half way there and bad news...

  • I'm so confused. I've just crossed the half-way point and I have seen no results.  Acutally, I stepped on my health-meter today and saw a gain of two lbs AND a gain of 2.6% body fat since I started.  I just don't understand.  Today I put all my food into a calorie/nutrition counter, and after exercise, my calorie count is around 1600.  According to the site, in order to maintain weight, I should be eating around 2200.  Obviously, maintaining is not my goal.  So I would think 1600 is good.  But I'm not getting any results.  I don't know what else to do.  

    I will confess that I've only been able to eat 5 meals a day w/the appropriate amount of time in between.  I've been doing my workouts after a 3 hr fast in the evenings.  I'm going to start tomorrow to do them in the morning, but according to the BFL book it shouldn't matter.  I have missed a few workouts, so on average I would say I consistently work out-alternating cardio and strength-5 days week.  I will do a better job of making it 6.  But I have added so much protein to my diet compared to before. And my exercise is much more consistent.  Why is nothing happening?  And even more so, why is my body fat going up?!

    Someone please help.  I keep reading how people see results in the first few weeks, others not until then end.  But I feel like I'm working so hard and eating healthier than i've ever been, and I have no gain.  I say again in this post, I'm not a quitter, but it is so frustrating to be putting in this much effort and getting nothing out of it. Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong, please?

  • You admit to what you are doing wrong in the second paragraph.  Eating only 5 meals per day and missing workouts.  It matters.

    Commit yourself to finishing the remainder of your challenge properly.  Also how are you handling your free days?

    If your health meter is bio-impedence feedback your results could vary from day to day.

    How are your clothes fitting and how are your measurements?

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Elinor,

    I agree with Champster. Tighten up and press on. Nothing worth doing is worth doing halfway. You have absolutely nothing to lose by completing your 12 weeks. I wondered at 6 weeks also because my results weren't as much as I wanted but I too was only getting in 5 meals some days. I get in 6 meals and 6 workouts almost all the time now. I wasn't feeling that great, but the proof is in my pictures. Check out my profile. I'm really disappointed to still be wearing a size 12, but at least I'm down from a 14. I intend to press on. My size 10 jeans are my motivation. What is yours?

    The only real obstacles in life are those you place in front of yourself. There is always an alternative or another way around, even if that alternative is just looking at the obstacles in a positive light!

  • Ok, If you are eating 5 meals, you are fine. Emily Alvers ate 5 and she looks fantastic. From a calorie standpoint 1600 cals is definitely on the high end for fat loss for a woman. I however don't like teaching calories, it because a mind game that no one likes.

    Here is my advice.

    Eat 5 meals IF it works better in your schedule. If 6 works better, then do that. Now get your 6 workouts in, just do it. Now for your carbs, keep em to a 1/2c portion. Rice, oats, beans, etc. This should put you in a solid deficit where you see results sooner. If not, then just reduce your carb portion down to a 1/3c.

    I think you should start out with 1/2c measured portion first.

    Now, for your free day I would also say that 1. you don't have to take a free day, BUT 2. If/when you do try to limit it to a free meal. Eat what you want in the free meal, but limit it to a meal. A big free day can undo any progress from earlier in the week.

    I urge you to take my advice, and give it a couple weeks. Women's bodies react a bit different than men, but I am willing to bet you will see results this way.

    A little background on me. I did BFL started out @ 335 lbs/52% bf and in 18 months of adhering to the same advice above, I cut down to 208 lbs/16% bf.

    You can do it.

    Now get to it.


  • Six weeks isn't very long.. I think you're expecting too much of yourself. Keep going and I bet by the end of week 12, you'll be so glad you did!

  • Great advice so far and I'll just add that I REALLY hope that you don't give up!!! So PLEASE don't give up!!! One thing to remember is that we are ALL very different and will react in different ways so your miracle could be just around the corner...and I would stop using the bio meter and judge your success by how you feel, look and other ways.

    Stick with it...go the next 6 weeks ALL out, bring up your intensity and give it your all AND then start another challenge...YOU'LL do GREAT!!!

    All the best!


