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Old 11-19-2010, 10:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm 5-10 185, I was eating at 1800 for a while and this is actually when I lost a little bit of muscle. I am upset that I lost the muscle, I increased my intake to 2000. For someone like you with so little to lose, slowest is best, the faster the more unhealthy. Try 1900 for at least 2 weeks and see what happens.

Bodyweight x11 for fat loss, is a good general number. And for maintenance bodyweight x15.

If you are hitting the gym and are interested in squats here is a great free program based on squats:
StrongLifts 5x5: The Ultimate Strength and Muscle Program | StrongLifts.com

It also might change your thinking about dieting and exercise. Honestly I think your body fat would drop to what you want it to be by just gaining some lean mass, and that doesn't mean becoming a bulky meat head. If you add some muscle and the fat stays the same your overall body fat decreases.
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It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself. ~Muhammad Ali

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. ~Charles C. Noble
July 6th 2010: 225 lbs, 24% body fat
Nov 30th 2010: 181 lbs, 12% body fat
Dec 28th 2010: 177 lbs, 11% bf
Total weight loss 48 lbs.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Scott, I'm jumping onto this thread because judging from your pictures, you and I have a similar build. I too am going for some fat loss in my midsection, which will be tricky going into the holidays, but I think I can make it work. As it were, I'm also sporting some upper-lip brush for Movember. Every man deserves a little luxury!

The reason I bring this up is because I am eating roughly 2500 calories/day, doing no cardio whatsoever (unless you count supersets and explosive squat warmups as cardio =] ), and just focusing on raising my numbers in the gym (275# deadlift, 205# squat, 150# bench as of last week). Keep in mind that I do these lifts for no more than five reps at a time, and besides that a few accessory exercises and I'm done with the gym in under an hour. Four times a week.

And, I'm still losing fat. And gaining muscle. And for the most part, I still look like your pictures. I haven't ballooned in size at all over the last two years that I've been exercising like this. My weight has topped out at 165 lbs and right now I'm struggling to put on even more muscle.

Like Jason and Mike are saying, this is a long-term strategy for health. Your appearance will improve as a side-effect, but if you chase after appearance by depriving yourself of food for long periods of time and exercising so much you leave no room for recovery, you will only be sacrificing your health in the long run.

Stick to a long-term plan, commit to eating well and gaining strength, and all good things will follow.

Good luck.
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thank you midwestj, and thank you 01gt4.6 both very much. Your insight has been very helpful.

The 5x5 looks like a good start at 3 days a week in the gym. At least 2 or 3 days a week I think I'll keep on the incline push ups and crunches on top of that. If I understood the exercises correctly, I should be doing 5 sets of 5 squats/bench press/etc. of each exercise for one hour each visit, alternating A and B every other-other day, 3 days a week.. What I didn't understand from the article is how it stressed a 1 hour workout each time you do Exc. A and Exc. B. Am I supposed to stretch those few exercises to last an hour? Seems like a small workout to fit into 1 hour...

As for my weight change while deficient, my Fitday results say otherwise. One such example: a few weeks back, there was a day where I had about 2,350 calories in one day, which is around a bit under my maintenance weight. The next day, I weighed about 1 pound less than I did the day before, but kept to about 1,250 calories for this day anyway. The next day, despite eating 1,100 less, I weighed more than I did the previous day. The only difference exercise-wise between these days was I did a couple sets of push ups. I weigh myself wearing the same thing, and at the same point in my day everyday- right after I wake up in the morn and do my dirty in the washroom. And I do weigh myself every day and I prefer to have it that way because I always know where I'm at.

I drank 96oz (1,170 calories) of beer on the first night, but I only drink maybe every other weekend, if not longer (so the excess isn't on excessive days... but beer is good ). I don't know if that plays a major factor in this story, as I am judging that 1 calorie of beer will have the same effect as 1 calorie of... cheese.

The above example (not the beer one) isn't the first time I've noticed weird shifts in the pattern, but I believe this instance is the most extreme. Otherwise, differences have been only by a pound or two by the day, up or down. If you were to take a look at my weight change graph, you'd notice it is for the most part on the downward slope, but with bumps throughout, some of them by as much as 3 or 4 pounds. But there isn't a day where I've eaten any more than my maintenance weight.

Even on days where there is little difference between what I ate and exercised one day and the next, the first day I might lose a pound or two, the next I might gain a pound or two. This would make sense if I weighed myself at different times of the day, but not when I take measures to weigh myself at the same point in my day.

