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  1. #1
    Registered User RTB1's Avatar
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    10 weeks. 20 pounds.

    I'm tired of being overweight. Tired of looking in the mirror and being surprised, because what I see doesn't feel like who I am. I'm tired of underachieving and disappointing myself. I know I can do better... in work, athletics, relationships. I bought a food scale, have counted calories, meal prepped, ate clean, basically done everything you're suppose to do, but always half-heartedly. That ends now. It starts with discipline. I enjoy eating healthy food. Portion size has always been the issue, so I really have no excuse.

    I'm 5'9", 190 lbs, 45 years old. I'd estimate my body fat at 25% and my TDEE around 2800. I know my weight looks high, and it's possible I'm closer to 30% but I also have a muscular lower body. I'll be getting a DEXA scan on Friday so will know more then, and will have pics up soon. I lift and run regularly, but again, I'm not organized about it, so my results are not what they could be. For now, gyms are closed, so I make do with the weights I have at home.

    I'm going for a deficit of 1000 calories per day, so 1800 will be my target. Hopefully this will give me the goal weight loss of 2 lbs/week.

    Edit: Macro Targets

    Protein: 0.8 * 190 = 152 g/d up to 190 g/d (608 - 760 kcal)
    Fat: 0.4 * 190 = 76 g/d (684 kcal)

    Total: 1292 - 1444 kcal

    Carbs (subtracting from 1800): 356 - 508 kcal -> 89 - 127 g/d

    I'm extremely motivated. My largest concern is muscle loss (hunger I can deal with, especially over such a short time frame). Regardless of how much lean mass I lose, I believe I can build it back up slowly and responsibly. If, during my cut, I feel like I'm shrinking too much rather than becoming more defined, I may have to reassess. I'm not going in with that expectation, and at the very least I have to get halfway there before the thought is even considered.

    I peaked at 196.4 lbs on 2 August.

    This morning, 17 August, I was 189.6 lbs.

    My goal is to be around 180 lbs on 21 September and around 170 lbs on 26 October.

    I welcome everyone's input, and look forward to joining others on their journeys as well. Here's to holding ourselves accountable.
    Last edited by RTB1; 08-23-2020 at 09:51 PM.
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  2. #2
    I'm huge in Japan! xsquid99's Avatar
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    Unless the DEXA scan is free I recommend you save your money, they're not that accurate, and besides, whats it really going to do for you? Its going to tell you that you're overweight and carrying too much fat. To me they're nothing more than expensive gimmicky toys. Are you going to change your goal because of what a computer spits out onto a piece of paper? Nope... No matter what your goal should remain the same.

    If you keep your protein at least 0.8g per lb of bodyweight and train your muscles appropriately on a decent program you shouldn't have much muscle loss. A word of warning though, most people are usually shocked to find out they have a lot less muscle than they thought. Unless you've been training well for 5-10 years at 5'9" you probably wont start to be fairly lean unless you get down to 150-160 lbs, thats just reality of the situation so you may want to prepare yourself for that. A good rule of thumb is whatever weight you think you're going to look good at subtract another 15-20 lbs from that and thats the weight you'll actually look good at.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  3. #3
    Registered User RTB1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Unless the DEXA scan is free I recommend you save your money, they're not that accurate, and besides, whats it really going to do for you? Its going to tell you that you're overweight and carrying too much fat. To me they're nothing more than expensive gimmicky toys. Are you going to change your goal because of what a computer spits out onto a piece of paper? Nope... No matter what your goal should remain the same.

    If you keep your protein at least 0.8g per lb of bodyweight and train your muscles appropriately on a decent program you shouldn't have much muscle loss. A word of warning though, most people are usually shocked to find out they have a lot less muscle than they thought. Unless you've been training well for 5-10 years at 5'9" you probably wont start to be fairly lean unless you get down to 150-160 lbs, thats just reality of the situation so you may want to prepare yourself for that. A good rule of thumb is whatever weight you think you're going to look good at subtract another 15-20 lbs from that and thats the weight you'll actually look good at.
    Thanks for replying. I really appreciate how active you are in this forum and the advice is welcomed.

    A few thoughts: the DEXA will be reimbursed so I don't anticipate any out of pocket expenses. I was under the impression that I could get my lean muscle mass as a result and then have a better idea of how much protein I need. Is this not correct?

