3

votes

How many of you can't slim down without exercise?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 12, 2012 at 1:01 AM

It has been said that abs are made in the kitchen, but how many of you have had the experience that no matter how clean or low-cal you eat, it's only by exercising can you slim down?

2f83028f9830b25f7c21109197176d9e

(328)

on June 13, 2012
at 04:33 PM

Same here, April! When I take time off from running, my abdominal fat increases even when I lower my food intake and get plenty of exercise from hiking and walking. This is why I ignore people who tell me running will increase cortisol and give me a belly. I don't over train, so it's irrelevant to me :)

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 13, 2012
at 04:27 AM

Well, I average 4-5 oz. of protein per day, give or take. I think I'll live.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on June 13, 2012
at 01:17 AM

I tend to agree with this. If I sit down all day I don't get nearly as hungry each day.

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on June 12, 2012
at 11:30 PM

Actually, I was thinking of posting a question that is the opposite of this one - anyone not lose weight unless they _don't_ exercise? I love exercising, especially with weights, but man does my appetite go through the roof and it feels impossible to maintain a calorie deficit with that much internal pressure. I eventually cave in, eat an extra 200 calories at least, and bam - weight doesn't budge, or increases. Extremely frustrating.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:53 PM

1 oz of protein at lunch and whatever you're getting at dinner seems like an awfully low amount of protein, even if you're not lifting especially heavy.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:32 PM

Yeah same. Exercising makes me more hungry. But I prefer eating more and having the energy to workout, than to eat less and feel lazy and lethargic. I like being active, so eating more to be active is a risk I'm willing to take ;)

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Plus running is the only exercise where you have to carry your own body weight powerfully, with speed and using a ton of muscles!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:30 PM

Yeah I get such an endorphins rush from a killer run. I know people here say don't do cardio...but I perform and feel my best when I do an even mix of cardio and strength work..I love spin classes, and the cross trainer (yes globo gym) and I like the outdoors and cycling there too :)

673f7ad6052448d51496f177395416b7

(344)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:31 PM

@ Lyndsay- exactly, for some reason I think cardio benefits those people the most who get the euphoric feel. Not everyone does, though.

673f7ad6052448d51496f177395416b7

(344)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:29 PM

same here. my body is pretty smart at canceling out calorie deficits created by exercise by increasing my hunger. And people who say "just ignore that hunger" have lots to learn about the intricacies of weight loss.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:38 PM

Hey Jen, some days I probably do eat a few hundred cals more, I just don't force it. Thanks for the advice, though!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:36 PM

The "abs are made in the kitchen" part of my question is a saying. I wasn't necessarily referring to a six-pack, just slimming down.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 12, 2012
at 06:32 AM

I know it feels counterintuitive, but it worked for me and has for many others, so just keep this in mind down the line. If you're losing, that's great, you just don't want your body to catabolize muscle :)

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 12, 2012
at 06:32 AM

That barely covers calories metabolically required by your body per day; with exercise added in you are quite low. You may want to up hour cal from fat a smudge (1tbsp coconut oil instead of half) and up your protein at lunch/brunch to 3 oz at least on your workout days. I'm 5"2 and ate 1200 cals for a year, strictly tracking this. I didn't end up with the body comp I wanted until I upped my cals to 1500-1750 on rest days, 1750-2000 on workout days.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 12, 2012
at 05:17 AM

I asked a related question a while back. Some of the responses there might be of interest: http://paleohacks.com/questions/115559/have-any-of-you-found-cardio-to-be-the-missing-link-in-burning-fat#axzz1xVO1ZpRR

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:49 AM

Lol, well, lucky, me, I'm only 31!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:41 AM

Well, if you're married then you should be older enough to know never to judge a book by its cover. That being said, thanks for compliment. P.S. 40 is the new 20 in my book.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Well, if you're married then you should be older enough to know never to judge a book by its cover. That being said, thanks for compliment. P.S. 40 is the new 20.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:36 AM

Well, if you're married then you should know better than to judge a book by its cover. That being said, I think 40 is the new 18.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:36 AM

Well, if you're married then you should be old enough to know never to judge a book by its cover. That being said, I often get bored with girls and think 40 is the 18.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:28 AM

Okay, it comes out to be 1200 cals. I think that's decent!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:09 AM

P.S. I'm AM losing fat by exercising, so I'm not really looking for a "fix".

