T Nation

Losing Fat Over 50

I’ve lost about 30 pounds, from the mid 290s down to about 265 or so. Those were easy. But now…wow! My body is rebelling: I feel absolutely terrible when doing any sort of aerobic, and have cut down to 45 minutes at a session. HRX helped A LOT, but these last 25 pounds are going to be hell (goal is 240). Tips, help, ideas?

You didn’t tell us very much about yourself or your program/fitness level.
All I can say is:
Have you seen any fat cyclists?
I started training for a 50 mi ride w/Scouts. Fat left fast, clothes got loose. Get on any bike that fits and won’t break down. Pace yourself and drink as much water as possible. You will need it.

Side benifit: Running is hard on heavy people. The bike develops more of the leg w/less stress on your old, slow to heal body. Make sure you get a bike that fits you. Less knee problems, more comfort and more miles. JMHO

Ricisan

Bump your cals up to maintenance level for a while. Until you cope ok with the cardio again. Then start cycling your cal intake. One day in surplus, two days in deficit, etc.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
I’ve lost about 30 pounds, from the mid 290s down to about 265 or so. Those were easy. But now…wow! My body is rebelling: I feel absolutely terrible when doing any sort of aerobic, and have cut down to 45 minutes at a session. HRX helped A LOT, but these last 25 pounds are going to be hell (goal is 240). Tips, help, ideas?[/quote]

As someone who went from 375 to 185, I have some thoughts. Let’s talk about general principals first and address some specifics later.

Don’t forget that as you lose, your maintenance number of calories drops with your weight. I ran some numbers at the daily needs calculator found at nutritiondata.com and came up with something like a difference of 160 calories a day by going from 290 to 265. It may not sound like much, but I know for myself, 200 calories can be the difference between losing or not losing.

The other side of this coin is that you don’t want to go much more than 500 to 700 calories below your maintenance level when dieting. If your maintenance level is 2800 calories, you don’t want to be dropping down to 1500 calories!

Find your daily needs, subtract 500 calories and then divide that number by six. That’s how many calories you should be eating at each meal. That’s right, six meals a day.

As for feeling crappy, there are a couple of things I would look at. First, you should be eating every three hours. When you start going 5 to 6 hours between meals (especially on a calorie restricted diet) your body goes into starvation response and your body tries to hang on to as much fat as possible and you start losing too much lean body mass. Going too long between meals also causes your insulin to spike when you eat any carbohydrates and then your blood sugar crashes and you feel like crap. This is especially a problem if you eat a normal meal like an hour before exercising.

I would recommend you drink a protein shake spiked with a high glycemic carbohydrate no more than ten minutes before exercising. I put one scoop of whey in a cup of nonfat milk and add a tablespoon of raspberry jam for my pre-workout nutrition. The high glycemic carb helps with energy and reduces cortisol levels.

You should also schedule one of your meals for no more than 30 minutes after your workout. This should also be a higher carbohydrate meal on the order of 3:1 carbs to protein. Your ability to tolerate carbs is best right after working out so save the pasta for your post workout meal :slight_smile:

Lastly, metabolism follows nutrition and there is no getting away from that. One way to counteract the problem of falling metabolism while on a calorie restricted diet is with planned refeeding days. One day a week, you should eat 500 to 1000 calories above your maintenance level. These should be “clean” or close to clean calories and NOT super high glycemic carbs. It’s ok to have pizza on your refeed day, but a big bowl of ice cream is not a good way to spend those extra calories.

I highly recommend you read Dr. John Berardi’s nutrition articles here:

http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/index.htm

I also recommend you read the book “Nutrient Timing” by Ivy and Portman for the latest research on this important aspect of exercise nutrition.

As Dr. Berardi reminds us, our body composition is the result of our lifestyle and to change your body composition, you need to change your lifestyle. This means you don’t “diet to lose weight,” you develop life-long eating habits that naturally result in the body composition that you want. If you don’t figure out how to make this a life-long program, then just like most people who “diet to lose weight” you will put it all back on because you’ll go back to bad habits once you lose the weight.

Good luck, you can do it!

Man no way you should be doing long cardio. Burns muscle as well as fat. You dont see any fat cyclists but you dont see any muscled up cyclists either. Check the Test levels of those skinny cyclists. Rock bottom! You dont want that.

Sprints! Sprint hard! 20 minutes a day. Sprints are a tremendous challenge to your body. You wont burn muscle but you might well burn even more fat than long cardio. Search for Sprint 8 or other sprinting progarms.

Not speaking from experience, I have only a couple weeks into sprinting. But I was excited about the preliminary results.

No disrespect to nobody…JMHO

Happy Dog 48 made some good points. I’ve been using TRIBEX Gold and HOT-ROX Extreme, both have helped me to start cutting up for summer. Pump that iron and do some cardo and you’ll make great progress. Don’t forget to eat clean, skip the junk for now. Good luck.