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  1. #1
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Cutting...just tell me

    I'm not talking "cutting" to generically lose weight. I'm talking cutting to get from a moderate bodyfat% to a low bodyfat%. I want to hear from guys who have cut to 12% or lower.

    So I got it in my mind that I was going to cut from 15% down to 12% (or lower) because I wanted to get rid of those annoying little lovehandles and blob of stomach fat covering my lower abs. I've had this since I did a moderate bulk 2 years ago...and since I've been around maintenance since, I never really shook it off. I've never really cut "aggressively" before, since my problem has always been eating enough to keep the weight on...so this is new to me so forgive me if this sounds like total noob stuff (why I very rarely take part in threads about losing weight).

    In any case, I'm going into week 4 and getting kind of depressed. The love handles are gone, and I'm beginning to see the underlying shape of the lower abs more (so I know they are still there). This sounds good, BUT is there a totally depressing stage between where all the fat that made you look "big" is gone...but you still have that layer of fat that keeps you from looking cut? I'm down about 9 pounds, which doesn't sound like a lot...but I started at 162, so that's a pretty good chunk of weight for me

    I feel like I hit some dreaded zone. Small(er), but not cut. Flat and often hungry. My workouts haven't suffered. My strength and endurance is actually still progressing during my workouts...but I'm much more fatigued during the rest of the "real life" day. Since this was just sort of a personal "lets see what happens" scenario, and not for a contest (or even a beach vacation, since only 1 person ever even sees me with my shirt off), I'm sort of asking myself why the hell I'm doing this, other than the challenge?

    So is this normal first time cutting sh*t? Lifting depression? Looking small, but not yet cut? Self doubt?

    I always knew if I wanted to get down to the single digits I would be right back to my starting weight from 7 years ago...but I didn't think I would have to go that low just to get to 10-12%. It's obvious I've packed on a some muscle over the last 7 years...but maybe not enough. Anyone else do an experimental cut, and then regretted it afterwards?

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  2. #2
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    I was probably around lower double digits last summer. Yea looked like chit on the way there, flat looked small and fat. Once you start eating at maintenance you will fill back out and look leaner than when you were dieting (at least that has been my experience). I always look worse when I'm dieting, I run carbs pretty low though when I do, so I look flat and depleted and much smaller until I increase carbs again. One thing you could try is to have a re-feed day, where you hit your protein around .8-1g/lb, increase your carbs dramatically, eat very little fat. That should fill you back out for a few days so you can get a better mental picture of where your at and supposedly has positive effects on gherlin & leptin.

    More info can be found somewhere on Lyle McDonald website I think...
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  3. #3
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Plateauplower View Post
    I always look worse when I'm dieting, I run carbs pretty low though when I do, so I look flat and depleted and much smaller until I increase carbs again. One thing you could try is to have a re-feed day, where you hit your protein around .8-1g/lb, increase your carbs dramatically, eat very little fat.
    I've been pretty low on the carbs as well, so I'll have to give that a try. My two in-between meal snacks at work used to be milk/protein powder/peanut butter shake. To cut those down to 200 cals and keep my protein high, I switched to just 200 cals of protein powder in water. One day I went back to milk instead and that night I "binged" (the only time) and ate an extra 300 calories one meal (a sub on *gasp* bread). The sugar and fat sure gave me a noticeable energy increase during the day, and I THOUGHT I actually looked a little bigger the next day...I thought it was my imagination.
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    Registered User ucsumma's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    So is this normal first time cutting sh*t? Lifting depression? Looking small, but not yet cut? Self doubt?
    Yes to all of the above. It's a total mindfck and the fact that you're only lowered calories only adds to the mental instability.

    I love the idea above of incorporating a planned re-feed once a week into your plan. It should hit the sweet spot to where it fills you out, provides a mental release, and gives you energy for the next few sessions.