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:07 AM

Really? I don't track cals, I just eat until full. I am never starving, ever. I'm 5'3, 120 lbs. I think I eat enough. I'll put it into fitday and see.

Cbf014e1272e1c092e774c70e78b7890

(300)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:57 AM

Lyndsay - it sounds like you are not eating near enough. especially if you are exercising. It will be impossible to lose that last layer of fat over the abs if your body constantly thinks its in starvation mode...

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:47 AM

P.S. foreveryoung, I am married, but I saw your bod pic. I heart you!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:45 AM

I think the euphoria of running+sun= happy fat loss. Keep running girl, I'll be running behind you soon!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:39 AM

Let me post a typical day of food to clarify (by the way, I exercise has helped me shift fat, I think my food is good): Brunch/lunch: 3 cups of mixed green salad with 1 avocado and lemon juice, instead of dressing, a handfull of grape tomatoes, diced onion, diced peppers (sweet or hot), diced cucumbers, 1 ounce of smoked salmon or 1oz of other protein. (I eat this every day). Dinner: veg, meat, fat. Tonight I had Hungarian style beef-stuffed bell peppers. Beef cooked with a half tablespoon of coconut oil, onions, garlic, salt, and paprika, stuffed into green bell pepper and baked. That's it.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:36 AM

on the 'abs' subject, the 'bigger' your abs are, the easier they are to see. in other words if you have 'big' abs they can still be visible at a higher body fat % than someone with smaller abs. so in this instance, exercise (ie. in the from of core strength training) will definitely be beneficial for visible abs, combined with a good diet

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:35 AM

on the 'abs' subject, the 'bigger' your abs are, the easier they are to see. in other words if you have 'big' abs they can still be visible at higher body fat % than someone with smaller abs. so in this instance, exercise (in the from of core strength training) will definitely be a beneficial for visible abs, combined with a good diet

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:33 AM

on the 'abs' subject, the 'bigger' your abs are, the easier they are to see. in other words if you have 'big' abs they can still be visible at higher body fat % than someone with smaller abs. so in this instance, exercise (in the from of core strength training) will definitely be a benefit, combined with a good diet.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:27 AM

I could not lose weight effectively without large calorie deficits. Minimal food reductions and occasional exercise didn't cut it for me when I was in weight loss mode. I had to see tangible results on a month-by-month basis to stay with it.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:19 AM

P.S. I don't exercise heavily, just hour walks per day, resistance and pilates training. Going to add weights soon.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:18 AM

I have actually down the low-food reward experiment, eating a leafy green and beef soup, unseasoned for two weeks. I did lose a bit of weight, but did not lean out, as I do with exercise. I have been Paleo/Primal since 2010, but as a recovering alcoholic, dairy and starchy veg made my cravings for alcohol worse, hence a bad relapse. Even as an alcoholic, consuming dairy, Iwas able to lean out with pilates. These past three months, I'm back to clean "Whole 30" style Paleo (no grains, dairy,sugar,elimanated starchy veg, except sweet potato). Exercise has helped shift fat.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:10 AM

That's probably a good thing. when you exercise you can eat more because muscle burns more calories than fat. With the added energy, you'll be able to shift your body composition away from fat and towards muscle.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:38 AM

Thank you, you are so sweet! Feel free to elaborate on how exercise can help move adipose tissue!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Cool cool. Btw I like all of your questions. One to rival Kamal at paindatabase.com.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:33 AM

Cool cool. BTW I like all of your questions that you ask. One to rival Kamal.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:30 AM

I guess my point was that you can't get really (gawd I hate this word)"optimally" lean with diet alone.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:29 AM

Makes sense. Yes, I am already fairly lean, 5'3 and 120lbs, but with "flab".

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:29 AM

What I mean to say is that if you are already lean and exercising, you can eat junk and booze to some degree. If you are not lean, there's no way you'll get there without properly dieting and exercising because the biological environment of a lean person is vastly different from someone with excess adipose tissue.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:27 AM

I can get away with eating a lot more crap than a fat person can because my body is efficient at converting food into useable energy and muscle glycogen. People who are not lean do not have this luxury.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Lyndsay, if you are already lean, you have high insulin sensitivity so can get away with a less strict diet. If you are not lean and want to get there, you need to have a strict diet and exercise regimen in place.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:20 AM

But, actually, in my experience, you CAN out-train a bad diet. Years ago, I had a crap diet, boozing it up all the time, but was very firm and trim through regular pilates. was I healthy, no. Was I trim and toned, absolutely. I agree with you about the combo of diet and exercise.

