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Help. Not Losing Any Weight.



I am a 23 year old, 5'9 inches, 158 lb female. My ideal composition has been at 140 lbs in the past so I am trying to lose the weight I gained over the last couple years.

I have only started trying to lose my last 18 lbs before summer, and I have about 9 weeks to do this so I have been trying very hard to lose 2 lbs a week. My progress is extremely slow and I don't know what is wrong :frowning: I have been following Tom Venuto's moderate carb diet flawlessly, 40/40/20 nutrient ratio, (20% fat), and eating 1500 calories a day.

I also taper my calories in the evening and only eat carbs before and after my workouts, never after 3 pm. I also do 60min of fasted cardio 6x a week with a heartrate between 148-167, followed by P90X about 5 hours later in the day as I am working around my college schedule. I never miss a workout and I DO NOT cheat in the evenings, I stop eating around 9 pm.

I have been doing everything perfectly for the last week so I can try to figure out what the problem is. My polar heart rate monitor is estimating just over 1,000 calorie a day burn, as I am exercising 2-2 1/2 hours a day.

After not losing more than .2 lbs when eating 1200 calories I upped it to 1500 and I lost one pound in 9 days at 1500, but I feel like I should be losing at LEAST 2 considering the amount of effort I am putting in. I don't want to do a lower carb cycle yet as I am saving that when I get down to the last 10 lbs, I need a plateau breaking strategy for later.

Does anyone have any idea what my problems could be? I've never had a problem losing weight in the past, I lost 20 lbs last summer not even working out at all or dieting, but now that I am trying it seems to be difficult to budge :frowning:

Oh, and I take 2 HOT-ROX before my fasted cardio session, I drink Metabolic Drive and I have recently started to take 1 scoop of Surge Workout Fuel before and during my P90X workout, and 1 scoop Surge Recovery following it. I track every calorie and weigh my food, all clean calories and natural carbs :frowning:


How's your mood, energy, concentration, etc?


Are three of those things are actually peaking at this point in my life, which is why I finally am able to stick with a program despite not having results. Funny how I have always lost weight but never could stay motivated on the program, and the one time I can finally stick with it I don't lose any weight.


you could try lowering your carbs and upping your fat and protein. you're doing P90X? you should be super ripped then. everyone in the infomercial is


Gotta agree with Gregon here. At first glance, I'd suggest upping your fats and proteins and lowering your carb intake. Personally, I am on a fat loss plan, and I restrict my carb intake to around 50-80 grams.

On second glance, I think alot of members here would agree we do not know enough about what you are doing to help you. For instance, where are your carbohydrates, proteins, and fats coming from? A carb is not a carb, and bread is not the same as broccoli.

On third glance, have you tried calculating your BMR and calculating how many calories you actually need each day (usually you multiple BMR by some factor based on your activity level). I've had some success with that. Since you are working out so much, you might be surprised that you are taking in too little.

Workout wise, I know nothing about p90x. To me, nothing beats a solid lifting program of squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and other pulls.

At the end of the day, there is a wealth of information on this site about fat loss, both nutrition wise and training wise. A quick search wouldn't hurt.


P90X is an ok cookie cutter program if you don't wanna go to the gym. It doesn't come close to a well rounded program you can implement in a gym though.


My first thought was a cortisol issue from simply doing too much and not recovering. Like the others have said play with your carb intake and sources. Maybe take a more drastic approach and fast for one day a week, or do an aggressive carb cycling plan. Best of luck.


Also remember that there's the possibility you're gaining muscle, especially if you weren't working out at all previously. The more muscle you put on, the more fat you'll burn. I don't know how long you've been at it, but go by how you feel and how your clothes fit.


Um. the op is a woman doing p90x. gaining muscle isnt the problem.


I think 2lbs a week is a too-aggressive target unless you specifically go on a fast (or if you're really fat, which you're not). 1lb a week seems just fine.