    The other variable that I didn't consider during my first aggressive cut was the impact of cortisol. The fact that you're stressing will actually cause your body to hold onto to fat and water more than you'd ever imagine. Since you're admittedly doing this for yourself and not a competition, keep reminding yourself of that and try to find ways to intentionally minimize stressors.
    #Mensan

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  5. #5
    Bootless Errand ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Running a real bodybuilding cut (as opposed to a fat civilian posting here asking how to "get in shape") is much more a mental battle than a physical one. Most natties will have to get considerably lighter/smaller than they think in order to get really shredded (IMO, that's single-digits). And for those of us who had to fight hard for every ounce of muscle gained over the past year or so, seeing that weight loss will, in your mind, equate to losing muscle. At least some amount of muscle mass will be lost, but it can be minimized by strict adherence to your plan.


    Stick with your plan, keep lifting heavy with as much volume as you can stand, and keep your protein and fat intake up. When you get to the point where fat loss slows to a crawl, drop another couple hundred carb calories out of your daily allotment.

    When fat loss again slows, and if you feel you still aren't where you want to be, then is the time to crank up the cardio rather than try to reduce calories further; by now, your calorie intake will probably be at a point where you'd have to reduce protein and/or fat to reduce calories further, which is not what you want to do.
    No brain, no gain.

    You can't out-train bad nutrition.

    Where the mind goes, the body follows.

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  6. #6
    Registered User fedewab2's Avatar
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    Firstly, I suspect of your disappointment in the process and your appearance is not objective, or based in reality. IMO, based on your pic, you look good. Mental.

    I can empathize with some of what you wrote, however I do not really perform planned bulks/cuts. I am a few years younger than you. However, ~8 weeks ago I decided to decrease my bodyweight (~197lb @ 6’1) entirely to get my waist circumference (~35.5”) back down to 32”. So, technically, my metric is waist circumference, not BF%. Additionally, my motivation is primarily practical and only remotely aesthetic. However, like you, I suspect I underestimated how low I would have to drop body weight to hit my goal. I now anticipate stopping BW decrease when my waist is averaging 33”, which I suspect will be around 180lb.

    I am down 8-10lb, and my perception is that my aesthetic has decreased, specifically with regards to how I fill out my shirts, especially in the shoulders, arms, and chest. Shrug. My pants fit better. However, I also believe my shirtless appearance is also unimproved as I am just “skinnier”. Whatever. I do not go shirtless in public anymore. With regards to strength, negligible change. Can do more pull-ups, but that mostly results from having to pull less. Squats are becoming even more unpleasant with the caloric deficit and weight loss, so have been allocating more carbs to hours prior to squatting.

    I am not regretting my decision. I wanted my pants to fit better, and they are and will. 35.5” waist is historically high and IMO ridiculous for me given my height and strength (lack thereof). There will be plentiful opportunity for continued strength gains, albeit very slow, at my lower waist circumference if I efficiently allocate the time and energy for strength training.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    My experience is the slower you lose weight the less muscle mass you loose.
    The body adapts easier to gradually losing weight.
    If your doing all the basic stuff with diet,training and cardio you should loose up to a point.
    And yes the phycological game of looking in the mirror and your smaller can play games with you but you need to remember your loosing fat so you will shrinkk a bit.
    As long as you get muscular in the process.
    Pictures every month help as well as a waist measurement.
    You will be some what flat and hungry with less carbs and calories until you can adapt to it mentally.
    Do be discouraged keep on course to your goal and don't let anything get in the way.
    Good luck.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    I've been pretty low on the carbs as well, so I'll have to give that a try. My two in-between meal snacks at work used to be milk/protein powder/peanut butter shake. To cut those down to 200 cals and keep my protein high, I switched to just 200 cals of protein powder in water. One day I went back to milk instead and that night I "binged" (the only time) and ate an extra 300 calories one meal (a sub on *gasp* bread). The sugar and fat sure gave me a noticeable energy increase during the day, and I THOUGHT I actually looked a little bigger the next day...I thought it was my imagination.
    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/mus...ng-part-1.html

    part two on the right margin gets into re-feeds. This same info is in another write up Ive read. Just have to grind along as IW posted. Ive never made it to single digits and thats a LOOOONG way off from 12% range IMO, it just gets slower and slower and the hunger gets worse. Obviously people do it, but I'm not sure if its worth it to try to hit single digits unless competing. I started feeling pretty beat up and junky all around last summer and still had plenty of fat reserves left...
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  9. #9
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ucsumma View Post
    Yes to all of the above. It's a total mindfck and the fact that you're only lowered calories only adds to the mental instability.

