Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
31 May

How Long Do I Have to Exercise Before I See Changes?

Short answer: probably a lot longer than you want.

Long answer: I tend to cover a lot of nutrition, food marketing and diet issues, but fitness is also a crucial factor in overall health, so I’m eager to discuss exercise issues in greater detail. Truth is I spend a fair amount of time coaching, speaking and writing in the fitness world, particularly triathlon but weight loss to some extent.

Exercise is a vital component of not just weight loss and weight management, but stress relief, energy, sleep, aging, disease prevention, bone health, and on and on it goes…but it’s easy (and maybe more fun) to exclusively focus on the nutrition and diet issues and forget that we have to move our lazy buns once in a while. Leaving exercise out of the wellness equation is far more destructive to your health than any number of diet “sins” you might commit. Notwithstanding the fact that I believe our standard American diet is largely responsible for most of our health problems and most common causes of death, the importance of exercise cannot be overstated.

We don’t exercise for many reasons.

Eating is not a habit, but a necessity. After all, no one really forgets to eat for very long. And it’s usually rather enjoyable to change food selections and to modify our diets for the better, for we get immediate psychological rewards: control, accomplishment, tangibility. Exercise is also a necessity, but as it’s no longer integral to our daily lives – few people plow an acre of sod nowadays – it feels like a chore. No one likes a chore, and establishing a chore as an ingrained habit is tough. Life’s rewards require elbow grease, and that will never change. If exercise were easy or yielded quick results, I suppose everyone would be doing it. Exercise is certainly worth the effort, and not in spite of the challenge, but because it is a challenge. The long-term health rewards of exercise – outside of the brief blast of endorphins following your workout – are not always initially apparent and certainly not immediate.

If we don’t view exercise as an unpleasant chore, we view it as a means to an end: getting a leaner or sexier body. Those fitness infomercials feature guys with six-packs and Christie Brinkley for a reason – we all want to look like that. But the reality is that even the fittest folks are not necessarily going to end up looking “like that”. You can only maximize what you’ve got. I believe that we have to stop thinking of exercise as a vanity tool and remember that it’s simply a basic necessity of life. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited about using exercise to lose weight if you hope to shed some extra pounds. But we fall off the proverbial treadmill over and over again because we’re getting on it for the wrong reasons in the first place – exercise is about far more than weight loss.

So, how long before you see results?

You really can’t fight your genes. I witnessed one young woman I coach become sleek and toned after seemingly two sessions with weights and a few rounds of yoga – it’s easier when you’re young, of course. Another guy I work with exercises day in, day out, and has for two years now; although he’s fit and lean, he will never look like Bruce Lee no matter how hard he tries. (It’s worth noting that if you start your children on exercise – such as a sport – from an early age, they’ll develop muscles that will stay with them for a lifetime, even if they gain a little weight down the road as we all tend to do.)

There is some justice: the longer you exercise, the easier it will be to make changes to your shape. That said, results are different for everyone. It’s a complex equation of existing muscles, your natural build, metabolism, fat distribution and many other factors. You actually do get an immediate health boost from exercise, but let’s be honest: how many are really after that? Most of us give up on exercise after a few weeks or even a few days because we don’t see the desired physical results. People like the aforementioned young lady are rare; most of us have to put in months before seeing any real improvement.

The point is, if you’re asking that question – how long before I see results – the answer is almost always: much longer than you want. Hang in there; change will happen. We all want to look good, and many of us want or need to lose weight. Those are healthy and admirable goals. But while exercise can and does help with these goals, at the end of the day, we’ve got to realign our thinking and remember that exercise, more than anything, is just a necessity for health, and despite what the marketers would have us feel, that is reason enough.

Please share your thoughts on exercise, your challenges, and your successes, with me in the forum. I’d love to hear your perspective.

Technorati Tags: , ,

More Sisson Said What? posts

Most popular posts

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Hello.. It feels wonderful after reading your post. Honestly, I am extremely depressed about my weight gain right after my wedding. I don’t know why I gained so much within a few months. My brother keeps making fun of me and I am extremely depressed about it. My husband keeps touching my fats and told me to lose it for the sake of my health.

    So, I was determined to lose them. However, i still hear negative comments from people and it hurts.

    I am currently participating in some aerobics class. I am telling myself to do it at least twice a week. Also, I am doing yoga.

    Do you think this is enough to lose weight efficiently? I am eating but i reduce the amount that i take in.

    Do you think this will help?

    Weezerie wrote on June 22nd, 2008
    • Twice a week is a great start! Try to go with a friend or someone that will make it fun! Don’t think of it as a chore, think of it as a game. And if aerobics doesn’t do it for you, find something else — but keep moving! Twice a week is a great start.

      My girlfriend and I started exercising recently too. We started by walking 2 miles a day, 3 days a week. But it turned out that we were having so much fun with it, that we upped it to 4 days a week and are now contemplating adding weekends too! We’re just using the treadmills at our local fitness center, but the point is, find something you enjoy and it won’t seem like such a chore.

      Stick with it. You’ll start feeling better before you start looking better, but you’re on the right path.

      Ennui wrote on June 13th, 2009
      • Maybe you are pregnant

        smartass wrote on February 6th, 2010
        • your nickname says it all: smartass

          Nav wrote on March 22nd, 2012
      • 1.
        At the gym on the cardio machines select interval traning, it burns more body fat because it works you harder. Stay on each machine for 10-20minutes. Sweat means its working. Do cardio for at least half an hour
        If you want to tone up do lots of repititions on light weights. Sets of 10-20
        If you want to bulk up an area of your body to balance it out do less repititions on a heavier weight. sets of 5-10
        Crisps with melba toast or pretzels
        Sweets with fruit
        Drink at least 2 litres of water a day
        Eat between 1200-1600 cals a day depending on your bmr and bmi.
        Say bye bye to pasta,saturated fats, crisps,red meat, sugary snack and only have them once or twice a week as a treat

        I know its really tough but its working for me. You just gotta have the will power. Good luck, i hope this helps you

        bekka wrote on March 22nd, 2011
        • Have you even read The Primal Blueprint?

          Say bye bye to red meat?!?! I live off steak!

