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  1. #1
    Registered User Fitness105's Avatar
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    Lean but still have stubborn belly fat!

    Im 5'7 weigh about 55kg. I am pretty lean overall and i have abs which i can see when i pull the fat down on my stomach. The layer of fat over the top however will not seem to budge! Its always been there. At one point before i used to weight train I did bootcamp 3 times a week and didn't eat very much. I lost a lot of weight over all and was actually underweight (not good) but even so I still did not have the stomach that i wanted.

    I now weight train 5 days a week and do one cardio/ab session where i jump rope and do interval training on the bike and the cross trainer.
    The weight days I split into Bi's&Tri's, Chest, Shoulders and Back. I have not been doing legs for a couple months as I had hurt my knee so I am waiting until it has fully recovered. This is why I do the cardio session now. Maybe i need to up the cardio?

    In terms of eating.

    7.30am- porridge with scoop of whey protein
    11am- protein shake
    2pm- I buy a salad at work and eat half either chicken or tuna with a bit of balsamic
    4pm- finish the salad and head to the gym
    Protein shake after the gym
    6-7 - dinner - usually a stir fry with vegetables and meat mainly steamed as i just put the lid over the pan to cook everything. I season but never use sauce. If i do its usually a bit of soy sauce or balsamic. I also have maybe a small sweet potato or a 1/4 of a wholewheat tortilla.

    Supplements- Opti Women, 100% Gold Standard Whey, Excellean (2 tablets a day- sometimes 4)

    I drink 2 cups green tea everyday but i mix it with a little skim milk and sweetner. I also have one cup of normal english breakfast tea a day with milk and sweetener.

    I really dont understand why I still have belly fat. In the morning it looks flatter and throughout the day i get more bloated so gets bigger. Its mainly the lower part and i can pinch it out when i sit down I have huge rolls. The rest of my body I am happy with and have seen great results with my training.

    I have been posting on bodybuilding.com and one person suggested a keto diet? So to make my diet more fatty rather than the protein rich diet i am currently on. Im quite scared to do this and dont know much about it either but I dont really have much fat in my diet at all apart from the supplements. Maybe my body is holding on to the stomach fat because it feels like its not getting any otherwise? I am not sure!


    As you can see i'm very confused at the moment so any advice at all would be appreciated. I have attached 2 photos for your reference. As you can see the belly is very easy to cover but its actually very deceiving!



    Please help!
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  2. #2
    Registered User SugarFree1's Avatar
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    Go get an accurate body fat test done. You'll find out exactly where you are and how much you may have to lose to reach the goal physique that you want. Try bodpod.com to find a testing location near you
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  3. #3
    Registered User Fitness105's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SugarFree1 View Post
    Go get an accurate body fat test done. You'll find out exactly where you are and how much you may have to lose to reach the goal physique that you want. Try bodpod.com to find a testing location near you
    - I just went on BodPod but unfortunately i dont live in the United States.

    I had a test done at my gym not with a bodpod but with another machine where some details were entered and where I had to hold something in each hand. I was then given a print out which gave me information on bodyfat % BMR ..things like that. The last time i did that was a few months ago and It said i was around 14% bodyfat. I have no idea how accurate it was. Although it gave me information (which seemed like I was doing pretty well) I still havent managed to figure out how to solve this excess fat problem!
    Last edited by Fitness105; 02-01-2013 at 08:27 AM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User EngineeredMass's Avatar
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    It truly must be frustrating. Do you thinks its perhaps a combination of your skin losing elasticity and at the same time still some stubborn fat there to weigh it down? I really dont know i'm on my second shot at getting there after being where you are and dissapointed with that last bit of flab.... but i'd suggest to keep going it is the last to go! stubborn it is! have you tried any l carnitine or rhodiola (if you live a high stress lifestyle)..
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  5. #5
    Registered User Fitness105's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EngineeredMass View Post
    It truly must be frustrating. Do you thinks its perhaps a combination of your skin losing elasticity and at the same time still some stubborn fat there to weigh it down? I really dont know i'm on my second shot at getting there after being where you are and dissapointed with that last bit of flab.... but i'd suggest to keep going it is the last to go! stubborn it is! have you tried any l carnitine or rhodiola (if you live a high stress lifestyle)..
    hi! thanks for the reply. Nooo i dont think its loose skin i feel like its pretty elastic ha. I was never much different to what I look like now. Although i do have more muscle as i have been training. Ive always had around the same bodyshape. The tiny bit of belly has always been there..which is why ive been training to try get rid of it. Its very frustrating indeed! I have realised i dont take in enough fats so i am trying to increase that. That maybe the problem but I cant be sure.

