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Plateaued at 20% Body fat.

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I was trying to get down to about 15% body fat. I am currently at 20% (have been 20% for as long as I remember, with the exception of the last month). I have been 182 for the past 7-8 years (except in March I gained 15lbs due to COVID). Both as an Olympic Swimmer and College Swimmer, I was 182, 20%. However I never actively watched what I ate or tried to lose weight. Anyways since COVID I stopped being active (and I graduated from college) thus gained 15lbs. A month ago I decided to lose weight and got MyfitnessPal, Samsung Fit2, and a bunch of chicken breasts. Due to COVID I am only allowed to swim at the pool for 1 hour (we are in a scheduling system).

My regiment consists of 10am- swim practice 3000 meters. 6pm- 5.5 mile run in 1 hour (I just started to I am not fast, I am just jogging for the most part unless its downhill), followed by 40-minute weight lifting (I do this regiment every day except to take a break from fatigue). Meanwhile, my caloric intake is on average 1300 calories but never above 1400. I try to get 182g of protein bc I read somewhere that I need 1g per pound of my weight. Sleep is normal 8-9 hours, I don't have anything going on yet. Anyways, I lost the 15 pounds quickly... back to 182 anddd now I am stuck... no matter what I do I can't lose the weight. I assumed its because I am gaining muscle so I decided to check my body fat... that also is stuck around 20%. Anyone on here who had a similar issue who can give me some advice? I really need some help, I want to break this cycle, I was like this throughout my athletic career and I just want to see some abs. I wouldn't have been so concerned about this plateau but I know that during my top health I was still this % and weight so I am concerned that my body is genetically stuck.

My typical micro breakdown

50% Protein

28% carb (from fruits and veggies)- I do not eat any bread or rice or grains. 

22% fat.

I try to keep a paleo diet but I eat the light and fit yogurt for its 12g of protein. If I cut down my calories even more I may not get 182g of protein. Also I am getting SICK AND TIRED of oven baked chicken breasts.... like it is making me nauseous. 

I may also add that I am 5'11", 26 years old male. My nerdfitness calories calculator told me I need 2200 or so to function and MyfitnessPal told me to eat less that or equal to 1500 calories which is similar to nerdfitness.

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On 6/22/2020 at 8:31 PM, AlexSpall said:

I am concerned that my body is genetically stuck

This isn't really a thing, actually - there could be some hormonal balance issues that would make you more prone to holding onto fat, but everyone's bodies will follow the laws of physics (energy in, energy out).


ALSO, the measurement tools available to determine body fat percentage are notoriously inaccurate - the ONLY thing they may help with would be tracking progress over time, but you can just as easily track your waist girth instead.


That being said, your kcal is WAY too low for your weight/age/sex. You CAN cause some crappy adaptive responses if you're exercising a lot and not eating enough, which is exactly what you've described.


IMO, here's what I would suggest doing (bearing in mind that I'm not an expert or doctor): go back to eating at your TDEE (minimum 2,200-2,500kcal) for AT LEAST 4 weeks. Keep your protein intake up, as you have been. Sleep lots. Focus on nutritious foods. Try to work on your weight lifting and making progress with that (I'd also recommend lifting before jogging, or even only jogging on days you don't lift). This will help your body to resume normal function, without the 'panic' it may be in from your eating well below what you should be.


By cutting your caloric intake down that low, you are far more likely to lose more muscle - which is the opposite of what you want to accomplish. After the four weeks of maintenance, try something like MATADOR instead: two weeks at 70% of your TDEE (ie. 1,500-1,750kcal) while keeping your protein intake consistent, then two weeks back at maintenance, then back and forth alternating every two weeks until you reach the level of leanness that you want.


To lose FAT (not just weight, because you can do that by peeing), you need to focus on progressive overload with weight lifting, getting in enough protein, resting enough and managing your stress, and fueling your body enough to STAY HEALTHY rather than adapt to what it's perceiving as starvation.


Even as a young fit male, getting abs isn't going to happen overnight. Remember to be safe, go slow, and keep in mind that it's also important to HAVE FUN! :) Welcome to the forum.

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Good advice from Defining.Also think in terms of long term , not short. Building muscle takes time. Focus on eating habit that you can sustain.

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