T Nation

Seriously, Why am I Not Losing Weight?


#1

I just weighed myself this week and I am back up to 265lbs from 259 about a month ago. I have no idea how to explain this. I have been following 5/3/1 with a calorie restriction (2600 on off days, 3000 on workout days) at a height of 5’9". I dont know what I am doing wrong or if I should be concerned. I generally avoid bread and sugar to begin with because 1, sugar makes me sick if I eat too much of it, 2, I dont like bread that much and it doesnt fill me up. I also avoid processed meats, fruit juices, regular milk (I drink almond milk though) and low quality chicken and beef since those give me stomach problems.

I have been writing down every fucking piece of food I eat and counting calories too…and nothing to show for it. I feel like this medication I took years ago screwed up my metabolism because I haven’t been able to get below 260lbs despite significant gains in strength and a change in diet over the last year. I did lose some weight very fast when I was sprinting, but that isnt usually possible between school being on, the cold, and the darkness. I suppose I could include it for my cardio, but then I would have to cut back more on the lifting which is limited to just 3 movements already. I have been taking a probiotic, digestive enzymes, and I usually drink chamomile tea with turmeric before I go bed every night.

Sorry, Im ranting, I am just frustrated because I feel like I am doing everything right and not getting any place. Im frustrated because I gained all this weight due to some meds I took and havent been able to get it down despite dieting and exercise. Im even more frustrated because I did a similar strategy years ago and went from 220 (no muscle) to 185 (too lean for me but good looking) in about a year. I dont remember it being this difficult when I was 20-21 (im 25 now).

I dont think low-t is the problem because I pop boners like 5 times a night and they wake me up. I also dont have a problem gaining strength or muscle (Im pretty big for my size and strength level without doing body building style lifting). I also dont feel like I have problems with sex unless I watch too much porn.

So, any ideas? Is there something I can do to reset my equilibrium weight in a healthy (no bullshit unsustainable diets or methods)? Should I see a nutritionist?


Diet Stalling at 2000kcals/Day
#2

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I just weighed myself this week and I am back up to 265lbs from 259 about a month ago. I have no idea how to explain this. I have been following 5/3/1 with a calorie restriction (2600 on off days, 3000 on workout days) at a height of 5’9". I dont know what I am doing wrong or if I should be concerned. I generally avoid bread and sugar to begin with because 1, sugar makes me sick if I eat too much of it, 2, I dont like bread that much and it doesnt fill me up. I also avoid processed meats, fruit juices, regular milk (I drink almond milk though) and low quality chicken and beef since those give me stomach problems.

I have been writing down every fucking piece of food I eat and counting calories too…and nothing to show for it. I feel like this medication I took years ago screwed up my metabolism because I haven’t been able to get below 260lbs despite significant gains in strength and a change in diet over the last year. I did lose some weight very fast when I was sprinting, but that isnt usually possible between school being on, the cold, and the darkness. I suppose I could include it for my cardio, but then I would have to cut back more on the lifting which is limited to just 3 movements already. I have been taking a probiotic, digestive enzymes, and I usually drink chamomile tea with turmeric before I go bed every night.

Sorry, Im ranting, I am just frustrated because I feel like I am doing everything right and not getting any place. Im frustrated because I gained all this weight due to some meds I took and havent been able to get it down despite dieting and exercise. Im even more frustrated because I did a similar strategy years ago and went from 220 (no muscle) to 185 (too lean for me but good looking) in about a year. I dont remember it being this difficult when I was 20-21 (im 25 now).

I dont think low-t is the problem because I pop boners like 5 times a night and they wake me up. I also dont have a problem gaining strength or muscle (Im pretty big for my size and strength level without doing body building style lifting). I also dont feel like I have problems with sex unless I watch too much porn.

So, any ideas? Is there something I can do to reset my equilibrium weight in a healthy (no bullshit unsustainable diets or methods)? Should I see a nutritionist? [/quote]

List a typical day’s meals and we can dissect your diet. As for training, 5/3/1 is a strength program, not a weight loss workout. Trust me, never half ass two things when it comes to training. Your goal (fat loss from the sound of it) should translate into your diet AND training.


#3

ya, like Daltron said post your diet in detail and your training routine. Also, how long have you been eating at a deficit? Do you ever cheat?