When's the last time you tried just eating maintenance calories for at least a week or two? Metabolisms do slow down a little bit on diets, and they might slow down harder for women than men.

6 hours of moderate intensity cardio + P90x (i assume 6x a week?) Seems like a recipe for way too much cardio to try to maintain on a diet. Even if it doesn't directly burn you out, it might be causing a huge spike in stressy hormones like cortisol, which could lead to massive water retention.

Consider keeping up the training but doing a week or two of trying to eat maintenance.

Alternately, I'd consider, as a first step, reducing the intensity of your morning cardio. Maybe just to a brisk walk (didn't Shelby Starnes just write that article extolling walking?). P90x will still have you jumping around enough to stay in good aerobic shape.

Remember, most of the work on a diet is done by nutrition, not training.

And ff you have access to a weight room, check it out.


Your calories seem quite low IMO. Like others have said, I would decrease carbs and increase fats. I'd also incorporate the big compound lifts (deadlifts, squats, bench) into your training. I noticed a big jump in my fat loss when I did that when I was trying to lose fat.

2 lbs a week doesn't sound unreasonable to me depending on your body fat levels. That said, take measurements instead of relying on the scale to really gauge your results. Bust, under bust, waist, hips and thighs are the ones I would watch. When I was losing fat, the scale stagnated while my measurements were changing and my dress size was dropping.

What dress size would you like to be? I'd make that your goal instead of losing x lbs.

From what I know about it, P90x is a good program for what you're trying to do, but I'd just add more weightlifting.


some people have to do low calories though...I know this is a controversial post, but it is a reality...

If you haven't lost weight or decreased your measurements over a period of weeks(3-4 weeks)....then yes, you need to figure a way of reducing cals...even if it is just a couple of days(1-2 days or so) of lower than normal cals...


2lbs a week isn't a bad goal, although just 1lbs/week is good too.

Like other's have said, don't just rely on the scales.

Increase your fibrous foods (raw veg is great for fat burning - I believe the enzymes in them etc help).

Increase protein/fat (e.g. red meat) and lower carbs to less than 5%

Do a more basic workout based on compound moves (e.g. circuits of 3 big exercises like Lunges/Rows/benching or Squats/pulldowns/overhead press)

Have a cheat day once a week to give your metabolism a little boost.

If you've been dieting for longer than 3 months, I'd take a break for a few weeks to balance your hormones (e.g. eat according to your appetite or slightly less...in other words, stop starving yourself). Prolonged dieting with no break can cause your body to crash (survival mode), where cortisol levels increase etc making fat loss difficult.

Take a break from the exercise for a few days. When you go back, you'll be able to work 110% and stimulate more fat loss.


l o fucking l.


If I just read all the contents of your diet/training regimen without reading the subject of this post, I would actually have guessed precisely that your progress has stalled. You are not eating enough fat. You are eating too many carbs. You are "exercising" too much and looking in all the wrong places for the solution.

You need a solid weight training program, and not the compilation of arbitrary movements that is P90X. These are the types of situations I believe require a complete overhaul of what you think you know about fat loss dieting and training. You've come to a very good site to start reading up on it.

I believe this is just a more blunt way of stating everything that's already been mentioned above me. Best of luck.


Your kcals look pretty low. Do like suggested above. Figure out what your maint. cals are given your energy expenditure and then try about 500-750 cals under that. You are going to have to play around with your macros more, actually its more so the timing of them.

The jury is still out on fasted cardio being the best for fat loss(yeah, I said it :0 ), especially when your heart rate is where its at for 60 min. Personally I would ditch that. If you want to better utilize your time and energy try taking in some carbs in the morning and doing some HIIT, tabata style, or even some plyo circuits. Wouldn't do it 5 days a week though, maybe 3 with some lower intensity cardio on the days in between.

Something that is going to really push your metabolism into overdrive and then keep it there for hours after. Go back to your fats during the day and then carb up again for your P90 and then fats again after that is over. So essentially the only carbs you take are to fuel just the workout and then pro/healty fats the rest of the day/evening.

