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Decreasing Body Fat vs. Weight Loss - Plateau and stuck

kjo1713kjo1713 Member Posts: 27 Member Member Posts: 27 Member

Hello

I am writing because I am hitting a frustrating plateau and not sure how to overcome. I am suddenly experiencing a lot of water retention after my training sessions (3-4 days/week strength, 5 days a week running). Almost 5 pounds worth many days and just feel "puffy" and tired all over. I am 5'3 - usually about 120 lbs and at 16% BF. I am wondering if my calorie intake my be an issue- I am reading that as you reduce body fat and that is your goal vs. traditional weight loss, maybe I need to change up my macros or overall caloric intake? I take in about 1500 each day and try to keep about a 200 calorie deficit, but maybe that's not the key in trying to decrease body fat? I feel very uncomfortable with the sudden rebound of water retention, and just want to get beyond this stuck point. It was suggested I redirect my question to this forum. If anyone has any thoughts or insight I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks!
Kim

Replies

  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,166 Member Member Posts: 18,166 Member
    Male or female - Kim can be either?

    Because 16% BF being a stress to the body or not depends on that.
    Then again that being an accurate estimate is probably pretty iffy too.

    How are you thinking there is only 200 cal deficit at 1500 eaten and that level of activity?
    Or is that 15 min of strength and 2 miles of running?

    But true, stress induced water weight gain can mask fat loss on the scale for a long time, upwards of 20 lbs could hide how many weeks with only a 200 cal deficit if that is true?

    How much more weight to lose to healthy weight?
    When was your last diet break, eating at maintenance?
    Always better to do that purposely than have body force it on you by adapting.
  • kjo1713kjo1713 Member Posts: 27 Member Member Posts: 27 Member
    Hello

    I am female and there is a little room
    For improvement which is what I’m
    Trying for, but the water retention makes it tough to tell until I can get back in for another DEXA scan. I have not been putting on focus on eating back exercise calories, as I have read this is bound to lead you into trouble since you can over/underestimate calorie expenditure. I do 4 days/week weights for 45 min or so, switching up which body parts I’m focusing on and hve increased strength for sure as I can now bench 1.6x my body weight. I run about 15-20 miles/week depending on week.

    Does that help narrow it down? Should I be focusing more on eating back calories expended?

    Thanks!!!
  • kjo1713kjo1713 Member Posts: 27 Member Member Posts: 27 Member
    Oops meant to say squat not bench - lord!
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,166 Member Member Posts: 18,166 Member
    So you are a decently accurate 16% BF female - that is a stress on the body, no question about it.

    You are taking a minor 200 cal deficit off a sedentary or maybe lightly-active activity level burn of daily calories if that was honest.
    Problem is you are not sedentary or lightly-active because you exercise.

    Therefore your deficit is not a minor 200, but somewhat greater.

    Did you know food labels can be inaccurate - upwards of 20% allowed in US.
    Therefore the food logging is a known "over/underestimate" of calories eaten.

    Is it time to log food as 0 to match the exercise logged as 0 since it could also be off?

    Just saying.

    I noticed you didn't answer the question of how much to lose to healthy weight.
    I'm guessing at 16% BF you really have none, or already underweight perhaps, and therefore didn't want to comment?
    5'3" and 120 lbs would be at or below healthy weight already in normal circumstances BTW.
    edited November 21
  • elfin168elfin168 Member Posts: 187 Member Member Posts: 187 Member
    No wonder you are tired! You are trying to drop below a healthy level of bodyfat also possibly steep calorie deficit
  • sijomialsijomial Member Posts: 17,252 Member Member Posts: 17,252 Member
    "I have not been putting on focus on eating back exercise calories, as I have read this is bound to lead you into trouble since you can over/underestimate calorie expenditure. I do 4 days/week weights for 45 min or so, switching up which body parts I’m focusing on and hve increased strength for sure as I can now bench 1.6x my body weight. I run about 15-20 miles/week depending on week. "

    Sorry but the bolded is absolutely bonkers! Time to change your source of information as it is leading you down a bad path.

    With all the exercise you do ignoring a very significant calorie expenditure makes no sense at all if you are trying to work out your calorie balance. Should I choose zero for my estimated 178,000 annual calorie burn from cycling just in case it's slightly over or under estimated?
    Your body "counts" those very significant calories whether you ignore them or not.

    You appear to have well above average fitness and strength goals - underfuelling is not a sensible strategy.

  • Dogmom1978Dogmom1978 Member Posts: 1,300 Member Member Posts: 1,300 Member
    You are over or under on calorie logging. As stated above, should you therefore log that as 0 also??

    Start logging your exercise and eating some of those calories back. You are already underweight (at least borderline) and you are just going to make things worse on your body. Do you want your hair to fall out???
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