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  1. #1
    Registered User zegster's Avatar
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    Getting below 12 percent body fat.

    I have been trying to reach 10 percent body fat and it seems rediculously hard to do as of recent. I keep losing weight and at times my body fat percent has gotten to 10.6 percent but it keeps bouncing back to 12 percent. I'm using a hand held body fat calc (I use it right after I get up in the morning) but was wondering if their is any other problems. I've lost about 6-7 pounds and have flucuated between 10.5 and 11 percent but always keep bouncing back to 12 percent. I was curious why this might be. I was wondering if it could be a thyroid problem (I am not having trouble losing weight though). Or if my carb cycling adds the fat back on when I carb up twice a week. I am not having any trouble losing weight at all (atleast 1.5 lbs a week). Its just my body fat percent has seam to stay the same (12 percent) for the last 5-8 pounds I have lost. Any ideas?
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  2. #2
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    It's really hard to get to 10% bf and below. Really hard. The key is the diet. It must be very very clean in order for you to have that kind of body composition.

    It's not as easy as calories in<caloies out as it can be when you have higher body fat %.

    I'd say check your diet. it has to be really clean and to lower from 12% you need to have a deficit. I think this is one of the key things while people fail at this point and so many report problems like losing weight and still being the same 11-13%: You need to be really careful on the deficit because you dont have much fat left and there is only certain amount of energy your stored fat can provide.

    I have been experimenting with the 30calories per pound of body fat as a deficit and i think it is dead on. When i have a higher deficit than 30 times the amount of fast i have in pounds i start feeling really weak and practically cant finish my workouts.

    When you are 12% bf and 156pounds, you only have 18.7pounds of fat, so the maximum deficit you should have is 561calories per day and sometimes that number could be less (according to whati've read, in my personal case it seems that it is just a tiny bit more than 30x); if you have a higher deficit than 561calories, you risk losing lbm, risking your body composition. That is why it is so hard to get to single digits BF%. At those points you need to have a defict, the deficit should be tiny, you need to eat super clean and need to work hard trying to preserve lean mass.

    I hope this helps you find the reason for the plateau.

    GL.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Saturnal's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zegster View Post
    I have been trying to reach 10 percent body fat and it seems rediculously hard to do as of recent. I keep losing weight and at times my body fat percent has gotten to 10.6 percent but it keeps bouncing back to 12 percent. I'm using a hand held body fat calc (I use it right after I get up in the morning) but was wondering if their is any other problems. I've lost about 6-7 pounds and have flucuated between 10.5 and 11 percent but always keep bouncing back to 12 percent. I was curious why this might be. I was wondering if it could be a thyroid problem (I am not having trouble losing weight though). Or if my carb cycling adds the fat back on when I carb up twice a week. I am not having any trouble losing weight at all (atleast 1.5 lbs a week). Its just my body fat percent has seam to stay the same (12 percent) for the last 5-8 pounds I have lost. Any ideas?
    Before you change anything about your routine, I'd start measuring your body fat another way. Get calipers or a tape measure and measure your waist. The hand-held things are notoriously inaccurate.
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  4. #4
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    could try ultimate diet 2.0, its designed to get down to like 3%




    its a bitch though
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  5. #5
    Registered User The Brotherhood's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AlexMR View Post
    It's really hard to get to 10% bf and below. Really hard. The key is the diet. It must be very very clean in order for you to have that kind of body composition.

    It's not as easy as calories in<caloies out as it can be when you have higher body fat %.

    I'd say check your diet. it has to be really clean and to lower from 12% you need to have a deficit. I think this is one of the key things while people fail at this point and so many report problems like losing weight and still being the same 11-13%: You need to be really careful on the deficit because you dont have much fat left and there is only certain amount of energy your stored fat can provide.

    I have been experimenting with the 30calories per pound of body fat as a deficit and i think it is dead on. When i have a higher deficit than 30 times the amount of fast i have in pounds i start feeling really weak and practically cant finish my workouts.

    When you are 12% bf and 156pounds, you only have 18.7pounds of fat, so the maximum deficit you should have is 561calories per day and sometimes that number could be less (according to whati've read, in my personal case it seems that it is just a tiny bit more than 30x); if you have a higher deficit than 561calories, you risk losing lbm, risking your body composition. That is why it is so hard to get to single digits BF%. At those points you need to have a defict, the deficit should be tiny, you need to eat super clean and need to work hard trying to preserve lean mass.

