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Needing some advice18362

Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Here's the situation...

Height: 188 cm [6'1"]
Age: 30
Weight on June 6th: 113 kg (249 lbs)
Weight on September 19th: 94.5 kg (208 lbs)
Total weight loss so far: 18.5 kg (40.7 lbs)

I was totally out of shape, very overweight, weighing 113 kg, with an absolutely huge, disgusting stomach, and piles of fat all around my waist and around my thighs as well. On June 6th I began cutting, and I'm continuing to cut. As of yesterday I'm at 94.5 kg, so over the course of three and a half months I dropped a total of 18.5 kg, which I'm quite satisfied with. When I look in the mirror, I really love the progress.

Unfortunately, I don't have any shirtless "before" photos, although I could probably find a couple where I'm wearing clothes. However, the photos I attached are how I look now. The lighting is pretty crappy, but hey, it is what it is. I'm only flexing my right arm in one photo (04.jpg). The other photos are relaxed.

My questions are as follows:

1.) Can someone please estimate my current BF%? I really hope that I'm at least slightly under 20%, but I'm not sure if that's the case.

2.) Based on that BF% and my height and current weight, how many kg/lbs would I approximately need to drop for my abs to start showing?

3.) After I finish cutting, my goal is to do clean bulking. Now based on my photos, my stats, and the fact that I have a small frame (thumb and middle finger overlap at wrist), what final weight should I aim for, before starting to bulk?


Any insight is much appreciated.

Also, if anyone is interested in details on how I dropped all the weight, I'd be happy to answer any questions. In short, a caloric deficit combined with resistance training and minimal HIIT cardio.

Thanks everyone!

Photos:














Post 1 • IP   flag post
Liftamusprime private msg quote post Address this user
I'd say you're around 25%-30% body fat. But you really have to realise that these things don't happen over night and they take time! You've lost a ton of weight already and that's great going.

As for your other questions no one is going to be able to give you a proper answer as everyone is different. You just need to monitor your progress in the mirror/ measurements/ scales etc until you can see a noticeable change. Keep posting progress pictures on here and everyone will keep you right.

What does your nutrition look like? How much weight per week are you losing? Also what does your training routine look like? Correcting these problems will also set you up for success in the future.
Post 2 • IP   flag post
Tucane private msg quote post Address this user
Great work!

BF is in the realm of 25-30%, so based on that you'll need to drop to below 80kg approx to start seeing your abs. Don't forget to train your core, as core development is a determining factor in how early abs are visible.

How big is your caloric deficit?
Post 3 • IP   flag post
FiremanSi private msg quote post Address this user


Just to give you an idea mate.
I'd say floating around low 30's.
Something I'll say is don't define itself based on BF% who gives a fuck. It's how u feel. Ye ur not ripped but ur benefit is I've so much room for progress every week u'all look ur best ever.
Finally u may not have abs...
If u haven't built any then when u get leaner they may not show.
If u build big abs then they will show at slightly higher body fats.

I'd say I have plenty of time to re-comp and ur nowhere near ur max muscle development.
Post 4 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Thank you all very much for your input. You know, when looking at various body fat charts online, I saw myself being in the 20 - 25% range, definitely not higher than 25%, so to be honest reading that I may be in the lower 30s is somewhat of a disappointment.

My small frame could indeed be fooling me into thinking that I have a lower body fat. The second possibility is that the photos aren't that good, due to the bad lighting.

Either way, I definitely have more weight to lose. Now to answer some questions in this thread:

- How big is your caloric deficit?

Currently I'm aiming for -1000 a day, but realistically I think I'm managing around -700 or -800 a day.

- How much weight per week are you losing?

I didn't track my weight loss from the beginning, but right now it would appear I'm losing around 1 kg per week, which is also my goal.

- Also what does your training routine look like?

It's very "primitive" so to say, but it definitely works. Basically it's like this:

Monday / Wednesday / Friday: Bench press and other barbell exercises.

Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday: 3 x 10 minutes HIIT cardio, which starting from this week will be 3 x 15 minutes.

Sunday: Resting

- What does your nutrition look like?

I've only kept track of calories, not the macros. I just make sure that I "approximately" get enough of everything. As far as supplements go, I only use Whey, and only on Mon / Wed / Fri, right after the weight training, one scoop of 30g.
Post 5 • IP   flag post
Liftamusprime private msg quote post Address this user
You really should check out the FAQ and design routine thread at the top of the page. When you get your nutrition and routine in check, you're setting yourself up for success.

I wish I knew half the information provided in those threads when I was starting out! I would have made better progress for sure.

You should start tracking macros and make adjustments until you are losing a respectable amount of weight per week. Losing weight too fast isn't a good thing either.

Also put a full outline of your routine and everyone here will give you adjustments to make.
Post 6 • IP   flag post
EagleRare10 private msg quote post Address this user
Congrats on the weight loss so far. For your questions, the above posters generally gave you good advice. I agree with @Liftamusprime that you should provide some more detail on your training. While the weightloss will mostly be driven by the nutrition, I would think (based on your pictures and information provided) that you could still make good progress in your training, even while losing weight; doing so can only benefit you. Are your lifts progressing? Are you training legs?
Post 7 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks. I'm training legs but not so much, as my focus has really been the upper body. That said, my strength, although somewhat embarrassing, has increased significantly throughout the entire cutting process.

For example, my max bench press at 113 kg was only 55 kg, and now I'm managing 72 kg, even though I have lost so much weight. So I think that is a good thing.

I would also love to be able to increase that bench press to 75 kg, but it'll probably be impossible with such low calories.

It took quite a while for me to get to 72 kg, actually.
Post 8 • IP   flag post
FiremanSi private msg quote post Address this user
@Dorich Dont prioritize upper body its a real bad idea. And deadlifts and squats burn more calories and have an overall higher thermogenic effect.
Squats works upperback, lats and abs.. deadlifts works everything apart from triceps really.
These should be ur PRIMARY movements, throw in bench also but u should be squatting 2-3times a week, deadlifts twice and u can bench 2-3times also.. throw in a bunch or back work and some single leg work and they should fill most of ur program.
Post 9 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks. In the coming days I'll post exactly what I'm doing so I can get some specific feedback on it.

BTW, my bench has now increased from 72 kg to 74 kg, which I think is a good sign. I will also weigh myself on Monday to see my progress.
Post 10 • IP   flag post
thenotoriousgainz private msg quote post Address this user
I was once overweight too. 80kg to 65kg. Looking at those numbers most people think they're alright but hey I'm 5'7. What I did was a lot of compound movements. I did not really train legs with the focus of defining then much but I squatted twice a week just for the sole purpose of burning more calories. This was how my split used to look like.
Squat and Shoulders
Bench and Triceps
Deadlifts, Squats and Biceps
Back and Arms
Also, don't restrict yourself too much. Yes, you have to be on a caloric deficit but what I'd recommend is to be on a deficit of max 500 calories. Be on a low carb diet and keep your protein high and fat moderate. This way you'll lose fat, gain strength and gain muscle. Eat 1g of protein/lb of bodyweight too. Hope this helped.
Post 11 • IP   flag post
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
Low carb is nonsense and has been shown time after time after time to offer no benefit over moderate carbs when calories are the same. -3X
Post 12 • IP   flag post
Hamb0 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenotoriousgainz
I was once overweight too. 80kg to 65kg. Looking at those numbers most people think they're alright but hey I'm 5'7. What I did was a lot of compound movements. I did not really train legs with the focus of defining then much but I squatted twice a week just for the sole purpose of burning more calories. This was how my split used to look like.
Squat and Shoulders
Bench and Triceps
Deadlifts, Squats and Biceps
Back and Arms
Also, don't restrict yourself too much. Yes, you have to be on a caloric deficit but what I'd recommend is to be on a deficit of max 500 calories. Be on a low carb diet and keep your protein high and fat moderate. This way you'll lose fat, gain strength and gain muscle. Eat 1g of protein/lb of bodyweight too. Hope this helped.


