hitting a wall

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hitting a wall

Post by Ironman » Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:27 pm

I wanted to see if any of you have experienced this or heard about this happening with other people.

I have gotten to a point where further fat loss doesn't seem possible. What happens is, as I decrease intake, my workout intensity and duration go down. So eating less calories and/or carbs seems to make it so I can't exercise as much. My ability to exercise increase only if I eat more.

So it seem like instead of burning fat, it just makes me stop. I'm not all that lean either. It's hard to tell with loose skin, but there is no way my bodyfat could be less than 12%.

I have had this happen before too. I would bulk and then try again. Then when I get to about the point I am at now, the same thing happens.

I've tried the usual high intensity stuff of course. I've also tried to fly under the radar with slower cardio. It's doesn't seem to help.

Could it be that there is a certain fat reserve the body will protect at all costs? I think the essential fat would be treated like that. But could it be that different people have different fat thresholds?

So, I wanted to see if anyone else has dealt with this.


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Post by stuward » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:07 pm

I think that's common. Your lack of energy would be a symptom of metabolism slowing. I believe you're on a low carb diet. You may be taking in too many carbs and probably not enough fats. Try intermittent fasting and overeat on the days you do eat. I'm probably at about the same place you are. I'm down to a 35" waist from 39, with a goal of 33. It's easy to undereat and lose energy but increasing the fats helps.

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Post by Ironman » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:58 pm

Yea, I'm on a low carb diet. Generally I never eat more than 100 carbs in a day. Usually less than that. I have tried lowering carbs. I have not tried lowering carbs while increasing fat and protein. Like eating eating as much as I possibly can but keeping carbs under a certain threshold.

I haven't tried total fasting, but I did try to do days where I stayed under 1000 calories and 30 carbs. That was pretty unpleasant, and I think I was pretty unpleasant too.

Another thing I haven't tried is a more maintenance type diet, and then try to exercise it off. I just thought about that a little while ago that I hadn't tried that. It would be slow but it might work.

So that's a couple things I could try.

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Post by stuward » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:22 pm

One way to fast that's not too hard is to stop eating at supper, fast through the night until lunch the next day. That should be about 15-18 hour fast with only water. You shouldn't get hungry if your carbs are low. You could then try a 23 hour fast. I wouldn't go longer than that too often but you could do a 23 hour fast every 2 days if you wanted without much trouble. The heavy eating between fasts should jack your metabolism and the overall reduced calories should reduce your fat storage. That's the theory anyway. I've never gone more than 18 hours myself.

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Post by TimD » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:16 am

OK, this is going to sound strange, but I did drop fat really fast this way, without concsiously trying. I had just shed a bunch doing what IM is doing, with my usual eating habits, very low carb, combined with weights, etc. After a good deal of it came off, it stagnated. About that time, my work had me shipping out for a month's trip from the east coast, through the cnal to hawaii. I actually went on a lowered fat kick, but still kept the starches knocke down. I worked mids, so I missed lunch, ate dinner, after I got up, a big one, usually very lean meats, some rice, lots of veg, had something similar a few hours later, and after that the da#@^* galley chief wouldn't serve midrats or hold two plates for us so I was through for the day. It basically boiled down to what Pete said, and IFtype of thing, and in a month I shed like crazy, even after the stagnation.
Just my personal experiences.
Was it tje ;pwere fat, the IF, or a combination? I have no idea.
Tim


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Re: hitting a wall

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:09 am

Ironman wrote:I wanted to see if any of you have experienced this or heard about this happening with other people.

I have gotten to a point where further fat loss doesn't seem possible. What happens is, as I decrease intake, my workout intensity and duration go down. So eating less calories and/or carbs seems to make it so I can't exercise as much. My ability to exercise increase only if I eat more.
Ironman,

Back in 1995, I hit the wall in dropping weight/body fat. I started out at 187 lbs and eventually dropped down to 160 lbs.

Like you, I finally dropped my caloric intake to 1200 kcals a day. I struggled with my energy level, I never felt good and didn't like anyone.

I pushed through my low energy levels with my training and dropped more weight. I also increased my training session to two a day, a morning and evening training session.