    Since you're admittedly doing this for yourself and not a competition, keep reminding yourself of that and try to find ways to intentionally minimize stressors.
    Thanks. Nice to know it's "normal". Thanks for the advice and support.

    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    Running a real bodybuilding cut (as opposed to a fat civilian posting here asking how to "get in shape") is much more a mental battle than a physical one. Most natties will have to get considerably lighter/smaller than they think in order to get really shredded (IMO, that's single-digits). And for those of us who had to fight hard for every ounce of muscle gained over the past year or so, seeing that weight loss will, in your mind, equate to losing muscle. At least some amount of muscle mass will be lost, but it can be minimized by strict adherence to your plan.


    Stick with your plan, keep lifting heavy with as much volume as you can stand, and keep your protein and fat intake up. When you get to the point where fat loss slows to a crawl, drop another couple hundred carb calories out of your daily allotment.

    When fat loss again slows, and if you feel you still aren't where you want to be, then is the time to crank up the cardio rather than try to reduce calories further; by now, your calorie intake will probably be at a point where you'd have to reduce protein and/or fat to reduce calories further, which is not what you want to do.
    Right on point as usual. That's how I plan on proceeding...although I never actually though about including cardio. Honestly never crossed my mind since I do so much moving at my job. I'm not sure I'll be interested in "shredding" to that point. Once those lower abs appear I'm switching to maintenance TDEE for a few months before slowly trying to bulk again...then I'll be complaining about having to eat so much, ha ha.

    Originally Posted by fedewab2 View Post
    Firstly, I suspect of your disappointment in the process and your appearance is not objective, or based in reality. IMO, based on your pic, you look good. Mental.

    I am down 8-10lb, and my perception is that my aesthetic has decreased, specifically with regards to how I fill out my shirts, especially in the shoulders, arms, and chest.
    I can definitely tell I look smaller in a shirt...and for an honest opinion if I'm "getting skinnier?" All I have to do is ask my SO. She immediately changes the subject without answering...which means, "yes!" but she doesn't want to make me feel bad.
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  10. #10
    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    My experience is the slower you lose weight the less muscle mass you loose.
    The body adapts easier to gradually losing weight.

    Do be discouraged keep on course to your goal and don't let anything get in the way.
    Good luck.
    Yeah, I wasn't planning to lose even this fast...but I should have known, the way I have to gorge just to maintain any weight. My body seems very very much to be scrawny despite my efforts.

    I sure hope you mean "don't be discouraged", or you suck, ha ha. If I don't see this through it won't be because of lack of willpower, it will be because I get too darn small. I know when I was in my 20s I had an eight pack and was as big or bigger than I am now...so I know it's possible for my body, or at least it was when I was younger.

    Originally Posted by Plateauplower View Post
    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/mus...ng-part-1.html

    part two on the right margin gets into re-feeds. This same info is in another write up Ive read. Just have to grind along as IW posted. Ive never made it to single digits and thats a LOOOONG way off from 12% range IMO, it just gets slower and slower and the hunger gets worse. Obviously people do it, but I'm not sure if its worth it to try to hit single digits unless competing. I started feeling pretty beat up and junky all around last summer and still had plenty of fat reserves left...
    Thanks, I'll check that link out as soon as I get a chance. The mother-in-law is coming for a couple weeks So there is a bit of prep work taking priority right now, ha ha.

    Like I said above, not single digits for me. I'd have to get down to, like, 145 pounds. As soon as those lower abs appear I'm outta here to get a pizza!
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  11. #11
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    If you are hoping to shed "stubborn" fat, plan on having to shred yourself to get there. Abdominal and torso are very slow to loose. (likely will be the last to go)

    It took me about 5 years of cutting on and off to finally start getting it where I wanted. I never wanted to cut too far as it was too costly to muscle and strength, so I chipped away at it little by little. A little more each time.

    What that has meant, is even "bulked" my non-stubborn areas stay lean. When I first started making efforts to drop fat back in 2010, my thigh skinfold was 14mm. Now, even "bulked" it does not go above 4-5.

