T Nation

Not Losing Weight. What Does My Body Do?

Hi guys, I have a question, and I’d appreciate your input:
I am currently working my ass off

4-5 times per week doing the 5/3/1 program in the morning before work
1-3 times per week sparring-heavy MMA classes at night

while eating a rather carb restricted diet with
~1500 kcal on no training days (if there are any)
~1800 kcal on lifting days
<2100 kcal on lifting AND mma days

my macros are on average
120g fat
<40g carbs
min. 100g protein/day

I have a high BF (I’d say around 30%)

Now the weird thing I don’t understand:
I don’t lose weight (constantly circling around 92 kg) although I don’t feel like doing too much work and depleting my body. My numbers in the gym increase quite fast, although I am not a lifting noob.
With that diet and exercise I was expecting to either feel complete shit and/or lose weight quite fast (where weight loss was my goal). I can’t believe my body is replacing fat with muscle at that quick rate that I won’t lose weight.
Anybody got an idea why I am not losing weight?

Thanks for the input

P.S.: If I should provide some extra info, I’d be happy to.

How long have you been doing the above?
How accurately are you tracking cals?
Weighing food out?
Have you taken measurements?
What’s the mirror saying?
Are you weighing in first thing in the morning?

Weight can hold steady despite making improvements but if you are carrying as much fat as you say you are then I would really expect it to be on the way down.

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good points! Thanks for the input and the questions!
-I am doing it since a month now, not very long, sure, but I should see progress by now.
-I am using the fddb app and i literally log everything, food, exercise, water intake.
-I do not weigh in my food, I use the label of the packaging info of the meat and the sample weights in fddb for veggies.
-I did take measurements, and I lost 0,5cm on the belly and gained 0,5cm on the biceps, both can be due to daily fluctuation and measurement errors, not enough to confirm any progress.
-Mirror says slightly more definition in thighs, neck and shoulder area, still the same muffin top.

  • I weigh in first in the morning after peeing just in boxershorts, I take three measurements of weight on different spots (I move the balance to exclude measurement errors) and take the result that I get at least two times. I weigh myself daily and fluctuate between 91.1 and 92 kg, never less, sometimes more.
    I “determined” my bodyfat just with that picture here ( https://ketogains.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/BF-Male.jpg) and the belly at “30-34%” pretty much looks like mine, although I have a little more definition and muscles in the shoulder area, pecs and arms).
    To be a little clearer, I am 34 years old, 1.79 tall and weigh 92 kg ( that would be 5 feet 9" and 203 lbs)

Time is the issue then, you have not been doing it long enough to really assess what’s going on.

I think it’s reasonable to say that you easily could have lost a couple of pounds of fat and gained a pound or two of muscle in a month. Especially as you say your strength has gone up and measurements are a little more favourable.

I would not rush to change anything at this stage, I would recommend that you actually weigh out your portions though, even if it’s just for a week to give you an idea of what the actual serving sizes look like. For example, I had some granola this morning, serving on the box said it’s 55g, I poured my bowl to what I would say was a normal serving, It was 120g when I weighed it. If I would have just guessed it was a serving a would have not logged around 250cals. I know it’s time consuming and boring but just do it short term.

The only other thing I would say is to walk as much as possible, it works like magic.

Thanks again!
Unless somebody here points out an error so obvious that I missed it, I wouldn’t have changed anything anyway, I am over the carb cravings and with some 90% chocolate I can have a healthy treat+ I enjoy training, so I am not suffering Maybe I will consult a nutritionist with lifting/keto/low-carb background if nothing changes significantly.
Honestly I would be surprised if I gained a pound of muscle in a month as non-noob, cause then people would ask ME for advice, haha.
Thanks again for your time and advice!

I’m a fan of the Ketogains macro calculator (which I’m assuming you used to generate your macros?). Assuming you have pumped in the right stats I would stick with the formula it gives you.

However, the main point is at your body fat percentage, you should be seeing some linear scale weight drops so I would double check your energy intake is accurate because your calories are low and your activity is high - and that should be generating a significant deficit! The fact that you are also able to perform some twice day training, and appear to have achieved muscle growth, on such low calories and, apparently, in a ketogenic state, makes me wonder whether your intake is accurate?

Do you have binges?

Nope, even when I “lose it” i might have 2100kcal on a day, but still with reasonable macros ,meaning 80g carbs per day, when I go crazy.
Going crazy in that case means overeating with the foods mentioned above and having a glass of dry red wine.

