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View Full Version : 61 years old, thin, but with some ab flab



Monkeyleg
01-09-2012, 04:18 PM
I've been going to the gym for three years now, and haven't made an enormous amount of progress.

I'm 61 years old. I've always been skinny, and could eat as much as I wanted without gaining weight. That changed at about age 50, but the weight just gathered around the middle.

I've lost just about all of the gut I had, but still have enough that I can't see ab muscles. I can see more muscle on my arms, shoulders, back, chest, etc, but not nearly as much as I'd like. I can do a lot more weight than some of the more muscular-looking young guys at the gym, but it's very hard for me to get muscle mass that shows. Gaining muscle mass seems to come easy for them, but not for me.

That's the background. Here's the question. Is there anything I can do to lose the flab in the middle without starving my muscles and losing what I've gained and preventing myself from gaining more?

This is really frustrating.

Thanks for any replies.

April Mathis
01-09-2012, 11:32 PM
I think being 61 is part of the problem. You can write out your diet and that might need help too. I'm not sure without reading. But the biggest difference at an older age is it's both harder to gain muscle and harder to have as much definition as a younger person. One thing you can look into is HRT (hormone replacement therapy), as far as testosterone and growth hormone. What I mean is as far as bringing hormone levels back up to normal levels (that of a 30 year old or so), not abusing drugs. That itself will make you leaner and more defined while carrying more muscle mass, without any other differences in diet. It is common for doctors to prescribe this for older men. There are a lot of anti-aging doctors out there right now too that recommend these type of treatments. Otherwise if you are not interested in that method, the only thing you can do really is make dietary changes. I hope this helps you.

Monkeyleg
01-10-2012, 05:09 PM
Thanks for the reply, April Mathis. I know that age has a lot to do with it, but I didn't know about HRT. I'll talk to my doctor to see what he thinks. I've done some reading on the subject since I saw your reply, and it sounds promising.

Right now anything over 2,000 or so calories a day goes right to the gut, no matter what the food.

Monkeyleg
01-24-2012, 05:10 PM
Just an update. I went to the doctor, who did some blood tests. My testosterone level is within the normal range, near the high end. The doc doesn't think I'd benefit from any additional treatment.

All of the diets I see are really aimed at younger men. If anyone reading this knows of a diet for us old guys for building muscle without gaining fat, I'd sure appreciate hearing about it.

April Mathis
01-30-2012, 08:28 PM
Sorry that didn't work out for you. Why don't you post what your current diet is and you will get some more responses about what you can change?

jonathan2340
02-01-2012, 01:18 AM
You have to take weight gainer and you should have healthy diet. Eat more and more calories.

Monkeyleg
02-03-2012, 03:24 PM
I'm back, with another question.

If I already have the problem of some flab around my waist, shouldn't I hold back on calories until I've burned that off through exercise before increasing calories?

Alex.V
02-03-2012, 04:20 PM
Just an update. I went to the doctor, who did some blood tests. My testosterone level is within the normal range, near the high end. The doc doesn't think I'd benefit from any additional treatment.

All of the diets I see are really aimed at younger men. If anyone reading this knows of a diet for us old guys for building muscle without gaining fat, I'd sure appreciate hearing about it.

Within the normal range for your age? If so, that's probably quite low. Any idea what the actual numbers are? Hormone replacement therapy for men is still frowned upon- many physicians believe that a significant decline is acceptable. And technically, they're right. High testosterone levels are technically only useful if you're out killing things and actively trying to preserve the species. Otherwise, they cause all sorts of issues.

Simply because they're "within range" doesn't mean they're not low. Any idea what the number is?

And to cut the flab, well.... any idea what your bodyfat percentage is? Even a rough guide may help determine how much hope you have of truly getting ripped. Please do be aware that most of the pictures you see of guys in their 60's with shredded abs are pictures of people who are very much chemically enhanced.. or they're skinny triathletes/runners. Maintaining muscle will be VERY difficult while dieting. The real question you need to ask yourself is: are you more interested in being lean, or being strong?

