T Nation

Advice To Lose More Body Fat?

hi guys! fairly new here. long winded post here :slight_smile:

been working out on and off and recently working out more from aug when i reweigh myself. slack off one month plus and regain about 5 kgs during that period. my bf is fairly high at about 38%. I use to weight 80kgs and throughout the year i tried all kinds of weight lost methods (cardio, diet pills) weight always flactuate throughout the years… starting eating more healthily and learning about nutrition recently as well… my diet use to be mostly carbs i think that causes my weight gain.

here’s a photo of my starting and current progress and workout routine

upper body
lower body
Cardio - cycle, abs, jump rope, walking
Upper body
Lower body
Cardio - cycle, abs, jump rope, walking

i need some advice here… as i mention my body fat is still high so in order to lose body fat should i continue to carry on cutting? i believe my body fat hasn’t been dropping much because i wasn’t controlling myself well (i have a sweet tooth) i love those protein bars and protein cookies since it can kill my craving for sweet stuffs. I shouldn’t be taking alot of these during my cut right?

I am also currently eating at 1200 calories, my macros as follows

50% - protein
30% carbs
20% fat

any advice or help here would be much appreciated!

How long have you been at 1200cals?

1 Like

Congrats on the fat loss so far!

@bulldog9899 has an important question. I’d add a couple more:

  • What do you weigh now?
  • How long have you been dieting?
  • Are those actually your macros, or are those your idealistic macros if you didn’t add in the cookies and stuff?
  • How do you feel right now?
  • Are you still losing weight or has that stopped altogether?
1 Like

1200 calories is a very low amount of calories, the only people (especially people who do a fair bit of exercise) who are reccomended to eat that little are extremely obese people (like some of those folks who you see featured on ‘my 600lb life’ etc).

I would say:

A: You don’t really have that much fat, you are not lean by athlete standards sure, but you are not in what I think the vast majority of people would regard as being in anything like ‘bad shape’.

B: It’s quite possible you’ve crashed your metabolism. You might actually find it easier to keep losing body fat if you slightly increase your carbs and protein intake and also intensify your work-outs in some way.

1 Like

I’m at 1200 ish since Aug. On and off sometimes.

Hey. Thanks for asking.

-I’m at between 61kg to 63kg now.
my diet is on and off. not the most discipline person here though but i’m trying.
-i try to hit my macros by eating real food but if i really can’t then i’ll take protein bars/protein shake. trying to cut protein bar for awhile now.
-I do feel that I’m much leaner now when I compared I was at my lowest of 58kg. I used to only do cardio but im more on strength training now.
-Im not losing weight anymore, the weight just can’'t go down. maybe because i’m buidling muscles? but my fat is still the same which is annoying.

i actually went to tdee to check my calories. it mentioned my cutting calories should be 1360cal if i am working out 3 to 5 days a week. i am just scaling down because i am afraid i might not work hit my workout days.

Yeah I know because I have been fat since young so that explains my body fat… but 38% is really quite high. I aiming at least to be at 30%?

I’m guessing that. My metabolism is quite gone for now because of my past bad diet habits. this might sound stupid but anyway to uncrashed it? haha

And thanks!!

There are quite a few coaches that have pretty good thoughts on this. You’ll have to pick, in the short-term, though: do you want to grind out a little more weight loss now or do you want to hit pause and set yourself up for future success? I think we could give advice toward either

set up for future success definitely, although i really wanted to lose that stubborn fats but i think being stronger and healthy is definitely my priority now. :smile:

1 Like

As I’ve learned more about metabolism, weight- and fat loss, and the impacts calorie restriction has on our bodies I’ve come to be apprehensive of the “crash”-analogy with regards to our metabolism.

I rather view it as “adaptable” or “elastic”. The metabolism has some leeway to account for hypo- and hypercaloric diets alike.

One thing one would find mentioned in T-nation articles is how the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) affect fat loss. The key take-away from these articles would be that if a deficit is sustained for long enough T4 to T3 conversion decreases which in effect lowers your “metabolism” (i.e., your energy expenditure goes down). To combat this, the occassional cheat day might be warranted as macronutrient and energy intake sustain the conversion (protein + carbs).

Further, it has been observed that our “metabolism” (our ability to extract energy from food) becomes more efficient as when in a deficit our stool becomes less energy dense meaning we’ve extracted more out of it before excreting it.

Given your most recent reply,

it might behove you to enter a maintenance phase for a while, and then have another go at losing fat after you can maintain your bodyweight at a higher caloric intake than your current one.

Excellent! And I think @voxel nailed some things.

