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Body Comp - Not Losing Fat Eating Under Maintenance

Commented on October 07, 2013
Created September 30, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I'll try to make this a quick question

I am 5'6 194lbs+/- male. According to many calorie calculators I should be eating 2200-2500 Cal per day to maintain my weight. I am currently eating between 1500-1800 Cal per day which is well below. I follow a heavy weight lifting routine.

My problem is that I seem to be gaining mass much faster than losing fat. Paradoxically as it may sound I am eating less than "maintenance" calories and seemingly putting on size which isn't the worst problem to have but I would like to be leaner. I am currently around 25-30% body fat and would like to at least make it down to 20% though I have been unsuccessful.

What do you guys think I can do to maintain the muscle I have gained but hurry the fat burning process a little more? I already incorporated some HIIT 1-2 times a week but my results remain unchanged. I am also doing IF 7days a week and do not wish to go back to eating multiple times a day all day.

Here are a couple of before and after pictures from about a 3 month time frame.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/s3v3rth3stars/media/beforeandafter_zps21d389c8.jpg.html

D6bd736f178303c6e0b5bb636d97d41e

on October 07, 2013
at 07:05 PM

I agree completely! I would only recommend cutting by a max of 20% of TDEE. You also need to take breaks from cutting every couple of weeks and eat at TDEE to allow your body to recalibrate. You don't want it to think that you are starving, but simply that you are getting to a healthier weight.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 04, 2013
at 04:18 PM

I don't know about stopping completely ... general workout & frequency? If you;re working out 5+ days a week, drop a couple workouts. If oyu;re every other day, go once in three days. Your doing a personalized experiment.. you get chose the changes, you see the effects, you make adjustments. Don't change too many things at once, that will muddy the waters and make it difficult to figure what works & what doesn't. Diddle the exercise or the diet but ideally not both. Yeah, it's frustrating to not be able to lose the fat you want but when you get it dialed in it's sweet!

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 04, 2013
at 04:11 PM

@RuizG I not sure I agree with all of what Martin writes...but it's hard to argue with his results. The same goes for Tim Ferris (4 Hour Body) his stuff worked very well for me. When I was VERY strict 4 Hour Body (which allows legumes), before I slide over closer to paleo, I was losing 2 to 3 pounds per week. (200 to 190 phase). Are you losing ANY? What are your workouts like? I'm leaning towards working out too hard or too often. As for sleep 8 is pretty decent but 6 is on short end esp if you;re working out hard.

Medium avatar

(238)

on October 04, 2013
at 02:17 PM

Yesterday I recalculated a days meals on one of the tracking websites. I found that I was pretty low on fats and had shifted to more carbs than I wanted. You may want to take a look at adding more healthy fats into the mix. Good Luck.

46f7fc24a213b038ab3f0a97c73a5441

(5)

on October 04, 2013
at 02:09 PM

I sleep 6-8 hours a night wish I could get more but thats not possible right now. I eat nuts infrequently. I have started intermittent fasting and heard about the lean gains approach but I dont agree with his macro delegation, I refuse to structure my diet in his style. I am still not losing the weight how I feel like I should be.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 01, 2013
at 03:24 PM

@RuizG Wow.... I know this may sound silly but maybe you;re not eating enough and you're working out too hard? Are you getting good sleep? Avoid nuts! I used the techniques in '4 Hour Body' to drop my fat. The book appears daunting (~500 pages) but for fat loss you only have to read ~100 pages. People bash the guy & think he's a douche but I cannot complain... I lost weight effortlessly & fast! using his methods. You've got an awesome start...you have the muscle. Take a look LeanGains. Good luck.

46f7fc24a213b038ab3f0a97c73a5441

(5)

on October 01, 2013
at 02:51 PM

I have eliminated most carbs in general leaving only leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables in. I will eat some sweet potato or pumpkin post workout in a shake if I decide to drink a shake instead of a real meal. I am keeping my protein anywhere from 120-170g my carbs are generally between 50-75g and I have no idea about my fat I have not been tracking it. But I do maintain reduced calories overall. My waist however has gone from about 36" - 32" but I would like to start seeing more definition and fat loss whereas currently Im getting bigger and still look very puffy.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 01, 2013
at 06:45 AM

>>>myfitnesspal's app to track macros and calories.<<<

macro numbers?

the devil is in the details.

Any chance your workouts are giving incentive / license / hunger to overfeed?

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 01, 2013
at 06:41 AM

PH please fix the jacked up comment system... the character counter appears to be easily confused by cut & paste process. :(

46f7fc24a213b038ab3f0a97c73a5441

(5)

on September 30, 2013
at 05:54 PM

I dont want to count calories but Im not getting the results Im looking for and I can eat alot of food if left to my own devices

46f7fc24a213b038ab3f0a97c73a5441

(5)

on September 30, 2013
at 05:33 PM

I am using myfitnesspal's app to track macros and calories. Animal proteins lots of veggies. No fruit. A sweet potato or some pumpkin post workouts in a beef protein/egg protein shake. I consider my diet to be very clean, my only downfall is I will have 1-2 beers on the weekend.

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9 Answers

0
74e853d880d6eae55a19d038a6b50fd7

(250)

on October 05, 2013
at 06:39 AM

Make sure you're eating ENOUGH calories. It sounds like you're eating too far below your TDEE, which is preventing loss.

D6bd736f178303c6e0b5bb636d97d41e

on October 07, 2013
at 07:05 PM

I agree completely! I would only recommend cutting by a max of 20% of TDEE. You also need to take breaks from cutting every couple of weeks and eat at TDEE to allow your body to recalibrate. You don't want it to think that you are starving, but simply that you are getting to a healthier weight.

