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  1. #1
    Registered User Lilly05's Avatar
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    Need Help! I Think I've Hit a Plateau :( - Pics included

    I've posted this in another section but I just want it to be seen.

    As title states, I think I've hit a plateau as far as my fat loss goals. I can't seem to get rid of the fat on my stomach, nor can I achieve that "hourglass" shape that i desperately want. I've been eating at a deficit for such a long time now, i get roughly 1200 kcals in per day and my macros are decent but i am not seeing further results. I lift hard 5-6 times a week and do HIIT every day as well (boyfriend suggests i should switch to LISS to see if that makes a difference). I also play soccer at least 2 times a week. Can anybody explain to me why I am not seeing any results? It is very frustrating as I work extremely hard but to no avail. Advice would be much appreciated. Here are some pics so you can see what i'm dealing with:
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  2. #2
    Queen Miranda to you Miranda's Avatar
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    here's a thread on how to calculate an appropriate amount of calories for your goal:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=121703921

    here's a thread on how to choose a good training program. it also discusses how much cardio is required:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=127023861

    you didn't mention your height/weight, but it's highly unlikely you're eating '1,200 calories' in the first place.

    how do you track? you should use a digital kitchen scale and WEIGH EVERYTHING you eat - vegetables, sauces, condiments (except herbs). weigh all little bits and pieces and then log them onto a calorie calculator to find out how much you're eating. it's likely you're way off.

    and FYI - you have narrow hips and a broad waist. you can lean out considerably but it won't give you an 'hourglass' appearence.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Lilly05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Miranda View Post
    here's a thread on how to calculate an appropriate amount of calories for your goal:

    here's a thread on how to choose a good training program. it also discusses how much cardio is required:

    you didn't mention your height/weight, but it's highly unlikely you're eating '1,200 calories' in the first place.

    how do you track? you should use a digital kitchen scale and WEIGH EVERYTHING you eat - vegetables, sauces, condiments (except herbs). weigh all little bits and pieces and then log them onto a calorie calculator to find out how much you're eating. it's likely you're way off.

    and FYI - you have narrow hips and a broad waist. you can lean out considerably but it won't give you an 'hourglass' appearence.
    I enjoy the training program I'm on now. I'm doing Jim Stopanni's Shorcut to Size. I'm pushing heavy weights which I think is the general principal of any good workout program. I will try to cut down on cardio as that article suggests but it will be hard..love my cardio

    Height: 5"4

    Weight: 120lbs

    Do you believe it's unlikely that i'm eating 1200 calories because you think i'm eating more or eating less?
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  4. #4
    Back at square one wakechica's Avatar
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    Never heard of that workout but by the title it doesn't really sound great......
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    How long have you been in a deficit? How much weight have you lost so far? How long have you been stuck?
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  6. #6
    Registered User Lilly05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    How long have you been in a deficit? How much weight have you lost so far? How long have you been stuck?
    My appetite is not great to begin with so eating too many calories has never been the issue. I've always been aware that I consume far less than maintenance calories. My starting weight before I decided i wanted to change (about 3 years ago) was 136lbs. But since i really started getting serious with the aid of my boyfriend (maybe around last March) I'd i've lost another 10lbs. . I've been stuck since around September when I had my wisdom teeth taken out. Up until then I was seeing weight loss, then that day came - I took about 1-2 weeks off to recover and things never picked back up.
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  7. #7
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    Maybe eat at maintenance for a while to give your body a break from the low calories. You have the same stats as me, I did well losing weight at 1200 calories, but then weight loss stalled. I switched to bulking, because I was looking skinny. You seem to be quite active for such low calories - I think maybe your body has adapted to it. Eating at maintenance (maybe a bit above) for a few weeks wont hurt you any... give your body a refeed.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by wakechica View Post
    Never heard of that workout but by the title it doesn't really sound great......
    its one of bb.com's "celebrity" workouts, not that great and more than likely the one her boyfriend put her on (he posted the other day).

    Op needs to bulk. cals too low and undermuscled.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Lilly05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rockangel View Post
    its one of bb.com's "celebrity" workouts, not that great and more than likely the one her boyfriend put her on (he posted the other day).

    Op needs to bulk. cals too low and undermuscled.
    What would you recommend as a better workout program for me? My calories should be at what, 1500? How about macro's? 120/120/60, or should I cut down the carbs?

    Thanks!
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by Lilly05 View Post
    What would you recommend as a better workout program for me? My calories should be at what, 1500? How about macro's? 120/120/60, or should I cut down the carbs?

    Thanks!
    That calorie and macro breakdown looks much better for cutting. Protein is a bit borderline, maybe swap a few more carbs and replace with protein.

    Try something like Starting Strength.
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  11. #11
    pirate ninja kitteh rockangel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lilly05 View Post
    What would you recommend as a better workout program for me? My calories should be at what, 1500? How about macro's? 120/120/60, or should I cut down the carbs?

