Any Other Slow Losers out There?

hoping you nice folks at t-nation might have some tips for me. i am a slow loser, when it comes to dropping fat. i am wondering if any people here have suggestions to help speed things up for me, since what i have doing is working, but reallllllly slooooooooow. like not even a pound a week. considering i have at least 20 to lose and that i am fairly muscular to begin with, one would think i would lose relatively easily.

a little background on me: i’ve been training on and off for the last couple of years. for some silly silly reason i decided to eat and drink and drink my way through the summer, resulting in a nice fat gain. i’d guess about 15 pounds, not too pretty! i’m a woman, 29, 5’6", 163#s. i’d like to drop about 20#s of fat; don’t care what the scale says, just like looking and feeling firm.

my diet, let’s see i think i eat very well. (when training and being mindful, obviously this summer was not my best work) i follow a t-dawg based diet, ave 1500-1900 cals/day. get at least 150 grams/protein, about 120ish grams/carbs and 25-40 grams /fat. here’s a sample from yesterday’s food log (yes, i log, weigh and measure my food.)

5:30 am (pre-workout)
protein shake with skim milk, 200 cals, 30 grams protein

another protein shake
2 slices light raisin toast (45 cals each, 8 grams carbs each)
2 tbsp whipped cream cheese

2/3 c light cottage cheese

4 oz roast beef
low carb pita (60 cals, 10 grams carbs)
head of broc steamed

zone bar (be gentle here!)

chicken breast, 6 oz
steamed asparagus

total 1650 cals
180 grams protein
140 grams carbs
38 grams fat

supps, all i take is a multi, fish and flax oil and 2 or 3 ECA homemade stacks.

workouts: i lift 5 days a week, heavy weights, 3 sets of 6-8 reps, with warms up of progressively heavier weights. as many compound movements as possible. my lifting workouts take 35-60 minutes.

tues-arms and abs

as for cardio, m/w/f i do 20-30 mins of cardio on the elliptical or the bike at 75% of max HR. tue/thur/sat i do 25 min of HIIT on the treadmill. and if i have time after work i occasionally will do an extra 20-30 minutes of cardio. thurs nights i play basketball. wed nights and sat mornings i do bikram yoga, a 90 minute class. mostly for stretching to prep for ski season and the stress release.

soooo . . . at this pace i would think i would be dropping weight pretty readily. i’m wondering what else i could/should do. drop cals more? eat more? less cardio? more? try hot rox? find a good trainer? i’m not looking for a miracle or a quick fix. i know better. any suggestions you folks might have would be much appreciated! thanks . . .

I will leave the diet alone since that’s not really my area. As for your workouts, I would suggest going to working each bodypart 2-3 times per week using full-body workouts instead of 1x/week that you are currently doing. See some of Chad Waterbury’s recent articles for examples.

I have been on ABBH for 2+ weeks and my waist has slimmed visibly (I don’t measure) already with no other changes (diet, sleep, etc). I attribute this to 1)improvement in body composition and 2) decrease in rest times between sets. I used to take a couple of minutes between sets, which judging from your workout parameters, you do also. Under ABBH, I’m only resting 60 secs max between sets, which really keeps me moving and my longest workout is 45 minutes. That’s my $.02. Good luck.


I am a bit curious on how you calculated the 1500-1900kcal/day. Based on your other figures: 120 g carbs, 150 g protein and 25-40 g fat, I get that to 1205-1440 kcal/day. Where do the reast come from?


If you had children, you may want to get your thyroid levels checked. Hypothyroidism is very common in women, and even more so in mothers.

With all that cardio, it appears that you are either going to need to drop more Kcals or rearrange what you consume in your diet.

  • Replace the skim milk with water for the AM shake.

  • Replace the toast and cream cheese with oatmeal (rolled oats).

  • Swap out the banana for fruit (or vegetable) that does not contain fructose.

  • Consume more vegetables, especially the green leafy type.

  • You’ll need to do some rearranging so you can get protien from cottage cheese or whey as a last meal, just prior to bed.

  • Finally, do a search on “Tampa-Terry” and read her dieting recommendations - you can’t go wrong with her advice!

You’ll need to tweak the Kcals until you get the right daily amount dialed in.

