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liberatedmist 10-01-2012 02:52 PM

Should I lose more?
Hi Ladies and thanks for reading!

I have reached my goal weight but am still "fat" around my stomach. I know that weight is just a number on a scale, but I am not sure if it would be faster for me to lose more weight or just stick to a stricter exercise plan to get rid of the saggy adipose tissue around my mid-section. Here is where I am at....

I am 33 and 5'7". I started at 184 (probably more before I weighed in) and am down to 135 (133 at my lowest) I basically lost 50 pounds and that was my goal. I did it by eating many small meals throughout the day, a lot of running (trained for and ran a marathon!), calorie restriction and lots of hard work. About 2 months ago I added a gym day (I can't get there more than once a week) to strength train and take a cardio-step class, I still run 3-4 times a week and started doing some sit-ups/push-ups at home on non-gym days....but it is just not coming off the stomach area and just hangs all loose and gross. :( Last week I started doing a "plank-a-day" to help but I am not sure what else I can add.

Notes: I understand that you can't really spot train a specific area, it is definitely fat tissue and not loose skin from weight loss, I can't get to the gym more often but would welcome ideas of what I can add at home or specific machines to use while there....or should I just continue to lose more weight and be patient (I have read that the stomach area is usually the last to lose...maybe my body is telling me to lose more weight??).

Anyway, this post is getting long so; what are your personal experiences or opinions as to getting the stomach firmed up? :confused:


ahappieru 10-01-2012 04:02 PM

I am in the same spot you are but I am older. I think your weight is good you just need to keep strength training and the other things you are doing. Hopefully your body will adjust with time. :)

rpmcduff 10-01-2012 05:36 PM

On your gym day lift heavy. (Weights so you can perform only 4 to 6 repetitions before you can't perform the movement or your form suffers.) This will help you build the muscle you need to increase your metabolism and get rid of that last bit of fat. Don't neglect core exercises like Squats and Deadlifts as they will build the large core muscle groups. On the days you don't go to the gym do body weight exercises like push-ups, planks, and burpees. Check out and especially their Womens Transformation series in the Motivational section to see how other women have achieved their goals. These stories always include sample diets and workouts the person used.

Ladymiseryali 10-01-2012 08:59 PM

Have you tried adding some pilates to your routine? It might help with toning the stomach or as they say in pilates-speak "the powerhouse". I've never had much of an issue with my stomach. It's always been flat, even at my heaviest, but I find pilates helps because it's not crunches, but it's more of training yourself to keep your stomach sucked in, which works it while you do the workout itself.

liberatedmist 10-01-2012 09:12 PM

Thanks for the advice so far! It sounds like you are all agreeing that it is an exercise issue....which makes sense. I have started lifting heavier for my arms and upper body, but I thought that heavier weights for core muscles would add bulk to my stomach instead of toning it. :confused: I'll take a look at that website and see what they think about that.

I haven't tried pilates but that might be the answer. Maybe instead of the cardio class I will try a yoga/pilates/stretching class and see if that helps out any.

Thanks again! :)

cjohnson728 10-01-2012 09:29 PM

Congratulations :)

I remember having those thoughts and feelings when I got to my goal as well. At that point, I added in a couple hundred calories to approximate what I thought was maintenance level and set my new goal as a body fat % goal, not a weight goal. Some also set fitness goals (achievements; I did that a couple times as well). It worked very well; my body kind of settled into a new, comfortable weight that was actually between 5-10 pounds lower than goal. I did both cardio and weight training.

Maintaining is a challenge, and one I'm not doing gracefully (sidetracked by injuries, job change, and embarrassing lack of willpower), but that doesn't have anything to do with the time right after I hit goal, though...I did it, dropped, and maintained the lower weight for 2 years, and am now working to get back down to it, because it is a comfortable weight for me.

amalthea1892 10-01-2012 10:44 PM

Whoo hoo, you reached your goal! Congratulations! But your predicament does sound familiar... I reached my goal a few months ago but still have that baby (or post-baby) fat around my middle which is really annoying. I thought I could wear a dress by now and not need to suck in my tummy to make it look good… but no. I have also thought about lowering my goal another 5lbs, but my body seems to settle in the same happy place, between 123-125lbs, and I don’t want to mess with a good thing (been at goal too many times and bounced back up again). I hope to try more core exercises, and I like the idea of heavier weights (thanks Ron!). Though I have an old upper back injury that tells me way too often to back off the weights… I do like planks, not sure what burpees are, I’ll Google it… I am hoping if I can actually kick-in the exercise like I should that I may naturally get down a few more lbs without changing the diet I am now really happy with. Good luck with trying out pilates! A shake-up in your routine may be all it takes!

rpmcduff 10-02-2012 05:56 AM

Your welcome Liberatedmist and Almathea!
The problem is that when you diet your body will burn not just your fat stores but up to 75% of your weight loss can actually come from your body catabolizing muscle. So when you diet down to your previous weight where you were happy with your body you don't have the same body. So you need to build those muscles to get back to where you started. You also need to rebuild that muscle so your metabolism burns more calories. Since muscles are the furnace of your metabolism the more muscle you have the more calories you body will burn.

You are not going to bulk up with muscle just by lifting heavy. You're women and you don't have the testosterone needed to build those male bodybuilder muscles. You would need to lift for years and have a massive intake of supplements (like anabolic steroids) to achieve bulk. Instead you will see what most people refer to as toned muscle that starts to show through (and maybe even some abs if your bodyfat is low enough).

Oh, and lunges are another great core movement you can do with just body weight or even dumbbells.

ahappieru 10-02-2012 02:10 PM

Thanks Ron,

Over the years with dieting I had lost a lot of muscle. Didn't know it was happening but now that I am older I realize how important it is to stay strong. I have read some about adding protein but not sure how much I need. I walk 2-4 miles on most days (15 min miles), take two classes a week (core strengthing and one the uses weights) and work out some at home. I eat around 60-65 gram of protein daily is this enough to build muscle?? Thanks :)

liberatedmist 10-02-2012 02:22 PM

Thanks for the info Ron.
I definitely need to build some muscle back that I lost through weight loss. That is going to be my focus for the next few months. I had my %body fat tested at the gym with calipers and she came up with 16.5% but I think she was highly inaccurate. My scale at home says 26% and I think that is closer to the truth. I'd like to get the number on my scale down to 20%....and more than just a number, I am going for a more toned and healthier look/feel to my body.

As for the amount of protein Renee, there is a range out there that is based on your weight as to how much protein you should eat. I have found it to be higher than what Fitday recommends to reach 100% on the chart. Sorry I don't know it off hand (I think it is 1 gram per kg of body weight??) One thing I can recommend is the timing of your protein intake. I like to eat the bulk of my protein after I work out and before I go to bed. This seems to work for me, especially since I do small meals. Before I work out it is mainly fruit and carbs (although I don't eat a lot of carbs). After I workout is when my muscles are calling for protein and before I go to bed helps with muscle recovery for me. Hope that helps!

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