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Eating + Lifting to get Leaner and Stronger - Is it even possible?

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  • #46
    Thanks everyone for the input.

    Fbf, I have been weighing meats, and measuring stuff like rice and milk. Vegetables I eyeball, as well as tablespoons of butter, oil, etc.
    Last edited by StupidFatHobbit; 08-28-2013, 06:58 AM.


    • #47
      Originally posted by KiteKasia View Post
      Will you please stop calling yourself old!
      48 isn't old!!!
      I don't plan on feeling old when I reach that age and see no reason why should I?
      I don't even think 58 is old.
      How old is Mark? And his wife? They are NOT old!!!
      You look good, you do good things, I presume you enjoy your life and yourself - be young!
      Ha ha in the context of Starting Strength, which targets high school boys trying to get on the football team, I am considered "Elderly" over there. But yeah, I'm pretty darn young and even younger at heart. I can't lift 3x a week or I can't recover so that right there puts me in an older demographic.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


      • #48
        Originally posted by drjoyous View Post
        I had to laugh here! "I don't EVEN consider 58 old!" Well THANK YOU Ma'am! I'm 58, and most DEF am not old! Staying immature helps keep one young at heart (LOL)--my problem is that i keep forgetting i'm not 28 when i'm doing physical stuff, so i'm learning patience. And more patience. And more of the damned stuff...

        So watch out with that "old" stuff, people! Hahaha!
        Ah sorry for unfortunate wording on my part, but this is exactly what I mean 48, 58 isn't old! There are many very hot looking and young-ly behaving people (both genders) in that age group and older!


        • #49
          So just a little update...weight seems to have stabilized over the last week or so. I'm still eating between 3000 and 4000 a day. I've made the mental shift away from worrying about scale weight and have decided to concentrate on strength, and hopefully the weight increase will not happen too fast if as long as I don't overdo it on the eating.

          Something tells me that if it took me months to lose 10lbs and only two weeks to gain it back then my body really did not want to be at that lower weight...That, and/or I seriously needed to increase LBM and metabolism before trying to reduce bodyfat.


          • #50
            Im reading a lot of conflicting advice here.

            At 20% BF you only have 2 options.

            1. Eat at a caloric surplus and gain strength, muscle AND more BF
            2. Eat at a caloric deficit and lose BF, and MAINTAIN muscle and strength (provided a decent lifting program is implemented)

            Some things to keep in mind.

            At 20% BF your rate of fat accumulation will be higher relative to you muscle gain than if you were leaner. Lets say you continue to bulk over the next 3-4 months (min amount of time to see a noticeable increase in strength/mass) you may gain anywhere from 10-20 pounds. In your case I would expect fully half of that to be fat. You would definitely be stronger, but visually I expect you would look bigger but not substantially more muscular due to the increased BF. To see the benefits of your increased strength and muscle you will need to go on a caloric deficit at that point. Alternatively you just keep going forever, and end up with the fat powerlifter type body, nothing wrong with that if thats what you want.

            However Im guessing like most people you want aesthetic improvements.

            My personal recommendation to you is to get your BF to a minimum level of 15% (12% is ideal) before embarking on a mass gaining phase. This will allow you to make longer strength and muscle gains while minimizing fat accumulation.

            Without knowing more about your situation I can only suggest my blanket recommendation for weight loss which has worked for every person I have put on so far, including myself. Determine your maintenance calories. Subtract 500 calories on rest days and 300 on gym days, this will be your new baseline. Implement a 16/8 fasting schedule, for most people this means skip breakfast, meal 1 is lunch and meal 2 is dinner. Go VLC on rest days. On workout days eat the majority of your carbs post workout. The remainder at dinner. Once a week ideally on a workout day have a proper feast, this can be up to 1000 above maintenance, but no need to monitor exactly. Even with the once weakly feast you will be in a total caloric deficit for the week.

            I have seen this regimen work wonders on people anywhere from 15% BF all the way up to 30%BF.

            As far as exercise, 2X a week HIIT session such as sprinting and 2-3X a week weights is plenty.

