1

votes

What would you change (another body fat question)?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 31, 2013 at 2:41 AM

If you were me, what small changes would you make to my lifestyle in order to see the desired results?

I've been eating paleo about 75% of the time for the past year (not ideal, i know) and I've lost 10 pounds. I am 5'4 and 140...technically within a healthy range, but no where near ideal for me. I have struggled to lose those 12 pounds and I would really like to see another 10 pounds gone. I track calories on my fitness pal and eat around 1200 calories a day and then whatever calories I gain from my workout (usually 400, so 1600 cals a day). I've adjusted the settings on MFP so I am eating about 25/50/25 protein/fat/carbs. I'm usually under my goal for carbs and calories. I had a few months where I don't think I was being honest with myself about how many nighttime calories I was consuming. I didn't gain weight during that time, but felt crappy and wasn't losing. Started MFP shortly thereafter.

I have been working out an average of 4x a week for the past year. I do 1 hour classes, usually cardio kickboxing or a weight lifting class. I really enjoy these and they are very challenging.

I sleep about 6 hours a night. I'm usually very busy during the day. Take my kids with me to the gym, playdates, errands, meals, etc. It doesn't sound at all stressful, but can be. I'm usually pretty wiped out after dinner, but since that is my only free time (like now!), I stay up. I watch tv for way too long, then read in bed for at least an hour.

As much as I hate to compare myself to others, I do, and I see the women around me who started with me at the gym, shrink while eating low-fat yoplait and cereal bars. I can't begin to tell you how frustrating that is. I have gained muscle, but I don't think I've lost very much fat...at least not enough for how hard I've been working.

Considering that, how should I prioritize? Cut out stress? Sleep more? Workout less? Adjust macro settings? Will it just take more time?

Thanks for reading (hopefully someone is reading)...this is ridiculously long.

Oh, and had hormone panel done last year and estrogen was normal.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Isn't this similar to tabata intervals?

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on February 01, 2013
at 05:12 PM

I hate to break it to you, but 3 minutes of squatting 55 lbs, while hard and may make you sweat is not in anyway weight lifting. That's also cardio. Weightlifting involves lots of sitting around and waiting for your ATP to regenerate. There's no need to be afraid of stopping cardio, it's doing very little for you, and as crazy as it is to believe, a short sprint and a short heavy session is much better for you. My weight lifting days are maybe a 5x5 of one movement or 3x3 of two movements. That means I'm only picking up a weight about 20 times and then going home.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:32 PM

RK- I am considering a whole 30 again. I feel like it's nearly impossible to tweak things in my diet without starting from scratch again. I have added dairy back in, but it is possible that it's stalling me. I'm glad you found what works (or wasn't working) for you!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:30 PM

And I realize that class sounds kind of lame when it's described like that, but I am definitely stronger. I have significantly increased my muscle...unfortunately I feel like if my body fat were lower you'd actually be able to see it. Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, I really appreciate the feedback!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:28 PM

This is where I get confused! Every day I wonder if I should be working out as often as I am. Conventional wisdom says to do more cardio, but I've read a lot here (and elsewhere) that says to cut out the cardio and do occasional sprints. Honestly, I'm a little afraid to stop the cardio. The weightlifting class is set to music and they release a new track every 4 weeks, so it doesn't get too boring. It is a moderate amount of reps I'd say. I'm not lifting as heavy as I can for 3 reps, but I'm definitely challenged. For example, we will squat for a 3 minute song and I'll be squatting about 55lbs

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:22 PM

No, I really appreciate the suggestion! I would say that what I'm doing is high intensity. I have also done tabatas when I was doing xfit. Part of what I like about the classes is that it's fun and it's a full class. I like having people around me and the music is loud, which I like. I am easily bored, so I switch up my workouts every few months. I could see doing this if I got bored with my current cardio!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:18 PM

Both! Adding back my workout calories still leaves me in a deficit. It takes 1800 for me to maintain and I'm consuming 1200. If I workout that day and burn 300, I'm still only consuming 1200 calories. If I didn't eat them, my net calories would only be 700. Does that make sense? The workout calories are just an even exchange. I don't think it would be healthy for me, or sustainable in the long term to eat less than 1200. As far as moving more during the day, I have two toddlers...after my morning coffee, I don't stop moving! It's all gym, errands, park, playdates, cooking...

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on January 31, 2013
at 10:30 PM

Yeah, I'd just cut a cardio class and not replace it with anything. Same with weightlifting. If it really is true weight lifting (high weight, low rep) then keep it. If it's 100s of reps of 5 lb dumbbells then cut that too. It's not helping you build muscle that ends up burning your fat.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:44 PM

+1 for adding back only half (or none of) your workout calories, do you want to get fitter or lose weight?

