T Nation

Fat Loss Stalled, Advice

As the topic suggest, my fat loss has stalled and Im just curious what other members around here would do in my situation.

I’ve been dieting for 7 weeks now using a very low carb approach. I consume trace amount of carbs on off days and I have a Surge on training days (4 days a week full body). 2400 cals a day, with 250grs protein. I do 30 mins of low intensity cardio after training and play BBall for a few hours on the weekends. Im 5’10" started the diet at 210lbs and im currently standing at 180lbs 12BF% (using a 7 site skin fold).

Im a natural ectomorph that can easily handle carbs, but found it easy to lose fat without them. For almost three weeks now I’ve seemed to have stalled at 180, my weight won’t budge (although I appear slightly leaner, maybe dryer). I feel like I hit my first real plateau, what would you do in this situation? More cardio? Eat less (hope not)? I’ve considered frequent carb ups, but haven’t done this because I don’t know if its needed.
Im actually leaning towards a carb up day every 5-7 days (oatmeal, brown rice and sweet potato day).

I’m in the same boat. I just recently began carb cycling in hopes it would break me through my current fat loss plateu. Until now I had been low-carbing for close to 16 weeks and I pretty much hit a wall. I don’t think it can hurt to switch it up, as long as it’s a gradual adjustment.

Count me in, been doing a CKD, same situation, already have upped the cardio and such. I appear leaner/drier, but not according to the scale.

I dunno what do to. I’ve consider doing a carb meal every 4-5 days instead of 1 whole carb day on the seventh day. I guess I’ll just have to experiment.

Well uping your cardio would definaly break the plateau but its a big pain in the ass!

Id definaly try the high carb day! See how that works for you. And maby just try to up your NEPA other than that im not really sure what you can do. Are you taking HOT-ROX? if not maby add that in there or a good ECA stack? Just my thoughts, stick with it!

Thanx guys, I decided to have a carb up every 5 days. We’ll see what happens. I have been taking HOT-ROX, Im almost done with my second bottle.

I’ve also stalled in my cutting. The scale moved a lot in my first few weeks, and I was coming off a 2 week layoff of training, and thus my strength and LBM increased.
Currently, fat loss is stagnant. I have been taking an eca stack for the past 6 weeks and I have now built up a tolerance.
To re-ignite my fat loss, I’ve devised a 3 tier plan:
The starchy carbs I am consuming (1/4 cup of quinoa + 1 med size sweet potato) are consumed pre and peri-workout.
hiit cardio- been doing more interval work- concept2rower, jump rope, and intervals on the step mill.
supplements-next week I’m starting T2. Going to do this for 3 weeks,followed by HRX for 4, followed by another 3 weeks of T2.

Currently I’m right around 10% BF. hopefully in 10 weeks weeks I’ll be at 6%.

Low intensity cardio IMHO is a waste of time. Yes, the ratio of calories used from fat is greater at lower intensity, but the TOTAL amount of fat calories will be greater if you up the intensity.

Here is how the math works out:

Suppose you burn 500 total cals with low intensity cardio, and 70% come from fat. That means you burned 350 fat cals.

Suppose you increase the intensity and you now burned 800 cals in the same amount of time. Even though 50% come from fat, 50% of 800 is 400 fat cals. So you burned more fat.

I would also try eliminating the carb up day, and instead just eat fruits and vegetables for carbs (but no bread, rice, potatoes) equally each day, with most of the carbs clustered around your workout. Vary the total carb amount and see if that works.

For some people little fruity insulin shocks every day work can better than a large one every 5 days or so. You may be one of them.

[quote]musclephd wrote:
I would also try eliminating the carb up day, and instead just eat fruits and vegetables for carbs (but no bread, rice, potatoes) equally each day, with most of the carbs clustered around your workout. Vary the total carb amount and see if that works.

For some people little fruity insulin shocks every day work can better than a large one every 5 days or so. You may be one of them.[/quote]

I know that Jason Ferrugia (sp?) recommends a carb up day every 4-5 days. I also know Lowery suggest that if you’re doing the cardio later in the day, try to do it 4-5 hours after your last carb filled meal.

That’s all I have to offer since you seem to be doing everything else right.

[quote]musclephd wrote:
Low intensity cardio IMHO is a waste of time. Yes, the ratio of calories used from fat is greater at lower intensity, but the TOTAL amount of fat calories will be greater if you up the intensity.

Here is how the math works out:

Suppose you burn 500 total cals with low intensity cardio, and 70% come from fat. That means you burned 350 fat cals.

