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Thread: Seeking advice

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    Registered User sirjoshua93's Avatar
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    Seeking advice

    Hey all, new to the forum, but not so much to the lifestyle? I think this post could be put in any of the "Main Forum" sections, but for now I'll leave it here. Looking for help and advice on changing myself. Please be patient with me, as this will be quite the read. However I feel this "life story" of information will (hopefully) help set the scene. Don't be fooled, I'm not seeking attention or pity, just guidance. Thanks!

    I am a 28yo male, 5'10" and ~170lbs. I have learned much about health and fitness. Looking back on myself, I feel I haven't been patient or committed enough to achieve my goals. I was extremely overweight through middle school and highschool topping out at 293 my sophomore year. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism at that time and have been medicated ever since. Slowly the pounds started dropping off as I had finally found the energy for activities. Still in highschool I was lifting weights and got fairly strong getting my bench and squat up into the 300lbs. Fast forward to college I stopped weight lifting but maintained active and coming down to the 200lb range. I got into the Shaun T Insanity program and did that program several times throughout a year. Got down to 170, but I was still flabby and still am. I'll admit my diet was something I didn't put much effort into, I just cut how much I ate, not what I was eating; although it was still (somewhat) healthy foods.

    Loosing weight has always been a challenge for me. It seems the only way I can is if I almost starve myself and drop my caloric intake to the 500-700 range per day regardless my activity level. I had a job back in the day that had insane 16 hour shifts and I made it down to 150lbs within 3 months, but I had lost a lot of muscle as well and still had a belly (which is what I'm most insecure about). I also think because of all the weight I lost that it may be more excess skin than fat, but I'm not sure. I always seem to bounce back to the 170-180lb range, and my midriff has always been my biggest problem area. It doesn't help that when I look in the mirror I still see the old 200+lb me. I've always remained active though. I'm an avid hiker and biker in the summer months and still keep up on the Insanity/T25 programs during the winter months. However, it seems like I just cannot make progress.
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    Registered User sirjoshua93's Avatar
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    I've recently met someone who has inspired/intimidated me into trying even harder to get what I want. To be honest I'm pretty sensitive and insecure about it, as I really want to reach my goal of building a bit more muscle and getting a flatter, more attractive stomach. In the past it seems no matter what I did I would always fall short. I would run 4-6 miles a day, do full body workouts, and cut calories, but with little to no results for losing weight. Even my friend (who is an extremely fit, six-pack wielding stud) is surprised by my lack of progress considering my regimen. However, he can do just one situp a month and eat like a garbage disposal and still keep his physique. This also leads me to think that genetics plays much larger role than what I've been told. I'm no stranger to workout routines, or proper form. I just don't have much to show for it. After some research online and calculations I'd say I'm in the low 20s for body fat percentage. I would like to get down into the mid/low teens. Nothing crazy, just get rid of the belly overhang and get a flat stomach, and maybe some sort of definition of my abs?

    Anyway, this last month I got into working on my diet as a priority for this endeavor. I've started eating breakfast again, with several snacks throughout the day and a hefty lunch and dinner. Started counting macros for the first time, and got my caloric intake up to around 1700-2000 a day (much of it being protein). Prior to this, I've found that my "maintenance caloric intake" was in the 1000-1300 range to keep my current physique for my normal lifestyle. I can give the specifics of my current diet if anyone asks for it. I've also started weightlifting again. I have a squat rack and bench with Olympic weight set and some dumbbells in the basement, giving me the same access to equipment as back in highschool. Lifting weights 3-4 days a week, 1-2 hour long sessions and hitting 12-15 sets, moderate cardio 2-3 times a week (30-60mins), and Abs every other day. I'm currently just getting back into it, making sure my form and technique are good before doing any serious lifting. Also been wearing a "slimmer belt" waist trainer thing at least 12 hours a day to try and aid shaping myself better.
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    Registered User sirjoshua93's Avatar
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    Been doing a lot of research as well. Aside from my already existing thyroid issue, I've found I match the description of having an Endomorph body structure. Having a large pelvis and wide hips, difficulty losing weight, easy to gain weight. Trying to figure out the proper amount of macros to get is proving challenging, and the amount/type/duration of workouts is what I am looking for advice in as well. I also know that I've been impatient in my previous workout routines by either giving up or changing the regimen 3 to 4 months into it. This time I'm shooting for a year before I expect to see any real change. I know this kind of progress is a very long and tough journey, but I seemed to have gotten discouraged in the past which caused me to drift from my goal path.

    TL;DR: I've had extreme difficulty loosing weight and truly slimming down. I'm looking to successfully cut, yet add some muscle. What's the best way? Any and all information is appreciated, and I can provide any other information if need be. Thanks!
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Eat less and work out using a proper program. Do this consistently for a prolonged period of time, then keep doing it.

    Stop fooling yourself into thinking you're a special case that makes it impossible to get into decent shape.
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    I echo what air2fakie says above.

    Your caloric maintenance was nowhere near 1000-1300 calories as a 5'10" 170 lb male, you're not counting and weighing everything out to the gram and just estimating (and poorly at that). Most people underestimate their intake by 30-50% (or more).

    If you can lift weights for 2 hours you're not lifting very hard, or you're taking a long a$$ time between sets. The dropoff in lifting ability is fairly steep after the 1 hour mark if you're going high enough in the RPE scale.

    Cutting AND building muscle? When someone sets off to chase 2 rabbits at the same time they will catch none. Since those are opposing goals and require different approaches you need to pick 1.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sirjoshua93 View Post
    Even my friend (who is an extremely fit, six-pack wielding stud) is surprised by my lack of progress considering my regimen.
    People react this way for a number of reasons. Not wanting to offend with the truth and not wanting to become a pro bono trainer are 2 big ones.
    Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16
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    Apesthetics faithbrah's Avatar
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    exactly what they said above...

    even with hypothyroidism, it's not possible you'd need to go as low as 500-700 calories to lose weight
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    Registered User sirjoshua93's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the advice and words of wisdom. I realize getting out of my head and stop doubting myself is the biggest issue.

    The past month I have been counting macros and calories. Measuring by serving size and to the ounce and hitting the 1700-2000 mark day depending on the meal(s). I know for a fact I'm eating more now this past month than before. Hence my lousy estimate of caloric maintenance, but I still assume it was several hundred calories fewer than the present. Even if the 1000-1300 is a bit extreme.

    In any case, to consume fewer calories, would it be better to have smaller meals or skip meals? What should I substitute or exclude? How can I keep muscle mass while cutting? What sorts of workouts should I aim for?

    Very determined and valuing all input
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sirjoshua93 View Post
    In any case, to consume fewer calories, would it be better to have smaller meals or skip meals? What should I substitute or exclude? How can I keep muscle mass while cutting? What sorts of workouts should I aim for?
    At 5-10, 170 lbs you don't need to do anything drastic or @ 110% - you likely are more untrained than "overweight".

    It'd be better for building/keeping muscle to have smaller meals rather than skip, but for weight loss it doesn't matter. No need to exclude anything, just eat slightly less, balanced and make sure to get enough protein - and your diet will work itself out.

    Get on a proper novice program (some examples are in the stickies on the Workout forum), maybe do some cardio on off days.

    Do the above consistently and honestly over time, then keep doing it.
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    Registered User sirjoshua93's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll look into the sticky threads more and work on sorting out a proper diet. Thanks for the help
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    Eating less is not enough and at the same time, starving yourself won't help.

    Eat a balanced and healthy diet and go on a workout program. Starting by cardio will also do.
    Fitness trainer, avid learner, dog lover & online entrepreneur.
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