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:42 PM

no, don't swap one class for another, cut one of them out! Try doing only 2 or 3 classes a week for a bit.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:30 PM

I have to second the 100%. I will lose ZERO weight if I cheat even the tiniest bit. Recently my weight has stalled (for about 6 months). I had added in 1 tsp cream (in coffee) and 1 tsp cheddar cheese (on my eggs) so an otherwise paleo diet. As soon as I eliminated those 2 things, bam, started coming off.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:24 PM

Well I've read studies showing higher (but lower than tabata/sprint 8) intensity classes (like your kick-boxing classes) are still great, so if you're enjoying those classes and feeling physically challenged then who am I to say you should do something different, lol, you go girl. Also though I'd still experiment with high intensity if I were you, maybe try Tabatas or something similar just to experiment. The elliptical at my school kills me so I haven't personally experienced with anything more intense, but from what I've seen, assuming adequate rest, results are proportional to intensity. :)

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 07:19 PM

Ramp was at 15, resistance was at 6 (goes to 15) and I did a two minute warm-up, then 30sec going at 112rpm (didn't know it could go that high, actually!), 90sec at 65rpm. I used the handlebars. I have been working out for the past year doing the classes I mentioned, crossfit from Jan-May, and sprints on occasion. I think I'm in decent cardiovascular shape. If I were new to working out it would have killed me. I thought it was challenging, but not as challenging as my cardio class. It's nice to have an uncomplicated workout that only takes 20 minutes though.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 05:16 PM

Okay, I don't see you mentioning anything about how difficult it was though, are you sure you gave it everything you've got on those all out bursts? Do you have the hand bars that move also on your elliptical? Did you use them? We're you on highest intensity during the bursts and very low intensity during the breaks? Is there any specific reason you don't see it replacing what you already do?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 04:25 PM

Did this on the elliptical today because I couldn't get to the gym. It's nice to have a workout in less than 20 min. I don't see this replacing what I normally do, but I could see adding it in on occasion.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:48 PM

Similar in intensity, yes. But tabata intervals are 20 seconds work 10 seconds rest and sprint 8 is 30 seconds work 90 seconds rest. I find that 10 seconds of rest prevents me from going all out on my following sets as I haven't suddiciently recovered until at least 30 seconds. This can be demonstrated by the fact that your heart rate continues to rise for 20-30 seconds after a sprint to pay back oxygen debt. By allowing your body more recovery you can then push harder on the following sets and get a bigger bang for your buck, or so I find.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:29 PM

in moderation. .

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:24 PM

I do two cardio kick classes and two weightlifting classes per week. Would you suggest cutting out one kick class and adding in another weightlifting class? I was 100% paleo for 30 days in the beginning. I know I could probably lose the last 10lbs more quickly if I was 100%, but I find it nearly impossible. I don't want my girls to see me stress/obsess about food. They are very young and we talk about what's healthy to eat and what is okay to eat sometimes. I don't want to be that mom who refuses a cup of ice cream at a birthday party. I would rather they see me go to the gym and eat things i

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:11 PM

Thanks, Amy. Why is getting good sleep so hard? An early bedtime is my resolution every year and I always break it. It's easier to get to the gym 4x a week! Good advice...I'm going to try harder to get more sleep. I think better stress-management will automatically follow.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:22 AM

Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to clarify for you if you decide to do this protocol.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:21 AM

Also a workout is strictly between 9-20 minutes depending on how much your body can handle. And you only sprint on the elliptical for 2-8 sets at 30 seconds per set (1:00-4:00 minutes total time of physical exertion). I highly recommend it.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:17 AM

Yea lol, vigilinks seems to have added some ads into what I typed. It's basically just 3 workouts a week on an elliptical with 2:30 warm up on low resistance followed by 30 second all out sprint at high-max resistance, 1:30 rest at very very low resistance, 30 second sprint again at high/max resistance, 1:30 rest, and the program starts off with 2 sets (sprints) and by the end of the 8 weeks you're supposed to be able to do 8 30 second sets 3 times a week. The results are perfect for someone wanting not to lose just 'weight' but specifically body fat.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:08 AM

Checking it out now, thanks. FYI, clicked on the "sprint 8" that you typed and it took me to a very ugly shoe on amazon. lol

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4 Answers

best answer

3
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 31, 2013
at 04:03 AM

Sleeeeeep moooooore. Doesn't sound stressful? Yes, it does! Schlepping the kids around every day, working out four times a week, staying up too late so you can finally have some "me time"? Um, yes dear, it's probably more exhausting than you realize. Take care of yourself. More sleep, cleaner diet if you can, but don't beat yourself up over it. I wouldn't go crazy with a challenging new workout until the stress/sleep is managed a little better, if possible. It'll only make things worse, I think.

