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Fat Loss Isn't Happening. WTF am I Doing Wrong?


Like the title says, despite my extreme effort, I can't lose fat. Here's my summary:

I'm a 21 year old male, 6'2", 270 lbs.

I have been through Schuler and Cosgrove's NROL Fat Loss I, II, and III, Cosgrove's Real Fast Fat Loss (hosted here on T-Nation) and some home-made stuff. I have completed all the lifts to maximal effort. At the end of my lifting, I'm absolutely soaked in sweat, utterly exhausted, and fighting nausea.

My diet is almost perfectly by Zone proportions. If anything, I cut the carbs back even further and consume more protein and fat in it's place. I strongly limit myself to 2 cheat meals a week, and even those are within moderation. Nearly all my food is natural or close to it - lots of lean meat, whole grain stuff, and the like. I do not consume alcohol on a regular basis (maybe 1-2 times a month) and when I do, it's usually only a few glasses of Crown straight up.

I cannot figure out why I'm not losing fat. In the pics I've taken of myself, I don't really notice any change. While I have gotten much stronger, and agile, the fat remains.

I'm posting this in supplements and nutrition because I figure that nutrition has gotta be my problem. Frankly though, I feel like if I cut even more calories, I'm going to starve to death. While I don't feel chronically hungry now, it's still hard to fight the urge to eat from time to time. I mean, I own a copy of Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. I'm studying to get my CSCS when I graduate college. I've read practically everything here on T-Nation and strengthcoach.com. The people I train are losing fat using basically the same methods as I am (but easier workouts since most of them are lifting newbies) and yet... I don't get anywhere.

Any help would be very appreciated. I'm so tired of being flabby that I'll listen to damn near anyone at this point, which is dangerous, since there's a lot of vegans and crossfitters around here.


if you don't know how many grams of protein and fat and carbs you are having on a daily basis(while trying to lose weight) you are doing it wrong. Tell us what you are eating or at least your breakdown macronutrient wise. I would be more interested in a detailed breakdown meal-by-meal in a typical 24 hours for you.

are you doing any sort of cardio?

Would it be possible for you to post the pics of you right before you tried to lose weight and what you currently look like?

How about your lifts? What were they before and what are they now?


I was in the same boat as you, and honestly what worked for me was planning out my meals and knowing exactly what's going into my body. All the while lifting and adding in cardio minimum 3 times a week.

Like mentioned above, it's all in your diet. About 7 weeks ago, at 20 years old, I was 5'9" and 274lbs, and though I did have a good amount of muscle on me, none of it was showing, at all. Through just lowering my caloric intake to about 1900-2100 cals a day, I've lost 20lbs so far in those 7 weeks and continue to lose.

So, through changing my diet, I started taking in a LOT of protein, and though it's probably not as much as it should be, it's significantly higher then what it was and is higher then my Carb and Fat intake.

Also, adding Cardio I found helped out as well. I used to never do it but it sure can't hurt to burn the extra calories.

Just continue to lift heavy and hard, take in more protein, and find your BMR ( http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/ ) and eat that or less, with the majority of cals coming from protein.

This worked for me thus far, so good luck!


I agree with the above; if you're not tracking each calorie, gram of protein, fat, and carbs, you're doing it wrong.

Now, I don't normally do this, but . . . the Velocity Diet could be the 30 day kickstart you need to get that fat off.

Just . . . mind Shugart. Srscat.


No workout program in the world will make you lose fat if you're not in a caloric deficit.

No "perfect" macronutrient ratio or avoidance of processed foods will make you lose fat if you're not in a caloric deficit.

The mere face that you've gotten "much stronger" should tell you that you're not in a deficit. To gain strength you must gain muscle, and to gain muscle, you must supply enough nutrients for growth.

If you're apparently eating enough to gain muscle/strength, how exactly do you expect to lose fat? by sticking to perfect ratios? "clean food"? magic?

