T Nation

Fat Loss Questions: Nutrition & Cardio


#1

I'm 21, around 19% bodyfat & have the typical love handles (although not MAJOR) & belly fat I'd like to get rid of. I'd like to get a flat stomach AT LEAST. I'm not even particularly bothered about having my abs show at all, all I'd like really is to get a flat stomach, so that's my goal for the time being. I have some questions though & would really appreciate it if they could be answered:

1) Will 15 mins of HIIT post workout (this is the time I like doing it) cut it for fat loss or should I be doing some other type of cardio? I know this is probably debatable but I like HIIT so was just wondering if it was alright for fat loss. I'd be doing this 5x per week, as I also work out 5x per week right now.

2) My HIIT would be on a stationary bike, is this OK? If so, do you have any tips for doing HIIT on a bike? I was thinking it'd go something like this.... 2 mins warmup, 30 secs all out, 1 min rest, 30 secs all out, 1 min rest, 30 secs all out, 1 min rest etc for 15 mins. Does this look right?

3) I basically eat the same things day in day out, so I think it'd be fairly easy to go & do a weekly shop & buy the exact same foods to eat during the week. Therefore, do you think this approach to cutting would work or can you see any problems with it? I've worked out I need to cut on around 2800Kcals therefore because I'll be eating 6x a day each meal should be around 470Kcals right? I'm going to make a diet where each meal works out at 470Kcals, and I'll be weighing all my food before I make it so that I can try to be as exact as possible. I've tried just lowering the carbs and portion sizes etc in the past, but it doesn't seem to work therefore this is the only thing I can think of doing. Do you think this would work?

4) And finally, having around 19% bodyfat what BF% do you think I'd need to reach in order to get a flat stomach? As I said, I'm not too concerned about abs showing, just the flat stomach. Approximately how long do you think this would take to get from 19% bodyfat to a BF% level where I'd have a flat stomach?

Thanks a lot in advance, I really appreciate any help!


#2

[quote]Tonkabosh wrote:
I’m 21, around 19% bodyfat[/quote]

What’s your height and weight? How’d you figure out the 19% number?

HIIT is good, but if we’re doing cardio directly after weights, I prefer steady-state for 20-30 minutes. HIIT is (or at least, should be) too intense to do any justice to it if you’ve just played with some heavy weights for an hour or so.

Cardio five days a week and weight training five days a week is overkill.

Well… there’s nothing “wrong” with using a bike if that’s your thing (or if you’re working around an injury), but I generally prefer to stand as much as possible when training. As for your intervals, it looks alright. A 1:2 work:rest ratio is fine to start, but you’ll want to eventually progress to 1:1 or 2:1.

When you say “all out,” do you mean you’ll increase the speed or the resistance for that time?

A repetitive meal plan (having the same foods often) is definitely helpful in sticking to a diet plan. Good call.

How’d you come up with this number?

Wait… what? Eating smaller meals and less carbs doesn’t seem to work for you? I’m confused.

I don’t usually give a hollering hoot what your bodyfat percentage is. Diet down until the guy in the mirror looks like the guy you want to see in the mirror. Based on your bodyweight (which, as I mentioned before, you didn’t tell), it could take one month or six months.

Generally, “they” say around 10% is lean enough to start seeing some abs, even though that’s not your primary goal. But percentages are 106% useless without putting them in context (like an actual bodyweight). So… a better call would be to work off the mirrors, progress pictures, your performance in the gym, and how your clothes are fitting.


#3

In addition to Chris’s post I would say that “a flat stomach” isn’t just about bodyfat. Since if you want make your stomach look flat you need to have some muscle mass in the surrounding areas, e.g. pecs, thighs, shoulders, lats. Having more muscle in these areas would definitely contribute to a flat stomach look.

Some people naturally have a pot belly look even at lowish body-fat and the only way they can compensate for this is to improve Pec development as well as lats, shoulders and thighs.

What’s your gym routine look like?


#4

Did you mean that a lo-carb approach didn’t work for you as far as leaning down?