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Not sure where to go from here, body image after weight loss, cut more or not?


Disil

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Alright, so a little information beforehand. I'm 29, 5'7'' and have gone from 185lbs to 136lbs from May '13 to March '14 and have held that weight without problems for 6 weeks now. My main form of exercise is yoga, DDPYOGA to be exact (which is probably best described as a mixture of Vinyasa Yoga and calisthenics) as well as some bodyweight exercises like push-ups and hopefully soon handstands and pull-ups. I have started to run 5 miles every 2nd day recently and enjoy it so I will probably continue with that, too. This is me, going from Day 1 to Day 300 (the last two pictures on the right and the side-view all being from day 300):

 

il9jib.jpg

 

105s9q0.jpg

 

My main issue right now is that I'm not sure what I should do in regards to my nutrition, mostly because I don't exactly know which is the best way to achieve my goals and part of me wonders whether my goals are even reasonable or if I have a somewhat twisted body image and haven't become used to the new me yet. This is what I've written down most recently:

 

New Goals (as of April 16 2014):

- run at least a 10k or a half marathon (depending on progress) in September
- master a free handstand for at least 15 seconds
- further decrease bodyfat%, but with the overall goal of feeling the best I can physically still in mind
- manage to do a full pull up and work towards doing several

- stand up into bird of paradise

 

Due to being relatively short I don't want to gain much mass, because I already struggle, feeling as if I'm shaped like a barrel and I fear that bigger limbs/neck would only accentuate that. I also have no huge interest in or affinity for actual weight lifting beyond the previously mentioned bodyweight exercises. The pictures don't show it too well, but I still have a little gut (see side view) and small love handles, especially when totally relaxed. That pretty lean ideal also fits with my exercise related goals, which go more towards flexibility, endurance, but also to improve at bodyweight exercises.

 

As far as diet goes, I've reduced carb intake immensely, both to help with the weight loss, but also due to various health issues directly related to major carb sources (oat crossallergy, wheat sensitivity, general problem with overly processed food) and went from atkins/low carb to a modified paleo diet that still includes various non-paleo foods because I like them and they are healthy and have no ill effects on me.

 

Now, my biggest question really is whether to continue this diet and on a caloric deficit to further reduce my bodyfat% (should be somewhere around 15% I would estimate), keep the diet, but create a caloric surplus in order to gain some muscle while minimizing fat gains or modify the diet to something a little less "healthy" to create a caloric surplus and gain some fat back only to then cut again to end up at a lower bf%. Alternatively I could just keep the diet as is and up the caloric intake to a level where I just maintain the weight, but I feel that despite working out, this would lead to little to no changes in my body composition - or am I wrong there?

 

Thanks in advance fellow rebels. Appreciate any help or suggestions!

How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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Alternatively I could just keep the diet as is and up the caloric intake to a level where I just maintain the weight, but I feel that despite working out, this would lead to little to no changes in my body composition - or am I wrong there?

 

I would do this. It seems like you're in a good place in that you know what is good or bad for your particular body. Just increase your calories - especially protein - and you'll see improvements. You might want to try IF too, if you haven't already.

 

As for the second part, it depends on how you work out. Weight training will burn fat better than jogging. I understand that you don't like weights, but let me offer you this: kettlebells. You can continue with the calisthenics, and include some swings, snatches, TGUs, and C&Ps in your non-running workouts. While you will build some muscle, it won't be like "actual weight lifting," and kettlebells can help with your running as well. Besides, they're easy to bring with you once you start needing a pull up bar on a regular basis. Start with a 1 pood and go from there.

 

Also, great job on the weight loss! You definitely don't have the gut you think you do, and you would have to build quite a bit of muscle to start being a fireplug, but you have some good goals. Once you get used to the new you (I hate that term, but I'm too lazy to think of something else), you'll be fine. Have fun!

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It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.

Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.   - Patrick Rothfuss

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I would do this. It seems like you're in a good place in that you know what is good or bad for your particular body. Just increase your calories - especially protein - and you'll see improvements. You might want to try IF too, if you haven't already.