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11 Answers

7
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on June 12, 2012
at 01:08 AM

Lyndsay, you are taking that phase out context. The phrase is used by fitness enthusiasts to emphasize that you cannot out train a bad diet. It was not meant to imply that you can eat a clean diet and you'll get abs. Everyone with abs worked for them through a combination of the two.

You cannot get abs without a high insulin sensitivity. Diet can only reduce insulin resistance if you are already insulin resistance. Exercise serves to improve insulin sensitivity. That is how I see it and the two are subtly different.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:29 AM

Makes sense. Yes, I am already fairly lean, 5'3 and 120lbs, but with "flab".

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:49 AM

Lol, well, lucky, me, I'm only 31!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:36 AM

Well, if you're married then you should know better than to judge a book by its cover. That being said, I think 40 is the new 18.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:36 AM

Well, if you're married then you should be old enough to know never to judge a book by its cover. That being said, I often get bored with girls and think 40 is the 18.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:30 AM

I guess my point was that you can't get really (gawd I hate this word)"optimally" lean with diet alone.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Lyndsay, if you are already lean, you have high insulin sensitivity so can get away with a less strict diet. If you are not lean and want to get there, you need to have a strict diet and exercise regimen in place.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:47 AM

P.S. foreveryoung, I am married, but I saw your bod pic. I heart you!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Well, if you're married then you should be older enough to know never to judge a book by its cover. That being said, thanks for compliment. P.S. 40 is the new 20.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:20 AM

But, actually, in my experience, you CAN out-train a bad diet. Years ago, I had a crap diet, boozing it up all the time, but was very firm and trim through regular pilates. was I healthy, no. Was I trim and toned, absolutely. I agree with you about the combo of diet and exercise.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:33 AM

Cool cool. BTW I like all of your questions that you ask. One to rival Kamal.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:41 AM

Well, if you're married then you should be older enough to know never to judge a book by its cover. That being said, thanks for compliment. P.S. 40 is the new 20 in my book.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:38 AM

Thank you, you are so sweet! Feel free to elaborate on how exercise can help move adipose tissue!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Cool cool. Btw I like all of your questions. One to rival Kamal at paindatabase.com.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:29 AM

What I mean to say is that if you are already lean and exercising, you can eat junk and booze to some degree. If you are not lean, there's no way you'll get there without properly dieting and exercising because the biological environment of a lean person is vastly different from someone with excess adipose tissue.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 01:27 AM

I can get away with eating a lot more crap than a fat person can because my body is efficient at converting food into useable energy and muscle glycogen. People who are not lean do not have this luxury.

4
Medium avatar

(10663)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:32 AM

Yeah, I'm pretty much my leanest when I run regularly. I've read the stuff against chronic cardio but I incorporate sprints when I run. Actually, instead of listening to music or having a completely blank mind, I pretend that I'm doing some hunting so I sprint, walk, jog, etc. I have to take my dog out twice a day to do her business so it's the best way for me to exercise and get plenty of sun while I'm at it! I've completely stopped lifting weights (which was what I used to do and I thought I was getting pretty chunky) and have focused more on doing bodyweight exercises such as planks, squats, etc. and I'm seriously noticing myself get slimmer, without much change to my really strict diet. I love running.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:45 AM

I think the euphoria of running+sun= happy fat loss. Keep running girl, I'll be running behind you soon!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Plus running is the only exercise where you have to carry your own body weight powerfully, with speed and using a ton of muscles!

673f7ad6052448d51496f177395416b7

(344)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:31 PM

@ Lyndsay- exactly, for some reason I think cardio benefits those people the most who get the euphoric feel. Not everyone does, though.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:30 PM

Yeah I get such an endorphins rush from a killer run. I know people here say don't do cardio...but I perform and feel my best when I do an even mix of cardio and strength work..I love spin classes, and the cross trainer (yes globo gym) and I like the outdoors and cycling there too :)

2f83028f9830b25f7c21109197176d9e

(328)

on June 13, 2012
at 04:33 PM

Same here, April! When I take time off from running, my abdominal fat increases even when I lower my food intake and get plenty of exercise from hiking and walking. This is why I ignore people who tell me running will increase cortisol and give me a belly. I don't over train, so it's irrelevant to me :)

2
91882203467f64f68f25f58f1caeee68

(1017)

on June 12, 2012
at 11:42 AM

I actually lose weight if I stop exercising. Working out makes me very hungry, which makes me gain weight (from excess eating, and building muscle). If it stop working out I eat less, lost weight (fat and muscle).

