T Nation

New & Lookin' to Lose Some Fat

I am very new to this forum and am new (again) to weight lifting. Although I have been very athletic during various phases of my life…I am now officially obese. I have read a lot of the articles and blogs on this site (I especially enjoy reading Shugart’s Hammer), and after a few weeks of research (read procrastination at work) I am ready to ask the T-Nation masses to asses this program that I have decided on.

First some stats:
Age: 32
Height: 68"
Weight: 227
Body Fat %: Freakishly large

I have learned that I work best with simplicity and consistency and I have been following this diet for the past two weeks:

B-fast: 2 cups shredded wheat & 1 cup ff milk or 4 eggs, apple, 1tbs natty pb

Snack 1: 1 piece of fruit w/1 tbs natty pb

Lunch: 6-8oz lean meat (usually chicken breast) w/a heaping portion of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)

Snack 2: PBJ - ww bread, 4tbs natty pb, 1/2 tbs no suger added natural jam

Pre workout: Whey mixed with ff milk
Post workout: Whey

Dinner: 6-8oz lean meat (usually top round or sirloin) w/a heaping portion of veggies

Snack/Desert: Cottage cheese (1-2 cups) & natty pb (1 tbs)

I am following the Home Grown Muscle program from MensHealth.com. My current routine consists of three 3x12 supersets 3 times per week:

squats/bent row/lunge
bench/dead-lift/bar bell pullover
cuban press/calf raise/crunch

90sec rest between superset - BTW my heart feels like it will burst from my chest after my 3rd or 4th superset.

My goal is to drop body fat and keep as much muscle as possible. Once I have some reasonable definition (I was fairly defined at 160lbs 10 years ago) I then want to focus on increasing muscle.

If you have made it this far in my post…I would like some opinions/advice/comments about what I am doing. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: I had my metabolism tested a couple months ago and it turns out my BMR is a freakish 2400/24hrs. I have been trying to keep my diet around 2000 - 2400 calories.

Stuyou

Read the nutrition information provided. You need to understand that you need to control your metabolism as much as your intake of calories. This often means eating more from time to time in order to give it a boost.

Weight training is incrediably important in maintaining weight once you reach your target. Without it, as soon as you go back to your normal diet, the fat will just come back with a vengance.

Make weight training and proper nutrition habits that you keep for life. Consistency matters more than any other factor. Post here regularily and we can help keep you motivated.

Stu

Your snacks a lacking in protein, IMO. I would replace both of your snacks with a protein/veggie/fat meal.

Also skip the shredded wheat for breakfast. 4 eggs, piece of fruit, and PB is a good breakfast. Shredded wheat isn’t even comparable.

If you have 4 eggs, then 6 oz. meat ( x 4), plus workout shakes and cottage cheese, you are lookin at well over 200g protein, which is a good thing. Keep your starchy carbs low or none, eats tons of veggies, and add some extra olive oil or almonds with your meals.

I’ve noticed the more veggies I eat the better I feel, and the leaner I’ve become, so up the veggies.

Like Stuward said, be consistent.

[quote]stuward wrote:
Stuyou

Read the nutrition information provided. You need to understand that you need to control your metabolism as much as your intake of calories. This often means eating more from time to time in order to give it a boost. [/quote]

I have seen evidence of this with my own body. Since I have a relatively high metabolism I can drop scale weight very quickly - however this involves eating a very calorie deficient diet. I have done this a few times in the past 4 years and sure enough as soon as I look lean (in clothes…i.e. “skinnyfat”) I go back to a normal diet and gain it all back very quickly. This time it’s all about consistency and only slight caloric restrictions. Basically, I only want to loose a pound or two per week. I could care less if it takes a year or more to get lean if I can do it correctly. I have been reading a lot about manipulating my metabolism and as such I have been trying to eat more protein (200+g per day)since it helps sustain muscle mass and takes more work to digest AND I’ve been trying to eat every 2-3 hours so my body is always digesting. So far this has worked because in 2.5 weeks I have lost about 9 pounds while maintaining an average of 2300 calories per day. The weight has been coming off a bit faster than I would like, but I’m sure most of the weight is initial water weight. The biggest change I have seen so far is that I have lost slightly more than an inch around my budda (belly)!

