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    I am currently attempting to lose weight, having started in December with an inevitable bad week around Christmas.

    Starting point: 6'2", 19st 7lbs, heavy build (basically barrel chested, wide shoulders, thick legs). Carrying a significant amount of fat on top of muscle.

    I came into uni around 18st and by graduation I was around the aforementioned level. I was eating crap and my exercise levels were variable, basically tailing off more as I got closer to the end.

    I'm now cleaning my diet up and have rejoined the gym. I am doing mostly cardio, probably 2/3 of my workout is on the stepper, cross trainer or stationary bike. I hate treadmills as I inevitably fall off, I also realise that running at my weight is probably inadvisable from a knees and ankles perspective. The rest is resistance training, standard bar bench, dumbbell bench and leg press (200kg) as the squat rack is always occupied in my gym.

    My main question is regarding diet. A typical day is as follows:

    Breakfast: Porridge w/ semi-skimmed + jam
    Lunch: Jacket potato w/ baked beans + tuna, orange
    Dinner: Typically would be something like a risotto with mushrooms, peppers, tomato, spinach. Alternatively butter beans with mackerel in a homemade tomato sauce. Or chicken breasts with roast vegetables (sweet potato, squash, peppers, asparagus, onions).
    Snacks: Mixed unsalted nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts). Sometimes brown toast with reduced fat cottage cheese if I'm very hungry.

    I'd estimate my calorie consumption to be 1600-1900 depending on hunger levels and snacking. I work a 9-5 in a no-snack office which helps.

    I realise that I am still eating a fairly large amount of carbs but they are mostly starchy, my sugar intake is pretty low overall. I also need to consider salt intake as my BP is slightly elevated (138/85), I actively make low salt choices when possible.

    I have made significant losses especially since joining the gym, I have lost around 18lbs in a couple of weeks. I realise that this will be mostly water weight but I am now tipping the scales around 18st 2lbs.

    I guess the question is, would my current diet lead to consistent weight loss after I get through the water weight phase or do I need to tweak it?

    TLDR: read the diet bit and let me know whether I'm getting the balance right
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    It looks fine mate! The fact that you are maintaining a 600-900 calorie deficient diet (from GDA) is mad . Given what your calorie intake must have been prior to your diet to maintain a 19st weight, that must have took some will power.

    What are you doing at the gym?
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    600-900 at your weight is ok, but I would strongly recommend that you lift weight 3x a week - something like starting strength (look it up). Supplement that with low intensity steady state cardio for 30 mins 5-7 days a week and you'll lose a stone every couple of months.

    In terms of your diet, I would add a little more protein and fats instead of some of the carbs. For breakfast, on non-weight training days, maybe have 3 eggs. For dinner, stick to meat and veg as opposed to risotto. You should lower your carbs as opposed to protein and fat on a diet. Have your carbs earlier in the day.

    But if you don't lift, you will become skinny fat as your muscles will have no reason to stay.

    Hope that helps!
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    (Original post by Jooooshy)
    It looks fine mate! The fact that you are maintaining a 600-900 calorie deficient diet (from GDA) is mad . Given what your calorie intake must have been prior to your diet to maintain a 19st weight, that must have took some will power.

    What are you doing at the gym?
    I reckon my old calorie intake was probably around 2500-3500 depending on the day. But it was dirty as hell. Pasties, pizza, crisps, fast food etc.

    I think the fact that I can maintain it and not feel like total crap tells you how much I have packed away in reserve. I do sometimes feel pretty hungry but I'm just sticking it out.

    Gym at the minute is just getting back to a basic level of CV fitness, so working pretty hard on the cross trainer and stepper. I'm probably doing about 40 mins per workout of cardio and I'm gymming 5 times a week right now (though it is early days).

    Weights wise, I'm doing:
    50kg bar bench 5 reps x 3 sets (could go heavier but I'm still building stability)
    40kg DB bench (as in 20kg each hand) 5 x 2
    150kg leg press 5 x 3 warmup
    200kg leg press 3 x 3 (big burn)
    40kg lat pulldown 5 x 2
    I'll then basically just hop on whichever machines happen to be free at the time - mix of shoulder press, seated row, chest press, that sort of thing. I do all of these sets pretty fast with very short breaks in between.