The addition of two a says definitely works. I dropped some more weight. However, two a days combined with a low calorie diet was a diaster.

However, a large percentage of my weight loss was muscle mass.

So, I am NOT a proponent of decreasing calories.

I believe a better alternative is Eat More and increase your workout

I belive there's a better solution, "G-Flux Redux". http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... flux_redux

John Berardi, PhD Nutrition, goes into the effectiveness how consuming more calories along with more frequent workout as a means of decreasing body fat.

Another thing is that you know is that protein is thermogenic. You might try protein cycling...more protein some days and less other days.
Could it be that there is a certain fat reserve the body will protect at all costs? I think the essential fat would be treated like that. But could it be that different people have different fat thresholds?
I believe each individual does have a certain threshold in which the body feels at home.

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:15 am

stuward wrote:One way to fast that's not too hard is to stop eating at supper, fast through the night until lunch the next day. That should be about 15-18 hour fast with only water. You shouldn't get hungry if your carbs are low. You could then try a 23 hour fast. I wouldn't go longer than that too often but you could do a 23 hour fast every 2 days if you wanted without much trouble. The heavy eating between fasts should jack your metabolism and the overall reduced calories should reduce your fat storage. That's the theory anyway. I've never gone more than 18 hours myself.
Stu,

Staring works but at what cost? You deplete you muscles of nutrition and at some point, you have no energy.

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by stuward » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:27 am

Kenny Croxdale wrote:
stuward wrote:One way to fast that's not too hard is to stop eating at supper, fast through the night until lunch the next day. That should be about 15-18 hour fast with only water. You shouldn't get hungry if your carbs are low. You could then try a 23 hour fast. I wouldn't go longer than that too often but you could do a 23 hour fast every 2 days if you wanted without much trouble. The heavy eating between fasts should jack your metabolism and the overall reduced calories should reduce your fat storage. That's the theory anyway. I've never gone more than 18 hours myself.
Stu,

Staring works but at what cost? You deplete you muscles of nutrition and at some point, you have no energy.

Kenny Croxdale
I'm not talking about starving.

http://www.eatstopeat.com/
http://lifespotlight.com/health/2008/2/ ... rt-part-i/
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fasting/
http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/inte ... er-health/
http://www.leangains.com/


It's not guaranteed to work. As Alan Aragon says: "As the evidence clearly indicates, IF is not a bed of roses minus the thorns - there are definite pros and cons."

http://www.alanaragon.com/an-objective- ... sting.html

However I think Alan missed the point that with low carbs, hunger is not a problem as much as with a balanced diet.

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Post by Ironman » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:20 pm

Thanks.

What I did was similar to g-flux, but I started at a more moderate caloric level. I never tried starting with higher. I would do low 3000's and then as I drop it I was able to do less and less exercise with less intensity. By the time I got down to upper 2000's it was pathetic. But then I up the calories and I could do more again. But I never tried to start out eating more and then working it off. It's counter intuitive.

That guy at the end, Gregg, was even a little bit fatter than I was. If that was him in all the pictures it is quite amazing. I'm not sure because his skin looks awfully tight be the same guy. It would be cool if I could get mine to snap back like that.

One thing I don't understand is how you loose 40 pounds but only go from 18 to 8 percent. Did he loose that much muscle, or do you retain water with the fat or something like that?

That all sounds promising. The more ideas the better.

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:38 pm

Ironman wrote:Thanks.

What I did was similar to g-flux, but I started at a more moderate caloric level. I never tried starting with higher. I would do low 3000's and then as I drop it I was able to do less and less exercise with less intensity. By the time I got down to upper 2000's it was pathetic. But then I up the calories and I could do more again. But I never tried to start out eating more and then working it off. It's counter intuitive.
I have not tried the program, so I can't provide any feed back on it. However, "I guarantee it will never work if you never try it".
One thing I don't understand is how you loose 40 pounds but only go from 18 to 8 percent. Did he loose that much muscle, or do you retain water with the fat or something like that?
If the information is correct, a little less than 1/3 of his weight loss was muscle mass.