[quote]
Make weight training and proper nutrition habits that you keep for life. Consistency matters more than any other factor. Stu[/quote]

YES YES YES…I thrive on goals and consistency! My “goal” is to loose 1 - 2 pounds of fat per week CONSISTENTLY. This involves going to the gym, with a daily goal, 5 days per week. This also involves caring about what goes into my body - eat clean only - and have a daily nutrition goal. Every day I strive to eat 200g of protein,keep carbs below 100g, and eat at least 1800 calories and no more than 2400 calories per day. If I eat towards the low end of either goal (less than 200g of protein, less than 2000 calories) then my daily goal changes to eat MORE than 200g of protein and at least 2300 calories per day. Daily goals work for me because they demand consistency and accountability.

[quote]PozzSka wrote:
Your snacks a lacking in protein, IMO. I would replace both of your snacks with a protein/veggie/fat meal.

Also skip the shredded wheat for breakfast. 4 eggs, piece of fruit, and PB is a good breakfast. Shredded wheat isn’t even comparable.

If you have 4 eggs, then 6 oz. meat ( x 4), plus workout shakes and cottage cheese, you are lookin at well over 200g protein, which is a good thing. Keep your starchy carbs low or none, eats tons of veggies, and add some extra olive oil or almonds with your meals.

I’ve noticed the more veggies I eat the better I feel, and the leaner I’ve become, so up the veggies.

Like Stuward said, be consistent.[/quote]

Thanks POZZ…I’ve nixed the shredded wheat. This morning I had 3 eggs w/a piece of ww toast with some natty pb. Yesterday I had a bowl of oatmeal w/natty pg & protein powder. I’m sure the oatmeal is just as bad as the shredded wheat but I think I made up for the carbs with the added fat and protein of the pb & whey powder…thoughts/opinions?

Today 1 snack will be a can of tuna & a hard boiled egg, another snack will be a protein shake and an apple (pre-workout), then another snack will be cottage cheese w/pb. Lunch and dinner involve 6-8oz of dead animal & veggies…I REALLY like broccoli and green beans. I’ve never craved them like I do now. At this point, (calories/carbs be damned) if I had the choice between a bowl of ice cream or a bowl of steamed broccoli I would lunge for the latter.

I hope no one minds if this thread turns into a blog…for some reason I just can’t shut up.

Since I have been lifting and eating clean I have had so much more energy an I have felt better (more confident, happier, more productive at work, etc.). I suppose I forgot how great it feels to actually work my body…as opposed to being a sloth.

I have always had lean and defined legs. Not powerful legs just very defined (some would say chicken legs). With just two weeks of lifting under my belt I am starting to feel and see changes in my legs. On the flip side, my legs are now sore 24 hours a day. Hopefully this will subside a bit as I build some muscle endurance. I may decrease my cardio a bit, but I won’t reduce my squats, lunges, and deadlifts for the sake of comfort.

Motivation…maybe I’m unique but my biggest motivation in lifting weight is that I know I will eventually come to that last rep of that last set and I will have to force myself with every thing I have to push that weight up (or down). An overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride overcomes me as I rack my weights because I know that I just pushed my body further than the day before. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a very powerful feeling for me.

If you have managed to read this far…thanks.

Question: Is it a sign of poor technique if my lower back is a bit sore the next day after deadlifts? I am keeping my shoulder blades clinched, back straight (similar to leaning back in a chair only bent at the waist), and my hips slightly high. I make it a habit to study deadlift technique every time a I see a monster lifter approach the deadlift rack/cage/thing so I “think” I am performing it correctly. When deadlifting, I can feel tension in my butt (glutes?), the muscles between my shoulder blades, and my shoulders…does this sound correct?

…yes I realize there is an obvious joke in that last paragraph. If you’re thinking about replying to this with a reference to “feeling it in my arse”, please step away from the keyboard and put some thought into who would look more like an idiot - comedy should never be easy. Actually, just go ahead and type it…I need a good laugh this morning. Thanks.

You can make this thread as long as you want. It’s your’s. Oatmeal is great for energy before a workout. Otherwise, it’s a grain and in a weight loss diet should be minimized. Try www.whfoods.com for info on different foods. It doesn’t have GI info though.

You have a great attitude and that will help you. Good luck.

Stu

[quote]stuward wrote:
Try www.whfoods.com for info on different foods. You have a great attitude and that will help you. Good luck.

Stu[/quote]

Thanks Stu…I’ll check out that site tonight when I am planning my meals for tomorrow.

I didn’t see this addressed. You will feel it in your lower back. Anytime I do heavy front squats (everytime I lift), deadlifts, and barbell rows. My back is tight. The next day it is sore or fatigued.

I didn’t see that question. He must have added it why I was writing my response.

