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Old 09-04-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
Jose Soriano
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Looking for some weightloss help

I've been at crossfit for about 5 weeks now. Was going 4-5 times a week and really working towards losing some weight, increasing muscle and definition. It's been a great experience and I've seen some improvement, but I feel like I could be doing more (or less). I've been reading a lot of weight loss stuff, and I need some advice to go forward.

About me -
29 years old
5 foot 9
Approx 185 lbs
Approx 20% body fat (but it's hard to find consistency with the online calculators, some put me at 19%, and others at 25%)

I've been alternate day fasting for a few months now for a variety of reasons. I like food, and so does my girlfriend so dinner is a must for us. I exercise at 6pm after work and then go home to eat, and I can get by throughout the day easy with no real trouble with a cup of coffee and some creamer which keeps me far below the 20% calorie range. My dinner and some light snacking is usually all I have on fast days, and on "feast" days I eat normally, which is somewhat healthy for me anyway. I'm not big on sweats or breads unless it's a sandwich or burger, which isn't all that often anyway. Dinners have primarily been lean 8oz steaks and a medium sized baked potato (sour cream), chicken breast with rice, and seafood (salmon,tuna/shrimp), or something along those lines, and pasta like once a week (not whole wheat), so I'm getting carbs but nothing crazy (I think). Working on upping the veggies, but I have a large salad for lunch like once a week and a small one a few times in the week with dinner.

My schedule for the week has been fasting Mon, Wed, Fri, crossfit Mon-Thurs with occasional Fri 6-7p. My feed time is usually around 8-830p, and it's usually one of the above meals and maybe a handful of chips, some veggies with dip, or a slim jim or beef jerky, and this has all been very consistent, and I usually don't eat anything after 1am.

I've just started taking BCAAs before workouts, and whey after because I was worried I may not actually be eating enough, but after talking to my crossfit coach he said since I've still got chub to not worry about eating enough calories for muscle gain, since I have fat enough to burn through yet, but it was a very brief conversation and am hoping to get a little more in-depth advice-wise. (also taking a centrum multi)

I'm now looking at yohimbine and vpx meltdown and was wondering if these were safe to take together/with the other stuff I'm taking.

I'm also about to scale back to 3 days a week (M, W, F) to get some more recovery time. I read the quote about "muscle grows when you recover not when you train" (or similar) and that got me to thinking I may be overtraining, since I often feel like I should have been able to do better.

I'm also looking at leangains and thinking I should up my fasting days to Mon - Fri, but there seems to be some contradiction as to when to carb and when to protein.

So yeah, how am I doing? Where am I weak? What can I improve? Should I add or subtract some crossfit? Are Meltdown and Yohimbine safe to add? Fast more? I've certainly seen results, but I know my body, it's always been very good at reacting to what I throw at it, and very resilient, and I feel I should be seeing better results. I can have some pics up later to show how I've progressed so far if that helps.

Thanks a ton in advanced, you guys all seem awesome.

edit:
I've linked the actual products I'm talking about, all on amazon so it's safe and accurate.

edit 2:
I forgot to add I take Nordic Naturals omega 3 liquid every morning also, but I don't have a link for that one.

Last edited by Jose Soriano : 09-04-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
Paulo Santos
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Re: Looking for some weightloss help

It is simple. In order to cut fat, you have to go on a calorie deficit. You can get there by eating less or by exercising to put you at a deficit or a mixture of both. I highly recommend tracking your calories with MyFitnessPal or something similar and set it up to lose 1/2 or 1# per week (You will generally lose 1# per weeks on a 500 calorie deficit per day). Save your money on the other junk and just eat as healthy as you can.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:40 PM   #3
Mekenzie Lewis
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Re: Looking for some weightloss help

see below....

Last edited by Mekenzie Lewis : 09-04-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:41 PM   #4
Mekenzie Lewis
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Re: Looking for some weightloss help

[quote=Mekenzie Lewis;1091155]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Soriano View Post
Was going 4-5 times a week and really working towards losing some weight, increasing muscle and definition. It's been a great experience and I've seen some improvement, but I feel like I could be doing more (or less). I've been reading a lot of weight loss stuff, and I need some advice to go forward.

