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Loosing a bit of fat around the stomach

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:50 am
by redeemer

I work out regularly, but 90% of my exercise is weight training. Overall my body is in good shape, but I still have some fat around my stomach. It's not all that noticeable since my chest is still bigger, but I'd still like to loose it, given the amount of time and hard work I've put in.

I thought switching to a bit more cardio would help. Am I right? Unfortunately I'm jinxed with cardio. I cannot run for more than a week without my knees giving way and my gym does not have any cardio equip. I signed up for a swimming pool, but does that count?
If cardio is the only answer I guess I will give it a better try. It's just that I'm not all sure abt it.


- Sid

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:47 am
by paul_k
I don't believe it is possible to get rid of this fat by diet and exercises only.
You probably need to see a plastic surgeon.
There is a relative new method called LaserLipolysis which much safer than liposunction.

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:36 am
by PaulP
I am the same way with fat in specific areas of stomach and at the outter chest from the lower area to up and around the under arm. Everywhere else looks ripped with meat and no fat under the skin. And although chest and stomach look pleasing upper and inner chest look fine), I'll never have a chissled line under the chest or show more than the upper ab musscles. I believe for some of us it is just in your genes carry fat this way. For me, I found that increases cardio seems to limit my muscle gains. I was running 3 mi 6 days a week and lifting on alternating days and pretty much stalled with gains and never lost or gained weight. Basically overtraining and not getting 100% quality workouts. Just so you know I started my excersize program about 4 years ago at an overweight 5'6" 175 lbs, ran myselft down to a skinny 155 and started lifting about 2 1/2 years ago and currently at 166 lbs. When running and lifting as mentioned I maintained 162 to 164 lbs for about a year. I am now experimenting with run 3 mi. or some other cardio once or twice a week and initially the weight has come up quick, mostly in fat. I am hoping to achieve some muscular gains eventually. Everyone is different but I think I finally came to the realization that you can't have your cake and eat it too. That is, putting on muscle mass and strength is one thing, and losing fat is another thing. Much of what you read is geared toward a beginner but someday those beginner's become advanced trainees and logic of building muscle and losing fat is different. I have noticed that the folks on this forum have tons of experience and offer great guidance but I always know that everyone is different and you have to stay in it and try various methods to see what works for you. Even within you, what works one day may not always because your body will cope. To me, this is the fun of lifting. Take lots of notes. My workouts primarily consist of compound excersizes, with lots of squatting and deadlifting.


Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:44 pm
by leif3141
I have this problem too. My way of fixing it would probably abhor most people...but don't do cardio. Lift weights and just don't eat. That was the ONLY way I could lose any fat once I got to a certain point. I was only eating 1200-1500 calories a day but was still lifting weights. I still have some fat around my stomach...but I lost like 30 pounds in about 2 months. When I used to do cardio/weightlifting and cut down on calories too much I would get sick...or when I just did cardio. My body seems to be able to handle it better when I drop calories and just weightlift...

Also...this was really hard for me, but don't drink any calories or use calorie loaded sauces. I just drank coffee,water, and diet opposed to everything else I was drinking. I think that helped alot.

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:26 pm
by Ryan A
Swimming is fine cardio.

You haven't really commented on your diet at all. Without proper diet, you are not going to achieve a great physique unless you are very gifted genetically.

What kind of routines are you doing now with your weight training? There are a lot of small adjustments or even large routine changes to give you more calorie burning.

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:04 pm
by Scribbles
Nutrition is a big part of either losing weight or gaining weight. Only about 35% of total caloric expenditure comes from your physical activity. Almost half stems from your basal metabolic rate (the energy your body consumes from normal physiologic functioning) and a small percentage (10-15%) from the so-called Thermogenic effect of differing macronutrients.

Normally, for most people, you will start to 'see' your abs when you come down to about 9-10% body fat.

Each gram of carbs represents about 4 Kcals, proteins about 4 Kcals, and Fat about 9 Kcals. Because there are 454 grams in 1 pound, then mathematically speaking, there is 4086 kcals in 1 pound of fat (i.e. 454 g x 9 Kcal/g).

In the body, fat is stored in the form of triglycerides in adipose tissue. However, 1 molecule of adipose tissue is not 100% fat. Some 5-10% is water (which contains zero calories). This is just an estimation, but currently it is believed that adipose tissue consists of about 84-87% fat, hence the infamous "1 lb of fat equals 3500 kcals" statement you often hear of (454 g x 9 Kcal/g x 86%).

