I cannot lose fat despite exercising 4x a week which is cardio and lifting. I’m not sedentary either except at work sitting 8 hours. I overdose on veggies and eat very high fiber and lean. Hardly any bread/starch. I am 51, 6″2, somewhat muscular, but 225 lbs. I should be 210-215 as I was 5 years ago. I can’t get there.

– Gordon K.


My guess is that perhaps your body is adapted to maintaining at your current intake and exercise level. Often after increasing activity, people experience a subtle increase in appetite which causes compensatory intake. In other words, calories consumed go up. Usually in healthy vegetable-based diets this could be in nuts/seeds, pesto, avocado, dressings, dried fruits or beverages. It only takes about 100 calories per day to forestall a weight loss of 10 lbs. in a year.

Try altering your workouts by increasing time, duration or intensity. To find hidden calories, I’d suggest tracking your intake for a few days and using dietary software with a comprehensive database for analysis. It might reveal where you have room to improve. Don’t forget that proper hydration and adequate sleep are also key to successful weight loss.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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