Holy shit

- Doesnt train legs except for some squatting for the calorie burn

- Trains back once a week, arms 3 times

- Advocates low carb to lose fat and gain strength/muscle

- 5'7, 65 kg considering chicken shakes inspired by 400lb Powerlifters diet


Not bad
Post 13 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Weighed myself today (Monday), dropped another 1 kg, now weighing 93.5 kg. It's going according to plan.
Post 14 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
I'm hoping to get some additional advice about my situation / progress.

Today I weighed 92.4 kg. Strength levels have not dropped.

However, it would appear that my weight loss has slowed down. My goal was to be around 91.8 kg this coming Monday, but based on my weight today, I don't think it's going to happen. I'll be lucky if I drop down to 92.0 kg on Monday.

Now I'm quite aware that weight loss becomes trickier if not very difficult the longer you are on a deficit, so I'm trying to figure out some ways to combat this. The good thing is, I haven't reached that "plateau" very many people seem to experience, but I fear it may be coming soon if I don't try to do anything about it.

Some details:

- My current daily calorie intake ranges from 1200 - 1600 kcal. If I had to pick an average I'd say it's around 1400 kcal.

- Regarding macros, honestly I haven't been keeping track of them except for a high protein intake. Although recently I started making sure that I get plenty of fiber as it helps me with my bowel movements.

- About body fat, I recently bought calipers and am trying to get used to them. Depending on how I use them, I can get anything ranging from 26% to 29% body fat. I think around 28% is a good estimate.

- As far as activity goes, I do bench press three times a week, plus some barbell isolation movements on those same days, and also three times a week 15-min HIIT sessions on different days.

- I can control my appetite pretty well, and have plenty of energy.

That being said, in the past I managed to lose around 1 kg per week pretty easily, but now it appears to have slowed down.

The question is, should I...

a) Have a high carb cheat day every Monday where I eat tons of carbs and aim around maintenance for that day? This can supposedly drive up Leptin levels which boosts metabolism and aids in fat loss.

b) Have an entire "refeed" week where I gradually increase calories to around maintenance? If so, how fast should I arrive at maintenance level and how long should I remain there before continuing with the cut?

c) None of the above, but merely increase activity level by doing more intense cardio, more intense resistence training, or both.

d) Drop calories further, AND increase activity level.

e) Not change anything yet. Do everything exactly as I'm doing and wait another week to see progress, and then decide.

f) Something entirely different.


I hope someone can help me out.

For what it's worth, I actually made a silly mistake in my first post regarding my height and weight. Long story short: I am actually 184 cm, and I weighed 114 kg prior to cutting. Not a huge difference, but I just wanted to point that out.

It's also worth noting that I always weigh myself in the morning right after using the bathroom, only in my underwear.

As always, any advice is much appreciated.
Post 15 • IP   flag post
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
Read the FAQ. You appear to be under eating drastically. -3X
Post 16 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by eknight
Read the FAQ. You appear to be under eating drastically. -3X

Thanks for your reply. I've read the FAQ and I'm aware it recommends only 1 lb per week in terms of weight loss (-500 kcal deficit).

However, as far as I know, going to up to 1 kg (2.2 lbs) per week is still considered safe by the majority, especially if you have a very high body fat percentage like I do, and if you make sure you lift heavy and consume lots of protein.

I find it hard to believe that my weight loss has slowed down after four months because I'm "not eating enough". Although, I'm far from an expert obviously, which is why I'm asking for advice.

And when I say weight loss has slowed down, it's not really that drastic, but it bothers me nonetheless.

If you can give me any specific information regarding my situation, I would be very grateful. My question would be: Even if you're quite certain that I need to eat more calories on my cut, would you still recommend something similar to (a), (b), or (c) above?

