Help, no measurable changes in last 4 weeks!

  • Hey everyone!  I've been a big fan of BFL for years, and have seen some great results over that time.  Unfortunately, I did a good deal of backsliding when life kinda kicked me in the rear.  Before we were married, I introduced my wife to BFL and she and I both had really solid results.  (since I had done this before, we worked hard together to push each other)  So, we are attempting another big "push" with the BFL program and really try to drop some overall body size for me and "tighten" things up and lose some weight for her.  Here's the point:


    For the last four weeks, my wife has seen no real measurable results.  it is really discouraging her, pants/clothes still fit the same, weight is still the same (I know, I know, it's not the only/best measurement, which is why I mentioned her clothes)  She is already on the lighter side when it comes to the eating plan.  By that I mean that she is taking her normal portions and she did shorten them just a tad.  I don't think it's inappropriate or unhealthy, but I certainly wouldn't recommend to shorten it even a smidge more.  At this point we both follow the BFL plan just as in the book with the following changes:

    1. We walk our dog every day for roughly 1 hour. This is obviously outside with some small hills, etc.  On our free day, we have the same walk but have started turning that same time/distance into a partial run with the intention of increasing it as we can.

    2. We add 10 mins. of cardio during our weight training days (primarily Stairmaster) and add 15 to 20 minutes of light cardio on cardio days.

    Any ideas/suggestions for her?  She is really pushing hard in my opinion and I hate to see her so discouraged.


  • Is this the first four weeks of your challenge? 

    I may not get back in time to see your answer so I wanted to elaborate.  If this is your 1st four weeks, it's not uncommon at all for your wife to not see changes.  It's actually not uncommon for women to not see changes until week 6.  BFL still works exactly like it did before but you guys have to take a closer look in what's changed in your lives since last time.

    Stay the course and keep moving forward and the changes will come.  As we age women tend to process complex carbs differently than we did when we were younger so try changing the evening meals carbs to fruit instead of the more starchy brown rice/ww pasta type carbs. 

    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

  • Steve,

    First, congrats to you and your wife for getting back into the program!  It can be very frustrating for women who do the challenge with males...we ladies generally have more fat cells, hormonal fluctuations and less muscle mass.  But all that aside, we DO see results when we are honest about nutrition and work intensely.  I agree with Michelle that, generally speaking, it takes a bit of time to see the scale move (like 6-10 weeks) and signficant fat loss.  While she's waiting, I think its important to notice other improvements that are happening...more strength (connective tissues strengthen significantly during for 4-8 weeks), more cardiovascular fitness (darn, gotta increase the pace since heart is getting stronger), and more energy.  You two might want to start celebrating successfully completing daily goals (intense workout, 6 proteins, 6 carbs, of which at least 2 should be veggies, no less than 10 cups water) as opposed to losing scale weight.  In fact, I think a tape measure is more accurate.    There's a common saying around here that goes something like "what else would you be doing if you weren't eating healthy portions of healthy foods and exercising?"  She might have to reel in her free day even though you might be able to get away with more cheats (if you are doing so).  One last suggestion is you might show her  Very informative and encouraging for those completing a BFL challenge!

    All the best to you both!

  • Steve,

    The only thing that I would add to Michelle and Beth's suggestions would be to make sure that she is getting enough food. You said she is shortening her portions...with you all doing the extra cardio (which I don't advise, but many do it), her body may not be getting enough protein/fuel to build the muscle which essentially starts pushing out the fat...Does that make sense?

    Also make sure she is drinking plenty of water.

    There's a Ladies Success Document on the site. I highly recommend that she read that if nothing else...It tells of successful women who kept on keeping on even though they hadn't seen results in their first 4-6 weeks!

    All my best to both of you!! =)

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • Steve,

    When you say you are walking the dogs for approx 1 hour each day, does that mean you are using that for your cardio exercise? If so, you might want to revisit that plan.

    As it was explained to me when I called BFL about cario programs, I could ride my bike for 1.5 hours (which I am used to doing 2-3 times a week) every other day for 12 weeks, but I would not experience any remarkable weight loss or difference in my body composition. If I'm doing an activity at the same level of intensity over and over, my body will get used to it, know what's coming, and go into "maintenance mode."

    In order for me to lose fat, I've got to trick my body into going into over-drive by having short bursts of high intensity exercise.

    The thing that separates BFL from other exercise programs I've seen is that this one specifically incorporates high points, and does so in a very specific way. In order for it to work, you must follow the program, and that means a 20-minute workout that starts off slow, builds to 4 high points, with the last one ending in the "I thought I would pass out" point.

    For me, this meant completely changing how I think of cardio workouts in relation to the bike. I might go out for a 2-hour bike ride once or twice a week, but it's just a thing I do because I enjoy it. I don't count it as part of a workout, because, as a mostly steady ride with a few hills thrown in at odd intervals, it doesn't meet the requirements for an intense high-point inducing workout. I now follow the program for three 20-minute HIIT cardio workouts a week.

    If this makes no sense, you should call BFL and ask them specifically about what you and your wife are doing, and whether your results are typical.

    Best of luck!


  • No, we are about 10 weeks in now.

  • Steve, It sounds like you are a very supportive spouse and workout buddy.  That said, your wife would probably get more benefit from posting here herself.   Each of us must take personal responsibility for our own transformation.  I look forward to reading her post!

  • Steve, I wish I had some advice to give her!  I was 8 weeks in with very little by the way of results.  Only 5 pounds, 2% BF, and NO inches lost.  Talk about discouraging!!

    Yes, I hit "high" points every single session.  Worked out 6-7 days/week. I was absolutely KILLING it at the gym in addition to playing some intensive tennis on the weekends.  Followed the eating plan pretty well (egg whites, 1/2 c oatmeal, chicken, veggies, myoplex lite shakes, etc).  I wanted to do this SO BADLY that I overdid it and now am nursing an injury, so I may have to put this on hold for a while.

    I do agree with LauraD in that she may need to increase the cardio routine and make those high points REALLY HIGH, to the point where she can't push out another ounce of energy!

    Tell her she is not alone out there :)

    I think it just takes some of us a little longer than others, so tell her to keep going!  

    Best of luck!!

  • Wow--a lot of great support here. Thank you all--especially about being a good hubby--I appreciate it!  In regards to the timing, like I mentioned, we are about 10 weeks in.  Also, someone asked about walking the dog.  This is *not* our cardio, this is simply on top of.  She really does kill herself in the gym day-to-day.  On a scale of 1-10 with all of her workouts, I'd say she's easily an 8 always, and most times a 9 and occasionally a 10.  (we all know that the "10" can be elusive sometimes!)

    michl707, you might have a good point.  I know that at least for me, my cardio (while I do push very hard) doesn't seem to have quite the oomph behind it that it did in past times.  She could definitely be falling into that a little....and I am thinking that she could probably benefit from a little more protein regularly--perhaps adding another myoplex or such in the mix.  Also, she drinks about 5-6 liters of water a day, so I think she's good there.

    Again, if anyone else has any good ideas, let me hear 'em!  in the meantime, I'm going to simply keep encouraging her and try to get her on here to post herself.  There might be a nuance to this that she could share to make a difference that I'm missing!

    THANK YOU all so much!

  • Hi guys!.  This is Steve's Wife.  We actually wrote the post together.  We are actually in the beginning of our 8th week of the challenge.  In the past I have been able to lose around 2 pounds a week and in the last 4 weeks only 2 pounds lost.  This is discouraging. I am drinking 5 liters of water a day and we are doing the high intensity interval cardio described in the BFL book 3 days a week..  The dog walks are more about helping our dog get back in shape with us than using it as additional cardio.  We have been limiting our Free days to a free meal for several weeks now.  I think that I was just hoping to see a larger number as I have in the past again this challenge.  One thing Steve keeps telling me too is that my Stress level in my job is much higher now than in the past and I know that this could be a big factor. I just don't like saying it because really there is not much that can be done about my job at this point in time.

    Thanks all for your help and suggestions for websites and success stories.


  • Just wanted to add a little encouragement.  I wasn't looking for a large weight loss just  minimum with more toning and building muscle.  That being said I would lose a few pounds and gain a few pounds throughout my first 8 weeks and then in week 9, and I must admit I wasn't eating totally clean that week and missed a week of workouts due to a death in the family, but still lost 3 lbs.  So don't give up go the full 12 weeks your doing great!


  • Colleen I'm with DebbieMO on making sure you are getting enough to eat.  Don't slight yourself clean food as less isn't more at this stage in the challenge.

    If you are walking the dog on top of regular workouts, be sure to add in extra servings of veggies with all six of your meals if you can manage it and increase your protein by 1 oz per serving as well.

    If it's any help, I haven't lost a pound since July 09, but I'm down two full pants sizes since then.  

    The scale shouldn't be the measurement of your success.   Because muscle is more dense and takes up less space on your body.  Just stay the course, the results will come.

    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

  • Here's my two cents-

    Having done this to the letter before and having great success to over the years with injuries and what not slipping back to my former heavy self to starting over and "modifying" the BFL plan I have learned that it is most important to stick with the plan. My "modified" BFL was not as effective by any means. Stay the course and the phase will pass..Stick with it!

  • Just for a quick update for everyone--first, thanks for being so informative and supportive!  It's great to have.  Second, we just finished our 12 weeks and we are quite happy.  I myself am down 47 pounds total (4 pounds a week!) and my wife is down a total of 15.   Ultimately, what we can really tell is the difference in our strength both with with training and our endurance.  We're resting for a week or so and then we're getting back in the saddle again!  Thanks everyone!