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New Poster: Some serious walls hit with fat loss

Discussion in 'Fat Loss/Cutting' started by sfslacker, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. sfslacker

    sfslacker Well-Known Member

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    Hey Folks -

    I've been reading for a while now about the changes people have made to themselves and I must say, I'm really impressed! I've been serious about getting in shape off and on since April (took a 2 month hiatus in summer but I've been working my butt off again for the past 7 weeks).

    A little about myself: I'm 30, male, and 6'2" tall. I was very skinny as a kid, but all that changed senior year of high school when my daily 1/4 Pounder Value Meal (extra lg. fries and Coke) at McD's added a good paunch to my frame, with my freshman 15 at college become more like a freshman 25. Since then, I've always had a gut, and have never been able to get rid of it.

    I'm very serious about being in perfect shape now (I'll eventually post some pics in the media gallery). Seeing how abdominal fat is linked with heart problems, and my family has more than its share (including my dad having angina), I want to get rid of this gut once and for all. I'm not looking for a six-pack as my prime goal. If I happen to get one with my workout regimen, great. But I've been wanting just a flat stomach for over decade. I can't even recall when the last time I had a flat stomach was.

    I never got too heavy, I topped out at around 229 at my heaviest, but a lot of that became visceral fat while made my stomach balloon outwards to a great degree (versus just hanging over my belt). I have since lost around 30 lbs. and am in the high 190's range, but I have much more to go. It's not weight loss I'm working on, it's fat loss, but I've some major problems, especially around my abdomen, both subcutaneous and a lot of visceral fat. I am wearing size 33 jeans for the first time in years, and am getting remarks from all sorts of folks about how I look thinner, but I can still grab onto an enormous amount of fat in my abdomen (and also my chest, which isn't so great either) and this fat isn't disappearing.

    I do weights 3 days a week (Upper body Mon & Fri, Lower Body Wed) and cardio atleast 4 days a week (twice I do elliptic trainer - the one with moving handbars - for an hour at 75-80% of target heart rate range - and twice I do high intensity training on a regular elliptical machine - I go about 60% and then every 4th minute I go all out for 20 seconds then back to 60%, and do this for about 30 minutes). I've been watching my diet and keeping it low-fat, and as much whole grain as possible when it comes to bread, etc, and about 1800-2000 cal per day.

    So a couple problems....1) I had a massive eyelid infection last year, and had to take antibiotics, which in turn wrecked my stomach and rendered me lactose intolerant and stuck with IBS for over a year now. I'm trying to work through these conditions, especially on those occasions of suddenly becoming bloated and/or constipated (not fun when you're trying to do crunches). Sorry for the TMI. 2) Does chest fat eventually go away? I've been working diligently on my chest, but this stubborn layer of fat over it isn't allowing any real progress to be seen. I don't have hanging manboobs, but I'm still able to pinch quite a bit of fat regardless.

    I'm writing because what I see so many of you doing, losing great amounts of weight in the span of a few months, it doesn't seem like it's making a dent in losing fat on my body where it counts the most. Sure, my face is thinner, and my pant size (which never got bigger than 35) is smaller now, but my gut somehow is staying the same and I'm just confused by the whole situation. Any tips or words would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

    :d_smile:
     
  2. _Christopher_

    _Christopher_ Well-Known Member

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    Whenever I start to platue I change my workout. I was doing elliptical for 3 months straight but their is a law of diminishing returns. Switch to a circuit of different types of machines that your body is not good at doing. When I do that I start dropping fast again.
     
  3. Puddy

    Puddy Well-Known Member

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    The gut and lovehandles come last. My gut is going now. My chest fat is not. That's driving me nuts. Have you been taking photos of yourself? Your gut might be shrinking more than you think.
     
  4. Buchy

    Buchy Well-Known Member

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    Diet is probably the main one here buddy - make sure you are eating the right things, don't neglect fat intake.
     
  5. sfslacker

    sfslacker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks folks - I guess I'll have to keep chugging along and see if anything changes in the next few months...
     
  6. adamc

    adamc Well-Known Member

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    A few misc thoughts

    First, great work. The changes you've made and the fat you've lost already are a huge accomplishment and, by the numbers, go a long way toward providing the health benefits you set out to achieve. :tucool:

    Here are a few thoughts ...

    First, about the trouble you've experienced after antibiotics ... you may want to try some lactobacillus acidophilus supplements. These are the beneficial bacteria we need in our intestines for proper GI functioning. You can find them at any drug store. There's some recent evidence to suggest that you don't want to take them at the same time you're taking antibiotics, because they may degrade the effectiveness of the antibiotics, but once you're done, you can use them to replenish your natural intestinal flora.

