T Nation

How Can I Improve Fat Loss?


I have been on low carb for 14 weeks and lost 37.4lb However although I have seen major changes in my physique and have become quite lean and defined but my fatloss has slowed and I still have a potbelly which is (very) slowly diminishing but I'm sure there is something I could do better to excelerate my fatloss. I'm hoping you guys can share your knowledge and wisdom to steer me in the right direction.
Here we go...

Chest/triceps +30min cardio or HIIT

Back/arms +30min cardio or HIIT

CARDIO 50mins

Legs/ abs

Back/Biceps+30min cardio or HIIT

Shoulder+30min cardio or HIIT

Height- 5ft10
Current weight 172 lb
My meal plan has been very much the same over the past 14 weeks so here it is.

BREAKFAST 07:30- 10 eggwhites,(35g protein) 2 Tbs low fat/sugar salsa but recently added 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1 oz blueberries also.

SNACK 10:30- Good handfull of spinach/lettuce,hot chilli peppers,100g smoked chicken breast 1 can tuna (16g protein)

LUNCH-13:30 Good handfull spinach/lettuce,handfull of cucumber,180g chicken breast,1/4 avocado,12 kalamata olives,16 almonds,hot chilli peppers,4Tbs cottage cheese,25g parmesen cheese,3/4Tbs olive oil,chilli powder.

SNACK-16:30 (Same as 10:30 snack above)

DINNER-19:00 EITHER- 200g chicken stirfry with 270g mixed veg 1Tbs fish sauce splash of rice wine vinegar,1/2 Tbs blackbean sauce.
250g Steak/ 200g chicken breast with 1.5 cups brocoli,8 asparagus with sauce made up of-
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 Tbs flaxseed oil
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs lime juice
Chilli paste

LATE SNACK (only sometimes) 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1 Tbs peanut butter.

I've had no cheat meals at all in the whole 14 weeks.. (not even one) but have had the very occasional low carb beer.

I realise my fat intake maybe slightly high but I feel this is necessary on such a low carb diet.

Supplement- (daily)
8 fish oil caps
Amino acids
Multi Vitamin
1.5g Vit C
Mega Vit B (allsorts of vit b)
And just today started Glutamine.
Occasionally (hardly ever) I will have a pwo shake as a convenient option but for weight loss prefer whole foods as I do not want the extra calories.

When I do have a shake it consisted of-
Whey ( Isolate/unflavoured)
I have been adding 1/2 med banana and 3/4 oz blueberries but today started using-
1 oz blueberries
1/3 cup powdered oatmeal.

Any thoughts on what I could do to improve and get rid of this darn belly for good.
Thx in advance as your help will be very much appreciated.


What kind of rep range are you using for your lifts? Can you also give some indication of how heavy the weight is, i.e. calculate it as a % of 1RM or give it as a number like my 10RM i lift for 5 sets of 6. This will give me some guidance to be able to help you.

What's your BF%?


If you have been losing fat why change what you're doing?

it's not a sprint race keep doing what you are and the fat will shred, however if you start f*ing around it's when bad decisions are made.



He said he reached a plateu. Plus it's a pretty basic premis that constant change is needed to coax the body to change.


I'd have to agree with Arnoldrocks.

Whereas a plateau in training might require the constant change a plateau in fat loss is a very different thing.

To the OP: Firstly congrats on losing ~38lbs in 14 weeks.

Now, you say that your fat loss has slowed. Has it stopped completely or are you still getting there? It is quite natural for fat loss to slow especially at:
Height 5ft10
Weight 172lb

Just keep going with the current plan for a little longer, maybe 4 weeks. If during these 4 weeks you lose no fat whatsoever then you could try cutting daily calories by maybe 300 but keep the protein intake the same. Fat loss is a slow battle and it only gets slower the further you go.

I can't imagine you being very fat at 5'10" and 172lbs unless you have no muscle whatsoever. So I think it could a case of you saw so much progress as you went from fat to slightly chubby you feel that the progress should keep at the same pace. It won't unfortunately.

Another relevant question is what are your long term goals?

If your goal is building muscle then you might need a change of pace and try bulking instead of cutting. Perhaps the reason why the pot belly doesn't appear to be going is because there isn't significant muscle mass to distract attention from it. You'd be surprised what +20lbs of muscle in the right places will do to hide a pot belly.


Have you checked out V-Diet 3.0? Great for breaking through plateaus


How are you measuring? If you are only using weight, you might NOT have plateaued but it may be measurement error and also the fact that weight is not the best and only way to measure progress.

Use a measuring tape to measure your waist, hips, abdomen, in the v-diet area Shugart has a bunch of places to measure and I generally use those points. Or get calipers and try to calculate your body fat, there are some on line instructions somewhere for 3 point, 7 point etc.

When I started losing again in Jan it was similar, drop fast then it slows down, etc. Sometimes I seem to plateau, my weight barely changes, then suddenly I drop 1" in my abdomen size.

Also I weigh myself every day and use a moving average not just once a week, since then it helps even out changes due to water and sodium etc.

Just some ideas for measuring progress and not get discouraged.


A person can stall out in their fat loss when following the same plan, especially if constant changes and considerations are not made to avoid negative changes in hormones. That's what carb cycling, cheat days, etc are designed to do. I have no idea what his BF% is, or more importantly what his diet and training has been like. Depending on these factors (and others, i.e. stress), he most definitely can benefit from some change.


If he was ketogenic for a long period, try some carb cycling.