    I know I won't look great at 170, but I'll look better than I did at 190. I've lurked these forums and seen all the people who have lost a lot of weight but don't have the definition they expect. I know I'm not special; I'll be the same. I'm under the impression I can either be DYEL in a shirt and shredded, or carry 15-20% and look better in a shirt than without. I plan on experimenting. Honestly, I don't have any idea what I'll look like at 170...that's part of why I'm amped to see it.
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    Here's a current photo. This is with no pump, after a full day of eating and staying hydrated (drinking a lot of water to help with the hunger). In the future, I'll take pictures first thing in the am, just like weighing. Doubt I will see much of a difference week to week so I'm not sure how many times I'll do it.

    Oh, also, I'm 45 so I know I'm working against low T and a lower TDEE -- however that was factored into my 2800 estimate.

    https://i.imgur.com/CgK3DLo.jpg
    Last edited by RTB1; 08-29-2020 at 10:08 AM.
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  5. #5
    I'm huge in Japan! xsquid99's Avatar
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    Cool, well if you're getting it for free it won't hurt, but I also wouldn't put too much stock into the numbers it spits out. Even DEXA can be off by 5% or more. If you're really wondering how much protein to eat just don't go below 0.7g per lb of bodyweight, and I even tend to err to the high side and get at least 1g per lb of bodyweight when I'm cutting.

    As long as you have realistic expectations then its all good, some people come in with completely unrealistic ones based on some bogus "90-day transformation" they saw online and wonder how come they don't look the same.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  6. #6
    Registered User RTB1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Cool, well if you're getting it for free it won't hurt, but I also wouldn't put too much stock into the numbers it spits out. Even DEXA can be off by 5% or more. If you're really wondering how much protein to eat just don't go below 0.7g per lb of bodyweight, and I even tend to err to the high side and get at least 1g per lb of bodyweight when I'm cutting.

    As long as you have realistic expectations then its all good, some people come in with completely unrealistic ones based on some bogus "90-day transformation" they saw online and wonder how come they don't look the same.
    Wow, it can be off by 5% or more? Hmm, maybe it's not worth it. Like you said, I know I need to cut, and I'm going to go heavy on the protein. My body seems to prefer high protein -- it's satiating and doesn't make me sluggish like keto / high fat. And of course high carbs just makes me hungry all the time.

    I hear you on the 90 day transformation bs. I know for sure I'll be faster at 170 than at 190, and that alone will be worth it no matter how I look. Based on the photo would you estimate me in the 25-30% bf range? Doesn't really matter I suppose. Fat is fat after all...
    Last edited by RTB1; 08-18-2020 at 12:30 PM.
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    I'm huge in Japan! xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RTB1 View Post
    Based on the photo would you estimate me in the 25-30% bf range? Doesn't really matter I suppose. Fat is fat after all...
    Yep, I'd put you in the 25-30% range for sure. And you're right, it doesn't really matter.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  8. #8
    Registered User RTB1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Yep, I'd put you in the 25-30% range for sure. And you're right, it doesn't really matter.
    Right on, thank you!
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  9. #9
    Registered User RTB1's Avatar
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    16 August

    Weight:

    190.8

    Food log:

    1890 kcal / 166 g protein
    Cottage cheese, blueberries, chicken, broc, milk, protein shake

    Activity log:

    2 hrs soccer

    ---

    17 August

    Weight:

    189.6

    Food log:

    1737 kcal / 156 g protein
    Banana, milk, protein shake, steak, peas, avocado

    Activity log:

    Shoulders and abs

    ---

    Will work on adding more protein now that bars and powder have arrived.
    Last edited by RTB1; 08-18-2020 at 11:22 AM.
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    You mentioned low T, how do you know have you had it tested?

    Just make sure you keep the good fats coming in to support Test production.

    You look to me like you got some good muscle under there.

    I'll be following your log, good luck.
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  11. #11
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    Good luck dude, stay committed!

    I'd place you at around 25% too but with what looks like a fairly decent mass base, I'm sure 20lbs will make a good bit of difference

    On a separate note I'd always thought that although DEXA scans are not incredibly accurate they would still give you a reasonably good idea unlike pretty much all other methods?

    Will definitely second the fact that it is a waste of money, the mirror is far more important. Only scenario I'd get one is if it was free and I was curious, not to determine any kind of strategy or goal.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by brit-iron View Post
    You mentioned low T, how do you know have you had it tested?

    Just make sure you keep the good fats coming in to support Test production.

    You look to me like you got some good muscle under there.

    I'll be following your log, good luck.
    Good point, I just meant my T is low due to aging. I suspect it's normal for a man my age. I feel full of energy and sex drive is high, so very thankful for that. I'm on fin also for a couple of years and haven't noticed any side effects.

    I absolutely need to track my macros better, that's my project for this coming weekend. Been good about meal prepping, but only focused on protein so far, and that has been a bit of struggle because of buying a ton of bananas and avocados that I have to eat before they go bad haha.

