T Nation

Not Losing Weight


Hey folks!

I currently try to lower my (big) body fat percentage of around 20%.
height: 1.79m
weight: 93 kg


1800-2200 kcal / day
2g Protein / kg bodyweight

I do not cut down carbs or fat as long as I stay in the calorie and protein regime because of my exercise (see below). I eat clean (if necessary I can post the food log, but usually I eat low-fat minced meat and turkey breast with grilled veggies, on "cardio" days also sometimes small portions (80g) of rice and potatoes)


Week 1:
Lifting 5 times /week

Week2 2:
Lifting 4 times /week
construction working for 2 days :wink:

Week 3:
Lifting 3 times/week
Muay Thai 3 times/week

My weightlifting schedule consists of 3 different days of nearly only complex whole-body movements (front squat, squat, DL, bent over row, kroc rows, dips, bench press, pull ups, etc.).

I keep a diet log and have one to two cheat meals a week. Also i drink several beers on saturday.

The reason I post this is, that since I started that routine, I GAINED weight, and I cannot find the reason why.
I guess I didn't gain that much muscle in those 2 weeks to compensate the weight of the lost fat, and I also don't think that one slice of cake a week and 4 beers make up my caloric deficit the rest of the week.

I don't mean to be impatient, but after 3 weeks, there should already be measurable weight loss I guess...

Does anybody have a clue?

thx in advance!


Hi, welcome to the forums. Before offering any additional advice, can you post that food log with exact amounts?


ok some example days:

two days ago:

50g protein cookies (consisting of egg, peanut butter and protein powder)
Creavitargo (60g)


scrambled eggs (4) with ham ( 40g)


oh yeah! protein bar


hamburgers (self-made out of low fat beef/pork) 250g
potatoes (just baked in oven) 350g


protein bar

kcal: 2450
carbs: 206g
fat: 105g
protein: 179g
fiber 21g


kickboxing (emphazising strength & conditioning) 1h



oatmeal (40g)
low fat yoghurt (250g)


same burgers as the day before (250g)
rice (80g)


whey shake with 200ml low fat milk


double hamburgers (sounds monotonous, but that was an exception :wink: )


60 minutes lifting ( squat, incline bench, kroc rows, dips, pull ups)
60 min cycling (first moderate, then uphill till near vomiting :wink: )

kcal: 1924
carbs: 194g
fat: 92g
protein: 172g


protein shake (two scoops) 88g with 200ml low fat milk


230g potatoes (fried)
30g rapeseed oil
1onion (80g)
1paprika (green, 134g)
ham (50g)
4 eggs (220g)

everything fried together in the oil.

workout tonight:

muay thai 1-2h.

(up to now, lunch):
carbs: 84g
fat: 71g
protein: 105g
fiber: 13 g

I forgot to say, I drink at least 3l water/day (without training)


Optimum nutrition fish oil 2xmorning, 2x night
peak multivitamins 2x
Green tea caps (forgot brand)
Glutamin (post strength training)

and thx for your help!



Well, as you can probably guess, the first thing I was looking for was "did he mess up counting calories somewhere." Honestly, reading through your log, I'm not sure if you did or not. What struck me was your food choices on a weight-loss diet. I see a lot of "hamburgers" and potatoes. I see rice, and yogurt, ham, and a sup that I'm not familiar with.

I guess my recommendations would be:

1) Start subbing in cleaner foods. Where is the boneless-skinless chicken breasts? Where is the fish? Cottage cheese? Why hamburgers 3 times in 2 days? "Hamburgers and potatoes" sounds more like a cheat meal. Maybe try: potatoes-->sw. potatoes, hamburgers-->chicken and salad, rice-->brown rice, stuff like that.

2) Double check those numbers...I guess I didn't immediately see anything, but I'm guessing something is up. Perhaps someone who is better at counting macros can help.

3) You might want to try low carb. It has worked very well for others.

eh, sorry, I'm tired and this is all I see immediately see. Perhaps others will be more helpful.


no no thanks!

I can't go for low carb, if I do I seriously get beat up in training cause I miss all the energy.
I know what you mean by etaing "cleaner", and the hamburger issue is just for these last two days cause I cooked up the whole package of meat at once and ate the leftovers the next day.


I know a calorie is not a calorie, but shouldn't I see any effect just by sticking to calorie and protein counting?
Basically I eat those carbs to reach the 2k kcal mark / day, otherwise I would be below and I guess that would be even more counterproductive.

BTW: for the food log I use the fooddb app.


