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Thread: Losing weight but getting fatter. WTF?

  1. #1
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    Losing weight but getting fatter. WTF?

    I'm doing an involuntary cut simply cause I'm having trouble affording food right now. But I still try to workout hard. According to my bathroom scale I was 215 and 17% body fat 3 weeks ago. I'm now 203 and 21%. What gives?

    My workouts are centered around squats, deads, bench and rows. No cardio. I know I haven't been eating as much as I used to. But my diet consists of cereal(usually natural oats and raisin stuff), white rice, chicken breasts, whole milk, and nitrean. Not sure how many calories a day because I haven't counted.

    I know bathroom scales are notorious for inaccurate body fat readings but shouldn't it still be going down?

    Am I losing weight too fast? I don't get it...

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    From what I understand if you're still working out hard but are lacking in the correct foods to "feed" these muscles your body can often get rid of muscle tissue as opposed to fat.

    I don't think it's optimal to work out as hard as you used to if you're staving yourself of the correct foods. I know you say it is because of lack of funds but your body needs them when you're breaking down the muscle tissue during a workout.

    As for the fat increase, this could be indeed incorrect scales but I think you might find it's storing fat more when you do eat because you're still pushing your body to the maximum, due to "starvation" mode. Granted you're not starving, however your body reads it as this so will store your fat rather than burn it off.

    The only thing I think you can do here, is lower your workout rate in relation to how much protein you're getting in, or blast cardio more than weight lifting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GazzyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnyboyo View Post
    From what I understand if you're still working out hard but are lacking in the correct foods to "feed" these muscles your body can often get rid of muscle tissue as opposed to fat.

    I don't think it's optimal to work out as hard as you used to if you're staving yourself of the correct foods. I know you say it is because of lack of funds but your body needs them when you're breaking down the muscle tissue during a workout.

    As for the fat increase, this could be indeed incorrect scales but I think you might find it's storing fat more when you do eat because you're still pushing your body to the maximum, due to "starvation" mode. Granted you're not starving, however your body reads it as this so will store your fat rather than burn it off.

    The only thing I think you can do here, is lower your workout rate in relation to how much protein you're getting in, or blast cardio more than weight lifting.
    I'll respectfully disagree.

    If you're struggling for enough food, then the last thing you'll want to do is cut back on the weights and do more cardio.

    Unless you want to lose a lot of strength, of course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GazzyG View Post
    I'll respectfully disagree.

    If you're struggling for enough food, then the last thing you'll want to do is cut back on the weights and do more cardio.

    Unless you want to lose a lot of strength, of course.
    Maybe you're right, I'm defiantly no expert.

    I would of just thought if you're struggling for food yet working out like a body builders routine but wasn't feeding yourself correctly then inevitable your body is going to struggle repairing damage to the muscle tissue, thus go in to starvation mode and attacking tissues that aren't needed in keeping your body functioning. The storing of fat occurs once the body think's it's lacking in resources.

    I'm not sure what benefit lifting heavy weights would be if you can't actually repair the damage once you have lifted them? Surely your muscles are going to reduce in size and fat is going to be stored more at a rapid rate? Of course stopping weights is NOT necessary, just that maybe lowing it is more beneficial at the minute and adding the cardio to the workout will burn the fat and use less resources than lifting weights, so in effect he will still lose weight - but be losing the bad weight (fat)?

    Losing strength most of the time is quite normal if you're losing quite a bit of a weight at a time like he's doing.

    Maybe I'm wrong like I say and someone can be more clear on it.
    Last edited by skinnyboyo; 06-23-2011 at 08:21 AM.

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    Lifting heavy helps to save muscle on a calorie restricted diet. If your muscles don't have a reason to stay big, they will be the first thing to go.
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    Senior Member colinS3's Avatar
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    If your budget makes it at all possible, try losing 2-3 pounds a week. Losing too much bodyweight too fast causes the body to go into the starvation mode that was talked about in earlier posts. Your metabolism slows down and the storing of fat is the #1 priority for your body. Lifting heavy weights while already in starvation mode will burn more calories, putting you further into it because you're giving your body even less fuel throughout the day.

    Now, whether that'll cause you to lose muscle faster is beyond me. My only advice on losing fat is to slow down on the weight loss so your body doesn't react badly. While you're doing this just try to maintain your current strength at first and then progress if you can, but don't go crazy. It's tough to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, much easier to maintain muscle (or most of it) and lose fat.
    Last edited by colinS3; 06-23-2011 at 08:48 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnyboyo View Post
    Maybe you're right, I'm defiantly no expert.

    I would of just thought if you're struggling for food yet working out like a body builders routine but wasn't feeding yourself correctly then inevitable your body is going to struggle repairing damage to the muscle tissue, thus go in to starvation mode and attacking tissues that aren't needed in keeping your body functioning. The storing of fat occurs once the body think's it's lacking in resources.