Perhaps this is why you'd suggest I don't weigh so often? Can very natural biological shifts play tricks on the scale on a day-to-day basis?

From what I gathered, this is now my plan (not set in stone):
1900-2200 calories; 160g of protein from this
2-3 days a week in the gym with the 5x5 and other exercises in mind
3-4 days a week of my calisthenics routine
A minimum of 1 hour of spot jogging a night OR 40 minutes at 9km/h on the treadmill on gym nights.

Also, of those 1900-2200 calories, does it matter if I get those nutrients from Swiss Chalet or a TV dinner or a home cooked meal, etc? I know that fat/carbs/protein will play a role, but are 50 carbs/protein/fat as good from Swiss Chalet as they are a home cooked meal? Yes, I know about saturated/non-saturated and so on.

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Can very natural biological shifts play tricks on the scale on a day-to-day basis?

In a nutshell, yes. Us girls know this very well thanks to our hormones but there are a lot of factors that affect the scale. If you do a hard workout, the next day you'll have some swollen muscle tissue at the molecular level while the tissue rebuilds itself. Swelling = water weight gain. This will show up on the scale even though it doesn't in the mirror. Sodium, alcohol, and caffeine can all affect your hydration status as well. Since we are mostly water, small fluctuations in hydration can have large impacts on the scale. A high fiber meal will retain water as it passes through your digestive tract (one way fiber prevents constipation) so even healthy low calorie foods can affect the scale. FWIW I also weigh daily but I only record it weekly. I can't slip too much in a week, and it helps to even out those pesky data points.

Your scale may move down slower at a smaller deficit, but if you truly are at a deficit, it will still move down over time. If the scale doesn't reflect what the log says, then you need to reevaluate the accuracy of your activities and the way you measure your portions.

I won't comment on the workouts, men are built differently so what works for me won't work for you on that front. But I do agree on the protein. Your body needs protein to produce the many day to day hormones that keep everything working. If there's insufficient protein in the diet to maintain hormone production, the body will take protein from muscle tissue to keep these vital functions going. Excess protein will be turned into fuel, so as long as you're in good health, it's very hard to eat too much protein.
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quality of food matters definitely.

You won't be able to put on lean mass eating big macs and doritos. You can look at my food log I have months of archives, my meals are separated. I think my style of eating is really easy, anyone can do it. I don't buy expensive organic foods, but I do by healthy whole foods.

Alcohol does effect you differently than other calories, but thats an entirely different and lengthy discussion. Moderation is best for this stuff. It slows fat loss, muscle growth, reduces testosterone, dehydrates you, depletes your vitamins, basically puts yourself in a bad state for any muscle growth or fat burning. The way you metabolize alcohol and food while you are drinking is different than when there is no alcohol present.

I really think you might be exercising too much if you do that current plan. The more you exercise the harder it will be to gain muscle, just like not eating enough, burning too many calories will also cause you to eat your own muscle. You don't need to work so hard to get results. I work out only 3 days a week and basically just rest on my off days not much physical activity and I lose 2 lbs per week. I would stick with the 3 5x5 workouts and maybe 30 mins of LIGHT physical activity on your non workout days. Keyword is light so don't go busting your ass 6 days a week, chances are you will burn out or your 6 workouts won't be as intense and effective as 3 short super intense effective workouts could be.

Really dude those crunches are not good for you, there are so many other ab exercises that keep your spine and neck in a neutral position that get much better results, try them out. Lots of stability ball exercises and planks/side planks.

The 5x5 guideline is to not work out for more than an hour I believe. And if you are working out fast you could take longer rest between sets, try doing more weight so you need that recovery time.

I weigh myself everyday too, but changes day to day up or down are to be expected, what you want is a trend over time in the direction you want.
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Jason

It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself. ~Muhammad Ali

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. ~Charles C. Noble
July 6th 2010: 225 lbs, 24% body fat
Nov 30th 2010: 181 lbs, 12% body fat
Dec 28th 2010: 177 lbs, 11% bf
Total weight loss 48 lbs.

