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  1. #31
    Registered User Endythegrea's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by broganoff View Post
    I should've been more specific when I said "what your lifts are". What I meant was, what are squat/bench/dead'ing for 4-6 reps? That should give us an idea of how much muscle you might have.

    Also, as you may have implied at the bottom of your post, move towards weighing food down to the gram. Volumetric/eyeballing can be deceiving. Especially with peanut butter, cheese, and any sort of liquid calories.
    I've been doing the volumes of peanut butter with actual tablespoons and cheese with cups. Oil if used for cooking the same.

    I'm squatting 315, dumb bells for pressing at 75 lbs (haven't benched yet but if I had to guess probably about 245), Deadlifts are only at 245 right now because I'm more worried about my form more than anything... I've only been lifting for a month. I can leg press twice my weight. Strength is staying about the same right now.

    I started off around 335 180 days ago and i'm down to 305 but like I said it fluctuates at this point since I started lifting. Most of that weight came off from a low carb diet. I'm eating cleaner than I was then now.
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  2. #32
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    Originally Posted by Endythegrea View Post
    I've been doing the volumes of peanut butter with actual tablespoons and cheese with cups. Oil if used for cooking the same. .
    LEVEL tablespoons? (Level from edge-to-edge of tablespoon...)
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  3. #33
    Registered User Endythegrea's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    LEVEL tablespoons? (Level from edge-to-edge of tablespoon...)
    Yes, that's why i'm saying even if i'm eating 8 or 10 ounces of chicken instead of 6 there's no way in hell i'm eating more than 3000 calories. I'm not using any sauces besides mustard for chicken...
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  4. #34
    Registered User broganoff's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Endythegrea View Post
    I've been doing the volumes of peanut butter with actual tablespoons and cheese with cups. Oil if used for cooking the same.

    I'm squatting 315, dumb bells for pressing at 75 lbs (haven't benched yet but if I had to guess probably about 245), Deadlifts are only at 245 right now because I'm more worried about my form more than anything... I've only been lifting for a month. I can leg press twice my weight. Strength is staying about the same right now.

    I started off around 335 180 days ago and i'm down to 305 but like I said it fluctuates at this point since I started lifting. Most of that weight came off from a low carb diet. I'm eating cleaner than I was then now.
    315 is a pretty good squat (by average joe standard, not powerlifter), assuming that's for reps and going at least to parallel. Your other lifts are on the low side. Which is why I and others are questioning your 31% body fat at 300 pounds. You would have almost the lean mass of Arnold in his prime.

    Otherwise, like has already been suggested, start using the food scale. Too much room for error with volume, even if you are being careful.
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  5. #35
    Registered User Endythegrea's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by broganoff View Post
    315 is a pretty good squat (by average joe standard, not powerlifter), assuming that's for reps and going at least to parallel. Your other lifts are on the low side. Which is why I and others are questioning your 31% body fat at 300 pounds. You would have almost the lean mass of Arnold in his prime.

    Otherwise, like has already been suggested, start using the food scale. Too much room for error with volume, even if you are being careful.

    Yeah, there is no way in hell i'm 30 percent body fat. I'm above 35 percent, closer to 40 I think. I did some looking around on the forums and figured that out. I'm guessing when I cut before and got down to 225 I was closer to 20 percent BF. I'm uploading some pics to my body space this evening. I'm thinking my lean mass is more like 185ish right now.

    At the end of the day, I believe I'm recomping right now, and I'm going to stick with what I'm doing. If someone really feels I'll get way better results doing something else, they might be able to convince me otherwise.
    Last edited by Endythegrea; 12-03-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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  6. #36
    Summer is coming Maverick2015's Avatar
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    The problem is that with 100 lbs to lose doing a recomp is going to make you worry too much about potential muscle loss and keep you from ever getting down to a body fat level that will show off the muscle. I think you really need to bite the bullet and lose the fat first. Trying to recomp when you are at a decent BF% is one thing, but at 40% you really need to get that fat level down. You will be much happier in the long run (remember when you were 225?).