Many thanks!
Post 17 • IP   flag post
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
I would seriously not do any of the above.

I would reverse diet to maintenance and increase activity level as the means of losing fat.

See this?



Thomas Jones, NFL running back. 5'10", 215 lbs. During football season, would eat between 6000-7000 kcals a day, with a 50-55/15-20/30 c/p/f split. And he looked like the above all year. Do more work and eat more fuel. -3X
Post 18 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by eknight
I would seriously not do any of the above.

I would reverse diet to maintenance and increase activity level as the means of losing fat.

Hi. Thanks again for your reply. But isn't that actually what I wrote under (b), although I mistakenly referred to it as "refeed" instead of "reverse"?

Interesting example with the NFL player, although I just have no idea to verify how much he ate or what he did. Unfortunately I just have to take his word for it. Secondly, he was pretty lean when he did whatever he said he did. I, on the other hand, am still pretty fat.

The thing is, it's been going great so far, and my only problem is that it looks like I'll only be losing around 0.5 - 0.7 kg per week instead of the 1.0 - 1.2 kg like I used to. So I'm just trying to find a way to fix that, because I don't know how eating at maintenance would help me at such a high body fat percentage.

Please keep this in mind: With my current height (184 cm) and weight (92.4 kg) I'd need to get down to at least 85 kg so I'm not in the overweight category. If you have any specific advice on what to change, please, I very much appreciate it.

I simply fail to understand how eating at maintenance at my current stats will do me any good in terms of fat loss progress.
Post 19 • IP   flag post
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
There is a ceiling as to how much body fat you can oxidize over a 24 hour period. Just because you're dropping weight, doesn't mean it's all fat. Losing too much too quickly usually means compromising lean body mass. When the scale stops moving as fast, it's because your body is drastically trying not to burn any more muscle. What often happens is people cut their kcals further, thinking they can lose more fat. It just doesn't work that way. You are FAR better off giving yourself more nutrition and increasing your workload. If you wish to perform your option B, I would add 50-100 kcals per week until you are at maintenance and revisit your training and conditioning work.

Long story short, you can't just keep losing only fat by dropping kcals. Once you've reached that fat oxidation ceiling, further under eating doesn't result in more fat loss. -3X
Post 20 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by eknight
There is a ceiling as to how much body fat you can oxidize over a 24 hour period. Just because you're dropping weight, doesn't mean it's all fat. Losing too much too quickly usually means compromising lean body mass. When the scale stops moving as fast, it's because your body is drastically trying not to burn any more muscle. What often happens is people cut their kcals further, thinking they can lose more fat. It just doesn't work that way. You are FAR better off giving yourself more nutrition and increasing your workload. If you wish to perform your option B, I would add 50-100 kcals per week until you are at maintenance and revisit your training and conditioning work.

Long story short, you can't just keep losing only fat by dropping kcals. Once you've reached that fat oxidation ceiling, further under eating doesn't result in more fat loss. -3X

Fair enough, I understand such a theory, but I can also tell you from my experience that my bench press, although pretty low, has significantly increased throughout the entire cutting process. I went from 55 kg to 74 kg, and I was barely managing 55 kg, really struggling with it in fact.

What I'm getting at is, looking at my progress in the mirror as well as analyzing my strength, it does not appear that I lost any significant lean body mass. My huge fat deposits all over my body, especially belly, sides, and legs, have all been decreasing. Strength in all lifts has been increasing, and while I am aware that strength gains does not equal muscle gains, I'm quite certain that I managed to maintain most of my muscle mass, probably due to regular heavy lifting and high protein intake.

Please don't misunderstand me, as I'm not doubting your expertise or saying you're wrong. I'm just trying to say that things have been going ideally for me all this time, and I'm unable to understand how going back to maintenance would help me with 28% body fat. I mean, I can understand slowly increasing calories in order to decrease the deficit, but why would maintenance be recommended for my current stats and fat loss goals?