    Thanks for the compliment about the underlying muscle mass, here's hoping!

    Will be following your thread as well.

    Originally Posted by AlexSays View Post
    Good luck dude, stay committed!

    I'd place you at around 25% too but with what looks like a fairly decent mass base, I'm sure 20lbs will make a good bit of difference

    On a separate note I'd always thought that although DEXA scans are not incredibly accurate they would still give you a reasonably good idea unlike pretty much all other methods?

    Will definitely second the fact that it is a waste of money, the mirror is far more important. Only scenario I'd get one is if it was free and I was curious, not to determine any kind of strategy or goal.
    Thank you Alex! I appreciate the positivity regarding my base. I've followed your log as well -- I can relate to so much of what you've written, reminds me of myself when I was a younger man.

    The feedback has convinced me taking the time for a DEXA right now isn't really worth it (even free). Maybe someday if I'm curious, but right now there's no mystery. I'm fat and I need to lose. End of story! It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings, "It's simple, but not easy". Simple in that there's nothing complicated about it, I know what I need to do. It's difficult because I've instilled unhealthy habits, for example I eat for comfort, when stressed, visiting family, etc. It's those habits that need to be broken.
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    18 August

    Weight:

    190.6

    Food log:

    1767 kcal / 148 g protein
    Banana, avocado, chicken, broc, milk x 2, protein shake, protein bar, sugar packet

    Activity log:

    Biceps / Back / Abs (5/5 performance)

    ---

    Rough beginning and middle of the day. Attributing to hyponatremia as described below.

    Felt fantastic before and during workout. Eating remaining calories @ 1700 and working out @ 1900 may be ideal going forward.
    Last edited by RTB1; 08-18-2020 at 09:26 PM.
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    I screwed up big time, rookie mistake.

    I've been feeling off since going really hard on Sunday with cardio. Monday I thought I'd feel better, didn't really, and just thought maybe it was the low calories. It felt different though, it wasn't extreme (or even severe) hunger. Today was more of the same, until this afternoon when I felt like crap, almost like passing out. Had some numbness and tingling, and unfortunately I'm also prone to occasional panic attacks so I got to experience one of those at work. Fun! Anyhow, I ate a protein bar and a sugar packet, thinking I needed food and/or carbs due to low blood sugar. The thing is, I've done IF and even 24 hr fasts and been fine. This just didn't feel like typical hunger. I had already eaten 1000 kcal earlier in the day also...was planning on a nice big 800 kcal dinner to round things out.

    Well, temperatures here have been in 90s with high humidity, very unusual. That's 33c for you backwards guys who may be following along ;-) I sweated a ton on Sunday playing soccer (football, again for the backwards folks haha), then also to a lesser extent lifting on Monday. Also, I've been drinking a ton of water, both to replenish the sweat I've lost, and also to feel full on less food. I completely neglected salt. Looking at what I've eaten over the past few days, I've gotten at best 40-50% of my daily sodium requirement and that's not even factoring in all the sweating. So I made some salt water, drank a few sips, and I feel so much better. For now, that's my working theory on what happened. I really hope that's all it was, does it sound reasonable to you guys? I don't want to think that it was all in my head, or that it's due to my calorie cutting (which really isn't that extreme). Will see how I feel tomorrow, I had a big cardio day planned, but may have to scale back. Still hoping to get a workout in tonight when things cool down.
    Last edited by RTB1; 08-18-2020 at 05:14 PM.
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    Prolonged or high intensity cardio in high heat index environments can be pretty dangerous, so you need to be careful with that. We’re in the 90’s here too with a heat index near 115 right now, so the only actual cardio I do (currently cutting) is 2 separate 1 hour low intensity walks outside at 4:30am and again when the sun goes down after 6pm. Nothing during peak sunlight ours or anything that would result in profuse sweating.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Prolonged or high intensity cardio in high heat index environments can be pretty dangerous, so you need to be careful with that. We’re in the 90’s here too with a heat index near 115 right now, so the only actual cardio I do (currently cutting) is 2 separate 1 hour low intensity walks outside at 4:30am and again when the sun goes down after 6pm. Nothing during peak sunlight ours or anything that would result in profuse sweating.
    True, the pain is probably not worth the gain tomorrow. The heat is expected to last another week...no reason to take chances. Instead of HIIT I'll likely just do a 3-5 mile walk with hills. My main reason for cardio is to improve my performance on the field, however dropping five pounds, then ten, then twenty is going to make a world of difference on its own. Right now I'm full of piss and vinegar, but a lot of people suffer from burn out and I have to constantly remind myself that I'm not special.
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    Originally Posted by RTB1 View Post
    True, the pain is probably not worth the gain tomorrow. The heat is expected to last another week...no reason to take chances. Instead of HIIT I'll likely just do a 3-5 mile walk with hills. My main reason for cardio is to improve my performance on the field, however dropping five pounds, then ten, then twenty is going to make a world of difference on its own. Right now I'm full of piss and vinegar, but a lot of people suffer from burn out and I have to constantly remind myself that I'm not special.
    That is a very true statement, dropping 20 lbs will change things DRAMATICALLY.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    That is a very true statement, dropping 20 lbs will change things DRAMATICALLY.
    Thanks for the encouragement! I see in the 90 day weight loss thread that your cut is going well, congrats on that. It's fantastic to see so many here accomplishing the goals they set out to reach. Shows it can be done, and your sig is an excellent reminder of how to get there.
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    Yeah low electrolyte can do that. Especially if your low carbohydrate too, because you dump water faster. Especially true if you do something like keto.
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    Originally Posted by brit-iron View Post
    Yeah low electrolyte can do that. Especially if your low carbohydrate too, because you dump water faster. Especially true if you do something like keto.
    Thanks. I'm thinking more and more this is what happened. I had a big weight "whoosh" before starting this log and I am sure a lot of it was water. Woke up this morning feeling lousy and ate about 560 kcal of canned pork and beans. Filling with decent protein, and a good dose of sodium and carbs to even me out. Feeling much better!
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    19 August