If you try to lose more than 1-2% of your total body weight per week, you will start to lose muscle mass as part of the 'weight loss'. This is why you often hear that safe weight loss involves no more than 1 to 2 lbs per week.

I prefer to lose weight slowly (1 lb/week) and I am always more concerned with losing body fat than 'weight'. So this generally means you must create a caloric deficit of about 3500 kcals per week.

This deficit can either come in the form of caloric restriction, energy expenditure, or, preferably a combination of both.

While resistance training is great for building muscle mass (or at least minimizing muscle mass loss during caloric restriction) it does not burn a substantial amount of kcals to achieve your caloric goals. Exercises utilizing large muscle groups, rythmic or dynamic movement for prolonged periods burn more kcals (i.e. cardiovascular exercise) for this purpose.

Generally, the interaction of intensity, duration and frequency determines caloric expenditure from the activity you choose.

There is a genetic influence. However, I would first see about my training regimen and nutrition plan before reverting to other measures. Before you can determine what to do, you need to analyze what you've done. This means knowing what your current training is expending in terms of kcals, and knowing how many kcals you are ingesting daily. Without this information, it will be hard to determine what you should be doing next.

In terms of cardio, I never run. After a thorough warm-up, I will set the treadmill to the highest incline (10-15% grade) and walk at 3.5-4.0 mph.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes.

Workout and diet

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:47 am
by redeemer

Ryan A>
Ok, my normal weight training schedule is 4 days a week.
Day 1 - Lats & Biceps
Day 2 - Chest & Tricep & Abs
Day 3 - Shoulder & Abs
Day 4 - Thighs & Calves
It comes to about 10 sets a day. The exact days of the week on which I workout and the time of the day, is totally irregular because of my job.
I also swim about twice a week, about 600m each session. I do some light exercises, but lets leave that out of the equation now, since they are too small to count.

Diet - I think my major problem is with my diet. I don't really calculate everything down to the T but my diet involves a decent amount of carbs. This is hard to change since I haven't managed to identify food that is low on carbs but high on nutrition.
Ok so here is my daily diet
About 0.5 to 1 litre of low fat milk
1-2 egg white
a big bowl of plain corn flakes + honey (break fast)
200g of wheat (lunch)
200g of rice (dinner)
500g of veggies (lunch & dinner).
50g of white meat
I have a about 100-150g of junk a day
I keep deep fired stuff to a min

paul_k> I don't think I'll go for plastic surgery. I'm not that desperate to get rid of it.

Scribbles> Special thanks for such a detailed reply. That was really helpful. I'm not interested in loosing weight. I tell all my friends the same. What I'd really like to do it loose fat, even if that means putting on more weight.

I should try your treadmill trick as well. My knees can definitely bear that much.

What I think I will do it try and turn up the exercise a bit and cut down on junk a bit so I create a deficit of around 500cals a day.

Once again. Thanks for all the help guys.

I really appreciate it.

- Sid

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 3:05 am
by Ironman
Yea, that diet is the problem for sure.

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:18 am
by TimD
I'll just expand on what Ironman said, because in this area, we're pretty much on the same track. Where is the Protein? Where are the good fats? Way too much starch. The only thing I saw good in there was the veggies at all meals. Look, I don't prescribe to any one diet, I guess I'm closest to the Zone , but I do believe in some generalities based on common sense, and NOT this keep it very low fat nonsense they espoused in the 80's. Here are two good reads, if you follow the first one, you should start dropping. Tweek it with the second. ... habits.htm ... ting_2.htm

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:14 pm
by Ryan A
Well I know others have different opinions on body part splits and whether or not they are ideal in general but let me just address this in the context of needing a change.

I would suggest changing to a full body routine 3 times per week, if for nothing else, a change of pace.

Each day, I would choose my workouts like this

Compound Lower body: choose from Squat, Deadlift, Front Squat
Compound Upper Body Push: Some angle of bench press, incline, flat, decline or an overhead pressing movement.
Some Type of Rowing Movement/Pullup

I would do these as circuits alternating between each exercise
Squat-Bench Press-Row
Deadlift-Bench Press-Pullup

I would do moderate reps of 8-15 with the squats,bench press, upper back and maybe 5-8 with the deadlift allowing yourself to reset at the bottom if needed.

