T Nation

Fat Loss Failure

(I apologize for the length of the post, but I want to give as much info as I can)

I’m currently doing T-Dawg v2.0, combined with Meltdown Training I, in an effort to lose fat. I’m 5’9", 25 years old, currently 164lbs and ~15-16% bodyfat. I’m on the last week of Meltdown Training (week 3) and on my 4th week of the diet, and I have dropped minimal body fat. I’m at a loss for what to do to actually lose fat.

I consume between 1900 and 2000 calories a day, and exercise daily (four days of Meltdown, each session followed by a short heavy-lifting session consisting of one or two exercises, 4 sets of 6 reps), one day of low-intensity cardio, and two HIIT sessions a week.

Supplements:

Post-Lifting:

-1 scoop of whey (24g protein)

  • 7.5g BCAA’s post lifting

-2g of vitamin C and 2 anti-stress pills (ashwagandha, rhodiola, and other various herbs mixed, recommended by Krista Schaus of Precision Nutrition) for cortisol control

During Lifting

-15g BCAA’s

-5g creatine

Cardio Days During Workout:

-2.5g creatine

-7.5g BCAA’s

I also take 3 Flameouts and 4 regular fish oil caps a day, in addition to 2 REZ-V and 6 abs+ caps (2 with breakfast, lunch, and dinner), a multi-vitamin, and melatonin to sleep.

In terms of my diet, my macronutrients tend to be about 20C/40P/40F, with carbohydrates not exceeding the T-Dawg limits (with fiber removed). My only non-vegetable carbohydrate is a bowl of oatmeal with whey post-lifting (not on cardio days), but I still stay within the limits (<70g on non-training days, <100 on training days).

Otherwise, my diet consists of a lot of vegetables (about 2 pounds a day, primarily broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green peppers, brussel sprouts, green beans, and spinach), turkey breast, roast beef, lean ground beef, eggs/egg whites, chicken, fish (tilapia, tuna, salmon), flaxseed, and turkey sausage.

I’ve been keeping a food log, so can give specifics if needed, but this post is already running rather long, so I can save it for later. For the T-Dawg carb-up days, I go with the day-long clean carb-up (only been through one carb-up so far).

I’ve been preparing for this fat-loss phase for about two months (saving for the supplements, reading all I could on T-Nation) while I was building mass using CT’s Carb Cycling Codex (from 150lb on Jan. 1 to 168lbs by the time I started the diet on March 31st without gaining much fat). I thought I had it all figured out and planned perfectly, but this body fat won’t budge. I lost 4 pounds the first week (water and glycogen, I’m assuming), but nothing since then.

Any ideas? I was doing lower calories the first couple weeks (about 1800/day), without post-workout carbs, but my strength and form suffered during Meltdown, so I’m hesitant to drop them any lower.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I’m pretty frustrated.

Ok, 164 and cutting. How about you eat at a maintenance level and work on slowly adding lean mass while dropping a little fat.

What are you going to cut down to? A skeleton?

The more muscle that you have, the easier it is to lose fat.

well your food quality sounds great…i can maybe offer some personal experience. I ate clean for a while, and was at around 12-14% bf at 187lbs, 5’10. Since reducing my calories to what i thought was WAY too few for my size, I’ve lost a lot of fat. I workout 5 days a week, and play at least an hour of ultimate frisbee and at least 3 hours of basketball. I’m generally active and on my feet while I’m working.

Here are results in 10 weeks of eating clean with some weekend partying/eating crap food:

Simple stats 2/05/08

bodyweight - (187.7lbs)
waist around navel - (34")
upper arm, flexed - (15.6")
upper arm, relaxed - (13.3")
right thigh, standing - 24.25"

Simple stats on April 7th (when i started the zone diet at 18 blocks/day, which is around 1700-1800 calories):

183.0 lbs
33" waistline around navel
15.5" upper arm flexed, 13" relaxed
24" thigh standing

Simple stats 4/18/08(stats on 2/5/08)

bodyweight - 176.2lbs
waist around navel - 31.8"
upper arm, flexed - 15.5"
upper arm, relaxed - 12.9"
thigh, standing - 23.5"

So, with a similar activity level, and more lean body mass, my caloric intake is less than yours. This long-winded post (mostly copy/pasting from my log) is to suggest that maybe you should just try dropping your calories even more.