    Weight:

    190.2

    Food log:

    1788 kcal / 129g protein *low*

    Pork and beans x 4 (6/2.5/24), 220g avocado, protein bar (20/7/17), blsl chicken br 250g and broccoli, lifesavers x 4 (3g c)

    Activity log:

    Chest (3/5 performance)

    ---

    Tonight I really need to meal plan and focus on macros / getting enough protein in. A bit of a challenge to get all I want under this calorie count, because I want to keep some carbs in the mix too. I think I've been ingesting too much liquid -- shakes and whole milk -- which has made things marginally more difficult from a hunger perspective (woke up hungry around midnight and had trouble falling back asleep, but other than that no real issues w/ hunger itself). Need to focus on foods that take a while to digest. Really could be happy eating chicken and broccoli 3x day for a few days in a row but that wouldn't be healthy.

    In my previous half-arsed attempts to cut, I usually stall right here around 190. I must have lost 30-40 lbs over the past year, always in increments of 5-7 lbs, going from 195-7 down to 190 and right back up again. Here's to breaking through and staying in the 180s for a sustained time period.
    Last edited by RTB1; 08-19-2020 at 08:08 PM.
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    Been reading along. Keep it up and looks like you are learning as you go also. I’d suggest finding foods that are light in calories as snacks just to help you along through the day. I tend to eat lots of veggies. I also eat 5-6 smaller meals a day. Easier to digest.

    The pork and beans and avocado are super high in fat. Are you tracking your macros also? Would be interested in seeing your breakdown
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    In on thread. Will be watching your progress
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    Originally Posted by Raigs View Post
    Been reading along. Keep it up and looks like you are learning as you go also. I’d suggest finding foods that are light in calories as snacks just to help you along through the day. I tend to eat lots of veggies. I also eat 5-6 smaller meals a day. Easier to digest.

    The pork and beans and avocado are super high in fat. Are you tracking your macros also? Would be interested in seeing your breakdown
    Definitely learning as I go along and making plenty of mistakes haha. I’m determined to succeed, but having some growing (shrinking) pains as well.

    Yes, I’m planning on tracking macros consistently. Initially I was only focusing on protein. Today I will be a little low on protein. The pork and beans aren’t bad on fat content, 2.5g per serving. 6g protein and a whopping 24g carbs (8 fiber). Decently healthy for a “cheat food”, I wouldn’t eat it every day.

    Thank you for the feedback and advice.

    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    In on thread. Will be watching your progress
    Thanks! I’m tracking you as well, we’re gonna make it!
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    Looking around at other logs, it's interesting to me to see how people are losing while still eating "junk". I really don't eat much in the way of processed foods, barely drink at all (couple times a month), and sweets are rare. The four lifesavers I'll have tonight will be a treat. It confirms to me that my issue all along has been portion size. Before getting a food scale, I'd help myself to a second portion of chicken or veggies (drenched in oil or dressing) thinking I was being healthy...in fact, I was taking in way too many calories. I mean, I could see I was fat in the mirror, but denial is a powerful thing. Clearly, one can eat healthy and still be unhealthy. Now, with the scale, I realize just how much 600 kcal of chicken and broccoli is. Many of you guys might think that's a massive portion...for me, that's on the small size! I'm just a pig haha.