 

As for the second part, it depends on how you work out. Weight training will burn fat better than jogging. I understand that you don't like weights, but let me offer you this: kettlebells. You can continue with the calisthenics, and include some swings, snatches, TGUs, and C&Ps in your non-running workouts. While you will build some muscle, it won't be like "actual weight lifting," and kettlebells can help with your running as well. Besides, they're easy to bring with you once you start needing a pull up bar on a regular basis. Start with a 1 pood and go from there.

 

Also, great job on the weight loss! You definitely don't have the gut you think you do, and you would have to build quite a bit of muscle to start being a fireplug, but you have some good goals. Once you get used to the new you (I hate that term, but I'm too lazy to think of something else), you'll be fine. Have fun!

Thanks for the advice Kvothe, really appreciate it! I have always kept my protein intake high, both because I wanted to minimize muscle loss during my weight loss and because it fit my diet anyway, so should I increase protein intake as well or simply up my overall caloric intake by adding more rice/potatoes etc.? A typical day when trying to stay below 1800cal for weight loss looked like this:

First meal of the day: 3 egg omelette in olive oil with 1 red bell pepper and 80g feta cheese (~600cal, ~42g protein) + 1 Apple (~90cal) + 1 Joghurt with flaxseed sprinkled in (~130cal, 9g protein)

Second meal of the day: tuna salad in cold-pressed rapeseed oil with roasted pine nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds as topping (~650cal, 57g protein)

Which has me at roughly 1470cal and 108g protein and that is without snacking on stuff like almonds, brazil nuts or a second joghurt with berries which I sometimes do and sometimes don't.

 

As you can see from that little example I'm basically doing IF almost by accident since I only eat twice a day and usually both meals within 6-8 hours of eachother and a huge gap until the meal of the day after. The only issue I have is to work out before eating that first meal, simply because I usually wake up hungry.

 

My main limiting factor right now is money. I've been intrigued by kettlebells ever since I saw them a few years back, but never really thought more of it, because I never really was a weights guy and I had bought a pair of dumbbells a while back only to sparsely use them so I put that thought away again. This was also one of the reasons why I saw the yoga program as such a good investment as there really is nothing cheaper in the long term that I could've picked.The idea for me was to alternate between 1) yoga+push-ups, pull-ups and handstand practice and 2) running, doing each every 2nd day, providing me with rest as well as something to do every day with the yoga and the calisthenics working as means to build some muscle and the running as a means to increase endurance and overall something that keeps me happy & going outside regularly and will help me work towards my goal of running at least in the 10k this September which as a former smoker will be one of those things I never imagined I'd be able to do.

 

Thank you also for the kind words. I guess I'm still really self conscious about the way I look/come across and with my height being the way it is I'm just really cautious now that I've come this far. Even upping my caloric intake to 2k+ is frightening to me, but I feel that I'm in a place where I can control it better now. Out of curiosity, what would you estimate my bodyfat to be at, just going from the pictures? My scale really doesn't give too good of a result so my estimate really is just that.

How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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I think the best way to go about increasing calories is not an "or" kind of question, but rather an "and" question. Instead of looking at what part you should increase, just add a little here and there. Use another egg in your morning omelette; use a can and a half of tuna; add more topping to the tuna; have a second apple or an orange or banana. Just bump up the total volume of each meal by a bit, and you shouldn't have any trouble getting 200 extra calories per day while keeping the overall ratios from changing too much. Ultimately, you should just try something different for a few weeks and see if you need to make changes along the way.

Okay, so no to kettlebells. I'm just trying to think of various exercises that can both burn the fat more efficiently and supplement your long-distance running. Perhaps you would like sprints? The 400m is a good balance of power and endurance, and shorter distances will burn fat even better. If what you have is working, no need to change it, but if you are looking to burn fat, anaerobic stuff will speed that up.

Well, at risk of sounding like a bro, you have both vertical and horizontal separation of your abs, so I would guess that you come in under 12% BF. Of course, the only truly reliable test is an autopsy (most people opt for the less reliable tests). I also think you might have some slight postural issues that accentuate your body fat (and maybe even make you seem shorter). There are a thousand sites for correcting posture, and again, I'm too lazy to find one.

I hope I answered all of your questions. If I missed any or you have any more, keep asking!

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| Human Flag | One-arm Chinup | | 20 Bar Muscle-ups | | 225 Press | | 365lb Front Squat | | 515lb Deadlift | | Freestanding HSPU | | Gain 15lb | 

Battle Log

It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.

Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.   - Patrick Rothfuss

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Oh, I almost forgot about sprints. I never really was in the physical shape before and actually, trying some stair-running (sprint up, walk down, repeat 10-15 times at ~25 steps) back when I was smoking was one of the major factors in quitting smoking eventually because I was feeling so horrible during and afterwards. Now that I am in better shape though, I was planning on trying some interval training along the lines of walk 2 minutes, run at 80% for 20 seconds, walk 2 minutes, run at 85% etc. for a total ~20 minutes or do some windsprints at a near soccer field I just found the other day (recently moved to a completely new area).

 

What you recommend nutrition wise makes a lot of sense. Bumping up the volume would totally work, since I always feel like I "could" eat some more, but usually hold back because I'm trying to keep a caloric deficit and it would still keep me away from the pitfalls that could be completely new things, like all of a sudden adding a lot of liquid calories in the form of milk for example. Maybe I can even feed off the new energy I get and improve some strength-related parts of certain poses or my running times. Whoey I get excited now! :D

 

Absolutely spot on regarding posture. My hips aren't aligned correnctly (which is why my left shoulder always looks to be higher than my right) and I hunch a lot, way too much, posture while sitting is horrible as well. I've read articles, watched ted talks on it and am really attempting to improve myself there, but I found it to be one of the more difficult adjustments to make. Yoga already helped quite a bit with it (it was a lot worse) and I have to constantly remind myself to adjust my posture with post-its and mental queues, but yeah, totally working on it!

 

I only have one question left which relates to this:

but if you are looking to burn fat, anaerobic stuff will speed that up.

This sounds somewhat counterintuitive to me, because we're taught how activities that keep us aerobic like walking or light jogging are ideal for fat loss, because it promotes the usage of fat as fuel. Now of course if my overall goal were to burn more calories then intense anaerobic exercise would burn more of them, but burning more calories from fat would rather happen when being in the so called "fat burning zone" i. E. at 60-70% of my maximum heart rate which I usually achieve during most of the exercise I'm currently doing. Did I miss something there? Thanks so much for taking the time.

 

And yeah, you totally sounded like a bro and it sounded great! :D

How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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Hey neefert. I've posted a couple paragraphs on DDPYOGA here the other day that should answer most of your questions. I did it for 5-6 days a week with several 30 day challenges where I didn't miss a workout throughout the year. I started with the Diamond Dozen & Energy workouts, then did Fat Burner + Red Hot Core (on the same day) mostly for a long time and a couple months ago went on to do mostly Diamond Cutter + Red Hot Core. In the end, it's pretty much up to you and your preferences though. I don't like Strength Builder much so I don't do it often, Stand Up is great for balance and flexibility, but since my main goal was weight loss I didn't do it that much either. I would advise you to check out every workout at least once and see what fits your current needs and abilities the best. Some do the more difficult and longer workouts, but modify a lot while others do mainly the easier workouts, but use no modifications at all and focus intensely on dynamic resistance and form, also getting an excellent workout in.

 

In the end, as long as you do it regularly and eat well, things will work out just fine. Nutrition is the biggest factor though, so just doing the workouts won't help too much with getting into shape. The program guide offers a great nutrition section as well and while I don't stick to the eating plans there it still is a pretty good idea if you absolutely don't know where to start/what to do.

How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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This sounds somewhat counterintuitive to me, because we're taught how activities that keep us aerobic like walking or light jogging are ideal for fat loss, because it promotes the usage of fat as fuel. Now of course if my overall goal were to burn more calories then intense anaerobic exercise would burn more of them, but burning more calories from fat would rather happen when being in the so called "fat burning zone" i. E. at 60-70% of my maximum heart rate which I usually achieve during most of the exercise I'm currently doing. Did I miss something there? Thanks so much for taking the time.

 

Si audies dicam (if you listen, I will speak). So, to answer this question, we have to break "exercise" into two parts: the actual exercise and the recovery. When you look at something aerobic like light jogging, it requires a lot of calories during the exercise, but very few during recovery. It doesn't really stress the body to the point where it needs to repair itself. The only two muscles that are significantly stressed are the heart and the diaphragm. On the flip side, something anaerobic like short sprits will stress those two muscles and the skeletal muscles that are being used. This will require a significantly larger number of calories in order to repair the body. During the exercise, jogging will burn more calories than sprinting for the same amount of time, but sprinting will require more calories for recovery. This article goes into more depth.