          And light weights with high repetitions? Other way round heavy weights, low reps :)


          Gavin wrote on September 15th, 2011
        • Bekka, stop giving sh*(&y and false advice.

          Alvaro wrote on April 30th, 2013
    • listen folks, you have to keep exercising and watching what you eat in order to lose weight. it will not happen overnight. you may start to see body changes in 3 months on the average. however you may not be where you really want to be in up to 6 months. (and that’s really sticking to your exercising and food intake). you have to be patient. then when you do see the results you will be glad you stuck it out. believe me….i did!!!! either way, while you are exercising along, you will feel better about yourself, i promise. remember, and i know you’ve heard this before. all of our bodies are different.

      jill wrote on January 31st, 2010
      • hi, i am so glad to see you post…i have been working out at the gym for almost two yrs now …i do spin classes and elliptical and now i try and do machine weights for my arm..but ive notice that in the past three months i try and do 5 days instead of 3 days at gym and 2 hrs instead on one hour. i have not notice any change. instead i feel like if i have gained weight. it makes me depressed and i want to give up but tell my self to keep going. i sometimes cheat in my eating but once in a while not always..what can i be doing wrong.

        raquel wrote on October 6th, 2010
        • hcg diet (pounds and inches)

          pieter wrote on March 19th, 2011
        • Man Raquel, Its soo good to see someone else post something similar to what I’ve been experiencing lately.
          I’ll be 27 this year (but I age relitivaly slow so I look 21 at most) starting last year I began to notice the more I exercise the more weight my body puts on. Say I get around to losing 3-6 lbs and because of life just being busy I take a break from my dieting and exercising. I double the weight I’ll taken off and gain around 10-12lbs back. :( I’m starting to wonder. Just 6 weeks ago I starting working out yet again and lost 3 lbs. I got sick and wasn’t able to work out for about 2 1/2 weeks I’ve already put almost 6 lbs on as a result. I just feel you on this one! Depressing! If anyone out there can help with this one I’m more than glad for it!

          SukuraFabuki wrote on August 1st, 2011
    • Do exercises that you enjoy and gradually the weight will come off revealing a slimmer more toned you! Seriously you have to encorporate the whole thing- diet and exercise into your life, it will happen but not over night. To lose weight you should be aiming to do about 20 minutes of cardio at least 3 times a week, do some weights to tone up (muscles burn calories even at rest) and eat protein (chicken, fish) with lots of veg,snack on friut and nuts, avoid evening meal carbs. Persevere and you’ll get there.

      Rogers wrote on June 24th, 2010
    • Many of these people are saying to focus on exercises that will build muscle and get you active, which are good things. But for fat loss specifically, you’ll need to do HIIT slow cardio such as walking or even long distance running will work out your leg muscles more than they will your heart, which is helpful, but not nearly as effective in burning fat. This exercise is nice because you only have to do it one or two times a week since your body will need that much for recovery time. Even after a short 15-30 minute workout, you’ll be burning fat continuously for the next couple of days. It is intense, but if you truly want to see big changes as fast as possible, stick with it.

      Michael wrote on March 22nd, 2011
      • Michael, I read your comment and wonder if it might work for me! I have always been thin (thank you genetics!) and tone until about 6 months ago, even being in my late 30’s and after having 4 children! Not sure if the change is due to age or stress but I need (want) to lose about 15-20 lbs. My height is 5’7″ and my weight has always been around 120-125 lbs. I want to get back to that! I’m currently at 140 lbs! Ugh! All the fat I’m carring is around my thighs, butt, and hips.

        Three days ago, I started getting on the treadmill twice a day. I am doing “aerobic walking.” I spend 2 minutes warming up at 2.0mph at 3.5 incline. Then 20 minutes at 3.0mph at 3.5 incline, followed by a 1 minute cooldown at 1.5mph at 3.5 incline. After the treadmill, I do situps, pushups, pullups, and stretches. I try to space my workouts approximately every 12 hours to keep them consistent. I’ve also cut my calories down to about 1500/day and am voraciously watching fat intake, carbs, and sugars.

        I know it is not realistic to expect to see any changes (or weight loss?) after 3 days, but I am wondering how long it will take before I even lose 5 lbs????? I’ve always been one to lose weight very very easily. Its frustrating that now when I WANT to lose it, it isn’t happening fast enough!

        TJ wrote on May 8th, 2011
    • Hello,

      I am not an expert in weight loss, but 2 times a week is not enough if you want to lose fats and be toned. I believe it depends on your body types. You should do cardio at least 3 times a week such as jogging, powerwalk,dancing and resistance training. Resistance pilates will help shaping your body and makes your body stronger. I use the wedding workout and brazil butt lift and I am seeing different in my body after only 1 week. I work out 5 times a week and walk from my work 5-6 times a week. all together about 45-60 mins of work out 5 times a week should suffice. Also try to refrain from eating sugar add lots of fruits and vegs in your diet, put fresh lemon in your water and drink all day and start your day with warm water and lemon. I trust that you will not only lose weight but you will be so tone and full of energy.


      Taryn wrote on August 6th, 2011
      • I would like to add this point. Lots of fruits can slow down your progress towards weight loss. If its more veggies and less of fruits that would be better. Because fruits also do contain natural sugars.

        Neeraj Arora wrote on October 4th, 2011
    • I am with you! I went from a size 4 to a size ten in the first two years of marriage — we eat more when we’re with someone we like, not trying as hard to impress, feeling really comfy and secure in our relationship — and I was baking a lot and cooking lots of “man foods,” not to mention easy fast food lunches we’d grab together throughout the week. But, my husband signed us up for the gym last month, and we’ve been going together five mornings a week. Right away, I loved the feeling of having a sweat session!!! I also noticed this week, cardio is getting a lot easier, and I definitely recommend the interval training for cardio. It becomes a breeze. We also got a bunch of frozen chicken to make grilled chicken dinners — and basically cut out the fast food and sugary drinks and sodas. I am starting to see a slight result, AND I have an app on my phone that is an exercise log, so I get to see all my workouts I’ve accomplished!

      Kim wrote on August 18th, 2011
    • Keep up the good work! When I see someone working out, no matter what their size, I am proud of them for getting out and doing something about it.

