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  • Extremely disappointing results from 21 day challenge...

    Not sure if I should have posted this in fitness or nutrition so I'm posting it here.

    I'm a 31 y/o male about 185 cm and about 86 kg (although in the last 10 years Ive fluctuated from 75-93). I would say an average build. I have always struggled with belly fat and more recently chest fat (awful). Right now I'm about 21-22% body fat and I'd say I've got at least 6-7 kg to take off. I have not been anywhere near an optimal weight since 2009.

    Right now my whole body except my chest and stomach is in pretty decent shape, not athlete level but let's just say I'm OK with it but it seems like no matter what I do I cannot get rid of the excess fat.

    I have tried every routine and diet in the book from excessive exercise down to the most minimal plans and high fat high calorie primal or paleo plans down to 1,500 calorie per day starvation diets (or at least they feel like).

    Mentally energy and mood wise I feel best on paleo or primal and the lowest weight I've been is about 82 kg once while following Dave Asprey's plan and exercising very very little (to the extent that I did) and again maybe 80-81 kg after following Tim Ferris 4 hour body plan along with his workout plan. (Tim's diet plan is heavy on beans and allows the all out cheat day which I took full advantage of and shockingly probably had the best results of the last 5-6 years). The problem with both was that I only got part way there and the results seemed to taper off and particularly with the 4 hour body plan strength plateaued after an initial big gain.

    This time around I've lost 1 kg or so max after following Mark's plan for about 30-35 days. It's hard to say though because my weight fluctuates 2-3 kg easy depending on when I weigh myself.

    My energy, mood and general health I would rate 7.5/10. My physical fitness level I would probably give 6/10. There is room for improvement but what I've been trying to achieve most is to get leaner and I just can't seem to do it no matter what I try. For the last 30 days I've been extremely diligent about eating primal, I had no beans, grains or legumes at ALL for example but the results have been negligible. I also go way out of my way to avoid any kind of sugars or sweeteners (besides stevia) and I eat fruit very rarely.

    In the past some have suggested it's a hormonal problem but I have had lots of blood work and diagnostic tests that never find anything.

    I should probably also add that I have been following the primal fitness blueprint as closely as possible too. (30-35 KM per week walking, once per week sprints, twice per week strength training).

    Can anyone offer any advice on how to figure out what the hell is the problem and to get lean finally once and for all?
    Last edited by grok42; 06-10-2014, 08:52 AM.

  • #2
    I would say just keep at it. It can take a while to fix a screwed-up body sometimes.

    Sent via lightsaber

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
      I would say just keep at it. It can take a while to fix a screwed-up body sometimes.

      Sent via lightsaber
      How long should it take though? I feel like I am not that far off, I am not obese or anything, but the progress is just so painfully slow.

      Comment


      • #4
        So it took you 5 years to gain the weight and you want it gone in 21 days? Give it at least 6 months before looking for results...

        Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DennyB View Post
          So it took you 5 years to gain the weight and you want it gone in 21 days? Give it at least 6 months before looking for results...

          Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
          Obviously not. What I said is my weight has been up and down between 75-93kg over the past five years. I also said that on Tim Ferris or Dave Asprey's plan I was able to get down to 80+/- but I didn't say how long I stayed on those plans.

          And in any event this plan brags about visible differences and measurable loss in only 21 days - that wasn't my expectation. I'm saying the results are barely perceptible after a little over a month, other plans worked better and none of them work well for me. What can I do about it?

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          • #6
            Grok42,

            You probably have more than one issue going on. Since you say your belly is the biggest issue, read 'Wheat Belly' by Dr Davis. His focus is on the toxic affects of wheat and the belly that results. (Along with other health issues, but back to topic...) If you jumped into Primal whole hog, your body may have been shocked into going into starvation mode instead of fat burning mode and slowed your matabolism down to nothing. Different people have different caloric responses. You may be the ultimate survivor. Modify but don't quit.

            Make sure you get enough vegetable fat. This is baby food for the fat burning system. It helps the body learn to switch over to fat burning. And it may have to learn how to burn vegetable oil before it can learn to burn animal fats including your own. You may have to slam coconut oil, olive oil and avocadoes to give your body practice. Reduce the carbs so it has no choice but to use the good fats. Later you can worry about calorie intake and exercise.

            Stress creates cortisol. Cortisol encourages belly fat storage. Celebrate feeling better by eating primally and try not to stress about the weight right now. Stop eating wheat and let your gut have time to heal. let the foods you eat taste good. Let your exercise be fun, not work. Sometimes too much workout can cause both physical and emotional stress. Sometimes you can try too hard. Find the joy in life and give it time.

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            • #7
              It does sound like you have more that one issue going on.

