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mattbau43
04-04-2010, 11:38 AM
I am 6'8 240, 31 years old. I began cutting in September at 273 pounds.

I work out 4x week for an hour (weights +15 min cardio, one day of just cardio on the 5th day)

It feels like my weight loss has stopped over the last few weeks. My lifts are increasing, but I am still trying to get rid of the small belly that I have worked so hard to get rid of.

My Diet:


Meal 1: scoop of protein, banana 200 cals

Workout

Meal 2: Two eggs, three whites, 1/4 oatmeal with a few raisins. 500 cals

Meal 3: Greek Yougurt, 1/2 piece of fruit 200 cals

Meal 4: salmon or tuna, bit of mayo, spinach salad, few nuts 550 cals

Meal 5: Lean chicken, spinach/dressing or mixed veggies 550 cals

Meal 6: Cottage cheese 220 cals

Meal 5: 2 scoops protein shake 220 cals

Total cals are 2440 and protein is right at one gram per pound of body weight.


So, what can I do to continue to burn this stomach? I have a great workout based around compound lifts. Are my cals too LOW?

I would be grateful for any tips/suggestions/thoughts

VikingWarlord
04-04-2010, 03:01 PM
1. How far below maintenance is that intake?
2. Have you been at this intake level since September?
3. What have your actual changes in composition (NOT scale weight) been like?
4. What KIND of cardio do you do for that 15 minutes?
5. When's the last time you took a break?

mattbau43
04-04-2010, 04:50 PM
1. How far below maintenance is that intake?

Maintenance is around 4000 on workout days, 3400-3500 on non-workout days. These numbers are based upon the average of several calculators.

2. Have you been at this intake level since September?

I started at 2000 cals, but my energy level was non-existent. I bumped it to 2400 about 2.5 months ago. I made decent gains after bumping up the cals until the last three weeks or so.

3. What have your actual changes in composition (NOT scale weight) been like?

My composition has improved. I have dropped several waist sizes. I have the remaining bulk of the fat in the abdomen.

4. What KIND of cardio do you do for that 15 minutes?

Cardio is almost always HIIT.

5. When's the last time you took a break?

I have taken weekends off several times. I have had a few refeed/cheat days where I go over in cals by around 500. The last time I took a full week off was the second week of Jan.

vdizenzo
04-04-2010, 05:10 PM
You might want to consider carb cycling.

VikingWarlord
04-04-2010, 06:14 PM
Your answers aren't specific enough. I'm looking for actual information. Numbers, not best guesses.

Also, "maintenance" in this context is not variable. Calculators also suck giant donkey schlong. If you aren't calculating your maintenance by tracking it, you can be pretty sure it's wrong. Might get within shooting distance but specificity gets a lot more important when you get to lower levels.

Now, without the actual information I asked for, here's my best guess. Considering that your maintenance as you suggest is between 3500-4000 and you're running what would definitely be considered a more-than-moderate deficit for that length of time, I'd say it's probably a safe assumption that your leptin levels may be screwed. Even when you're "going over cals", it's still significantly below maintenance...if the numbers you provided are even close to accurate.

It's probably time to take a maintenance break. Not just a weekend, an actual two week break. Boost your intake back to actual maintenance levels and take advantage of the extra fuel to train harder than you've ever trained. I guarantee whatever you think your intensity level, you can go harder, especially with food. It'll jump start everything again.

Read what Lyle McDonald has written on the Stubborn Fat Loss Protocol.

Nosaj
04-05-2010, 01:40 PM
I agree with VWL, up your calories to maintenance and enjoy a couple weeks of solid workouts. I'd look into carb cycling when you're done with that, rotating high/low/no carb days to keep your hormones guessing and your body from getting in a rut again.

mattbau43
04-05-2010, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the helpful tips everyone. I will take your advice and eat at maintenance for a bit and look into carb cycling while doing so.

I am grateful for any additional tips or suggestions.

VikingWarlord
04-06-2010, 08:50 AM
One tip with carb cycling...you'll find a LOT of information about it, and not all of it matches up. There are a bunch of different ways to do it and different things work for different people. You might not get it right the first time.

However, we learn more from failures than we do from successes. Do the research, come up with a plan, and use it for a little while. If it doesn't quite work right, start looking for ways to tweak it. Don't be afraid you'll mess something up. Realistically, you won't do any major damage or undo anything unless you start ****ing with hormones. The experience of messing something up is way more valuable than doing it perfect the first time.

mattbau43
04-06-2010, 11:17 AM
viking......Is there a guide that you think is best online? I have found a ton of info.

My biggest question is the calorie portion. Most guides seem to leave that part out.........

VikingWarlord
04-06-2010, 12:58 PM
I don't. I tried carb cycling once and someone else set it up for me. I hated it because my schedule was too erratic to give it full attention.

My impression is that the most basic idea behind it is that your intake is based on an average. Pick your deficit and treat each week as a microcycle. At the end of the week, the average daily intake should be pretty close to your goal.

I've seen setups where people essentially PSMF on off days and take the calories really over maintenance on the training days to get the best workout possible. Some people do high days and low days based on when they train. Some do high, medium, and low. That one seems a little more difficult to program properly and high/low seems easier.

It seems to me that overfeeding and boosting carbs on training days will help prevent leptin levels from dropping too far and allowing you to continue the process for longer before plateauing out.

Here are some sample numbers just for illustration using a high/low cycle. If your maintenance is 2000kCal and you want a 20% deficit, you'll need to average 1600 per day (11,200 per week). There are many ways to do this.

Training 4x per week, you can do 1800 per day on those days and then 1300 on your off days. At the end of the week, you'll come pretty close to your mark.
Training with a full body routine 3x per week, you can actually boost your training day intake to maintenance level and still do 1300 on the off days.

Adding medium days just adds to the complexity and I'm not convinced it's really worth it. I firmly believe that you should keep everything as simple as possible until simple stops working. A 3x weekly FBWO with a high/low carb cycle could probably take you pretty far.

Really, just like everything, it's mostly about average intake. As long as you go by your predetermined intake level, you should be fine.