Sounds like you've done pretty well so far, though. Be proud of yourself for that!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:11 PM

Thanks, Amy. Why is getting good sleep so hard? An early bedtime is my resolution every year and I always break it. It's easier to get to the gym 4x a week! Good advice...I'm going to try harder to get more sleep. I think better stress-management will automatically follow.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on January 31, 2013
at 04:58 AM

More sleep, less cardio, and as I always say: you can't ask the "why am I not losing weight" question until you give 100% Paleo a fair try.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:24 PM

I do two cardio kick classes and two weightlifting classes per week. Would you suggest cutting out one kick class and adding in another weightlifting class? I was 100% paleo for 30 days in the beginning. I know I could probably lose the last 10lbs more quickly if I was 100%, but I find it nearly impossible. I don't want my girls to see me stress/obsess about food. They are very young and we talk about what's healthy to eat and what is okay to eat sometimes. I don't want to be that mom who refuses a cup of ice cream at a birthday party. I would rather they see me go to the gym and eat things i

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:29 PM

in moderation. .

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on January 31, 2013
at 10:30 PM

Yeah, I'd just cut a cardio class and not replace it with anything. Same with weightlifting. If it really is true weight lifting (high weight, low rep) then keep it. If it's 100s of reps of 5 lb dumbbells then cut that too. It's not helping you build muscle that ends up burning your fat.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:30 PM

I have to second the 100%. I will lose ZERO weight if I cheat even the tiniest bit. Recently my weight has stalled (for about 6 months). I had added in 1 tsp cream (in coffee) and 1 tsp cheddar cheese (on my eggs) so an otherwise paleo diet. As soon as I eliminated those 2 things, bam, started coming off.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:42 PM

no, don't swap one class for another, cut one of them out! Try doing only 2 or 3 classes a week for a bit.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on February 01, 2013
at 05:12 PM

I hate to break it to you, but 3 minutes of squatting 55 lbs, while hard and may make you sweat is not in anyway weight lifting. That's also cardio. Weightlifting involves lots of sitting around and waiting for your ATP to regenerate. There's no need to be afraid of stopping cardio, it's doing very little for you, and as crazy as it is to believe, a short sprint and a short heavy session is much better for you. My weight lifting days are maybe a 5x5 of one movement or 3x3 of two movements. That means I'm only picking up a weight about 20 times and then going home.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:32 PM

RK- I am considering a whole 30 again. I feel like it's nearly impossible to tweak things in my diet without starting from scratch again. I have added dairy back in, but it is possible that it's stalling me. I'm glad you found what works (or wasn't working) for you!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:30 PM

And I realize that class sounds kind of lame when it's described like that, but I am definitely stronger. I have significantly increased my muscle...unfortunately I feel like if my body fat were lower you'd actually be able to see it. Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, I really appreciate the feedback!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:28 PM

This is where I get confused! Every day I wonder if I should be working out as often as I am. Conventional wisdom says to do more cardio, but I've read a lot here (and elsewhere) that says to cut out the cardio and do occasional sprints. Honestly, I'm a little afraid to stop the cardio. The weightlifting class is set to music and they release a new track every 4 weeks, so it doesn't get too boring. It is a moderate amount of reps I'd say. I'm not lifting as heavy as I can for 3 reps, but I'm definitely challenged. For example, we will squat for a 3 minute song and I'll be squatting about 55lbs

0
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on January 31, 2013
at 05:35 PM

I would not cut out cardio as others suggested. 2 hours or cardio a week is very healthy and is in no way too much. I find working out to be relaxing, not stressful, but some see it differently. For me, cardio MAJORLY helps me in weight loss, where weight lifting makes no difference. Some claim the opposite is true for them. Either way, a balance between the two, like you have, is probably ideal.