You can rest after each round of exercises but I would keep the between exercise rest to a maximum of 60 seconds.

I would do 3-5 rounds and you can build up to that as times goes on. You should build up fairly quickly doing this 3 times per week.

Form before weight and really push the tempo as much as you can without getting sick/compromising technique. You dont need to fail on the exercises but they shouldnt be easy. Keep a log so you can chart improvement and know what weight is going to be the perfect challenge. You could try to get all sets the same weight or go up 5 lbs each set, that is up to you.

After getting through those circuits, I would do an additional shorter circuit of Hamstrings, Lower Back, Abs and Hips. Try to balance out the hamstring work between hip and knee movements (ie straight leg deadlift and leg curl respectively). Lower back you can do all sorts of things, abs is straightforward, hips you can do with bands or just use bodyweight.

If after all this you still have some energy left, I would hit some triceps and biceps and calves with a few sets of whatever you choose. Sometime I might throw in some rear deltoid exercises here along with rotator cuff exercises. Dont need to do that everyday but once in a while will keep you healthy in the shoulders.

A sample routine might look like:

Circuit 1
Squats 4x12
Bench Press 4x10
DB Row 4x12
Circuit 2
Straight Leg Deadlifts 2 x 8
Back Extensions 2-3 sets
Side Bends 2-3 sets
Crunches (weighted or unweighted)
Hip stuff - just a few minutes on this
Circuit 3 - optional
Tricep Pushdowns
DB Bicep Curls
Rear Deltoid Raises
Rotator Cuff

On what was your 4th day of working out, I would do some light cardio. I would continue swimming.

I think the others have advised you to look into the diet which combined will give you a whole new spin on fitness for a short time. Usually change ups are good and really get things rolling if you are stuck.

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:05 pm
by TimD
I wasn't going to mention the thing on bodypart splits, I was just commenting on diet, but IMO Ryan is absolutely right, and he just described perfectly what the old timers called PHA (peripheral heart action), which was very popular in the 50's up throughe the mid-late 60's, and was used for leaning out (fat loss) reasonsThe plus side of it, is it is not only somewhat strength oriented, it is VERY cardio oriented in itself, which should solve your problem of going out and running.

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:36 am
by redeemer
Thanks Ironman, Tim. You just confirmed a gut feeling that I had for a while. Looks like my diet will need a lot of tweaking. It's really difficult to cut down on starch here (India). Starch is like the staple diet of every thing and what I is eat is 1/3 of what the avg person eats here. Anyways, will work something out and will let u guys know in a while.

- Sid

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:34 am
by Ironman
Trust me, starch is the main thing here in America too. You know I love Indian food and I make it low carb. I have made several different kinds of curries, chicken Tandoori, even a cabbage dish (supposed to be potato and cabbage, but it's good as just cabbage). I even find stuff to eat at Indian restaurants. As a matter of fact I am going to make a curry in the crock pot tomorrow. Atomic hot of course. It's a beef curry though, which is really very wrong when you think about it.

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:14 pm
by TimD
Sid, starch isn't an all out no-no by any means. By the guidlelines in the links I gave you, some whole grains are just fine, kept in moderation. I think the question is your choices. In the morning, you're choosing corn flakes, a very highly processed carb, which is probably getting you into trouble. Now I know that in India there are all types of Dall (sp?) available, and that mixed with a bit of rice might be your prescription for breakfast. Low to moderate GI, fiber, good stuff, unllike the corn flakes. Don't freak out on fat. about a third to a half a cup of the mix combined with a couple of eggs and meat, or just meat (chicken, fish and fowl apply here too) and veg or fruit would set you up quite nicely. In the other meals, I would concentrate on meat and veg, and in one of them, maybe SOME dahl or some whole grain. A favorite of mine that I use a ot is to cook up a pot of barely and lentil, done pilaf style. It keeps well in the fridge, and in 1/4 to 1/3 cup servings it adds some fiber and is filling. The key is to eat nutrient dense, but calorie low, and starches, especially processed foods, are nutrient low, calorie dense. Just make some better choices.

Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:49 am
by Pengui6668
leif3141 wrote: Lift weights and just don't eat.
Sounds like you're begging to drop weight on your chest on bench day.... i hope you don't do guillotines!