Here would be my advice (if you get better advice, it doesn’t hurt my feelings):

  • I’m assuming you are comfortable maintaining your current activity level? If not, reply to this and let’s adjust the below. What I mean by that is, if you’re doing 6 hours of cardio a week right now and don’t want to continue, let’s deal with that before we deal with the below.
  • I would take one of two routes on your calories, since you may not have been perfectly consistent. I do want to clarify - when I say consistent, I mean did you hit your caloric targets. Whether or not you had to use a protein shake to get there really doesn’t matter.
  1. Your first option is to immediately bump your calories up and track it. I’d probably set your first floor at bodyweight (in lbs.) x 12 = kcal. That takes you to about 1630kcal daily. You need to hit that every day.
  2. Since we may not have been consistent, you could just keep eating what you’ve been eating and track it, and we’ll see where we’re at in a couple weeks. I don’t think this would be my first recommendation for you, though, because it’s going to be mentally tough for you to do it (you’re likely to purposefully restrict right now).
  • Whatever option you go with above, we’d expect to see you gain a kg or two in the first week or so. Don’t stress out.
  • After a week or two, your weight should stabilize. Once you hold that weight on those calories, slowly titrate up - maybe 100kcal every two weeks as long as you aren’t gaining weight.
  • Once you start gaining weight, the week before was maintenance. Let’s stay at that maintenance for some time period while we get your activity level to the lowest reasonable starting point: by that I mean the minimal amount of cardio you need for health and as much lifting as you can enjoy - let’s use this period to build some muscle.
  • I’m well aware everyone here will tell me you should go into a surplus at this point to build that muscle. I respectfully disagree because I both don’t believe it’s necessary (none of us has our metabolic process and intake dialed into the exact calorie) and I don’t believe it matches your goals.
  • Once we start stagnating on our muscle-building/ recomp - basically you stop seeing positive changes in the mirror and your motivation is lit up like you’re ready to kick some butt - you’re ready to start lowering calories again. Instead of dropping back to something low immediately, we’ll go in reverse order from the above: each week drop 100 calories OR add some cardio (alternate the two if you can stay disciplined enough).

Hopefully that was somewhat useful and you can throw it into practice.

I’m offended (not really)

This I don’t necessarily agree with but if OP can make it work, then it works. As far as sensible approaches go, I prefer something slightly more “aggressive” (not very much more but slightly). I’m preferential to a 5% calorie reduction and 5% calorie expenditure increase through LISS.

1 Like

Totally fair! Definitely more than one way to skin a cat. I’m much more aggressive myself, but I think I’d err toward caution if I thought I was metabolically slowed.

Definitely smart. Here’s what I’d do, as a male, if I believe I were metabolically slowed.

  1. Titrate calories up,
    1.1. and titrate activity level up (to 10k steps per day)
    1.2. Repeat until I can maintain weight and sustain 10k steps per day at 15 x (bw in lbs)
  2. Set calories at 16 x (bw in lbs)
    2.1. Stick with 2 until weight stops increasing, still keeping 10k steps per day.
  3. Start cutting back on calories, remove one factor when weight loss has stalled for two weeks
    3.1. Here I’d track my weekly average weight to see if weight has actually stopped moving. It’s really hard to perceive when measuring kilos like I do.
    3.2. Repeat 3 as necessary. Stop when calories are at 10-12 x lbs (floor) depending on mirror/goals.

That Item. 2. is how I know I’m no longer slowed.

For a woman, I don’t know, maybe replace x15 with x13 and x16 with x14. Still the same caloric floor though.

1 Like

I like it. I think we’re actually relatively close in thought process.

1 Like

With all due respect to the knowledgeable posters in here so far, I must say I think the most crucial piece of information being overlooked is that you’ve followed a diet “on and off.”

We can get into the science of “collapsing a metabolism,” OR we could acknowledge a more obvious culprit: you’re eating too much.

What does “off” look like? I can easily picture a world where you’re yo-yoing days, weeks, or months between 1200 cals/day and then 3000 cals/day. It’s going to be close to impossible to recommend effective adjustments for you until you follow a set diet without deviating for at least a couple weeks.

2 Likes

Yeah I do hit calorie target and macros daily if you are referring to my currently calorie intake which is 1200 Cals.

Okay let me try to increase the calories intake. How about the macros? To focus more on protein?

Also can I clarify on your post. To increase my cal to what you’ve mentioned, I should see my weight increase. then up 100 cal every two weeks, focus on strength training as much as I like. Then once I see the muscle growth stop I will decrease on my calories intake?

Thank you. what you said actuall make sense and the reason why i got to 80kg in the first place was because of my bad dieting habits. Right now being discipline is all i needed

off means i sometimes do not track my calories at all when im eating out.

yea i use to do yoyo diets and its so bad for me. over the years I tried all sorts of diets and I finally came to understand about macronutrients and strength training and this got me all started. been about 2 month from now that I have been tracking. I do have my cheat food now and then (fries, pizza, fried chicken) but in moderation

cool. I mean i’m gonna start somewhere but I just dk how to.
Thanks for the advice!

what if i cannot hit my 10k due to busy work schedules?