I read the quote about "muscle grows when you recover not when you train" (or similar) and that got me to thinking I may be overtraining, since I often feel like I should have been able to do better.

I'm also looking at leangains
I hear ya man! Im in a similar boat (not that that helps much) with these questions. I do the same amount of training, plus some additional lifting and jogging. Id like to see results, but Im afraid my body is over stressed and unable to see results...? I just started Paleo, so Im hoping that will be the missing link. I also have been reading all the leangains theory....and Im TRYING to intermittent fast on the 16/8 plan, but with AM and PM workouts its hard. My wonder is, is fasting worth it? I know its had marked results, but I dont get how a human body benefits...?
THis whole business takes serious dedication in the gym and in the kitchen. If one is in check, it may be the other portion. I always find its the diet that has the room for improvement...
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:43 PM   #5
Luke Davidson
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Re: Looking for some weightloss help

The formula I use for calorie tracking is:

[(Body Weight * 10) * 1.2] + {Calories working out} = Calories burned per day

You'll have to estimate what you burn doing Crossfit and add that in to your total

The 1.2 is a lifestyle factor - I'm a computer programmer so I sit on my *** most of the day, but I get outside with my kids in the evenings. Depending on your job and how active you are during the day, this number may be higher.

So if you take that number, subtract 500 and you should *theoretically* lose one pound per week. It is not an exact science so you have to tweak it until you figure what works for you.

So for me:

[(190 * 10) * 1.2] + 600 = 2880 calories/day

I typically do an hour of strength training and then a Metacon so I estimate my workouts burn 600+ calories.

If I wanted to lose weight I would eat 2380
If I wanted to gain, I would eat 3380+
If I wanted to stay the same eat 2880
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
Jose Soriano
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Re: Looking for some weightloss help

I have no idea how to judge calories burned during exercise lol but my estimated need is about 2300 before workout factoring in. I sit at a computer all day, but I also lift boxes and move around some so I figure that helps a little.

Either way, I'm typically far below that on fast days, and feast days I think I'm still far enough below it. I'm pretty sure I'm in a constant calorie deficit, but I just downloaded the myfitnesspal calorie tracker.

My estimate is - on fast days I'm about 1500 calories total, and on feast days maybe about 2000 at most, and those are both high estimates, since I know I'm not likely eating a 500 calorie lunch, it's usually a salad or Hale and Hearty medium soup at around 300 I think, or a grilled chicken breast on mixed greens. That's all why I was worried I may not be eating enough to begin with.

Anyway, for me fasting is worth it if it works (but to me anything that works is worth it) primarily because of my lifestyle. Getting on a particular diet and sustaining that forever is usually a lot of work, and I love food too much to cut out everything forever. Pizza and chili dogs are my favorite things in the world, and not being able to eat them would make all the exercise not really worth it. At the same time, I don't eat that stuff every day all day, maybe once a month or so, I'm lucky that I have decent eating habits (I think).

The biggest part tho, is that I'm totally ok with not eating. A few days of headache while I adjusted, but since I get distracted with work, games or life, I've gone entire days without food long before dieting and exercise. I wondered if I was doing something wrong at first because people were talking about the 16 hour fast like it was some brutal form of torture and I'm like "but... I do that now..." lol. A cup of coffee and some creamer or sugar help too.

So I get to eat whatever I want, I already skip meals out of habit, it's sustainable for life, I still eat dinner with family, it works, and helps fighting disease, increased longevity, better insulin stuffs, and the list goes on. So really it's just a minor adjustment that I'm trying to work out the kinks for, and just want to make sure I'm understanding things properly like when to eat carbs etc.

Right now I think I'm going to do a full leangains style intermittent fast instead of alternate day and try for a 20/4 period with a calorie deficit.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
Mark Siegrist
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Re: Looking for some weightloss help

You are over-complicating things.

In your case, you shouldn't be counting calories at all. It's NOT as simple as counting calories and achieving a deficit. The body is a chemical lab, not a bank.

