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Regular Excerciser...But Not Seeing Weight Loss on the scales?


Losing weight can be a challenge for many of us.  For those of us that exercise regularly, further weight loss can also be frustrating.  When beginning your commitment to a diet and exercise program to lose weight, it seems initially the weight does come off in manner that can be fairly satisfying.


But for those of us that have already been committed to healthier food choices, and regular exercise, the challenges of (further) weight loss can continue.  It’s not uncommon to hear exercising women relate the difficulties of losing any more weight.  And for me, like others, we may watch the scale actually start to ‘increase’ despite regular exercise and healthy food intake!  I’ve had to reach back to my medical references to feel some sense of comfort for why this may be happening.



Since exercising, I’ve been a fan of an exercise program more heavily weighted on strength-training over aerobic/cardiovascular-training (like a 70/30 proportion.)  We’re all aware of the benefits of aerobic exercise in regards to our cardiovascular health.  Though in regards to weight loss for women, muscle building from strength-training provides additional benefits of burning more calories, even when we’re not exercising (healthy muscle requires more calorie expenditure than less healthy muscle or fat.)


But herein lies the ‘problem with the scales’, when you’ve added muscle building to your workout regimen.  True, muscle does burn more calories than unhealthy muscle or fat, but muscle also weighs more (per volume) than does fat.  On the good side, muscle is also leaner than fat, and occupies less space than fat.  So your more muscle-toned body may weigh a bit more than you’d like on the scales… but it will also take up less space in your jeans!


Suzanne Hall, MD (@drsuzyyhall)

Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics, PC

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