Suppose you increase the intensity and you now burned 800 cals in the same amount of time. Even though 50% come from fat, 50% of 800 is 400 fat cals. So you burned more fat.[/quote]

the issue with this is the left over kcals don’t all come from glycogen. some may come from muscle that is catabolized. still, I personally like doing the high intense along with the low intense cardio work.

I as well have been on a very low carb diet. Some of the ways i have broken my plateau are, I take about half a bottle of HRX, it helps boost my metabolism, Also like everyone above said try a cheat day every 4-5 days, personally i have found every 6 days works best for me. Are you taking fish oil? that has also helped me.

try carbing up with fruit for half a day at a time, to boost the metabolism, if i recall correctly liver glycogen is a better signalling agent to boost metabolism than muscle glycogen

seem to remember that from the shredded in 6 days article.

Ive been doing this for 3 half days at a time before going back to the low carb, definitely works for me.

[quote]musclephd wrote:
Low intensity cardio IMHO is a waste of time. Yes, the ratio of calories used from fat is greater at lower intensity, but the TOTAL amount of fat calories will be greater if you up the intensity.

Here is how the math works out:

Suppose you burn 500 total cals with low intensity cardio, and 70% come from fat. That means you burned 350 fat cals.

Suppose you increase the intensity and you now burned 800 cals in the same amount of time. Even though 50% come from fat, 50% of 800 is 400 fat cals. So you burned more fat.[/quote]

Since he is doing this after he is lifting I wonder how much gas in the tank he would have left for higher intensity work.

Random Ideas:

Less Calories
Morning Walks
Max incline on treadmill after weights
Lactic Acid weight session
Sports
Park far away in all parking lots
Take stairs
Do some body weight exercises for recovery
Check your spices and condiments for hidden/extra calories

Thats all I’ve got for now hopefully this will help you out.

Around the time I hit the 12% mark I stalled out too. I got really frustrated because I tried cutting out more carbs and calories and none of it seemed to work. When I started I was atleast 16-17% percent.

I don’t know if this has been mentioned but one thing I’ve learned is that once you arent considered “fat” anymore, but still aren’t at the desired leaness, you need to take breaks from dieting and eat at a maintnence level. DON’T change what you are eating, just up the portions of what you are eating. I think whats happening is your metabolism has gotten so used to you eating such few calories its figured you out and slowed down the digestion process. This might rev you up and start the pounds falling off again.

It worked for me. The first time I ate ate maintnence after a long period of dieting within a week I was noticably leaner to the point where I was starting to see some ab under the fat. :slight_smile:

Give it to weeks and see if it works.

Whats T2?

I find this works best for me from my cut about a year ago…and this will be my plan if/when I do plan on leaning out in the future

-Gradually lower cals around 300-500 a week. I can do this for about 4 weeks.

-Once I am at the point where I’m plateauing at around <100g of carbs per day, add in refeed DAYS every 3-4 days. This will probably work for another 3 weeks.

-At this point in time, I will have taken my metabolism as far as it can go and I’ll ramp up the calories for 2-3 weeks.

  • I personally think that if you have been dieting for around 12 weeks or more, 1 refeed day won’t really cut it. It would be better to just take a step back and ramp up your calories for a few weeks, then come back at it again if you still want to lose more.

[quote]Dubbz wrote:
Whats T2?[/quote]

old supplement Biotest made back in the day,lol circa 2000.

it can be still found now but is made by imposters. run a search to look for its offical chemical name.

Most are saying cut down on calories even more.

When was your last week off from lifting?

What about a week off from lifting and a few days of moderate cheating on the diet?

Just thought I’d give an update. I had my carb up with about 200grams of carbs and my total calorie intake for the day at 2200 (slightly less than what I’ve been eating). I had carbs every meal except for my last.

Half my carbs were oatmeal, some were from brown rice and one meal I had a small sweet potato. After my breakfast that day, I felt like I was starving all day and feel that way since my carb up day (like my first week of dieting, I feel hungry all day).

However, since that day I’ve dropped 7 lbs and seems that my progress has picked up again. Im weighing in now at 173. Visibly, I appear MUCH leaner than before.

I originally intended to have a carb up every 5 days (which would mean another tomorrow), but I decided to only have another one after my progress stalls again. I haven’t changed any other aspects of my diet or exercise routine, so I can only credit the carb up. Hopefully in another 4-5 weeks I should be finished up.