    I have come to believe slow to loose, slow to gain. I gain VAT first and it takes MONTHS of overeating before my skinfolds start to change. (I never go that long anymore). I gave up structured surpluses 2 years ago as I believe I have topped out on my ability to put on mass.

    Anyway.... I no longer "cut", but rather strive for maintaining sub 10% and gradually dipping lower and lower. Not sure where I will end up.

    Grub, I feel you.....dont sweat it. Dont worry about the scale. It feels good to lean out. When you start seeing things about your physique you never knew were there, it is a rewarding feeling. I have gotten as much enjoyment out of getting (and staying) lean, as I ever did from hitting a PR. It has taken A LOT more work which many dont realize. Being strong and 12-15% bf is pretty easy. Trying to do the same and stay below 10% required a complete change of my lifestyle. One that I have accepted and now enjoy.
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    AWOL highiso's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post

    In any case, I'm going into week 4 and getting kind of depressed. The love handles are gone, and I'm beginning to see the underlying shape of the lower abs more (so I know they are still there). This sounds good, BUT is there a totally depressing stage between where all the fat that made you look "big" is gone...but you still have that layer of fat that keeps you from looking cut? I'm down about 9 pounds, which doesn't sound like a lot...but I started at 162, so that's a pretty good chunk of weight for me

    I feel like I hit some dreaded zone. Small(er), but not cut. Flat and often hungry. My workouts haven't suffered. My strength and endurance is actually still progressing during my workouts...but I'm much more fatigued during the rest of the "real life" day. Since this was just sort of a personal "lets see what happens" scenario, and not for a contest (or even a beach vacation, since only 1 person ever even sees me with my shirt off), I'm sort of asking myself why the hell I'm doing this, other than the challenge?

    So is this normal first time cutting sh*t? Lifting depression? Looking small, but not yet cut? Self doubt?

    I actually had to log in for the first time in a long time because I wanted to respond to this, as it's everything that I've experienced over the past 7 years. Yes it's totally normal.

    If you're a natty with average genetics like myself, the road to anything remotely close to the physique you want is a painfully long one. I went through exactly what you're talking about above so I won't reiterate. I will say that bulking and cutting cycles suck but do work, it just takes YEARS!

    Last year, after my 6th year of counting every calorie and macro all year, every year, I was burnt out. I decided this past year that I would wing the nutrition plan. I'm sure I only got about half the protein this year compared to previous years, probably only 120g per day if that, carbs and fat were high as I ate a bunch of junk food, I even gave up Intermittent Fasting for 6 months and cut my training in half, still lifting 5 days a week but only 30 minutes instead of an hour. I didn't bench or squat over 225 and did no deadlifting, it was all high-rep, moderate weight.

    Now that I'm back under 10% BF I can honestly say that all of the changes have had no real affect on me one way or the other, I possibly may have even made some gains but won't really know until I get to the 6ish% level. At this point it's hard to tell one year to the next if any progress is made. And I'm at the point where I really don't care.

    The take is... yes you will look and feel small once you strip all of the fat away, unless of course you're blessed with top tier genetics where you're able to build an impressive lean physique on a **** diet, trust me, my workout partner is that guy and it ain't fair.

    Anyway, I continue to diet down every year because of the challenge, and the feeling of being completely shredded is like no other. Good luck!



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  13. #13
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    As many have said it's all in the mind!
    I have a weight problem it's that I can't wait to eat LOL bad joke I know. I gain muscle very easy and lose fat oh so slowly when I get sub 20% BF.
    there is a light switch that for me is between 20 down to around 12% bf I keep cutting and feel depressed I'm looking smaller and smaller and it really drives me up a wall sometimes. then all of a sudden WOW I look huge again. it's crazy how the mind is. as a natural it's very hard to keep a lot of muscle and size like 180+ and get under 10% just a long hard grind.
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    Registered User boilerbreaker's Avatar
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    My first cut went pretty well. Avatar picture is about 170 lbs. at 6ft. Lifts stayed strong, somewhere around the 900- 950lb total. Took to long though and got old, was getting hangry. Doing a refeed on Sunday's with pancakes or pasta helped a lot especially for keeping my bench strong on Monday's. Take a week or two at maintenance to regroup and go back into it if you need to cut more.