    I'm not sure what benefit lifting heavy weights would be if you can't actually repair the damage once you have lifted them? Surely your muscles are going to reduce in size and fat is going to be stored more at a rapid rate? Of course stopping weights is NOT necessary, just that maybe lowing it is more beneficial at the minute and adding the cardio to the workout will burn the fat and use less resources than lifting weights, so in effect he will still lose weight - but be losing the bad weight (fat)?

    Losing strength most of the time is quite normal if you're losing quite a bit of a weight at a time like he's doing.

    Maybe I'm wrong like I say and someone can be more clear on it.
    I thought starvation mode was debunked ages ago.

    To the OP, use the scale to see if your weight is moving, but focus more on how you look in the mirror and performing in the gym. If you are getting lighter, looking leaner and lifting the same amount, or even increasing, of weight/reps you are doing well.

  8. #8
    LuNa
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    Quote Originally Posted by colinS3 View Post
    If your budget makes it at all possible, try losing 2-3 pounds a week. Losing too much bodyweight too fast causes the body to go into the starvation mode that was talked about in earlier posts. Your metabolism slows down and the storing of fat is the #1 priority for your body. Lifting heavy weights while already in starvation mode will burn more calories, putting you further into it because you're giving your body even less fuel throughout the day.

    Now, whether that'll cause you to lose muscle faster is beyond me. My only advice on losing fat is to slow down on the weight loss so your body doesn't react badly. While you're doing this just try to maintain your current strength at first and then progress if you can, but don't go crazy. It's tough to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, much easier to maintain muscle (or most of it) and lose fat.
    This doesnt make much sense. 3 pounds a week is also quite fast, assuming its not initial water weight coming off.

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    The bodyfat % on those bathroom scales are notoriously unreliable. The readings are massively affected by things like hydration status. Unless you were very meticulous above reproducing the exact conditions at the same time of day, the change in BF% may not mean anything. Like others have said, use your bodyweight as a rough estimate and then look at your appearance and performance to judge your results.

  10. #10
    Senior Member colinS3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNa View Post
    This doesnt make much sense. 3 pounds a week is also quite fast, assuming its not initial water weight coming off.
    Yes, 3 pounds is still fast (although I did say a range of 2-3 pounds, 3 being the max). I've heard the recommended area being between .5 pounds and 2 pounds actually. The only reason I said 2-3 instead of .5-2 was because he said he was having trouble affording food. If he can still afford it then that'd be the best way to go in terms of losing weight.
    Last edited by colinS3; 06-23-2011 at 10:33 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxdB View Post
    I'm doing an involuntary cut simply cause I'm having trouble affording food right now. But I still try to workout hard. According to my bathroom scale I was 215 and 17% body fat 3 weeks ago. I'm now 203 and 21%. What gives?

    My workouts are centered around squats, deads, bench and rows. No cardio. I know I haven't been eating as much as I used to. But my diet consists of cereal(usually natural oats and raisin stuff), white rice, chicken breasts, whole milk, and nitrean. Not sure how many calories a day because I haven't counted.

    I know bathroom scales are notorious for inaccurate body fat readings but shouldn't it still be going down?

    Am I losing weight too fast? I don't get it...
    215 @ 17%= 178.45 pounds LBM, 36.55 lbs fat
    203 @ 21% = 160.37 pounds LBM, 42.63 lbs fat

    This is why I don't like bodyfat measures.

    However, it's within the margin of error... chances are, in three weeks you've likely dropped a few pounds of fat, but have lost a tremendous amount of "water weight", i.e. glycogen and water stores in muscles, gastric volume, etc. You've probably also lost a few pounds of muscle.

    Chances are, you truly ARE losing weight too quickly. pound a week. That's the goal. Starting now.

    And count your calories. Even just to get a baseline.
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    Losing weight but getting fatter. WTF?

    Quote Originally Posted by GazzyG View Post
    I'll respectfully disagree.

    If you're struggling for enough food, then the last thing you'll want to do is cut back on the weights and do more cardio.

    Unless you want to lose a lot of strength, of course.
    I agree with skinnyboyo

    ------------ The only thing I think you can do here, is lower your workout rate in relation to how much protein you're getting in, or blast cardio more than weight lifting. ---------

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    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve456 View Post
    I agree with skinnyboyo

    ------------ The only thing I think you can do here, is lower your workout rate in relation to how much protein you're getting in, or blast cardio more than weight lifting. ---------
    Why would you do this? Cardio is a terrible way to lose fat.
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    Simple answers. The bf on the scale is wrong. Also, your diet isn't great. Where's all the fat? Go by waist measurement or something better than the bf scale.