Sorry if I'm being a nuisance.

The following is also an interesting read, I think:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Fitness/comments/43llv4/mcmaster_university_study_40_calorie_deficit_over/
Post 21 • IP   flag post
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
You're not being a nuisance, but I am having to repeat myself, which I don't really want to do all night. I'll try to summarize:

* what you're doing is no longer working, which is why-despite having more body fat to lose- you're no longer dropping it at your previous rate.
* the reason is because your kcal deficit was too aggressive. Your body doesn't give two shits about how you look. It requires nutrition to sustain organ and system function.
* eating at maintenance allows you the actual nutrition to be healthy, and gives you the option to create a calorie debt via better (or more) conditioning work.

Interesting article you linked, but since their subjects only dieted for 4 weeks and you've been at it since June, it is not applicable to your situation. -3X
Post 22 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by eknight
You're not being a nuisance, but I am having to repeat myself, which I don't really want to do all night. I'll try to summarize:

* what you're doing is no longer working, which is why-despite having more body fat to lose- you're no longer dropping it at your previous rate.
* the reason is because your kcal deficit was too aggressive. Your body doesn't give two shits about how you look. It requires nutrition to sustain organ and system function.
* eating at maintenance allows you the actual nutrition to be healthy, and gives you the option to create a calorie debt via better (or more) conditioning work. -3X

Ok, so, gradually returning to maintenance and remaining around maintenance while at the same time increasing activity seems to be what you're suggesting.

The way I see it, or better said "what I fear", is that there's a risk of significant weight gain here, because aiming toward maintenance can easily result in being in a surplus for a certain time and not even knowing it. But okay. I respect your opinion regardless.

Personally, I thought that gradually returning to a much smaller deficit would be the way to go, and then attempt a higher deficit later on. Something else I thought about was gradually returning to maintenance throughout a week, remaining there for a few days, and then going into a moderate deficit afterwards.

Either way, I appreciate your advice and would also love to hear what other members have to say.
Post 23 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
FWIW, 92.2 kg was today's morning weight, which isn't too bad.

If I see 92.1 kg tomorrow I'll be very happy.

I intend on continuing with the same diet for one more week, only monitoring calories much more closely, and see what happens. If progress turns out to be extremely slow after this coming week, then of course I'll have to change something, probably similar to what "eknight" has suggested.
Post 24 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
91.8 kg today!

And I didn't go for "number two" in the morning.

This was actually my weight loss goal for this day, so I'm very happy.

Perhaps calculating my calories much more accurately helps indeed.

I will not weigh myself until next Monday, and based on the result, I'll decide how to proceed further.

Thanks to all for your input.
Post 25 • IP   flag post
Jsn3004 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorich
Perhaps calculating my calories much more accurately helps indeed.


Yeah that usually does the trick lol
Post 26 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Bench also increased to 75 kg, which I'm very satisfied with, considering the duration of my dieting as well as weight loss progress.
Post 27 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Here's an update:

I woke up, went both number 1 and number 2 in the bathroom, and then stepped on the scale in my underwear.

Weight: 89.4 kg (!)

Needless to say, I was shocked (in a good way).

Last Monday was 91.8 kg which is a difference of... 2.4 kg?! I honestly didn't believe what I saw.

I'm sure there's also water weight in those 2.4 kg, and my "number two" in the bathroom somewhat contributed to it as well, seeing that I didn't go number two at my last weighing, but... I definitely dropped a noticable amount of fat during the week.

Relevant points:

- Throughout the week, my pants which were recently quite tight (new holes needed to be punched in belt) kept getting looser, and today it was almost impossible to walk in them. I literally had to keep pulling them up.

- Jackson-Pollock three-site caliper method shows around 23% body fat percentage. Last time I checked it was at least 26%.

- I clearly see the progress in the mirror. Less fat on my chest, less fat on my arms, less fat on my legs. Most fat is still around the stomach, which is expected.

