Client Question: “HELP! I’m not losing weight!”

For years we thought the way to lose weight was more and more cardio. That’s actually not true. What we want is to create the greatest caloric deficit we can.

I love client questions! It means they are truly engaging with their body and continually trying to be their best. Keep the questions coming!

Here’s one that I got this week:

“I have been running/walking on our treadmill 5 times per week for 30-45 minutes per day since April, and have not lost a single pound. I know it’s not all about the number on the scale, but I don’t see a change in the way clothes fit or anything. I’m so frustrated! I’ve been watching what I eat and drink big time, too. I’ve tried variable speeds and various inclines to see if that would do anything, and literally no change! Any thoughts on what’s going on?” This is a past bootcamper, so without truly diving into her diet, here is my general response:

“To answer your question, for years we thought the way to lose weight was more and more cardio. That’s actually not true. What we want is to create the greatest caloric deficit we can. Unfortunately, you would have to walk/jog/run 32 miles to lose one pound of body fat. Ugh!"

So, we want to do exercises that create the greatest EPOC. That’s a fancy acronym for Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption. After exercise we continue to burn calories for the rest of the day. Some exercises have a greater EPOC than others. For instance, strength training has greater EPOC than distance running. And high intensity interval training (HIIT) is even better than strength training. So I would suggest you combine the latter two while continuing with the former. I would cut your Long Slow Distance (LSD:) down to 3 days/week and replace the other 3 days with strength training and HIIT training. Make your strength training tough…like tougher than bootcamp tough!  And with HIIT training, you want to push your body into anaerobic state for 30-60 seconds and then allow your heart rate to come back down.

Here’s what I recommend for HIIT training:

1.    Treadmill Sprints; treadmill @ 5 % incline;
a.    Sprint 1—start at 6.5 mph
b.    Sprint 2—7.0 mph
c.    Sprint 3—7.5 mph
d.    Sprint 4—8.0 mph

Continue elevating mph until you have reached your maximum speed; Sprints are 30 seconds each; any sprint after 10.0 mph is 20 seconds; work up to 8 sprints.

Do that after an intense strength training workout, and you’ll burn a ton more calories!” Keep the questions coming! I love them!

Sleep well, eat well, be well.

Rachel Bergman

WholeFit Personal Trainer


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