    That said, one thing I would recommend is to take the amount of food you do now using cups, etc. and the weigh it (rather than just weighing it directly). That way you can at least figure out where the calories are coming from. Really, you should be losing at least 1 lb a week with those calories, and probably more. I would also check labels against the calories the fitbit app is telling you (just to verify). Keep lifting while you cut and the end results will be better.
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  7. #37
    Registered User Endythegrea's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Maverick2015 View Post
    The problem is that with 100 lbs to lose doing a recomp is going to make you worry too much about potential muscle loss and keep you from ever getting down to a body fat level that will show off the muscle. I think you really need to bite the bullet and lose the fat first. Trying to recomp when you are at a decent BF% is one thing, but at 40% you really need to get that fat level down. You will be much happier in the long run (remember when you were 225?).

    That said, one thing I would recommend is to take the amount of food you do now using cups, etc. and the weigh it (rather than just weighing it directly). That way you can at least figure out where the calories are coming from. Really, you should be losing at least 1 lb a week with those calories, and probably more. I would also check labels against the calories the fitbit app is telling you (just to verify). Keep lifting while you cut and the end results will be better.

    How exactly should I go about losing more fat rather than doing a recomp? Just cut 200-400 calories in carbs?

    I also uploaded starting pics to my profile... not much of a noticeable change from a month ago.
    Last edited by Endythegrea; 12-03-2019 at 06:32 PM.
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  8. #38
    Registered User rtpmarine's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Endythegrea View Post
    At the end of the day, I believe I'm recomping right now, and I'm going to stick with what I'm doing. If someone really feels I'll get way better results doing something else, they might be able to convince me otherwise.
    To be clear, I don't think anybody here is suggesting that you spend time recomping. JohnProphet and I suggested that eating at maintenance for a while could help you get your metabolism up and running so that cutting would be easier in the long run. While it's true that recomping (swapping fat for muscle) will boost your metabolism and increase your TDEE, it isn't really the goal of the strategy. The goal is to just get some momentum going so that you roll into actual calorie restriction with a tail wind.

    So again, I'll reiterate that if you find your true maintenance to be 3500+ calories, then you should just eat 500 below whatever that maintenance is and expect to see ~1 lb/week after glycogen and water weight stabilize. If your true maintenance is 2500 or less, then you should address your failing metabolism before anything else.
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  9. #39
    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    Cut your calories by 400. There's no good reason why you're not losing weight. People with your stats don't stall in the first four weeks unless they aren't eating in a deficit. Cut your calories and continue to get enough protein and continue lifting. There's no reason to eat at maintenance--your very first priority needs to be fat loss
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  10. #40
    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    You're already eating at maintenance if you're not losing weight. If you haven't been using a food scale you have absolutely no idea how much you've been eating, so any calorie claims are complete guesses without specific gram totals since the measuring cups and tablespoons on nutrition labels rarely match the expected gram totals.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  11. #41
    Registered User Endythegrea's Avatar
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    Thanks all, I will start by measuring my food correctly and then go from there. I'll drop 200 calories after 2 weeks of doing that until I'm dropping 1-2 lbs a week. I really don't want to kill myself eating as low as 1800 calories but I think that's the right thing to do at this point. I need to worry more about my recent sugar/cholesterol issues than maintaining or even building muscle. So I'm going to go that route.

    I was down 2 lbs yesterday but I haven't dropped below 304 this whole time and it's pissing me off. I'm not really having BM's consistently either... I'm not very patient, so I only weight myself once a week at the same time usually. Same as taking my BF percentage. I think my fat is just starting to separate from my muscle so I am having a difficult time using the calipers consistently.
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  12. #42
    Summer is coming Maverick2015's Avatar
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    I think you have the right idea with weighing the food for a couple weeks, then dropping calories from there. I don't think all of the calories you drop needs to be carbs though. As long as you get enough protein and at least some fat, you should be fine. But since you mentioned you were pre-diabetic at some point (even though you aren't now), it might be a good idea to limit your carbs to mealtime only as much as possible (or at least only 15g of carbs in between meals). Really 45g carbs per meal is about right for that condition while losing weight (45-60 if maintaining weight). I really wouldn't worry about BF% accuracy right now. It is too hard at those numbers.

