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I went from morbidly obese to 6 pack abs! Ask me Anything

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  • vismalvismal Posts: 2,465Member Member Posts: 2,465Member Member
    babybeast1 wrote: »
    Congrats! You look pretty amazing.

    Question: My trainer has me doing more weights than cardio. I gained a bit... like 5 lbs, I'm trying to lose weight and it kinda freaked me out. I know people have said they should have started weight training sooner but I wanna trim. Not sure what s the best approach
    See my above post. As for weight gain, that depends on a lot of factors. Was the weight gain rapid (1-2 weeks) or over the long term (1-2 months)? If you gained it rapidly it is likely to be neither fat nor muscle but water. If you are new to weights the likelihood that it is water weight increases. Long term weight gain has far less to do with your exercise program and is very much related to your calorie intake.
    Did you ever experience fatigue when you lising weight?

    Absolutely. It's part of the process. Something that helps with this is a diet break. Every 8-12 weeks of dieting I usually recommend doing a 2 week "diet break". That doesn't mean go HAM and eat everything in sight, it simply means increase calories to maintenance but still be diligent with your tracking. After 2 weeks resume your calorie deficit. This helps with both physical and mental fatigue associated with dieting.
    brenn24179 wrote: »
    My 58 year old husband is slim every where except his stomach. How does he get rid of that stomach?

    You just have to keep losing fat. You cannot spot reduce fat and different people lose fat from different parts of their body first. If he is "too skinny" everywhere else but his stomach a focus on resistance training (weights) can help.
  • t41flyert41flyer Posts: 238Member, Premium Member Posts: 238Member, Premium Member
    You rocked it out!
  • tthickens637tthickens637 Posts: 306Member Member Posts: 306Member Member
    Many thanks Vismal!! I'm feeling a little stumped. I'm carefully counting calories and exercise regularly, but my weight loss has stalled. It was moving along fine for the first 20lbs, then I started feeling terrible and had less and less energy (started feeling very tired and cold all the time too). So I increased my calories by 250/day and immediately started feeling better, but now my weight loss stalled and I just fluctuate up and down 1lb (for 5 weeks now)! Any ideas? TIA
  • SpadesheartSpadesheart Posts: 399Member Member Posts: 399Member Member
    Do you find that certain muscle groups, groups that would have gotten a lot of work when you were heavier, had meteoric rise in functional strength, and some take a lot of time? I started at 265 at my heaviest, 255 in December. I'm at 205 now. I started lifting in February and I can lift an extraordinary amount with my legs, and can really do a lot of weighted work on core, more than expected. My back is surprisingly strong as well, but my chest and arms have been a much slower, methodical progression.
  • SpadesheartSpadesheart Posts: 399Member Member Posts: 399Member Member
    Also... Moobs. At what point close to goal weight did they go away?
  • rubipaz75rubipaz75 Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    So no surgeries?
  • giancarlov1191giancarlov1191 Posts: 144Member, Premium Member Posts: 144Member, Premium Member
    Very inspirational sir, your dedication is really motivating!
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Posts: 25,592Member Member Posts: 25,592Member Member
    vismal wrote: »
    Hi! I was happy to see you were still answering our many questions in your thread. Thank you for your video you posted in June. Very honest & in terms I can understand.

