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Fat Loss

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Hi,

I've been training at a TRX Gym for the past 6 months and really seeing some massive benefits to my health and fitness, becoming quite toned, although I know I need to step it up some.

My main issues are stomach and chest.  I am seeing definition in the abs and pectoral muscles, but I still have a little bit of a gut, and I also have the dreaded moob issue.  

I also run 3 times a week for 30 minutes.

What can I do to counteract this issue, or is there nothing to be done (moobs) barring surgery?

 

Posted 03.02.13, 8:57pm

It sounds like you're doing plenty of exercise, but what is your diet like? To reduce fat levels you need to be addressing your diet as well as your exercise. It's not uncommon for men to gain weight around the middle, hormones often dictate where you lay fat down and men / menopausal women are particularly prone to a thicker waistline and moobs! They can be reduced, but it CAN take time and will often be the last area the weight starts to reduce from.

Lowering carbohydrate and sugar intake can help, so cutting out and reducing the refined carbs, junk, sweets, chocolate and alcohol in favour of wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and protein is helpful. It's NOT about deprivation but it is about making informed and sensible choices and not over-indulging. It's too easy to slip into the mindset that 'you exercise, so you can eat what you want and that 1 doughnut won't hurt'.

Have you ever tried a food diary? Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks and be strict with it. It might shock you, it might surprise you. If anything passes your lips, write it down as soon as you can (right down to the chewing gum and breath mints!). If you don't write it down straight away it's easy to forget. Don't try and change your habits during the first week... the idea is you monitor what you eat so you can see where you can improve. I've been doing this for 3 weeks now and I've lost almost 1st because I'm making more informed choices and I can't ignore what I can see in front of my eyes.

Posted 03.02.13, 9:56pm

Well my fitness coach at the gym I go to has given me a recommended foods to eat, but I know I slip from time to time.

I'm never going to stop drinking, I only drink once a week and I think its not unreasonable, but the rest of the week I can probably make more of an effort.

I also have protein shakes post workout and sometimes between meals, its the isolate one so its for gaining muscle, but staying lean too.

Good idea on the food diary, going to give that a go this week.

Posted 03.02.13, 10:32pm

It  isnt about giving up anything, but if youre a once a week binger, for example, you wont be doing your long term health or your figure any favours. I enjoy a drink myself, but i have definite limits and cant drink much beyond a glass without getting ill. My sister drinks like a fish!

Posted 04.02.13, 12:04am

Yeah I know its all moderation.  I don't actually binge drink.  I'm fairly sensible.

Posted 04.02.13, 9:11am

Is it possible that working out often and pectoral muscles being worked on is having an effect on the moobs?  Its doing my head in because I am working out harder than ever, haven't had a takeaway in 7 months, drink less.

Posted 04.02.13, 11:20pm

Get hold of Dan John's new book, 'Intervention'. I think his stuff would be ideal for you.

Posted 05.02.13, 10:21am

Thanks, I may well do that.

Posted 05.02.13, 10:23am

Ok, I did a weeks worth of a food diary.  Now I was just being lax on purpose, well not too lax, but what may have been a typical week for me.  Also worth noting, I'm not ever going to give up alcohol.  I don't drink often, so its all in moderation and I believe you need to have some kind of pleasure in your life as a reward for the hard work.  So although I may well get a lecture on it, I don't feel its warranted as I am able to cut out other things, and its not as if I am a binge drinker.  A bottle per week is nothing.

Ok. :)

Monday:

Breakfast:

2 pieces of toast
1 coffee
Small glass of blueberry juice

Lunch:

Ham Sandwich, wholemeal bread
Special K Choc/Mint cereal bar
1 x Coffee

Afternoon:

1 x Coffee
1 x Tea

Exercise:

30 minutes strength

Tea:

Salad, Jacket Potato, Chicken in batter
Go-Ahead blueberry bar
1 x Tea + 3 biscuits

 

Tuesday

Breakfast:

Cereal
Blueberry juice
Medium Cappucino

Lunch:

Tuna sandwich, wholemeal bread
Go-Ahead blueberry biscuit

Afternoon:

1 x Coffee

Exercise:

30 minutes Cardio/Streng

Dinner:

Stew, 2 slices of wholemeal bread & margarine
Graze box

1 x tea, 2 biscuits

 

Wednesday

Breakfast:

2 x pieces of toast, wholemeal bread
1 x tea

1 x espresso

Mid Morning:

Smoothie
1 x coffee
Blueberry bar

Lunch:

Egg Sandwich, wholemeal bread
Protein shake

Dinner:

Stew, Yorkshire pudding
Ice cream
1 x tea, several biscuits
1 x beer

Exercise:

30 minutes running

 

Thursday

Breakfast:

1 x tea
1 slice of toast, wholemeal
2 weetabix
1 double espresso

Lunch:

Ham salad sandwich
Go-Ahead bar
Trail mix

Afternoon:

1 x coffee

Exercise:

30 minutes Strength

Dinner:

Stuffed chicken breast,
Wholemeal pasta, mushrooms, pine nuts

Snack a jack caramel biscuit

Gin and Tonic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 11.02.13, 10:30am

Continued from prev post...