It could be that you actually need less calories than you think. FOr instance, I am 5'8, 125 lbs, and really only need 1500-1600 to maintain my weight. If you're similar then you are only creating a few hundred calorie deficit a day, which is great, but will result in a very slow weight loss of a couple pounds a month. If you stick to this plan then you can get to your ideal weight in 6 months or you could eat a bit less (like only eat back half of your workout calories) and lose a bit faster. It also helps me to just focus on moving more. Maybe add a short walk each morning or take your kids to the park and swing with them. Maybe run up and down the stairs a few times a day. These little changes do help me lose weight faster.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:44 PM

+1 for adding back only half (or none of) your workout calories, do you want to get fitter or lose weight?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:18 PM

Both! Adding back my workout calories still leaves me in a deficit. It takes 1800 for me to maintain and I'm consuming 1200. If I workout that day and burn 300, I'm still only consuming 1200 calories. If I didn't eat them, my net calories would only be 700. Does that make sense? The workout calories are just an even exchange. I don't think it would be healthy for me, or sustainable in the long term to eat less than 1200. As far as moving more during the day, I have two toddlers...after my morning coffee, I don't stop moving! It's all gym, errands, park, playdates, cooking...

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 02:57 AM

I'd incorporate a High Intensity Interval Program protocol similar to the SPRINT 8 protocol that Phil Campbell ran at King Daughter's Medical Center. http://www.mattmetzgar.com/2012/02/amazing-sprint-8-study.html . I'd keep everything else the same for the most part.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:21 AM

Also a workout is strictly between 9-20 minutes depending on how much your body can handle. And you only sprint on the elliptical for 2-8 sets at 30 seconds per set (1:00-4:00 minutes total time of physical exertion). I highly recommend it.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:22 AM

Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to clarify for you if you decide to do this protocol.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:17 AM

Yea lol, vigilinks seems to have added some ads into what I typed. It's basically just 3 workouts a week on an elliptical with 2:30 warm up on low resistance followed by 30 second all out sprint at high-max resistance, 1:30 rest at very very low resistance, 30 second sprint again at high/max resistance, 1:30 rest, and the program starts off with 2 sets (sprints) and by the end of the 8 weeks you're supposed to be able to do 8 30 second sets 3 times a week. The results are perfect for someone wanting not to lose just 'weight' but specifically body fat.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 03:08 AM

Checking it out now, thanks. FYI, clicked on the "sprint 8" that you typed and it took me to a very ugly shoe on amazon. lol

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 07:19 PM

Ramp was at 15, resistance was at 6 (goes to 15) and I did a two minute warm-up, then 30sec going at 112rpm (didn't know it could go that high, actually!), 90sec at 65rpm. I used the handlebars. I have been working out for the past year doing the classes I mentioned, crossfit from Jan-May, and sprints on occasion. I think I'm in decent cardiovascular shape. If I were new to working out it would have killed me. I thought it was challenging, but not as challenging as my cardio class. It's nice to have an uncomplicated workout that only takes 20 minutes though.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on January 31, 2013
at 04:25 PM

Did this on the elliptical today because I couldn't get to the gym. It's nice to have a workout in less than 20 min. I don't see this replacing what I normally do, but I could see adding it in on occasion.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Isn't this similar to tabata intervals?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 05:16 PM

Okay, I don't see you mentioning anything about how difficult it was though, are you sure you gave it everything you've got on those all out bursts? Do you have the hand bars that move also on your elliptical? Did you use them? We're you on highest intensity during the bursts and very low intensity during the breaks? Is there any specific reason you don't see it replacing what you already do?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:48 PM

Similar in intensity, yes. But tabata intervals are 20 seconds work 10 seconds rest and sprint 8 is 30 seconds work 90 seconds rest. I find that 10 seconds of rest prevents me from going all out on my following sets as I haven't suddiciently recovered until at least 30 seconds. This can be demonstrated by the fact that your heart rate continues to rise for 20-30 seconds after a sprint to pay back oxygen debt. By allowing your body more recovery you can then push harder on the following sets and get a bigger bang for your buck, or so I find.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 01, 2013
at 01:22 PM

No, I really appreciate the suggestion! I would say that what I'm doing is high intensity. I have also done tabatas when I was doing xfit. Part of what I like about the classes is that it's fun and it's a full class. I like having people around me and the music is loud, which I like. I am easily bored, so I switch up my workouts every few months. I could see doing this if I got bored with my current cardio!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 31, 2013
at 09:24 PM

Well I've read studies showing higher (but lower than tabata/sprint 8) intensity classes (like your kick-boxing classes) are still great, so if you're enjoying those classes and feeling physically challenged then who am I to say you should do something different, lol, you go girl. Also though I'd still experiment with high intensity if I were you, maybe try Tabatas or something similar just to experiment. The elliptical at my school kills me so I haven't personally experienced with anything more intense, but from what I've seen, assuming adequate rest, results are proportional to intensity. :)

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