T Nation

Just Can't Lose It


I have a big FAT problem...
For the last two months I tried very hard to lose some fat.
I`m 17 yrs old, and about 78kg, ~18-19% BF.

Ive been doin at least 10 hrs of sports activities per week(weight lifting, h.i.i.t, low intensity cardio, and martial arts training).

Ive also been eating right(i think), low carb, med protein, med fat, at about 2000 kcals/day, last week , only at about 1500-1700. Even with these low figures, that darn fat just wont come off. I have to admin I have the "fatboy" genes... but still, losing fat till 12%BF shouldn`t be that impossible(or is it?).

Now, Im desperate, and im thinking at dropping the cals, to have about 1000kcals/day, and to do more cardio and h.i.i.t .. but i`m allitle afraid of overtraining.

What the f` should I do?

PS: I haven`t used any fatloss supplements.


I'm not a doctor, nutritionist, or expert in anyway... but I've never been fat in my life and the rest of my family is. The reason I believe this is, is because I've always been building muscle. So thats what I'm going to tell you.

BUILD MUSCLE! You will be burning fat 24 hours a day. Eat normal. I don't believe in low calorie diets. I think its stupid and your body wants food. Just don't overeat.

It's this simple, if you're taking in more calories a day then you are expending... then you're gaining fat.

Even protein is stored as fat if you eat it in excess and don't burn it off.

Just build muscles. Don't overeat. And do some cardio... not to burn calories but to increase your stamina and endurance so you can lift weights at a higher level and build more muscle.

In short... BUILD MUSCLE!


Have you read anything on this site at all? You are not eating close to enough to burn fat, especially with the amount of activity you are doing. You need to raise your calories per day to ~3000, 6 meals a day. Within a couple of weeks, your body composition should start to shift in favor of leanness.


How tall are you? From the sounds of it you aren't fat at all. Also, isn't 78kg only about 165lbs?


There is no reason to discuss extra cals going to fat here. He is almost starving himself!

2000 cals would be maint. for a couch potato--MAYBE. You claim to be working out 10 hours a week on that. You're crazy!

You need to upgrade your cals. NOW.

Start at al least 2500-probably more like 3000 evenly spaced out cals and maximize your windows with carbs. Early am and before and after workouts are a great time for a lot of your carbs. Increase you protein and good fats and make sure to get some rest.


Yeah, as a few have said, your body thinks it is starving and is holding onto whatever fat it has for dear life. To elaborate on the good oils, things like seeds, nuts and fish oil.

Read up on the nutrition articles on the site... then read them again, start eating appropriately... then ask some specific questions maybe.


You might want to research articles by Chris Shugart.

I was gaining too much fat while lifting with good intensity, and eating only 2700-3000 calories (depending on if it was a workout day or not). I lowered it to 2500-2700 and maintained my weight (at 195lbs with about 22-25%bf).

Not everybody needs 4000 calories to gain muscle, and even with a solid workout, one can gain too much fat with lower than average calories.

I will say that eating the same amount of calories, but changing them to less processed foods, and even eliminating grains can help a lot.

Many people are anti-cardio also, but some people will benefit greatly by adding some in. Light, longer cardio while restricting calories, and short interval cardio with a calorie surplus when trying to gain muscle.

Ultimately you need to learn what works for your body mostly through trial and error. Learning from this site helps make your trial and error time period shorter.


You are 5'5"!! Please stop telling that story as if you aren't nearly a midget. That is truly not meant to be mean, but most grown men on the planet DO need more calories than 2,700 just to maintain their weight. This is even more so if they are extremely active all day long.


Yea, I guess I should be happy then that I don't need to eat that much.

No offence taken (my mom's 4'10 so if I ever need to feel tall to ease my pride, I can always stand next to her), but the OP didn't say how tall he was, so maybe he could take my advice if he's as short, or shorter than me.


SWR - I am around this short too, but I definitely need around 3000 calories to maintain. In fact, with my current workouts, I'm getting slightly leaner even while eating a ton of calories.

So quite obviously metabolism just varies from person to person.


3000cals is just too much for me, even with 12 hours of sports / week Ill gain fat like crazy, I am starving myself now because at first I ate at about 2000-2500cals, and I didnt lose any (maybe a pound or two.. in TWO MONTHS).

Thats why I am desperate, and starving myself, and exercising like a nutcase.
ll try(this week) to raise cals to ~2000-2200.

