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Suggestion for Battling Gut Gains?

Hey guys/girls. I’ve been noticing significant gains of fat in my stomach area as of late and I was hoping for some suggestions. First a little background:

I have been working out off and on for around 1.5 years, find the site this January and have been serious since around late April. I have made some noticable gains (people have commented) across the board and have jumped in weight from 149 to 170. I am 19 years old and 5foot9. I have been following the Waterbury Method and recently started a 4 day upper/lower body split routine.

My nutrition is okay, or so I thought. I comsume around 3500 cals a day, with average being 260 grams of protein, 360 carbs and 80 grams of fat. A rough example of my daily intake is:
Meal 1 = 1 cup dry oatmeal, 35 gram protein shake, 1.5 cups of milk
Meal 2 = Can of tuna, 3 fish oil pills, 2 cups mixed vegetables
Meal 3 = Post workout shake (40 grams pro, 55 grams carbs)
Meal 4 = Chilli w/ 0.5 cup dry parboiled rice
Meal 5 = Whatever dinner is (steak, porkchops, chicken, etc) and fish oil.
Meal 6 = Before bed meal with 2 cups of milk, 2 oz of cheese, 25 gram shake, tablespoon of olive oil and fish oil.

I’ve never been skinny, always had a bit of a gut, and I’m not afraid to keep it, but the gains have really been bothering me. I don’t want to hinder my progress (tonnes of thanks to you guys) but I want to keep my fat-ass to a min. Any suggestions, wether it be diet, supps, cardio, etc.

Thanks in advance!

Genetics play a big part in how and where you store your excess fat. Some people are predisposed with guts(such as myself)I can have striations coming out in my quads and still have a layer of fat on my abdomen. All you can do is to keep your BF low enough so it doesn’t show.

Obvious question #1: what does your training look like?

Your food intake looks pretty good and your not going overboard on carbs.

Here’s the main thing from my POV. At 5-9 170, you should be able to still add muscle for a while. Even If you don’t want to get HUGE, honestly, 5-9 170 to me either means
A) your not fat, or
B) if you are fat, you must not have too much muscle right now.

In other words, you could be a ripped 5-9 170 and have a decent amount of muscle, or you could be a “fat” 5-9 170 with little muscle. If you are 15% fat, you only have 145 pounds of lean bodyweight.

Without getting a rough glimpse at your training intensity and volume, as well as volume of other activity, I think its not really possible to tell you what to do, but I will say that the diet you described should not be the cause of you increasing fat%.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
Obvious question #1: what does your training look like?

Your food intake looks pretty good and your not going overboard on carbs.

Here’s the main thing from my POV. At 5-9 170, you should be able to still add muscle for a while. Even If you don’t want to get HUGE, honestly, 5-9 170 to me either means
A) your not fat, or
B) if you are fat, you must not have too much muscle right now.

In other words, you could be a ripped 5-9 170 and have a decent amount of muscle, or you could be a “fat” 5-9 170 with little muscle. If you are 15% fat, you only have 145 pounds of lean bodyweight.

Without getting a rough glimpse at your training intensity and volume, as well as volume of other activity, I think its not really possible to tell you what to do, but I will say that the diet you described should not be the cause of you increasing fat%.[/quote]

mertdawg: you are spot on - couldn’t be answered any better than this.

I am doing a 4 day a week upper/lower body routine, focusing on heavy, compound lifts: deads, squats, presses (bench, military), chins, etc.

I am not fat, per se, but all the excess (fat) weight I gain shows up in my abdominal region. I am very happy with my gains (21 pounds), but I am also worried about being self conscious about my gut. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some frat0boy wanting to get HYOOGE fast, but worrying about losing his abs. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have abs and I never will. I’ve always been pudgy and I learned to live with it, but now it’s getting a little too big for me.

I was wondering if any diet mods (lowering cals 250 or so a week) or supps (was thinking Methoxy-7, HOT-ROX) would help to combat this while I am still bulking.

Diablo,

from an article by Don Alessi posted on a different site (PM me if you want the link to the full article):

Hope this helps!

No one has mentioned your diet. Everybody’s metabolism is different. 3500 calories is not that much, but maybe for YOU it is too much to make lean gains without excessive fat gain. As said, make sure your training intensity is up there. Your food choices and timing are wise. You might also want to drop to 3300 calories and see if you continue to gain with less fat gains. You could also do a brief leaning out phase if you wish and go back to bulking.

