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Can't Get My Sister to Lose Weight


#1

Hi Guys,

We have been trying for months to help my sister to lose weight and she is an absolute devoted trainer and does a great job with nutrition but alas she just isn't losing weight and it is really affecting her and it's breaking my heart. We have tried the following work out routines.

  1. 3 Days a week 5X5 2 compound movements per session. Pull ups, Bench, Deadlift, Squats, Overhead Press and Dips. Off days we did sprints and and she walked every morning fasted with caffeine.

  2. Standard Bodybuilding. 3 exercises per body part 3-4 sets of low rep, medium rep, high rep.

  3. CURRENT Complexes 3x per week followed by 20 minutes of cardio.

Her current diet is 135g grams of protein with low carb and moderate fat. Her breakfast She eats 8oz of chicken for lunch with a handful of almonds and 8 oz chicken dinner with vegetables on non workout days and with beans and rice on workout days. We're down to about 1200 calories on workout days and 1000 on non workout days.

I am honestly running out of moves here. The last thing I am planning is to put her on the V-Diet if I can't figure this out, but I can't understand why this isn't working. I've increased calories and reduced calories used sprints and weight training and done several different sure fire methods. I lost 50lbs doing this stuff and have never had the struggles she has in my body manipulations. I am worried something is really out of whack and we might need to consult a doctor.

Am I missing something? Compound movements, complexes, sprints, low carb, proper protein. Could it just be stress?


#2

Let me add, we have been at this for a year and only dropped about 7-8 lbs. Shes 5’4" and 153.5 lbs. We started at 160. She also had a disorder in the past, that I am thinking might be the reason her metabolism won’t kick in.


#3

The number on the scale is rarely the entire story, or even the right number to be focusing on.

This might be stating the obvious to you, but muscle is more dense and weighs more than fat. With the amount of lifting and body-building in her program, she’s probably gained a fair amount of muscle (especially if she doesn’t have any training experience before starting with you).

A better test for women is usually girth measurements (waist, hip & thigh) or body composition tests. As you probably didn’t do these at the beginning of training, you are limited in evaluation progress. A good test is how her clothes fit. If her favorite pair of jeans fits better or at least the same, then you know muscle has been gained and fat has been lost if the scale number has gone down at all.

My advice would be to take girth measurements ASAP and track progress that way.

Of course, if you’ve already considered the points I’ve made, a doctor is probably the next step.


#4

[quote]terryleahyjr wrote:

  1. 3 Days a week 5X5 2 compound movements per session. Pull ups, Bench, Deadlift, Squats, Overhead Press and Dips. Off days we did sprints and and she walked every morning fasted with caffeine.

  2. Standard Bodybuilding. 3 exercises per body part 3-4 sets of low rep, medium rep, high rep.

  3. CURRENT Complexes 3x per week followed by 20 minutes of cardio.

Her current diet is 135g grams of protein with low carb and moderate fat. Her breakfast She eats 8oz of chicken for lunch with a handful of almonds and 8 oz chicken dinner with vegetables on non workout days and with beans and rice on workout days. We’re down to about 1200 calories on workout days and 1000 on non workout days.

[/quote]

I just re-read your post more carefully and her metabolism probably isn’t kicking in because it’s dead if you two have been at this restrictive of a diet for a YEAR. someone that weighs 150 would need around 1500 calories (give or take 100) just to maintain bodyweight lying in bed all day. 1200 plus a workout wouldn’t even come close to enough to make positve gains. Her metabolism has probably shut down to keep from burning anything more than is absolutely necessary for survival.

Weird that she hasn’t lost weight just on this starvation alone, but I think you’re on the right track with assuming her metabolism is off and need to see a doctor in any case.

v-diet isn’t something sustainable long-term, and for her to see lasting improvements, something more moderate should probably be considered…at least until the metabolism part is figured out anyway.