            Otherwise if you continue bulking now without leaning out first just remember you will have that much more fat to lose once you decide to stop bulking. You will have some metabolic advantage due to increased muscle but Im not sure if that worth being in such a high BF state for so long. Another way of looking at it is you would be considered overweight for minimum the next 6-8 months (4 months bulking plus 2-4 months cutting)

            For rapid aesthetic improvement, the kind that people notice and compliment you on, I would definitely recommend you concentrate totally on fat loss. I know its hard, especially on a weightlifting program where you want to see the numbers move every week, but if you fall into the eat more to get stronger trap you might never get out of it.

            Anyway I wish you good luck in your journey, will be checking in on this post to see how you progress


            • #51
              Hi Mark thanks for the input. You make a lot of sense.

              If I do this what will happen to my lifts? I'm doing SS so will I just be stuck (stalled, on purpose) at the current numbers while trying to lose fat?

              I am doing sprints 1x per week but I was afraid doing more might interfere with recovery.

              I assume you mean my current maintenance cals and not what it was previous to embarking on this...finding out what they are would be the next challenge. I haven't found online calculators to be very useful in this regard.


              • #52
                No worries. SS is a great program. The great thing about SS is you get a ton of practice on the core lifts which will help you a lot down the road. Most people don't like to hear this but body recomposition goals should be looked at as a lifetime journey. Once you have that perspective it frees you from making short term decisions. If you look at most people in the gym they often never seem to change.

                Anyway going back to SS, rookie lifters CAN actually improve strength while losing fat. In fact its quite common. This is because you are still learning the lift, and over time you will get better at it, more mechanically efficient. As far as stalling dont worry about it. Just make sure you have a very conservative start point with SS which will allow you to progress over a long period. A lot of people make the mistake of setting the start point too high and burning out a month later. Ideally you want to be hitting your max efforts with SS about 2.5 to 3 months in. Once you do stall, just deload 20% and start again.

                Ok back to HIIT, as a weight loss tool there is almost nothing better. When people are looking for MAXIMUM fat loss in a short time I recommend 3X a week. Again this is dependent on individual goals and recovery, age and athletic ability come into this as well. For your average person 2X is the sweet spot. Start with 2-3 sets of sprints and every week add 1 more set until eventually you can do 6 sets in one session. Rest time between sets is highly dependent on individuals, good rule of thumb is wait until your rate has normalized. That can be anywhere from 2-8 min. Remember sprinting is a very challenging exercise, don't go in 100% until your body has had time to adapt. Generally people can handle 60-80% intensity when starting out. Each week aim to up the intensity slightly. For example week 1 you may only do 2 sprints at 60% intensity. Week 2, 2 sprints at 60 and a 3rd at 80%. Week 3, 1 sprint at 60, then 80, then 90%. Also spend at least 10 min warming up with a light jog, incorporate some knee high jogs and kickbacks.

                How you schedule your HIIT is up to you, you can do them at the end of your strength sessions, but you would probably find it easier to put them on different days. This is completely personal preference. Putting HIIT and Strength on the same day means you will have more complete rest days throughout the week. Putting them on different days means less total rest days but more recovery between individual sessions.

                I hear you on the calorie counters, and counting calories in general. Thats why I like to suggest people try a 16/8 IF eating schedule. Aside from the fat burning effects of being in a fasted state, in practice skipping breakfast usually cuts the perfect amount of calories for most people to enable them to lose weight. Also doing HIIT while fasted torches fat like nothing else.

                If you're not into IF it doesn't matter, it just means you will need to track your calories a bit more carefully in the beginning.


                • #53
                  You're talking about two different processes here. One is to lose weight in general. The other is to gain muscle mass/strength.

                  I liken it to the overweight woman who gets pregnant, eats healthfully during her pregnancy, and finds herself lighter after she gives birth than when she conceived. One process: grow a baby. The other: decrease her body weight.

                  You can do both. You have energy stores (calories) in your excess fat. That is why we lose weight when we decrease calorie intake - we use the fat we already have for energy. The difference between you and the pregnant woman would be that you should probably eat with an emphasis on protein (and of course, you're not going to give birth to your muscle increase at the end of nine months). In the beginning, you might not see too much encouragement on the scale. Fat is being burned, but muscle is being built. (In the analogy, baby is being grown, host is burning fat.) Once you have the muscle mass (and strength) you want, a continued deficit will continue to burn the excess fat. But stressing your muscles with exercise and healing them with rest will continue to grow them.