      You husband married you for who you are not how you look. He is compounding a problem that you already feel stressed about. The more you do the more result you will see. This is coming from a lazy bones who has taken on a full on exercise regime and I am still not seeing results on the scale (apparently, muscle is heavier than fat). What I do feel is sore muscles, I feel a bit toned, and I feel like I am getting more oxygen. It is good for you. What I like to do is ride my bike instead of take the car. I also have been doing the Couch to 5K program, and varying up my exercise.

      Also find something you can do together (running, walking, dancing (yes, real guys do dance) or even if it’s just going to the park to kick around a ball or throw a frisby)

      If you find exercise you love, that doesn’t even feel like exercise, you’ll do it willingly, have fun and loss those extra areas.

      Niki wrote on September 9th, 2011
    • I feel your pain. All my life I’ve been told I was fat and ugly, and that would make me feel depress and hurt and that would make me hate myself because I was fat!. I started working out everyday for about 35 to and hour became a vegan ( not just for myself, but for the animals) and in the first two weeks I lost 15lbs. See I thought of this as a game. And also I wanted to show off people that, if I can lose weight,than anyone can. all it takes is some motivation and perseverance.

      Alex wrote on December 31st, 2011
    • Losing weight is a simple formula – burn more calories than you take in a day. You can do guesswork about what you take in, but you have a higher chance of being successful if you use a food diary like or weight watchers. It is tough, but cutting out eating out to once a week, cutting out all dairy, gluten (wheat) and lightening up your intake of meats and eating more beans, nuts and tofu in place for protein and lots more greens and fruits (lots of fiber) will help you naturally meet your food goals. As for working out, taking a class at the gym is a fun way to burn a lot of calories and tone up. You can do a diary for working out at well, which helps!

      Also, make sure to weight yourself once a week rather than everyday. You’ll find that you’ll feel more motivated when the scale moves down on your weekly weigh day. Good luck, you can do it!

      Michelle wrote on January 10th, 2012
    • I have been eating healthily and exercising five days a week, for an hour. With about fifty minutes on cardio and ten on weights. I do about fifty sit ups every day as well. I have so far in 8 weeks lost 25.5lbs. Despite such weight loss, I haven’t seen such a huge change in my body but I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal weight. I have not eaten chocolate, cake or crisps. I have found cutting them out makes it less likely for me to turn back to them.

      The thing is its such a unique and personal thing to do, but it sometimes is just common sense, if you exercise it will help you and so wil eating less and eating more healthily. We just often try and kid ourselves that it’s not worth it or taking to long but that’s we’re the true dedication kicks in. We can all do it, just whether we are willing to :)

      Lauren wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • PRUDENT DIET AND EXERCISE. It really is that simple.

      There are 7 days in the week and you’re thinking 2 days is enough? What are you doing on the other 5 days? Are you eating the wrong foods? Sitting on the couch watching crap TV?

      You’ll get out of it what you put into it – whether that’s food into your body or effort into your exercise program.
      If you are really serious you need to commit to 5 days a week at least.

      What really helped me was to get a before and after photo success story of someone with a similar shape to how I would look if I wasn’t overweight. I Photoshopped my head on the before and after shots and then I could see where I was and where I wanted to be. Visualisation is a really powerful psychological aid to motivation. Picture yourself in skinny jeans with toned arms the envy of every woman you meet and you will get there.

      I’ve recently started back training after a long illness. I’m not naturally a morning person but I’m getting up at 5:30 am to be first in line at the gym. I’m only in week three but already I’m fitting into jeans I couldn’t close last time I tried them on and I feel FANTASTIC.
      Good luck!

      Tara wrote on October 24th, 2013
  2. I’m wondering if you started any medication(i.e.the pill) before your wedding- could make you gain weight.

    Nancy Maule wrote on July 7th, 2008
    • Hey, i was wondering the same thing too, i started on the injection about 2.5yrs. ive gained so much weight its unbelieveable, ive become really depress, at first i didnt realise it was the injection but i couldnt undertsand why i was gaining so much weight and im not eaing any different from i use to when i use to weight less. i started realising i wasnt fitting my usual size when i went shopping, i cant fit some of my outfits i use to wear. when i realise whats hapning to me i came off the injection immediately and now im walking 5days a week for 1yr. im so eager to see results but i know i have to be patient becuase it wont happen over night, it takes a lot of effort and edeication(there are times when i feel like i wont be able to keep it up) when i look at how much i NEED to lose this weight and how unhappy it makes me feel and unattractive it keeps me motivated. ps. I WENT ON THE INJECTION ALIL B4 I GOT MARRIED. I am encouraging everyone to keep going and be strong about it, it makes u feel so good, its healthy and its also a way to show u how much u can be control of ur own goals. thanks alot.

      lisa wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  3. I’ve been walking for 2 months now and i have only lost 2 pounds.I walk 3 miles every morning and 2 miles every evening I have also cut back on my eating I walk every day of the week please tell me what I’m doing wrong in the weight loss dept.

    Tammy wrote on August 15th, 2009
    • I feel your pain.. Or not pain, but frustration! I had been running, jogging, skipping for months with no results. I know everyone is different but I can say that I have gotten amazing results with just 15-30 minutes of jumping rope and weight training combined. I do this all in my living room while my youngest takes a nap. Jumping rope is shown to burn as much calories in 10 minutes as you do jogging for 20. Amazing!! And it makes you feel like a kid again 😉 I also bought hand weights and a stability ball (exercise ball) exercise all my muscles groups Monday, Wednesday and Friday, cardio jump roping 4-5 days a week. Do so e research! I feel incredible. Just remember a balanced diet nd a balanced routine makes a difference. You replace fat with lean muscle.. Oh man so much to say about this topic! Good luck and remember building a strong body will build a strong mind. Running and cardio alone wont build a lean physique, lifting weights can!! And hey, don’t let people poking you get to you.. I have had it happen to me. Use it as motivation to get moving. Do this for you and you will reach your goal! Congratulations on getting married, by the way.(in response to another post)

      Krista wrote on February 15th, 2011
    • hello,
      see if your walking to try and loose weight you have to be like a mall walker >.< walk at a fast pace (but not running) for at least 30 minutes a day…

      anastasia wrote on August 1st, 2011
    • Hello again,

      Don’t focus on the problem. You already know the problem, Now focus on result.