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I just finished putting on a good 15lbs of mass over the past three months (first doing 2 months of “Blending Size and Strength” then 1 month of “Stripped Down Hypertrophy”), and figured that would help me to take off some fat.

I used to weigh 195lbs (sloppy weight from my first year at college), but I ended up dieting down to about 145lb (at my lightest). I figure that at this point to avoid putting that fat back on, I’d build size for 3 months, then lose fat for 1.5 months.

Thanks. I guess it’s worth a try. I’ll go for one more week, doing what I’m doing to finish Meltdown, then drop down to 1700. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go back to building.

I welcome any other suggestions, too.

[quote]Zagman wrote:
Ok, 164 and cutting. How about you eat at a maintenance level and work on slowly adding lean mass while dropping a little fat.

What are you going to cut down to? A skeleton?

The more muscle that you have, the easier it is to lose fat.[/quote]

Also a good point. But seriously, that extra bodyfat isn’t going to help him do very much. Once he figures his shit out it shouldn’t take more than 4-6 weeks to get down to 11 or 12% bf. After this relatively short period of time (and with the level of leanness that is closer to optimal) he should be able to add steady amounts of mass without being overfat for the duration.

Man, 145 lbs at 5’9 is just sickly looking (I know, I started at 5’9 and 150!). Worry about adding quality mass over a LONG duration.
BBing isnt a race, its a marathon, and I’m getting a little crazy seeing so many ‘kids’ worrying about cutting up. If you’re under 6’ tall, and weigh less than 200 lbs, you have no business even worrying about cutting yet.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Man, 145 lbs at 5’9 is just sickly looking (I know, I started at 5’9 and 150!). Worry about adding quality mass over a LONG duration.
BBing isnt a race, its a marathon, and I’m getting a little crazy seeing so many ‘kids’ worrying about cutting up. If you’re under 6’ tall, and weigh less than 200 lbs, you have no business even worrying about cutting yet.

S
[/quote]

From the numbers, it sounds like it would be sickly looking, but with my stubborn fat, I could have looked better. From that weight, it didn’t take me long to put on some mass up to about 150 (which isn’t much, I know), then I started doing real programs and getting decent results.

Reading the Anabolic Diet books, though, they suggest never going over 10% bodyfat (I know that’s with that particular diet, but it sounds like a good benchmark to me), so I figured it’d be good to get closer to that percentage before starting a long-term mass gaining phase.

Bro My bet is when you hit a wall like that you need to upp your calories…if your low carbing it you can drop weight at a much higher calorie level…in time past when I hit a wall…contrary to popular belief I upped my cals by 750 - 1000 and I started losing weight again…My body was in starvation mode…

[quote]eggers wrote:
Yeah, I just finished putting on a good 15lbs of mass over the past three months[/quote]

Lol… I’m sure you did. Not trying to be a prick. Look at it this way- if you gained 15lbs in 3 months it wasn’t all muscle, which means you gained fat. Add that to the fact you still have “stubborn” fat to lose…

Looks like your diet may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Low carb is not the end all be all of dieting. In order to use low carb to it’s greatest value you really need a substantial amount of muscle backing you up as well has a hefty fat intake.

First things first- unless you have a photo shoot coming up then eat at maintenance, or slightly above, for a while and try and reset the clock. Chances are you’ve been dieting for too long on too low of calories and didn’t have the quantity of lean mass you needed to start with.

Concentrate on eating better and up your intensity, or frequency, in the gym. It will all work itself out once you get your mindset away from “cutting”.

anabolic diet maybe?, fat loss and slight muslce building at the same time.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
eggers wrote:

Lol… I’m sure you did. Not trying to be a prick. Look at it this way- if you gained 15lbs in 3 months it wasn’t all muscle, which means you gained fat. Add that to the fact you still have “stubborn” fat to lose…

Low carb is not the end all be all of dieting.
[/quote]

I don’t think it was all muscle. That’s why I generalized the 15lbs as being “mass”. I agree that low-carb may not be the way to go for me, based on my current results. With that opinion of low-carb diets, eengrms76, would you just suggest a balance nutrient intake?