    Probably not what you want to hear, but looking at your pics (and drawing my own experience and observations on here), I would say you have to get closer to 200 lbs before you start to really show off any muscles. Just take it one week at a time. We always say it is a marathon not a sprint.
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  13. #43
    Registered User Endythegrea's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Maverick2015 View Post
    I think you have the right idea with weighing the food for a couple weeks, then dropping calories from there. I don't think all of the calories you drop needs to be carbs though. As long as you get enough protein and at least some fat, you should be fine. But since you mentioned you were pre-diabetic at some point (even though you aren't now), it might be a good idea to limit your carbs to mealtime only as much as possible (or at least only 15g of carbs in between meals). Really 45g carbs per meal is about right for that condition while losing weight (45-60 if maintaining weight). I really wouldn't worry about BF% accuracy right now. It is too hard at those numbers.

    Probably not what you want to hear, but looking at your pics (and drawing my own experience and observations on here), I would say you have to get closer to 200 lbs before you start to really show off any muscles. Just take it one week at a time. We always say it is a marathon not a sprint.
    Actually if I flex right now... I can see my shouders, bi's, and tri's getting bigger and veins in my arms already. From what I remember I thin out there first. But yeah... It will take getting close to 200 lbs before I see anything crazy. Even at 225, I didn't have a six pack showing but I was starting to get veins popping out of my shoulders etc. I'm in it for the long haul. I really cut back on my carbs the last two days and don't have much energy... I'll decide what to do once I know I'm eating 2400 calories a day for sure.
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  14. #44
    Summer is coming Maverick2015's Avatar
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    Yeah, I meant without flexing, but good to know you have some muscle weight too. One thing I forgot to mention is that it is very common to have constipation when cutting calories. This is especially true when the carbs are lower. It is really hard to get enough fiber with the limitations. So I always recommend a fiber supplement a few times a day. It helps keep you full and helps keep things moving in the bathroom. I usually only urinate first thing in the morning before weighing myself, but can easily be at least half a pound lighter after pooping later on. If it has been a few days, that can be a decent amount of weight trapped in your intestines.

    It really sounds like you are heading in the right direction and have a better idea of the next steps. I look forward to seeing your progress.
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  15. #45
    Registered User Endythegrea's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Maverick2015 View Post
    Yeah, I meant without flexing, but good to know you have some muscle weight too. One thing I forgot to mention is that it is very common to have constipation when cutting calories. This is especially true when the carbs are lower. It is really hard to get enough fiber with the limitations. So I always recommend a fiber supplement a few times a day. It helps keep you full and helps keep things moving in the bathroom. I usually only urinate first thing in the morning before weighing myself, but can easily be at least half a pound lighter after pooping later on. If it has been a few days, that can be a decent amount of weight trapped in your intestines.

    It really sounds like you are heading in the right direction and have a better idea of the next steps. I look forward to seeing your progress.
    Yeah, I crapped today... I just weighed myself this evening. 298.6 Last time I weighed myself a few days ago I was 304.4 in the morning... What fiber supplement do you think is the best or do you recommend? So I lost weight. I'm not cutting any calories from the 2400 until I'm weighing my food to 2400 calories and I should have an idea of what I was doing wrong.
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  16. #46
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    until you KNOW your calorie intake..you'll remain confused (and so will we)
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    Originally Posted by Endythegrea View Post
    So I lost weight. I'm not cutting any calories from the 2400 until I'm weighing my food to 2400 calories and I should have an idea of what I was doing wrong.
    Congrats! Now that you see the drop, maybe your calorie intake was fine all along but the scale was deceiving you. It's obviously a good idea to get more accurate with your calorie counts, but maybe you want to weigh yourself more often as well? As others have said, you can't go wrong weighing yourself first thing in the morning and then using a weekly average to determine progress.
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    Originally Posted by John Prophet View Post
    until you KNOW your calorie intake..you'll remain confused (and so will we)
    Yeah, I should have my scales this weekend. Amazon is backed up because of the holidays... I'm pretty sure I was eating close to maintenance because I really tried to cut down my calories by 400 or so and I feel like absolute dog **** and my strength is weakening a bit. But I get it, I'll figure out my maintenance as soon as I can and then go from there.