    When you think about what is realistic/long term (mainly related to measurements). Are there any ways you feel are reliable for measuring body fat? Between my home scale, the hand held one at my former gym & a hand held attached to the scale at my current gym I'm getting a little anxious about that number. I'd love to have accurate measurements, but I'm just not sure how.
    I'm basically 100% over body fat percentage at this point. To me it's essentially a worseless number. There is no really reliable way to track it for most people and even if you had access to one of the more accurate measurements (dexascan) I still don't know that it's terribly useful. If you are losing weight over the long term, you are almost certainly losing fat. If while you are losing fat you are maintaining your strength you can safely assume that you are not losing significant muscle mass. At the end of the day, look in the mirror. Are you as lean as you'd like to be? If not then continue to lose body fat. I think too often people chase a number and when they finally hit that number they may not be as happy with how they look as they thought they would be. For instance, somehow between magazines, bro science, and internet groupthink the idea that men achieve visible abs at 10% bodyfat and women at 15% became "common knowledge". Problem is, it's very hard to know with any accuracy what your body fat % is, and even if you do, if your goal is abs then lose weight until you have abs. You don't need to know your body fat % to do that. As far as using body fat as another data point to track alongside weight, measurements, and the mirror that's fine. Just don't get too caught up with that number because it's likely to be one of the least accurate numbers you have to track.
    grebber1 wrote: »
    You keep mentioning about lifting early. So is it bs that you can't build muscle and lose weight at the same time? Besides noob gains at the beginning.
    From someone who is morbidly obese all I hear is lose weight first then work on muscles. It's kinda disheartening
    Morbidly obese, non-trained individuals, and teenagers are all capable of building muscle while losing fat much more efficiently than people who do not fall into those categories. The advice to "lose weight first than do weights" is stupid for 1000 reasons. First off, even if you don't gain a terribly significant amount of muscle mass you will maintain muscle mass you already have. You will also build strength. Finally, lifting weights does NOT inhibit weight loss. That's something people say all the time and it's complete nonsense. So in short, anyone who says lose weight first then lift weights is just wrong.

    To the bolded, A-freaking-MEN!
    edited June 14
  • brittneyalleybrittneyalley Posts: 246Member Member Posts: 246Member Member
    How much muscle would I be able to gain in a deficit? I’m 130lbs, 5’1” and have a BF% of about 30. I’m also breastfeeding (which I know can mess with hormone levels). My goal is to lose between .5-1lb/week right now (eating ~1650 calories per day right now, with 1 day per week of maintenance). I haven’t exercised in 5+ years, and lost a significant amount of muscle since being pregnant.
  • nutmegoreonutmegoreo Posts: 14,729Member Member Posts: 14,729Member Member
    How much muscle would I be able to gain in a deficit? I’m 130lbs, 5’1” and have a BF% of about 30. I’m also breastfeeding (which I know can mess with hormone levels). My goal is to lose between .5-1lb/week right now (eating ~1650 calories per day right now, with 1 day per week of maintenance). I haven’t exercised in 5+ years, and lost a significant amount of muscle since being pregnant.

    Since you are breastfeeding, you should be eating more. The lower calories that you are aiming for can compromise your milk supply. I have heard that breastfeeding will burn an additional 500 calories per day, so you should be able to eat at least 2000 and still lose some weight without risking milk supply.

    I realize this isn't what you asked about, but it is what jumped out at me.
  • brittneyalleybrittneyalley Posts: 246Member Member Posts: 246Member Member
    nutmegoreo wrote: »
    How much muscle would I be able to gain in a deficit? I’m 130lbs, 5’1” and have a BF% of about 30. I’m also breastfeeding (which I know can mess with hormone levels). My goal is to lose between .5-1lb/week right now (eating ~1650 calories per day right now, with 1 day per week of maintenance). I haven’t exercised in 5+ years, and lost a significant amount of muscle since being pregnant.

    Since you are breastfeeding, you should be eating more. The lower calories that you are aiming for can compromise your milk supply. I have heard that breastfeeding will burn an additional 500 calories per day, so you should be able to eat at least 2000 and still lose some weight without risking milk supply.

    I realize this isn't what you asked about, but it is what jumped out at me.