At 265lbs, unless you are carrying a TON of muscle you are likely very fat, so the good news is the fix is probably something quite simple that you’re overlooking.


#4

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
a calorie restriction (2600 on off days, 3000 on workout days)[/quote]
For a 260-ish pound dude training presumably hard a few days a week, that’s pretty low calorie.

In the last year (or ever, really), have you gone on a 100% focused, fat loss specific plan that coordinated training and diet totally towards just fat loss?

I get that you’re doing strongman and have strength goals and whatnot, but if your weight/fat is something you want to address, it would make sense to be like, “I’m taking the next 8 weeks and am going balls out to drop a shit-ton of fat, not trying to improve my overhead press and Zercher deadlift while hoping to maybe lose a few pounds in the process.”

What’s your current training week look like? Days, exercises, sets, and reps. Lifting and any conditioning work.

Also, like the guys said, seeing what you’re currently eating will obviously help. Even though I still believe you’re bottom-of-the-barrel on calories already.

That could be a solid option. A legit coach would be able to dial in a plan and tweak it as you go.


#5

To answer the questions:
Yesterdays food:
Breakfast:
Apple (80kcal)
Crackers (got in late and the cafeteria closed, normally Id buy a yogurt) (200kcal)

Lunch:
Buffalo Chicken Wrap [tortilla, bleu cheese, buffalo sauce, chicken breast] (200+100+80+100 = 480)
Beef Noodle Soup - 1 cup (200kcal)
Salad [lettuce with no dressing] (25kcal)

Dinner:
Home made celery chicken (2 cups) [chicken thigh, cream of celery, spinach, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil] - estimated at 800kcals

Snack:
left over port wine cheese - 1 tablespoon (45kcal)
Almond Milk Mixture thing -2 cups [unsweetened almond milk, powdered peanuts, powdered protein] (60+80+50 = 190)
left over nuts and raisins -less than half a cup (200kcal)

Late Night
Shot of Brandy (100kcal)
Turmeric Chamomile Tea with butter+black pepper (100kcal)

The total is: 80+200+480+200+25+800+45+190+200+100+100= 2420

My workout is pretty straightforward:
Day 1:
5/3/1 - Atlas Stones
1 set max reps - Safety Bar Squats
3 sets of farmers walks increase weight each set
Cardio - something not too demanding, maybe jumping jacks or work up to 100 air squats

Day 2:
5/3/1 Incline Press with neutral grip
20 reps or AMAP with incline press
3 Sets Max Reps Reverse Rows (at 260lbs this is tough)
Cardio - Exercise Bike 10 minutes, interval training

Day 3:
5/3/1 Deadlift
3 sets max reps axle deadlift
3 sets max distance keg carry
Cardio - usually end up omitting, but may do grip work with a light carry for max time.

Day 4:
5/3/1 Axle Overhead Press
3 sets max reps (at least 20 total) with alternating circus dumbbell row (not clean!) and press (this is probably my second favorite lift besides the atlas stones)
3 sets Lat pulldowns
Cardio: Exercise Bike, 10 minutes interval training

If I feel really good I may do extra exercises, like curls, if I am having a particularly bad day (like on Monday), I may reduce the sets on my lifts. I usually get 2-4 workouts in a week with an average of about 3.

Yes, I have dieted down before in my life. As I mentioned in my earlier post I followed a very simple plan: eat no more than 2000kcals a day. I went from 220lbs fat and weak to 185lbs slim and still kind of weak. It took me about 1 year to get there. I could not get below 185 without going below 2000kcal, which seemed pointless as I was a 33" waist then and felt I was too small. I am about a 38" now.

When I took this drug (which a sorry excuse for a doctor prescribed), went from 190lbs to 272 in about 1.5 years without significant changes to my diet. I lost a fuck ton of weight following german volume training (GVT)and general strength training, which got me from about a 42" waist to a 38" waist at 260lbs.

I am concerned the drugs did something to my metabolism. I hold fat in places I never used to hold it before (almost mostly my sides of my ribs and stomach, some in my thighs, my gut doesn’t stick out very much given my weight and height).


