View Full Version : This seems like a rudimentary question, but maybe it's not....

07-18-2008, 01:29 PM
I've looked through the forum postings, but don't see anything that directly correlates to my question, so I thought I'd just throw this out these for some help.

I am 30 years old, 5í11Ē, 172pounds, and according to my Tanita scale, 15% body fat. I was tested about a year ago by a local university with the BodPod and was 192 pounds, 23% body fat. My diet and exercise slumped during the fall and winter, but I began vigorously again in March.

The problem I am currently having is that my weight is fluctuating by about 6 pounds (from 171-177) and my body fat going from 15%-17%. I have asked the university that I come in for another reading, but in the meantime I want to see if the way I am training/dieting is being at all productive. My weight and body fat have been around the same for the past 2 months, regardless of how much I exercise. I typically spend 2-3 days in the gym vigorously lifting and doing abdominal work, while I spend an additional 2-3 days running 5-7 miles, or biking 10-18 miles. On days I visit the gym I try to consume at least 150g of protein, while still keeping my caloric intake low. On days I run or bike I typically drink 2 shakes containing 230 calories, and eat something healthy for dinner. I usually finish the day well under 1800 calories. Usually 1 day a week, on the weekend, I take a day off from the diet and exercise.

So I am wondering, I have heard that you canít build muscle and lose fat at the same time, and I was wondering if that were true? I also wonder if my weightlifting and protein intake are building muscles, that are only burned off the next day with my cardio? I am open to suggestions as the long term goal is to be about 8% body fat and 180-185 pounds. However if you do the math you can see that means losing an additional 11 pounds of pure fat, and then regaining 19 pounds of pure muscle. I am going through a lot of hard work, so I just donít want to do anything that is in vain.

Any suggestions, recommendations, or help would be greatly appreciated.

Jorge Sanchez
07-20-2008, 07:05 PM
Your calories are extremely low. You should definitely increase them. While it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously, it is very difficult to do and you are definitely not gaining any muscle at 1800 calories a day.

I actually find it hard to believe that you are not losing weight eating that little. Have you been tracking your diet? www.fitday.com is a good source. If you are actually eating that little, you may have caused your metabolism to crash.

You need to eat more protein on non-lifting days (eating more on lifting days wouldn't hurt either). 1g per 1lb of bodyweight is a good guideline for protein intake.

In order to reach your goals you will probably have to gain weight to gain muscle and lose weight to lose fat. The order and frequency of those bulking and cutting cycles will be something you'll have to decide on. Keep in mind, that is a very long term goal. Don't look for quick fix solutions.

07-22-2008, 08:28 PM
I actually find it hard to believe that you are not losing weight eating that little.

I agree. OP, your calories are awfully low.

Do a search for glycogen and carb cycling. I'm worried you may be burning up a lot of glycogen with that cardio. Actually, I'm sure you are, lol. All that cardio is probably preventing you from gaining muscle. I'm not saying don't do it, but do a search for glycogen and carb cycling.

Also, you can expect your weight to fluctuate greatly throughout the day, based on a number of factors. What is a "Tanita" scale?