    What is carnitine and rhodiola?
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  6. #6
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    if you've been dieting a long time it might be time to build up some more muscle/reset your system before trying to cut any more fat. try eating your maintenance or a slight surplus while lifting weights 3x a week for a month or so, then begin your cut again.

    edit: also, you didn't post your calorie intake and requirements. in the end, fat loss is primarily from calorie deficits, not the type of foods you are eating.
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  7. #7
    Registered User EngineeredMass's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fitness105 View Post
    hi! thanks for the reply. Nooo i dont think its loose skin i feel like its pretty elastic ha. I was never much different to what I look like now. Although i do have more muscle as i have been training. Ive always had around the same bodyshape. The tiny bit of belly has always been there..which is why ive been training to try get rid of it. Its very frustrating indeed! I have realised i dont take in enough fats so i am trying to increase that. That maybe the problem but I cant be sure.

    What is carnitine and rhodiola?

    L-carnitine aids in the process of turning fat into energy. I've found it useful in the past on getting rid of stubborn fat. Rhodiola will only be usefull if you have a high stress lifestyle emotional or even physical its an adaptogen and works by controling cortisol levels that are stress induced. Constant high cortisol levels will always keep belly fat by increasing insulin levels and glucose production.

    I dont think increasing muscle mass will ever make you look lean/tight the fat will still be there and still drape down when you sit
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  8. #8
    ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    I would concentrate on lifting heavy stuff and not worrying about the minuscule amount of fat you have in the pic.You should be focused on slowly adding lean mass.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Fitness105's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PKSebben View Post
    if you've been dieting a long time it might be time to build up some more muscle/reset your system before trying to cut any more fat. try eating your maintenance or a slight surplus while lifting weights 3x a week for a month or so, then begin your cut again.

    edit: also, you didn't post your calorie intake and requirements. in the end, fat loss is primarily from calorie deficits, not the type of foods you are eating.
    I mean ive been eating pretty clean for a long time. Not 100% but generally I do have a good diet. With the calories ive been confused as to how much I should be eating. I do need to start counting as maybe thats where I fall back id say i eat approximately 1400-1500 a day. Maybe i should reduce this to 1200-1300? As maybe im eating at a surplus right now.

    In regards to lifting. I do lift around 5-6 days a week. I really enjoy going to the gym after work so 3 times a week would be too little for me. I only do cardio one of those days but before i lift i always jump rope and and the end of my workout i jump rope or do a quick 5 minute HITT on the treadmill (increasing incline every minute). I try lift as heavy as I can and to failure especially on my last set of each excersise. I keep note of the weight i use and really try to increase it each week although its quite a slow process as i dont have a spotter or someone else to train with.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Fitness105's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EngineeredMass View Post
    L-carnitine aids in the process of turning fat into energy. I've found it useful in the past on getting rid of stubborn fat. Rhodiola will only be usefull if you have a high stress lifestyle emotional or even physical its an adaptogen and works by controling cortisol levels that are stress induced. Constant high cortisol levels will always keep belly fat by increasing insulin levels and glucose production.

    I dont think increasing muscle mass will ever make you look lean/tight the fat will still be there and still drape down when you sit
    Maybe i should look into L-carnitine. It gets expensive with all the supplements though. Thats another thing im confused about as theres so much out there its confusing ! Thanks for the advice though i might have to try it for a while. Wont know if I dont try! What about fat burners? Does anybody have any take on those ? Should I try or is it just a gimmick?

    I mean i can feel my abs underneath because i have been doing ab workouts for a while but the layer on top its still there so they never show through unless I pull the fat down!
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  11. #11
    Registered User Fitness105's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    I would concentrate on lifting heavy stuff and not worrying about the minuscule amount of fat you have in the pic.You should be focused on slowly adding lean mass.

    Thats all im trying to do every gym session is lift as heavy as I can. Its been over a year since i properly started weight training and there hasnt been much change in the area i need the change to happen most. Its just frustrating as you see people totally transform in a year or sometimes even less than that. There has got to be something simple i am doing wrong!
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  12. #12
    ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fitness105 View Post
    Thats all im trying to do every gym session is lift as heavy as I can. Its been over a year since i properly started weight training and there hasnt been much change in the area i need the change to happen most. Its just frustrating as you see people totally transform in a year or sometimes even less than that. There has got to be something simple i am doing wrong!
    I'm telling you that the negligible amount of fat isn't the problem, it's the lack of lean body mass. Slowly gain weight.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Fitness105's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    I'm telling you that the negligible amount of fat isn't the problem, it's the lack of lean body mass. Slowly gain weight.
    Ahh I see. So what do you suggest my diet should look like?
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    ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fitness105 View Post
    Ahh I see. So what do you suggest my diet should look like?
    Well if you don't know the calories and macros of your current diet I would suggest you take a week (keep everything the same) and weigh/measure it all to get a calorie and macro count.