    Definitely looked smaller and needed another bulk. Got back up to the strongest I ever have been at 192 lbs. Thought I needed another cut for summer and tried going a little quicker this time. Lost more muscle than I wanted to and lifts suffered. Didn't do HIIT this time and never got to the point of my avatar by just dieting.

    First time in a long time, I'm starting to feel my age. Very physical job and it's hard to figure calories out and didn't eat enough during the last cut and suffered for it.

    It's definitely a grind and mentally exhausting sometimes. Do I want abs or a 1000lb total at 47 yrs old and 6ft 175lb? Never can decide and have been close enough at both ends.
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    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    If you are hoping to shed "stubborn" fat, plan on having to shred yourself to get there. Abdominal and torso are very slow to loose. (likely will be the last to go)

    snip
    I'm hoping the fat around the bottom abs doesn't give me major difficulties...but time will tell. I'm hoping this ends up being productive, and like you, I play on staying leaner as I (hopefully) gain. I don't think I'm willing to go below 10% at my bodyweight and size, but we'll see how things work out. I'm sure it's just as (mentally) difficult for a big guy to lean out as a small guy, but at the end of the day I (as a shorter smaller guy) would look very scrawny in the 140s. I know because that's where I was before I started lifting again. If I had a proportionate build on a taller frame I think I would be better with it...of course, I'll never know if that's true.

    Originally Posted by highiso View Post
    I will say that bulking and cutting cycles suck but do work, it just takes YEARS!

    snip
    Thanks for the return. I had recently realized you hadn't posted for a while because some necromancer posted on one of your older threads.

    I did have success on the one real bulk I did. What I didn't learn was that I needed to strip away the fat and go at it again. I just figured I'd keep the muscle and slowly loose the fat by dropping to a maintenance weight and continuing to work out hard (the classic "re-comp" theory I guess). It led to about a year and half in limbo where I only lost a bit of the fat I gained and only gained a tiny bit of muscle.

    It's obvious my body gains actual muscle much better from a lean state.

    Originally Posted by boilerbreaker View Post
    Took to long though and got old, was getting hangry. Doing a refeed on Sunday's with pancakes or pasta helped a lot especially for keeping my bench strong on Monday's. Take a week or two at maintenance to regroup and go back into it if you need to cut more.

    First time in a long time, I'm starting to feel my age. Very physical job and it's hard to figure calories out and didn't eat enough during the last cut and suffered for it.

    It's definitely a grind and mentally exhausting sometimes. Do I want abs or a 1000lb total at 47 yrs old and 6ft 175lb? Never can decide and have been close enough at both ends.
    Ha ha, "hangry" has been a word I never used until a few weeks ago...now I'm using it all the time. I'm fine most of the time...but when it's time to eat, it's time to eat! Now!

    I'm planning on investing in some "maintenance" time once I get to a point where I feel good. After that I'll have to decide if I need to go down a bit more or start a very small surplus. I plan to monitor my maintenance phases a lot more than I have the last year.

    Feeling my age too for the first time. I have a physical job as well, and it's been grueling getting through the days since I started doing this (diet).

    For me it's always about how I look, which is ironic, because I'm pretty much the only one who has a clue what's under my clothes. The most anyone really sees is how much I stretch (or not) a T-shirt in the chest and arms. Since I don't look like what most people consider a "bodybuilder" the majority just think I'm "in shape"...or they don't bother thinking about it at all.




    >>>Thanks for all the support, stories, and insight everyone. It's nice to sort of set my mind at ease and have some ideas of what to expect and what to plan for. I really was getting sort of depressed and moody (probably part mental, probably physiological things from the diet), but this thread has made me feel much better.

    Some days I look in the mirror and it looks like my skin is starting to shrink wrap around some areas. Other days I just look scrawny. Some light makes it look better, some light makes me look flat and horrible. It's funny, because what are a few months in the grande scheme of things?

