I have been working with a 26Y.O female client since July and while she has gained a lot of strength (7 push ups to 25 for example!) and lost some inches, she’s only down 7 pounds since we’ve been working together.
She’s happy with the strength gains and all the changes she has felt in her body but we are both frustrated with the slow progress of actual weight loss. She is roughly 30lb overweight and where she;d like to be. I see her for 2 one-hour sessions a week doing full body resistance with some cardio bursts. I rotate between 3 types of sessions:
1. Heavy weights, low reps (6-8)
2. Lighter weights, higher reps (12-15)
3. Circuits (10 exercises working every major muscle with cardio thrown in, 1 minute each 3 times through)
On her own she does cardio intervals 30-45 minutes, up to an hour if she’s power walking steady state, and has at least 1 off day to recover. She’s been using FlexPro Meals (http://flexpromeals.com/) and goes out probably 1-2 times a week but is very conscious of what she eats when dining out, has a good grasp on portion control. The breakdown of her meal plan is as follows:
1300-1500 calories per day.
4-6oz protein per meal
2-4oz carbs per meal
1/2 cup of veggies per meal
25-35g protein per meal
20-40g carbs per meal
10-15g fat per meal
She’s had blood work done in the past 8 months with no abnormalities, although he has has sleep apnea she had surgery years ago for that but does have trouble sleeping for long periods of time.
I’d love other’s opinions and suggestions because she is doing so many things right I feel she should be losing faster. Could she not be getting enough calories? She doesn’t feel deprived but 1500 is low with the amount she is active.
Any thoughts are much appreciated!
You mentioned she has lost inches and gained muscle. She is headed in a great direction with her exercise program and she is changing the composition of her body. There are many factors that may be coming into play here–her nutrition and sleep apnea may be two of them.
You mentioned she wants to lose 30 lbs–what does that number represent to her and why is it so important? Have you done another body composition analysis on her to see her current body fat, BMI, and the actual number of inches she has lost? Is she really tracking her daily caloric intake? I ask these questions because they may help answer your question. Your client may have a number on the scale in mind and where her body should be–and her body may have a set point on where it wants to be. As far as her nutrition is concerned, you may want to refer her to a Registered Dietician. The sleep apnea issue should also be revisited with her doctor if she is having trouble losing weight. That could also hinder her efforts to lose weight.
So, you can see there are still some questions that need to be answered before you may really know as it may be a combination of things. It does sound like she is doing a great job so far and I would keep encouraging her efforts.
If I were you I would concentrate more on the BF% and maybe only 1-2% (if any) on checking and worrying about the number on the scale. She seems to be on the right track so the weight problem shouldn’t be that much of an issue to you. Get here with a RD then stay in touch with the RD so the two of you can be on the same page as far as this goes. And most important you and her need to be more patient. Another option you can try is add an extra day of cardio with you, so you can control what she does. Rome wasn’t built in a day :-)!
I would have her track her food for 2 weeks
Many clients “think” they are eating properly but when put down on paper sometimes that isn’t always the truth.
If you are a certified Health Coach you can assist her with this, if not, have her connect with a nutritionist/Rd.
Also, I would check the ingredients of the “flex pro ” meals and look for high sodium counts, high fat counts.
Exercise is 20% of the weight loss equation/Food intake is 80%
It sounds like you are doing a great job!
I think a key may be the sleep apnea. If she still isn’t sleeping in full sleep cycles her hormones may be out of whack.
Has she had her cortisol, test and pregnenolone levels looked at recently?
Just my opinion but if progress is slow in spite of eating well and working out consistently, I would look at hormone levels.
Thank you all for your answers, it’s nice to have another opinion! I brought up sleep apnea because I agree, it’s this unseen thing that’s so hard to actually control. The last time we measured body fat (skindfold with calipers) it was down roughly 4% and that was months ago so I’m hoping the next time we do it the results will reinforce the difference her workouts are making.
I’m happy she does notice the strength gains and I think, Harris, you’re right that we both need a little more patience. Either way she has been really fun to work with and we both enjoy our sessions!