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Why Can't I Lose Fat and Gain Muscle?


Hey guys. I’m a 17 years old girl who does crossfit and weight lifts, alternating every week for 4 days. I’ve been trying to lose a little stubborn fat while also building muscle, but it hasn’t been working great.

This is what I normally eat everyday:

Breakfast: 2 eggs, a grain like oatmeal or cheerios, and a fruit
A.M. snack: homemade protein ball
Lunch: 1 serving of whole wheat crackers, baby bell cheese, 5 slices of turkey or beef jerky and an egg, and a fruit or veggie
P.M. snack: protein bar or shake with fruit
Dinner: a pasta like spaghetti, or meat or fish with a bakes sweet potato, and a glass of chocolate milk

I exercise a lot, but I don’t do cardio. Most nights I find myself eating more before bed because I feel like I haven’t eaten enough for that day. I probably eat roughly 600 calories before bed…

I also have a cheat day every Sunday.

I am 5’4.5" and weight 128 lbs. I’ve been trying to gain muscle and lose fat on my stomach and thighs, but I can’t. Can anyone give me some tips that might help me reach my goals?


how many calories and grams of protein are you eating in a day?


Around 2,300 calories and around 50 grams of protein.


first thing I’d do is double your protein.

Has your weight changed at all? How long have you been eating like this?


Yes I have gained 7 pounds and I’ve been eating like this for 6 months


was it a good 7 pounds? As in, was it muscle and accompanied by an increase in strength?

It could just be that you’re eating at a maintenance level for your activity level, in which case if you wanted to lose weight you would either eat less or exercise more.

2300 calories still gives you a bit of room to play with so you’ve a lot of options as to how to go about it.

For weight loss, I’d definitely be eating more protein than that. If you think of it like this: out of 2300 calories, only 400 of those are protein. That’s like 25% of your total calories (or something, my maths isn’t great) which isn’t really enough for weight loss.


Also, do you know it’s 2300 calories or do you think it’s 2300 calories? Same goes for the protein. Do you know it’s 50g or do you think it’s 50g?


That’s what I think… Sorry I’ve been battling an eating disorder for 2 years and try not to count calories anymore


Also, I haven’t noticed a big change in my body either.


the eating disorder presents complications that can’t be dealt with on an internet forum, but really when it comes to body composition and such it’s hard to make adjustments without a starting point.

Increase your protein like I said. That’s something that can potentially have a very positive effect on body composition.

As for not seeing big changes in your body, that might actually be a good thing. You’d probably be more likely to notice 7lbs of fat, as it takes up a lot more space than 7lbs of muscle.


Okay thanks for the help!


No problem, best of luck with it.

And seeing as you’re only 17 you’ll soon be too busy drinking and partying to worry about shit like this anyway!


Yogi had some great advice on the nutrition, so I’ll just address the training.

Does this mean that one week you do weights for 4 days, then next week you “do CrossFit” (which is almost always some kind of weight training) for 4 days, and you keep going back and forth? What do those workouts look like?

More consistency will give your body a better training stimulus to respond to. If all you did was CrossFit WODs (at a halfway decent gym with more-than-halfway decent instruction), you’d be on a good path. Or, on the flip side, if all you did was follow a well-designed training plan for a few months straight, you’d be on a good path. I think alternating is also tripping you up.


Yes someone recommend I alternate every week between Crossfit and lifting… It’s hard to have a fixed schedule when I have school and work on top of working out. I don’t know if I should continue with Crossfit because I’ve heard a lot of bad stuff about it, but I do love it. As far as building muscle, I don’t know how much it helps…


eating disorder for 2 years
do you also have body image issues also?
if you do ,you might want to get Therapy along with your training and eating plan
learning how to control your weight and body composition does not happen over night
read, learn,train,stick to realistic goals


I do have body issues and I do see a therapist. I am however extremely dedicated to being healthy and strong! I’ve learned from my mistakes and know is takes a lot of time.


try posting under forum powerful women some of the women on that thread may or may not see your post here
some of them may have some thing useful there
you got good info so far
its okay to make mistakes


There’s a not so old saying that CrossFit makes men small and makes women hot. That’s kinda true. It helps just fine.


Alright thank you guys so much for the help!!


I would urge you to set performance goals and eat to fuel your training. I have seen this shift in mindset dramatically improve the health and self-confidence of women beset by a history of food and eating issues. It is profoundly empowering, whereas gearing your training and eating toward cosmetic goals seems to me a sad and empty way to go through life. Others are free to disagree, that’s fine.

But when you pour yourself into the attainment of performance goals, especially through athletic competition like the strength sports or competitive Crossfit, good things happen, not only psychologically but cosmetically. It’s a nice side effect if you care about that sort of thing.

As far as macros go, I agree it would not be wise to count calories or log everything…just have a sense of what and how much you are eating on a baseline day, and make small adjustments as you go. Take note of what foods you handle well, what timing and combinations give you the best training sessions, etc.