Last edited by midwestj; 11-20-2010 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottmor View Post
One such example: a few weeks back, there was a day where I had about 2,350 calories in one day, which is around a bit under my maintenance weight. The next day, I weighed about 1 pound less than I did the day before, but kept to about 1,250 calories for this day anyway. The next day, despite eating 1,100 less, I weighed more than I did the previous day.
this is why I said
Quote:
Originally Posted by 01gt4.6 View Post
BTW don't weight yourself often.
water weight plays a huge part of what the scale says. I'm notorious for weighing myself daily, or multiple times a day, it's a habit and a bad one at that!
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Old 11-20-2010, 12:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Scott, your new plan is good but I would highly recommend keeping a mind towards recovery. You don't gain muscle/lose fat in the gym, you gain/lose while your body is resting and recovering. Do your spot jogging/pushups as a WARM-UP for around 20 minutes before you start your 5x5 routine for the night, then leave it be. It might be hard to accept at first that more is not better, it took me a while too, but seriously, you'd do better giving your body a chance to respond and adapt rather than wearing it out.

But by recovery, I don't mean going out and drinking beer. I mean eat wholesome food and get some nice shuteye.
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-Nik


My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:31 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I've taken a bit of everyone's input into perspective, and have integrated it into my plan. And I'm happy where my plans are at now

This weekend wasn't a particularly strong start, but I knew it was a party weekend going into it. On top of the beer and liquor though, I was still able to remain at a caloric deficit of about 500, even though I know my nutrients were from the wrong places. I even took my Saturday workout off to allow recovery from the x amount of days I did exercise in a row, and I hope to have my first shot at the 5x5 on Monday or Tuesday.

I have a primary question to challenge in this post. Since I've brought my caloric intake up, I've been eating more (duh). But what I find myself doing is eating very little in the morning, for fear that I will fill up my calorie budget to early.

The following scenario is what I project to be the average day for me without any further advice.

I end up at maybe 500 calories on the day by evening, because this is for fear that I'll fill up my calorie budget too early.
Then I have dinner at about 7pm which raises my calorie count to between 1200-1500.
After dinner is usually when I would do my calisthenics to utilize dinner's protein. A few hours later at around 11 or so, I have a snack with some protein to supplement my calisthenics, and carbs for the energy. This brings it to 1400-1700 calories on the day.
An hour or two after my snack is my 1h10m of spot jogging, after which I have another snack, because I know that I'm still too deficient. This would bring me up to 2100 calories tops (I've upped my ante to between 2000-2200 calories a day, because according to this weekend, I am still losing weight with that many a day. Once again, spot on, 01gt4.6)
At about 3 in the morning or so, I'll hit the hay for at least 8 hours, and repeat the next day (maybe alternate calisthenics between calisthenics, gym, and rest day)

So I have myself at what I'm pretty sure is a healthy deficit, but the apparent issue is that I'm receiving the bulk of my nutrients within 5 or 6 hours of each other. This doesn't sound like it's too healthy for me, but then I consider my late lifestyle. Most of my incoming nutrients are consumed in a close window before and after my workouts. Would this be more/less/somewhat ideal? I don't think I do this on purpose, but if I know exactly why I should or shouldn't be doing this, it'd be a constant reminder to me throughout the day and sway my habits.



Also running through my mind, and I apologize if anyone takes offense to the subject, but I've only recently started to indulge in marijuana. I was wondering, ALL other health concerns aside please, if this happens to play a role in weight loss? I've already given up munchies, so that shan't be a problem! Frankly, on October 14th when I was sitting around high and decided that I'm going to get my army body back, I made my first log on Fitday and began exercising frequently. And I've logged every day since then. No, I'm not endorsing pot as a miracle weight loss tool..... but hey, if it weren't for that batch, I might still be wearing that big gut I had a month ago
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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i dont indulge in marijuana use myself, but sounds like you are using it for medical purposes , so its at least legal in most states.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:35 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Jptfenwick, I'm going to gather from Scotty's writing style that he ain't from the states.

Scott, you'll likely get a range of answers regarding your meal timings, so I'll start off by saying I usually don't eat much in the mornings either, although I don't do this because of calorie counting I do it because I'm usually not hungry in the morning. A cup of coffee will usually do it for me until noon.

As far as peri-workout nutrition goes, you don't want to ever workout on a full-stomach, but it is important to have protein and some carb a few hours before you workout. On the days you do 5 x 5, save your biggest meal for after your workout, where it will go towards building and repairing muscle and replenishing your energy. I've heard it said that within the first few hours of heavy lifting you can eat pretty much whatever you want without it going to fat, and while I wouldn't jump on the ice cream right after the gym, pounding down a large, sensible meal after you get home will really go a long way in helping with recovery.

If you need help filling in calories throughout the day, carry some snacks with you and just graze at your leisure throughout the day. Beef jerky, almonds, some fruit, carrot sticks, or the occasional protein shake in a water bottle are all great for this.
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-Nik


My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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