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09 Jun 2004

Weight loss.<br>Weight loss
I have started jogging +/- 4 months ago as part of an anti-stress program ( I was hospitilised for depression a few months ago).
I have 2 problems:
1. I run 4 km at least 4 times a week. even though I have bettered my times a bit, I do not see an improvement in my level of fitness - I breath as heavily as when I started and feel very tired after a run.
2. My weight have dropped from 107kg to 102kg and is yo-yoing there. I have since joined a gym and also work out at least 4 times a week. I watch what I eat and would like to get my weight down to +/- 85kg. What can be wrong??
Answer 283 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Kevin

Congratulations on getting started with exercise, I'm sure that it will be very beneficial to you.

The first thing that I have to say regarding your fitness level is that to have improved your time means that your fitness has certainly improved - the best measurement of fitness is performance. Now, if you are going out and doing the same runs in a faster time than before, then it stands to reason that you will still feel out of breath, because you are working harder. In other words, you are still going at the same relative level that you did before you started training. If you were to slow down, and run the 4 km in the same time now as you did a few months ago, I'm sure that you would feel a lot better.

Now, with regards to the weight loss, it is very difficult to say precisely what is wrong. I can think of many things, but none are particularly obvious and so I can make some suggestions, which may be relevant.

The first is to increase the intensity and frequency somewhat. You see, the body burns most fat at about 80% of maximum, but the problem is that most people can's maintain 80% for long enough to burn much fat. Therefore, you have to settle on an intensity that you can maintain for 40 minutes or so, but that is also high enough to burn fat in fairly large amounts.Also, increasing from 4 days a week to 5 will make a large difference to your overall energy expenditure and metabolic rate, and so this is worth giving a try. In my experience, one of the biggest problems is that people exercise either too easily (not at hard enough an intensity). Now, in your case, it does not sound as though this is the case, since you are out of breath afterwards. however, I suspect that you will benefit a lot from increasing the intensity. At this stage, the problem however is that you are probably not fit enough to do this, and so what I suggest is something called interval training. To do this, you would break the run up into small intervals, say 5 minutes. You would then run 5 minutes at a FASTER pace than you would normally run. Then, for the next 5 minutes, you would take it very easy, either jogging very slowly, or walking. You would repeat this maybe 3 times, giving you a session 30 minutes long, consisting of 15 minutes of fast running, with 15 minutes very slow. This type of training is great for fitness and it also helps get the intensity higher.

The other thing to try is to increase the duration. I would imagine that a 4 km run is taking no more than 30 minutes, and so perhaps increasing this to 40 minutes will make a large difference.

Finally, I know you did say that diet was something you looked at, but I do think that it's something very important and a little change can make a big difference, and so I would suggest that you have a look at this again.

Good luck
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