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  1. #1
    Registered User StronglyTyped's Avatar
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    Weight loss for abs: Am I getting too thin?

    I'm trying to get abs. I'm 6'2", 35 years old, ectomorph build, and started at 180lbs. I had a thin appearance with a small amount of stomach fat. I've been dieting for about 2 months have have lost 20lbs, down to 160.

    During this time, I've been eating as healthy as possible: fish and chicken, fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheese and Greek yogurt (small amounts), coffee, and water. That's it. I've been doing 30 mins of high intensity cardio on an elliptical machine 4 days per week, and light weight lifting 3 days per week: weighted pushups and sit ups, curls, squats, arm raises, and standing rows, all with relatively light weights. The long term plan is to buy proper weight lifting equipment, but I'm trying to stay focused on fat loss for now.

    I understand the basics of how fat loss works. I've heard the analogy that it's like draining a pool - the water in the deep end (stomach fat) is the last to go. My concern is that I'm starting to look like a stick figure. I'm shedding fat literally everywhere except my lower stomach. It's just not coming off. Physically, I feel fine, although I do get easily fatigued when weight lifting.

    Is my approach "correct"/healthy? How low am I going to need to bring my weight to get rid of the stomach fat?
    Last edited by StronglyTyped; 10-27-2020 at 12:39 PM.
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  2. #2
    Nameless King faithbrah's Avatar
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    with those stats you should be seeing some abs already, so to answer your title question: you are probably getting too thin. feel free to post a pic for further evaluation though

    from a fat loss perspective it doesn't really matter if you eat healthy or not, and high intensity cardio doesn't burn any extra fat afaik

    why only light lifting though? you want to have decent intensity to retain most of your muscle mass
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    I would zig-zag your fat loss and muscle gain goals... muscle gain is what will make the difference between being a stick and being lean and toned. It's also what takes the longest so don't keep putting it off. Do some of each until you get there...
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  4. #4
    Registered User StronglyTyped's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by faithbrah View Post
    feel free to post a pic for further evaluation though
    Picture attached.


    Originally Posted by faithbrah View Post
    why only light lifting though? you want to have decent intensity to retain most of your muscle mass
    I'm saving up to buy proper equipment - looking to purchase in the next 1-2 months.
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    Judging by your picture you would likely need to go down another 20lb at least to start properly seeing abs and if you haven't got a history of real resistance training and mass gain you are unlikely to have much 'abs' to begin with.

    In short you will end up too thin and I agree you should prioritise muscle gain for a long period now before moving back to fat loss. Unless you do this you will likely end up as a 'stick figure' as you see it before you see abs, and by the time you do you will look emaciated rather than lean
    Somehow still managing to avoid getting 'too big'

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  6. #6
    Registered User StronglyTyped's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AlexSays View Post
    Judging by your picture you would likely need to go down another 20lb at least to start properly seeing abs and if you haven't got a history of real resistance training and mass gain you are unlikely to have much 'abs' to begin with.

    In short you will end up too thin and I agree you should prioritise muscle gain for a long period now before moving back to fat loss. Unless you do this you will likely end up as a 'stick figure' as you see it before you see abs, and by the time you do you will look emaciated rather than lean
    One thing I keep reading is "pick one to prioritize: fat loss or muscle gain." I'm having trouble sorting this out. If I decrease cardio, increase my calories, and start lifting more, I'd gain muscle and weight, but wouldn't this essentially put the stomach fat issue on hold? How exactly am I supposed to ever get rid of the fat?

    Also updated OP - I'm 35, not 50. Not sure why my avatar says I'm 50.
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    Originally Posted by StronglyTyped View Post
    One thing I keep reading is "pick one to prioritize: fat loss or muscle gain." I'm having trouble sorting this out. If I decrease cardio, increase my calories, and start lifting more, I'd gain muscle and weight, but wouldn't this essentially put the stomach fat issue on hold? How exactly am I supposed to ever get rid of the fat?

    Also updated OP - I'm 35, not 50. Not sure why my avatar says I'm 50.
    If you are a complete beginner eat at your maintenance level (see stickies). You should be able to progress on your lifts, put on some newbie mass and maybe even drop some fat

    As you advance it will become the sad truth that, yes, if you are gaining muscle you cannot lose fat at the same time in any meaningful way and vice versa

    What People are saying is not gain muscle to get visible abs. They are saying to forget about having visible abs until you've gained a meaningful amount of mass and will actually have decent abs once you do decide to lean out in future
    Somehow still managing to avoid getting 'too big'

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    Originally Posted by AlexSays View Post
    What People are saying is not gain muscle to get visible abs. They are saying to forget about having visible abs until you've gained a meaningful amount of mass and will actually have decent abs once you do decide to lean out in future
    ^^^^ This.

    Abs are like any other muscle, they have to be trained over a period of several years to get bigger and show through. Most people that don't have significant amount of muscle mass (because they've never done any significant strength training) aren't going to be able to just diet down and magically have abs.
    Last edited by xsquid99; 10-27-2020 at 03:43 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Why are people so bad at taking pictures.... I don't understand why it's hard to either hold the camera further away from you, or find a mirror..
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    OP, I assume this is NOT your goal (but is where you're headed). You need to lift big-boy weights and put on some muscle.

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    Just to reaffirm what has already been mentioned...you cannot diet your way to abs. At 6'2", you're already too light, so your focus needs to be on building muscle. If you want abs, you have to build them along with the rest of your physique. My personal suggestion would be to spend a few years building some muscle (5 years would be better)....then look into cutting for abs.

    If this was an easy process, everyone would be walking around with rock-hard abs!
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    Originally Posted by StronglyTyped View Post
    One thing I keep reading is "pick one to prioritize: fat loss or muscle gain." I'm having trouble sorting this out. If I decrease cardio, increase my calories, and start lifting more, I'd gain muscle and weight, but wouldn't this essentially put the stomach fat issue on hold? How exactly am I supposed to ever get rid of the fat?

    Also updated OP - I'm 35, not 50. Not sure why my avatar says I'm 50.
    Look at it like this, if you have nothing to reveal under the fat, then shedding the fat will likely still leave you unhappy with your appearance. In fact, I think you’d be surprised if you gained 5-10lbs, while properly training, instead of losing anymore weight at all. You’d likely look a lot better overall.

    Fat without much muscle looks VERY differently than fat with muscle.
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