I've been training for about a year now. It's been mostly successful thanks to living off of this site religiously. My fiance approached me last night and asked for help dropping some fat for our wedding in 2.5 months. I know women should generally train like men, but my fiance seems to have stalled, so I thought I'd consult the board for advice.
Here's the vital info:
She's 5'2", 176 lbs. She's been dieting for a few months now, tracking calories on FitDay, and with the exception of a cheat meal about once a week (or slightly less), she's religiously limiting herself to 1200-1300 calories a day. In those few months, she's only lost a few pounds. The limited weight loss was countered by taking a few inches off initially, but she's completely stalled in recent weeks. As far as exercise, she runs a mile and a half about 3 times a week, and does extremely high rep, extremely low weight training about 3 times a week. I don't know if dropping much lower calorie wise is healthy in order to get over her fat loss plateau, is it?
Here's the dilemna. She's extremely stubborn, and insists upon "toning" instead of lifting heavy. Any ideas on how to convince her she'd have more success by upping the weight and lowering the reps? I'll probably show her Built's blog as a starting point.
She said she wants me to "kick her butt" and help her come up with something that will zap the fat faster, and said she's willing to work her butt off to do it.
Those are some low-assed calories there for your girl. DAMN.
How much has she lost? What macros does she run?
Those are nearly starvation rations for a 176lb person. Cutting them too low can severely limit the amount of fat-loss, as I suspect has happened here.
I thought they seemed low. She's only lost 6 pounds (if I recall correctly). She hasn't been paying attention to her macros at all, just calorie counting. A peek at her FitDay shows her average macros aren't pretty: F40 C200 P60.
What would be a good starting point calorie wise for someone her size? Any more ammo I can use to convince her to up them? I'm gonna have a hard time telling her to eat more. (Like I said, she's STUBBORN!)
Explain to her that if you always do what you've always done you're gonna get what you've always got.
If the best she can do is 6 lbs in a few months, then she's obviously doing something wrong. I know how hard it is to motivate stubborn girlfriends (they can be brainwashed)... you've got yourself a challenge ahead of you. Tell her to start using this forum for herself, and start getting her information straight. Your fiance really needs to fix her diet or she'll never lose weight. She needs to eat her weight in grams of protein, cut the carbs in half. Put a glycemic index chart on the refrigerator and refer to it often. At 60 grams of protein, that 6 lbs could very well have been muscle. In your wifes condition, her body is in fat storing mode. That much of a deficit in her diet is what is making her body store fat. The carbs she is eating are probably turning into fat if she's not burning them by exercising. Also, in people who exercise, insulin-sensitivity can increase up to 80%. Which means, if she wants to, she can get by eating far less carbs than she thinks she needs. This may also mean that people, not just women, who exercise and end up eating more (because exercise makes you feel hungry) might not be doing their midsection any favors, granted they're doing good by their cardio. Good luck to your fiance.
Last edited by dougyp; 03-10-2008 at 04:22 PM.
Great read on the 10 top ten myths of Bodybuilding nutrition by Dave Barr (T-Nation).
6 lbs in two months is excellent progress! But the calories this low, with low protein... this isn't the way to do it. Poor thing.
Fitday tells you what your maintanance is, drop like a bunch off of that but still make sure she is getting a high enough calories intake to not go into starve mode. I would say nothing lower then 1500, so maybe try like 1700 with exercise and make sure she is getting enough protein in her diet.
There is a such thing as to little calories, and it can prevent any weight loss because your body stores it if it thinks your not going to get anymore. aka starve mode.
Last edited by Brad263; 03-14-2008 at 01:49 PM.
Weight 180lbs Goal 200lbs by 06/01/08
Bench 150x6 Goal 200
Squats 165x5 Goal 250
Deadlift 205x6 Goal 300
"Speed has never killed anyone, it's suddenly becoming stationary that will get you."
Sounds like she needs to start lifting more weight as well. I work with a lot of females who don't push themselves hard enough during weight training and therefore are essentially waisting their time. Chances are she will not bulk up. But she's not increasing her strength either which will not lead to an increase in her metabolism, aiding in her daily calorie burn. I recommend interval training in which she would incorporate some bouts of short cardio. into her strength training or add plyometrics, jump rope, multi-joint exercises, etc. She might also need to eat a few more calories per day in small meals to keep her metabolism going. She might be hurting herself by cutting so low. If she has a workout partner she can recruit who will provide some added motivation and push... that could also be a positive factor in her success. Good luck!
"Chances are she will not bulk up."
- Indeed. Like "zero" chance: she's eating below maintenance. You can't gain weight and bulk up while cutting.
Cycle, what purpose will the plyos serve in her particular case? And the multiple small meals - why would this help?
Thanks for all the help folks. With the advice you've all given me, and Built specifically, she's going to raise her calories to the 1500-1700 range, improve her macros, and change her exercise routine to incorporate heavy lifting. When I showed her the thread to prove that all these things I've been telling her aren't my own silly notions, it seemed to sink in. She seems very committed to this...I'll let you all know how it turns out!