    If I eat 2000, I pretty much maintain my weight. I’ve been eating 1650-1750 since February and haven’t had supply issues. I just started going to the gym last week and eat back my cardio calories (10 minutes on elliptical). Other than that, I’ve been very sedentary 2-3k steps per day, so I maintain at a lower range than most.
  • vismalvismal Posts: 2,465Member Member Posts: 2,465Member Member
    Many thanks Vismal!! I'm feeling a little stumped. I'm carefully counting calories and exercise regularly, but my weight loss has stalled. It was moving along fine for the first 20lbs, then I started feeling terrible and had less and less energy (started feeling very tired and cold all the time too). So I increased my calories by 250/day and immediately started feeling better, but now my weight loss stalled and I just fluctuate up and down 1lb (for 5 weeks now)! Any ideas? TIA
    What is your height and weight? As you get leaner you can start to feel crummy. It starts earlier with some people then others. What I usually do is take a diet break and eat at maintenance for 2 weeks then go back to the deficit.
    Do you find that certain muscle groups, groups that would have gotten a lot of work when you were heavier, had meteoric rise in functional strength, and some take a lot of time? I started at 265 at my heaviest, 255 in December. I'm at 205 now. I started lifting in February and I can lift an extraordinary amount with my legs, and can really do a lot of weighted work on core, more than expected. My back is surprisingly strong as well, but my chest and arms have been a much slower, methodical progression.
    This is mostly variable from person to person but from my own observations (non-scientific) calves. Be it males or females, if they've lost tons of weight the usually have pretty impressive calves. My calves are bigger/stronger than most people I encounter and I rarely train them directly.
    Also... Moobs. At what point close to goal weight did they go away?
    Just depends on the person. Also depends if you simply have chest fat or actual gynecomastia. Chest fat will go away at about the same rate as all other body fat. Gynecomastia won't ever fully go away short of surgery, although gaining muscle/reducing fat helps quite a bit.

  • vismalvismal Posts: 2,465Member Member Posts: 2,465Member Member
    rubipaz75 wrote: »
    So no surgeries?
    No bariatric or cosmetic surgery of any kind.
    How much muscle would I be able to gain in a deficit? I’m 130lbs, 5’1” and have a BF% of about 30. I’m also breastfeeding (which I know can mess with hormone levels). My goal is to lose between .5-1lb/week right now (eating ~1650 calories per day right now, with 1 day per week of maintenance). I haven’t exercised in 5+ years, and lost a significant amount of muscle since being pregnant.
    I wouldn't make muscle gain my concern if I was you. You don't gain much muscle in a deficit regardless of circumstances though some circumstances are more favorable than others. Breastfeeding is certainly working against gaining muscle. You should probably be looking at eating maintenance calories to begin with if you plan on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding itself requires quite a few calories. So basically, losing fat and gaining muscle are competing goals, through in breastfeeding and you have 3 competing goals. If I were you I would eat a maintenance. I would focus on training and gaining strength. Rebuild good habits with both diet and exercise. Once you are finished breastfeeding you will be in an excellent spot to start a fat loss phase. Once you achieve the amount of fat loss you want you can really focus in on gaining muscle.
  • tthickens637tthickens637 Posts: 306Member Member Posts: 306Member Member
    vismal wrote: »
    Many thanks Vismal!! I'm feeling a little stumped. I'm carefully counting calories and exercise regularly, but my weight loss has stalled. It was moving along fine for the first 20lbs, then I started feeling terrible and had less and less energy (started feeling very tired and cold all the time too). So I increased my calories by 250/day and immediately started feeling better, but now my weight loss stalled and I just fluctuate up and down 1lb (for 5 weeks now)! Any ideas? TIA
    What is your height and weight? As you get leaner you can start to feel crummy. It starts earlier with some people then others. What I usually do is take a diet break and eat at maintenance for 2 weeks then go back to the deficit.
    Do you find that certain muscle groups, groups that would have gotten a lot of work when you were heavier, had meteoric rise in functional strength, and some take a lot of time? I started at 265 at my heaviest, 255 in December. I'm at 205 now. I started lifting in February and I can lift an extraordinary amount with my legs, and can really do a lot of weighted work on core, more than expected. My back is surprisingly strong as well, but my chest and arms have been a much slower, methodical progression.
    This is mostly variable from person to person but from my own observations (non-scientific) calves. Be it males or females, if they've lost tons of weight the usually have pretty impressive calves. My calves are bigger/stronger than most people I encounter and I rarely train them directly.
    Also... Moobs. At what point close to goal weight did they go away?
    Just depends on the person. Also depends if you simply have chest fat or actual gynecomastia. Chest fat will go away at about the same rate as all other body fat. Gynecomastia won't ever fully go away short of surgery, although gaining muscle/reducing fat helps quite a bit.