    Next, I noticed that although you describe your diet as low-fat, you don't mention any particular effort to make sure you're getting enough essential fatty acids. Some fats are like vitamins or essential amino acids: your body needs them, can't make them, and gradually deteriorates without 'em. Make sure you're getting them, either from supplements, or reguarly eating good sources, like salmon and nuts.

    As for dealing with a plateau, assuming you're still on one after your digestion trouble is behind you and EFA intake is on track, I can only suggest some of the classic plateau-busters:

    (1) Like _Christopher_ mentions, switch up your exercise routine ... change the aerobics ... try a different lifting routine
    (2) Take some time off of diet and/or exercise ... just a week or so if you've been going non-stop for more than a couple months
    (3) Add a cheat meal or cheat day
    (4) Drop your cheat meal or cheat day


    Other things that aren't stall-busters, but you haven't touched on and so might be worth mentioning:

    (1) Make sure you're eating at least six times a day
    (2) Make sure you're getting adequate protein, and that it's included in every meal
    (3) Track your body fat. Your aerobics seem fairly intense ... at your calorie level, it's not inconceivable that you might be losing lean body mass. I'm not saying you are ... just that it's something to watch.

    Hope this is helpful. :gl:
     
    #6 adamc, Nov 18, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2004
  7. sfslacker

    sfslacker Well-Known Member

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    AdamC -

    Thanks for taking the time for those tips...I really appreciate it.

    I'm still falling into the eating 3 meals a day paradigm and have been having a harder time breaking it into six, although sometimes I do succeed. I'll look into getting some acidopholus and maybe some other natural enzymes to stabilize my digestive region (instead of plunking down $$$ for drugs like Zelnorm - which seem to be marketed to women anyway).

    I am getting some fats...from items like soy milk, peanut butter, almonds, eggs (usually 5 egg whites with 1 yolk), hummous, tuna, chicken breast and olive oil. I eat a decent amount of whole grains (whole wheat pita, 12-grain bread, oatmeal w/1 tsp. brown sugar, and the like). Every other day I'll make a smoothie which is about 2 cups soy milk, a scoop of Designer whey protein, 2 tbsp. peanut butter, a banana, 1 tbsp. honey, and a handful each of frozen strawberries and raspberries (and maybe some ice cubes for crunchy texture)...it ends up being quite a bit (3 pints worth!). I take my time downing it all, and it takes place of one of my meals for sure.

    I also cheat here are there...I'm not too paranoid about that aspect.

    Is there a brand of body fat calipers that's easy to use and not too pricey? I guess I'll never know how much fat I'm losing unless I get one of those, but I'm assuming not all calipers are of the same quality and accuracy.

    I'll post pics in the media gallery around Dec.14th...that'll be 2 months since I started taking pictures - hopefully there'll be some evidence of progress.

    I think another issue with the aerobic activity I've been doing is whether I've ventured too far into anaerobic activity. On elliptic riders that have hand sensors for heart rates, I get to the top of my target heart rate range without even going very fast, which is frustrating because I have to force myself to slow down, although my inclination is to put as much into it as possible. I'm thinking "burn as many calories as I can on this thing" - which, in the end, may not be so beneficial if, as you said, many of those calories are eating away at muscle and not my gut. Which would make a class like spinning, for example, seem moot since much of that seems to be anaerobic activity...I guess writing all this down is making me analyze what I've been doing right and/or wrong better.

    Thanks again! :cool:
     
    #7 sfslacker, Nov 19, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2004
  8. slush_puppy

    slush_puppy Well-Known Member

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    My wife recently had a lot of the same sort of trouble and taking these supplements really helper her out a lot. I think that's an excellent suggestion. You may want to add regular unflavored yogurt to your diet, too, it contains lots of natural acidophilus as well.
     
  9. sfslacker

    sfslacker Well-Known Member

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    Cheers, Slush-Puppy.

    Yeah, definitely will be getting more yoghurt on my next grocery excursion.
     
  10. NEdge

    NEdge Well-Known Member

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    I really believe it is mostly diet, from everything you have said. 6+ meals a day is critical in my opinion. Also, I'd up the calories by 200-400/day, Make sure you are eating 200+g of protein and 70+g fat. Add omega-3's to your fats.

    A guess - more fruit and veg, less bread, pasta, rice etc...

    A mini-bulk (clean) for a few weeks might not hurt either.

    3 meals/day, slightly low calories, not quite enough fats and intense cardio is a sure fire way to muscle loss.
     

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