 

Friday

Breakfast:

Blueberry juice
2 slices of wholemeal toast

Morning:

Go Ahead bar

Lunch:

Salad sandwich on wholemeal
Crisps
Go Ahead Bar
Super Food Smoothie

Exercise:

30 minutes Strength/Cardio

Dinner:

Stuffed Chicken with Mozzarella, Chorizo, Pine Nuts
Wholemeal pasta and pesto

Glass of red wine
Glass of gin and tonic

 

Saturday

Breakfast:

Tea + 2 biscuits
Toast, wholemeal

Lunch:

Granary sandwich with beef and mozzarella
Mars bar

Dinner:

Granary sandwich with beef and cheese
Japanese rice snacks, banana chips

3 beers
2 glasses of red wine

Exercise:

20 minute run.

 

Sunday

Breakfast:

2 pieces of toast, wholemeal

Lunch:

Ham, Cheese sandwich
Biscuits

Dinner:

Chicken roast, pots, sweet pots, squash
apple pie and ice cream

Evening:

Thai rice crackers
Glass of red wine

 

My coach is giving a talk on training for fat loss this month, so I will take something from that too.  I just don't want to burden him too much as he has already done alot for me with this training classes, so I am reaching out to the community here for advice.

What can I cut out, and what should I be adding.

I also take vitamins daily.  Multi-Vitamin, Omega 3, Glucosamine Sulfate - and I also have a protein shake I have, and that is the diet control one, not sure of the name but its designed to tone rather than bulk.

 

Thanks folks. :)

Posted 11.02.13, 10:30am

Bump!  :)

Posted 12.02.13, 2:32pm

OK, the first thing that immediately strikes me is the lack of fruit and vegetables. You eat a very carbohydrate based diet, so a fair bit of bread and cereal. There are also quite a few high-carbohydrate and sugary snacks that are low in nutrients but high in empty calories (cereal bars, biscuits etc). I would hope your PT wasn't suggesting this.

Is your main fluid intake from tea and coffee, and do you take sugar? Do you drink much plain water?

Do you get mid-afternoon slumps, sugar cravings or drops in energy?

Well done for being honest with it :) The alcohol isn't a problem really but there's a few improvements that could be made to replace some of the carbs with some fresher food! I'll use Monday as 1 example, but you can cross it over between the other days. It's not to say you can't eat anything you like, but I will give the better examples!

 

Monday

Breakfast:

2 pieces of toast 1 coffee Small glass of blueberry juice

1-2 small pieces of wholemeal toast, 2 scrambled eggs, small glass of juice. I guess coffee is OK in a morning ;)

If you're a 'butter your toast' person, try and get in the habit of adding protein-based toppings instead that will keep you fuller for longer.

Lunch:

Ham Sandwich, wholemeal bread Special K Choc/Mint cereal bar 1 x Coffee

Large ham salad (a little flavoured couscous/quinoa is optional), yogurt, fresh fruit instead of cereal bar and plain water if thirsty. Avoid tea/coffee for an hour or so.

I personally low-carb 98% of the time for my lunch, it helps keep me energised and focused behind my desk. The ham and yogurt contain protein to keep you full, the salad adds healthy carbs, bulk, vitamins and minerals and you get a top-up from the fruit if you're still hungry. You can find yourself craving processed carbs if you cut them out, this is normal as they are addictive and you can feel headachey if you cold turkey. The couscous would help with that, but quinoa is a high-protein option.

Afternoon:

1 x Coffee 1 x Tea

This is where you could add a bit more water, or try a herbal/green tea? Or maybe switch to a decaff for the afternoon. A snack like a banana, or an apple spread with some almond butter mid-afternoon will keep you going and help fuel a workout.

Adding a snack or 2 is a good way to fit in your fruit and vegetables, keep a bottle of water to hand and sip it regularly through the day to stay hydrated.

Exercise:

30 minutes strength

Tea:

Salad, Jacket Potato, Chicken in batter Go-Ahead blueberry bar 1 x Tea + 3 biscuits

Jacket potato with lean chicken breast / tomato-based sauce topping. Side serving of salad / vegetables. Avoid tea/coffee for at least an hour after meals. Maybe a small serving of frozen yogurt and some fresh berries for pudding or a small chocolate treat like a kitkat.