                  I agree with YogaBare and Gorbag here and that doesn't happen very often.
                  "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


                  Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


                  • #54
                    I guess I'm answering my own question here, but I've started cutting back on calories (and carbs) and things are getting a lot harder as far as lifting weights go. Kinda takes the fun out of it a bit.

                    I might need a different program, called "Starting Weakness", where you decrease the bar weight by 5lbs every session...


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by StupidFatHobbit View Post
                      I guess I'm answering my own question here, but I've started cutting back on calories (and carbs) and things are getting a lot harder as far as lifting weights go. Kinda takes the fun out of it a bit.

                      I might need a different program, called "Starting Weakness", where you decrease the bar weight by 5lbs every session...
                      Starting Strength is not suitable for a calorie deficient diet. If you do Starting Strength you must eat. The amount is what matters. If you're a skinny 17 year old, you eat A LOT, something like Gallon Of Milk A Day (GOMAD) can be appropriate. If you are, say a fluffy 30 year old, you don't eat too excessively, but still eat a good amount to facilitate the rapid growth.

                      You cannot squat 3 times a week and increase weight every time on a calorie deficit, at least not for any decent amount of time.


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by StupidFatHobbit View Post
                        I guess I'm answering my own question here, but I've started cutting back on calories (and carbs) and things are getting a lot harder as far as lifting weights go. Kinda takes the fun out of it a bit.
                        I would strongly recommend against that. Getting strong and losing fat usually require different approaches. If try to do a program with aggressive progression like Starting Strength while trying to lose weight, you won't make much progress on either. Figure out what your main priority is and go from there.
                        In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

                        This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.


                        • #57
                          Let me understand this. You threw out the 150 gram carb curve, and the fat came back, and your reasoning for this is that "your body doesn't want to be the lower weight." ? Oh brother, that's like those ladies who are 35 pounds overweight and proudly say "I'm a REAL woman, not a stick." The anthem of the SAD dieter.

                          Yo, you didn't gain fat because you're somehow pre-ordained for it. The fat came back because you basically went back on SAD diet. Sure, it was "whole and unprocessed" SAD, but it was carby rice and potato SAD nonetheless. I guess you can lose the fat first and work on strength later. Or you can work on strength and lose the fat later. Or you can do both simultaneously, but it will be a lot slower.
                          5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.


                          • #58
                            Well, I was keeping it in the 100 to 250g range which is well under what I've seen recommended on SS forums (or any other weightlifting sites), but yes that's too high on Mark's curve. I will say it sure did feel awesome, as far as energy levels go.


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                              I agree with YogaBare and Gorbag here and that doesn't happen very often.
                              We agree on Ayn Rand Joanie. And I also like a banana before bed
                              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                              - Ray Peat


                              • #60
                                No eating over 150 grams of carbs will not automatically mean fat gain. And no, eating over 150 grams of carbs is not the SAD diet. The SAD includes low protein, high PUFA, lots of grains, and other chemicals. Potatoes and rice and fruit is not that.

                                OP, in the last 45ish days I have lost body fat and gained strength in the gym. Go look at my journal to see my pic from aug 1st to sept 17.

                                I ate lower fat (40 or below), but all saturated fats, high protein, and high carb (around 400 + grams). I ate lots of sugar too in the form of fruit, juice, and other sweeteners. I basically ate a high carb Ray Peat inspired primal diet. I also ate between 2500 and 3000 calories most days, coming off a 3 month period of excessive calories.

                                I also lifted heavy about 3 times a week, walked and moved a lot, sprinted every 10 days, and ran every few days. My deadlift increased from 175 to 225 pounds, my overhead press from 100 to 115, and bent over row from 125 to 145. (for 4x4s). I slept a lot too. So far so good for me so I will keep at it for now.
                                Last edited by max219; 09-19-2013, 04:54 PM.