    I hope this helps you find the reason for the plateau.

    GL.
    Bull****. There are no "clean" calories. It is all about calories in vs calories out, with a proper macro plan.

    OP: Do you look leaner? Bodyfat testing, hydro-testing aside, is inaccurate, especially at lower bodyfat %s.
    Miscer
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  6. #6
    Registered User zegster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by The Brotherhood View Post
    OP: Do you look leaner? Bodyfat testing, hydro-testing aside, is inaccurate, especially at lower bodyfat %s.
    I do look leaner but I know my muscle has decreased since my max and rep's have been falling as of recent.
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  7. #7
    Registered User The Brotherhood's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zegster View Post
    I do look leaner but I know my muscle has decreased since my max and rep's have been falling as of recent.
    What are your macros, height/weight/bodytype, and what has the pace of your weight loss been.
    Miscer
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  8. #8
    Registered User AlexMR's Avatar
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    brotherhood, wish you good luck on your way to 6% BF with your no clean calories. Have a feew twinkies everyday and keep your macros inline, specialy weighting 145pounds.

    GL sir.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by AlexMR View Post
    brotherhood, wish you good luck on your way to 6% BF with your no clean calories. Have a feew twinkies everyday and keep your macros inline, specialy weighting 145pounds.

    GL sir.
    Hes 5'5" tall.
    To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.
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  10. #10
    Registered User The Brotherhood's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AlexMR View Post
    brotherhood, wish you good luck on your way to 6% BF with your no clean calories. Have a feew twinkies everyday and keep your macros inline, specialy weighting 145pounds.

    GL sir.
    Have a look at my progress pics and then tell me I don't know anything about fat loss. Have a look at my progress at blog.bodybuilding.com/Transform2007 . I ate McDonalds and snicker bars within my macros while dieting. So much for your "clean calories"

    There ARE NO CLEAN CALORIES. Do you understand what a calorie is? A unit of energy equivalent to 4.184 joules on energy. That is ALL.

    Originally Posted by MATT2388 View Post
    Hes 5'5" tall.
    Miscer
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  11. #11
    Registered User zegster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by The Brotherhood View Post
    What are your macros, height/weight/bodytype, and what has the pace of your weight loss been.
    I am 5' 8" and 154.5 pounds. My bodytype is mesomorph (not very sure though). I have had huge legs without working them out and could be called big boned. (I did play soccer for most of my school days)

    I started off losing 2-3 pounds a week. In the past month or two have lost 1-2 pounds a week (usually 1.5 pounds a week). I am not totally sure what my macros are but its about 1500 calories a day and my maintenance is about 2200-2300. About 100+ grams of protein (not totally sure on carbs or fat). On wednesday and saturday I up my calories to about maintenance and digest about 200-300 grams of carbs. All other days I am on low carbs.
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  12. #12
    Registered User The Brotherhood's Avatar
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    You need to micro-manage your macros. While dieting, for a mesomorph, I would recommend 1.5-1.8g/lb of bodyweight in protein, 30% of your total calories from fat, and the remaining calories from carbs.

    On the refeed days (the days you consume more carbs), reduce your protein to 1g/lb of bodyweight and your fats by 15-20%.

    Split your carbs pre/during/post workout only.

    How long have you been dieting so far? a 700 cal deficit is too large for a mesomorph. What is probably happening is you are losing both muscle mass and fat, which is causing the fluctuation in bodyfat % (not the actual bodyfat). Slow down, and keep your fat loss at about a pound a week. Less if you still find yourself losing strength. Maintaining muscle while dieting to lower bodyfats requires micro-management.

    And lastly, and most importantly, don't let the lack of energy and crappy mood from dieting get to you while training. Most people lose muscle because they never learn to beat the mood and train properly on a caloric deficit. Strive for PRs, even while dieting. Keep the weightloads as heavy as in the off-season.
    Miscer
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  13. #13
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    Brotherhood and matt.I think you guys misunderstood me, and if i was offensive i apologize but it was not intended. When i said you are 145pounds im not saying you have bad body, i just meant that, for instance, a snickers is like 1/8th of your maintenance calories.

    If you take some time to check insulin levels on lean, ripped guys like 8% and lower, you will understand what i mean.