    >>>>>>On a side note, the fall Natural Wisconsin (in October) has been cancelled for some reason. It's only funny because in the back of my mind I was thinking that would be about when I would "peak" if things went right.
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    The only way I've been able to cut depression free is to ladder. Ie

    2800, 2500,2500,2500,2700,2400,2400,2400,2600,2300 etc.

    The worst for me was keto. Less than every day jacked me up. Even in ketosis I felt miserable.

    Point is, when you begin using fats that would otherwise be used for mood to live, it makes sense you'll feel like crap.
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    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    Not sure on what bodyfat % I got down to but in 2016 I quit drinking alcohol completely (just for the year), that had a knock on effect in that my diet was a **** load better.

    I'm guessing I got down to 10% as I had veins showing in my lower abs, I didn't do anything scientific, I ate when I was hungry, I increased my cardio (running in a morning on an empty stomach) I had a BIG re-feed weekly just to keep me sane.

    No food tastes better than looking ripped feels

    This was where I ended up, 190Lbs, back up to 200-205Lbs now and looking fluffier.

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    You look good brother. I have always been a skinny guy, currently I'm at my heaviest weight at 150 on the dot. (Well, heavy in descent shape, was 154 and skinny fat at one point a few years ago.) I am also not that tall at 5'9". I dropped to 141-142 and looked horrible, wife said I had that terrible disease- Noassatall - "no- ass -at- all." Any who, i do have a slight stomach, no love handles really but am happy with my on and off shirt for the most part and like the way my clothes fit. Not sure what my next journey will be, but as i said - you look pretty good at that cut stage. my most recent at 150 below. i know what you mean by your clothing not "fitting" - the rule of thumb is, no space on the sleeves around the biceps....lol
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    domo arigato ChristianMR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dazlittle View Post
    Not sure on what bodyfat % I got down to but in 2016 I quit drinking alcohol completely (just for the year), that had a knock on effect in that my diet was a **** load better.

    I'm guessing I got down to 10% as I had veins showing in my lower abs, I didn't do anything scientific, I ate when I was hungry, I increased my cardio (running in a morning on an empty stomach) I had a BIG re-feed weekly just to keep me sane.

    No food tastes better than looking ripped feels

    This was where I ended up, 190Lbs, back up to 200-205Lbs now and looking fluffier.

    That's pretty cut, man, but it sounds like getting there was torture. Out of curiosity, what did your lifts look like when you were that lean?
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    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ChristianMR View Post
    That's pretty cut, man, but it sounds like getting there was torture. Out of curiosity, what did your lifts look like when you were that lean?
    I'm not particularly that strong as I train for health and vanity!! Looking back over logs I only lost strength in the last few weeks, about a 10% drop in the big compounds. I'm fortunate that I have a pretty high metabolism so i never dropped below 2500 calories a day. My maintenance at the moment is about 3200(ish as I don't track that closely any longer).
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    domo arigato ChristianMR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dazlittle View Post
    I'm not particularly that strong as I train for health and vanity!! Looking back over logs I only lost strength in the last few weeks, about a 10% drop in the big compounds. I'm fortunate that I have a pretty high metabolism so i never dropped below 2500 calories a day. My maintenance at the moment is about 3200(ish as I don't track that closely any longer).
    Thanks for the response. I'm internally debating whether I should stop my own cut or keep going. I'm 6'2" and about 190-195 right now. My best guess would be that I'm in the neighborhood of 13-14% bf (my avi is probably 14-15%). I expect to be weak and skinny if I ever hit 12% or below. Not sure if I'll go there. Cuts are hard (psychologically, mostly)!
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    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    The only way I've been able to cut depression free is to ladder. Ie

    2800, 2500,2500,2500,2700,2400,2400,2400,2600,2300 etc.
    Never been good at moderation, ha ha. I'm only 200 below my TDEE...but since I was eating about 500 calories OVER that before I started, it's a pretty dramatic cut in food volume. Next week I'm dropping 100 or 200 calories (mostly carbs).

    Originally Posted by dazlittle View Post
    in 2016 I quit drinking alcohol completely (just for the year), that had a knock on effect in that my diet was a **** load better.
    I stopped drinking about 7 years ago, so I can't do that.