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| Human Flag | One-arm Chinup | | 20 Bar Muscle-ups | | 225 Press | | 365lb Front Squat | | 515lb Deadlift | | Freestanding HSPU | | Gain 15lb | 

Battle Log

It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.

Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.   - Patrick Rothfuss

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Awesome stuff. I was somewhat aware of this "afterburner effect" and increased metabolism after anaerobic exercise, but somehow didn't translate this into more fat calories burned, just more calories burned in general, which led me to believe that the amount of calories from fat the body utilized was still greater during aerobic exercise. Thanks for not being lazy this time ( ;)) and providing that very informative article. What it states about interval training only encourages me to try it out even more and the adaptation conundrum really gives a new perspective.

 

On a side note, I've eaten a bunch more calories yesterday (2.4k with 146g protein), also upping carb intake quite a bit and I've done one of the best and most impressive hours of yoga this year. I was sweating crazy amounts, having to drink 1.25l of water just to get through that hour. It seems my body was telling me all along to ramp it up a bit (food and carb wise) in order to be able to accomplish more. Which I probably did, because for the first time in a long time, I feel really sore from yoga. Guess the adaptation was creeping in there too and I just wasn't physically able to push farther without the right amount and kind of fuel behind it. I even did the vast majority of the slow push-ups with elbows tucked which usually was extremely difficult and only lasted for the very first two or three couple of times where this time I managed to do all but the last two (30 second and 60 second push-ups) this way. I also managed to do some handstand pushups against the wall after said workout which seems crazy compared to before where I could barely hold a handstand afterwards.

 

I can't thank you enough for the advice. After stagnating about a month and feeling rather directionless I now feel that I have the tools and the path to eventually lead me to the goals I've set for myself, much appreciated Kvothe.

How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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That's awesome! I can't wait to hear where you go with this! I think you've experienced something I've dubbed bulker's high. Waldo has a great website with an article on bulking. Even if you don't plan on bulking up, it explains why some of those things are happening.

 

Also, handstand pushups? Where the f**k did you come from? That's even more awesome! Have you tried a pull up yet? Maybe you can get one now...or two...or five.

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| Human Flag | One-arm Chinup | | 20 Bar Muscle-ups | | 225 Press | | 365lb Front Squat | | 515lb Deadlift | | Freestanding HSPU | | Gain 15lb | 

Battle Log

It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.

Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.   - Patrick Rothfuss

Gain 15lbs

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Haha, I don't have a pull-up bar and have to go to a playground a few miles out of my way where one is located so I couldn't try yet. What I did try today though was sprinting. Holy hell my lungs were burning, but it felt great. Got me some stupid looks, running as fast as I can

karate chopping the air. :D Totally worth it though. I noticed Waldo already due to his frequent and pretty great posts and also read some of his site and will certainly use it as one of my ressources.

 

Assisted handstand pushups though, against the wall. I've only recently started practicing that and I still lack a lot of balance. Anyway, the new diet will give me a lot more leeway in terms of what kinds of food I can eat, because before, rice/potatoes simply were too calorically dense to eat more than every other week and now I can basically eat them every other day if I want to. Just opens up a lot of good things which I'm sure is part of the reason for the high.

How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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You are welcome.  I'll be honest, didn't even read your post.  Saw that collage of pictures and had to say it.  Hella progress.

 

My two cents?  Do an eight week bulk with a two week cut like Waldo talks about.  As long as you are meticulous and your training is on point, you'll continue to improve.  You're at the point where you look great and you could probably start really building from there.

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Yeah, I'm starting to really rethink a lot of things. Instead of going to bed at 12:30 in the morning I spent another 2 hours reading on Waldo's site and especially the Born to Bulk, Losing Weight vs. Cutting and When to take a Diet Break articles really hit a nerve. "Really start building" sounds like a great idea.