      Positive attitude positive result :)

      Taryn wrote on August 6th, 2011
    • Google interval training, and get a stop watch. Increasing and decreasing your intensity forces your body into fat burning mode!

      Kim wrote on August 18th, 2011
  4. I see women walking miles and miles and not losing anything. They’re also not putting much effort into their exercise routine… In order to lose weight and see results, you need to push yourself. You need to sweat. You can’t just stroll around for a few hours. It’s just not effective. Maybe you should add some ankle weights and carry small weights when you are walking- really add something that makes working out slightly uncomfortable and you will see much faster results.

    Monique wrote on August 29th, 2009
  5. I have been hitting the gym 5-6 days a week in the mornings doing 30-45 minutes of cardio and also some weight lifting as well. I am well into my 4th week and have only lost 3 pounds. I am really trying to focus on the fact that this is for health reasons and not just for seeing results, but I did think I would see more results in doing as much as I am. I am sweating too; high intensity, plus doing a spin class in the mix which is really fun. I am cutting back on sweets and eating snacks. Is there some kind of diet/energy pill that will help speed up results or is there anything else I should be making sure I’m doing. My side/back fat is really what I want to get rid of as well as upper thigh fat! Thanks.

    Natalie wrote on September 29th, 2009
    • Oh Natalie,
      As I read your post, it was word for word of what I would have written even to the time frame. I am doing between 1 and 3 hours of exercise (high intensive cardio, circuits, running, sometimes a mix of all and soccer) 6 days a week. So far I have lost about 1.5kg, but I feel much stronger. I was hoping to have lost more weight by now, but no.
      I know how you feel, but don’t give up. Do it for your health, not the scales.

      Jenni Bennett wrote on January 25th, 2010
    • You say your doing some weight lifting and muscle weighs more than fat, so were you may not be losing pounds number wise your body may be looking slimmer or more trim so you should always keep that in mind.

      mark wrote on February 3rd, 2010
    • Avoid diet pills they may work in the short term but the weight will only come back on when you come off them and you’ll be compromising your health which defeats the whole object of exercising. The only thing you’re not doing is being realistic the weight is not going to fly off, give yourself time.

      Rogers wrote on June 24th, 2010
    • Hi

      How is this working out for you now? I have been exercising for 7 weeks now (minimum of twice) sometimes 3 times. At first I started with 10 mins cardio to warm up followed by power plate and reps of weights for toning 40 mins, I have now led up to 20 mins cardio and was doing toning. I used to get up in the morning or go in the evening but cant really commit fully to either, so now I go on my 45 mins lunch break for a 20 min jog at the gym and try to get in 5 mins of the power plate in areas that I want to focus on, one of wich is back fat, have you any tips on how to tone that up? I have been told to do seated rows on a gym ball and use the straps on a power plate and pull with your elbows as high as they will go and as close to your side, but not really seeing massive effects. I am doing my upmost to eat 1200 cals a day, but my downfall is eating take outs on the weekends, sometimes I will have one Fri, Sat and Sun other times just once, but I always eat well through the week… any tips much appreciated! (p.s I am burning 190cals in my 20 mins sesh)

      Alex wrote on December 6th, 2011
  6. hi natalie.when you go to the gym,your fat turns to muscle which is heavier than may not lose alot of weight for a start but your shape will be changing

    graeme lawson wrote on October 6th, 2009
    • Holy necro posting!

      First, fat does not really turn into muscle. Also, a pound of fat weighs as much as a pound of muscle haha, but I know what you mean, I’m just playing.

      What you said is true perhaps Natalie has lost 5 pounds of fat and gained 2 pounds of muscle. Besides, if you lose 3 pounds every 4 weeks where will you be in 6 months… 20 pounds!

      Second, if you are exercising to loose weight you are wasting your effort.

      The amount of calories you burn while exercising is very small compared to what you can control with your diet.

      Use what you eat to control calories and loose weight(fat).

      Use exercise to promote physical conditioning and support your weight loss goals.

      chima_p wrote on October 6th, 2009
  7. I have been exercising 5x week for 4 weeks, without changing my diet. I eat healthily, but think my portions could be smaller as I’m not seeing any changes yet. I’m doing a kickboxing class on mondays, body pump Tues & Thurs, Wed- 30 minutes on elliptical, and Fridays kickboxing with a punching bag…these are all 60 minute classes with the exception of my “free cardio” day of 30 minutes on the elliptical. I take weekends off…I figure 5x per week is enough. Is this a good workout plan?? I want to make sure I’m covering my bases! Am I doing enough????

    Thanks for your advice…

    mommy1 wrote on October 14th, 2009
  8. I dont understand it when people say that exercise does not help you lose weight. Having said that, I am having a hard time losing weight after pregnancy. I count calories and I work up a sweat walking for an hour. I weigh myself everyday (sometimes twice a day). Progress is VERY SLOW. What can I do to get a big drop in weight?

    Evangeline wrote on November 29th, 2009
    • Stop counting the calories, 50 years of low fat everything has turned us into the fattest nation on the planet! Reintroduce fats in your diet, GOOD fats, you know… raw grass fed butter, grass fed lamb and beef, pastured eggs, raw milk, the way mother nature intended us to eat. Coconut oil too. Lots of vegetables, raw, cooked and lacto fermented. The only thing that you should count is the carbs, there is a book that explains how we all eventually become insulin resistant and the way to reverse that is to reduce the carb intake slightly under our need for a period of time while doing strength training. The book is called “The Schwarzbein principle”, there’s a website too. People think that they can still eat all the pasta in the world and lose weight because they do a good workout every day. You don’t restore your metabolism, there will be no weight loss or a very slow one. Good luck!

      alb36 wrote on February 17th, 2011
  9. Hello,
    I was just reading all the postings and I am going through the same issue. For me it’s even worse, I had been walking in 2009 for 6 months daily for 5 miles together in the morning & evening to work at 3.5 miles/ hr and the roads use to be hilly and flat and ate healthy but all I lost was 5 lbs. I was so frustrated and went by some advices as change the pattern by challenging my body with different activities. So this year 2010, I am into my 4th week of my daily gym workouts (using all equipments in the gym) for 45 minutes and lost about 5 lbs so far and now I am nervous to the core what if the same thing will happen to me like 2009 by not losing any further. Ohh the other thing that is bothering me more is if at all I relax a bit for a week or more w/o workouts although eating healthy I gain double than I was before. Wondering if something is seriously wrong in what I am doing or something in my body is not functioning well. The reason I think like this is because for the amount of work I did in 2009 was super efficient enough for someone to lose more than 20lbs or at least stay the same but in my case I totally lost only 5 lbs but gained double than staying the same.

