T Nation

Fat Loss Question


#1

After spending about a month doing a lot of training and building some considerable muscle mass, I am wondering how I can lose some fat. At first glance, most people would probably call me a pretty skinny guy, but the truth is I have about 19% bodyfat. I am aware that medically this is no huge problem but I do want to lower that percentage.

At the moment my diet is very rich in protein and carbohydrates with no strict harness on fat consumption. I want to know how I should attack the issue of fat loss, in terms of strenuous endurance exercise and altering my diet.

Should I try to eliminate certain fats from my diet or add something such as biking to my workout, which at this point is mostly compound exercises such as deadlifts, squat, chinup, etc.

While I appreciate any anecdotes that describe similar situations, please keep in mind that I am mostly an ectomorph, and I don't have the financial resources to buy many supplements.


#2

When you wake up, drink cold water and some caffeine. No sugar or calories then walk outside 30 mins 3-5 times a week. Limit carbs early in the day. Limit your consumption of carbohydrates on upper lift days, increase carbs on lower lift days. If your not taking fish oil start. Carlson's is a great brand.

Fasted cardio and fish oil are both cheap ways to help promote some fat loss.


#3

How're you an ectomorph and have 19% bf?

What is your workout? What are your goals? How tall are you? How much do you weigh?

What are the numbers on your lifts? Deadlift/squat/bench/OHP/chin or pull-up?

If you're not strong and not obese, then the basic idea is to just get stronger and continue putting on mass. You'll automatically lose bf or your ratio will change because you don't put on fat while you gain muscle. Basically body recomp. 5-Xlb a month if you're a beginner and fairly flexible as is and capable of doing all the major lifts in a good linear progression. 3-5 lb/month afterwards. Obviously this requires you to have your diet all figured out.

If you have diet and your lifting plan all figured out and you're still not somehow losing bf, then just walk.
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/get_ripped_get_walking
This is a great article on this.


#4

Definitely do not lower fats in your diet. They are essential for healthy cells and support your hormone levels. How does your diet and training look, in detail?

To "tighten" up, fasted morning walks are always good. Some HIIT after you workout is also good.


#5

Thanks, very insightful feedback from all. Magick, yes I would call myself an ectomorph. I am at 19% though b/c although my bone structure is tall and skinny, my body seems to store every bit of fat it receives. Ripsaw3689, if a walk is 'fasted" does that mean one does it without eating breakfast? If so, don't such practices break down muscle?


#6

About fasted walks- I'm sure you'll lose muscle mass if you're an elite power-lifter and can do nothing but just certain lifts. But since it's only about 30min-1hr, I don't think you can lose all that much. It's not like you're going off and burning a thousand calories within the span of that walk...


#7
  1. yes, fasted morning walk means done before eating (I do it after drinking a cup of tea or hot water w/ lemon, but before eating any food)
  2. no, you won't lose any muscle - you are not some fragile little flower that can't sustain 30 minutes of low impact, low intensity movement with out breaking down
  3. don't worry about your bf %, just worry about what you look like in the mirror

#8

This. I really like a big glass of hot water with fresh squeezed lemon because it helps flush out your liver, which is the primary organ for fat burning in your body.

Doing such a low intensity, short duration form of cardio will not make you lose any muscle. The people that lose muscle on a cut usually had less muscle than they thought to begin with, or did some hardcore crash dieting to get there. When done intelligently, muscle loss is minimal.


#9

Your profile says you're 6'1" and 175 pounds. Is that accurate, and if so, would you like to rephrase the last part of your statement? What did you weigh before you started training (like, 5 or 6 weeks ago)?

What does "a lot of training" mean? What exactly were you doing for the last month - what days were you lifting, what did you do each session (sets and reps, not weight), what did your cardio look like?

Also, you're 16 years old, correct?

The unofficial term for this is "skinny-fat." Not obese or heavy, but not muscular or defined. Let's say you spend the next month or three trying to lose fat, and you drop down 20 pounds. At your height, you now look anorexic. As the saying goes, 6-pack abs on a skinny guy are like huge boobs on a fat chick. They're not impressive.

What is your specific mid to long-term goal? Is there an ideal physique (athlete or celebrity) that you'd want to shoot for?

What, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

"Strenuous endurance exercise" sounds an awful lot like low intensity, long duration cardio like biking for dozens of miles or running for an hour or more. That's an very inefficient way to burn fat and almost a good way to burn muscle, so we don't want to train like that.

I think you should attack fat loss from the other angle, by increasing your lean muscle mass through smart training, a decent nutrition plan, and possibly a little hard cardio to keep things in line.

Nope. As was said, fats are super-beneficial. If anything, reduce carbs. But for even better progress, use this as a guideline to arrange your nutrition:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/the_antiskinny_fat_manifesto

As a rule of thumb though, the more you cook for yourself, the better. I'm not saying to avoid family dinner and make your own stuff every meal of everyday, even just knowing how to do scrambled or hard-boiled eggs is a help. But don't leave the kitchen a mess. Seriously.

Cardio is preferably done right after lifting or on a separate day. Doing any serious cardio training beforehand will negatively impact your lifting session, which means you won't be in an ideal position to build lean muscle, which means you're not going to have a solid, strong, toned build to show off once you drop the fat.

I most certainly will not keep that in mind. Not only are you probably not an ectomorph, but the terms don't actually mean much in the real world. You're dahmer, a tall, skinny, unmuscley dude who, I figure, wants to get a little more muscley and be lean enough to show it off. Period, end of sentence.

If there's only one thing you buy, make it a workout shake like Surge Recovery.

Sorry if I threw a hundred questions back at'cha, but the more info we have, the better advice we can give.


#10

Point by point for Chris Colucci:

I used to go to the local YMCA often, doing heavy, compound exercises such as deadlifts, squats, rows (barbell & dumbell), etc. I felt that I wasn't getting the results I wanted however. I am sure that there were several issues with my lifting regimen, but I decided that I should switch to another type of training that I had never really had much experience in: body weight workouts. So, over the recent six weeks I have been doing as many pushups (sometimes handstand), pullups, and jumping squats. The endurance workouts that I've been doing are generally at least 2 sets of 2-3 minute planks. Furthermore, I am sixteen years old.

My goal is somewhat undefined, but I'd say ideally, I'd be at about 180 lbs, but more lean.

I try to eat the simple carbohydrates in the morning and after I workout. I'll eat more complex carbs and protein throughout the day, generally every three hours in a small meal, with a larger meal of these two things before I workout, then larger meal of protein, like a met-rx protein shake, and a little bit of fat, like peanut butter.

If a friend invites me to something like fast chinese food or pizza, then I usually wouldn't decline.

On a side note, I have been doing a series of five or six short sprints, barefoot on grass after my usual routine.

Also your assumptions about getting more muscely were correct.


#11

More food, less calories (less caloric dense food). Lower carbs and take in carbs around your workout and night. Keep protein at at least 1-1.5g/lb.

Maintain a strong calorie deficit (15%-20%) everyday for anything non-cheating. This way when you get invited to Chinese you can have some cheats - which will probably refuel your body and aid in training - and not feel guilty about it and still lose your pounds.

Just figure it out and start today ather than tomorrow. There is no perfect plan or secret weapon, just start doing it.