    Is there a point in recomping where you have just put on enough muscle and your body starts to burn more fat?
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    Originally Posted by Endythegrea View Post
    Is there a point in recomping where you have just put on enough muscle and your body starts to burn more fat?
    Well I think the main concept is that it is WAAAY harder to build muscle than to lose fat. This is why recomping itself isnt seen THAT often. People can burn off 2 lbs of fat in a week or two but a lot of people cant put on 2 lbs of muscle in a YEAR.

    A beginner or someone coming off a long layoff can sometimes recomp because they are in a temporary place where the body can gain muscle faster than normal. A fat person can recomp because they have massive energy stores for workouts etc and their body wont fight them as hard whereas a really lean person doesnt have that much fat to lose to start with so its way more of a balancing act and the lean person is more apt to lose or barely hold muscle while in a deficit.

    IMo once u get a good grip on what your maintenance calories are, you should just settle in on losing weight on the scale and not worry too much about the recomping aspect as it will take care of itself. Even if you lose some lean mass along the way (you will), that can be fixed later after you have leaned down etc. This is also what I am trying to tell myself lol. I am at 230 this morning and right at 30% bodyfat so I have quite a ways to go myself. I just mentally hate the idea of losing any muscle.

    of course, once one gets down to a better bodyfat %, all of the body systems generally work more in his favor as far as proper insulin responses etc. i would think that if one is training in a deficit for a good while, that once he gets leaner, when he finally does get back to a surplus, he will probably see great gains. In other words any lost muscle along the way can be put back on later
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    Yeah, I'm not worried about losing muscle. I actually had a guy in the gym this morning tell me I'm recomping and he is watching me get skinnier every week. He was surprised I wasn't losing weight. I just don't like not having any energy in the gym, but it is what it is.

    I think i'm kind of abnormal and lucky in regards to recomping. Last time I did this I don't think I lost much muscle if any while losing fat. I wish I had known how much I was eating, but I was also a lot more active at work than I am now. I sit in a chair all damn day, and at that time I was in the field all day moving around lifting things. That's probably why my TDEE is a lot lower than it was before. I do remember before I counted calories for a while but then I had everything dialed in and didn't have to worry much about how much I ate, but more about what I ate and serving size.

    Either way, I know what I need to do, and I thank everyone for that. You've all been an immense help. Step one is determining my maintenance calories and adjusting from there.
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    You need to focus on fatloss first and foremost. Your training will be all about maintaining muscle. Your diet will focus on enough protein and low enough calories to be losing 2 lbs a week. It’s easy to do the math. If you aren’t losing that much per week your calories are too high which it appears they are. You can weigh your food, calculate things all you want however your body doesn’t know numbers, only if it’s being given calories to either gain mass, lose mass or maintain mass.

    You need to get over this recomp fixation and get the fat off with a generous calorie deficit while training on a proven program.

    Measuring your waist at the navel is your best gauge of fat loss.

    Your metabolism is fine.
    Last edited by Tommy W.; 12-05-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    You need to get over this recomp fixation...
    +1,000. I respect the edit.
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    Guys, I'm not fixated on it... It's obviously irrelevant at this point, as everyone has made the same point.
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    Originally Posted by Endythegrea View Post
    Guys, I'm not fixated on it... It's obviously irrelevant at this point, as everyone has made the same point.
    Be prepared to have to take in fewer calories than you think in order to be successful in lowering your BF in a decent time frame. Little to no alcohol or processed carbs
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Be prepared to have to take in fewer calories than you think in order to be successful in lowering your BF in a decent time frame. Little to no alcohol or processed carbs
    I haven't had a drink in 4 weeks, and the only carbs I'm eating are rice, a tbsp. of peanut butter, oatmeal, and veggies. The night before leg day I have half a sweet potato :-)

