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dasbear

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About dasbear

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  1. Hi there, rebels! I'm a long-time reader, and I wanted to make a proper introduction. I'm 22, 5'9", and I currently hover around 180 lbs. In high school I peaked at 250 lbs. Over a couple years I started losing weight, and I plateaued around 180, and through the first few years of college I drifted between 200 and 180. A year and a half ago I resolved to "finish the job" and lose the rest of the weight. I started doing StrongLifts, capped my daily calories to 1600, and pretty much ate the same food everyday. My results were awesome after a few months. I dropped to just under 160, I could fit in size small shirts (I was wearing XXL as a kid), and I felt great. Then my thesis hit in the spring of 2015, and I stopped counting calories and going to the gym consistently for a few weeks. After returning to school from spring break, I was horrified to discover I had gained back 10+ lbs. I wasn't able to return to the same discipline I had before. After graduating and starting a new job, I still had the same struggle. Despite my best efforts to control my diet and exercise, my weight jumped back up to 180-185. That job ended, and now I'm scrambling to get my weight down again. I've moved to the ICF 3x5 routine to get some more variety in my workouts, and I'm planning to incorporate some HIIT on my off days starting this week. I'm trying to hustle to lose the weight again because more clothes are getting tight... I'm in a tough place, but hopefully with some diligence and time I'll get the results I want. My biggest challenge right now is calorie counting. I moved back home, so I don't cook all my meals anymore, so it's much harder to accurately measure meals to plug in to MFP. It was super easy when I was making simple stir fries for dinner every night. I'm trying to get better at it though, because I think my poor estimations are what's holding me back. This is an awesome community for inspiration! Thanks for reading!
  2. You guys were right. I took some measurements and used some of the equations 'wovercast' linked, and I'm ~23% BF.
  3. I didn't believe the BF % numbers myself when I saw them. My nutritionist performs an electrical bioimpedance analysis each time I see her, and it spits out numbers on a receipt. I'm not sure how accurate the numbers are, but at least it gives me differentials over time. Okay, so say I'm at 22% BF. Like I said before, I think it makes a lot more sense given my goals (to (1) slim down and trim off excess body fat and (2) build practical muscle) to cut before trying to put on weight in muscle. I'm surprised that paleo seems to be unpopular given this is the Nerd Fitness forums, but anyways: I guess using paleo to describe how I eat is a misnomer. I have an allergy to dairy (which automatically cuts that out of my diet) and try to avoid gluten because significant quantities of it makes my stomach feel weird (and I automatically gain weight, kind of like an inflammatory reaction). I still eat beans, hummus, etc every once in a while, and generally eat rice in moderation. I also drink, but I've been cutting back on that. So I'm going to continue 5x5, doing cardio after my workouts + doing some more intense cardio on off days, and continue to focus my diet around protein, vegetables, fruits, and fats, aiming for a caloric deficit (which according to myfitnesspal is 1,710 calories a day). If my goal is to maintain my muscle mass (or increase, if possible) while I'm cutting, should I still aim to eat 140-170g of protein a day? Or is it not necessary/helpful at this point, especially if I want to keep my calorie-intake low?
  4. Thanks for all the input, guys. This has been very helpful. Given my situation and goals, it seems to make more sense for me to lose some body fat now, and then start building more muscle later. While I really want to improve my functional strength, I'd also like to have some definition. This is my plan: I'll continue with 5x5 three times by week, but starting today I'm adding ~20 minutes of moderately difficult cardio. On my two off days I hope to add-in some other form of cardio, probably some HIIT or moderate cardio. As for my diet, I'll take a caloric deficit of roughly 200-500 calories, while ingesting as much protein as possible (I'll strive for 140-170g). While I would like to add things like cottage cheese to my diet, I'm technically allergic to dairy, and high quantities set my symptoms off. So I'll stick with paleo for now. Hopefully in a couple months I'll see more definition that I have been this summer. My squats, deadlifts, and barbell rows have been steadily increasing without a hitch. I've stalled considerably with the bench press and overhead press, but making breakthroughs after two or three days at the same weight. My last workout left me in a sweat. My squats are just getting to a point where I might start seeing failure. The measurements were taken roughly a year apart, so the full before and after differentials are a little skewed. In August 2013 I weighed ~176 lbs., 147.7 lbs. of LBM and 28.3 lbs. of fat mass. In August 2014 I weighed ~170 lbs., 141.4 lbs of LBM and 29.4 lbs. of fat mass. So I actually gained body fat.
  5. I'm in a bit of a dilemma right now, and I hope someone has some advice. At my highest weight I was at 250 lbs. (I'm 5'9" and a man) and now weigh 170 lbs. (sometimes dips down to 165). I accomplished that mostly with diet changes and cardio early on, and later with Bikram yoga and general activity (work that involves being on my feet, playing ultimate frisbee a few times a week, etc). While I feel proud of where I've gotten and a few doctors have told me my weight is in the healthy range, I still feel pretty overweight. I'm also technically pushing the upper boundary of the healthy BMI range. My body fat % is roughly 17%. Here's a couple pictures of me now. This summer I started weight training for the first time. For about five weeks I consistently stuck with StrongLifts 5x5. After 5 weeks I saw my nutritionist and we discovered that my lean body mass had dropped, and had not gone up. I'm still doing 5x5, but I'm not seeing results as quickly as I expected, considering that, despite some breaks during vacation this summer, I look approximately the same as I did before 8 weeks after doing 5x5. So I'm convinced my diet is the problem. However, I have no idea what I should be doing. I generally eat dairy free/gluten free as much as possible, including eating lots of protein and vegetables. I could probably improve the amount of vegetables I eat daily, but I do pretty well, I think. But something is not right considering all the training I've done. So far I've been hearing lots of mixed advice: Eat paleo, and you won't have to think about it. Eat paleo, and cut all non-vegetable or protein carbs (i.e., eat only meat and vegetables) Eat your weight in grams in protein every day. Choose whether you want to build muscle or lose fat (i.e., caloric surplus vs deficit) I'm just really at a loss for what I should be doing and expecting. For the last week I've been trying to eat 170g of protein everyday while sticking to paleo, WHILE eating and caloric deficit, and it's just been very difficult. I've had to resort to whey protein and protein bars to reach my protein quota. AND STILL, I've slightly gained weight. But right now, I don't even know if that's a bad thing, because maybe I'm building muscle?? I don't know. I'm hoping that someone might have some personalized input for me based on what I look like and my situation. My goals are to build strength and reduce my body fat to about 12%. I don't mind if I gain weight, I care more about how my body looks and feels. Should I eat a caloric deficit or surplus? Do I really need to eat so much protein? Do I need to count calories at all?
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