer watching telly won't do much at all. Personally I would do interval training ie 2 mins a 70rpm followed by 1 min recovery at 50/55rpm. Repeat 10 times. You can do something similar on the bike.

You could also try some spinning classes. They are on exercise bikes and a low impact on your joints but great for fat burning. Body pump are good for toning too.

Just as an aside I have PCOS and have lost 2 1/2 stone in the last year by going to slimming world and doing the classes above. I hit target in May and have managed (so far) to keep the weight off. It's not so much a diet as a way of retrining your eating choices.

tatt Tue 16-Sep-08 09:07:46

don't know about rpm as I watch the heart rate/ calories. I aim to keep my heart rate in the cardio zone and rest when it gets to the top of the zone. No telly in our gym, just over loud music. No spinning classes or body pump available within at least 7 miles, only aerobics and Tai Chi. I'll look at rpm when I'm next there.

Why the banana after gym sessions? I don't mind bananas but they are a high GI food and high GI and pcos = weight gain.

mckenzie Tue 16-Sep-08 09:17:22

sorry Tatt, I dont know anything about pcos but I do know that ideally you need to replace some of your used up carbs within 15 mins of exercise. I picked banana as I figured it wasn't gluten.

tatt Tue 16-Sep-08 14:41:59

I tried a plum instead smile, then came home and did gluten free pasta. Women with pcos are usually insulin resistant so you have trouble controlling blood sugar levels. So the standard diet advice (eat lots of carbs) is a disaster. That's why I have to get carbs from low GI foods and why its such a problem that gluten free foods are often high GI. It's also why I shouldn't eat the cake - but ice-cream isn't as bad.

The plus side of pcos is that you usually respond well to exercise, only that doesn't seem to be happening.

Did some extra weights and stayed a bit longer so I didn't have to drop too much cardio.

mabanana Tue 16-Sep-08 14:46:17

Exercise is really rubbish for making you lose weight. YOu need to look harder at your diet. Cut out sugar, cakes, silly fats like ice cream, cut your portion sizes and use heavier weights, and don't plot on the treadmill but sprint and rest.

mabanana Tue 16-Sep-08 14:46:49

And get a trainer to show you how to use free weights - better at building muscle than machines.

mabanana Tue 16-Sep-08 14:47:50

You don't need to spend an hour on a treadmill either. Just 20-30 minutes sprinting and resting, then use weights.

mckenzie Tue 16-Sep-08 15:11:43

agree with everything mabanana has said (for what it's worth smile)

tatt Tue 16-Sep-08 22:30:41

mabanana do you know anything about pcos? I don't eat sugar, except when we have a load of cooking apples to eat. I know I have to get rid of the cake but ice cream is a low gi food and therefore stays. Exercise is essential for improving insulin resistance. I don't use a treadmill.

I use free weights sometimes but why are they better than machines?

mabanana Tue 16-Sep-08 22:38:17

This is a study showing that shorter periods of intermittent high intensity exercise is more effective for fat loss than plodding away for longer periods

Here's another bit - from Wiki
It's less boring too!
free weights are better as you need to control the weight more and so use more stabilising muscles than you do with a machine.

mabanana Tue 16-Sep-08 22:41:08

And those Mrs Crimbles things are the work of the devil! Have you seen teh calories in them? (I love the coconut things but they are BAD!) Low Gi food won't make you slim if it's also high in fat and sugar.

bran Tue 16-Sep-08 22:51:04

Have you asked your gp about taking Metformin? I have PCOS and was recently diagnosed with mild type-2 diabetes for which my gp prescribed Metformin and I have been losing weight reasonably easily ever since (about 2-3kg a month). My diet has been modified slightly because of the diabetes and I have also slightly increased my exercise level, it's not like you can eat whatever you want and slob around it's more that it makes a PCOS body respond to diet and exercise in the way that a non-PCOS body does.

Have a look at Verity, the discussion board has a Metformin section which is quite interesting, it is becoming quite common for it to be prescribed for PCOS. The current medical view of PCOS is moving away from consdering it a gynae condition and it is now more usually considered to be a metabolic disorder with PCO as a symptom rather than the cause.

tatt Tue 16-Sep-08 23:29:39

last time I asked my gp about metformin they said it was only consultants who could prescribe it and the local guy only prescribed for those ttc. Offered me Xenical but I didn't see the point as I wasn't eating much fat at the time.

Mabanana the brownies have 199 calories per slice - so I know they have to go. However diets are not the way forward, starvation is not going to help my metabolic rate. I've had a look at HHIT and think I'm fit enough now to try it.

Can't really afford the personal trainer but I have seen what he does with other people. That's why I started using the weights, copying the exercises he gave other people.

mabanana Tue 16-Sep-08 23:41:53

i bet those brownies taste good though! There are good studies on metformin plus exercise for people with PCOS. I'd go back and ask for a trial period on it. He certainly can't say you haven't worked hard by yourself, and it is much harder for people with PCOS.

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