Also, you’ll want to consider supplementing with one of Biotest’s HOT-ROX products, probably Fahrenheit.;jsessionid=A2EC035B258F9BC7AA57ACCB1E585AF8.ba13?id=499151

Good luck!

thanks for the suggestions thus far.

i looked at the ABBH training program. very doable, in fact i’ll be working out less than i am currently. anyone know if i can do some additional cardio without compromising other results? (yes, i’m one of those sadists who enjoys cardio. for some reason the more cardio i do the better my eating is.)

i was considering having my thyroid checked. no little tykes running around with my DNA, so i can’t blame them. considered trying some thyroid enhancers, but nervous about messing with that on my own. i’d rather lose fat a little slower than screw up my body chemistry.

as to the daily breakdowns of pro/carb/fat, those were ranges. i have been averaging more like 180+ grams of protein a day of late. try to keep carbs under 140, and fat under 40.

those are pretty easy changes to make to my diet. i used to do the oatmeal postw/o, not sure why i changed to the toast. the day i posted was an example, i do lots of chx on baby spinach, salads etc. dine on lots of veggies to fill me up. i make this cabbage dish that is great, filling, lots of fiber, low in calories. will be mindful to maybe ensure that i have something leafy everyday.

i am concerned about cutting my calories too low, going under 1400 doesn’t seem right. but maybe that’s just what i need to do.

follow up question . . . Fahrenheit over HOT-ROX? thoughts on that?

thanks again guys . . . very helpful!

I think of myself as a “slow loser” as well. I find the combination of CLA + HOT-ROX and The mutation series work well. I am doing phase 2 and physically dropping fat faster then before…just an idea…for you if you havn’t tried it.

Just to point out from what I have read on T-nation, your body adapts to the same diet for a long period of time so it will lose it’s affect, maybe try a carb rotation diet? Change it every 3 weeks or so…just my two cents :slight_smile:

Hey, just want to ask a few questions. How long have you been dieting? How much have you Lost in that time? Not going by your sample diet, but the other numbers you provided, you should be losing about a pound and a half a week with the activities listed. If you’re not meeting that goal, make sure you have covered your bases simply, meaning, are you eating whole, wholesome food that will make you look good naked? Zone bars are good once in awhile if you’re in a bind for a meal, but look at your log and see if you’re diet consists of good foods for those 1500-1900 calories. Also, Women tend to lose weight slower than men, which may be happening. The last question is how much do you think you should be losing per week? Are your expectations realistic?

If you don’t loose fat more easily it may be because your level of leptin is too low.

If you haven’t increased calories and carbs for some time, do it.

And you should think about cycling carbs to lose fat faster and retain more muscle.

I have been on this plan for 8 weeks, losing 9 pounds total. Not horrible, but not great, especially considering how much more i have to lose. i’m not expecting to lose more than 1.5-2# a week; if i were losing that i’d be thrilled! just considering my total cals, overall good diet, and rigorous exercise plan i thought i’d be losing quicker.

i can say that i am losing inches, and that i fit into smaller sizes at this weight than i did when i have weighed that previously and was less muscular. (duh, no sh*t) the scale makes me completely OCD, even when i only weigh in once a week.

i’m going to try to dial in my diet some more: ditch the zone bars, morning toast and try and eat as many whole foods as possible. back to oatmeal post w/o and shrimp for my afternoon snack. going to order hot rox, and after another 8 weeks of that monitor my progress. i allowed myself a 2000 cal day yesterday, first time in at least 6 wks, so maybe that might do a little something for me too. i will also say that i feel f*ing fantastic, which counts for a lot.

This is your problem man, you don’t do enough refeeds.

Do 2 days of high calories/carbs per week, this will keep your metabolism and leptin high.

1 day is not enough for that in my experience…

Don’t hesitate to do that, in most cases it will fix the problem.

So another day of eating it is! i’ll post results in a week.

[quote]minimeow wrote:
I have been on this plan for 8 weeks, losing 9 pounds total. Not horrible, but not great, especially considering how much more i have to lose.[/quote]

What if you lost fat, but at the same time gained muscle? Then if you’re only judging by the scale, you cant see whats behind the scenes.

How about based on how you feel, and how you look? You said you feel great. And im sure your getting stronger, and your numbers are going up? or atleast easier. Do you look more fit? You said your fitting smaller sizes. I think everything is going well. Thats good progress. Keep doing what your doing, and you’ll be happy with the results. Keep up the good work.