    Having said this, I was talking to my swim coach and she was too kind of shocked to hear this and said it might be a good idea to get the T4/T3 tests (hypothyroidism) done. I am going to do that this week.

    Any suggestions?

    RSV wrote on January 27th, 2010
    • yes i know what you mean i have been doing the same working out almost every day and sweating and everything but instead i gained 2 pounds last year i was 9 pounds less than now and i would eat out all the time and im watching what i eat like crazy but …to make things worse i have thyroids so i know that when you do have thyroids its soooo hard to loose weight…im getting that checked out now im working on that hoepfully i wont have to gain more weight but one thing about this is that i feel more tone… hope this helps

      karina wrote on June 28th, 2010
      • ooh i forgot to say i am 20 and i have been working out for about 3 or 4 months no results maybe if you havent lost any weight you might want to get checked out cause thats what i did and found out i had thyroids

        karina wrote on June 28th, 2010
    • Any word on the results – i’m afraid I’m in the same boat – when I don’t exercise for a little I gain double what I lost. This is frustrating :(.

      SukuraFabuki wrote on August 1st, 2011
  10. I have had the same issues it seems as all of you. I was so frustrated by the end of last year that I am now with a personal trainer (who is a friend) and a good trainer. In 4 weeks, I haven’t seen the scale move much BUT my clothes are already fittng better AND I feel SO good! If you can swing it use a personal trainer. OR add strength training to your regiment. As we get older (I’m pushing 40) our bodies change so much that we have to be more diligent and yes work harder.
    I would like and need to lose 40-45 lbs. If I don’t weigh myself I do better, as I would really rather lose sizes of clothing.
    Hope this helps!

    Tabitha wrote on January 28th, 2010
  11. The doctors think I’m a liar…

    I have happened along this site whilst trying not to just give up. I take 150 mgs of eltroxin a day (like synthroid). My ‘numbers’ are supposedly fine and I feel fine. However, I cannot lose weight?

    I exercise at least 1 hour a day 5 times a week (20 mins of HIIT, plus weight lifting (to where I’m breathing hard), plus some stretching (yoga, pilates, etc). I sometimes space this out over the day so I don’t do it all at once.

    I eat VLC and do IF 2 or 3 times a week (from dinner one night to dinner the next). I weigh and measure all my food and eat approximately 1200 calories a day (average). While eating VLC I cannot manage to eat more – it makes me gag. If I eat junk foods I can easily eat more. No dairy (Except butter), no nuts, no alcohol, no caffeine, lots of good fats plus some supplements.

    If you do the equation (Weight loss = Calories in minus calories out) then I should be super thin. Instead I am over 40 kgs overweight (90 pounds). I notice with higher periods of exercise that I can get thinner by tape measure but the scale only moves up and down around the same number (95 kgs).

    People look at me like “Why is the fat woman eating steak with butter?” or better “She always turns down food – she must be sneaking it in somewhere” – “Who is she kidding”.

    Even the doctors say – “Oh you must be measuring your food wrong” or “You must not be counting everything” etc.

    This is so sad :-(. I can see others are experiencing something similar so maybe there is hope???

    Kelly wrote on January 28th, 2010
    • maybe you were meant to be fat? i highly doubt that you eat 1200 calories, because first off its not healthy. if youre big and want to lose weight follow this:
      1. dont weight yourself every day, do it once a week
      2. doesnt matter how much you walk, if its light then theres no gain whatsoever. intensity is what youre aiming for. get your heartrate up by sprinting. you need high intensity cardio.
      3. do some weight lifting, not alot just some to tone those flabby arms.
      4. eat right. dont eat late. its okay to eat junk food from time to time. 1200 calories is not enough. eat 1500 calories or even 2000 among 3-6 meals because you probably eat 4000 calories a day to be 90 lbs overweight.
      5. REST! sleep atleast 7 hours a day. take a day off in the week from working out and do something you like, not eating though.
      6. dont diet out things you need in your body like : water, milk, meat, whole grains, veggies, and fruits.
      follow my advice and you’ll lose weight, but remember you wont lose all the weight over night or even within a month. itll take at least a year to drop serious weight and tone your body. remember its a lifestyle choice. youll have to follow doing exercise for the rest of your life.

      JustBro wrote on September 6th, 2010
      • Well, I used to be like her. The only good advice you gave was that she eat more. She has hypothyroidism, and hypo bodies do NOT work the same as other bodies. Believe mean when I say I did EVERYTHING you are suggesting for years, and the ONLY thing that worked was the PB.

        If I hear/read one more person blab on about calories in/calories out, and advice for someone with hypothyroidism to eat grains I think my head might explode. The majority of hypos have some type of gluten intolerance at a minimum.

        NutMeg wrote on September 6th, 2010
        • What I wrote applies to regular conditions. and yes i know what hypothyroidism is. if you suspect that you have it then you should see your physician about it. regardless you should see your physician since youre on a weight loss plan/ workout routine. I went to my physician to consult him because im 17, weighed 215 and am 6″1′. I talked to him about taking some tests to know my bmi, avg bpm, overall fitness. and because im taking whey proteins and a multivitamin for men. After the first month of intense cardio and weight traning I put off 10 lbs of fat and put on 5 lbs of muscle. after 4 months i weigh 195. and have a fat percentage of 11%. Now i can worry less about my physical apperance but still have to workout to keep it that way.

          JustBro wrote on September 8th, 2010
  12. I just try to keep in mind that no matter what I do, it will take time to lose weight. I try to see the improvements in my mood, overall level of energy, etc. The extra weight I’m trying to lose was gained over many years, so I have to be patient that it will take some time to get rid of it. In the words of Douglas Adams..”Don’t Panic..”