My advice, based on the science:

1. Cutting back to a few times per week CF MAX was a good idea. The more you workout, the hungrier you'll be. As Gary Taubes says in the book "Why We Get Fat" (which is the only book one needs to learn how to lose weight, as it essentially is a meta-review of the last two centuries' worth of real factual data/science on the subject), you'll just work up an appetite by exercising.

2. Quit it with the intermittent fasting. You're just intermittently starving yourself, which causes your body to conserve fat, not burn it.

3. Cut the carbs. Pasta, even once a week, is not a very good idea. Cut out all grains and pasta. Eat low carb Paleo, or, if you are not concerned about chemicals and just want to lose weight the easiest way possible, then simply focus on staying under 30g of carbs per day).

4. Get plenty of sleep each night. And avoid stress.

I wish it was as simple as "eat less and exercise more" but that's conventional wisdom that simply doesn't work except for the lucky ones who were athletic/skinny their whole lives and then in their older age simply need to lose 10lb. For everyone else, it's not that simple as the bank (i.e., calories-in/calories-out) equation for success.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:13 PM   #8
Paulo Santos
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Re: Looking for some weightloss help

Jose, you can very easily enter your workouts in MyFitnessPal. Under cardiovascular section, they have circuit or calisthenics, which burns the same calories and it even has strength training in that section.

Having said all that, you don't really have to enter the workouts if you don't want to. Just set up the calculator to lose 1/2 or 1# per week and don't worry about entering the exercises. After 2 weeks, adjust the calories accordingly. I wanted to lose weight for soccer and I went from 170-155 in about 12 weeks by doing this and so did my co-worker.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
Jose Soriano
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Re: Looking for some weightloss help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Santos View Post
Jose, you can very easily enter your workouts in MyFitnessPal. Under cardiovascular section, they have circuit or calisthenics, which burns the same calories and it even has strength training in that section.

Having said all that, you don't really have to enter the workouts if you don't want to. Just set up the calculator to lose 1/2 or 1# per week and don't worry about entering the exercises. After 2 weeks, adjust the calories accordingly. I wanted to lose weight for soccer and I went from 170-155 in about 12 weeks by doing this and so did my co-worker.
Cool, thanks. I'll definitely be trying the calculator.


Mark, I'm going to have to disagree with you regarding the fasting thing after reading countless articles and studies performed by the national institutes of health (before I knew it was an actual diet-fad-thing), and seeing the recomendations, and more importantly, results by several respected names like Martin Berkhan from Leangains and Dr. John Berardi from Precision Nutrition; primarily on the starvation thing when it's been shown that fasting has no such effect on metabolism or muscle growth for a at least 72 hours of fasting, much less 16-20.

Plus paleo is just not how I want to live my life. Everybody needs something different to keep them going, and if that works for you, that's awesome, but that's not what I'm looking for. I have been keeping it pretty low carb though, just the baked potato, and the occasional pasta, but from everything I've read, in order to have energy for workouts and rebuild muscle etc, carbs are necessary. Like you said, it's a chemical balance - I'm not just trying to burn fat, but also gain lean muscle (in order to further burn more fat).

I am going to try and cut it down further tho, maybe I'm just not low enough. I thought I was keeping it below the 30g recommended.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:06 PM   #10
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Looking for some weightloss help

http://www.trackshoesforsprinters.com/BodyCalc.php wfs

Interesting body fat calculator. I'm sure calipers would be more accurate but I don't have access to any. I'll see about a hydrostatic test when I have $45 to waste.

I'd say stick to IF. I was starting to get pretty good results on it before the Holidays hit last year. If I went back to just working a regular job and training here and there, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. No need to fret about bringing or buying a lunch, trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast, etc. Makes life a helluva lot more manageable sometimes.

I'd say I'm in a similar viewpoint regarding what I eat. Do I feel like restricting myself to this or that or living to 100. No. Live free, die well. If I want to eat a pizza, a tortilla, some lasagna, some icecream, or a soda once in awhile - so be it. I am so sick of seeing FB status updates from people who state " Saw and smelled some bread. Smelled so delicious but I can't eat bread ever again. " JFC people, live in the moment a little. Especially just in case you get killed in some random accident and as you are dying, you are thinking...**** me I'd like a donut and a coke.
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