T Nation

That Damn Stubborn Fat! Looking for Advice


#1

Hi All,

I’m not a bodybuilder but have been advised in the beginner’s section to seek some help here. I hope that’s okay.

I’ve been a serious lifter for the past 5 years (and spun my wheels using a multigym for 5 before that) but my focus has mainly been strength. I’ve lost a lot of fat over the past few years through cleaning up my diet completely. I’ve gone from around 103Kgs and 26% body fat and to 75Kgs and approx 10%. Photos and a lot more detail are in my other post in the beginners area.

My problem is that I’ve got a small amount of loose skin being weighed down by some stubborn fat under my left pec and underneath my belly button. I’ve been in calorific deficit for pretty much 3 years and have only indulged in non clean foods on my birthdays, christmas, you know the drill. No more than once every 3 or 4 months and I’m doing rudimentary carb cycling.

Do you have any advice on how to shift these weird bits of fat? I’m toying with the idea of a reverse diet or perhaps just adding in more conditioning to begin with (currently 2 days conditioning after lifting and on 1 of my recocery days) as I’m not keen on dropping my calories any lower than they currently are but obviously will if you feel it’s the only way to say goodbye to the fat. I’m currently on about 2000Kcals on training days and less on rest days.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.


#2

is your bodyweight still dropping?


#3

If you were in a real caloric deficit for three years you’d be shredded to ribbons by now.


#4

Great work! A little over 3lbs a month for 3 years is serious business. Since, it seems as though you still have some tools left to work with (more conditioning, shifting macros, potentially less cals) I’d keep pushing the diet. If you stall out consider maintaining current weight/reverse dieting for some awhile before making another run at it. Again, great job.


#5

Thanks for the reply. Yes it is but very slowly, I’ve lost about a kilo in the last 6 weeks. I’m stuck in a bit of a cycle at the moment. My body weight stops reducing for about a month so I add more conditioning (an extra 10-20 minutes a couple of times a week and/or adding more finishers to some of my compound exercises) as I’m not too keen on dropping my calories further. I keep that up for about 6-8 weeks and lose about a kilo in weight but by the end of that time I’m exhausted, grumpy, sleeping poorly and generally not fun to be around so I cut my conditioning a bit in order to recuperate. After a month or so I start feeling (perhaps imagining) that the areas of stubborn fat are getting larger. The scales say I’m the same weight but to me I look worse. My wife tells me that she doesn’t see any difference but I’m never convinced so I start the whole cycle again. I’m loathed to keep this up for much longer as generally I’m quite a bubbly person and I don’t like being a miserable old git. I was hoping some of folks on here with knowledge about the final stages of fat loss would be able to provide me with a more viable alternative to killing myself with conditioning or starving myself. Wishful thinking probably :slight_smile:


#6

Much appreciated yonkey it means a lot. Thank you :smile:


#7

might be time to chill for a bit then. Read what Lyle McDonald has to say about diet breaks.


#8

Thanks Yogi1, I will most certainly be checking that out.


#9

Drink an ounce of raw apple cider vinegar a day.


#10

Hey man, i am a big fan of your transformation, its truly inspiring!

I second the notion that you might need to take a break. I really like the idea of reverse dieting up to surplus. You’ve gotten CRAZY lean over the time you’ve been dieting, seriously, give your body a reward in a sense. Your body adapts to what ever you’re doing to it, so to long on a cut type diet will have your body adapt to it and it will be much harder to lose the additional lbs at the end. Obviously don’t head for the nearest bakery and pound a dozen donuts, but eat clean, just less clean in more for 8 weeks or even more. Then start coming back down. I think it would jump start your metabolism so to speak.

A step back for three steps forward kinda thing.


#11

X2 on this. His stubborn fat solution is a good read.


#12

Thanks very much beastcoast58. I’ve never been called inspiring before but hey if others are heartened by my story then that’s really good to know.

I’m still deciding what to do next hence my first forum post a fortnight ago as I’m always open to guidance from people with more expertise and experience than I.

When I get my arse in gear I may start a training and nutrition log to see if I can get some critiques on the training and nutrition plans I’ve put together too as I’m always keen to learn more. I may take a brief break from the diet first but it’ll only be a clean reverse diet as I don’t think I could go back to eating junk. I’ve been clean eating for about 5 years but the first 2 of those were an excuse to crush a couple of pounds of almond butter every week :laughing:


#13

While we’re on the subject of inspiration I read an article by Dani Shugart recently bemoaning people who label themselves as inspiring or females stating that they post pictures of their rear end on instagram to give others inspiration. It really made me laugh as she was in essence calling them out on their attention seeking behaviour.

I couldn’t agree more. On the other hand I personally do find pictures of ladies’ behinds inspiring.


#14

I’ll most certainly check that out. Thanks very much.


#15

Normally when someone posts due to a fat loss stall, it means you should probably take a couple of weeks off to chill, then get back to it.

This will renew your motivation and allow you to raise your calories a little. Both are huge for long-term fat loss.

When you do go back to your diet, I think you hinted at it - doing more cardio is great for that stubborn fat!

But I really think a diet break is often the first thing people need - I know it’s counterintuitive, but I’ve seen so many guys try to push it too hard and end up re-bounding as a result.


#16

Thank you @foreveralphablog :slight_smile: