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The Question:

I started an excercise program about a year ago and in the last 5 months have adhered to it faithfully. It includes 30 minutes of aerobic activity (treadmill or stairmaster)and then 30 minutes of weight training (mainly on my legs). I have noticed that my body feels firmer, however I have not lost 1 single pound and I really want to reduce my size. I still look "heavy" although I am aware that I am much more fit than I have ever been even in my younger "skinny" days, but I really crave that visual effect of looking thinner. I am 37 yrs old., 5'7" tall, weigh in at a whopping 170lbs., and wear womens size 11/12 clothing. Any advise on supplements or techniques.

The Answer:

Congratulations on your hard work the last five months! It takes a lot of determination to stick with a demanding workout program. Sometimes the body fat never seems to come off fast enough! Actually, I am sure you have lost fat weight and gained muscle weight. So, the scale is not showing any change but your body fat levels will be lower. This explains the “firmer” feel you are experiencing. Your exercise programs seems to be sound. You are working hard doing 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day and that is super for losing body fat. You also mentioned that you are weight training for 30 minutes primarily on your lower body. The combination of these two types of training is very important to create an overall balance in your fitness routine. I would, however, integrate a little bit of upper body strength training for an added protection against osteoporosis. Now, as for the actual effects that your body is experiencing let me try to explain. As a person begins to exercise they expect to lose “weight” from putting in all that work burning extra calories! This is a very reasonable assumption. However there are other factors to consider. Let me give you a basic example that would apply to many people. If you trained hard for an hour you would burn approximately 300-400 calories. Now, if you did this 7 days per week you would burn roughly 2,100 to 2,800 calories. This is still not enough to burn 1 pound of fat (which is 3,500 calories). So, although there was a lot of exercising going on the actual scale weight is not going to change very quickly especially when you factor in that you probably have increased your muscle weight (which is good!). Now, you will eventually reach your goal just by exercising alone as long as you don’t increase your caloric intake. But, this obviously can take a long time. You can increase the rate at which you lose body fat by just slightly changing your diet. I know this is where everybody groans! But it has to be looked at if you want to achieve a different look in a shorter amount of time. Check out our nutrition section at This will give you some great fundamentals on how to get the most out of your nutrition program. From a supplement standpoint, there are many out there that can provide a boost in your quest to losing bodyfat and ultimately body size. Just remember that you can't get thinner from simply taking a pill. You must also put in a lot of hard work. The supplements can help to curb your appetite and provide a small boost to your body's metabolism speed! Thanks for your question and keep up the great work on your exercise!

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