    At the minute I'm still building a base level so the program is pretty variable. It will become more fixed once I've lost a bit more weight and switch focus to muscle.
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    To be honest you should do even more weights, people like me have to eat a ton load of food to put on weight to gain mass...but you already have the mass so all you have to do now is build the muscle under it and cut.

    I actually wish I was obese when I was younger just so I could have the mass.
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    (Original post by Jebedee)
    To be honest you should do even more weights, people like me have to eat a ton load of food to put on weight to gain mass...but you already have the mass so all you have to do now is build the muscle under it and cut.

    I actually wish I was obese when I was younger just so I could have the mass.
    Bar smoking, hard drugs and possibly BASE jumping there are few life choices worse than being obese, it's absolutely not worth it even for the gains.
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    (Original post by Hedgeman49)
    I reckon my old calorie intake was probably around 2500-3500 depending on the day. But it was dirty as hell. Pasties, pizza, crisps, fast food etc.

    I think the fact that I can maintain it and not feel like total crap tells you how much I have packed away in reserve. I do sometimes feel pretty hungry but I'm just sticking it out.

    Gym at the minute is just getting back to a basic level of CV fitness, so working pretty hard on the cross trainer and stepper. I'm probably doing about 40 mins per workout of cardio and I'm gymming 5 times a week right now (though it is early days).

    Weights wise, I'm doing:
    50kg bar bench 5 reps x 3 sets (could go heavier but I'm still building stability)
    40kg DB bench (as in 20kg each hand) 5 x 2
    150kg leg press 5 x 3 warmup
    200kg leg press 3 x 3 (big burn)
    40kg lat pulldown 5 x 2
    I'll then basically just hop on whichever machines happen to be free at the time - mix of shoulder press, seated row, chest press, that sort of thing. I do all of these sets pretty fast with very short breaks in between.

    At the minute I'm still building a base level so the program is pretty variable. It will become more fixed once I've lost a bit more weight and switch focus to muscle.
    I've dieted myself and I know ignoring the hunger is a lot harder than it sounds so congrats man. I also know the longer you are into a diet the easier it is to keep going so progress like this is good.

    CV looks good but probably best to throw some rowing in there to attack some fats around upper body! They say it's mainly leg work but if you chuck it on level ten you will feel it in your arms within minutes! 40 minutes five days a week is ideal

    As for the weight training, try and stick to a few muscle groups each time. If you can do the same muscle group two times in three days, something's up! For e.g. I don't even see the point in doing 5x2 lat pulldown. All you are doing is flexing that muscle, getting the blood pumping to it and then leaving it. I'd be doing 3x12/f on increasing weights and making sure my weights were set so I went to failure before 12 on my last one!
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    (Original post by Hedgeman49)
    Bar smoking, hard drugs and possibly BASE jumping there are few life choices worse than being obese, it's absolutely not worth it even for the gains.
    Sure, but if you're already there then half the work is done. Otherwise you'll lose all the weight and be skinny....then you'll have to put weight back on in order to bulk. Might as well save yourself the hassle and do it now.
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    (Original post by Jooooshy)
    I've dieted myself and I know ignoring the hunger is a lot harder than it sounds so congrats man. I also know the longer you are into a diet the easier it is to keep going so progress like this is good.

    CV looks good but probably best to throw some rowing in there to attack some fats around upper body! They say it's mainly leg work but if you chuck it on level ten you will feel it in your arms within minutes! 40 minutes five days a week is ideal

    As for the weight training, try and stick to a few muscle groups each time. If you can do the same muscle group two times in three days, something's up! For e.g. I don't even see the point in doing 5x2 lat pulldown. All you are doing is flexing that muscle, getting the blood pumping to it and then leaving it. I'd be doing 3x12/f on increasing weights and making sure my weights were set so I went to failure before 12 on my last one!
    Sorry to burst your bubble mate, but spot reducing fat is ineffective/not worth the minimal benefits.

    Secondly, low rep high weight training builds strength more than hypertrophy, as 3-4 sets 8-12 reps do. On a cut, hypertrophy is unrealistic, so pursuing strength is a good idea.