The most important thing though is that you CANNOT use a cookie cutter diet plan. THEY ALL SUCK! You have to figure out YOUR numbers and then manipulate them for your body. Good luck!


I appreciate all the comments, I am not sure how I am still eating too many carbs as I only have about 100g of banana and 1/2 cup of oatmeal plus one scoop of workout fuel and one scoop of recovery. The rest is veggies and protein sources - i don't eat bread, and if I do it's ezekiel if I am sick of oatmeal. I hardly eat carbs as it is. I tried upping my calories this week and still the scale hasn't budged. I will try a 45% protein, 35% carb, 20% fat for a full week and see if lowering carbs does help. it will probably be 100-120 grams of carbs, only eating before and after workouts??

The only time I have ever lost weight has been when severely cutting calories, never increasing them. That was a few years ago, and I also don't think I am in "starvation mode" because I have not been dieting for more than a few weeks now nor was I an undereater before.. I find it hard to believe I would be starving after 2 weeks of moderate calories, after weeks of normal eating.

It's just hard to stay encouraged without even a 1/2 pound drop as feedback. I can maintain my weight eating whatever I want in reason, so it's frustrating to be hungry and tired just to maintain it as well :stuck_out_tongue:

Can someone tell me how much I should be eating then? I am 23, I weigh 158 lbs, I am 5'9 inches, and my bodyfat % is approximately 22.2%.

The scale isn't moving at 1200 or 1500 calories. I have always lost 2 lbs a week eating at 1200, even just earlier this year when I weighed about the same I do now and eating the same way I am now. I lost weekly I just didn't maintain it because I got lazy, and gained it back. Now I am not lazy and it won't move but I am the same weight and age as before.


amen sista Bonez

OP, 2lbs is nothing. I gain that from a squat session or a salty meal.
Keep in mind weight loss is not linear and you have pesky female hormones to deal with as well.

If I was you, I would:
Eat only carbs from veggies (lots of them), no fruit, no grains
Cut out dairy
Forget about pre/post workout fast carbs, you won't die without them
Eat a lean protein source at every meal
Increase fats (fish, fish oil, avocado, EVOO, nuts etc)
START BARBELL TRAINING: squats, deads, cleans, presses and rows
Take pictures once a month and throw out (or hide) the scale
Switch up your conditioning and ramp up the intensity while doing it.

Rather than focusing on weight loss, focus on your performance. Go faster, longer, or heavier. Soon enough this will become more important than any number on the scale.


There are two things that cause cause massive water retention, making body composition measurement difficult:

1) Stress
2) Your womanly cycles

It sounds like you're definitely feeling the first 1. For the second part, you'd need to measure your weight and approximate bf% on a month-to-month basis.

40% of diet from carbs doesn't really count as low carb, either.

You've mentioned that you had previously only been able to cut weight on low cals. That might be true. Maybe low cal combined with lower volume (but higher quality) activity, might be a way to try. that and wait until the end of the month.


Everyone seems to have some pretty good advise.

You said you are in college. I would check out what resources you have. I'm lucky enough to work as a trainer at Virginia Tech and we just added a bod-pod to our facility. Check to see if you have any ways to see your RMR or get a body fat test (skin fold, dunk tank, bod-pod), I know some colleges have these options available. This will give you an idea of where you're at and how you can go from there.

You may need to try some carb cycling or something more aggressive than your current diet (note. I would do so after you try doing resistance training for 2-3 weeks (make sure you include some very heavy exercises on at least 2 workout days each week), see how your body responds and if not its time to change your diet up. There are other things you can do aside from carb cycling, so don't be scared to use it if you need to. Things like very low carb diets (under 60g or so) and keto diets are options too. You just need to see how your body responds. It takes practice and doesn't always happen within a summer. With all the progress you gain you will start to learn that much more about your body and things will get easier with that experience.