Fat loss - how to lose the bulge and gain the ripples

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Jeff7181

Lifer
Aug 21, 2002
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I like this... I'm going to make a real effort this coming year to get into better shape. I'm only slightly overweight... by maybe 15 or 20 pounds, but I'm far from where I was in high school. Years of sitting at a computer for a large part of the day, snacking and beer have made me weak and flabby. :) I'm actually amazed I'm not more overweight... apparently at 27, my metabolism hasn't suffered much because I still eat a lot. That's going to be the toughest part, changing my eating habits. I haven't really looked into the links you've posted very deep, but I hope to find more information about planning meals and adjusting my proportions.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Originally posted by: Jeff7181
I like this... I'm going to make a real effort this coming year to get into better shape. I'm only slightly overweight... by maybe 15 or 20 pounds, but I'm far from where I was in high school. Years of sitting at a computer for a large part of the day, snacking and beer have made me weak and flabby. :) I'm actually amazed I'm not more overweight... apparently at 27, my metabolism hasn't suffered much because I still eat a lot. That's going to be the toughest part, changing my eating habits. I haven't really looked into the links you've posted very deep, but I hope to find more information about planning meals and adjusting my proportions.
That's good to hear. Yeah, it's best to get it under control while you're young so you can redeem the potential health risks.

When cutting, which is what you'll be doing, I eat 5ish "meals" a day. They aren't really meals as we consider them. They are usually about 400 calorie bursts of food. Because the calories are so low, I cut out all liquids with calories in them because they don't keep you full. I try to keep the meals well-balanced. Some of them seem "snacky" and some of them seem "mealy." It's good to keep a high intake of protein 'cause it helps keep you satiated. Plus, 8oz of chicken breast only has something like 160 calories so you can eat a lot. Keep fibrous greens high on your list as well. You really just gotta try not to kill yourself with carbs 'cause they will ruin you. It's kind of a trial-and-error thing to find proportions and such that work best for you though.

An example meal for me would be 8oz of chicken breast (160 calories), 1 cup brown rice (150 calories), some veggies, and maybe some butter on the rice. This is only 1 out of 5 meals, so it doesn't have to be all that much. The higher frequency of meals helps me keep more satiated and less likely to stray on something I'm not supposed to be eating.
 

brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
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I wrote an entry in my blog about how I lost 43lbs this year. It is quite relevant to this post so anyone that bothers to read all the way to the end may want to take a look :)
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Originally posted by: brikis98
I wrote an entry in my blog about how I lost 43lbs this year. It is quite relevant to this post so anyone that bothers to read all the way to the end may want to take a look :)
Added it to the end of the post for encouragement and information, if you don't mind. :)
 

brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
7,253
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Originally posted by: SociallyChallenged
Originally posted by: brikis98
I wrote an entry in my blog about how I lost 43lbs this year. It is quite relevant to this post so anyone that bothers to read all the way to the end may want to take a look :)
Added it to the end of the post for encouragement and information, if you don't mind. :)
Fine by me. I just hope more people find this thread before posting yet another "how do I lose weight" thread :)
 

Farang

Lifer
Jul 7, 2003
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I tried to avoid asking a question by reading everything but am still a bit confused for my personal situation, since a lot of this depends on having access to a proper gym. I have a junior weight set and no racks so I'm sort of limited to how far I can push myself. I had started cycling for an hour a day but then got worried when I read how that is going to kill my muscle. My BMI is 24 so my weight is right around where I want it to be, the problem is I'm surrounded in a decently thick layer of fat. The impression I get here is that I should cut back on the cardio and focus more on strength. Given that I don't have the ability to really push myself with low reps, would keeping the cardio going and doing medium intensity resistence training (lets say 3 sets of 10 reps that results in a low bar speed at the end) be enough to curb the muscle loss from cardio? I don't care about bulking up, I think I'm a strong enough person, I just want this layer of fat to go away.
 

brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
7,253
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Originally posted by: Farang
I tried to avoid asking a question by reading everything but am still a bit confused for my personal situation, since a lot of this depends on having access to a proper gym. I have a junior weight set and no racks so I'm sort of limited to how far I can push myself. I had started cycling for an hour a day but then got worried when I read how that is going to kill my muscle. My BMI is 24 so my weight is right around where I want it to be, the problem is I'm surrounded in a decently thick layer of fat. The impression I get here is that I should cut back on the cardio and focus more on strength. Given that I don't have the ability to really push myself with low reps, would keeping the cardio going and doing medium intensity resistence training (lets say 3 sets of 10 reps that results in a low bar speed at the end) be enough to curb the muscle loss from cardio? I don't care about bulking up, I think I'm a strong enough person, I just want this layer of fat to go away.
Any weight training would definitely be better than none. Your results might not be as good without heavy lifting, but you can typically still do a damn good job. A gym membership would be a VERY worthwhile investment, and I'd highly recommend it, but if for some reason you can't get it, there are plenty of other alternatives. Look into Crossfit (specifically the exercises you have enough equipment for) and bodyweightculture. As for cardio, it's a healthy activity and an efficient way to burn extra calories, so as long as you're doing the resistance training (and keeping your protein intake high), it's always a good thing to do.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Originally posted by: brikis98
Originally posted by: Farang
I tried to avoid asking a question by reading everything but am still a bit confused for my personal situation, since a lot of this depends on having access to a proper gym. I have a junior weight set and no racks so I'm sort of limited to how far I can push myself. I had started cycling for an hour a day but then got worried when I read how that is going to kill my muscle. My BMI is 24 so my weight is right around where I want it to be, the problem is I'm surrounded in a decently thick layer of fat. The impression I get here is that I should cut back on the cardio and focus more on strength. Given that I don't have the ability to really push myself with low reps, would keeping the cardio going and doing medium intensity resistence training (lets say 3 sets of 10 reps that results in a low bar speed at the end) be enough to curb the muscle loss from cardio? I don't care about bulking up, I think I'm a strong enough person, I just want this layer of fat to go away.
Any weight training would definitely be better than none. Your results might not be as good without heavy lifting, but you can typically still do a damn good job. A gym membership would be a VERY worthwhile investment, and I'd highly recommend it, but if for some reason you can't get it, there are plenty of other alternatives. Look into Crossfit (specifically the exercises you have enough equipment for) and bodyweightculture. As for cardio, it's a healthy activity and an efficient way to burn extra calories, so as long as you're doing the resistance training (and keeping your protein intake high), it's always a good thing to do.
Oop. Sorry Farang, I didn't see the new post. Brikis pretty much covered it. You may get better results with a more challenging weightlifting program, but any resistance program is much better than no program at all. Plus, realize that even if you did a heavy weightlifting program, you don't bulk up unless you eat for it. I tell this to all the girls that I give tips to. Bulking up is hard work. It doesn't just magically happen so you don't have to worry about that :)
 

Farang

Lifer
Jul 7, 2003
10,914
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Thanks.. can't do a gym right now because I'm a poor recent grad living on various couches looking for a job. Once I get moved out and into my own neighborhood I will look into it :) I'm reluctant to watch my diet as far as increasing protein intake and whatnot, I mean I'll try not to eat too many Big Mac's but really I just want to avoid man titties and I think the biking does that so long as I'm not killing off all my muscle.
 

eddiebravo

Senior member
Nov 29, 2005
270
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lifting super heavy or doing too much of any kind of intense exercise is NOT good for long term health, period. competitive powerlifters, athletes, bodybuilders, etc. dont really consider the future beyond a certain point, but for the average person, being healthy and fit for the next 50 years is more important than being able to impress some random people on an internet forum or at the gym. anyone telling you that you need to to do tons of HIIT, lift as heavy as possible, always have super intense workouts etc. are giving you advice that is going to lead you to lots of pain and mobility problems down the road.

