T Nation

Fat Loss Slow Progress


#1

I'm 185lbs at 6'1 and been training a few years, started at 135lbs so have built significant muscle in that time. I've always been bulking so this yer decided to get lean for the summer, fed up of perma bulking and not really seeing the muscle because it's underneath fat, and also once I get to 10% I won't let it get out of control again.

Only problem is I'm not losing weight! In 4.5 weeks I'm down 2.5lbs. I look a little leaner with cuts around shoulders/ arms and I would say I'm about 16% BF. But the scale hasn't moved for the last 3 weeks. Started at 2400 kcal and then dropped to 2300 now 2200. I thought being patient the weight would start dropping but it's got to the point where nothing is happening. Was planning to be done with fat loss in 10-12 weeks but at this rate it won't happen and I don't want to prolong it as I would like to get back to lean bulking once I can hold 10%.

I am meticulous with weighing foods and always hit my macros, cheat day once a week which is still only maintenance calories (under 3000) no real strength loss in the gym. Also been doing IF for the past 2 weeks. Minimal cardio, maybe once or twice a week.

Where should I go from here?


#2

Assuming you’re tracking calories correctly, eat less or increase cardio.


#3

You’re making good progress if you’ve lost weight without losing strength. I generally put on weight at 0.5-1.0 lbs/week to reduce fat gain and cut at 0.5-1.0 lbs/week to reduce muscle loss.

Is your goal to lose exactly 6% body weight (11 lbs including fat, muscle and water) or to lose mostly fat while eventually getting to 10% body fat? If your goal is to lose exactly 11 lbs and you speed up the cut, you may lose more muscle than you want. If you continue to see weight drop without strength loss then you’re fine. If you want to speed it up a bit with minimal impact on strength, just add in more walking. You have room to cut a bit more calories but I would suggest to add in a little extra work so that you’re still able to feed your body what it needs.


#4

You started doing IF 2 weeks ago. This ties in exactly to when you say you stopped losing weight. My guess would be that the two are related.


#5

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
I’m 185lbs at 6’1 and been training a few years, started at 135lbs
[…]
I would say I’m about 16% BF
[…]
once I get to 10% I won’t let it get out of control again.[/quote]
Bodyfat percentages are always tricky, but if you cut until you’re about 10%, do you realize that it’s basically going to set you back probably a year’s worth of “progress”?

If you’re really dissatisfied with your current look, I suggest cleaning up your diet in general (not just dropping more and more calories. You’re already 800 below maintenance, which is a lot) and adding in some “damage control” cardio after each lifting session, not just “maybe once or twice a week”.

What does your current training program look like? The days, exercises, sets, and reps. Also, for reference, what are your current bests on the big basic lifts?

Did you ever get tested for Low T like you suspected last year? There’s a chance that’s a legit factor too.


#6

I remember you! I was coaching you a while back! Haha, now that’s a blast from the past…


#7

You must be RDS then? Thanks for your help back then. I was dealing with serious fatigue and just couldn’t train properly. That is now 80% better and I still don’t know for sure what caused it. May have been as simple as eating too much junk food, could have been depression or anything else. Looking back now I can’t even describe how bad my sleeping was and how tired I was, I think most people would have quit work and given up on life.

I gave up training altogether for a few months and lost most of my progress dropped to 165lbs. Got my hormones tested, everything fine including testosterone at a surprising 750ng/dl and that’s at a time when I wasn’t eating anything or training and was badly fatigued so I’m guessing it wasn’t an optimal reading. I still have shockingly bad genetics but I can’t fathom the mechanism for this - maybe just a tiny bone structure and high estrogen stopping me being lean and hard. Maybe just not enough consistent years in the gym yet.

Training wise I do a split chest/tri, deadlifts and legs, off, shoulders, back/bi
Each starts with a heavy move so bench, deads and front squats, dumbbell press which I progress on in the 3-6 rep range, doing reverse pyramid for the at the moment. Then I basically do bodybuilding sets for an additional 2-4 exercises per muscle group. Really High volume shoulders and arms, which seems to be working. Back and side delts are my standout body parts. Might switch to a 6 day routine when I start bulking as I’m currently frustrated that I can’t get in the gym more often, but it seems pointless to lift any more than this on a cut. In the past year I’ve gone from 165 to 194 and back down to 185 leaner than I’ve ever been. Not six pack lean, cut the closest I’ve ever been. Want to get it done and prove I can get shredded and then it’s perma-bulk time after that but never getting fatter than 15% again if I can help it.

Best lifts: bench 210, deads 405, front squat 190. May have lost strength a bit since these especially in bench but I haven’t tested.


#8

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
You must be RDS then? Thanks for your help back then. I was dealing with serious fatigue and just couldn’t train properly. That is now 80% better and I still don’t know for sure what caused it. May have been as simple as eating too much junk food, could have been depression or anything else. Looking back now I can’t even describe how bad my sleeping was and how tired I was, I think most people would have quit work and given up on life.

I gave up training altogether for a few months and lost most of my progress dropped to 165lbs. Got my hormones tested, everything fine including testosterone at a surprising 750ng/dl and that’s at a time when I wasn’t eating anything or training and was badly fatigued so I’m guessing it wasn’t an optimal reading. I still have shockingly bad genetics but I can’t fathom the mechanism for this - maybe just a tiny bone structure and high estrogen stopping me being lean and hard. Maybe just not enough consistent years in the gym yet.

Training wise I do a split chest/tri, deadlifts and legs, off, shoulders, back/bi
Each starts with a heavy move so bench, deads and front squats, dumbbell press which I progress on in the 3-6 rep range, doing reverse pyramid for the at the moment. Then I basically do bodybuilding sets for an additional 2-4 exercises per muscle group. Really High volume shoulders and arms, which seems to be working. Back and side delts are my standout body parts. Might switch to a 6 day routine when I start bulking as I’m currently frustrated that I can’t get in the gym more often, but it seems pointless to lift any more than this on a cut. In the past year I’ve gone from 165 to 194 and back down to 185 leaner than I’ve ever been. Not six pack lean, cut the closest I’ve ever been. Want to get it done and prove I can get shredded and then it’s perma-bulk time after that but never getting fatter than 15% again if I can help it.

Best lifts: bench 210, deads 405, front squat 190. May have lost strength a bit since these especially in bench but I haven’t tested.[/quote]

yup, 'tis I. Glad to see you’re still at it.

So fat loss is the goal now, yeah? How’s your diet looking?


#9

2150 calories, 200 protein, 200 carbs, 50 fats, tend to adjust the carbs down and fats up on rest days but calories the same. Eating a lot of cod, eggs, bacon, 3-5 portions fruit veg, mashed potato and rice for carbs. Topping up with protein shakes to hit target and also to give some sweetness / treat to the diet, choc mint flavour in skim milk. I think with a 10lb fat loss I would be very lean but don’t know what percentage I am now really. Waist is 30" chest 42, arms 14.5 (like 1cm bigger than when you trained me lol, but fuller and leaner)


#10

so your calories are pretty low, and you already have a 30 inch waist at 6’ 1". Doesn’t sound like bodyfat is your problem.

Would you not be better just eating slightly above maintenance and building muscle?


#11

I just feel that I’ve been lifting on and off for 4 years but never had a fair crack at getting lean. It’s good because I can see progress easier than when I was bulking, and feel like I’m looking better as I lose weight. I was slowly bulking but found that I always looked the same at 15-20% body fat because the muscle I gained was always hidden. Just kind of bored of being in that middle ground.