"Question: Is it a sign of poor technique if my lower back is a bit sore the next day after deadlifts? I am keeping my shoulder blades clinched, back straight (similar to leaning back in a chair only bent at the waist), and my hips slightly high. I make it a habit to study deadlift technique every time a I see a monster lifter approach the deadlift rack/cage/thing so I “think” I am performing it correctly. When deadlifting, I can feel tension in my butt (glutes?), the muscles between my shoulder blades, and my shoulders…does this sound correct? "

The technique you see the pros use may not be right for a beginner. They are stronger and proportioned differently than normal people. Pay attention to what the coaches like Rippetoe, Cressey, etc say. It will likely be more appropriate.

You may feel it anywhere from you calves to your neck. Wherever your weak spot is, is where you will feel it the most.

I find that in the setup the focus should be on keeping the chest out, lower back tight and hips back. Then you fire the glutes, exploding the bar up. (a long slow explosion). I write this mostly as a reminder to myself :slight_smile:

Stu

Since the dumbbell area was fairly busy last night, I decided to try doing real squats on a squat rack (I had been doing dumbbell squats). As someone who is new to weight lifting, just walking over to the squat rack/deadlift rack/bumberplate & huge freaking bar section of the gym was a bit intimidating. Normally only guys the size of small cars venture into this area - and here I was, a fat and weak peon walking into big guy territory. I’m not sure why I felt intimidated, it’s not like someone was going to go all Stephan Segal on me…but you never know. Anyway, I tried to put all my internet research on squat technique to use…I approached the empty bar and squatted directly underneath it.

I pinched my shoulder-blades tight and grasped the bar behind my neck. I carefully lifted the bar and took a step back. Although logically I know that no one had noticed me, but at the time I felt like all eyes were pointed in my direction. I took a deep breath, picked a spot on the wall to look at, pinch my shoulder blades tight, and squatted down until I felt I was below a seated position. I stayed in that position for a second and exhaled as I stood back up. DONE!! My first real squat. I then proceeded to do 11 more, stepped forward and re-racked the bar.

Although it may have only been my imagination, I swear I heard a quit applause from the crowded gym. As I turned around to take a bow, I was surprised to see one of the mini-cooper on legs guys standing behind me. “is anyone using that” he asked, pointing to the deadlift rack…what was wierd about this is that he spoke to me as though I BELONGED in this area of the gym. He spoke as though I was one of his peers.

After the initial sock of this exchange I told him “it’s all you”…I normall don’t talk like this, but then again this was an abnormal day at the gym for me. As he was putting his stuff down (these guys always carry duffle bags around the gym), I thought of an opportunity. “You look like you have been doing this for a while, would you mind watching me do a squat or two to see if I have my form correct”…I asked - why the hell did I just ask that???

This guy just wants to work out, he has no interest in holding my hand while I do a basic exercise. “Sure, I’d be happy to, if you don’t do it correctly you could hurt yourself”…“what do you think good form is?”, this was obviously a test to see if I had done any research of my own. I explained that according what I had read, good form is xxxx. I then performed a squat without the bar. He then told me to go ahead and do a set…so I did and he gave me some critiques.

I thanked him, we had a short conversation, and we both went on our way. This entire exchange is counter to the stereotype of muscle-heads being jerks, this guy was friendly and normal. Huh.

When I left the gym I didn’t think I had worked my legs much, especially since I only ended up squatting 65lbs…but by the time I got home I felt like someone beat the lower half of my body with a sack of oranges. This morning I was sore in muscles that I never knew I had.

Since I’m going to a wine tasting event tonight, I’m not going to eat any carbs today - wine has enough as it is. Is there anything I can eat today to help my body process the extra carbs. According one of Shug’s articles, fat guys process carbohydrates differently than naturally skinny guys. On the other hand, maybe I shouldn’t worry about it…I have been eating very clean for the past two weeks so 2 or 3 glasses of wine shouldn’t screw me up…right?

I have found myself in an unusual dilemma. Since I have been working out I have lost around 13lbs. This sounds great but I have only been working out for 3 weeks. This means I have been averaging close to 4lbs per week…I only want to lose 2lbs per week. However, I seem to increase the weight used in my routines almost every time at the gym. Also, I have noticed changes in my legs, arms, and chest (felt not really “noticed”). So do I try to slow down my weight loss? I am far from starving myself since according to FITDAY I’m averaging 2300 calories a day which should put me in 1000 calorie per day deficit. I assume that a lot of what I am losing is water weight and I also assume that everyone looses the first 10 or 15 lbs pretty quickly.

I guess I’m going to give myself a couple more weeks and see if my weight loss levels off a bit.

Just to be clear, I usually lose and gain weight very quickly and I want to end the cycle be losing weight at the calculated speed of 2lbs per week.