Originally Posted by MikeM
OK, I hit 43 years old and had to reverse some trends my body was making!
I managed to cut 40 pounds in 18 months with diet and exercise, but now I sort of need to build back up with muscle instead of fat. Just so you know, I've always been somewhat overweight for my height, even when I was a state level runner and soccer player, I was always thicker compared to height than my competitors. That's just always been the way it was for me. So there we go.
I'm now 46, 5'8" about 190 lb (today) and am on a 5x5 full body weightlifting program. 3x week (I was 185, but now have built up to 190, hopefully muscle)
I keep a food diary, and have for over a year, so I know I average about 2500 calories a day, with about 150 of those being protein.
Seems like a good thing overall, except I still have about 10 pounds of stubborn belly fat that just won't go away, and hasn't for over 5 months now.
So, my question is, should I:
accept that I am an inherently thick person with no hope?
No one is without hope, Bro........Stop...........NOW!
Its all in educating yourself..........on YOU, and then educating yourself on what you want to accomplish. And then setting out in being consistent in its application, and being able to adjust/manipulate where applicable as you learn.
The first order of business (IMO), is calculating your maintenance level of calories at your current
age, weight, and height, (with all approximated activities included), and then selecting a “reasonable” calorie target (a surplus or deficit in calories) dependent on your personal goal.
Remember as your weight increases or decreases (again dependent on goal) adjust your calories (likewise macros), because your calorie needs change as your weight changes over time and adaptions are taking place (some can forget this important factor).
Next, is maligning your macronutrients adjoined with your approximated calorie allotment and personal goals. What you due from here, depends on what your previous personal history has taught you.
At this point, I have a couple of questions:
When you were 43 years old, and training regularly, and tissue loss was your primary personal goal, what sort of calorie/macro nutrient manipulation were you following? Training routine? You say you have kept a dietary log, correct? How thorough was this log?
I ask this because it can have a lot to do with what you do today (though 3 years older).
Obviously, the calorie/macronutrient combination you were following allowed for approximately 40 pounds of unwanted fat tissue (when body fat was relatively high).
Is it safe to assume you just calculated/ran a calorie deficit without manipulating macro nutrients (or macros were relatively normal) for the calorie amount you allowed? If this is true, then we know that calorie deficits (alone) work quite well (without inducing macro manipulations into the dietary mixture)---when your body fat was HIGH, overall body weight dropping over time, AND the body was introduced to a NEW calorie deficit—it has not experienced in its past trend history
Your tissue loss here under these personal circumstances, do not surprise me.
Let’s see what the body has told you thus far:
1. Body fat HIGH, running calorie deficits (no macro manipulation), you lose tissue
2. Training is the same on the above.
3. Body fat LOW (wanting to lose last 10 pounds), calorie deficits are NOT
nearly as effective (absent macro manipulation) as body has made some internal metabolic adjustment, and you are getting down toward what the body would prefer to keep around.
In addition you are 40 pounds lighter as compared to when you started (muscle v. fat Ratio unknown)
In an ideal world, we all want to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. BRO, this isn’t going to happen, unless you are a rare genetically gifted individual, a NOOB to training (just starting), or on ROIDS.
At 46 years old? Forget it, bro. In my opinion, it has to be one way or the other.
Meaning, you want to add muscle—while limiting the addition of fat accumulation or get lean while minimizing muscle/strength loss.
You have to choose, brother. And, how the diet is structured, depends on which you choose, and what your personal history has taught you in the process.
And, there are many, many ways you can go with your dietary requirements within the personal goal you desire. Dieting can be difficult, when its decided what you want to do, ensure you have a plan to maintain what you worked so hard to accomplish, until you select another personal goal after you accomplish this one.
IMO, I believe one should start with the most easiest dietary approach (when leaning down), until it is proven with the personal track history that a more difficult approach is necessary or TIME is an issue.
So what is it? Do you want to add more good weight while keeping fat accumulation to a minimum, or do you want to focus on taking off that last 10pounds?
The bare truth is if you want to gain good muscle weight, at a base of about 10lbs of fat, the 10lbs of fat will go up slightly (water retention accounted for), even being careful with calories and manipulating macros—because of the way partitioning of calories go. This is just the way it is.
My advice will be based on your answers to my questions and your choice on what you want to do.
Wish you the best,