#6

And, to follow up, based on the articles on this site and elsewhere, I have not found one consistent lifting or diet plan for fat loss. I don’t see why I cant maintain workout intensity by lowering volume and focusing on cardio thereafter.


#7

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
And, to follow up, based on the articles on this site and elsewhere, I have not found one consistent lifting or diet plan for fat loss. I don’t see why I cant maintain workout intensity by lowering volume and focusing on cardio thereafter. [/quote]

I’m not an expert on the meds and how it may or may not have impacted thyroid, hormones, etc., which could be factor in hindering fat loss, but I have cut twice while on 5/3/1.

You can change out your training program if you want something that might yield better results, i.e., I’m not saying a plan like 5/3/1 is any sort of a “holy grail” for cutting regiments, because as noted it was designed mostly as a strength and mass template, BUT if you are adamant about sticking with 5/3/1 and you’ve been running the program already, it can be done while cutting and you can still get leaner whilst continuing the protocol.

Check out Wendler’s sub-forum, there are a few posts on this. Conditioning will remain critical, once you get the diet part figured out, and you might consider super-setting assistance work with shorter rest periods.


#8

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
And, to follow up, based on the articles on this site and elsewhere, I have not found one consistent lifting or diet plan for fat loss. I don’t see why I cant maintain workout intensity by lowering volume and focusing on cardio thereafter. [/quote]

10x3 for fat loss.


#9

And your diet has not nearly enough protein and no good carb sources.


#10

[quote]daltron wrote:
And your diet has not nearly enough protein and no good carb sources.[/quote]

I know, I tend to eat way below my carb requirements. To tell you the truth I hate the taste of bread and sugar. While sugar is addicting, I invariably feel sick after taking more than, say a can of soda, so I stay away from it. I found that when I ate a sweet potato around 2pm after lunch my appetite would drop significantly. Id end up fasting until around 8pm involuntarily.

And I have tried 10x3. It isn’t bad but I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest it would be better than 5/3/1 without any assistance work. The intensities are similar.


#11

No, not 10x3, “10x3 for fat loss”. https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/10-x-3-for-fat-loss


#12

Paul Carter wrote some fat loss guidelines yesterday.

Couple it with the simple diet plan on this site.

The reality is there doesn’t seem to be a lot of planning and forethought into your eating and whilst that is the case, you’re going to struggle.

You don’t need to go crazy but you should have a plan for what’s going into your mouth. Like the gym (yes there are freaks who can wing it and get great results but most us need some structure)


#13

your diet is fucking terrible. I think we may have found the culprit.

From now on, here’s what you eat:

-Meat
-Vegetables


#14

You mentioned medication, what medication are you taking ? The ailment or illness you are suffering from could also play into it.

Years back, I was on a very high dose of prednisone that lasted for about 2 years and it royally wrecked my body. It took awhile for my body to normalize.


#15

Ok, my last reply wasn’t very helpful so I’ll try a little harder

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
To answer the questions:
Yesterdays food:
Breakfast:
Apple (80kcal)
Crackers (got in late and the cafeteria closed, normally Id buy a yogurt) (200kcal)[/quote]

Apple and crackers for breakfast? Are you a 90 year old lady? No. Have some real food. Every meal MUST contain protein. Doesn’t matter if it’s meat or a shake, but it has to be there. At the size you are, I’d aim for 200g a day. A protein shake and an apple would suffice here.

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Lunch:
Buffalo Chicken Wrap [tortilla, bleu cheese, buffalo sauce, chicken breast] (200+100+80+100 = 480)
Beef Noodle Soup - 1 cup (200kcal)
Salad [lettuce with no dressing] (25kcal)[/quote]

Shitey, processed garbage wrap with some soup which I assume is also not home made. Terrible. And lettuce on its own is not a salad. Get some colourful shit in there.

EDIT: although the wrap could be home made I suppose, in which case I’m still not wild about it but it’s better

[quote]
Dinner:
Home made celery chicken (2 cups) [chicken thigh, cream of celery, spinach, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil] - estimated at 800kcals[/quote]

The keyword here is “estimated”, which basically means “I guessed because I have no idea how many calories were in this”. Not good enough.