    Thanks!
    Well if you are trying to gain mass and strength, 1500 call are not going to work, trying to change your figure, 1500 cals arent going to work.
    1500 is a good place to start, but you are going to need to bulk in the end and that means way more cals. and not so much cardio.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Lilly05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by megdaig View Post
    That calorie and macro breakdown looks much better for cutting. Protein is a bit borderline, maybe swap a few more carbs and replace with protein.

    Try something like Starting Strength.
    Originally Posted by rockangel View Post
    Well if you are trying to gain mass and strength, 1500 call are not going to work, trying to change your figure, 1500 cals arent going to work.
    1500 is a good place to start, but you are going to need to bulk in the end and that means way more cals. and not so much cardio.
    When you say to bulking, you're referring to gaining muscle, right? When I hear bulking I think about getting big and fat I know that if that were to happen, i'd get discouraged and probably give up lol.

    Would 1700 be more reasonable with soccer being my only form of cardio? it will be hard for me but I can also try increasing protein to 1.5/lbs and cut my carbs to something like 110
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Lilly05 View Post
    When you say to bulking, you're referring to gaining muscle, right? When I hear bulking I think about getting big and fat I know that if that were to happen, i'd get discouraged and probably give up lol.

    Would 1700 be more reasonable with soccer being my only form of cardio? it will be hard for me but I can also try increasing protein to 1.5/lbs and cut my carbs to something like 110
    When bulking, you are eating at a calorie level higher than maintenance, so yes there will be some fat gains. You need to get over the fact that you will gain weight and some of it will be fat. You are not going to turn obese overnight just because you go on a bulk. If you are too scared to gain weight or fat, then you will never change how your body looks. The point of a bulk is to gain muscle yes, so you are going to gain weight when gaining muscle. and no 1700 is not reasonable for a bulk.

    You are lookign at 2500 - 2700 cals at least for a bulk, you are going to have to work your way up that high and there will be adjustments from your body going up from 1200 cals.
    1200 cals probably doesnt even cover your bmr at this point.
    Optimally i would cut out all cardio and focus on nutrition and lifitng heavy. Using a program like starting strength would be a better program than what you are running. If you are a part of some team and have made a comittment to it, then i would say soccer would be the only cardio at this point but that puts a big strain on a bulk.
    But at the moment, you are overworking, over cardioing, on too little cals, and are afraid to gain which is some big red flags. You either are going to have to eat, or continue to look the same.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Lilly05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rockangel View Post
    When bulking, you are eating at a calorie level higher than maintenance, so yes there will be some fat gains. You need to get over the fact that you will gain weight and some of it will be fat. You are not going to turn obese overnight just because you go on a bulk. If you are too scared to gain weight or fat, then you will never change how your body looks. The point of a bulk is to gain muscle yes, so you are going to gain weight when gaining muscle. and no 1700 is not reasonable for a bulk.

    You are lookign at 2500 - 2700 cals at least for a bulk, you are going to have to work your way up that high and there will be adjustments from your body going up from 1200 cals.
    1200 cals probably doesnt even cover your bmr at this point.
    Optimally i would cut out all cardio and focus on nutrition and lifitng heavy. Using a program like starting strength would be a better program than what you are running. If you are a part of some team and have made a comittment to it, then i would say soccer would be the only cardio at this point but that puts a big strain on a bulk.
    But at the moment, you are overworking, over cardioing, on too little cals, and are afraid to gain which is some big red flags. You either are going to have to eat, or continue to look the same.
    Thanks a lot for the advice. I don't believe I have mentioned my goals but below are a couple of pictures of the body type i'd like to achieve. I don't doubt your knowledge and if what you say will help me achieve my goal, i will do it, but is bulking to that extent really necessary if I'm not trying to gain serious muscle?
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  15. #15
    pirate ninja kitteh rockangel's Avatar
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    You stated you wanted an hourglass figure, those pictures do not represent an hour glass figure. That chick is just skinny and undermuscled. If thats the look you want, then continue to undereat and overtrain and look the same.
    Sounds to me like you have more issues than can be dealt with by a personal trainer.
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    Originally Posted by rockangel View Post
    You stated you wanted an hourglass figure, those pictures do not represent an hour glass figure. That chick is just skinny and undermuscled. If thats the look you want, then continue to undereat and overtrain and look the same.
    Sounds to me like you have more issues than can be dealt with by a personal trainer.
    I think she wanted a 'wasp waist' instead of an hourglass figure.

    OP,
    If that is the case, you should start lifting weights and focus on your Deltoids, Lats, Quads and Glutes.
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  17. #17
    pirate ninja kitteh rockangel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Psychoelectric View Post
    I think she wanted a 'wasp waist' instead of an hourglass figure.