    Once my midsection looks like yours I can revaluate. Right now it looks worse than when I started. I getting much more definition everywhere except my lower abs...It doesn't look "fat" but it looks like layer of really thick skin that wrinkles in ugly ways when I move and flex.

    Originally Posted by tommydamic68 View Post
    You look good brother.

    i know what you mean by your clothing not "fitting" - the rule of thumb is, no space on the sleeves around the biceps....lol
    Thanks man. I still look pretty good in a "tight" T-shirt. my arms don't look huge from the front, but they are proportionately big from the side. Still "look like I lift", but more "athletic" than bodybuilder.
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    You're off to a great start grub. Just hang in there. You've way more mass than me so it'll look great, as opposed to the chemo look I end up with lol.
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    Registered User grubman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    You're off to a great start grub. Just hang in there. You've way more mass than me so it'll look great, as opposed to the chemo look I end up with lol.
    I don't know about all that. Every morning I think, "this is going to be the day I see the big change"...but now I know what it's like to be a woman trying to loose her muffin top, but loses the fat in her chest instead. The skin is getting tighter around everything, but still waiting for the lower abdomen to show me something impressive.

    Took these comparison pictures before working out this morning.

    thinner.jpg
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    I don't know about all that. Every morning I think, "this is going to be the day I see the big change"...but now I know what it's like to be a woman trying to loose her muffin top, but loses the fat in her chest instead. The skin is getting tighter around everything, but still waiting for the lower abdomen to show me something impressive.

    Took these comparison pictures before working out this morning.

    Attachment 8731611
    tbh I'd do hanging leg raises and just beef that up, problem solved. Funny how Genes are. I have lower ab veins and the top are barely visible. And my legs have zero cuts. You're so so close,sub 10 for sure.
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    tbh I'd do hanging leg raises and just beef that up, problem solved.
    I would suggest doing them with a weight. I use a dumbell.
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Funny how Genes are.
    I'm guessing I'm probably around 12 percent above the waist...then I have that blob around the abs...and probably still 13-15 in the legs...but who knows.

    Below is a pic of my abs in my 20s...so I KNOW I have lower abs that can become visible. (excuse picture quality from the non-digital days).

    youngabs.jpg
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    I don't know about all that. Every morning I think, "this is going to be the day I see the big change"
    9 pounds is a lot at 162. Take a break for 2 weeks. Cutting to low body fat takes forever. Mental fatigue and self doubt are typical. Pace yourself. Expect it to take much longer than you want. Expect to have to lose more than you wanted or thought you would need to. Rushing (past initial losses) tends to have worse results, and more rebound weight gain after the diet.

    See it as an adventure, and a learning experience. You dun good already, good luck however far you pursue it.
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    Re-feed last night...woke up looking great. Not happy about losing size in my legs without the tradeoff of any real separation or cuts, although (oddly) there are some vague striations in the outer thighs.

    Aug Cut 4WK.jpg
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    Dude, objectively, you look amazing, especially for you age (I can say that because we're the same age). I don't know about you, but I'm learning that an extended diet can take its toll psychologically, perhaps making us hyper focus on perceived flaws rather than seeing the big picture. Look around at most guys our age (outside of this place, anyway) - we'redoing great relatively, be proud of that!

    Easier said than done, I know. I yelled at my kids for no real good reason last night (well, there was a reason, but I over reacted for sure). Have had a hair trigger temper for weeks, not sleeping well, motivation at work not what it was. I think dieting for this long really takes a toll.

    Interesting coincidence your doing that refeed, I did as well last night. I'm going further, though, taking a two week break from the diet - starting today I'm upping my calories to what I "think" is maintenance and won't weigh myself for two weeks. See where I am then, and start cutting again for that home stretch, that is if I feel like I need to - I wonder if I'll be more objective then and start hearing what folks keep telling me - that I'm lean enough already and starting to be obsessive about it... We'll see!

    Anyway, if you're not at that point yet (I've been dieting for six months, so I definitely am), I'll let you know what it did for me at the end of two weeks!
    Last edited by loggerboots; 08-20-2017 at 09:01 AM.
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