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Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by hopestar614, Apr 8, 2008.
You see yourself every day, so you're probably not the best judge of whether or not your shape is improving. If you have progress pictures, other people will be able to spot the differences. At 5'1" and 107 pounds, changes will not be really dramatic and noticeable to you, most likely.
5 weeks is also not very long-- you really don't need to lose weight at the size you're at, so much as you might need to gain muscle to make the changes you want, so 1128 calories a day is *very* low anyway. You're no longer sedentary since you're working out 6 days a week!
Usually when you're already at a low weight, you might do better to focus on gaining muscle, and then later try to lose belly fat.
And if you've gained weight in the past due to stress, focusing on losing weight might be enough stress to have you holding onto fat, along with the stress of a diet made for a sedentary person. If you can find a way to have fun with this and do activities you really love, it might help too.
I still think it's probable that there are changes and you just can't notice them yet.
Hi there! I think you're at a pretty good bodyweight for your height, so I don't think you need to be eating at such a substantial caloric deficit.
As you've discovered, dropping weight doesn't always make you look leaner. The cause of "skinny fat" is a high body fat percentage. To look tighter and less jiggly, you want to increase your proportion of lean body mass as compared to fat mass, which quite a bit different than just losing weight.
If you look pretty skinny with clothes on, then you probably don't really want to lose weight. So you shouldn't be eating at a calorie deficit. I'd suggest that you try to maintain your current weight, but to shift your activities in favor of gaining lean body mass at the same time as losing body fat. Just a wild guess, but you might be at 24% body fat now, and might want to get to about 18% body fat.
107 x .24 = 25.6 pounds of fat
107 x .18 = 19.2 pounds of fat
So you might have 6 1/2 pounds of fat to lose and 6 1/2 pounds of lean body mass to gain.
It's possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, or you might prefer to focus on one over the other in alternating cycles ("cutting" and "bulking") If you do the cutting/bulking route, I'd suggest that from your starting point, you begin with the bulking, because it will do all kinds of great things for your metabolism.
This is okay, but there might be more effective routines you could follow. Browse around www.stumptuous.com for ideas. When your goal is increased muscle mass, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that the weight you are using should be a challenge for you. If you could do 12 reps of any of those exercises, then it's time to move up to a heavier dumbbell.
Or she could look at Christy's (J_W) recent posts in her journal. She's been doing some excellent workouts and has made great progress. Initially her change involved weight loss, which isn't the problem here, but later she definitely added lean mass while staying at a fairly steady if not slightly increased weight. The result was great progress.
Christy has been working from a very smart strategy.
Moving on, not as impressive as what J_W has done, here's another set of progress pics (a mini-transformation, over just 2 months) where her body weight hardly changed at all, but the body fat percentage dropped by three percentage points. It's interesting to see what a difference it made.
Since MB and guava mentioned my journal and my approach (and made some really nice comments while doing so thus making me blush ), I thought I'd pop in and offer a few words of advice.
The thing about making body composition changes is that it's a slow process. "More weight lifting" could be the answer but not necessarily, since just doing more could lead to overtraining. The answer is "smarter weight lifting."
What is smarter weight lifting? Very generally speaking it means training your legs, your back, your chest (and your shoulders) with compound exercises and a weight that you find challenging. A 8-10 rep range is a good place to start as this will stimulate both muscle growth and will increase your strength. I like to recommend the Body for Life program for beginners because it incorporates both weight lifting and cardio. It's how I started last spring and I made some really good progress. Just Google Body for Life and you'll find the website where you can download training templates.
You cannot spot reduce fat. You just have to eat right, train hard and be patient - above all, be patient and consistent. When I started out it took me 8 weeks of hard training and correct eating until I started noticing changes.
Finally, your stomach sticking out might be a posture problem which will get better if you weight train properly. When I sit down, my stomach also feels squishy since the last bits of fat there get compressed. It's normal.
In my opinion, even if you're not losing weight right now, you should keep your calorie intake as it is and not reduce it further. This way, you're sending a message to your body that it's going to have enough fuel to start restructuring itself, with some energy left over to support an increased metabolism and intense activity. I bet if you continue consistently, you'll reach a point before long when the improvements in your metabolism start to outstrip your present calorie intake and you'll begin losing weight and getting leaner.