[quote]Diablo9845 wrote:
I have been working out off and on for around 1.5 years, find the site this January and have been serious since around late April. I have made some noticable gains (people have commented) across the board and have jumped in weight from 149 to 170. I am 19 years old and 5foot9. I have been following the Waterbury Method and recently started a 4 day upper/lower body split routine.
[/quote]

OK, I re-read this, and noticed that you said off and on for 1.5 years. Forget about that. Yea, it probably means that you didn’t have to take 4-6 weeks to break in when you got serious, but really you’ve been training since LATE April which means, maybe 10 weeks.

This clears up a lot. If you gained 21 pounds in 10 weeks as you describe, I’d say you have gained some fat. With the amount of lean bodyweight you have, (140-150 pounds) you COULD probably gain muscle with fewer calories.

You have some good things going for you. At age 19, I had cut down to 5-9 153, but I had NO dietary regimine, and didn’t learn how to train for 7-8 years. It looks like you are pretty regimented and have a good workout plan. I probably could have gained muscle at that age on a clean diet of 2500, or even less, and I kept track of the numbers.

Keeping it simple, if you added 21 pounds in 10 weeks, and feel like your are adding fat-and considering that you are only 19-I say cut back calories and see what happens. Try 2500 or 3000 for a month and see what happens, but keep it clean and keep 6 meals a day.

Also, you might want to tie in weight gain to strength goals. If you are using a program by CW, you should be adding pounds to your lifts for every pound of bodyweight you add. In going from 149 to 170, you probably should have added at the very least, 100 pounds to your squat or deadlift, and 50-60 to your bench. It’t not perfect, but generally at LEAST 5 pounds to your squat or dead and 3 to your bench for every pound of bodyweight at the beginner level.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

Keeping it simple, if you added 21 pounds in 10 weeks, and feel like your are adding fat-and considering that you are only 19-I say cut back calories and see what happens. Try 2500 or 3000 for a month and see what happens, but keep it clean and keep 6 meals a day.

[/quote]

I’d recommend dropping to no less than 3000 to start. See how gains are there, and if you’re keeping fat in check. You can always drop calories further or increase them. 2500 is awful low to gain appreciable muscle.

Would a leaning out phase just be a reduction in carbs, while maintaining a consistant minimum of AT LEAST 1 gram/lb of bodyweight? If so, should I try to shy away from carbs later in the day, getting most of my carbs from my postworkout and breakfast meals? This would leave fruits and vegetables as my source of carbs.

Would I have to cut milk out of the equation due to the sugars, and consume some fats (olive oil) and, if I can get it, caesin protien before bed?

I was actually thinking about leaning out a little, as I am heading to first year university in the fall and wanting to look my best possible, but I am really enjoying the muscle and strength gains from bulking. If I kept my intensity high and consumed enough protein, had my postworkout in order and my before bed, could my gains still increase, albeit a little slower?

I think I’m going to try 3000 cals for now, very clean, with a larger emphasis on veggies. Is trying to minimize milk a good idea, as I even think I am mildly intolerant to it?

I hate being prone to gaining fat, being skinny and eating everything would rock, but I guess you deal with that you’re dealt!

[quote]Diablo9845 wrote:
Would a leaning out phase just be a reduction in carbs, while maintaining a consistant minimum of AT LEAST 1 gram/lb of bodyweight? If so, should I try to shy away from carbs later in the day, getting most of my carbs from my postworkout and breakfast meals? This would leave fruits and vegetables as my source of carbs.

Would I have to cut milk out of the equation due to the sugars, and consume some fats (olive oil) and, if I can get it, caesin protien before bed?

I was actually thinking about leaning out a little, as I am heading to first year university in the fall and wanting to look my best possible, but I am really enjoying the muscle and strength gains from bulking. If I kept my intensity high and consumed enough protein, had my postworkout in order and my before bed, could my gains still increase, albeit a little slower?

I think I’m going to try 3000 cals for now, very clean, with a larger emphasis on veggies. Is trying to minimize milk a good idea, as I even think I am mildly intolerant to it?

I hate being prone to gaining fat, being skinny and eating everything would rock, but I guess you deal with that you’re dealt![/quote]

Since you have developed some good eating habits, I would not drastically change the way you eat. Just drop 500 cals a day. You are getting PLENTY of protein. If you start losing weight, I think you have cut back too much because I am sure you can add another 20 lean pounds over the next 2 years. You should definitely be gaining weight at this point in your life, but not 21 pounds in 10 weeks. It may not happen linearly thought, but say 175 by Christmas and 180 by this time next year.

Milk might not be the best for you, but unless you can come up with a better option don’t drop it.

Also, as a freshman in college, you NEED to have a way to buy and store groceries at least a week at a time.

Oatmeal and cans/boxes of chili work well as does protein powder.