No. The reason you're not losing fat is because you are eating an excess amount of calories.

Here's how you fix it: buy a food scale and sign up for fitday.com (I actually bought the fitday software and think it a worthwhile investment). Begin to track EVERYTHING you eat by measuring it in grams. Record your weight and adjust the calories based on real world results every couple of weeks.

As far as exercise, quit doing high intensity crap like you were and start lifting heavy weights. Only heavy weights will preserve muscle mass on a diet. Lifting light weights fast and to exhaustion will eat away at muscle while on a diet.

for more info read this: www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/weight-training-for-fat-loss-part-1.html

and this: www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/weight-training-for-fat-loss-part-2.html


What he said.


You're eating cheat meals, and you're not losing weight?

Have you tried, NOT taking cheat meals?


Get into a caloric deficit as suggested. On paper, if you maintain a 500 cal deficit a day, you'll lose an average of 2.5lbs of fat a week. You might see bigger weight drops since you are where you are. Burn more cals than you put in by at least 500 cals and you'll lose the body fat. It works, trust the advise given by the other posters.


You need to start tracking things. If you have an iPod Touch or iPhone, get the LoseIt! app, it's amazing. You can add what foods you ate on the go, and it tells you your macros.


Let's see what you're eating every day.


how many blocks are you eating? and if you don't know what I'm talking about, you don't know what "the Zone" is.


The problem may be in your diet. You may be eating clean, but if you're eating the wrong kinds of foods, the fat won't go off. You can consider going for a food intolerance test (ALCAT). As a matter of fact, if you're consuming foods that your body has a intolerance for (these foods can be clean foods such as eggs, beef, broccoli, and cabbage), the weight won't go off.

For my case, after I threw out the foods that I had an intolerance for and replaced them with alternative foods that I did not have an intolerance for, the fat came off fairly quickly.


Exactly. You've been wasting your time (with respect to fat loss) if you have no idea how many calories per day you have been consuming. It sounds like you may have been overcomplicating fat loss my friend. Let me tell you what you probably already know that you need to do. Establish an estimated caloric maintenance level for yourself (the number of calories you need to consume each day to not gain or lose any weight). Establish the number of calories you need to eat each day to be in a deficit. Figure out your macronutrient breakdown e.g. 35% protein, 10% carbs, 55% fat and what each equates to in grams for the day. Divide the numbers of grams into however many meals you want to eat per day. Based on the grams per meal, sit down and figure out what foods and the corresponding servings nearly hit those amounts. EAT EXACTLY WHAT YOU'VE PLANNED. If after 1-2 weeks, nothing has changed, your caloric maintenance level wasn't your true level and you over-estimated how much you're actually burning. Drop your calories again and redo the steps I outlined. Do this and you will lose fat. Don't do this and you'll continue on being stagnant and making no progress.


I was shocked at how much was 0.5 lb of beef(as in I was eating way too much in one sitting). I'd also suggest(as someone said before) about getting a food weight scale.


Yeah, I mean, if you're not weighing/measuring your food, you're just estimating. Shit when I weigh my food, it's to the gram, not oz.


I second fitday.com. I've begun using it again now that i'm on a 12 week diet. I need to know exactly what i'm eating.

You need to figure some stuff out before you just go 'on a diet.' Like how many cals per day, what your macro split will be (how much protein, fat, carbs). If you find you need 350 grams of protein a day, divide that by 5-7 (your number of meals) and that's approx how many grams of protein you should shoot for each meal. Do this with fats as well.

This gives you needed structure and allows for adjustments as needed.
You may also want to cut your cheats back to one meal a week, or maybe one meal every two weeks.


I have been eating about 5000+ calories per day and I lost a couple of pounds this week. You are not working out enough, don't lie to yourself like I used to do.


Eat less.


Same, and food scales are so dirt cheap. I have a plastic job that might have cost me $10 tops and I weight everything.

My wife calls me an "extremist" so I must be doing something right then...