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I'm starting to plateau. I need to shed more body fat.

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2

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  • Emilia777
    Emilia777 Posts: 978 Member
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    OP, good job on your progress, but you need to seriously reassess what you’re doing: this isn’t healthy, sustainable, or a good idea in general!

    You should be happy because you’re at a good place now to start a serious strength training routine that will reshape your body, keep you strong, and help maintain your muscle mass. As it stands, you’re close to “skinny fat” territory. Check out this photo of a two dudes at 10% body fat. The one on the left weighs 15 lbs more, but look at his muscle - I don’t think you want to look like the guy on the right, do you?

    10-percent-body-fat-male-pictures1.jpg

    So basically, listen to what everyone else is saying: eat more, strength train, and you’ll get stronger and more fit!
  • DeguelloTex
    DeguelloTex Posts: 6,652 Member
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    leannems wrote: »
    To lose body fat, you work off the deficit (although yours sounds too low, so your body may just be holding on to everything).
    It sounds like you're implying that I could cut my grocery bill to $0 and maintain my weight because my body will hold on to everything.
  • futuremanda
    futuremanda Posts: 816 Member
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    rsaper87 wrote: »
    I did see a personal trainer for a while, and he said that my workout routine was sufficient, but stressed that I needed to double my caloric intake. "Eat more and more" he said. It's not that I don't want to, but I simply am not hungry enough to do so, nor do I have the time. I work from 9-6 (the next few months it will be 9-8). So my times to eat are in the morning, where I have a breakfast high in protein (chicken or turkey bacon with eggs) and then I go to the gym on my lunch break at work. I get a 90 minute lunch each day so I usually get a good workout in, and when I get back to my office I will get half a sandwich with no cheese (I've cut out cheese completely from my diet) and some fruit. And when I get home I'll have grilled chicken and vegetables. And if I'm still hungry I may have a fat free Greek yogurt. And that's it. Never anything more. My carb intake is low, protein high (though not high enough). I also take workout supplements prior to workout, and after. Also on long endurance runs I'll use running gels to get those carbs into my blood stream and muscles faster. How are all of you able to eat so much? I feel like my stomach would burst.

    And I should also say that my goal is not to have a specific weight, I know muscle weighs more than fat, and I can see from my progress photos I slowly lose fat over my abdomen but still weigh the same (hence I think I do lift a fair amount of weight) so I'm almost positive my problem is my diet. So ultimately, I just want to loose the remaining abdominal fat. I'm starting to see some of my upper ab muscles but the lower ones are covered. I don't necessarily need to have a 6 pack, I don't care, it's just more about losing the bit of belly fat.

    "Not really hungry though" and "I have time to eat three meals a day but not, like, enough calories in those meals" are not valid reasons to starve yourself. You do realize that you're likely to seriously, potentially permanently, harm your body, yeah? You do have the time, and it doesn't matter whether you're hungry or not, just like it doesn't matter whether you feel like paying your electric bill or not. There are just some things you do in life, like not starve yourself.

    Did you know that when you eat that little, that alone is often an appetite suppressant? Eat more. Eat more calorie dense foods instead of physically more food, if you just honestly cannot eat more than a half a sandwich for some reason.

    Are you getting enough fat for things like proper hormone regulation? Enough protein to help your body not, say, cannibalize muscles so much (remembering that your heart is a muscle)? Did you know that if you'd eaten at a proper deficit, and lifted properly, you might look much better by now, because your body might have kept more muscle mass?

    Your actual problem is most definitely your diet. Your "weight loss problem" is your impatience. Eat enough. Get proper nutrition. Develop some patience -- the last few pounds take forever. Stop obsessing -- you may have some very specific body goals, but you most certainly are not walking around with enough abdominal fat that anyone but you is going to notice, judging from your picture. Fine tuning your look at this point could take months or years, and will probably benefit from a heavy lifting program (and FOOD).

    Also, this:
    rsaper87 wrote: »
    I have resistance workout 3 days a week, and cardio 3 days a week with yoga on the 7th day. My workouts are about 45 -h long. My usually bicep curls are with 30 lbs weights, shoulder fly and row workouts with 15 lbs weights, and on my leg workout days I do lunges holding 20 lbs weights, (one in each hand, so 40 lbs total) I used to do more reps of less weight, but now I generally do less reps of heavier weights. I do core workouts 3 days a week as well right after my resistance training. When I first started 9 months ago, I weighed 201 lbs, and started the p90x workout, and I lost 50 lbs in 4 1/2 months, and that's when I began to pIateau. I don't consume enough calories so I think my body is holding onto the weight, however I burn an average of 550-570 calories a day, and routinely run 10K and half marathons throughout the year. My daily intake is about 800 calories. Not nearly enough I'd say for a healthy metabolism. But I do understand that to lose weight I need to burn more than my intake. That seems very difficult, assuming someone my height (5'10") is supposed to be intaking 1600-2400 calories a day.