- I trained heavily today and my strength hasn't decreased at all. My energy levels haven't dropped either.


What I did "different" last week:

(a) I carefully calculated everything I put in my mouth, including the amount of oil I cooked in, and amount of oil that I might've eaten.

(b) I tried not to go above 1400 kcal on any day, but on two days I did get slightly above that.

(c) During weight training I added a few more bench press sets than usual, and on my other "random barbell exercises" I increased the weight.

(d) I started doing some pushups. Some months ago I could barely do 4 proper pushups. Today I can do 17 with great form.

(e) I increased the intensity of my HIIT sessions. I still 15-minute sessions 3 times a week, but last week I doubled the intensity during those 15 minutes.


I think that (a), (b), and (e) greatly helped, and (c), (d) were irrelevant in terms of fat loss. But I may be wrong. Maybe (e) was also irrelevant, but I don't know, as I have a feeling that it really does help.

That said, taking into consideration how good I feel, how satisfied I am with progress in the mirror as well as my strength and energy levels etc., I assume that I am on the right path, and that these are all good signs. In any case, I plan on posting progress photos in a couple of weeks. I'm also thinking about doing 1500 kcal daily this week, as I think it is sufficient, considering my progress thus far.

What I'm confused about at this point is what my goal for next Monday should be. My goal for today was around 91.0 kg, but instead I got 89.4.

My goal is to lose 0.8 - 1.0 kg per week, but today's 89.4 kg kinda screwed up my plans, lol! I'm just not sure what to "shoot for" next Monday.

I guess around 88.8 - 89.0 would be a realistic goal?

Thank you all for your comments and advice so far, and I always appreciate more input.
Post 28 • IP   flag post
Tucane private msg quote post Address this user
Congrats! Seems as you are doing it right! You mangaged to work harder and eat less, creating a bigger deficit.

It would propably be wise to add some calories, if it makes you work even harder. I assume you're already on a high protein diet, 30-40% deficit?

From my own experience; going from 18%BF weighing 96kg in march, to 8%BF and 90kg in september, still cutting as of now.

I wish i had thought in the terms of metabolism up, calories up, hormones up, earlier. I would have both felt and performed better!

I ate 2400cal, 50% protein, for the first 5 months. Did a fullbody-workout once a day / everyday in the beginning, ended up at doing 2 of them a day in the end. Didn't add calories, refused to rest.

Felt like a total train wreck at the end of that diet, hormones were fucked - results were amazing though, i realized that i had to up everything and lower my workload. So I did gradually.

Today i'm still eating high protein at 3600kcal/day (intermittent fasting), adding refeeds when i have to, lifting about 30 minutes/day, while still losing small amounts of fat trying to go for that ≈5% BF.

Sorry about the big post! Take care!
Post 29 • IP   flag post
Dorich private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tucane
Congrats! Seems as you are doing it right! You mangaged to work harder and eat less, creating a bigger deficit.

It would propably be wise to add some calories, if it makes you work even harder. I assume you're already on a high protein diet, 30-40% deficit?

From my own experience; going from 18%BF weighing 96kg in march, to 8%BF and 90kg in september, still cutting as of now.

I wish i had thought in the terms of metabolism up, calories up, hormones up, earlier. I would have both felt and performed better!

I ate 2400cal, 50% protein, for the first 5 months. Did a fullbody-workout once a day / everyday in the beginning, ended up at doing 2 of them a day in the end. Didn't add calories, refused to rest.

Felt like a total train wreck at the end of that diet, hormones were fucked - results were amazing though, i realized that i had to up everything and lower my workload. So I did gradually.

Today i'm still eating high protein at 3600kcal/day (intermittent fasting), adding refeeds when i have to, lifting about 30 minutes/day, while still losing small amounts of fat trying to go for that ≈5% BF.

Sorry about the big post! Take care!

Thanks very much, and no, I enjoy big posts as long as they are insightful. Yours was!
Post 30 • IP   flag post
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