Monkeyleg
02-03-2012, 05:34 PM
The normal range for men of all ages is 270 to a bit over 1100. I'm at 1010, which is on the high end even for a young guy.

Depending upon which body fat calculation method is used, my percentage is 16% to maybe 20%. The last time I had my BMI checked at the gym, it was 20.

There's very little fat on me, except for that bit around the waist that won't go away.

I've upped my calorie, protein and carb intake this week, and have gone to more intense training. I gained a couple of pounds, but I think most went to the middle again.

RhodeHouse
02-04-2012, 09:43 AM
If you've only been exercising for 3 years, what do you expect? It takes decades to build a body. Are you strong? Do you feel good? Are you healthy? Why in God's name do you care if you can see your abs? Are you out hunting 20 year old women? If not, don't bother worrying about abs and all that shit. Be healthy, strong and enjoy training. Worrying about abs like an anorexic girl is a waste of your time.

Monkeyleg
02-04-2012, 12:19 PM
RhodeHouse, I do it for me. Nobody else sees me with my shirt off. I want to keep stuff that nature is making sag from sagging. I just want to feel good about my body, even as my face gets more wrinkles.

When you're in your 60's, maybe you'll understand what I mean.

As for hunting 20 year old women, that only works for guys my age who have at least $25 million in net worth.

April Mathis
02-04-2012, 07:41 PM
Seriously post an example of each meal you eat in a normal day and you might be able to get some help with it.

Monkeyleg
02-04-2012, 09:24 PM
OK, let me see if I can remember correctly.

Today: three protein shakes, one 1-cup bowl of home made split pea soup with ham, carrots and potatoes, one 3-cup bowl this evening of the same split pea soup, two servings of cottage cheese. Total intake for the day (estimated) 1930 calories, 36% fat, 9% saturated fat, 106% carbs, 112 gr protein. Tonight I'll allow myself seven pieces of chocolate for a total of 385 calories and about 80% of daily recommended fat. I allow myself something like that once a week, versus a month or two back when I was doing that two or three times a week.

Yesterday: three protein shakes at 8 am, 1 pm and 4 pm, one serving of beef stew with potatoes and green beans, another serving of same beef stew at 8 pm, three helpings of cottage cheese, one pint strawberries. Estimated total intake for the day: 1770 calories, 77% fat, 81% saturated fat, 69% carbs, 114 grams protein (I forgot to eat one more meal).

Thurs: three protein shakes at 8 am, 1 pm and 4 pm, one serving of homemade three bean casserole, one large serving of same bean casserole for dinner in the evening. Total for day: 2540 calories, 129% fat, 125% saturated fat, 116% carbs, 133 grams protein

That's pretty representative of what I eat.

April Mathis
02-07-2012, 10:37 PM
OK, let me see if I can remember correctly.

Today: three protein shakes, one 1-cup bowl of home made split pea soup with ham, carrots and potatoes, one 3-cup bowl this evening of the same split pea soup, two servings of cottage cheese. Total intake for the day (estimated) 1930 calories, 36% fat, 9% saturated fat, 106% carbs, 112 gr protein. Tonight I'll allow myself seven pieces of chocolate for a total of 385 calories and about 80% of daily recommended fat. I allow myself something like that once a week, versus a month or two back when I was doing that two or three times a week.

Yesterday: three protein shakes at 8 am, 1 pm and 4 pm, one serving of beef stew with potatoes and green beans, another serving of same beef stew at 8 pm, three helpings of cottage cheese, one pint strawberries. Estimated total intake for the day: 1770 calories, 77% fat, 81% saturated fat, 69% carbs, 114 grams protein (I forgot to eat one more meal).