What was your diet like prior to trying to lose fat? Are you sure you calculated your calories correct? Did you just start exercising regularly?

I'm also dropping weight at the moment and I don't think at 20% you need to go low carb. Make sure you're staying within your calorie range and getting enough protein and the scale should go down.

Keep the cheats to once a week but a "cheat" is relative, I've had ice cream a few nights after hitting my protein mark and alloting for it in my cals. I'm on my 4th week of tracking my calories and protein after taking two weeks to find what my maintenance levels were at. I'm running a push pull legs repeat with the odd arms day thrown in and random mandatory PT with my division and I'm down from 215 to 206 this morning.


Your program needs serious improvement. Get on a consistent routine, not changing things each week.

I'll put this nicely... you don't deserve a cheat meal each week and you certainly don't deserve or need two in a week.

You're already drinking beer, having cake, eating fried potatoes and you're 20% bodyfat (or whatever, I'm guessing you're pretty pudgy. Maybe a muffin top over the top of your jeans). You need to earn a cheat meal with 6 days, sometimes 13 or even 29 days, of the kind of strict eating that leads to visible and measurable progress.

If you were doing things right, then I agree, you should've seen some results in the last three weeks. But you haven't seen progress and you've been eating and training a certain way. Wouldn't it make sense to now change your nutrition and training?

Caffeine and testicles will fix that.

Seriously, which is a higher priority for you right now in the short term, your Muay Thai or not being fat? Starting tomorrow, literally tomorrow, do this:
Once that's done, do this:

As far as training, again, almost any program in the archives will be better than what you're doing now.


Stealing this.


I hear you about not wanting to go low carbs...but then again, by your own admission, what you are doing isn't working. You started this thread. You know it's time for something new. You should be able to track progress week to week. 3 weeks and the opposite of your goal (gaining weight) means something is up... I'm just playing the numbers by guessing your calories are off.

Realistically, you are right, cals in and out...so where are your numbers wrong? Are you drinking coffee in the morning (with cream/sugar)? Are you not counting oil somewhere? Are you forgetting about drinks/soda? You are heavier than I am and (claim to be) eating significantly less cals than I do when trying to lose and you are GAINING weight. Something isn't right and you know it. So what is it? :wink:

As for cooking all the meat at once... OF COURSE... lol, that's what Tupperware and a freezer are for!

By the way, do you have a diet plan or are you just trying to track? Maybe try a specific plan?

What do you think is going wrong?


lol. perfect.


caffeine and testicles....

I don't know how you guys spar, but I won't do it seeing white spots after 2 minutes of the first hard round... :slight_smile:
Nevertheless I tried caffeine and it didn't work, testicles I got enough....

I am also not "changing the program" each week, just increasing volume as my body starts to regenerate faster.

I drink my coffee black (that's why I didn't mention it) and I track the oils if it's above 1 tablespoon and since I only eat one cooked meal / day this wouldn't blast my calorie count by 100%.
Also I don't drink sodas.

I don't plan my meals in advance, but I only shop clean foods.

I have no idea what's going wrong, even if i miscount the calories (let's say 10-15%) I should still be in a weight loss regime...
Maybe the lifting and the Muay Thai cancel each other out somehow, but that's quite unrealistic, I guess.

Don't get me wrong, I know I'm doing something wrong and appreciate your help.

I guess I start with


since fat loss is my priority not muay thai.


You tried to lose weight, and gained weight instead.
You wanted advice about losing weight, but posted your workouts instead of your diet.
You don't have a diet plan.
You think fried potatoes and hamburgers are clean foods.
You think carbs=energy for sparring.
You won't change your training nor admit it could be improved.
Am I missing anything? lol.

Seriously, you are doing some really great things. But I think you'll have to go a lot further if you want to be successful. I think reading this might help: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/are_you_a_beginner_ii


a calorie is indeed a calorie. You can certainly lose fat while regularly fitting lean hamburgers into your macros



I posted the last two days of my diet, do you want me to post more?

I guess you mean pre-planning everything and shopping for that, you are right I should do that!

Not really, I just thought it might work as I am still in the caloric/protein regime. Seems this was a fault. Could it be that there's a misunderstanding? With hamburgers I just meant only minced meat prepared in olive oil, I am not talking about the whole fast food-between-a-burger-bun-thing.

yes I do, but well, I'll try without and see if it works out!

I will change it and every plan can alsways be improved, I never wrote I won't.