              Your weight fluctuates 2-3 kilo's throughout the day?
              How confident are you on your body fat estimate? Did you use the same scale to measure this as your weight?
              What are your macros?
              Example of your daily food choices?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by C Dee View Post
                Make sure you get enough vegetable fat. This is baby food for the fat burning system. It helps the body learn to switch over to fat burning. And it may have to learn how to burn vegetable oil before it can learn to burn animal fats including your own. You may have to slam coconut oil, olive oil and avocadoes to give your body practice. Reduce the carbs so it has no choice but to use the good fats. Later you can worry about calorie intake and exercise.
                What?

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                • #9
                  Make sure you get enough vegetable fat.
                  Uh...
                  My opinions and some justification

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by C Dee View Post
                    Grok42,

                    You probably have more than one issue going on. Since you say your belly is the biggest issue, read 'Wheat Belly' by Dr Davis.
                    I love Pizza, burgers, crossaints, etc. as much as the next guy but I've been far from a SAD for a long time. For years I have really limited those foods and gone stretches with absolutely zero wheat/bread/grains/simple or unrefined carbs. I have often done stretches of a strict meat and vegetable diet. After a gruling and strict diet in 2007-2008 and 2001-2002 range I got to maybe 90% of where I would like to be but never better. Since 2009 twice I got to maybe 60% of where I'd like to be, once with the Tim Ferris plan and once with Dave Asprey and it took months of dieting.

                    I will check out "Wheat Belly" for sure but I feel like it's been many years since I've been as bad as a typical SAD diet. Anything with bread of any kind would be a "special occassion" food. This time around I went with absolutely zero for >=30 days and since then I've made had 1 or 2 bread or pasta based dishes in total for the last 40-45 days.

                    My lowest weight in the last 5 years was 82 kg. I feel like if I could get to 78 I'd be in pretty great shape (assuming this weight loss is fat not muscle).

                    I'm also avoiding beans, grains and legumes like the plague in general.

                    Have I mentioned that I also have horrific man boobs for someone my size and weight. With a shirt on it almost just passes for a really muscular chest because I've been able to bulk up my arms, shoulders and neck but with a shirt off nobody is getting fooled! They're about the same size as somebody that's ripped but for sure it's much more fat than muscle.


                    Originally posted by thomas

                    It does sound like you have more that one issue going on.

                    Your weight fluctuates 2-3 kilo's throughout the day?
                    How confident are you on your body fat estimate? Did you use the same scale to measure this as your weight?
                    What are your macros?
                    Example of your daily food choices?
                    I don't know how or why I fluctuate so much but I guess it's just the result of when I ate or drank, time of day, etc. I can easily slam over 1 kg of water in a workout session (although I guess I also sweat some out). It's seems toward the upper range but for someone my size not too crazy. 1 KG of water a half a kg of food, maybe another half kg depending on what shorts, tshirt and shoes combination I've got on (i.e. Vibrams or regular trainers). I don't know is this abnormal or something to be concerned about?

                    I use the same scale to weigh and/or compare two scales and verify their accuracy and consistency to one another. I don't know how great my body fat measurement is because I know anything other hydrostatic weighing (and maybe even that) are fraught with error and inconstancy. Although I would hope and expect that any one method would hopefully at least have a semi-consistent margin of error with itself. I have done calippers and the electrical resistance thing with the same practitioner on both counts and always came in between 20-23. I think low 20's sounds and feels about right for my current condition. My arms and legs look pretty good, it's just my torso that _sucks_. I think I'm slightly more muscular than average at this point. I can bench my own weight a couple of times, I can do some dips and some pullups. I can pass the 50 squat reference without too much trouble and maybe even with a little weight.

                    I don't know what you mean by macros... I have had full physical workups a few times throughout my life most recently maybe 2-3 years ago. A very comprehensive checkup with ultrasound of my organs, stress test of my heart on an exercise bike and a lot of blood work. No red flags. "Slightly high" on one of the liver enzymes but was told it could be either that I had been indulging too much in alcohol or a normal result of heavy weight training. Perhaps a little from column A and a little from column B.

                    Daily food calories:

                    1.) Breakfast - bullet proof coffee with a spoon full of farm fresh organic grass fed butter and a splash of Now Foods MCT Oil

                    2.) Lunch - a couple of free range organic chicken eggs (no really, the real ones), some salad. I'll throw in some cheese or some sausage if I have it (but this is all totally organic free range/grass fed local farm stuff). Alternatively lunch would be some ground beef or pork or chicken (again healthy local grass fed free range) steamed with some vegetables.

                    3.) Dinner - Similar to lunch but don't usually have eggs for dinner. If I'm in a restaurant I try to order whatever I can that is mostly meat and vegetable based. I try to avoid carbs. If I have to have carbs I try to stick to potatoes or rice and sparingly.