    Suggests to me that you either don't understand the math behind weight loss, or you still somehow believe that at your size, a 1000 calorie or more deficit is appropriate for you. If I throw your numbers into a calculator, and assume you're sedentary, I get about 2000 cals a day to maintain your weight. So eating 1500 to 1750 a day, and THEN eating back ALL the calories you burn from exercise, would net you a *healthy deficit*. Why you think that losing weight with a maintenance level of 2000 calories sedentary is "very difficult" is beyond me -- my maintenance at sedentary is like 1800 and I'm losing just fine, without starving myself.

    Are you under the impression that "burn more than my intake" means you have to exercise to burn more calories than you eat, for some reason? Because that's how you're acting. Your body burns 2000 a day just from existing and allowing you to do minimal daily tasks, such as shower, and sleep. You're feeding it less than half that, and then going out and burning more on top of that. There's nothing okay about this.

    *Harsh because I care, and because I see you not listening -- to the calculators, to your trainer, to us ("I feel like my stomach would burst", "am not hungry enough to do so, nor do I have the time"). And btw, if you read the responses in this thread and still feel very reluctant to eat more, you should probably tell someone in your life that you need help and get a consult with a therapist.
  • joaniegray
    joaniegray Posts: 88 Member
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    I am in same boat but attended a presentation on beans - which I have avoided. since adding beans to my diet (1/2 cup of navy beans on ww toast, or 1/2 baked potato) I have lost .8 pounds in a week. So am trying to up my fibre and protein a bit, and exercise more. I think this will really help! Good luck, you have done extremely well!
  • NotQuiteNorm
    NotQuiteNorm Posts: 283 Member
    edited April 2015
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    Here's a start OP: swap fat free greek yoghurt to normal and add cheese back in? And drink some fruit juice? If you wanna get crazy rub some bacon on it ;) ..then eat that bacon! I'm not sure why this is so hard?
  • nellyett
    nellyett Posts: 436 Member
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    rsaper87 wrote: »
    I have resistance workout 3 days a week, and cardio 3 days a week with yoga on the 7th day. My workouts are about 45 -h long. My usually bicep curls are with 30 lbs weights, shoulder fly and row workouts with 15 lbs weights, and on my leg workout days I do lunges holding 20 lbs weights, (one in each hand, so 40 lbs total) I used to do more reps of less weight, but now I generally do less reps of heavier weights. I do core workouts 3 days a week as well right after my resistance training. When I first started 9 months ago, I weighed 201 lbs, and started the p90x workout, and I lost 50 lbs in 4 1/2 months, and that's when I began to pIateau. I don't consume enough calories so I think my body is holding onto the weight, however I burn an average of 550-570 calories a day, and routinely run 10K and half marathons throughout the year. My daily intake is about 800 calories. Not nearly enough I'd say for a healthy metabolism. But I do understand that to lose weight I need to burn more than my intake. That seems very difficult, assuming someone my height (5'10") is supposed to be intaking 1600-2400 calories a day.

    You are getting your numbers confused....your intake should be moderate deficit from your TOTAL burn for the day. Your TDEE. This would include your BMR (which is the calories your body uses just to exist), plus your exercise calories.

    Here's a link to a lot of very useful information. Continuing what you are doing now is actually setting you back significantly....If you're looking to build muscle, lose body fat and lean out, then the number on the scale won't matter. And to do that, you need to eat. :)


    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/833026/important-posts-to-read/p1
  • fatcity66
    fatcity66 Posts: 1,544 Member
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    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Why are you eating 800 calories a day? With that low of an intake, your metabolic rate is really going to slow down. And you burn FAT at rest, so when your metabolic rate drops, so does the rate of fat burning. Don't try to outsmart your body. You should be eating a minimum of 1800 to 2200 calories.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Wait, I thought starvation mode was just a myth?
  • futuremanda
    futuremanda Posts: 816 Member
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    fatcity66 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Why are you eating 800 calories a day? With that low of an intake, your metabolic rate is really going to slow down. And you burn FAT at rest, so when your metabolic rate drops, so does the rate of fat burning. Don't try to outsmart your body. You should be eating a minimum of 1800 to 2200 calories.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Wait, I thought starvation mode was just a myth?

    You can slow down your metabolism -- it is not enough to prevent weight loss. If you starve yourself, you will lose weight. But it can be enough to mean that when you try to stop, your BMR is not where it would have been otherwise. Your body tries to operate more efficiently -- it's starving, so it stops doing certain things (maybe building healthy fingernails, for example) to conserve energy. So, as a baseline, you burn less.

    "Starvation mode" is the myth. Adaptive thermogenesis is real: http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/starvation-mode/

    Namely:

    "The true part is that being in a deficit DOES in fact cause your metabolic rate to slow down over time. This is known as adaptive thermogenesis, and it happens as a result of any prolonged deficit. The more excessive (in terms of size and duration) the deficit is, the more significant this drop will be.

