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Why am I not losing weight even though I am exercising?

Why am I not losing weight even though I am exercising?

The short answer is likely to be that you are consuming more calories than you are expending. I have written about over-rewarding our exercise efforts in previous blogs but let’s look at the question “Why am I not losing weight even though I am exercising?” in more detail.

Many people exercise to improve their health and general wellbeing.  These are hugely important factors to living a full and happy life.  If excess weight is limiting your wellbeing in any way whether that be psychological or physiological, it is time to understand why the exercise you do does not solve the problem.

Unfortunately for the majority of people it is not the exercise part that matters most when weight needs to be shifted.  It is most definitely important but as a study in the American Journal of Medicine put it “isolated aerobic exercise is not an effective weight loss therapy”.  Now combine a good diet with exercise and there you have the magic pill!

As you are reading this then it is more than likely that you already exercise.  Is it time to examine your diet?

Those little extras that keep us going, or should that be growing?!

We consistently underestimate the amount of calories we consume.  A recent study found that almost a quarter of people who were polled underestimated calorie content in fast food by at least 500 calories.  That would add up over a week!  Have a think about what might take your total over and above what you expend.  Even when the food is healthy, if it adds up to more than your body needs guess what it gets stored as?  FAT 🙁

An additional factor most people tend to overestimate, is how much they burn through exercise. In a Canadian study, a group of people were told to eat the number of calories they thought they had just burned by exercising. They ate two to three times as much.

How to need less

Another answer to the question is to look not so much at the amount you eat as what it consists of. This is because some foods are much better at filling you up and keeping you feeling fuller for longer. A protein-rich diet – with about 35% of your calories coming from a protein source – seems to be the best way to combat hunger & fight muscle loss which is a natural occurrence as we age.

Please don’t read that last paragraph and believe that “carbs are evil” because that is a myth. Carbs are an important part of a balanced diet, particularly if your chosen form of exercise is endurance-based. They are also needed for energy so please don’t start leaving them out or you won’t feel like exercising!

Just remember you don’t need to fill up with food before an hour of exercise as we store enough in our bodies for 90 minutes.  Much better to refuel than risk the dreaded stitch, we might be good at multi-tasking but our digestive system needs our bodies full attention if it is not going to complain.

What exercise should I do?

Which is best for weight loss? My usual answer is probably “the one you enjoy and will stick to”. Cardio burns more calories at the time you are doing it, but weight training encourages your body to burn more calories through the rest of the day. It is generally agreed that if weight loss is the goal, the best approach is to do both.

If you dislike swimming there is some good news.  This activity is known to be less effective for weight loss than other forms of exercise.  Not least because swimming stimulates the appetite.  This leads to an over-consumption of food afterwards.  Swimming in cold water would burn more calories in order to keep you warm so just leave the wetsuit at home!

Understand what your goals are, keep up the exercising and make whatever changes are needed to ensure your success.














About the Author

I have been involved in fitness all my life but never been hugely competitive. Entering the world of fitness instructor, personal trainer and nutrition advisor, I leant how simple it is to stay in shape without becoming a gym fanatic or elite athlete. I am neither, by the way!

So after 17 years of managing the swimming school and taking rowing classes at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre, I decided it was time to do something that would give me a different type of job satisfaction. Offering a service that directly influences someone’s wellbeing, seemed a good choice.

So, I studied the mechanics of exercise versus body shape and began to understand why so many people who have exercise routines that sometimes seem excessive, never see the changes they are hoping for. This led me to I set up Tessfit which tackles this conundrum. It is a real mix and match offering between nutrition and weight management advice, fitness classes and personal training. A combination which is proving to be highly successful for everyone involved.

I now work from home and run my classes and indoor Personal Training sessions at Venture Fitness in Newton Abbot. It is a great balance and not only do I love my work, I also get to spend more time with my family which is invaluable.​.

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Tessfit brings a completely fresh approach to fitness, TessFit Logoexercise and nutrition in Newton Abbot.

Based on the belief that the best exercise is the one you enjoy, Tessfit is all about enjoyment.

Tessfit is designed for both men and women of all ages.

- Fitness without the gym
- Nutrition without the confusion
- Pilates classes with the Tessfit twist!
​- Body Logic classes designed and delivered as only Tessfit can


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Unit 1 Venture Court, Bradley Lane,
Newton Abbot, TQ12 1NB

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