    I'll likely start taking photos of my meals once I have a high enough post count to embed. Looking forward to when that day comes. Also thinking I will try to take some photos of myself in a standard environment, maybe Friday morning. If I can keep the time of day and lighting the same each week then I'll hopefully be able to see the progress over the coming weeks.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    We’re in the 90’s here too with a heat index near 115 right now, so the only actual cardio I do (currently cutting) is 2 separate 1 hour low intensity walks outside at 4:30am and again when the sun goes down after 6pm.
    Are you doing these walks every day, or on days when you don't lift? Also, what's your reasoning for doing them? Is it to add to the caloric deficit, or is there more at play here?

    I'm feeling sluggish today due to some big issues at work, so it's coming down to choosing either lifting or cardio. Based on what I've seen you and others write on here, it sounds like if I have to pick one, I should always choose lifting while on a cut to preserve muscle mass. I doubt the walk would do much for me besides burn up some calories, but lifting will continue my muscle growth. Also any extra lean mass is a bonus in the fight to get rid of that excess body fat, of course, so there's that too.
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    Originally Posted by RTB1 View Post
    Are you doing these walks every day, or on days when you don't lift? Also, what's your reasoning for doing them? Is it to add to the caloric deficit, or is there more at play here?

    I'm feeling sluggish today due to some big issues at work, so it's coming down to choosing either lifting or cardio. Based on what I've seen you and others write on here, it sounds like if I have to pick one, I should always choose lifting while on a cut to preserve muscle mass. I doubt the walk would do much for me besides burn up some calories, but lifting will continue my muscle growth. Also any extra lean mass is a bonus in the fight to get rid of that excess body fat, of course, so there's that too.
    I walk every single day, rain or shine. I have a 90lb Doberman that needs his twice daily exercise outside of the house, otherwise he goes stir crazy.

    I don't consider my walks "cardio" though, they don't tire me out at all and I know I'm not really not burning a ton of calories doing them, but it does help. I also lift 5-6 days per week, usually during my lunch hour at work or just prior to my evening walk.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    I walk every single day, rain or shine. I have a 90lb Doberman that needs his twice daily exercise outside of the house, otherwise he goes stir crazy.
    Haha, awesome -- I love the big breeds. I do a lot with dog rescue and it's always great to come across responsible pet owners who know what it takes and are willing to commit. Sounds like you two are a good match!
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    20 August

    Weight:

    189.0

    Food log:

    1738 kcal / 160g protein (back on target and so effective at combating hunger)

    Whole milk x 2, protein shake, bananas (223g), blsl chicken br (250g) and broc, protein bar, low fat cottage cheese, blueberries

    Activity log:

    Shoulders (5/5)

    ---

    Trailing 5 day avgs:

    Calories - 1784 (consistent and on target)

    Protein - 152 (equal to 0.8g/lb, but will aim higher with next round of meal prep)

    Weight - 190 (week prior was 192 and the week before that 194)

    ---

    189.0 is my lowest weight of 2020 so far. Nice little motivation bump this morning. Low fat cottage cheese really is one of the goat protein sources, that with the blueberries was a great treat.
    Last edited by RTB1; 08-20-2020 at 09:13 PM.
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    Originally Posted by RTB1 View Post
    Looking around at other logs, it's interesting to me to see how people are losing while still eating "junk". I really don't eat much in the way of processed foods, barely drink at all (couple times a month), and sweets are rare. The four lifesavers I'll have tonight will be a treat. It confirms to me that my issue all along has been portion size. Before getting a food scale, I'd help myself to a second portion of chicken or veggies (drenched in oil or dressing) thinking I was being healthy...in fact, I was taking in way too many calories. I mean, I could see I was fat in the mirror, but denial is a powerful thing. Clearly, one can eat healthy and still be unhealthy. Now, with the scale, I realize just how much 600 kcal of chicken and broccoli is. Many of you guys might think that's a massive portion...for me, that's on the small size! I'm just a pig haha.

    I'll likely start taking photos of my meals once I have a high enough post count to embed. Looking forward to when that day comes. Also thinking I will try to take some photos of myself in a standard environment, maybe Friday morning. If I can keep the time of day and lighting the same each week then I'll hopefully be able to see the progress over the coming weeks.
    Yeah portion control is a huge issue. It’s hilarious when people say oh I’m eating healthy but they eat 2 chicken breasts and 2 cups of rice for dinner. They don’t believe me when I say they need to cut back
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