    I'm thinking I'm probably at least 2 years out of where I want to be.
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    Originally Posted by Endythegrea View Post
    I haven't had a drink in 4 weeks, and the only carbs I'm eating are rice, a tbsp. of peanut butter, oatmeal, and veggies. The night before leg day I have half a sweet potato :-)

    I'm thinking I'm probably at least 2 years out of where I want to be.
    It's a process and good you're being realistic
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    I do have a question... At what point is it better to eat a surplus of calories like some suggested and then cut, essentially boosting your metabolism? how long does it take your body to adjust to that? I'm just trying to understand at what point you would want to do that and why. Would that be more for when you are cutting to a point that your calorie intake is getting below the 1800-1500 range?

    I'm not asking because I want to do that, I'm asking because I want to understand the science behind it. I've always had success with just cutting calories, lifting, and cardio. Do body types or anything else come into play regarding the question above or is everyone basically the same?
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    Originally Posted by Endythegrea View Post
    I do have a question... At what point is it better to eat a surplus of calories like some suggested and then cut, essentially boosting your metabolism? how long does it take your body to adjust to that? I'm just trying to understand at what point you would want to do that and why. Would that be more for when you are cutting to a point that your calorie intake is getting below the 1800-1500 range?

    I'm not asking because I want to do that, I'm asking because I want to understand the science behind it. I've always had success with just cutting calories, lifting, and cardio. Do body types or anything else come into play regarding the question above or is everyone basically the same?
    you won’t boost your metabolism by eating more. Your metabolism is really just NEAT calorie burn. That’s just how much you move around all day. People want to think raising calories will help because they want an excuse to eat more but it just doesn’t work like that. You’ll need to suck it up and cut calories to be successful
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    Originally Posted by Endythegrea View Post
    I do have a question... At what point is it better to eat a surplus of calories like some suggested and then cut, essentially boosting your metabolism? how long does it take your body to adjust to that? I'm just trying to understand at what point you would want to do that and why. Would that be more for when you are cutting to a point that your calorie intake is getting below the 1800-1500 range?
    Under no circumstances should you "eat a surplus of calories" for a prolonged amount of time, because that would cause weight gain. If you want to eat slightly above maintenance for one day every now and then, as a "refeed", that's okay, but you really shouldn't need it as it'll just slow you down.

    The controversial recommendation is to "eat at maintenance" (not eat at surplus) and it only applies if your metabolism is in the ****ter, which yours is not. You lost several pounds eating 2400 calories, so you're good to go. Just focus on maintaining your deficit week over week and you should be fine. It will take you a long, long time to take your TDEE all the way down to 1800. It's almost guaranteed that you'll hit your goal weight before you get that low.
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    Know that annoying feeling well. My TDEE is 2365 and I take in no more than 1856 calories a day. Usually about 700-800 under maintenance. Been doing cardio every single day for the last few months. Lift 2-3 times a week depending on how I feel and time. Only squats, deadlifts, and benchpress. I weight EVERYTHING i eat like my life depends on it. So when you hop on the scale once a week and see, "oh wow, 0.5 lbs lost..." it gets frustrating. But then when I have my body fat checked and it has dropped 5%, everything is way too loose, and lean mass measurements have gone up on arms, legs, and chest, you feel a lot better. My goal is to drop from 31% body fat to about 14% over the next two years- and keep it off. I can go full blown keto and drop 10 pounds in a couple weeks. But that comes right back the second I eat a gram of carbs. You may be seeing an increase in water weight due to the creatine monohydrate intake. For 20 years I took that stuff like it was crack, and now due to massive over intake of that and protein, I have kidney damage to boot. (Why I thought you needed 400g of protein a day at 165lbs I have no idea. Just stupid and trying to get bigger). Anyways, take things slow and regular, and the bodyfat will drop, and the lean mass will increase. Just takes many, many months rather than a few weeks- especially if you are over 40 as I have now found...
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