    OP,
    If that is the case, you should start lifting weights and focus on your Deltoids, Lats, Quads and Glutes.
    Thats more genetic than anything, not many ladies look like raquel welch with out surgery, lol!!

    And in order to grow those delt, lats. quads and glutes, shes gonna have to eat.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by rockangel View Post
    Thats more genetic than anything, not many ladies look like raquel welch with out surgery, lol!!

    And in order to grow those delt, lats. quads and glutes, shes gonna have to eat.
    True, true. But my point was that working on those areas could give her the illusion of the image that she wants.
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  19. #19
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    Mmm I guess working those muscles could sort of give her the illusion of an hourglass figure? Ok, Im lying. You cant create one! You either have it or you dont! And building up those muscles are going to make her bigger, which by the pictures she posted, arent her goals. OP keep doing cardio and eating at a deficit and yes, still lift.
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    OP, I think you need to bulk as well- you don't really have any fat to lose, you will look much better with a bit of muscle on you.

    I actually did one of the workouts from Shortcut to Size yesterday and thought it was fine. It's your standard hypertrophy program with periodization. Stoppani (the author) has a PhD in exercise physiology so I don't think he'd lead you up the garden path. The name puts many people off, but as we know there is no shortcut to anything...

    As said, you can make your waist appear smaller by building your back, shoulders, glutes & thighs!
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by EGdance22 View Post
    Mmm I guess working those muscles could sort of give her the illusion of an hourglass figure? Ok, Im lying. You cant create one! You either have it or you dont! And building up those muscles are going to make her bigger, which by the pictures she posted, arent her goals. OP keep doing cardio and eating at a deficit and yes, still lift.
    Way to go on being completely wrong. She isnt going to "get big", she can create the illusion (its what all of us do), and if she is stalled at her current cals, which are too low anyways, then continuing to over cardio, over train and under eat is not going to ger her anywhere.
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    Registered User Lilly05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rockangel View Post
    You stated you wanted an hourglass figure, those pictures do not represent an hour glass figure. That chick is just skinny and undermuscled. If thats the look you want, then continue to undereat and overtrain and look the same.
    Sounds to me like you have more issues than can be dealt with by a personal trainer.
    What issues are you speaking of? I'm just confused is all. There's a lot of information on here that I'm just trying to sort out. I think your suggested 2500-2800 calories is honestly a bit much for what I'm trying to do. I'm not looking for a bodybuilders physique. I just want a fit body and I think the girl in those pictures possess one. I'm going to start at 1800 calories and adjust from there.

    Originally Posted by Psychoelectric View Post
    I think she wanted a 'wasp waist' instead of an hourglass figure.

    OP,
    If that is the case, you should start lifting weights and focus on your Deltoids, Lats, Quads and Glutes.
    Thank you, this is what i meant by hourglass. Rather than my waist just traveling in a straight line, i'd like for it to curve in a little bit. Not to the extent of Raquel Welch but I just desire the "fit" look as mentioned above. I have been lifting weights but I realize now that I need to be eating more in order to see results from lifting heavy.
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    Originally Posted by Lilly05 View Post
    What issues are you speaking of? I'm just confused is all. There's a lot of information on here that I'm just trying to sort out. I think your suggested 2500-2800 calories is honestly a bit much for what I'm trying to do. I'm not looking for a bodybuilders physique. I just want a fit body and I think the girl in those pictures possess one. I'm going to start at 1800 calories and adjust from there.



    Thank you, this is what i meant by hourglass. Rather than my waist just traveling in a straight line, i'd like for it to curve in a little bit. Not to the extent of Raquel Welch but I just desire the "fit" look as mentioned above. I have been lifting weights but I realize now that I need to be eating more in order to see results from lifting heavy.
    Its not about being a "bodybuilder" or not. My maintenace is at 2300 and in 6 inches shorter than you an weigh about the same. And I am still small muscular wise. You are not going to "blow up" with all these muscles or fat, its gonna take lots of time to build the delts, arms, back, quads and glutes in order for you to build an "hourglass" or curvy appearance. As stated your hips are narrow and you have a blocky waist, wich means you need to build shoulders and butt to give you the look you want.

    The issues i am referring to are that you have some body issues and you are scared of being bigger. That coupled with eating less than your BMR, cause i know its more than 1200, and over working your body spells red flags.
    And the pics that you posted, thats not a "fit" body, again its just some undermuscled skinny chick. You are all ready undermuscled and skinny so if thats the look you want, congrats you all ready have it.
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    Registered User Kusie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rockangel View Post
    Its not about being a "bodybuilder" or not. My maintenace is at 2300 and in 6 inches shorter than you an weigh about the same. And I am still small muscular wise. You are not going to "blow up" with all these muscles or fat, its gonna take lots of time to build the delts, arms, back, quads and glutes in order for you to build an "hourglass" or curvy appearance. As stated your hips are narrow and you have a blocky waist, wich means you need to build shoulders and butt to give you the look you want.