You could give this a read:



Good stuff. You have a good attitude, man. So what is your plan moving forward? Do you have any more questions? [name]* is pretty amazing at coming up with training programs for people, I bet if you ask nice ... lol Also, there is a "combat" subforum with folks with experience fighting.

*I decided to take away the name so as not to call someone out.


Thanks I didn't have the intention to look like a know-it-all, maybe I have expressed myself wrong in the beginning.

my immediate plan for improvement is (inspired by all the stuff you told me and the posted articles):

-make a diet plan for a week in advance, based on chicken, turkey, tuna and salmon.
-up the fiber
-dinner <400kcal, 40g protein, <10g carbs
-4-5 meals a day instead of 3.
-no alcohol

If anyone finds the time to read through this entire post and has any suggestions, I would be thankful.

Regarding training (since I am [voluntarily] unemployed until october I can stick to it, after it took a week for my body to handle regeneration):


Thai Boxing (1h)


Front Squat (5x5)
Bench Press (5x5)
Bent-over row (3x12)
Pull ups (20 in total in as little sets as possible)
Leg extension (3x12)
Bicep curls (3x12)


Thai Boxing (1h)


Squat (5x5)
Incline Bench (5x5)
Pull ups (20 in total in as little sets as possible)
Kroc Rows (1x20)
Lateral raises (3x12)


Thai Boxing (1h)


Deadlift (5x5)
Standing press (5x5)
Pull ups (20 in total in as little sets as possible)
Dips (20 in total in as little sets as possible)
French press (3x12)



on strength days I use my bike to go to the gym, also afterwards I like to enjoy summer and bike around, it seems to help me a lot for regeneration, I never have sore legs, even after squatting.

The reason I do this (strength), is that I think it is a functional plan, lots of muscle groups are recruited for at least 4 exercises/day and I guess that's also a foundation for strength while shedding body fat.


Looking good. If you are doing a 3 day total body workout, maybe think about Waterbury:
TBT: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/totalbody_training
Waterbury Method: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_waterbury_method
That said, others might be able to suggest something more suited for weight loss.

I think the best thing you are doing is reassessing. You tried something; it didn't work. Now you are changing the plan. That's the formula for success right there. Maybe give your diet 2 weeks though. If you post 'er here people (smarter than me) will give you good advice, I'd bet.


I'm going to assume you've been doing Muay Thai for some time - including prior to your decision to lose weight. As such, your body has adjusted to that cardio and therefore it will NOT burn any extra fat. In order to burn fat without adjusting your diet further, you need to burn more calories. You may need to add cardio of some sort to spur more loss.

Also, there is only a "adjustment" period when going low carb. Once your body has adjusted to burning fat instead of carbs you're right back where you started on energy levels. Its an adaptation and one your body can and does make. I would seriously consider this option.

Many people have proven that you don't need multiple meals in a day, so long as you hit your intended calories, you will lose weight. That being said, for many people of a bodybuilding mindset, the amount of food we need to eat is easier done in 4 - 5 meals as opposed to 3.

You don't need to only eat poultry and fish, if you eat lean beef you can do it too. You just need to make sure you're actually consuming the amounts you think you are. Pork is not a good "go to" meat, its very high in fat, and not the good kind. Your fats in the two days you posted are way too high. You don't need 100 grams of fat and a couple hundred grams of carbs... one of those needs to drop. You're essentially feeding yourself energy (carbs) and giving yourself more to store (fat). Where is your deficit for loss?


The thing about adaption and not burning extra fat with muay thai is absolutely true, I also experienced the same, nevertheless I do not understand that, from basic thermodynamic thoughts. Moving must always have a higher energetic cost than not moving. Maybe it's just not as efficient than, let's say sprinting. In my current shape, this 1h of muay thai still gives me a cardio-blast, especially when sparring with the fighters, which will also improve my technique.

Would you guys then recommend substituting muay thai (at least for a while) with other cardio, for example even more cycling (I'm currently doing 30-60min each other day) ,steady-state cardio in general, or high intensity stuff?
Personally I'd like to stick to muay thai, but if you guys really think it would be more efficient to do something else, I'll consider that.

The thing with 4-5 meals and low-carb worked out perfectly for me, when I was preparing for fights, I guess I will give it another try.
The deficit for loss I had was only in the caloric section, seems that didn't work out.
I guess my main failure was to focus on protein and calories only. Maybe my metabolism slowed down, because of the high caloric density of the foods I ate, therefor having only 3 and sometimes a shake. I'll stick to the adjustments I posted above for a few days and see how it works out, especially having more but calorically lower dense food.

I'm hitting the gym now, thanks for the input.