Have you thought of trying sweet potato instead of regular? Lower GI and very tasty with spicy toppings. They are good with savoury mince, curry and garlicy toppings. The batter on the chicken just adds extra carbs, so lean chicken breast is a better substitute, salad is good :)

Try phasing out a couple of your go-ahead bars and biscuit snacks with more nutritious snacks like nuts, seeds, fruit or vegetables. You will get more vitamins and minerals from them and they are more friendly on the waistline. Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake will also ensure healthy bowel movements and improved internal health. High-carb diets are all the rage because they are 'low fat' and it's what the government is shoving down our necks, but your carb intake should primarily come from fruit and vegetables and starchy carbs, especially processed ones should only really be eaten in relation to your exercise and body type (or mostly avoided). Personally, I have to limit my carb intake from pasta/rice/cereals etc or I would be a total blimp with no energy.

Good luck Smile

Posted 12.02.13, 10:15pm

Hi,

What a great reply.

 

Ok first of all my PT hasn't recommended any of these things.  This was just a week of me kind of letting go, was also a test to see how I could cope with some of my exercises afterwards, and to be honest, I wasn't really energised.

So all you have said is pretty easy for me to change up.  So you don't recommend having sandwiches at all for lunch?

I can lose the go-ahead bars, personally I would prefer fruit like apples and tangerines.  I don't like Banana.

What do you think of Coconut water?  I saw that the other day, not sure if I would like it, but I like coconut, and I know coconut oil is one of the healthiest, and most expensive oils.

I do like Sweet Potato too.

I've got a Body Composition tomorrow with my trainer, so it will be good to see those results, and then make this switch starting on Thursday.  Not going to go mad tomorrow, but most of my food is aleady prepared tomorrow.

 

Thanks though, this is all good stuff.

Nick

Posted 12.02.13, 10:25pm

I do try to be thorough, my eyeballs are aching from re-reading your other days so many times Embarassed hahaha. Glad your trainer didn't recommend those foods.

Unfortunate about the banana, but there are loads of fruit options. Do you like mango? It's a high-calorie energising fruit and I find it a good substitute for banana. It's especially good in smoothies and goes particularly well with raspberries.

If you want to spend the money, coconut water is OK but it's a bit of an expensive gimmick at the moment. It won't hurt to drink it, if you want to pay for it. I prefer to buy a whole coconut, enjoy the water and then eat the coconut flesh.

The low-carb lunch thing is entirely personal, definitely give it a try and see how you feel... be aware that you may feel headachey/tired/ill. It's normal to want to reach for the biscuits mid-afternoon, but bear with it and stick it out if you can because you should feel better for it afterwards. Dates (or nakd bars) are quite good for a mid-afternoon snack, they are sugary and sweet in an almost fudgy-satisfying way but aren't full of cane sugar, I find them to be a good substitute for chocolate or sweet things.

Coconut oil (and olive oil, actually) are good for cooking. Palm oil is also good for cooking, but I somewhat disagree with its usage. They are highly saturated fats, therefore more stable at higher temperatures. They're less likely to oxidise and turn into nasty trans fats. Fats in general worry me less than carbs, actually. I'll send you the link to a brilliant blog if you're interested.

Basically, eat fresh and whole where you can and avoid the tempting gimmicky foods that are bad foods disguised as good ones (Special K are one of the worst!). You will go far!

Posted 12.02.13, 10:50pm

Cool send me the blog.

Posted 12.02.13, 10:56pm

Cool send me the blog.

Posted 12.02.13, 10:56pm

Seconded on the lack of fruit & veg. It amazes me how little people seem to eat - where are all the fresh greens?

If you struggle to eat them you could get a smoothie maker & start a green smoothie habit. 

Posted 13.02.13, 9:30am

I don't struggle to eat them, I just haven't eaten them much recently.

I do eat greens, like lettuce, spinanch, green beans, asparagos.  I just purposely didn't eat totally healthy on that week just to look from a worse case scenario.

I do like smoothies, and own a machine.

Also worth noting my current living situation.  I live with my parents currently because my wife left me, and I'm kind of stuck between that happening, and me moving to Canada - so currently in limbo.  Difficult to come home from work and your mum has made you a home cooked meal.  So I'm trying to educate her too on what she should be eating.

Posted 13.02.13, 9:34am

OK. I think you know what you really need to be doing. Just don't let the gap stand between theory & practice!

Posted 16.02.13, 1:25am