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    Senior Member ZAR-FIT's Avatar
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    For weight use the scale. Forget about the BF% on those things... super inaccurate. I was contest ready and the thing was saying i was 17% bf, where i was really like 5 or 6. For bodyfat results the mirror is your best option. Look for the big indicators like your jaw-line, definition in the forearms, and vascularity in the calves. Normally you lose fat most noticably from the extremities and it works its way inward towards the waist and hips.
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    steve456 and skinnyboyo...
    Not to be a dick, but you guys show up here a few days ago and now you are dishing out advice?

    Listen to Belial, OP.

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    You're flat not fatter. /end of thread
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    eggs are cheap man, load up

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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodybob View Post
    steve456 and skinnyboyo...
    Not to be a dick, but you guys show up here a few days ago and now you are dishing out advice?

    Listen to Belial, OP.
    Bloodybob - No offense taken, but no offense to you either when I say this. I already stated, if you read my replies I'm no expert but just because I showed up a "few" days ago doesn't mean someone doesn't know what they are talking about.

    Like I say, I'm no expert but I have knowledge in the nutritional system and how it works to a degree. I gave my opinion on what I thought as to "why" this was happening, some basic knowledge about how the body works and interprets starving mode.

    I'm sure Belial is correct, I'm not going to argue with him or whoever gives out advice/opinions, as this is indeed what the forum is about people "dishing" out advice, hell - why not jump on Belial's back? Is purely because of his post count or something? How about, I just randomly replied in forums saying hello for 5 years and gained 20k+ posts and offered this advice, would you then jump on Belials back for "dishing" out advice because his post count is lower than mine?

    As for you being here since March, how come you haven't offered any advice apart from jump on my back about "dishing" out advice?

    If some top nutritionist came on the fourm or an arnold schwarzenegger and gave some advice would you tell him "You have been here 2minutes, how can you dish out advice?"

    You must remember, people who join the forum are not always newbies like you in all aspects of training/diets etc. A forum is community of people who offer out advice/opinions to others to try help each other.

    Thanks for your input though buddy, "listen to Belials OP" How on earth you can "dish" out advice on who he should listen too? Let's be honest, you have been here yourself only a few minutes.

    Not to be a dick BloodyBob.

    OP, I hope you have found your answer among the replies, good luck to you¬
    Last edited by skinnyboyo; 06-25-2011 at 07:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belial View Post
    Why would you do this? Cardio is a terrible way to lose fat.
    I saw your reply before, it was good and you're probably right BUT,

    As for saying cardio is a terrible way to lose fat, I'm not sure I can agree with that. It's surely a much more efficient way of losing weight than lifting Iron isn't it?

    This is just a question to you, I'm not trying to cause an argument but I'm intrigued as to why you think cardio is an awful way to lose weight?
    Last edited by skinnyboyo; 06-25-2011 at 07:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnyboyo View Post
    I saw your reply before, it was good and you're probably right BUT,

    As for saying cardio is a terrible way to lose fat, I'm not sure I can agree with that. It's surely a much more efficient way of losing weight than lifting Iron isn't it?

    This is just a question to you, I'm not trying to cause an argument but I'm intrigued as to why you think cardio is an awful way to lose weight?
    A lot of these statements are useless without context. You have to consider what the person is already doing.... If anything.

    If you take a sedentary individual, and they want to lose fat, cardio alone is going to be just about useless to lose fat/weight. They can go run for an hour and burn about 300kcals and get little benefit.

    They'd be much better off lifting weights and dieting. They'll build muscle, increase energy expenditure, and decrease intake...


    But if you take a person that is alreay lifting weights, and dieting, things might be a bit more complicated. RECOVERY becomes a bigger issue here, especially if this person is highly trained. They cant always just cut more calories or do more work. IMO, if recovery is the issue and everything else is dialed in, the best option would be extra activity that is very low intensity, like walking or hiking. But by no means is ths "cardio".

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    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnyboyo View Post
    I saw your reply before, it was good and you're probably right BUT,

    As for saying cardio is a terrible way to lose fat, I'm not sure I can agree with that. It's surely a much more efficient way of losing weight than lifting Iron isn't it?

    This is just a question to you, I'm not trying to cause an argument but I'm intrigued as to why you think cardio is an awful way to lose weight?
    It's certainly a solid way to lose weight- no argument there. I suppose there was a bit of semantic nitpicking in my statement- it's a terrible way to lose fat, specifically. For someone who's dropping weight at a rapid rate, and losing a large amount of LBM in the process, there's no need to create an additional caloric deficit. He needs to be doing everything in his power to retain the muscle he has.

    In that regard, a lower volume strength training program should provide enough stimulation that his body will at least slow down the rate of muscle loss, while reducing cardio should bring his overall caloric deficit down to a more reasonable level.
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