0
0f60973db26ac5b95a6abfa0ea9949c1

on October 05, 2013
at 06:25 AM

Personally I've had a lot of success in shifting body comp with doing paleo but also focusing more on fats- can't remember the title, but there was a book I read suggesting the metabolic diet for bodybuilding, where you reduce carbs quite a lot and instead eat a lot more fats, helping your body get used to burning fat for fuel. Not sure how sound the science was (but seemed legit at the time, perhaps do a google on it?), and definitely have started to see better muscle definition eating this way, even when maintaining the same amount of exercise (though of course upping weights gradually over the course of a few months as able).

I used to be somewhat fearful of fats before starting paleo, but since adding a lot more of them in have seen extra benefits like smoother skin too (having previously been a rather scaly beast with lots of dry patches), plus I find the extra fat is very satisfying and helps me avoid overeating.

As BobK said too, patience plus persistence is needed, can take some time before you start seeing changes in body comp (but can feel awesome a lot sooner I find) . Good luck!

0
Medium avatar

on October 05, 2013
at 05:59 AM

In one of the comments above you stated that you eat 50-75 carbs every day. That is still quite a bit when you're trying to burn fat. Even if they're good carbs. I would eat 10-25 before your heavy days, and none before your sprint workouts. and very few (maybe 10-15g) after your workout. You don't need those carbs, and you should at least try to get into ketosis a couple times a week. I've been that size, I know how it is. Cut out the sweet potatoes in the shake, too. That's just carb overload.

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 04, 2013
at 04:22 PM

Forgot to add...patience, you'll get there and when you do, you'll be able to control your body comp effortlessly.... if you do the "right things". The methods & behaviors you are in the process of adapting to you.

0
46f7fc24a213b038ab3f0a97c73a5441

on October 04, 2013
at 02:11 PM

Bump - I am still looking for some more suggestions. Should I stop powerlifting completely and focus only on HIIT/multiple rep complex lifts? I would not want to lose the mass I have gained but I need some help shedding fat, I have always had a hard time being lean. I probably have never been even 20% and I'm frustrated at this point.

Medium avatar

(238)

on October 04, 2013
at 02:17 PM

Yesterday I recalculated a days meals on one of the tracking websites. I found that I was pretty low on fats and had shifted to more carbs than I wanted. You may want to take a look at adding more healthy fats into the mix. Good Luck.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 04, 2013
at 04:18 PM

I don't know about stopping completely ... general workout & frequency? If you;re working out 5+ days a week, drop a couple workouts. If oyu;re every other day, go once in three days. Your doing a personalized experiment.. you get chose the changes, you see the effects, you make adjustments. Don't change too many things at once, that will muddy the waters and make it difficult to figure what works & what doesn't. Diddle the exercise or the diet but ideally not both. Yeah, it's frustrating to not be able to lose the fat you want but when you get it dialed in it's sweet!

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 01, 2013
at 06:42 AM

What are your macros? Are you getting enough protein? Are your carbs low enough? Have you eliminated all "fast carbs"? What do you eat? What is your waist (~at belly button) measurement. I'm big believer in waist to height ratio.... for guys it should be 50% or less. That would put your target waist at ~33". Check out http://home.fuse.net/clymer/bmi/ play with the number. Off the top of my head... you;re working out too hard. Back off on the workouts & that will let you drop the carbs. I lost 30 lbs & 3" on my waist in ~5 months without any extraordinary workouts.

You can also take a look at LeanGains

46f7fc24a213b038ab3f0a97c73a5441

(5)

on October 01, 2013
at 02:51 PM

I have eliminated most carbs in general leaving only leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables in. I will eat some sweet potato or pumpkin post workout in a shake if I decide to drink a shake instead of a real meal. I am keeping my protein anywhere from 120-170g my carbs are generally between 50-75g and I have no idea about my fat I have not been tracking it. But I do maintain reduced calories overall. My waist however has gone from about 36" - 32" but I would like to start seeing more definition and fat loss whereas currently Im getting bigger and still look very puffy.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on September 30, 2013
at 05:39 PM

You are approaching it similar to me. I do IF, Tabata (HIIT) and some weightlifting, although my weightlifting is casual as I hate it and am not looking to be a weightlifting stud. I'm also older. I think you are shorting yourself on calories and I would add some more fat. btw - I don't count calories at all, gave that up as it made it seem like a chore instead of normal living.

46f7fc24a213b038ab3f0a97c73a5441

(5)

on September 30, 2013
at 05:54 PM

I dont want to count calories but Im not getting the results Im looking for and I can eat alot of food if left to my own devices

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on September 30, 2013
at 05:30 PM

What are you eating? Hard to help in the dark.

46f7fc24a213b038ab3f0a97c73a5441

(5)

on September 30, 2013
at 05:33 PM

I am using myfitnesspal's app to track macros and calories. Animal proteins lots of veggies. No fruit. A sweet potato or some pumpkin post workouts in a beef protein/egg protein shake. I consider my diet to be very clean, my only downfall is I will have 1-2 beers on the weekend.

0
7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on September 30, 2013
at 04:55 PM

maybe athlete.io and try some carb backloading, claims to retain muscle and lose fat also compatible with IF.

one of the issues with fat loss may be more hormone related? your body tends to be very efficient, 1 person can do a certain amount of work on 1500 calories and another may be able to do the same amount of work and consume 2500 calories and maintain BF as your body will get more/less efficient depending on its environment.

Tl :DR- focus on hormones and maybe cycle calories? (may not be wise if your lifting a lot)

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