if you arent a competitive athlete, you should exercise with varying intensity. constant and unrelenting heavy lifting and high intensity cardio-type workouts will fuck you up in the long run. too much of anything is never a good thing.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Originally posted by: eddiebravo
lifting super heavy or doing too much of any kind of intense exercise is NOT good for long term health, period. competitive powerlifters, athletes, bodybuilders, etc. dont really consider the future beyond a certain point, but for the average person, being healthy and fit for the next 50 years is more important than being able to impress some random people on an internet forum or at the gym. anyone telling you that you need to to do tons of HIIT, lift as heavy as possible, always have super intense workouts etc. are giving you advice that is going to lead you to lots of pain and mobility problems down the road.

if you arent a competitive athlete, you should exercise with varying intensity. constant and unrelenting heavy lifting and high intensity cardio-type workouts will fuck you up in the long run. too much of anything is never a good thing.
Are you an idiot? You have read absolutely nothing about this topic and are just talking out of your ass. Overall, weightlifting promotes good muscle tone, posture, increases bone density, increases calories burnt (thereby slightly decreasing risk of obesity-related diseases), helps regulate circadian rhythms, keeps hormones in a healthy balance, and MANY MORE.

I never told anybody to be a competitive powerlifter, nor did I tell everybody to lift as heavy as possible. A 3x5 or 5x5 program DOESN'T GO ANYWHERE NEAR FAILURE. Failure is where injuries occur. If you can't see that, then you need to read up.

I never said constant, unrelenting, heavy lifting. I said that to maintain muscle mass while losing weight, you need to be on a resistance program. I never told people to do a lifetime of gut-busting, joint-destroying, poor-formed exercises. Good form and challenging your body nearly demolishes the chance of injury.

These lifting programs are 3 days a week. Nowhere was it stated that other days weren't meant for other types of exercises. Most people losing weight will jog, walk, swim, etc outside of lifting programs. This is long steady-state cardio. High intensity + LSS seems to me like varying intensity, now doesn't it? Seriously though, please read up on SOME sort of information before you try to apply flawed logic to something you don't even fully understand.
 

eddiebravo

Senior member
Nov 29, 2005
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i wasnt responding to any of your posts in particular but rather to a general attitude that pervades this place. of course weight training is great. but lifting with a program that has you using high percentages of your 1rm, such as those that utilize the 2-5 rep range, is not the same as working with routines that utilize a 8+ rep range. same goes for crossfit-do-a-thousand-snatches-and-sprints workouts compared to swimming or going kayaking or something like that. really intense stuff has its time and place, but training hard doesnt always mean you are training smart. the main point is that people here are not seriously competitive athletes and dont need to train like they are. you can be really healthy, look and feel great without wearing your body down. its important to consider both short term and long term risk and effects of what you are doing.
 

brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
7,253
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Originally posted by: eddiebravo
i wasnt responding to any of your posts in particular but rather to a general attitude that pervades this place. of course weight training is great. but lifting with a program that has you using high percentages of your 1rm, such as those that utilize the 2-5 rep range, is not the same as working with routines that utilize a 8+ rep range.
The number of reps you do should be matched up with your goals. For example, the 3-5 rep range is generally considered ideal for increasing strength, whereas 8+ is more inline with boosting muscular endurance. Since the goal around here is usually to increase strength, 3-5 is the range typically recommended.

Is this somehow dangerous? No. As long as you use proper technique, there is no inherent danger from always using 3-5 reps as opposed to 8+. If you have any proof that it is, please post it, and I'd be happy to read it.

Originally posted by: eddiebravo
same goes for crossfit-do-a-thousand-snatches-and-sprints workouts compared to swimming or going kayaking or something like that. really intense stuff has its time and place, but training hard doesnt always mean you are training smart.
Your body adapts specifically and exactly to the stimulus it is presented with. If you do moderate exercise, your body will only make moderate adaptations. To get great results, you have to push your body harder. That is, as you increase the intensity - assuming that you are still maintaining proper form and exercising in a safe manner - your body will, in turn, increase the effectiveness of its adaptations: more muscle, increased bone density, increased cardiovascular efficiency and so on. Are you seriously suggesting that this is somehow bad for you?