    Tray wrote on January 31st, 2010
  13. I’m one of those lazy guys in doing exercises. But now I’d like to try Mr.B’s 7 minute weight loss’s method. It doesn’t seem to be a long, tiring exercise to do. Anyway, I agree with you that still doing exercise is a long-term activity. I’ll tell myself not to quite doing exercises. Moreover, it only takes 7 minutes a day…

    7 Minute Weight Loss wrote on January 31st, 2010
  14. So… after a couple of months gaining m freshman 15 I decided two weeks ago that enough was ebough and I should get back in the gym. Right now I’m working out 5 times a week. 35 mins on ollipitical, 30 on treadmil (incline) or 30 on bike, numberous crunches of different types, I’ve been using a lot of leg and thigh machines also. I average about 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the gym a day. I make sure I go with friends so it’s fun and it helps out a lot cause were constantly pushing one another. I was just wondering if this is a good amount to be exercising? I was very athletic as a kid (soccer, dance, basketball, swimming, etc.) so I’m hoping I can at least get some of my muscle back and loose some weight in the meantime. I can’tsay that I’ve been feeling different, but I was really depressed/stressed/sad/angry and it seems like exercising is a great outlet for me. I prefer sitting on the couch and doing nothing but I like the feeling that I’m making a positive change in my life. Also, I was wondering out swimming, rock climbing or boxing, where would I see the biggest change from? Oh, andone last thing, what should I eat after working out/ before working out? i know protein and carbs for after, espicially if it has whey (theres a naked drink thats perfect btw) but I was wondering if theres anything else I should know about?


    Erica K wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  15. This article was okay, but also very discouraging in a way. Very negative toned. Yes, weight loss does take time, anyone with common sense knows that….but can vouch for the fact that a large group of people (I being one of them) will exercise for a month, and see way more weight loss than 1-3 pounds. I understand the need to keep a reality check (because some people are crazy enough to expect to see DRASTIC results within a few days/weeks) but again, I dont want someone else reading this to become discouraged, because like I said, A LOT of people DO see major positive changes, and it does not always have to take 6 months to a year, and I’m talking about ones who did it healthily. Not talking about crash dieting or these fad diets (which are murder on your metabolism).

    Tabitha wrote on February 24th, 2010
  16. I have been overweight by about 50 pounds for the last 10 years (I’m 34) and I finally decided that enough was enough. I am successfully in my 8th week of exercising. The first week I saw a weight loss of 4 pounds and then a pound here and there (even gainded a pound here and there). So far the total weight loss is 14 pounds. I know it can be discouraging to not see results right away if you want to look good, but there are so many other positive factors that I have noticed, such as increased energy, better skin tone and being able to actually jog a mile and not stop. I am currently eating 1268 calories a day and that’s made up of a lot of vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats and starches. Yes I get to eat all that food. It helps to understand what food does for you so you feel good about eating healthy. I also attend a class twice a day, 45 mins each class, that combines step areobics, yoga, weights, crunches, running, hiking and even kickboxing. It’s so much fun! Everyone gets along and are very encouraging. I think you have to make it fun. Remember your mind is very powerful and if you get discouraged, you sometimes hinder your weight loss. Try to imagine your results and have a goal, but don’t give up. I took me 3 years to gain this weight and if it only takes 6 mos to a year to loose it, I’d say that’s pretty good timing!

    Diane wrote on April 8th, 2010
  17. Hello,

    I am 5’7″ ..I was kind of perfect two years ago with my weight steady at 59 kg which then changed due to lack of exercise…so basically i wanted to lose around 10 kg ,i.e., 22pounds approx. I follow a healthy diet with no junk foods (i actually hate them).
    I have been working out for a month now with 30 mins treadmill (flat & inclined both), 20 mins elliptical or bike…and weight training which rounds up to about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, 5 times a week.I lost 3.5 kg this month….couldn’t believe it! I wasn’t expecting to lose so much…I am not starving myself and my exercise routine isn’t that tough also….so i’m confused because the scale shows a huge drop but there are NO changes in my shape…am I doing something wrong? Is it healthy? losing 3.5 kg in a month but not showing any result at all?I am in no hurry to go slim fast….I’ll be grateful for any help.


    Dukes wrote on April 12th, 2010
  18. I’ve got a stumper for you all. I’m 19, 5’9, 180.
    Three weeks ago I went from free-for-all food to 1200 cal a day. (Occasionally spiking to 1800 every four days or so.) For the first two weeks I exercised using DDR, and then decided that wasn’t cutting it. Last week, I started going to the gym every day. I shift from ellipticals to treadmills to bikes to weights, always burning off at least 400 cal, while still only eating 1200.
    In these three weeks, I have GAINED 5 pounds. It’s not muscle, either. It’s fat. (I started when I noticed my favorite jeans getting a little snug. I could barely fit into them when I started. Now? No way.)
    I’m thinking now that I’m just gonna go back to my usual routine of tv and brownie batter. It did make me gain weight, but at least it was SLOW.

    Melissa wrote on April 16th, 2010
    • Water weight. Your body holds onto water so that your muscles can recover if you exercise pass a certain level.

      Amanda wrote on April 12th, 2012
  19. Many of the above comments talk about the amount of cardio work they are doing. It does not sound like they have read or understand The Primal Blueprint. Mark does not recommend Chronic Cardio. The Primal Blueprint is long and slow exercise (walking, hikes), sprinting (actual sprints,on exercise bicycle, ultimate frisbee, etc) and Lifting hevy things. It is not going to the gym and spending an hour on the treadmill. And Mark says that 80% of our body composition is due to what we eat. Exercise alone is not going to be enough for weight loss. Read the articles posted on this wesite. There is a lot of good information here.