    Working out muscles 2-3 times a week is seen to be ideal in bodybuilding, and strength and conditioning circles too. Sorry if I sound rude but this is all closer to the truth. 3 for beginners and 2 for intermediate/advanced, hence why almost all power lifters/athletes use an upper/lower split or full body workouts. It's only bros in the gym who do bro splits and you will see gains but they certainly aren't as effective for beginners. Old school body builders moved to such splits free 10+ years of training.

    i would still like to see OP follow a more structured routine 3-4 days a week (full body or upper/lower) with free weights, a mixture of low rep/high weight followed by a few accessories on bodybuilding parameters. Please let me know if you want any advice in regards to this. Following this up with cardio is great, as you are doing. Keep applying yourself as you are now, regardless and you will do brilliantly.
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    (Original post by BCcfc92)
    Sorry to burst your bubble mate, but spot reducing fat is ineffective/not worth the minimal benefits.

    Secondly, low rep high weight training builds strength more than hypertrophy, as 3-4 sets 8-12 reps do. On a cut, hypertrophy is unrealistic, so pursuing strength is a good idea.

    Working out muscles 2-3 times a week is seen to be ideal in bodybuilding, and strength and conditioning circles too. Sorry if I sound rude but this is all closer to the truth. 3 for beginners and 2 for intermediate/advanced, hence why almost all power lifters/athletes use an upper/lower split or full body workouts. It's only bros in the gym who do bro splits and you will see gains but they certainly aren't as effective for beginners. Old school body builders moved to such splits free 10+ years of training.

    i would still like to see OP follow a more structured routine 3-4 days a week (full body or upper/lower) with free weights, a mixture of low rep/high weight followed by a few accessories on bodybuilding parameters. Please let me know if you want any advice in regards to this. Following this up with cardio is great, as you are doing. Keep applying yourself as you are now, regardless and you will do brilliantly.
    I wish I understood what you were getting at mate, but for the most part I don't! About the working out 2-3 times a day I don't even think that's relevant to anything I said! I said 5 days with 40m cardio each day is good.. Is it not?

    Fair enough about not doing 3x12.. We live and learn I guess
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    (Original post by Jooooshy)
    I wish I understood what you were getting at mate, but for the most part I don't! About the working out 2-3 times a day I don't even think that's relevant to anything I said! I said 5 days with 40m cardio each day is good.. Is it not?

    Fair enough about not doing 3x12.. We live and learn I guess
    It was more in response to what you said that he should work a few muscle groups at a time and not the same muscle group twice in three days. I said 2-3 times a week, not a day! This kind of training has it's place, as does 3x12, but lower reps are more to do with the central nervous system and ATP as opposed to glycogen which he will be lacking. He should add a little bit of higher rep stuff, agreed, but only so much that he can recover from. This will help with testosterone and building muscle mass if that is possible/he is new to weight training.

    So, if he trains on an upper/lower split, for lower body a), he can do:
    A) Squat Wk 1 3x3/Wk 2 5x2/Wk 3 6x1/deload
    B) RDL variant 3x8
    C) Walking lunges 3x12
    D) Core movement

    Lower b)
    A) Deadlift 3x3/5x2/6x1/deload
    B) Reverse lunge 3x8
    C) Leg curl variant 3x12
    D) Core movement

    and something similar for upper body.

    40 mins cardio for 5 days a week is cool. If it's too high intensity, it may start biting into his overall recovery given that he is consuming fewer calories and weight training. I think doing the cardio that he is doing atm will work great. Rowing is fine too.

    The spot-reducing fats was about the rowing attacking fats in the upper body... spot reducing fat is largely ineffective ie you cannot really choose where you lose fat to any great degree. Where it goes first is largely to do with genetics!

    Hope that clears things up
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    (Original post by BCcfc92)
    It was more in response to what you said that he should work a few muscle groups at a time and not the same muscle group twice in three days. I said 2-3 times a week, not a day! This kind of training has it's place, as does 3x12, but lower reps are more to do with the central nervous system and ATP as opposed to glycogen which he will be lacking. He should add a little bit of higher rep stuff, agreed, but only so much that he can recover from. This will help with testosterone and building muscle mass if that is possible/he is new to weight training.

    So, if he trains on an upper/lower split, for lower body a), he can do:
    A) Squat Wk 1 3x3/Wk 2 5x2/Wk 3 6x1/deload
    B) RDL variant 3x8
    C) Walking lunges 3x12
    D) Core movement

    Lower b)
    A) Deadlift 3x3/5x2/6x1/deload
    B) Reverse lunge 3x8
    C) Leg curl variant 3x12
    D) Core movement

    and something similar for upper body.

