Is it enough?


  • Oct 18, 2015 5:00 AM GMT
    Goals-

    My primary goal is to lose weight and tone up, but NOT to bulk up. I have no interest in bigger muscles except natural looking ones that come with a fit body.

    Quick history-

    Basically, I've roller coaster-ed from 333 down to 201 for various reasons over the last 5 years but the general trend is downward and I've finally got it set and figured out. Over the years the 215-225 range is my death spot. I get there and can even maintain it for months, but breaking through it NEVER happens. No matter how hard I work out and no matter how well I eat. I am 6'3" and not that muscly. My goal weight based on BF% and BMI is 175 lbs. Currently I am 225 lbs.

    What I'm doing now-

    I do a program called MyZone at my gym on MWF. It usually results in 450-800 calories burned first thing in the morning and includes some weight training. I also go in every other day (Su, T, TH) and do cardio in the form of rowing, treadmill, elliptical, swimming, and/or stationary bike. I also usually throw in a set or two of weights on these "off" days. These calorie burns usually come back from my HR monitor as 400-550 per day. Then I make Sat my rest/recovery day.

    As far as food goes, I eat a Clif bar immediately after workouts but otherwise keep it to mostly healthy food under the calories for whatever MyFitnessPal lets me eat. It's goal is set to losing 4 lbs per week. I set it this high because the last 50 lbs is really hard to lose for me. BUT I eat a decent bit of unhealthy foods on Saturdays and have too many calories, poor nutrition, etc etc on this day. Not terrible, but poor for sure. Usually on Saturdays only, MyFitnessPal tells me that "if every day were like today, after 5 weeks you would lose 0 pounds" or similar. So I'm only maintaining on my cheat/recovery day.

    Recommendations-

    Is the Sat thing a bad idea? Is a rest day a bad idea for someone not looking to bulk up? Is this enough and should I just be patient that it will come off? Should I change it up at all to optimize more for my goals? Should I be doing more/less? Anyone, thoughts? Mostly I am just completely terrified that I will repeat history for a 3rd time and as soon as I get to 220 lbs it will stop moving for weeks/months. Is this all not hard enough for the last 50 lbs home stretch out of over 150?

    -Tim
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    Oct 19, 2015 4:22 PM GMT
    Join fitness class local
    They have meal plan and workout plan
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    Oct 20, 2015 3:15 AM GMT
    Toning is simply a combination of muscle mass and being lean (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/goulet5.htm). If you're on a caloric deficit, lifting weights is NOT going to make you a huge muscle head, but it will add some muscle which will help to burn more fat. If you want the look of a fit body then don't fear lifting. In your case it's more of a recomp situation. And it sounds like you need all the help you can get. You can always stop lifting later and let the muscle turn back to flab if you really don't like the way it looks :p

    I don't know anything about MyZone. It's ok to do some cardio most days and good that you take rest days too. I like that you do different types of cardio. It should be less boring than doing the same thing always.

    Most protein bars have significant amounts of sugar or other things you don't really want but if you can't get to real food then I guess. How many calories are you aiming for per day? The MFP estimates are just that and could be wildly wrong. You might want to link to your food diary so we can see exactly what you're consuming. Cut the shit on Saturday if you're really struggling and you want it bad. You don't need it :p

  • Oct 21, 2015 2:16 AM GMT
    Thank so much for your reply. Yeah, MFP can be off sometimes, which is why I try to leave 100 calories or so at the end of each day. Plus, I barcode scan almost everything so that it is as exact as possible.

    MyZone is cardio, weights, resistance, plyometrics, etc etc. It is a mix up that changes every month. Thanks for the link to that article, it was great.

    I've now changed to only having the Clif bar and water when I burn 1000 or more calories, which has happened twice in the last week. You can view my food diary here if you like. I've just started with it so there are still some whoopsies in it, haha. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/unwrittenrainbow

    I've decided to eat normally on Saturdays and spread some healthier "treats" throughout the week. This seems to have less of an impact on my calorie overall.

    PS- Your profile's about me section is eerily similar to my life and I also would like to apologize to the world salmon population, haha.
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    Oct 25, 2015 2:48 AM GMT
    Alright, this is a lot and I've been working on it over the past day, but I wanted to put it out before I forgot... HOLD ON TO YER BRITCHES!


    I glanced at your diary over the past week. A few things stood out:

    - Potentially massive amounts of sodium... 3000-7000mg every day? I'm not sure all of those entries are correct because it said 4 oz. of salami was 3,800 (is that possible??). You may want to double-check this and limit yourself to the recommended ~2,300/day max, lower if you have blood pressure issues. I don't watch my salt but I fear you may be at an extrordinary level. I think that causes water retention and other problems.

    - You do a tremendous amount of snacking that is not on the alleged Saturday cheat day. There are frequent entries for things like:

    - 150-500(!) calories of chocolate-covered pretzels (sometimes with caramel mmmm)
    - Wendy's Frostys
    - 500+ calories of "garden veggie straws," which is some kind of bagged snack, the ingredients of which include salt, sugar, and corn starch (a highly processed carbohydrate which packs about 30 calories or 7 grams of carbohydrate per tablespoon and contains no protein, fat, vitamins, minerals or fiber) among other things.
    - Ice cream
    - 25 club crackers
    - etc.
    - EDIT: I see almost a pint of frozen yogurt today. It's Saturday, but I just want to point out that it's still 53 grams of sugar and 82 carbs. It may be lighter than ice cream but it's still not light in that quantity.