The article noted that two months later after losing the 40 lbs, he added 5 lbs of muscle. That means his body weight is 184 lbs (179 + 5 = 184).

So, he his real weigh loss was 35 lbs (219 -184 lbs). Rather than go through a lot of confusing math, let me give you the bottom line. If anyone has questions on how I got there, let me know and I will break it down.

Toal Weight Loss: 35 lbs
Total Fat Loss: 25.1 lbs
Total Lean Mass Loss: 9.9 lbs
Fat Percentage Loss: 71.7% (25.1 divide by 35)
Lean Muscle Mass Loss: 28.3% (9.9 divided by 35)

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:32 pm

It feels weird giving you diet advice, because you're the guy I turned to when I needed to learn to cut fat.

It seems like everyone already gave you a bunch of things to try. I've tried eating more food, cycling protein, and IFing. IFing worked great combined with low carb for me when I needed to cut weight to make weight for a schedule fight (that didn't occur, bleh).

The only things that really occur to me beside them are:

- try a dedicated diet-and-workout plan designed for weight loss. Like that Afterburn program or another similar one. Something that comes with specific food and exercise prescriptions. The downside to them is they aren't cheap, but it would be one way to change things up and not have to worry about the adjustments. Just pay the money, read the plan, and then go.

- maybe check out something like the Anabolic Diet by di Pasquale. He seems pretty sharp (I liked his proteins and amino acids for athletes book). The plan is basically extremely low carbs 5-6 days a week, and then a carb-up day or so on the weekends. The idea is to burn fat most of the time, and then use the carb-up days to replenish your energy for the next round of hard workouts.

I haven't tried either of those myself, but I'm tempted to try the Anabolic Diet at some point. I can never fit anyone's pre-packaged training schedule into my life since I also do MMA, and I'm not willing to take a month off of it to try those.

I figured I'd throw those out for you, give you more stuff to consider.

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Post by Wouter » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:44 pm

Or you could try something completely different:
http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... ry_fitness
http://www.arthurdevany.com/
I haven't found anything else about it on the internet, but I think it's pretty promising.

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Re: hitting a wall

Post by frogbyte » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:31 pm

Kenny Croxdale wrote:
Ironman wrote: I belive there's a better solution, "G-Flux Redux". http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... flux_redux
Interesting article - according to him I'm undereating slightly, but not much... But I don't get the 1-hour workouts - is it just me or does it take a lot longer than 1 hour to get through a strength routine day? :-/

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:00 pm

frogbyte, it depends.

When I was working out on a very limited selection of bars (like, 3 of them) and dumbbells (2 adjustable handles) and a limited supply of plates, my workouts took a while. Everything needed to be set up, and I couldn't change weight without swapping out plates. It didn't help when I was doing 3 sets across of 5 reps for 4-5 exercises, either, with 4-5 minute rests plus warmup sets between each one. No supersets because of the time to swap out all the plates and set up a new exercise, either.

Now that I'm in a fully stocked gym, my whole workout is 1 hour or less. 1 1/2 hours if you count my foam rolling, dynamic stretches, warmup, etc., but I could compress that down if I needed to. I come in early and take my take working up to readiness because I can.

Generally they say you should shoot for an hour, more being overkill. I think that assumes you aren't spending lots of rest time and setup time, though.

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Post by Onlyethic » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:19 pm

I'm not sure what your routine is like, IM, and I definitely can only speak from personal experience, not scientifically. However: reading the G-flux article strengthened my initial impulse -- which is to exercise more. But specifically, adding a post-workout cardio session 3 or 4 times a week. I've begun doing this and have seen some results, even after hitting the proverbial wall.

And by cardio, I mean full cardio. I've done either tabata "sprints" on elliptical or treadmill, fast runs at around 30 minutes, or rowing machine work till I'm borderline dizzy (probably not the best thing). I do the cardio after drinking my crappy-tasting protein powder (see earlier post). My intuition -- again, I have only my own experience to support this -- is that adding the HIIT or aerobic work has metabolism advantages, in addition to the raw calorie burn. Also, the post-workout structure allows me to get a solid, well-fueled lifting session in, and then slog through the cardio -- since I don't care too much about improving my speed.


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