    Since you're weight is staling we can assume this number of calories to be a good approximation of your maintenance. Then, since i believe it is in your best interest to slowly add lean body mass, we should slowly add calories to this number (probably 100 daily calories per week). Since you're female and you're muscle building potential is much less than that of male, you have to look to very slowly add mass. I mean painfully slowly at around 1-2lb per month (preferably on the lower end). Then make sure your lifts are increasing and that there are positive visual changes. Once your knee heels, you should consider moving to a routine that will allow you to hit each body part more frequently, like an upper/lower or full body.
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  15. #15
    Registered User Fitness105's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lee__d View Post
    Well if you don't know the calories and macros of your current diet I would suggest you take a week (keep everything the same) and weigh/measure it all to get a calorie and macro count.

    Since you're weight is staling we can assume this number of calories to be a good approximation of your maintenance. Then, since i believe it is in your best interest to slowly add lean body mass, we should slowly add calories to this number (probably 100 daily calories per week). Since you're female and you're muscle building potential is much less than that of male, you have to look to very slowly add mass. I mean painfully slowly at around 1-2lb per month (preferably on the lower end). Then make sure your lifts are increasing and that there are positive visual changes. Once your knee heels, you should consider moving to a routine that will allow you to hit each body part more frequently, like an upper/lower or full body.
    Thanks for the advice. Yeah maybe i should try the upper lower split too as ive never done that. Someone has suggested a 5x5 routine. What do you think about that?
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    ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fitness105 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. Yeah maybe i should try the upper lower split too as ive never done that. Someone has suggested a 5x5 routine. What do you think about that?
    5x5's are solid as well:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=148036063
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    I wouldn't call that stubborn bodyfat, maybe as high as 15% if a guy (+10% if a girl).

    Stubborn tends to be when a deep 4-pack isn't quite a 6-pack and when muscle striations aren't quite showing up.

    Still, this may be on some use to you:

    Google: "leangains stubborn body fat"

    link #1
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    Hi I'm 14 years old 118lbs,5"2,12% body fat and I'm looking to bring my six pack out. I have 2 pack but I want to get down 8% body fat so I can be ripped currently doing IF but I need a solution I have been weight/cardio training for 6-8 months and bulked and cut a couple of times but now I have been doing p90x and only doing the weight training videos and I just can't seem to get my six pack. So I need help what should I do should do intermittent fasting or just 4 meals with a calorie deficit and 40-60g high gi carbs and rest protine and healthy fats. I am in high school so i I get a limited amount of time to workout about 1-2 hours at home gym and I never have energy but I still push through and PUMP IRON 👍so what should I do

    Home gym:
    (adjustable dumbbells, ez curl bar,barbell,resistance bands, bench,pull up bar, and I have some insanity videos
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    My best advice would be to supplement with yohimbe which is great for stubborn areas of fat storage (note not spot reducing fat) and to decrease total calories 5%
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    As for your 5x5 program, check out Stronglifts or starting strengths.

    You may of reached your plateu and might have to consider switching up your diet a bit
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  22. #22
    Registered User Razzle74's Avatar
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    your problem is not eating too much it is eating too little. what you have done is to stall your metabolism. The human body has evolved to survive in times of famine when we lived in the bush. When people try to reduce weight by dramatically cutting their caloric intake the body thinks that it is going through a time of famine.

    With the stats that you have given me, your basal metabolic rate ( amount of calories needed for daily operation if you lay completely still for 24 hours ) is 1327 calories a day. the amount of calories you need for your activity level is just under 2000 a day.

    to lose weight effectively you to bring up your metabolism by eating 2300-2500 calories a day. then the next day drop down to your original 1500 calories. then the third day eat 2000 calories. and keep repeating the 3 days. what you are doing is here is tricking your body into keeping its metabolism up. this is not a fast process but if losing weight the right way was fast every one would do it.
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  23. #23
    Registered User unleashthelion's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Razzle74 View Post
    your problem is not eating too much it is eating too little. what you have done is to stall your metabolism. The human body has evolved to survive in times of famine when we lived in the bush. When people try to reduce weight by dramatically cutting their caloric intake the body thinks that it is going through a time of famine.

    With the stats that you have given me, your basal metabolic rate ( amount of calories needed for daily operation if you lay completely still for 24 hours ) is 1327 calories a day. the amount of calories you need for your activity level is just under 2000 a day.

    to lose weight effectively you to bring up your metabolism by eating 2300-2500 calories a day. then the next day drop down to your original 1500 calories. then the third day eat 2000 calories. and keep repeating the 3 days. what you are doing is here is tricking your body into keeping its metabolism up. this is not a fast process but if losing weight the right way was fast every one would do it.
    You really think her body is slowing its hair/nail growth and causing such lethargy that she is bed-bound? I'm sorry, but enough with this metabolic adaptation stuff; it doesn't have nearly the effect that people claim.