673f7ad6052448d51496f177395416b7

(344)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:29 PM

same here. my body is pretty smart at canceling out calorie deficits created by exercise by increasing my hunger. And people who say "just ignore that hunger" have lots to learn about the intricacies of weight loss.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on June 13, 2012
at 01:17 AM

I tend to agree with this. If I sit down all day I don't get nearly as hungry each day.

7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

(367)

on June 12, 2012
at 11:30 PM

Actually, I was thinking of posting a question that is the opposite of this one - anyone not lose weight unless they _don't_ exercise? I love exercising, especially with weights, but man does my appetite go through the roof and it feels impossible to maintain a calorie deficit with that much internal pressure. I eventually cave in, eat an extra 200 calories at least, and bam - weight doesn't budge, or increases. Extremely frustrating.

2
6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:20 AM

Yes, I totally need to exercise. In reality though, its probably because I can only reach a calorie deficit with exercise.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:28 AM

Okay, it comes out to be 1200 cals. I think that's decent!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:27 AM

I could not lose weight effectively without large calorie deficits. Minimal food reductions and occasional exercise didn't cut it for me when I was in weight loss mode. I had to see tangible results on a month-by-month basis to stay with it.

Cbf014e1272e1c092e774c70e78b7890

(300)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:57 AM

Lyndsay - it sounds like you are not eating near enough. especially if you are exercising. It will be impossible to lose that last layer of fat over the abs if your body constantly thinks its in starvation mode...

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:07 AM

Really? I don't track cals, I just eat until full. I am never starving, ever. I'm 5'3, 120 lbs. I think I eat enough. I'll put it into fitday and see.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:39 AM

Let me post a typical day of food to clarify (by the way, I exercise has helped me shift fat, I think my food is good): Brunch/lunch: 3 cups of mixed green salad with 1 avocado and lemon juice, instead of dressing, a handfull of grape tomatoes, diced onion, diced peppers (sweet or hot), diced cucumbers, 1 ounce of smoked salmon or 1oz of other protein. (I eat this every day). Dinner: veg, meat, fat. Tonight I had Hungarian style beef-stuffed bell peppers. Beef cooked with a half tablespoon of coconut oil, onions, garlic, salt, and paprika, stuffed into green bell pepper and baked. That's it.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 03:09 AM

P.S. I'm AM losing fat by exercising, so I'm not really looking for a "fix".

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 12, 2012
at 06:32 AM

That barely covers calories metabolically required by your body per day; with exercise added in you are quite low. You may want to up hour cal from fat a smudge (1tbsp coconut oil instead of half) and up your protein at lunch/brunch to 3 oz at least on your workout days. I'm 5"2 and ate 1200 cals for a year, strictly tracking this. I didn't end up with the body comp I wanted until I upped my cals to 1500-1750 on rest days, 1750-2000 on workout days.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 12, 2012
at 06:32 AM

I know it feels counterintuitive, but it worked for me and has for many others, so just keep this in mind down the line. If you're losing, that's great, you just don't want your body to catabolize muscle :)

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:53 PM

1 oz of protein at lunch and whatever you're getting at dinner seems like an awfully low amount of protein, even if you're not lifting especially heavy.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:38 PM

Hey Jen, some days I probably do eat a few hundred cals more, I just don't force it. Thanks for the advice, though!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 13, 2012
at 04:27 AM

Well, I average 4-5 oz. of protein per day, give or take. I think I'll live.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:10 PM

Abs are made in the kitchen, except for that last little bit. I did not find the return on investment with regards to exercise very helpful during my weight-loss phase because it tended to increase my hunger. So, I really do think most overweight people should do just enough to maintain muscle mass and not more. My guess is that I am 15% bodyfat and now it takes a lot of work to shave any more points off. I don't think the body particularly likes going into the single digits.
So now I'd have to do some serious exercise.

1
673f7ad6052448d51496f177395416b7

on June 12, 2012
at 03:27 PM

Opposite holds true for me.

I'm convinced there are two camps of people and I belong in the camp of people who can only lose weight via diet. I can exercise like a maniac and still stay the exact same weight because my body seems to be smart enough to calibrate my hunger just enough to cover for the caloric expenditures it made that week via exercise. Basically a calorie deficit via cardio is not something my body wants to maintain. However, I do notice some benefit from some weight training.