    Thanks for the response... I'm 5'8" and weigh 155 now. Since writing my question on April 14th, I've lost another 10 lbs for total of 30. My goal is 135-140 (BMI ~20%), so I'm getting close. I fine-tuned my food tracking and started body-weight training and that seemed to get things moving again. I'm at another stall point now (5 weeks same weight), but I've slacked on my diet (macros and CICO) - so time to up my game again! Once I get to my goal weight, I'm planning on building some muscle. At 60 y/o I need all the strength and balance I can get! I've been working on my fitness goal for 9 months now - which seems like a long time to only be down 30lbs. What was your rate of loss when you got close to your goal weight?
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Posts: 2,814Member Member Posts: 2,814Member Member
    @vismal One of the finest success stories I've read here. Thanks a million.
  • SpadesheartSpadesheart Posts: 399Member Member Posts: 399Member Member
    vismal wrote: »
    Many thanks Vismal!! I'm feeling a little stumped. I'm carefully counting calories and exercise regularly, but my weight loss has stalled. It was moving along fine for the first 20lbs, then I started feeling terrible and had less and less energy (started feeling very tired and cold all the time too). So I increased my calories by 250/day and immediately started feeling better, but now my weight loss stalled and I just fluctuate up and down 1lb (for 5 weeks now)! Any ideas? TIA
    What is your height and weight? As you get leaner you can start to feel crummy. It starts earlier with some people then others. What I usually do is take a diet break and eat at maintenance for 2 weeks then go back to the deficit.
    Do you find that certain muscle groups, groups that would have gotten a lot of work when you were heavier, had meteoric rise in functional strength, and some take a lot of time? I started at 265 at my heaviest, 255 in December. I'm at 205 now. I started lifting in February and I can lift an extraordinary amount with my legs, and can really do a lot of weighted work on core, more than expected. My back is surprisingly strong as well, but my chest and arms have been a much slower, methodical progression.
    This is mostly variable from person to person but from my own observations (non-scientific) calves. Be it males or females, if they've lost tons of weight the usually have pretty impressive calves. My calves are bigger/stronger than most people I encounter and I rarely train them directly.
    Also... Moobs. At what point close to goal weight did they go away?
    Just depends on the person. Also depends if you simply have chest fat or actual gynecomastia. Chest fat will go away at about the same rate as all other body fat. Gynecomastia won't ever fully go away short of surgery, although gaining muscle/reducing fat helps quite a bit.

    Unfortunately I have confirmation from a doctor that it is indeed gynocomastia. Which is a bummer as it was like the #3 reason for me to lose weight. Sigh.

    I've just gotten down to 195 now. Unfortunately my body composition doesn't quite look like yours, which makes sense. You started at a much higher weight so your body likely had a good deal more lean mass to begin with. I still have a bit of a belly and moobs, but the latter isn't quite going away without surgical intervention. I do have a good deal of muscle, but the navy method puts me at about a 20% body fat. Everywhere else is pretty lean.

    I'm just reverse dieting into a goal of 190, and hitting the gym even harder moving forward. Here's hoping the extra calories make the recovery quicker.

  • alexis_davenportalexis_davenport Posts: 2Member Member Posts: 2Member Member
    Ab question: pregnancy provided loose skin of course, but i really didn't have much trouble with my stomach until after I had an umbilical hernia. Now I have an odd shape around my bellybutton area. Any suggestions on exercises to kind of target/tone this area more? I do cardio and weights 5-6 days a week
  • MarissaRiv23MarissaRiv23 Posts: 155Member, Premium Member Posts: 155Member, Premium Member
    You look incredible! 👏🏼
    I lost 100lbs and am recently dealing with 8lbs of regain. This motivates me to get focused and stop making excuses. 😁
    edited October 9
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