How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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My doorframe seems to be completely incompatible with those things, otherwise I'd have gotten one months ago. That mini-ledge above the frame where you clamp/attach them in my case is way too small (less than 1cm) and the doors themselves are too wide (92cm). Also, the only frame that doesn't have a wall directly next to it (blocking where you would set the bar on the side you pull up on), doesn't have such a "mini-ledge" at all, nothing there for whatever reason.  Pretty much all the bars I've seen require standards like this. There might be some that are better/different, but those will end up being far above the $20 price class which already is pretty much the maximum I could afford right now anyway.

 

I also thought about simply drilling a bunch of holes in the wall and using screw anchors/pegs, but the walls in this apartment are extremely problematic, to the point I almost couldn't put up my kitchen (wall)cupboard, hell it even destroyed (completely bent it) a drilling head when I tried to force things.

 

Still, I'll be able to do all the push-, leg- and core-exercises here, already intrigued to finally learn how to do pistol squats (which I saw a few years back and deemed absolutely impossible for me to ever do realistically) and for the pull-ups I'll just need to find an alternative at home or visit said playground whenever I can.

How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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Well, I don't know whether it was the two pieces of self made Raspberry New York Cheesecake, the Malteser's I chugged down or the two beers I had, but after a little birthday celebrating of a friend of mine, I decided to visit the playground and attempt a pull-up. Well, attempt isn't a fitting description as I did not one but three deadhang pull-ups. Boom! Now on to the delicious two cans of tuna awaiting me here to get the remaining 79g protein in, heh.

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How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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Rock and roll!!! 

 

I do have one of those bars that screws into the door frame but I lost some parts for it.  I should just scrap it.  But that was also around $20 if I remember right.  Congrats on the pullup.  Now do 50.

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New preworkout - beer and cheesecake. Gotta try that one.

 

 

Congrats on the pullup.  Now do 50.

 

Hey, git yer own gerddarned challenge.

I translate things into Latin. Send me a pm.

| Human Flag | One-arm Chinup | | 20 Bar Muscle-ups | | 225 Press | | 365lb Front Squat | | 515lb Deadlift | | Freestanding HSPU | | Gain 15lb | 

Battle Log

It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.

Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.   - Patrick Rothfuss

Gain 15lbs

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42%
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New preworkout - beer and cheesecake. Gotta try that one.

Yeah, this + this has preworkout written all over. :D

 

In other news, in working my way up to pistol squats I tried bulgarian split squats for the first time today. Great stuff for so many reasons and I felt like this could actually get me to do pistol squats someday. Tomorrow is windsprint day and it will be glorrific. Yes. Exactly.

 

 

 

That probably came across less teasing than intended.

Oh I totally got that reference. Staring at Kvothe's progress-bar in his sig in awe all the time. :) Thanks. ;)

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How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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I understood. I was just saying that 50 pull ups is my challenge too (see sig). I was joking too.

 

By the way Disil, I'm glad that you're feeling so much better. You should create a progress thread so that we can follow your gainz day by day.

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I translate things into Latin. Send me a pm.

| Human Flag | One-arm Chinup | | 20 Bar Muscle-ups | | 225 Press | | 365lb Front Squat | | 515lb Deadlift | | Freestanding HSPU | | Gain 15lb | 

Battle Log

It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.

Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.   - Patrick Rothfuss

Gain 15lbs

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42%
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Stupid double post....  But since I have the opportunity, Have you considered joining a guild, Disil?

I translate things into Latin. Send me a pm.

| Human Flag | One-arm Chinup | | 20 Bar Muscle-ups | | 225 Press | | 365lb Front Squat | | 515lb Deadlift | | Freestanding HSPU | | Gain 15lb | 

Battle Log

It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.

Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.   - Patrick Rothfuss

Gain 15lbs

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42%
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I've pondered both those things actually. Guilds sounded fairly interesting at first, but after reading more about it I didn't really find the way it's implemented all that appealing and while I like the idea of challenges, I'm not the guy to be overly meticulous about it, at least not meticulous enough to give it any sort of sense. I like things simple most of the time (KISS ;)). Starting a battle log sounds feasible enough and I'll probably do so sometime this week. Lots of things changing, lots of new things, had my dietary and fitness life shaken up more this week than during the last 6 months. Guess that's what happens when you dive headfirst into a new environment aka forum.

How about a glass of purgatory with a splash of heaven?

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