[quote]
Snack:
left over port wine cheese - 1 tablespoon (45kcal)
Almond Milk Mixture thing -2 cups [unsweetened almond milk, powdered peanuts, powdered protein] (60+80+50 = 190)
left over nuts and raisins -less than half a cup (200kcal)[/quote]

This is ok I guess. Not sure I’d bother with it if I was trying to lose weight but as snacks go it could be worse.

[quote]
Late Night
Shot of Brandy (100kcal)
Turmeric Chamomile Tea with butter+black pepper (100kcal)[/quote]

I really have no idea what to say to this.

[quote]
The total is: 80+200+480+200+25+800+45+190+200+100+100= 2420[/quote]

Which includes you estimating calories content, and you have no idea how much protein you eat.

If you don’t know exactly how many calories you are eating and how many grams of protein you’re eating, then you will struggle like hell to lose weight.

In my opinion, your diet needs a complete overhaul.


#16

Also, are there any binges?


#17
  • How does one gain so much fat when not eating low quality beef/chicken, not liking bread, and not being able to eat a lot of sugar?

  • How do you keep track of your food intake? What is the overall macro breakdown?


#18

The multiple reply function on the website is a pain in the ass so Ill do my best to answer point by point. Busy day today.

  1. I think a simple food scale would go a long way to counting calories more accurately. I love cooking and any homemade food is harder to count calories. I can pick myself up one easily.

  2. I dont see how cream of celery is bad… The entire can was only 180 calories, poured over 1.83lbs of chicken thighs, with 250 calories per 4oz of said chicken. Chicken breast is leaner, but thighs have more nutrients and taste better. They are still healthy. I like organ meat too (liver and hearts mostly) and buy it when I can.

  3. Id rather stick with 5/3/1 simply because I have committed to the program already and it is flexible enough where it can be adapted to fat loss. Id probably pursue 10x3 if I was getting off a program but I am in the middle of my second cycle coming back from a comp in August.

  4. I have a personal hang up with leftovers that I need to get over, which Im working on. Id rather not get into it.

  5. I think cardio will be feasible on my lunch break at work. They have some machine that I can use, but I could just as easily climb the 10th floor a few times a day. I recall reading about building the pull up by placing a bar near a door, every time you pass the bar you have to do one. Eventually you end up doing 20 or so a day and get really strong.

  6. I used to use my phone to count calories and record macros, but I do a better and more consistent job when I write it down in a small notebook, which I keep on my kitchen table. I generally just record calories and the item eaten. Ive used this method before with great success

  7. Precisely what concerns me is that I feel like I have to put much more effort into dieting this time around with fewer results than a few years ago when I dropped 35lbs (220 to 185). My goal is to get down to 230, which is about a 30lb drop again. I am much stronger and generally in better shape (despite my weight increase) now than when I did my first major diet in 2010-2012.

  8. Additionally, when I went up to 220lbs I was eating very bad. I would go to the all you can eat buffet for lunch at school and at night eat a pint of icecream or have more fried food. I eat much better now and cant lose the weight. I dont know why.

  9. I gained the weight from seroquel. It was prescribed off label as a sleep aid. At the time the doctors had no idea I had sleep apnea and attributed my insomnia and fatigue to another disorder which affects sleep. Needless to say, they were useless pieces of crap. Id like to sue them, their children and their children’s children just so I can visit their sorry poor asses on the soup kitchen line every day. I went off it during the summer of 2014. I went from 190 in the summer of 2012 to 270 by early 2014.

  10. As far as binges go, I get them sometimes but not often. 2 weeks ago I had insane craving for pasta and ended up eating 2000kcals worth. It was home made but still really unhealthy. I used to get cravings for chocolate and sugar but since Ive been eating my apple in the morning that Yogi thinks is more terrible than bull-testicle-a-la-mode I noticed I don’t crave artificial sugar any more.

  11. Yogi, I usually get a greek yogurt with my apple, which has 10 grams of protein. If I eat protein shakes that early im sure Ill have the shits and piss off everyone in the office.

  12. I don’t know my recent macros. When I was using my phone app I was averaging (fat, carb protien) 40,20,20.


#19

Sad fact about getting older is weight loss becomes a total bitch. You may benefit from iodine supplements.


#20

I don’t know why people think diet and training are mutually exclusive. Your diet should always match your training.