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  1. #1
    Registered User Rss33's Avatar
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    Really need advice

    I am 5'3", 134 lbs, 20.5% body fat and 23 years old, female.
    For the past 3 years I've been very into fitness and nutrition. I used to be 150 lbs and 27% body fat. At first I did a lot of cardio and improved my diet by basically eating vegetables and lean proteins and whole grainsto lose weight and eventually got into weight lifting and actually counting my macros. I know my exercise routines are where they need to be in terms of intensity. I do circuit training, and having heavy weight less rep days vs high rep low weight days. I work out 5-6 days a week, alternating what I do and including HIIT as well. I've had several trainers look at my workout routine and always told it's amazing. However I don't feel that my body looks the way it should with the amount of effort I put into it. I've also been counting macros for the entire year and am wondering if maybe I'm eating too much or too little. I eat 1,380-1,450 calories a day. 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat but some days I have more fat than carbs and vice versa depending on what my work out consists of for the day. Everything is weighed and measured and I don't eat any packaged or processed foods except for protein powder (vega protein + greens) My basic diet consists of eggs, oats, homemade peanut butter, chicken, an assortment of raw or steamed vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, string beans, spinach, red cabbage etc.), some days I have turkey, fish, or very lean ground beef. I'll have some sweet potato, avocado, lentils or brown rice. Minimal fruit - usually berries up to 1 cup throughout the day. Everything is homemade and if any oils are used it's coconut oil or olive oil. I will have a "cheat meal" usually every other weekend, which I keep getting told is not even a real cheat meal. I usually eat max 1,000 calories more - usually something like a Dairy Queen blizzard or a slice of pizza or a cheeseburger. I don't have a cheat day just one bad thing that ups my calories and I usually do HIIT on that day or a heavy leg day.
    I drink 80-100 ounces of water a day.
    I don't know what else I can do to improve how I look. I have a 4 pack and a v cut but my lower belly fat is very much still there. My legs do not look defined nor do my arms.
    I am not sure if it has to do with my calories or macros or both, but I am certain my exercise routine is good.
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  2. #2
    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    Eating too little, belief you need to be unnecessarily restrictive, more of a split then you need, and risking over-training with that on top of the HIIT, and circuits. A solid routine values quality over quantity.

    Get your calories,and macros right. Get on an establish beginner program (full body, compound focused, 3x a week). Pick a goal, fat loss first, or muscle gain first, because they're separate goals, and set calories accordingly. Get a food scale, eyeballing isn't reliable, and volume measurements can be off by up to 20%.

    You can't just eat a big cheat meal, then try to burn it off. First, it'd take hours to do so, second it's unnecessary. A healthy deficit, and less restrictive diet that leaves room for treats is more sustainable than an aggressive deficit, followed by a binge meal, followed by trying to "make up for it" through exercise (not to mention it teaches your brain to think food deserves punishment, not a healthy mindset to get into).

    Water is irrelevant, drinking too much can actually fluff with your electrolytes, so drink when you feel thirsty (that's why bodies let us know these things), and don't force yourself to drink a ton.

    Basically, read my response to this thread, it's most of the same things I'd be saying here: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...p?t=173381131p
    PRs: 95lbs/126lbs/212lbs
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  3. #3
    Registered User adriannec's Avatar
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    At 20% BF if that's accurate, you should look pretty athletic and well defined if you have the muscle base to support that look. A lot of results from workouts comes from implementation of it and not necessarily the workouts themselves. For example, adding weight/reps weekly if possible, doing more work each workout. If that's not happening, then you're likely to not make signficant changes. So that's one thing to keep in mind.

    Also if you're truly eating 1350-1450 calories then you're not eating enough to build muscle. That's a pretty aggressive deficit for you if you're truly eating that consistently. However your cheat meals may likely be taking you over that. So tracking being off along with your body moving less if you've been dieting for a year +, you're probably eating at maintenance so there really isn't fat loss happening.

    I would pick a goal of either muscle building or fat loss, and use the nutrition sticky to calculate your macros for that goal. I'd also potentially look at the workouts listed in the stickies as an option. You don't have details on your current programming so it may be effective with a few changes to the implementation of it. I'd google progressive overload to get examples and make sure that you're doing that in whatever program you choose to follow.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Rss33's Avatar
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    My workouts are monitored by a trainer so I avoid overtraining.

    And as I mentioned I do measure everything I don't just eyeball it. And like I said my cheat meal is not a huge load of junk where I am bingeing. I don't crave junk food much at this point anyway but I'll have something on the weekend like the slice of pizza or a small ice cream and I am usually working out in the morning anyway so it's not like I am killing myself at the gym to burn it off that's not what I meant.

