Keep it off this time!
Hi everyone, My name is Jason and I'm once again trying to get back in shape and find a healthy way of life I can stick with.
To start I'm 41yrs old and a big guy at 6'1" 283lbs. I'm a big framed person and just to give an idea I wear a size 13 wide shoe and 14 ring so I believe I will always be a few lbs heavier than the BMI suggests.
I reached 280lbs when I was 26 years old and I went on a crash diet and over the course of a year I got to 195lbs. That crash diet was basically starving myself while doing an intense 30min workout 7 days a week. I gradually put the weight back on over the course of the last 15 years and I reached a ridiculous all time high of 336lbs. That was back in February 2011 and since then I've been trying different things to take it back off. I've managed reach 278lbs.
The problem is I can't seem to get away from this plateau. I've been fighting 280-290 weight area for 2 months now.
I'm currently on a low carb diet and I'm tracking my foods religiously. I'm taking in an avg of 42g of carbs a day, 120g of total fat and 2500 calories. I'm also working out 2-3 times a week doing a 45min high intensity cardio weight lifting program. I'm not eating any starchy, processed or high sugar foods. I'm mainly eating salads with low carb veggies and various meats such as chicken breats, pork chops, eggs and sausages all which I cook fresh using only spices and olive oil. I've been eating low carb yogurt, cheeses and all natrual sour cream. I've been keeping all my food chemical free and natural. My only vice is I like my whiskey on the weekends :D I drink about 5-6 shots on Friday and Saturday nights mixed with diet soda. I like beer too but I've ruled it out while while I'm trying to lose weight.
So what I want to do is figure what I'm doing wrong that I can't get away from this plateau and a implement a better permanent diet(way of life) so I can reach 200lbs and keep the weight off this time. I don't feel the low carb high fat diet is something I can stick with the rest of my life. Any help or ideas is appreciated.
Nutrition chart for the last 4 weeks:
Looks to me like you are doing pretty good, weight loss takes time. Everyone has all kind of opinions on how to drop the weight. I'm a big guy too and I cannot let my calories get much below 2,000 a day and still still work out. If you slow down dropping weight, increase your cardio an extra few minutes per work out and see if that gets you cranked back up. If you are good at posting your food and activities on this site for a few weeks, you can look back and see what you were doing on good weight loss weeks. It helps me.
I believe part of the reason for my plateau is my workout. I'm building muscle and doing cardio at the same time. I am definitely getting leaner but the scale isn't cooperating lol.
Basically my workout is to focus on keeping my heart rate at 136-156bpm for the entire 45 minutes.
Hi Jason and welcome to FitDay.
I only have a few pieces of advice since it looks like your comfortable with your macronutrient ratios.
1) Ditch the sausages. If you want something besides chicken, buy ground turkey and start getting used to turkey burgers. Believe me, they can be really good especially with the right seasoning.
2) If you are continually averaging over 50 grams a day in saturated fat, you really need to get your fiber up. 5 grams of fiber along with 55 grams of sat fat is a recipe for disaster. The fiber will help lower your cholesterol. And take fish oil supplements, that helps with cholesterol as well.
I could make more recommendations, but these are the 2 biggies that jumped out at me.
My 2 cents: Burning fat requires that you stay aerobic, not go anaerobic. If you get your pulse way up, your body burning blood glucose to keep up with the immediate energy need. To burn fat, keep your pulse around 120-130, and your body will convert fat and use it as fuel. This makes sense evolutionarily if you think about it. The body wants to keep the sugar stores cocked and ready in case you need to chase or run away from something or somebody. You'll burn just about as many calories per hour doing this, and you'll also be able to last much much longer, for a total calorie burn that can be much higher. i.e. an hour of low intensity fat burning vs. half hour high intensity burnout.
Another thing I'd note is that you I think you need to get your protein intake way up for a frame as big as yours. If you continue lifting, you should probably be closer to 200 grams of protein a day.
Totally agree with Vito that more fiber is in order too. With carbs that low you can't get the fiber you need to keep the gut healthy. I'd up fiber loaded carbs significantly.
All the best,
Hi Thad and Vito
First of all I want to thank everyone for their input, it's much appreciated.
So, it seems I need to boost my fiber intake, cut way back on the saturated fats and do a longer lower intensity cardio workouts.
Vito, I assume by "turkey burgers" you mean without the bread correct?
With the workout I'm doing how many carbs a day would you suggest and other than protein drinks what's a good way to up my fiber and protein? Or would you suggest another diet other than low carb?
This link will help with fiber:
FitDay Discussion Boards - Threads Tagged with fiber
and this with protein:
FitDay Discussion Boards - Threads Tagged with protein sources
I'm far from expert.....but.... as others have said its very 'difficult' to both build additional muscle and loose weight at the same time. To burn fat effectively you want to work out at medium intensity (65% of your max heart rate). When you work out at higher/anaerobic heart rate levels your body switches from burning fat to burning glycogen.
My best weight loss was brought about by doing split workouts - I'd go to the gym in the morning and do some miles on the elliptical or treadmill and then go back after work to lift weights. It made a huge difference compared to going once a day. Of course, it takes time to drive to the gym, workout, have a shower.....so it wasn't a viable option as a long term strategy, but it did get me through a plateau where I wasn't seen obvious progress.
Your story sounds identicle to mine. Even our sizes are close. Only difference is age. I'm 62. I quit smoking 11 years ago,and have been gaining ever since. My workout is also very similar to yours, done most days of the week.
I have no advise, as I too have tried & tried. Just thought i'd let ya know there are others in the same battle. So [if] you find a secret please share!?
One thought..some say stick to your routine, but up the weight lifted? It yields more intensity, more burn? I tried it for six months,..it didn't help,and started hurting my joints, so I backed off.
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