I understand your suggestion, and I agree that I should have more muscle (I’d much rather lift heavy and eat more), but should I stop what I’m doing only halfway through my planned diet phase (until about mid-May) in order to do that?

I’m having trouble figuring that out, based on everyone’s suggestions. I guess I’ll have to spend the next few weeks experimenting (one week with lower calories, one week at maintenance, etc) and judge the results from there.

Thanks for all the replies.

[quote]testanabol wrote:
anabolic diet maybe?, fat loss and slight muslce building at the same time.[/quote]

I’m definitely considering that. I’ve read the book, and it seems like it can’t fail, but with my current low-carb lack of success, I’ll have to give it a little more consideration.

Zone is pretty much balanced…check it out. I know it sounds kinda lame but I know a lot of people who get good results with it.

Keep the focus on meat, fruits, vegetables.

You should be able to get away with 16 blocks.

[quote]eggers wrote:
I don’t think it was all muscle. That’s why I generalized the 15lbs as being “mass”. I agree that low-carb may not be the way to go for me, based on my current results. With that opinion of low-carb diets, eengrms76, would you just suggest a balance nutrient intake?[/quote]

I don’t have a bad opinion of law carb diets. Hell that’s ALL that works for me. The gist was to experiment and see what works for you. You haven’t been doing it long enough to know for sure.

This is a tough call and should be based on the results you are getting. Apparently your fat loss plan isn’t working well otherwise you wouldn’t have created this post. You could stay the course, make some adjustments, and hope for the best. Or you could switch it up and try something else.

Typically they say you should try every thing out you are doing for at least a month to see how you respond before changing. But they never say you have to complete something start to finish, especially if it isn’t working. I’m not sure anyone on here is going to be able to tell you the exact right course of action here, and if they tried it would be based on incomplete information.

[quote]I’m having trouble figuring that out, based on everyone’s suggestions. I guess I’ll have to spend the next few weeks experimenting (one week with lower calories, one week at maintenance, etc) and judge the results from there.

Thanks for all the replies. [/quote]

Good call. In my opinion if you aren’t able to tell what will happen to your body as a result of the changes before they occur, then you haven’t experimented enough. It just takes time.

Thanks for the tips. I’ll keep this thread updated over the next couple weeks. Maybe it can help someone else out.

before you ditch it man try upping your calories…if your body is in starvation mode it will throttle back your metabolic rate to break even with your calorie level to try and maintain your stores while the body thinks your starving…up them by 750-1000 for a week still low carb and see what happens…

before you ditch it man try upping your calories…if your body is in starvation mode it will throttle back your metabolic rate to break even with your calorie level to try and maintain your stores while the body thinks your starving…up them by 750-1000 for a week still low carb and see what happens…

[quote]Pugsley wrote:
before you ditch it man try upping your calories…if your body is in starvation mode it will throttle back your metabolic rate to break even with your calorie level to try and maintain your stores while the body thinks your starving…up them by 750-1000 for a week still low carb and see what happens…[/quote]

Yeah, I can try that for a week. I’ll stick with the same calorie level and macronutrient breakdown for the last week of Meltdown, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll up my calories. If that doesn’t work, I’ll do a week of 1600-1700 calories. If that doesn’t work, then fuck it. I’ll go back to trying to build muscle.

Thanks for the suggestion.

[quote]eggers wrote:
Yeah, I can try that for a week. I’ll stick with the same calorie level and macronutrient breakdown for the last week of Meltdown, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll up my calories. If that doesn’t work, I’ll do a week of 1600-1700 calories. If that doesn’t work, then fuck it. I’ll go back to trying to build muscle.

Thanks for the suggestion. [/quote]

I still think you’d be better off trying to build more muscle now. More muscle = higher BMR = burn more fatting sitting on your ass.

Right now, you don’t have enough muscle to speed your metabolism, and in fear of gaining fat, you’ve put yourself in a situtaion where your body doesn’t want to use up what it has for fear of not getting enough calories. Essentially, youre not eating enough to lose weight (I know it sounds weird)

S