    The issues i am referring to are that you have some body issues and you are scared of being bigger. That coupled with eating less than your BMR, cause i know its more than 1200, and over working your body spells red flags.
    And the pics that you posted, thats not a "fit" body, again its just some undermuscled skinny chick. You are all ready undermuscled and skinny so if thats the look you want, congrats you all ready have it.
    Thanks for your honesty.

    Judging from your pictures, I do not personally consider your muscles to be small in comparison to how I want to look. I understand where your coming from in saying that I am under muscled. I wouldn't mind gaining some more muscle, but the main thing I want to do is tighten and tone up. You're right in that I need to eat more to gain the muscle in order to do so, but wouldn't you agree that 2500-2800 calories are too much?

    What's flattering to me about the pics I posted is that her abs are showing through, she looks toned and has a nice body in my opinion.
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    ^because she has a more muscular base. You need muscle first, done through bulking then cut to see the muscle. You need foundations to build a house, same goes for a body. If you don't have the muscle you'll always be skinny fat. No two ways about it.
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    Originally Posted by Kusie View Post
    Thanks for your honesty.

    Judging from your pictures, I do not personally consider your muscles to be small in comparison to how I want to look. I understand where your coming from in saying that I am under muscled. I wouldn't mind gaining some more muscle, but the main thing I want to do is tighten and tone up. You're right in that I need to eat more to gain the muscle in order to do so, but wouldn't you agree that 2500-2800 calories are too much?

    What's flattering to me about the pics I posted is that her abs are showing through, she looks toned and has a nice body in my opinion.
    Im not knocking the girl at all, shes got a great place to start and loads of potential, but i dont consider her "fit", her abs are showing through and thats just a low body fat issue.

    Calculations put her bmr at about 1400 cals and maintenance with all the activity she is doing about 2200, so 2500 - 2800 cals for a bulk i think is about right,especially since she is insisting on the soccer.

    Trust me when i say i am still small and undermuscled. Right now ive put on 10 pounds and im fluffy, lol, so i look a bit bigger, but once i take off the fluff, i dont have as much as it seems. I have a good base, and im working on putting on more, but i will more than likely never be jacked or big. I have short muscle bellies only because i am just short, so it gives me the advantage of appearing bigger, but my muscles are still small. I still dont think i could step on stage so to me, im still small, even bikini needs some muscle. Difference is, i dont mid the eating, the fat comes off, and the muscle makes me look better.
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    Originally Posted by wakechica View Post
    ^because she has a more muscular base. You need muscle first, done through bulking then cut to see the muscle. You need foundations to build a house, same goes for a body. If you don't have the muscle you'll always be skinny fat. No two ways about it.
    What should my caloric intake look like then in order to build the amount of muscle I want? The 2500-2800 as suggest seems like too much. Would 1800 suffice?
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    Originally Posted by Kusie View Post
    What should my caloric intake look like then in order to build the amount of muscle I want? The 2500-2800 as suggest seems like too much. Would 1800 suffice?
    1800 is not enough. Don't assume you're gonna get fat! Your body needs fuel. Go and calculate your actual maintenance and I guaruntee you'll think it's too high. Eat at maint for a bit then gradually ease up. Ignore the scale; your body WEIGHT will fluctuate and you may get bloating for a few weeks as it adjusts.

    If you can't eat higher cals you won't get the body you want, sorry!
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    Originally Posted by wakechica View Post
    1800 is not enough. Don't assume you're gonna get fat! Your body needs fuel. Go and calculate your actual maintenance and I guaruntee you'll think it's too high. Eat at maint for a bit then gradually ease up. Ignore the scale; your body WEIGHT will fluctuate and you may get bloating for a few weeks as it adjusts.

    If you can't eat higher cals you won't get the body you want, sorry!
    Lol just realized I'm commenting from my bf's account. Oops. Oh well.

    I think this is my biggest fear. I'm in the mindset that when I hear bulking I think about getting fat. I really do not want this to happen
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    Originally Posted by Kusie View Post
    Lol just realized I'm commenting from my bf's account. Oops. Oh well.

    I think this is my biggest fear. I'm in the mindset that when I hear bulking I think about getting fat. I really do not want this to happen
    You cant gain muscle without gaining fat, it's something that you're going to have to get over if you want to build. But if you cant get over it, and you don't eat to build you will never get the body you want. The sooner your realize and accept that, the better off you will be.

    Edit: The fat can always be stripped away after. You can spend forever spinning your wheels trying to lose fat, and not get the results you want, or you can start a bulk, build the little bit of muscle base that you need, and then diet down to get the body you want.
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