    40 mins cardio for 5 days a week is cool. If it's too high intensity, it may start biting into his overall recovery given that he is consuming fewer calories and weight training. I think doing the cardio that he is doing atm will work great. Rowing is fine too.

    The spot-reducing fats was about the rowing attacking fats in the upper body... spot reducing fat is largely ineffective ie you cannot really choose where you lose fat to any great degree. Where it goes first is largely to do with genetics!

    Hope that clears things up
    Haha it did! Thanks for educating me
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    Could be a great power lifter
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    Diet seems fine. Snack on fruit instead of toast though, not for caloric reasons, just to balance out carb to fibre intake.
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    Eating too many carbs, and not enough protein. I mean, it's not a terrible diet if you're already your target weight (though it's not amazing either), but you want to lose fat. I don't encourage cutting them completely, but carbs definitely want to be lower.

    For your weight that's too few calories. If you want to lose weight consistently and permanently, you need to do it slowly. 0.5/1lb a week is a good target, but if you cut calories too low it kills your metabolism and is more than self-defeating. I reckon your calorie intake was probably higher in the old days than you imagine, but whatever. I am certain someone of your size would lose weight on 2500 calories a day, if they're doing decent exercise with it. Probably more than that, in fact, but use a calculator online to estimate where you need to be, and then adjust as you start to see what happens.

    People also always neglect how important eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables is to losing weight. You are having some veg, which is good, but I'd up it to every meal. Baked beans are good too. I actually think your meals (especially the dinners and lunch) are good, just a little carb-heavy for someone who wants to lose weight. Basically cut some of the carbs and replace them with vegetables, and make up the rest calories by adding good sources of protein and fat. Jam for breakfast is ridiculous if you want to lose fat, I am sorry. On the plus side you probably do want to increase portions (with healthy food) so yay.

    Also leg presses are ****. Do squats. And deadlifts. And for the love of god cut out the stupid, useless machines. Just do compound freeweights, they are infinitely better in every way.
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    (Original post by Rinsed)
    Eating too many carbs, and not enough protein. I mean, it's not a terrible diet if you're already your target weight (though it's not amazing either), but you want to lose fat. I don't encourage cutting them completely, but carbs definitely want to be lower.

    For your weight that's too few calories. If you want to lose weight consistently and permanently, you need to do it slowly. 0.5/1lb a week is a good target, but if you cut calories too low it kills your metabolism and is more than self-defeating. I reckon your calorie intake was probably higher in the old days than you imagine, but whatever. I am certain someone of your size would lose weight on 2500 calories a day, if they're doing decent exercise with it. Probably more than that, in fact, but use a calculator online to estimate where you need to be, and then adjust as you start to see what happens.

    People also always neglect how important eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables is to losing weight. You are having some veg, which is good, but I'd up it to every meal. Baked beans are good too. I actually think your meals (especially the dinners and lunch) are good, just a little carb-heavy for someone who wants to lose weight. Basically cut some of the carbs and replace them with vegetables, and make up the rest calories by adding good sources of protein and fat. Jam for breakfast is ridiculous if you want to lose fat, I am sorry. On the plus side you probably do want to increase portions (with healthy food) so yay.

    Also leg presses are ****. Do squats. And deadlifts. And for the love of god cut out the stupid, useless machines. Just do compound freeweights, they are infinitely better in every way.
    Yup I've already made a couple of changes in the past week or however long it's been. Jam is out in favour of actual raspberries instead. Lunch is the same as it was. Dinners I've started making a bit more protein heavy though I struggle to get through a big cardio session if I've had a low carb dinner beforehand, I can really feel it if I haven't had enough.

    I've also upped my nut consumption to about 2-3 handfuls a day, one of which is usually after gym. Because of my job and having to eat before I exercise my gym sessions are around 9-10pm. I know you're not supposed to eat before bed but I do feel a strong need to have something afterwards.

    As for weight loss I'm through the water stage now so it has slowed down. I lost 4lbs in the last week even though I have made some muscle gains. The leg-heavy cardio has really toned my quads up and I've upped my DB bench. I have moved away from the machines but I really hate how packed out the free weight section is - there is only one squat cage and one platform and there is this gang of bros who are always hogging both whenever I'm in. Need to find a way into the gang!
 
 
 
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