    If you are snacking like this every day, I think it explains a lot about your stall!

    - Consumption of large quantities of a specific food in a day... 8 ounces of blue cheese, 8-16 tablespoons of guacamole or hummus (holy shit!). Those foods are generally dips, because you don't eat a massive quantity at once.

    - You seem to be getting your protein from beef/salami/bologna/hotdogs way more than lean meats like chicken/turkey. Those are high in saturated fats (ie. not the good ones): http://www.livestrong.com/article/377229-is-salami-healthy/. If you crave fats, I'd go for more for salmon or add them via other ways (reasonable amounts of nuts/almond butter/avocados).

    - You're hitting 200-300 grams of carbs on most days. You may need to cut that lower to see loss if you're at a consistent caloric deficit (not sure you are: see below) and cleaning up that other stuff isn't enough. Since I started this with paleo posturing, I'm usually between 100-150. The general advice I've seen is that you can have a bit more on days when you need it (workout days) and lower it on more sedentary days when you don't. There's endless debate about how many carbs to eat on the Internet, and not one thing works for everyone. You may not want to or be able to do the lower carb type diets, I don't know..

    - It looks like your calorie goal is 1640 if you don't exercise? That's even lower than mine and you're a bigger dude. Did you use one of the online calculators or did MFP come up with that? You might need to double check that. I just don't want to see you going for unreasonable goals and failing. I don't really try to eat back my exercise calories though sometimes I will let it happen. Some people say you can/should but since I'm always trying to lose I err on the side of less if I'm not constantly hungry, and the way I try to eat (more frequent, smaller meals) I'm not. Still, I see some days where you go over by a few hundred calories even after eating back the exercise calories, which would not be a caloric deficit at all and will not result in weight loss (providing your goal is near accurate to what you burn).

    Other than the carb number, your macro ratios may not be that bad but it's the type of food which makes them up that's sticking out to me.

    Bottom line: I don't think Saturday was your problem at all. I think it's the daily sabotage. You need to go back to the basics of how and what to eat (general advice: "If it grows, or eats stuff that grows, eat it. If it comes in a box or a bag, don't."). To me, it looks like you're off the rails and a heavy, heavy snacker. You may have some challenges that I don't. I have a lot of free time. If I was working full time, I'd have to do more pre-planning and lunch-boxing.

    I'm not a perfectly clean eater, but if you want to see what I've been up to, I've been logging again for the past week:

    My worst vice is probably lots of coffee which I use half-n-half in but I'm pretty good about consistency with the caloric intake when I'm -on- so I still lose weight then. I've dropped 10-15 in the past few months and I'm closing in on something special (I think :p).

    Sorry if any of this was brutal. It's ultimately just my 2 cents and perceptions and I may be wrong in some cases. Anyone feel free to disregard or refute parts or all of it! icon_smile.gif

  • Oct 28, 2015 4:06 AM GMT
    Yeah, so I basically don't eat "meals" per say. I just eat 5-6 times a day and keep it under my total calories each day. So I might do Veggie straws with hummus, salso, or guac as lunch. I also have a tendency to add things once even though I eat them in multiple sittings. For instance, I might do hummus for lunch and dinner but just add it once for the day.

    Also, I just got back from Peace Corps and am so in love with being able to eat things other than root crops and rice that I think I've been a little too excited, haha. Being unemployed until Jan doesn't help either. I sit around all day snacking instead of eating meals. Like today, I remained under calories but that included eating 1140 calories in Banana + Chocolate Chips mashed in a bowl. Or the Froyo on Saturday...that was non-fat from Costco and I was within calories, but it was still too much. I should have eaten half of it.

    As for overall calorie total, I do sometimes go over what MFP says, but I have it set to losing 2 lbs per week, thus unless I go over by 1000 calories or more per day, I should still be losing weight. +500 calories each day should equal losing 1 pound, +1000 should be maintaining weight, +1500 should be gaining 1 pound, etc.

    Regardless, I think that's a great point about the macros. I looked at my macros and even though my calories are fine (or at least still within weight-losing territory) each day...I regularly go over my carb/sugar allowance by a lot. I think this is why I have maintained weight for the last 4 weeks despite burning 5000+ calories per week at the gym and being calorie neutral on MFP.

    Takeaways:
    1. Knock off the Post-Peace Corps oh-my-god-food! enthusiasm snacking and go for meals.
    2. Calories aren't the whole picture, watch the macros! (I just bought MFP Pro, so now it gives me alerts for the Macros/Vit/Min.)
    3. I'll check the sodium thing. I don't eat much in the way of salty foods, but maybe from the processed stuff?


    PS: My primary sources of meat protein is rotisserie chicken from Costco, Salmon, and seafood. That was a weird week meat-wise.
    PPS: Your food diary is private...

    Thank you so much for the reality check. I knew very well that calories weren't the whole picture before Peace Corps, but I guess it all just leaked out of my head. We literally ate root crops and rice, every day, for every meal, for 2 years, haha.
  • cacaracol01

    Posts: 76

    Nov 01, 2015 2:04 PM GMT
    Hey man, so I'm not an expert either but I looked at your intakes and it seems a bit high well a lot high. Just remember one thing, only because it says you can eat up to whatever amount it say, doesn't mean you need to do that! I would stay away from all the unnecessary snacks and the amount of sugar you're intaking. Thats all. Sorry if it sounds cold I just wanted to let you know. Good job on trying and keep trying harder my dude. (trust me I try everyday and sometimes I fail miserably haha) Good luck.