If he was way under maintenance calories, he could even bump up the calories a little (perhaps 10% - mainly from carbs to bring the body's hormone balance back into a non-dieting profile), while simultaneously increasing the weekly volume of interval training to compensate (this is a G-Flux based idea)


If he was performing workouts that were buring up too much muscle due to duration, he could perform several shorter duration workouts of different metabolic stimuli: refer to Thib's article "War Room Strategies to Maximize Fat Loss" http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/destroying_fat_war_room_strategies_to_maximize_fat_loss

The 4 most important fat loss types of training for fat loss are:

  1. Heavy lifting (pick up heavy shit a bunch of times)

  2. Lactate-inducing lifting (whole body interval training or complexes with limited rest)

  3. Aerobic work (20-30 minutes of steady state cardio at the end of a lactate workout)

  4. Anaerobic alactic energy systems work (sprints lasting 15 seconds with plenty of rest between sets to eliminate the pump)


What was the reasoning behind adding more daily carbs in the form of oatmeal with breakfast? If it were me, I'd cut the oatmeal and do a big carb-up day once a week.

That looks like a lot of cardio to me. I understand that fat loss is your goal, but are you sacrificing any muscle mass or strength gains at the same time? My advice would be to just stick with it, and make sure your strength is the basis for your training program. Your BF% will benefit for it in the long-run.


you have been on low carb for 14 weeks??..how? LOL
carb up this instant it will make your body think its no longer in "Starvation mode" it will stop holding on to fat and should start up your fat loss again.
go on a carb cycle it seems to be the best approach for fat loss.


I have been eating 1/2 cup oatmeal with blueberries (for carbs)immedietly after 10 eggwhites. I am lead to believe that this will splike my insulin and push protein to my muscles...After 14 weeks of lifting/cardio with only 20-30 carbs per day I felt as though I was fading away and yes.. probably sacraficing some muscle plus my strenght completely diminished. I also find I benifit from a large breakfast as I am not so hungry during the day anymore. Does this approach make sense or not?


I introduced clean carbs a few weeks ago and I feel great now. Your right.. It was fu@king hard but looking in the mirror was even harder.
I've been too busy workwise to stick to a strict gym schedule but soon my plan is to carb cycle exactly like in Thib's article and see what happens.


After dealing with the pain of only 20 carbs a day for 14 weeks the idea of a "liquid diet" is enough to give me nightmares!


And so it should. There is no need for such extremes.


Your right... I'm no longer fat and I have become quite muscular but 4 months ago my belly had a 9 months pregnant look about it and it still hangs slightly. I have noticed lately that it is not so dense and has become spongey so I'm hoping it's losing fat mass. (sorry about the gory details but in order for you to help me I believe I must be honest)

I'm eating more cals now and I'm getting about 120g carbs a day ( my attempt is to maximise protein synthesis) and my weight is not changing at all. To be honest I think that I am putting on muscle at the same rate I'm burning fat.However...Although I have learnt a lot over the past 4 months I realise I still don't know shit.
As for my goals I wanna get fu@king huge! I've finally found an interest that promotes a healthy lifestyle and keeps me off the booze.

I am afraid to start bulking as I do not want to reverse my fatloss in the belly region.
Should I keep stripping the fat for a few more months? My goal now is to look good for next summer (7 months away) and then after that...the sky is the limit.
I sometimes think that maybe I should bulk to increase muscle and BMR but I talk myself out off it as I believe that I should not try to "kill 2 birds with the 1 stone"


I am exactly the same as you. I had trouble getting rid of the last 10 lbs of fat, only on my gut.

I am just completing the v-diet now. It does work, and sometimes you have to go to the extremes to shock your body. (especially after you have done the same thing for a very long time)

Before the v-diet, I was 188lbs. Now I am 172lbs, and most of the weight loss was fat, and mostly from my love handles, some from my lower abs. (Still working on the lower abs)

I have noticed that strenuous ab workouts don't even both me the least bit now, I have to use two 20 lb ankle weights when I do reverse crunches and pullups. Before it was painfull every time.

My goal now is to put on as much muscle as I can by eating clean and training hard. Hopefully I can keep off the fat that I lost.

Good Luck


you shouldnt try fat loss and muslce gain at the same time because it cant be done well cause if you think about it you have to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat and a calorie surplus to build muscle. so pick one whats your bodyfat %? unless your pushing 16%plus you should bulk up. so that when you do lose fat theres some quality muscle there.

also dont think bulking up means you put on fat if you keep it clean-ish you shoudnt put on to much fat.

but if you wanna lose fat because your not happy with the way you look then by all means lose the fat.



I was going to ask if you have been monitoring your temperature in the morning to watch your metabolic rate. I know for me anyways, that after 6 yo 8 weeks of cutting I needed to spend a month at maintence and then go back to cutting.... eventually a low cal diet will slow your metabolic rate down...


No I haven't but that's an interesting point... I've been carbing (about 140- 170g a day) for 2-3 weeks now. I started this as I felt I was sacrificing muscle. If I was to change stratagies now , what would you suggest?


I'd say you could try staying around maintenance calories for a while (4-6 weeks) to ease yourself off of the long diet you've been on. During this period you should concentrate on increasing your strength. Most likely you've lost strength (or at least not gained any) while on the diet. This maintenance period will help you get back to up to speed with training.

If you went for much longer on the fat loss you will probably end up losing more muscle than you'd want to. 14 weeks is a long time for a diet.

You should concentrate on your training and strength. Then if you are not improving in strength you should start adding in some more calories gradually. Let your training decide your kcal for a while.