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22 Nov 2004

Fitness doc did not answer my question 3359 How long?
You did not answer my question, please, what i really meant to ask in question 3359 is not how much weight I will loose but rather how long does it take for the weight to start going down if it should perhaps be that in my case i am not loosing due to muscle gain (remember i am doing 40 min of cardio on the treadmill working up a good sweat) 5 min doing situps and a cooldown stretch 5 x week. Surely so much cardio will push the scale down and not up or cause it to stay in one place and all i want to know is whether there is a timeframe before you do start loosing the excess weight?

Answer 361 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Marie

I'm sorry, I could have sworn that I answered the question, but I see that only the greeting line came out. I'll try to answer it properly this time.

I do understand your frustration and I wish that there was some very simple and obvious solution for your problem. Unfortunately, I can't be the one to give it to you, because your failure to have lost weight (on the scale could be down to any number of factors). I will discuss some of the ideas, but then the detective work is up to you to find out what might be happening.

The first thing is that I really do believe that it is possible to gain weight from just doing cardio. This is a perception that people often have, and while this is largely true, you must remember that there is considerable overlap. So, let's say you are cycling, this means that if you are cycling along at 90 revs per minute this basically means that you are doing 90 contractions of the muscle per minute. Do this for 10 minutes and you have 900 muscle contractions, and so even though the force per contraction is low, you will still build some muscle. What i am saying is that even though you are not doing weight training, it's still feasible that you will gain some muscle by doing cardio.

So, what I am trying to say is that even though you are doing cardio, your muscles are still working and hence they will still grow in size.

The next thing to consider is your current weight. You said in your original question that your current BMI is 23. This is the ideal value - I know that you are saying 22, but remember that the ideal range is actually 20 to 25. It's so large because people are very different when it comes to body builds, and some people have more muscle, heavier bones etc. Therefore, in my opinion, and according to the strict definition of the BMI, you are already at an ideal BMI. Because of this, it becomes very difficult to lose more weight - going down from ideal is hard, the body will resist change. It's much easier to lose 10 kg when your BMI is 35, compared to losing 1 kg from a BMI of 23. This may take a mindset change, but I don't believe that you will very easily be able to lose 5 to 8 kg. This would take your BMI down to 21, and while it may be possible, this is a very very long term goal, and not one to aim for at this stage.

Another factor that might be a practical help to you is to look at the length of each session. I think that you would benefit slightly from doing a longer run - 5 km is great, but if you could increase this to 7 or 8 km, even if only on 2 or 3 days of the week, then the extra 15 to 20 minutes can really make a difference. So I do think that this will help.

Finally, I could not find any indication of how long you have given this so far. Again, someone who starts off with BMI of 35 can probably see results in about 3 to 4 weeks. Someone who starts with a BMI of 23 needs a lot longer, because there is just not weight to lose. That means it will take a lot longer, and so I think that you need to give it upward of 6 months. The important thing to ask yourself right now is: are you getting fitter? Because if you are, then keep it up and it will come. If not, then maybe adding on those couple of kilometers per day will be a good idea.

Good luck
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