    The false part however is the idea that this “metabolic slowdown” is significant enough to actually STOP weight loss. It’s not. And it sure as hell isn’t significant enough to cause weight gain.

    It’s mostly just enough to slow down progress a little over time."
  • itsmeGennie
    itsmeGennie Posts: 39 Member
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    Your body's probably mad at you for trying to kill it. It's doing all this work for you and you're not fueling it.

    It sounds like you're a smart cookie and your method has gotten you this far but don't be afraid that if you eat, you'll lose your gains (towards weight loss). It also sounds like you've convinced yourself that eating this little is going to work.

    Everyone here gave you some good advice - Eat more. Even if you aren't hungry. Some more tips around what you're already doing.
    • If you aren't hungry, start sipping your foods (shakes) and eat more nutrient/calorie dense food. For starters, add an avo to your breakfast and move from low fat to full fat greek yogurt. That should add an extra 300-500 cals to your diet doing/eating things you already do.
    • When you get back to your office, have a post-workout shake. Then eat your half sandwich/fruit
    • Create a meal plan at the beginning of the day so you know what time you're eating
    • Get more fat in your body
  • fatcity66
    fatcity66 Posts: 1,544 Member
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    leannems wrote: »
    To lose body fat, you work off the deficit (although yours sounds too low, so your body may just be holding on to everything).
    It sounds like you're implying that I could cut my grocery bill to $0 and maintain my weight because my body will hold on to everything.

    IKR?
  • kikichewie
    kikichewie Posts: 276 Member
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    That's not really resistance training, if you ask me. I'm an out-of-shape 41-year-old woman, and I lift heavier weights than that. OP, your trainers SUCK. I would skip the trainer and follow a weight lifting program/book like several that are mentioned here. You're starving yourself AND wasting time in the gym on old lady exercises. Lift heavy and eat to fuel your workouts. You'll drop the fat in no time and look better in the end.
  • DeguelloTex
    DeguelloTex Posts: 6,652 Member
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    It's not even the weights, so much as the exercises.
  • itsthehumidity
    itsthehumidity Posts: 351 Member
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    Pick up Starting Strength - 3rd Edition. Do what our barbell lord and savior Mark Rippetoe asks of you, add in some upper body accessory lifts. Rejoice in your new muscly frame.
  • memedandy1
    memedandy1 Posts: 10 Member
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    rsaper87 wrote: »
    My daily intake is about 800 calories. Not nearly enough I'd say for a healthy metabolism. But I do understand that to lose weight I need to burn more than my intake. That seems very difficult, assuming someone my height (5'10") is supposed to be intaking 1600-2400 calories a day.

    This is probably the issue! Your body needs way more than 800 calories per day. It will hold on to everything you've got, particularly in the belly. Your vital organs are in the abdomen so your body protects them over everything else. The point is to intake 1600-2400 calories and then continue your burn of 500 calories per day. Your deficit would still be 500 calories if you stay at 1600 calories.
  • DeguelloTex
    DeguelloTex Posts: 6,652 Member
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    memedandy1 wrote: »
    rsaper87 wrote: »
    My daily intake is about 800 calories. Not nearly enough I'd say for a healthy metabolism. But I do understand that to lose weight I need to burn more than my intake. That seems very difficult, assuming someone my height (5'10") is supposed to be intaking 1600-2400 calories a day.

    This is probably the issue! Your body needs way more than 800 calories per day. It will hold on to everything you've got, particularly in the belly.
    He does need more than 800 calories, but no to the rest.
  • NotQuiteNorm
    NotQuiteNorm Posts: 283 Member
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    OP definitely needs more than 1600 calories if the focus is replacing body fat with muscle. My tdee at sedentary is just over 1650 and I'm a 4'9, 124lb woman...
  • joejccva71
    joejccva71 Posts: 2,985 Member
    edited April 2015
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    Are you doing Keto? lol why 800 cals? Or better yet, whats the crazy *kitten* diet Lyle McDonald invented? I forget the name of it. Had people eating 500 cals a day lol.
  • moesis
    moesis Posts: 874 Member
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    I can't see how many calories you are intaking since this was initally posted, but as referenced above, 800 is dangerously low.

    At that level you are putting your body into starvation mode, it is going to store every single calorie as fat that it possibly can, you are going to get zero muscle growth from working out.
  • juggernaut1974
    juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212 Member
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    moesis wrote: »
    At that level you are putting your body into starvation mode, it is going to store every single calorie as fat that it possibly can, you are going to get zero muscle growth from working out.

    ispc026073.jpg

    NO NO NO NO NO
  • Allelito
    Allelito Posts: 179 Member
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    moesis wrote: »
    I can't see how many calories you are intaking since this was initally posted, but as referenced above, 800 is dangerously low.

    At that level you are putting your body into starvation mode, it is going to store every single calorie as fat that it possibly can, you are going to get zero muscle growth from working out.

    No it won't, don't listen to this.