ASK A TRAINER: 'I'm Working Out But Not Losing Body Fat'
"Two months ago, I started taking a boot camp class because I thought it would be a fun way to lose weight. You're always talking about how high intensity interval training is better for burning calories than traditional cardio and that's basically what we're doing in the camp. I am having fun and I definitely feel stronger and I love the instructor. The problem is I've actually gained weight. Before you say that muscle weighs more than fat, let me just say that the weight I've put on definitely isn't all muscle. Is it possible this just isn't the right workout for me and my goals?"-Brenda V., San Diego, California
Hi, Brenda, I don't have access to all of the facts here so I am going to speculate so if I'm off base on any of the conclusions I've drawn, I apologize.
At the expense of being predictable, I am going to state, for the benefit of my readers, that muscle does weigh more than fat. I often have clients that, despite the fact that they may look better and feel better still feel frustrated when the number they see when they step on the scale isn't as low as they'd like it to be. For that reason, I try and steer people away from fixating on numbers and fixating on the less finite results like going down in clothing size or the compliments they get from other people. Since you are reporting an increase in strength, I have to assume that at least a good deal of the weight you have gained is lean muscle.
The reason why I am always singing the praises of high intensity interval training for weight loss is because it really is the most efficient way to burn calories.
So why aren't you seeing results? Here's where I need to delve into the realm of the hypothetical. I will use my experience with some of my own clients as a reference point. I have had clients that start working with me and get stronger and feel better and tell me they are moving furniture with ease and that they know their posture has improved but they aren't getting the fat loss results they are looking for as quickly as they'd like to. My first question is always, "What are you eating?" Sometimes they report that they haven't changed their diet at all and that they are eating junk food. Pretty easy to solve what's going on there.