  • Yeah 6 weeks isn't very long, but if she is gaining weight, then something needs to be changed.

  • There are only a couple of explanations, none of which have anything to do with the number of meals you eat each day:

    1) It is possible you have really been eating 1600 calories, and you've gained (muscle+water) to go 2 lbs above your starting weight.

    2) It is also possible that the portion sizes you used to estimate your caloric intake do not match with what you're really taking in.  Weigh and/or measure carefully, and read all the nutrition  labels carefully - the manufacturers sometimes state things in tricky terms (i.e. 100 cal per serving.  Serving size: 2 oz.  Somewhere else you'll find the Pkg size is 6.0 oz., or 3 servings!)

    3) You must do the six workouts a week, or it isn't BFL.  You must also eat six times a day, or it isn't the BFL program.

    4) The 1st Law of Thermodynamics (conservation of energy) is even more fundamental than BFL or any other health and fitness program.  It does not matter whether you take in the 1600 calories in 3,4,5,6,7, or any other number of meals.   What matters is whether there are excess calories taken in, or a calorie deficit  (as compared to the calories burned), since these will be converted to fat by your body, or made up for by taking fat out of reserves.  That said, eating six times a day definitely helps to make the whole thing more tolerable, since the blood sugar levels will be more even throughout the waking hours.

    My workouts are done starting sometime between 9 and 10 pm, and ending around 10 - 11 pm.  Regardless of  what time of day you exercise,  the number of calories burned will be the same.  It is slightly better from a fat burning perspective to do it  in the morning before breakfast, forcing your body to draw off the fat reserves.

    You definitely need to re-assess the situation and change whatever is out of whack...


    Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.


  • Measure your success on how you feel, not on weight or numbers.  I didn't see much change until the end of my first challenge.  I weighed 187 at the beginning and 187 at the end.  I did however feel better and was able to do more at my physical job shortly into challenge 1.

    If it's really difficult right now, then you're on the right path.  Earning your better body is more important than having one.  It will change your life for the better in so many ways...

  • I have to seriously disagree with Brian here. You are going to feel better when you are lean. And who wants to put in all that hard work without results?

    You need to track results. If you want to lose body fat, success will be determined by how much body fat you lose.

    But all this is pretty rediculous. Read what I wrote you. I feel it is the most simple method to success. Dont worry about grams of carbs, fats, proteins. Dont worry about calories. In fact, dont worry about anything.

    Just follow BFL. What is posted in the original book is all you need. The rest is just excess and a distraction.

  • Lean is definitely better, you feel better, and it's a more manageable state for the long term.  If you get bulky, in the future you may run into a period of time you can't work out 6 days a week, or as intensely.  When that happens,  the food intake will have to be drastically altered, or the body will lose muscle and replace it with fat.   I still think it's worth a quick sanity check on actual calories consumed since weight loss isn't there.  I agree also that complicating things with counts of protein, carbs, fats, sugar alcohols, etc.... is just way overboard.  Besides, I've seen at least 5 different recommendations in the last week as to the recommended amounts of protein, and they vary by about a factor of three!

    Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.


  • Don't forget that muscle weighs more than fat so you can get leaner and not see a loss in pounds.  I believe you misunderstood my comment.  I was referring to what Bill said in his 'body of work' movie when he was discussing the potential of advances that would make it possible to gain the perfect body without having to work hard for it.  As he said, and I agree strongly from my experience, most of what is gained is through the process of all the hard work and determination.  

    I never said you wouldn't get the better body in the end, just that the more important part is the process of getting there.

  • Brian, muscle does not weigh more than fat. 1 lb of muscle weighs the same as 1 lb of fat. However the lb of fat will take up much more space. Muscle is more dense. Most analogies refer to a lb of muscle to equal the size of a baseball, lb of fat the size of a grapefruit.

  • Muscle takes up 1/3 less space than fat;

    Eating 6 meals per day versus 5 does matter;

    The grams rule does work and for me personally, better, but the palm / fist will absolutely get you success so stick with the simplest method that works;

    Never give up on yourself.

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Jessica, how does it matter?