#5

[quote]l-bomb10 wrote:

[quote]terryleahyjr wrote:

  1. 3 Days a week 5X5 2 compound movements per session. Pull ups, Bench, Deadlift, Squats, Overhead Press and Dips. Off days we did sprints and and she walked every morning fasted with caffeine.

  2. Standard Bodybuilding. 3 exercises per body part 3-4 sets of low rep, medium rep, high rep.

  3. CURRENT Complexes 3x per week followed by 20 minutes of cardio.

Her current diet is 135g grams of protein with low carb and moderate fat. Her breakfast She eats 8oz of chicken for lunch with a handful of almonds and 8 oz chicken dinner with vegetables on non workout days and with beans and rice on workout days. We’re down to about 1200 calories on workout days and 1000 on non workout days.

[/quote]

I just re-read your post more carefully and her metabolism probably isn’t kicking in because it’s dead if you two have been at this restrictive of a diet for a YEAR. someone that weighs 150 would need around 1500 calories (give or take 100) just to maintain bodyweight lying in bed all day. 1200 plus a workout wouldn’t even come close to enough to make positve gains. Her metabolism has probably shut down to keep from burning anything more than is absolutely necessary for survival.

Weird that she hasn’t lost weight just on this starvation alone, but I think you’re on the right track with assuming her metabolism is off and need to see a doctor in any case.

v-diet isn’t something sustainable long-term, and for her to see lasting improvements, something more moderate should probably be considered…at least until the metabolism part is figured out anyway. [/quote]

We used to have full on cheat days but she still wasn’t losing weight, and I do still allow a cheat meal. For a long time her dinner was a burger or a steak and a potato and we just switched to double chicken in the past 2-3 weeks as it was the only calorie manipulation I still had up my sleeve while still keeping her satiated as starvation constantly worried me, and I know when I lost all my weight I was never hungry.

We were even carb cycling to keep her high to fuel workouts and lower on off days and we never worked out without proper nutrition and recovery beverages.

Actually when we started we did take girth measurements and although shes come down, I can’t understand why it is taking so much longer and going so slowly compared to my own journey. Granted with her froma training point we started at ground zero where as I had probably 180 lbs of lean mass under my 240 lb fat frame when I did my big cut and was usually lean most of my life.

Still. What do I ask the doctor about her metabolism? Is there a test or something to see its rate of processing (sorry for naivety)


#6

Those calories are dangerously low as mentioned, especially for someone that trains. First off, stop the fat loss training entirely and have her eat maintenance calories +20% IMO. Lots of protein, lots of green veggies and good carbs, and a good amount of healthy fats. I’d start that TOMORROW. I’d also take a complete week off from training. Do absolutely nothing. When you come back, I’d stop any HIIT and running etc for at least a couple months. Incline walking is fine, but she should just focus on a good lifting program for at least 6 weeks.

Get that metabolism and CNS back on track (no way it has not taken a major hit as well) before she even thinks about losing fat again.

Then? SLOWLY add stuff in and change the training. Don’t go full bore with hiit, cardio, complexes, etc immediately.


#7

If girth measurements are down and only 7lbs of scale weight, she’s likely gained quite a bit of muscle and nothing to get tooooooo worked up about.

As far as a doctor visit is concerned, most medical issues associated with slow metabolism are in the realms of hormone imbalance (thyroid irregularities, pre-diabetic indicators) or a severe deficiency (vitamin d, anemia, etc.). A general blood test would identify any glaring issues.

At any rate, don’t make any drastic changes to the current plan until after the blood test. Otherwise, you’ll muddy the waters as to what might be causing an issue.

I’m not a nutritionist, so I can’t officially speak to anything you do or don’t have her eating, but I deal with female athletes/friends that often get frustrated with the scale number when they first begin real weight training. They see people with rapid improvements on fad diets or that have more training experience and they get fed up and hop plans/workouts before a solid, consistent plan has a chance to really take effect. My advice would be to focus on the tape measure and get away from the scale for a bit as a mental break for her