                    4.) Snacks - I'll do a protein shake if I get hungry or if it's a workout day and I need extra calories. I'll do a mish mash of these ingredients (not all fo them in every shake but I just pick and choose from what I have). Filtered water, local fresh whole fat yogurt (unpastuerized and grass fed), Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate Powder, Now Foods Non-GMO soy lecithin, Organic Hemp Hearts, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Maca Powder, Cinnamon, small amount of fruit (particularly berries), splash of Akai concentrate (Now Foods), stevia, MCT Oil, creatine, super green super food powder. I'll take a few of those things at random and mix it up and make sure it's both high protein and high healthy fat.

                    I try to avoid sweets, if I want something sweet I try to stick to 85% Dark Chocolate.

                    I feel good on this diet in terms of energy, mood and mental function. I am not starving. I am satisfied.

                    Any other ideas or tips?

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                    • #11
                      I got to a point where primal ceased working with weightloss. I finally said screw it.... and went to a more whole foods version and let myself enjoy food and alcohol. At the same time, I work my ass off (or well, in my case on) at the gym. I'm up about 10 lbs but wearing the same clothes. My only change in fit is tighter across the butt, but I actually do things at gym to make my butt bigger so...

                      I had my first check up in 10 years....everything on me is good. Blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar. I have good energy. I'm strong. I can go run a 5 k without training. Most people guess I am about 7 to 10 years younger than I am. But yeah, I'm still annoyed by areas of fat that won't go away.

                      So you are not alone. Primal doesn't necessarily get you the lean body you might want, but it will make you healthy.

                      So what do we do? You can do ever crazy dieting that works, but it messes you up in otherwise. I do an IF VLC program fueled by coffee that strips weight off, but I look like hell with saggy, greyed skin and depression. My current plan is to fuel myself with healthy foods and lift weights to use muscle to shape a better body. For example, I do hip thrusts and straight leg deadlifts to have a bigger butt and better hamstrings to balance out my quads (where my fat congregates). I work on my shoulders to make my waist look smaller.

                      If I was you, I'd be benching, squatting and deadlifting. Bigger chest to eat up some of that fat and make the stomach look smaller. And IMO, a nice ass and thicker legs trumps a 6 pack with chicken legs every time.

                      Oh, and I look at your diet....carbs. Eat some carbs.

                      http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                      Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                      • #12
                        I'm relatively new on this forum, but have been following this way of eating for a couple of years, so maybe I can throw something in that will be helpful. Have you ever heard of Paul Jaminet and his book "The Perfect Health Diet"? There is a thread on this forum you may want to check out. Contrary to what many believe, that carbs are the devil in disguise, he adds 'safe starches' to his daily eating regime, and has experience a renewed level of health and fitness. I've been doing this as well, while staying under 100 carbs a day, and I've noticed improvements in several areas of my life ranging from my quality of sleep to my overall well being. Of course, this isn't a license to indulge in grains. Safe starches mostly consist of white rice, boiled, cooled and reheated, and tubers, prepared in the same manner. As you are already drinking Bulletproof coffee, I assume you also follow Dave Asprey. He has some pretty interesting podcasts, including one about resistant starches-podcast #124. It really could be a matter of a screwed up metabolism and perhaps broadening your food pyramid will be the answer you're waiting for.

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                        • #13
                          Hormonal issues can be subtle. I had blood work backwards and forwards, and it was my fertility cycle that displayed my hormonal problem that tests were coming back "in normal ranges."

                          Thus, it's going to take digging, trial and error, and so on. Off the top of my head, cold water rinses at the end of your shower might help. It did for me, but I'm a gal and my needs might have been wholly different.

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                          • #14
                            I have come to terms that my body is the size it is because it's the size it wants to be. The stuff I see on TV or movies or in magazines is not a real body and not something I should even try to be. I had a coach tell me that I'm not fat, not at all. There's a strong bias in this culture against anyone being big and strong, especially women. But even for men.

                            You might consider that the Primal Blueprint is not just a diet and not just a weight loss program but there is also a fitness portion. Lift heavy things, move frequently at a slow pace, play, sprint a little. Since I have lifted heavy things (heavy for me, but not very awe-inspiring overall) it has made an incredible difference in me. I have been lifting for a year and a half. The visible change is hardly noticeable, but internally I feel resilient and I feel joy at what I'm capable of. Sure, I might get more external praise being slender like a woman is supposed to be, but I FEEL super good knowing I can squat or deadlift a lot more than a woman my age should. I can really do anything I want with this body of mine. How lucky am I?

                            By the way, at 130lbs a couple years ago, my waist was 30". At 135lbs today my waist measured 28.5". That's what lifting heavy can do.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                            • #15
                              SB knows what she's talkin about!!


                              Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum

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