    Also, you must keep in mind that what worked to get to 15% bf from 25% is not going to be enough. There are another things that you need to consider. In order for the body to maintain certain body composition it is vital to give them proper nutrients in the proper ratio. At LEAN points, there much more a calorie is just a calorie, because the body will resist dropping bf unless you force it with excellent nutrition.

    I dont expect you to pay attention to this as i have read some of your post and responses and at your young age you sure sound like somebody who knows everything. There are some "knowledge dynamics" that prevent you from learning just another bit...oh well. later...

    Congrats on your progress btw.

    PS: If you ever get to 8% with the calorie is justa a calorie mentality i will be your number one fan. I want to believe it is that easy. It's just not.
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  14. #14
    Registered User zegster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by The Brotherhood View Post
    You need to micro-manage your macros. While dieting, for a mesomorph, I would recommend 1.5-1.8g/lb of bodyweight in protein, 30% of your total calories from fat, and the remaining calories from carbs.

    On the refeed days (the days you consume more carbs), reduce your protein to 1g/lb of bodyweight and your fats by 15-20%.

    Split your carbs pre/during/post workout only.

    How long have you been dieting so far? a 700 cal deficit is too large for a mesomorph. What is probably happening is you are losing both muscle mass and fat, which is causing the fluctuation in bodyfat % (not the actual bodyfat). Slow down, and keep your fat loss at about a pound a week. Less if you still find yourself losing strength. Maintaining muscle while dieting to lower bodyfats requires micro-management.

    And lastly, and most importantly, don't let the lack of energy and crappy mood from dieting get to you while training. Most people lose muscle because they never learn to beat the mood and train properly on a caloric deficit. Strive for PRs, even while dieting. Keep the weightloads as heavy as in the off-season.

    Changing my calories to 1800 everyday.

    Non-Refeed days
    225 g of protein 900 calories
    90 g of carbs 360 calories
    60 g of fat 540 calories

    and on refeed days
    150 g of protein 600
    232.5 g of carbs 930 calories
    30 g of fat 270 calories

    This should help me keep my muscle and lose my body fat?
    Also I have a simple question, while on refeed days or (high carb) carb cycling days. Do you digest more calories, or just change the ratio on carbs compared to everything else, and eat the same amount of calories as any other day?
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  15. #15
    Registered User madskilzdirkis's Avatar
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    what you eat is what you get IMO. like mentioned earlier in this thread you can only get so far with the macro rule, calorie is only a calorie deal. one summer i just experimented to see if i could get single digit bf with diet and weight training alone. no cardio. and i got down to like 8. my diet was flawless. and i ate clean... extremely clean. a bit anal about it at times. basically sticking to lean protein sources and low GI carbs and healthy fats you cant go wrong. you just have to figure out you total calories your body needs from each.
    There's no such thing as "too big" or "too ripped"
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by madskilzdirkis View Post
    what you eat is what you get IMO. like mentioned earlier in this thread you can only get so far with the macro rule, calorie is only a calorie deal. one summer i just experimented to see if i could get single digit bf with diet and weight training alone. no cardio. and i got down to like 8. my diet was flawless. and i ate clean... extremely clean. a bit anal about it at times. basically sticking to lean protein sources and low GI carbs and healthy fats you cant go wrong. you just have to figure out you total calories your body needs from each.
    OP,

    every single poster with a body like madskilzdirkis will agree with me. There is no way around this.
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  17. #17
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    That's probably why i was never able to hit 10%/go below 10% .
    Current Stats

    Bench Press: 225x5
    ATG Squats: 205x8 (just started...I know it sucks but I can't increase it until my next bulk)
    Deadlifts: 315x5
    Rows: 185x8

    I rep back.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by AlexMR View Post
    OP,

    every single poster with a body like madskilzdirkis will agree with me. There is no way around this.
    Yup. While I could cut on less that clean food, I'd just be hungry and low on energy very quickly.

    I also agree with Alex's first post. At low BF it becomes much harder (at least for me) to get into a large calorie deficit and keep it going without running out of energy after a few days. Refeeds are they key here, but still I'm stalled out at ~8%. I probably need to change something more drastically - not add tonnes of cardio - I know that doesn't work.

    It's true that calories in vs calories out is the key. The problem is the calories out - keeping the metabolism up, burning fat and not muscle and having enough energy to keep the deficit going.
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