My client is serious about losing weight. She is training with me an average of three times per week where we do about an hour of resistance training and some cardio. She works out herself doing cardio and weights three times a week for about 40 minutes. She eats pretty well and is seeing a dietician about portion sizes. She has made some progress but not a lot. Is there something more I can do, or am I just being impatient?
Thank you for caring so much about your client. It sounds as though you have most of your bases covered. However, I would like to make some suggestions. In this instance, I think less is more. Since she is now seeing a dietician, it is one less variable in the equation. Energy in needs to be less than energy out to see a weight reduction. The variable that usually is not tested is metabolism. It sounds as though she is burning more calories than she is consuming if she has portion size under control. The problem occurs if the lack of calories is coming from muscle tissue rather than fat. Even if she loses weight in the beginning, the reduction of lean tissue sends the body into a state of starvation. This starvation sequence tells the body to store all fat and burn muscle to get ready for the upcoming famine. We know that muscle tissue is alive and needs calories to live. The body will cannibalize itself of muscle tissue to bring down the metabolism and prepare itself for future famine. The less muscle tissue it has, the less calories it needs on a daily basis to survive. This phenomena is why crash diets and/or excessive exercise will not get the results most people desire. I don’t really know this person's background other than what was provided, but it sounds like an awful lot of training. Is she a professional athlete, or was she once at that level? If I am reading this right, it says she is lifting weights six days a week and doing cardio six days a week. That kind of training will ensure a case of quick overtraining and lack of enthusiasm quite quickly.
I also have to ask if you have her using ketone sticks? Ketone sticks can be purchased at any local drugstore. Have your client urinate on the stick. If it turns color, it means that the client is in ketosis and is using protein or muscle tissue for energy. This will help ensure the calories she is burning are calories from fat. Another thing I may suggest is to turn her resistance training routines into cardio sessions. What I mean is to have her doing circuit training with lighter weight and more reps without much rest in between. This will double as a resistance training program and a session of cardio and will cut her gym time down significantly. Thanks for the question. I wish you the best. A client who works out too much is sometimes more challenging than the client who doesn’t want to work enough.