1
B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f

(1495)

on June 12, 2012
at 12:39 PM

Here's what I like to ask people: Why do you need to see abs? I think my question is an important one for people to consider. The abdominal fat that will kill you is under the abdominal muscles. Judging by your name, I'm guessing you are female (apologize if I'm wrong) - women have to be at a pretty low body fat for abs to show...generally it's a body fat level that isn't natural for what we are built for (havin' babies).

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:36 PM

The "abs are made in the kitchen" part of my question is a saying. I wasn't necessarily referring to a six-pack, just slimming down.

1
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:05 AM

I think if you are truly at a caloric deficit and not losing fat, then you are either (or both):

  1. Burning muscle instead of fat
  2. Become more efficient (weaker), lethargic, slower to eliminate the caloric deficit

Setpoint theory (if you buy into it) would say that your body shifts between burning fat and the above 1 and 2 depending on if you're above or below your body's natural body fat setpoint (as well as adjusting appetite). It may be that based on your genetics, age, diet, activity level, etc you are currently at your setpoint so even if you eat less, your body is trying to maintain the setpoint by doing 1 and 2 instead of burning fat.

Lots of different theories on how to change the setpoint. I think Stephan's food reward theory is an interesting one (though I know many here don't buy into it). He argues that eating a lower food reward diet can lower the setpoint. I think this is a big part of why paleo makes many people leaner - because paleo foods tend to be a lot lower food reward than SAD engineered foods. But even within paleo, perhaps there is a range of food reward values.

Anyway if you buy into any of this, I'd be interested to know what you're eating. Perhaps based on your genetics and your age, a completely broad paleo diet does not get your setpoint as low as you'd like. I tried eating nothing but homemade beef stew for 2 weeks as an experiment. I did find my appetite went down while my energy levels stayed high. I lost some weight and don't think a lot of it was muscle (based on performance in gym). Certainly not long enough or scientific enough to be conclusive, but it was interesting.

I've seen some argue that increasing activity level (e.g., taking up distance biking) can lower your setpoint. That seems reasonable, but even if true, I doubt it would be the only way to do it. Anyway, long story short, I think it's possible to lower body fat without heavy exercising, but if you don't use your muscles, they will atrophy over time which will make the job even harder short-term because you'll be burning them for fuel and long-term because your BMR will go down. Not to mention, if you lose enough muscle, you won't look good no matter how skinny you get.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:19 AM

P.S. I don't exercise heavily, just hour walks per day, resistance and pilates training. Going to add weights soon.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:18 AM

I have actually down the low-food reward experiment, eating a leafy green and beef soup, unseasoned for two weeks. I did lose a bit of weight, but did not lean out, as I do with exercise. I have been Paleo/Primal since 2010, but as a recovering alcoholic, dairy and starchy veg made my cravings for alcohol worse, hence a bad relapse. Even as an alcoholic, consuming dairy, Iwas able to lean out with pilates. These past three months, I'm back to clean "Whole 30" style Paleo (no grains, dairy,sugar,elimanated starchy veg, except sweet potato). Exercise has helped shift fat.

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on June 13, 2012
at 11:52 AM

If I start lifting heavy again, and don't check the diet, I will actually gain weight. Sure, much of it is functional, but after losing my office's "Biggest Loser" pool by 1 lousy percent, I can see how it affects my appetite.

It's all about striking balance.

BTW - I've got fairly large abdominals and they are starting to show at 24% oddly enough, even though the rest of me has quite a bit of chub (and loose skin from 100lbs loss).

0
E753cf7753e7be889ca68b1a4203483f

on June 13, 2012
at 10:49 AM

Cardio training alone doesn't help me get leaner, but RT do help a little. A combination of the two works best for me. Dieting alone isn't as effective for me.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:08 AM

Going from obese to normal weight, food restriction worked well at first, but became less and less effective as weight came off. To keep losing 2 lbs a week I started exercising. Which made me hungry, making it more difficult to continue restricting food.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 12, 2012
at 02:10 AM

That's probably a good thing. when you exercise you can eat more because muscle burns more calories than fat. With the added energy, you'll be able to shift your body composition away from fat and towards muscle.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 12, 2012
at 04:32 PM

Yeah same. Exercising makes me more hungry. But I prefer eating more and having the energy to workout, than to eat less and feel lazy and lethargic. I like being active, so eating more to be active is a risk I'm willing to take ;)

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