    I'll look into the water but I've noticed when drinking more with the same routine it's helped eliminate cellulite completely.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Rss33's Avatar
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    I might be exaggerating when saying I don't have results. I look athletic and have definition but it seems like with the effort I put into my diet and exercise routine that I should see more improvement.
    I always increase reps or weight each week to push myself more, and again in terms of the cheat meal I should be more specific. I make homemade pizza with whole wheat dough and sauce some cheese and vegetables. My burgers are all homemade still with lean meat. The only other cheat I have is ice cream which is maybe once a month if that and it's a small so I doubt I am overdoing it.

    Would you suggest increasing or decreasing calories at this point? I may have plateaued with progress
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  6. #6
    Registered User adriannec's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rss33 View Post
    Would you suggest increasing or decreasing calories at this point? I may have plateaued with progress
    If you're eating in the range of 1350-1450 calories consistently, you really don't have a lot of room to drop them further unless you're doing it for a temporary reason to drop fat (ie, competing). If you're doing this for lifestyle reasons, then it's your choice but I'd suggest increasing calories so you can ideally feel stronger, less hunger, more energy for your day and workouts. Keep in mind that for a female to diet under 20% bodyfat, it takes trade offs and doesn't happen usually by accident. You need to consider what you'll need to do if you choose to drop calories and continue to diet.
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  7. #7
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    OP, you will get better advice if you don't exaggerate or write confusing posts. In both this thread and the one in the fat loss forum you said that you are lacking in arm or leg definition. Then you backtracked over there to say that you do have arm and back definition and here you said that you were exaggerating in your first post. Don't waste people's time.
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  8. #8
    Jerk of All Trades LunaLifts's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rss33 View Post
    My workouts are monitored by a trainer so I avoid overtraining.

    And as I mentioned I do measure everything I don't just eyeball it.

    I'll look into the water but I've noticed when drinking more with the same routine it's helped eliminate cellulite completely.
    Trainers can be wrong too, in fact it's sadly not uncommon. A lot of women come in here telling us their PT had them on a starvation diet, and non-optimal body part split. Many use the same approach for all clients regardless of where they are in lifting. The concern here is that even if you're on a solid program just with the lifting, adding extra circuit work, and extra HIIT can be hindering your muscle recovery.

    I said weigh everything, as measuring is also inaccurate.

    You can drink a lot of water if you want to, just saying you don't have to force yourself to drink that much if it's difficult, or causing an electrolyte issue. Just cautionary.

    Where you put your calories at depends on your current goal. Fat loss = deficit; muscle building = surplus.

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  9. #9
    Registered User sonti's Avatar
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    Gain more muscle. Seriously, if I was down to 134 and still felt fat, that would be the solution. It's a hell of a lot better than starving every day. You're young, don't waste your time in perpetual diet mode. You'll think yourself on five years.
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  10. #10
    Focus on yourself kimm4's Avatar
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    If you're maintaining a weight of 134 lbs your calorie intake isn't what you claim. Those are aggressive cutting numbers and the simple truth is you're eating more than you think.

    Saying you have an awesome training program doesn't say much. Circuit training and HIIT are cardio. What does your actual lifting program look like and what's the layout of your exercises? With 3 yrs of training how much do you bench, row, squat and deadlift?

    At those stats it's a matter of needing to drop more bodyfat to see the definition.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Rss33's Avatar
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    My squat is at 225, deadlift 175, bent over row 85, bench press 95. I started with just cardio my first year, started lifting second year, but it's only been about a year and a half of heavier lifting.
    I write out circuits that incorporate more compound movements with lightweights and cardio where I am giving it my all for 10-15 minutes sweating and out of breath to complete each circuit 3x and then I take a 2 minute break and move on to the next one. I do this 1-2x a week.
    I do a heavy leg day, another day is a lighter leg day with plyometrics.
    Then I have a day where I do chest and tricep and abs. and another day of back and bicep and shoulders.
    I do the stair master for 30 minutes about 3,000 steps 1-2x a week

    I think if I ate less than what I do now I would probably collapse of hunger.
    Last edited by Rss33; 01-25-2017 at 08:25 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by Rss33 View Post
    My squat is at 225, deadlift 175, bent over row 85, bench press 95. I started with just cardio my first year, started lifting second year, but it's only been about a year and a half of heavier lifting.
    I write out circuits that incorporate more compound movements with lightweights and cardio where I am giving it my all for 10-15 minutes sweating and out of breath to complete each circuit 3x and then I take a 2 minute break and move on to the next one. I do this 1-2x a week.
    I do a heavy leg day, another day is a lighter leg day with plyometrics.
    Then I have a day where I do chest and tricep and abs. and another day of back and bicep and shoulders.
    I do the stair master for 30 minutes about 3,000 steps 1-2x a week

    I think if I ate less than what I do now I would probably collapse of hunger.
    225 squat and 175 deadlift is a sign of form issue and imbalanced training. How do you measure food? On a scale to the gram? Cups/spoons could easily blow your defecit.
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