    Maura wrote on April 19th, 2010

    JEMS wrote on June 29th, 2010
    • HERE Is A Huge tip. Stay Away from large amounts of Sodium daily.. Only 1200-1800mg/DAY(easliy found in 1 Seasoned Hamburger) per day max(your muscles still need some some so dont go without having some sodium in your diet- Everyone only just talks about lower sugar intake but watching both SODIUM and SUGAR intake will increase your hard efforts at the meal table and the Gym. Read your labels and stick to portion Sizes. So cut back on canned foods loaded with salt. Cook Frozen Veggies instead. You can decided to salt your own food or eat it as it was intended. I found Once I started cutting the Sodium (esecially Microwave meals, canned soups Even Diet Sodas Drink Claiming Zero Calories Becareful massive sodium. Instead drink Water at every Meal including Snack times) Sodium retains your water weight. Once I did this, the weight Started to fly off sometimes 1/2lb a day. Sure you may hit the restroom at first but it was worth every extra bit of annoyance. SO EAT CLEAN and IT WILL HAPPEN!! My wife and I Lost 70 lbs in less than a YR.
      Eating and Exercising for Healthy life now!!

      Scott wrote on August 15th, 2010
  21. I’m so happy, I’ve been excersising in a Spinning class for 5 hrs. a week and am so very happy…I haven’t seen results in weight loss, but I feel so good it’s elating, I sleep well, I’m happier, more strength, I want to do it all! I will never stop, hope I see phisical changes soon, because the emotional one is terrific!

    FABIOLA CRESPO wrote on July 24th, 2010
  22. I have been working out since June of this year. I started out on the ellip. and leg press. only spending 1 hr at the gym. I just switched gyms and now going to a club house where everything is available. So what I do now is strength training, leg press, abs 20 min. ellip/20min.tread/10 I feel pretty good, I have not lost mt much weight only about 5 lbs but I am loosing inches. So everything takes time..I am also 35 ..I just now started easting 5 small meals a day, go to the gym 5-6 day’s a week and I have a cheat day where I eat whatever I want. So again, be patient everything will fall off.

    Bea wrote on July 29th, 2010
  23. I wanted to add one more thing…you have to get a good sweat going as interval training…I suggest resistance of 8 for 3 min..then down to 1 for 2 min. and so forth…

    Bea wrote on July 29th, 2010
  24. I finally decided to lose weight when my 29 birthday came around this year 7/22. Anyway I walk 3 miles in the morning (every morning Sunday-Saturday). In the evening I hit the Y and I do another 20-30 mins of cardio and 30-45 mins of weight training. I drink a gallon of water and I eat every modestly 4x a day. I also do not eat after 8pm. I have lost eleven pounds in two weeks. I keep a journal of every exercise, every calorie burned and everything I eat. I also put pictures of how I want my body to look and how my body looks currently. It give me the strength to stay focus

    Tehron wrote on August 6th, 2010
  25. I have a question:

    I have been working out since late May (almost every day for May and June, every day from late July until now). I started a diet plan using LoseIt on my iPhone in late June. It cuts me down to ~1500 calories a day to achieve 1.5 pounds of weight loss a week. I did weight lifting and aerobic exercise almost every day (weight lifting every other day) at a gym in May/June and now that my membership has expired I’m working out on an elliptical machine I have at home and I burn a ton of calories on it (40 calories every 5 mins., and I usually stay on it for an hour +). But the thing is I have gained a pound! My weight has been fluctuating back and forth: After the first week of diet and exercise I dropped 5 pounds, but I knew I’d probably gain them back, which I did. Then I lost 2 pounds and I thought my diet/exercise plan was working perfectly! But then my weight kept going up and down (only by a few pounds) until I went above my starting weight. Now I’m a pound above and feeling really discouraged. Six weeks of diet and exercise should work!

    So my question is: Is this normal?! Will I actually ever lose the weight? When I did nothing but sit around all day and eat whatever I wanted my weight acted the same way: going up and down a few pounds randomly. I’m not even expecting the 9 pounds I was supposed to have dropped by now using LoseIt, I just want at least ONE lost.

    Meredith wrote on August 10th, 2010
  26. i want to now if i have to stay few days between each time i go to gym or is it ok if iwent everyday

    David wrote on August 17th, 2010
  27. i want to now if i have to stay few days between each and every time i go to the gym or it’s ok if iwent everyday

    David wrote on August 17th, 2010
    • i go 6 days a week but make sure to take atleast 1-2 days off in the week. and to not work out the same muscle group 2 days in a row

      JustBro wrote on September 8th, 2010
  28. There is no big secret regarding weight loss. Just eat less than what you burn, input vs output. I lost 8kgs in 2 months early this year just by cutting calories. I aimed for 600 calories per day, somedays I ate less and somedays more. No strenuous exercise needed.

    Everyone will say how unhealthy it is but I have never felt better. I have more energy and even work out more.

    Charlotte wrote on September 12th, 2010
  29. Of the above comments, only a very small handful refer to anything that PB preaches!
    Please read the rest of the site before commenting.
    The majority of people on here are hitting the ‘Chronic Cardio’ self-destruct button.
    PB advocates two resistance sessions per week, one sprint session and 3-5 (minimum) hours of cardio at 55%-75% of maximum heartrate (i.e. low intensity).
    There are many posts on this site that will help the majority of people who have commented above.
    Please read them to discover where you may be going wrong
    Grok on!

    PBAmateur wrote on September 17th, 2010
  30. Im like 185lbs in im tryin to loose weight nd I just got a treadmill nd I want to knw how long it takes to loose 70lbs or 30lbs

    harrell wrote on September 20th, 2010
  31. Do you have to have gym equipment to lose weight? Or can you just use your own bodyweight? also what is the best exercise to get rid of my love handles?

    brilynn wrote on October 28th, 2010
  32. i came across this after typing in “how long til i see results”….listen guys, im your jo blow kid who’d never been to a gym in her life. i got my membership 5weeks ago from today. i’ve lost 1kg. i got 3-5 days a week, 2 cardio days, 3 resistance. before i went to the gym i calorie counted and lost 13kg. im now at 70kg, although i only lost 1kg since gyming it my body looks 1000 times better. It works- trust me. remember 3500 calories is a pound of fat. u dont need to starve just work it out, if u only work off x amount of calories then take x amount out of your diet.


    the shiznizzer wrote on November 16th, 2010
  33. The best thing to do is to get a personal trainer. I’m 6’1 and 95Kgs.

    I started about 5 weeks ago, and told him that I wanted the ‘Beach Body’- Not HUGE like Arnie was. Just enough to look good on the beach.

    I don’t really care about my weight. It’s just the look I want. I’ve lost 2 Kgs so far, but I expect to eventually gain some weight as I build more muscle.

