T Nation

The Fat Loss Process

Hi All,

I was hoping I could get some feedback from some people who have already shed some fat in the past.

The main thing I was wondering is, does fat “soften up” before it goes away?

I have been trying to loose some weight, and have been eating/training as below -
High carbs for breakfast, oatmeal + protein shake
Then low carbs for the rest of the day, lunch consists of salad + meat, dinner is salad + meat or veggies + meat. (few protein shakes during the day that dont have carbs)

I’m training in the mornings doing a full body split over M,W,F. On tues + thurs I do an hour of carbio and on lifting days do 30min of cardio after lifting.

I have been doing this for about 6 weeks so far and have only lost 1kg.
The thing that is really de-motivating me is I feel fatter! The fat on my stomach now is all soft and when I move bunches up into multiple little rolls. Where as previously it was rather solid and didn’t move or bunch up.
Its hard to explain but I feel fatter now :frowning:

I would suggest that you track your calories a bit closer than you are now if you’ve only lost 2 pounds in a month and a half. As to the fat softening up… I don’t really know what you’re talking about.

How is your belt doing? When I started getting more serious exercise I didn’t drop a lot of weight, but I had to start putting new holes in my belt! You are adding muscle.

When I cleaned up my diet I stared losing more weight. I am way over ‘The Over 35 Lifter’ entry requirements, so things happen a little slower and I notice the skin get looser as the fat goes.

I do best on low carbs all day. I think the latest buzz is to have extra carbs before working out, but try something for a week or so to see how you feel.

[quote]Murray_Calavera wrote:
Hi All,

I was hoping I could get some feedback from some people who have already shed some fat in the past.

The main thing I was wondering is, does fat “soften up” before it goes away?

The thing that is really de-motivating me is I feel fatter! The fat on my stomach now is all soft and when I move bunches up into multiple little rolls. Where as previously it was rather solid and didn’t move or bunch up.
Its hard to explain but I feel fatter now :frowning:

I think it might depend partly on genetics, but the answer is yes, in my limited personal experience. When I was bigger/fatter I had a more “solid” stomach/waist. Now that I lost some weight, there is more “looseness”. Also you can see if you are losing the correct type of weight by how your pants fit. I used to wear size 40" waist Dockers pants, now I need to cinch the size 38" Dockers with the belt, or it will just fall straight down. Does your pants feel looser or do you need to use a tighter notch on the belt. Those are all good signs of progress even though it may not feel like it.

I’ve read there can be some differences with water retention vs fat, etc. And in my personal example of my gut, I may have lost some visceral fat first, which was fairly dense, but the remaining fat appears to be much flappier. But to be honest I wouldn’t get too caught up on the minutae.

To be honest, you should have lost more than 2lbs in 6 weeks if you were just starting a diet. Track calories more closely.


First off, were you training before you began this diet? If you weren’t, the increased exercise and proper protein consumption could be causing you to gain muscle mass while simultaneously losing fat. For under trained people this is highly likely as their body needs to adapt whilst they are consuming a diet that is more conducive to healthy living.

As far as the fat is concerned there are two different types of fat on the body: Subcutaneous Fat and Visceral Fat. The reason this is important is that Visceral fat is the type of fat that covers your organs and releases toxins into your system that cause you to be unhealthy. Subcutaneous fat is fat that is just under your skin (thus the name). While it doesn’t look good its affect on your health is significantly less.

When a persons body is full of Visceral fat, the stomach is hard to the touch and you get the “pregnant” guy look. This also is where you get the Beer gut name from. On the other hand subcutaneous fat is the really jiggly fat on your body. If you have ever seen a sumo wrestler you know what I am talking about.

You’re not fatter you actually are way more healthy then you previously were.
If your body is starting to loosen up it could mean that the fat you have lost was Visceral, not that you are actually getting fatter.

In terms of generating a more effective plan in terms of helping you reach your goals you would need to look inside first and really be accurate in your food consumption and intake as none of us can be there with yo everyday to monitor what you put into your mouth.

With regards to your training, I feel pretty positivive most on the site would advise you to remove the current cardio you are using. Alwyn Cosgrove has mentioned numerous times that jogging and similar forms of cardio isn’t the optimal way to lose fat and may in fact stunt your fat loss goals long term.

Monday Wednesday Friday full body routines are a good way to start.

Tuesdays and Thursdays I would suggest that you use a complex as your form of cardio.

You can find articles on complexes by using the search function on the site and I am sure you can find some that would work well for you. In parting I will just say that if you are honest with yourself and dedicate yourself to working with true intensity in your training sessions while monitoring your food consumption, results will come.

You have it in you to get it done and I hope all my info will help you moving forward.

Thanks heaps for the feedback guys!

That sounds exactly what I’m talking about regarding the subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Is it normal to lose one type first then the other?

This may sound dumb but, is there an easy way to count my calories? I’m used to turning over a packet and reading how many calories are in something. Cant do that to well with salad and vegies!

Also with the muscle gain/fat lose etc, my shirts are a bit tighter around the shoulders & back but I haven’t lost so much weight to drop belt buckle sizes yet.

Every person is different in terms of where and how they lose fat, so “normal” isn’t really the right term. Yes, losing VIsceral fat first is possible and I believe it’s the body getting rid of the most dangerous fat first.

In terms of counting calories, I would suggest rather you write down what you ate for the entire day. Trying to keep track of every calorie is extremely difficult and time consuming and can cause you to become frustrated and give up all together. Keep a log of what you eat, and if you wish later that night you can determine calorie content:


That link will bring you to a calorie counting website, just type in the food and adjust for quantity and it will breakdown the food for you.

Vegetables and lettuce however you should not worry about the calories. Eating too much of either of those food sources will not cause you to gain weight. Just the opposite, it should fill you up and cause you to feel full longer. Really the consumption of carbohydrates needs to be monitored in order to prime your body for optimal fat loss. Also, make sure you are consuming enough fat and protein.

Remember, the real key is how much FAT you are losing, not weight. If you were just cutting back your caloric intake, then you’d be losing more weight probably, but you’re dumping a lot of protein and doing some lifting (which I assume from the details you’ve provided you’re doing decently and with good intensity).

With those two factors (good food + weights) you’ll be putting on muscle. If every pound of muscle put on evens out with every pound of fat you’re losing your scale will not notice any difference.

As people said, visceral fat sounds like it’s being lost (which is the absolute best outcome given it’s negative indicators on heart and cardiovascular health). That ‘jiggly fat’ is probably what’s left with some looser skin because your stomach is actually smaller now. However depending on your workout, your core muscles may even be growing especially on the back and sides to even this out.

The ONLY way to be sure of progress measured on weeks is to do this…

Take many body measurements…
Get accurate bodyfat percentage measurements…
Check how your tightest clothing fit…

It SOUNDS like you’re doing everything right (although as people have said the easiest thing to get ‘wrong’ is number of calories, very few people know how many calories they are eating and can estimate way low or way high. But if you have the diet at the right ‘total intake’…

You’re likely putting on muscle and losing fat at the same time (starting with visceral).

Give it time (3 months is a good point) and by then you should SEE the difference in how clothing fit and you’ll see obvious differences in bodyfat percentage even on a scale or calipers. Body measurements also will be obvious by that point.

In the short term it’s harder as variances based on day, diet, time of day, etc. can hide the fat that you’re slowly making progress. Month to month it’s easier to see the trends.