Originally posted by: eddiebravo
the main point is that people here are not seriously competitive athletes and dont need to train like they are. you can be really healthy, look and feel great without wearing your body down. its important to consider both short term and long term risk and effects of what you are doing.
Wearing your body down? Who exactly is doing that? Proper amounts of rest are emphasized in any credible routine and we often warn against overtraining. Of course, injuries can happen to anyone, but I've seen just as many injuries from a friendly game of soccer as I have from weight lifting.

Other than that, most people here feel much better as a result of their routines and indeed, become significantly healthier. Are you seriously suggesting that improving my strength, endurance, cardio efficiency, increasing my metabolism, etc will have a negative health impact when I'm older?
 
Dec 30, 2004
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Great article.

Something I would add, that may be much easier than trying to recall that list of foods, is simply, cook/eat for color. What this means is meats, veggies, (fruits) are good, things without color (starchy carbs, breads, etc) are bad.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Originally posted by: soccerballtux
Great article.

Something I would add, that may be much easier than trying to recall that list of foods, is simply, cook/eat for color. What this means is meats, veggies, (fruits) are good, things without color (starchy carbs, breads, etc) are bad.
Eh, I think that's a poor way to distinguish things. It could be a good general rule of thumb, but if you're really trying to hone your diet in, it's not very specific. Cauliflower is good with no color. Processed granola bars and stuff have color, but aren't good. There are a fair amount of exceptions to these rules, but I do see how, if you stuck to common sense, that you could use that in your general knowledge of dieting.
 

KoolDrew

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
10,226
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Originally posted by: soccerballtux
Great article.

Something I would add, that may be much easier than trying to recall that list of foods, is simply, cook/eat for color. What this means is meats, veggies, (fruits) are good, things without color (starchy carbs, breads, etc) are bad.
Where do Gummi bears fall?
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Originally posted by: KoolDrew
Also, protein doesn't have an insulin response
This is wrong...

http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/howto/pfandbs-3.html

Not only does protein create an insulin response on its own, when eaten with carbohydrates there is an even greater response than either one alone.
Not that I don't believe the information, but I'd like to see a bit more reputable source before I change anything. We didn't really get into too much detail on protein digestion and what hormones it effects in my systemic physiology class due to lack of time. I'd like to read research on it and would be willing to correct it.
 

KoolDrew

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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Ok, now to tie the 3 sources of nutrition together. There is some debate as to what percentage of calories should come from what in your diet. Personally, I have cut using a 40% fat/40% protein/20% carb diet. My brother has cut on a 30% fat/30% protein/40% carb diet. I would say to use the latter since cutting a ton of carbs out of our diet is fairly difficult. Keep in mind, this is NOT by grams, but by calories. That's essential since fats contain 9 calories per gram, while protein and carbs contain 4 calories per gram. Having 30% of your calories coming from fat allows your body to slow digestion a bit and lets you feel much less hungry. If you're doing it right, you should feel slight to no hunger with this %. 30% protein lets you maintain your muscles. Also, protein doesn't have an insulin response, so it won't store fat as easily, nor will it make you feel hungry. The 40% carbs lets your body restore your glycogen stores and supplies your body with necessary energy. Carbs aren't ALL bad, but you want to limit them while cutting/dieting.
Using percentages to set up a diet never made sense to me. An individuals nutrient requirements will be dependant on total bodyweight or lean body mass, not calories. Let's think about it just in terms of protein for right now. We both know the importance of protein while on a cut to prevent LBM loss. In fact, protein should be HIGHER when calories go down, not the other way around which is exactly what happens when using percentages.

Let's use myself as an example. Assuming my maintenence is around 15cal/lb and I weigh 214 it would take around 3200 cals to maintain my weight. Using 30/30/40 my protein intake would be 240g. Now let's say I begin to cut and bring my calories down to 2500. Now my protein intake is only 188g, which is less then 1g/lb. Not only that, but what happens once I start approaching lower bodyfat levels? I won't be able to lose fat on a 2500 calorie diet forever due to weight loss and metabolic rate. So I may have to drop it down to 2000, at which point my protein intake would only be 150g.