    It’s good to have someone tell you what to do once or twice a week. (I have him once a week). At the moment, I warm up with a 1km jog on the treadmill under 6 minutes. Then I do a 3 or 4 sets of exercises on the machines and free weights. All this gets rid of your carbs. Then, you get back on the treadmill, and do a 3Km jog, which has started to burn fat.

    In terms of eating, I now have a boiled egg or two with/out brown bread for breakfast, a vegetarian lunch, and I’m supposed to eat more fish and skinless chicken, but I often just enjoy a normal dinner.

    What I’ve learned is that if whatever you’re doing feels pretty easy, then your body has adapted, and you won’t get fitter.

    I feel better than I used to. My chest and arms are getting bigger, my abs are getting tighter and I feel that I’m on the way to where I want to be. I expect to see the results I want in about 5-6 months.

    At the moment I only go between 2-3 times a week, but I want to make it a regular 4 times.

    Anyway, good luck everyone!

    RB wrote on November 16th, 2010
  34. I’m 18 I have gotten tired of working out and I know it would be good to but it feels worst then a chore I was working out for a month and over , watching what i ate, resting, and all that and my results are nothing, zip, na-da. I want to have fun doing it but my whole family is over weight and I’m getting there I have nobody to work out with or help me. What can I do to make it fun?

    Robert wrote on March 7th, 2011
    • I know what you mean because I have the same situation practically, though I’m older than you. When I went to college I had friends to work out with all the time and that was great. Then I started working and lived by myslef and didn’t haven anyone to work out with at all. So, I found some new friends who want to work out more too and sometimes we will go to the river and “power walk” and talk or go for a hike at the park or do a yoga video. This summer there aren’t as many people around because people are busy so I just got a cheapo treadmill from the Classifieds section in the paper and I use that or I go downtown and walk or I walk to a nice neighborhood nearby and go walking all around the block there. Nobody knows me there and no one stops me or anything. Do it even if your family won’t because it is for YOU and YOUR future. They are responsible for theirs and hopefully will be inspired by your success to finally do something about their own issues. Look at Jack and Kelly Osborne if you get down: they seemed so far off track and now look at them! Kelly looks amazing and happy and Jack is all into rock climbing and is really fit. If they can do it we all can.

      Emily wrote on June 20th, 2011
  35. If you want to lose weight you must get enough cardio exercise. I think the most important thing anyone can do when starting an exercise program, is pay some money and get a decent heart rate monitor. I swear by them. If you want to lose fat, you must remain in your target heart rate for a good 30-45 mins. So many people either work too hard or not hard enough – both resulting in non fat burning wasted energy.

    As far as diet… moderation is key. If you are a cake eater and have a piece a night… cut the piece in half. If you drink 3 sodas a day, drink 1. These simple changes add up! and you do not deprive yourself. Once you start seeing the results, you will eventually not even want the cake or soda.. you will want BETTER results.

    Lastly, variety is key! Walk, Run, do Aerobics, lift weights, swim. Never let the body get accustomed to an “easy workout”. Let your heart rate be your guide, If you find it way to easy to go ABOVE your target heart rate, its a keeper. DO the dvd and modify the moves… march in place until your heart rate goes back down into target mode. This is called conditioning. eventually you will be able to complete the workout at a steady target pace (it will become easier). its then you want to change your workout to find another challenge. This is what keeps the body getting results.

    Lisa wrote on March 23rd, 2011
    • Take the time to visit my website, sroll to teh bottom and read what your suggestions did for me. That doesn’t always work. It just doesn’t, and to assume that is does is rather arrogant. Not all people are like you. Some people need to do other things. For me it was switching to a paleo/primal lifestyle. It saved my life in a way no other way of eating ever did. Moderation did NOT work for me. Exercise did not work for me. Diet and exercise as normally prescribed did not work for me.

      And guess what? It doesn’t work for 95% of the people that try it.

      Nutmeg wrote on March 23rd, 2011
  36. Walking – to the lady who complained that walking isn’t dropping her weight. Not surprised.

    Walking, especially on flat surfaces, just won’t do it for everybody. I was chronically unfit and weak and walked fast for one and frequently 2 hours per day for years at one stage in my 40s. I lost no weight at all and did not get fit. Walking sucks as a fitness strategy imho. Maybe if you walk up and down steep hills that would make a difference.

    Then I as dragged to a local gym – first via a sports store so I would “look good” – by a very fit friend. I was phobic about this and had never been any good at sport, exercise etc. I started with the old people in the middle of the day, some on wheelchairs. I thought: “if they can do it, so can I”. I soon started doing the room of hydraulic machines on a very low setting. I went just one or two times a week to begin with. Very soon however I went to the circuit classes. I didn’t try to join in at first – just did what I could and watched. Within weeks I was doing dynamic circuit, omitting anything I couldn’t do.

    Two months later I was doing everything in the circuit class (though not that well) but had lost seven kgs. I felt like a different person. I had cut all the crap in my diet and was watching what I ate.

    A year later: I was going to the gym 4-5 times per week to do an hour of circuit. I also added an additional hour of aerobics once or twice per week.

    I lost more kilos and was stronger than I had ever been. My stomach was flat. I had visible biceps and prominent calves. I lept out of bed in the morning for the first time in my life. My resting heart rate had dropped 10 beats per minute and my blood pressure had normalized. I was fit for the first time in my life!

    Years later I had moved countries for work and got out of shape again badly. Now, after some false starts due to sickness or injury, I’m back at the gym again and loving it. Now I’m doing machines and will start doing body pump. When the legs are strong enough – I’ll start aerobics. This weight is going to come off and I am going to feel 15 years younger again, I know it!

    It’s never too late.

    Gym doesn’t

    Phil wrote on March 29th, 2011
  37. I have been exercising about 5 hrs per week for the last 4 months. I am doing a mixture of weights and cardio and although I have noticed a difference in my tone and shape. I have not lost any weight. I know muscle weighs heavier than fat but I actually do want to lose about 6-8 pounds. How much fat am I likely to have turned into muscle and what’s a pound of muscle in terms of fat? Could do with some healthy diet advice as well..

    Eileen wrote on March 29th, 2011

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!