Nowhere near enough nutrition for like a 5’5 female who trains hard let alone a guy excercising 7+ times a week. Up you protein to 150g minimum and carbs to 100 and use the extra cals to bring more intensity in the gym

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Hmmm. Thx. But even if my energy i take is wrong by, let‘s say 20%, which would be a lot, i should still lose weight, i‘d still be below 2k kcal per day.

And upping my energy intake is something i might try but not an answer to my question, because I want to know what happens in my body, not how I could try out something different. I even have problems with eating 2500kcal or so per day, i simply can’t down so much food (if it’s healthy)

Because you are starving yourself. And yes, it is healthy.

I don’t really understand this, if this guy was genuinely eating such little cals and exercising so much would he not have at least lost some weight before the supposed metabolic damage occurred?

I see the advice to up cals often but always feel the issue is more likely the person is not eating such low cals and is merely just not tracking them right. Same when I hear 120lb folk claiming they are eating 5000 cals and not gaining, it’s most likey just not correct.

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I agree about tracking. Most are underfed.

All the questions have been asked, yet he never posted what he ate. Seen it a few hundred times on this site.

He is not loosing weight because his diet sucks.

This is an oldie but goodie

Diet may suck I agree, it’s the starvation/cals too low issue I still don’t understand. If there was such a high deficit to be labelled starvation then there should be some weight loss regardless of what is eaten.

My dad is currently loosing weight, and against my advice he has dropped his cals far too low. He has lost 17lb in 5 weeks, maintainable? No. Will he stall? Yes. Cals too low? Yes. Very low carbs? Yes.

But he has lost a good chunk of weight in a short time, I’m aware everyone is different but if this guy was starving himself I still don’t see why he would loose no weight. I can see why he would loose a good chunk and then stall.

Look up Minnesota experiment.

That should answer most of your basic questions.

Edit. I was looking at your entries from last years. When did you eat 1500 calories?

Do you mean during the 2017 transformation?

If so I never actually accurately tracked my cals, I ate by feel.

Also I’m currently eating 4000 cals and 500g of carbs (accurately tracked with all food weighed) and still lean. So I’m not sure I’m comparable.

Not really. Labels are up to 20% off and people over/under estimate by up to 40%

It is faaaaar more likely that you are off by 20% than you are accurate.

Minnesota experiment. This was done by Ancel Keys, the same payed fraud who is responsible for the food pyramid recommending massive carbs and low fat for a standard diet, not following any scientific principles at all.

My diet sucks? How come you know that? I didn’t post what I am eating cause I posted my macros, which are more important. Besides that, what i was initially saying is, I cannot down that much healthy (usually calorically less dense than junk) food. I know it is healthy.

So here‘s my last training day (yesterday) and last off-day:

Yesterday I lifted weights (Bench press, 5/3/1 protocol) at 7am and did MMA sparring 7.15-8.15pm
I ate:
Whey protein shake, 2 scoops in 200ml coconut water+500ml water
C4 pre-workout +500ml water
coffee (black)

175g chicken breast+10g ginger+5g peanut butter+100g broc****+5g soy sauce+ 2ml sesame oil (don’t know the amount of coconut oil i fried the chicken in)
coffee black

cottage cheese (200g)

175g chicken breast+75g creme fraiche+50g feta+ 100g red pepper+10ml olive oil+36g comte cheese
30g hummus + 50g cucumber
20g 90% chocolate

In total that is
1791 KCal
96g fat (13g saturated)
42g carbs (+11g fiber)
183g protein

Drank around 2,8 liters of water

last non-training day:
no breakfast
home made meat loaf 150g+300g cauliflower+10g creme fraiche+ 50g cheese (on top of cauliflower)
coffee (black)
4 fried eggs (fried in butter, i didn’t measure) + 28g bacon
500ml coconut water+20g 90% chocolate

that is 1555 KCal
118g fat (21g saturated)
32g carbs + 11g fiber
83g protein
2500ml water in total

Concerning metabolic damage: if this was the case i wouldn‘t improve in my lifts and suck in mma, besides other stuff (resting heart rate, bad sleep quality, etc) which is not the case. I feel good, there are no side effects, my muscles are recovered when I start the second workout, i might feel cold more often than usual and have to suck it up a little bit more at MMA due to the low carb approach, but that’s about it. Maybe i should be more precice: I want to ask why i don’t lose weight. With this diet and without PEDs I can‘t build the same amount of muscles (in weight) than I lose fat (in weight) there should be a net downward movement on the scale.

That is something that makes sense (and kd13 also mentioned it already). Maybe I am wrong on this one. Though I think I am pretty good at estimating the amount of weight (comes with the job). But it is worth a try. Thx