Thurs: three protein shakes at 8 am, 1 pm and 4 pm, one serving of homemade three bean casserole, one large serving of same bean casserole for dinner in the evening. Total for day: 2540 calories, 129% fat, 125% saturated fat, 116% carbs, 133 grams protein

That's pretty representative of what I eat.

Why so many protein shakes instead of other food?

Also I don't get why the percentages don't add up to 100%. Do you means 125 grams fat, 129 grams carbs, etc.? Or are you trying to say 125% based on whatever that guideline says on the nutrition content labels. Can you write what the actual grams are.

I don't think your diet is that bad other than it seems like too many protein shakes instead of whole foods and also it could be cleaner than this if you really want to be leaner.

Monkeyleg
02-09-2012, 04:55 PM
Thanks for the reply, April Mathis. Yes, the numbers for fat, saturated fat, and carbs are percentages based upon the recommended daily amounts for a 2000 calorie diet.

As for the shakes, it's because of time. I don't have the time to prepare meals, as I'm working 12 hours a day or more. If protein bars or nutrition bars would be better, I can certainly get those.

Here's the breakdown for the past week. I'm trying to get the protein and the carbs, but it's difficult to get those without getting more fat than I'd like. (I ate a few pieces of chocolate on the night of 2/8, so those calorie and fat numbers are higher than usual).

I should mention that even though I'm eating more, consuming more calories and protein than I was a week or so ago, there's been no change in my weight. My waistline may have shrunk a little bit.

1/30/2012
Cals 1700
Sat Fat 81%
Carb 64%
118 gr

1/31/2012
Cals 2200
Sat Fat 142%
Carb 72%
150 gr protein

2/1
2010 Cal
Sat Fat 115%
Carb 72%
108 gr prot

2/2
2540 Cal
129% fat
125% sat
116% carbs
133 gr protein

2/3
1770 Cal
fat 77%
sat fat 81%
carb 69%
114 gr prot

2/4
1930 Cal
fat 36%
sat fat 9%
carbs 106%
protein 112 gr

2/5
Calories ~2085
fat103%
sat fat 105%
carbs 55%
protein 219 gr

2/6
Calories 2450
fat 64%
sat fat 79%
carbs 108%
135 gr protein

2/7
Calories 2030
fat 116%
sat fat 113%
carbs 66%
131 gr protein

2/8
2785 calories
143% fat
160% sat fat
116% carb
134 gr protein

April Mathis
02-09-2012, 06:45 PM
You could try eating a larger amount of protein such as 200-250 grams per day. 3x per week, carbs at 100-150 grams and fat around 50-60g. 2x per week same protein, higher carbs 200 grams or more, fat as low as possible. 2x per week same protein (near the higher end on these days or a little more), carbs as low as possible (less than 50 grams) and higher fat about 80-100g.

This should average about 2000 calories per daythis looks like close to the average you have right now or a little below) but you can adjust it. Higher carb days should be the most calories while higher fat days are the least calories, and the other 3 are in the middle. Also should be done something like this: Monday: medium carbs/fat, Tuesday: low carbs/high fat, Wednesday: high carbs/low fat, Thursday: medium carbs/fat, Friday: low carbs/high fat, Saturday: high carbs/low fat, Sunday: medium carbs/fat. Doesn't have to be these exact days, but just an example, low carb and high carb days shouldn't be 2 of the same in a row. If you make progress at that amount, stay there until you don't, then decrease the average calories per day by 200-300 or so.

I have found this to be a decent way to achieve body recomposition without losing much weight or if you do not rely on drugs to do so. There are other ideas you can look up also but you can give that a try.

Monkeyleg
02-09-2012, 08:38 PM
That's an interesting diet. What is the idea behind alternating high fat and high carbs? I've never heard of that before.

April Mathis
02-11-2012, 05:11 PM
That's an interesting diet. What is the idea behind alternating high fat and high carbs? I've never heard of that before.

It works...I don't know the whole science explanation. I have read it once before actually. Try looking on google or something and find an article about it. I know there are some that explain it well.