PS: I am getting my Omega3`s, and I eat 5-6 meals/day.

PPS: Im about 1.77cm tall, and Im not very overweight, if I drop about 5 kgs of fat, I think I`ll be really close to a 6-pack, at about 12-13% BF


You need muscle mass dirxx, I went the same way as you and concentrated mainly on cardio which meant I was burning off muscle and reducing my BMR which just made things worse.

Get in the gym and train hard with the heaviest weights you can safely manage to get some muscle on you.


Do I have to reiterate myself here or what. BUILD MUSCLE!

It seems so many people try to find the easy answers or the secret tricks or the complex plans and ignore the obvious.

Here are some answers for future posters reading this thread:

If you want biceps like Arnold? Here's what to do. TRAIN THEM. How? HARD!

If you are a fat fuck? TRAIN! How? Hard!

If you have shitty forearms and shitty calves? Here's what to do. TRAIN THEM! How? HARD! Arnold had a calve training program that wasn't that spectacular and neither were the calves he was given... but he trained them hard and he got the results he wanted. He put his 500 hours in intense calve training. DID YOU?


... I cannot put it any more blunt than that. But nobody believes this quasi theory. Blame genetics, blame your trainer, blame the advice you took, blame your program, blame everyone and everything but yourselves.

Do people even take responsibility for their own bodys and actions anymore?


You're 1.77cm tall? Ok, I concede then!

5'10, 165lbs with almost 20% body fat? NO ONE WILL NOTICE YOUR 6 PACK! They will notice your emaciated arms and shoulders before a thinly outlined "6 pack". You've seriously screwed up your metabolism and need to get it back on track before you'll lose any fat. You will not "gain fat like crazy" on 3000 calories.. you will probably gain muscle and lose fat at the same time at first and add well-needed form to your frame.

And you're absolutely kidding yourself if you think your martial arts training is up to par with the amount of calories you're consuming.


What are you talking about? We all know he needs to build muscle. I'm sure there are kids in some third world country that work the fields with more intensity and commitment than you've ever seen.. however, they and the OP seem to be in a similar situation as far as diet is concerned.


You need to eat more!

I know it's counter intuative to what you may think, but it is part of the answer.

You're opening statement ASSUMES you will gain fat. Believe me, it won't be because of the increase in cals. If your metabolism is that out of whack, you need medical assistance for that. But 2500 cals to a 175-180lb active/quite active male is not--NOT--enough.

All your 'work' is going against you with such a restricted caloric intake. Just drink '1' smoothie type meal extra to start. Make sure you maximize pre/post workout windows. Eat proper before bed. Whole milk instead of low fat. Nuts instead of processed snacks. Simple changes that can lend big results.

Your obsession with abs and fat is clouding your judgement. You need to pack on some quality mass and the abs will take care of themselves. Right now with your restrictive intake and obsessive workload, you are dumping muscle left and right. Your defeating your own purpose and goal.

Start a food log immediately. How can you eat 6 'meals' a day and consume only 2000 cals. Those aren't meals for a growing young adult male.

I htink you need to reprogram your ideas about what is healthy and what process yuo need to take to get you there. Your misguided ideas ain't working for you now, how about you change them up.



This isn't about the workout. There may or not be issues there as well, but this person has no clue about nutrition. How else would you explain starvation as a rational option to lose 5-10 lbs of fat so his abs pop.


I AM TRAINING MY ASS OUT IN THE GYM, with the heaviest loads I can handle.
My training session is freakin` intense, actually .. I gained some serious strength in the last 2 months(about 10-20% at all my compound exercises).
I only do compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, Olympic lifts, chin-ups etc.

By the way, I am not doing lots of cardio(does walking count?), all I am doing is weight lifting, HIIT, and martial arts and all sessions are INTENSE.

I am just too afraid to eat at 3000 cals/day. Its a freakin social suicide if I put one more ounce on fat on me. Im sick and tired of being chubby(I am not morbidly obese) and Id rather have 135lbs at a 10% BF.


Seek professional counseling.


HIIT, walking, and martial arts ARE cardio! This is how anorexia starts. In fact, this is anorexia. You came here looking for advice about losing fat and almost everyone told you the same thing. You are NOT the exception to the rules. If you don't understand this, then you may want to consider seeking a professional dietician and/or therapist.

Beat me to it.