Dropping Body Fat

  • theatre_geek

    Posts: 35

    Jan 02, 2013 12:16 AM GMT
    Could use some advice guys. I really want to lower my body fat percentage. I'm not in any rush, as I want to finally drop the weight for good rather than yo-yoing. I've been doing a lot of reading, but keep getting conflicting answers in terms of cardio vs. strength training. I've heard no cardio and heavy weights, light cardio and heavy weights, heavy cardio and moderate weights, all cardio and no weights, and many other variations. I'm currently 180lbs with 25% body fat and have set my first goal to be under 20% body fat by May 1st. That's only 1% body fat a month, so I think this is perfectly do-able with my hectic grad school and work schedule.

    Anyone have any tips or thoughts on the cardio vs weights debate?

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    Jan 02, 2013 12:23 AM GMT
    Well the most important thing is that it's 60% diet. But apart from that, weight training does burn a lot of calories. I lost maybe up to 10% body fat in the last year doing 5 weights sessions a week and 3x30 minutes a week on the treadmill (I say maybe because I don't really trust the readings on those machines).
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    Jan 02, 2013 1:40 AM GMT
    I drop body fat every time I fall.
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    Jan 02, 2013 1:43 AM GMT
    There's no reason for there to be a "cardio" vs. "weights" debate. Do both and train both appropriately for your goals.

    I lift heavy because I want to get stronger. I also do High Intensity Interval Training to cut. Both are goals and they're not mutually exclusive.

    I will say that if you lose weight without putting on some muscle you will probably be unimpressed with the results.
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    Jan 02, 2013 2:45 AM GMT
    Diet is the single most important component of any weight loss program. I think the answers you get will depend on who you ask. I've actually lost 90 lbs, and for me it was a combination of cardio and weights. If your goal is fat loss and you have some experience in the gym Realjock's strong and lean workout program is actually really good. You can also look into Crossfit, though that's expensive. Sometimes Beach Body coaches (P-90x, Insanity, etc.) will host workout sessions to get people on board. The ones that meet in my area have their gatherings listed on meetup.com.
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    Jan 02, 2013 6:18 AM GMT
    To sum it up - to lose body fat and keep it off: (most important to least IMO)
    - Less calories in than what you burn out. Work out your basal metabolic rate and minus 500 calories from that as your daily target.
    - A good diet. 3 Main meals and snacks to boost metabolism. Your main meals should not be too high in carbs and especially not simple carbs as that will trigger an insulin response which will lead to fat storage. Vegies or salad at both lunch and dinner. Lean protein, high fibre complex carb options (around 1/2 to 1 cup). Good fats from nuts, fish and avocado. Saturated fat should be minimal.
    - Avoid refined sugar sources. Stay away from artificial as well as they can promote cravings.
    - A good exercise program. I would focus on compound movements (squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder presses, leg presses etc) working multiple body parts at least 3 times a week. Alternate days should be cardio, HIIT is better when on an energy restricted diet.
    - Good stress management and sleep. Lack of either can lead to cortisol production which promotes fat storage.
    - Good fluid intake.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Jan 02, 2013 6:20 AM GMT
    i have a great way you can lose body fat. shoot me a email and i will tell you how you can do it
  • MidwesternKid

    Posts: 1167

    Jan 02, 2013 6:39 AM GMT
    I preach cardio now after it changed my life and helped me drop a surprising 40lbs. I wouldn't have gotten there if I hadn't changed my eating habits. Master your diet and create a healthy fitness routine and everything should fall into place. Just don't let up, keep pushing towards the you that you want to become.
  • Kalbi

    Posts: 17

    Mar 17, 2013 4:52 PM GMT
    I originally started at 285 lbs, and I managed to drop to 200 through dieting and no exercise (over the course of 6 years, changing habits slowly). I was also afraid of yoyo-ing back to being huge, so I slowly started adding weight lifting to my daily activities.

    Weight lifting alone for a year helped my drop from 25% body fat down to 16% body fat. I never did any cardio, nor was I really being strict on my diet either. It wasn't until August of last year when I started adding cardio to my workouts. This really assisted is dropping my body fat percentage.

    I also lift heavier (gained lbs of muscle from that) and lost more body fat. I know people say you can't gain muscle while lose fat, but I think it's possible if you're in the early stages of body recomposition. In 3 months, I was able to gain 1 lb of muscle and lost 4 lbs of fat.

    I try not to look at it as "weight vs cardio" but more as what exercise routine makes me happy since it reduces stress and gives me pure joy. I love weight lifting 3x a week and doing HIIT on my rest days. I also substitute or include Vinyasa Yoga/Dancing on my cardio days.

    The important factor here is diet. If you want to lose fat, just ensure you're eating less calories then you burn. If you want to gain muscle, just make sure you compensate for the number of calories you're burning.

    Good luck and I think it's highly possible to reach your goal by May 1st icon_smile.gif