See what's wrong there? As an individual gets leaner he/she will have to lower calories. When using percentages protein becomes less as a result, which is completely opposite of what should happen.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Originally posted by: KoolDrew
Ok, now to tie the 3 sources of nutrition together. There is some debate as to what percentage of calories should come from what in your diet. Personally, I have cut using a 40% fat/40% protein/20% carb diet. My brother has cut on a 30% fat/30% protein/40% carb diet. I would say to use the latter since cutting a ton of carbs out of our diet is fairly difficult. Keep in mind, this is NOT by grams, but by calories. That's essential since fats contain 9 calories per gram, while protein and carbs contain 4 calories per gram. Having 30% of your calories coming from fat allows your body to slow digestion a bit and lets you feel much less hungry. If you're doing it right, you should feel slight to no hunger with this %. 30% protein lets you maintain your muscles. Also, protein doesn't have an insulin response, so it won't store fat as easily, nor will it make you feel hungry. The 40% carbs lets your body restore your glycogen stores and supplies your body with necessary energy. Carbs aren't ALL bad, but you want to limit them while cutting/dieting.
Using percentages to set up a diet never made sense to me. An individuals nutrient requirements will be dependant on total bodyweight or lean body mass, not calories. Let's think about it just in terms of protein for right now. We both know the importance of protein while on a cut to prevent LBM loss. In fact, protein should be HIGHER when calories go down, not the other way around which is exactly what happens when using percentages.

Let's use myself as an example. Assuming my maintenence is around 15cal/lb and I weigh 214 it would take around 3200 cals to maintain my weight. Using 30/30/40 my protein intake would be 240g. Now let's say I begin to cut and bring my calories down to 2500. Now my protein intake is only 188g, which is less then 1g/lb. Not only that, but what happens once I start approaching lower bodyfat levels? I won't be able to lose fat on a 2500 calorie diet forever due to weight loss and metabolic rate. So I may have to drop it down to 2000, at which point my protein intake would only be 150g.

See what's wrong there? As an individual gets leaner he/she will have to lower calories. When using percentages protein becomes less as a result, which is completely opposite of what should happen.
I'm using percentages in the aspect of simple weight loss. What I say really only applies to cutting down to about, let's say 12% BF. If you weighed 214 pounds, and still got 188g of protein, you'd still be WAY above 1g protein/lb of lean body mass, which is usually what I go off of. You would probably be at 1.5ish g protein/lb of lean body mass. That's plenty. However, when you want to cut from let's say 12% to 8%, you're going to have to change it up. I'm not really getting into the specifics of that. I'm giving a general "here's what to do if you're overweight and you wanna slim down." I'm not giving a "you're at 12% body fat - let's get you ripped as hell."

EDIT: However, I do agree that some of the info has to be modified. I've known this for a bit, but haven't had time to get around to it.
 

KoolDrew

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
10,226
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If you weighed 214 pounds, and still got 188g of protein, you'd still be WAY above 1g protein/lb of lean body mass, which is usually what I go off of. You would probably be at 1.5ish g protein/lb of lean body mass.
It's almost right at 1g/lb, but that's beside the point.
 
Mar 22, 2002
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Originally posted by: KoolDrew
If you weighed 214 pounds, and still got 188g of protein, you'd still be WAY above 1g protein/lb of lean body mass, which is usually what I go off of. You would probably be at 1.5ish g protein/lb of lean body mass.
It's almost right at 1g/lb, but that's beside the point.
I was assuming for somebody else at a higher body fat %. And that is the point of this thread. I specifically mention that this is a general weight loss thread. I won't go into the specifics of everything for every stage. I will go through the general journey of weight loss for the average obese individual.

Also, how would you suggest I do it besides percentages? They're easy and for the general weight loss, they're about right. Tossing terms like "1 g of protein per pound of lean body mass" is going to confuse people who are new to this. On top of that, they would have to get a body fat % test and calculate from there. Most people aren't willing to put forth that kind of effort, nor should they have to right at the beginning of this whole process. It's overwhelming as it is. I'd like to stick to the simpleness of %'s for this reason specifically.
 

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