    She's 5'7 121lbs. Her saying she has stubborn fat is like saying there are still specks of dust in your car after it's been detailed. If she really wants to lose the last bits of noticeable subcutaneous fat, then she either needs to eat at a greater deficit or she needs to eat the same and put on some muscle so her raised metabolism can cause a deficit.

    "I do need to start counting"

    This is why she still has minuscule amounts of fat; if she wants to remedy it, she needs to count calories and eat at a deficit.
    Started 2012 at over 410lbs (that was as high as my scale went) and I ended the year at 260lbs.

    Still going strong while eating whatever I want - whenever I want; I just keep it to under 2000 calories a day.

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  24. #24
    Registered User Razzle74's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by unleashthelion View Post
    You really think her body is slowing its hair/nail growth and causing such lethargy that she is bed-bound? I'm sorry, but enough with this metabolic adaptation stuff; it doesn't have nearly the effect that people claim.

    She's 5'7 121lbs. Her saying she has stubborn fat is like saying there are still specks of dust in your car after it's been detailed. If she really wants to lose the last bits of noticeable subcutaneous fat, then she either needs to eat at a greater deficit or she needs to eat the same and put on some muscle so her raised metabolism can cause a deficit.

    "I do need to start counting"

    This is why she still has minuscule amounts of fat; if she wants to remedy it, she needs to count calories and eat at a deficit.

    you have complete missed the point i was not saying that she is having extreme lethargy to the point of being bed ridden. i was stating her caloric needs for daily operation (heart rate resp. rate, digestion, autonomic nervous system functions). cutting her caloric intake even more, her body will adapt by deceasing her metabolism.
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  25. #25
    Registered User unleashthelion's Avatar
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    You think those would account for a person's body burning a significant enough reduction to cause a person to not lose fat on a significant deficit? Sure, you could possibly burn fewer than a person with a similar activity level and body composition who didn't just lose a good deal of weight - but it is not as if a person with a TDEE of 3000 will not be able to lose a couple pounds a week on 1500 a day.

    She didn't know how many calories she ate; for all we know, she was eating a good amount and exhibits no signs of metabolic adaptation.
    Started 2012 at over 410lbs (that was as high as my scale went) and I ended the year at 260lbs.

    Still going strong while eating whatever I want - whenever I want; I just keep it to under 2000 calories a day.

    TEAM IIFYC (if it fits your calories)
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  26. #26
    Registered User Razzle74's Avatar
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    in post number 9 she said she ate between 1500- 1400 cals a day. and if you add up her cals from the meal plan she posted in number 1 you get around the same amount.
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  27. #27
    Registered User unleashthelion's Avatar
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    "I mean ive been eating pretty clean for a long time. Not 100% but generally I do have a good diet. With the calories ive been confused as to how much I should be eating. I do need to start counting as maybe thats where I fall back id say i eat approximately 1400-1500 a day. Maybe i should reduce this to 1200-1300? As maybe im eating at a surplus right now. "

    There is a lot of room for ambiguity in this post; she did not say she eats below 1500 calories a day, she said she has a "generally" good diet, that she doesn't count, and she approximates her calories at 1400-1500.

    If you are confident in her 1500 estimate with all of the info available, I have a bridge to sell.
    Started 2012 at over 410lbs (that was as high as my scale went) and I ended the year at 260lbs.

    Still going strong while eating whatever I want - whenever I want; I just keep it to under 2000 calories a day.

    TEAM IIFYC (if it fits your calories)
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  28. #28
    Registered User MichaelJohn57's Avatar
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    Sorry to try to hijack a thread, just looking for some help.
    im currently 160 Lbs, 5'10 and roughly 13% body fat.
    recently started trying to shred fat hard, doing 2 cardio sessions 40 minutes each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and soon will encorporate weights back into that.
    i just can't seem to loose any more fat, and my calorie intake is already stupidly low (around 1200 per day) almost all of which is made up of good foods.
    so im kinda stuck really, i dont wanna wreck my body entirely but im pretty determined to shred the fat off. any help that is offered would be appreciated :-)
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  29. #29
    Registered User domadam's Avatar
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    Smile

    From viewing your photos I was expecting to see a much higher degree of muscle mass not just abs but everywhere else. Judging by your physique you have become way over focused on fat loss. You don't have loose skin, you just need to work a lot harder keeping the muscle under tension to increase growth and shape. Compound exercises are a must and will give you all the abs you want but by the looks of things you need to seriously up your lifting intensity and burning fat will become a bi-product.

    Heavy squat
    Dead lift
    Lunge yourself into the ground and tell me that doesn't do the trick

    GET TO WORK!!!!
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