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BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
Fitness Minutes: (85,068)
Posts: 3,415
12/15/13 2:27 P

I have spent many years trying to loose weight and then I found SP which helped me to change my eating. The basics were critical to my conversion of fat to muscle. I have only lost 30 lbs after a year and 4 months of SP. My weight has not changed as much as my body composition. I went from 42" in my thighs to 35" and wait from 30" to 26". My arms and legs are so much more defined and I have much less fat in other areas that are not measurable. I did not get a professional analysis as it was not at all necessary. You can see from pictures, clothes, body features that I am so much more chiseled. I feel that as long as I am adhering to my SP diet I will continue to change in my body composition. Essential in this transformation are protein, carbs and fats in the correct amounts daily, lots of water and exercise using weights, resistance and cardio.

RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (113,437)
Fitness Minutes: (71,280)
Posts: 521
12/15/13 11:19 A

JENNILACEY, that sounds intriguing. That might be exactly what I'm looking for - I feel like I need to raise my metabolism. I'm afraid I've restricted calories too much for too long and lost LBM while losing these 80 pounds. I've done strength training consistently since January but basically on my own. I might need a trainer or a book or something to really focus my efforts.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,623)
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Posts: 2,489
12/15/13 9:07 A

You *can*... if you can get over any inhibitions about gaining weight, which self-admittedly is tough after working so hard to lose weight! Run a slight calorie surplus of 200-400 cals per day while weight lifting for the next 3-4 months to focus on increasing your LBM. Then run a slight calorie deficit of 200-400 cals for the next 3-4 months (while continuing to weight train). This will give you the recomp. you're looking for, ie; lower your body fat % and increase LBM resulting in a lower body fat percentage at your goal weight. You can always repeat a few short cycles like this to get to where you want to be without having to balloon up and lose a massive amount of weight again afterwards but you'll more than likely reach your goal with just one cycle.

Make sure you have a *proper* strength training program that involves challenging weights/resistance.
Limit cardio to 3x a week, 30 mins of HIIT.
Eat clean and get adequate protein.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 12/15/2013 (09:12)
MAMA2FOURKIDDOS SparkPoints: (15,575)
Fitness Minutes: (7,524)
Posts: 917
12/15/13 8:51 A

I would suggest a body recomposition program. Strength train and build muscle.

RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (113,437)
Fitness Minutes: (71,280)
Posts: 521
12/12/13 7:23 P

Thanks, M@L and Coach Jen for clarifying. I didn't realize that.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 64,994
12/12/13 6:40 P

M@L has given you some great advice. Fat and muscle are two different things, so you can't lower your body fat % by gaining muscle. You will need to have at least a small calorie deficit to continue losing fat.

Coach Jen

RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (113,437)
Fitness Minutes: (71,280)
Posts: 521
12/12/13 6:09 P

Couldn't a person also lower body fat % by gaining muscle?

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,412
12/12/13 6:00 P

You DO need to be running a calorie deficit to lose body fat. Ain't no way around that.

But there is no reason that you necessarily need to be running as large a calorie deficit as you have to date. And your own words "gradually raise" implies as much.

Set your Spark weight loss goals to 0.5 lbs per week, and see what intake Spark recommends. This should still have you at a net deficit, but a smaller deficit than before.


RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (113,437)
Fitness Minutes: (71,280)
Posts: 521
12/12/13 5:32 P

M@L, I met my goal weight this week so I need to gradually raise my calories to maintenance level to stop weight loss. It is possible that 1% fat will come off before I hit the sweet spot calorie-wise to stop losing,but in case it doesn't, I wanted to know how to meet my goal of 24% body fat without running a deficit.

Edited by: RAVELGIRLY at: 12/12/2013 (17:35)
MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,412
12/12/13 5:31 P

When your body is not getting enough energy from food to meet its needs, it will tap your fat stores to make up the difference.

And "not getting enough food" = calorie deficit.

What is it about running a calorie deficit that is causing you a concern?


RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (113,437)
Fitness Minutes: (71,280)
Posts: 521
12/12/13 3:53 P

My body fat percentage was measured using 3 site caliper method by trainer at the gym. I was last measured four weeks ago. She estimates it at 25%. I'm female, in my mid-40s.

I run for an hour on Sundays, 40 min Tues and Thurs. (Or 45 min elliptical if the mood strikes or my knee is bothering me.) Mondays and Wednesdays I take a 55 minute kettlebell class - swings, snatches, haloes, chops w lunges, clean & press, squats, lunges, single leg deadlifts, push ups, chest flys, biceps/triceps etc. I use an 18 pound bell for swings and legs and 15 lb for biceps/triceps.

A few times a month, I work out on my own instead of the class - when I miss class due to my schedule or just feel like doing my own thing. In the weight room I do single leg deadlifts (30 reps ea leg), bent rows (2 sets 10 reps) w 20 lb dumbbell. Overhead presses (2 sets 10 reps), chest press (2 sets 10 reps) w 20 lb dumbbells. Bicep curls (2x10), tricep extensions(2x10), chest flys (2x10) w 15 lb dumbbells. Squats (3x10) w 27 lb body bar. Weight assist pull-up (2x8) and tricep dips (2x10) machine set to 100 lbs (so I am moving 28 lbs). Modified push ups (on my toes with hands on step) - 10 push ups.

I push pretty hard with cardio - heart rate about 85%. With weights, I think I need to go heavier for leg work but am at my current limit for pull-ups and biceps/triceps.

Edited by: RAVELGIRLY at: 12/12/2013 (15:54)
SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
12/12/13 3:09 P

What is your body fat percentage? How was it determined? Also, machines and strength really are vague. Can you describe your routines a bit? Time? Intensity? Type? Weight?

RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (113,437)
Fitness Minutes: (71,280)
Posts: 521
12/12/13 3:04 P

I'm working my way up to maintenance calories gradually - going to increase by 100 calories a day and stay there for at least a week. Then repeat until I stop losing.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
12/12/13 2:05 P

So, are you, at this time, in maintenance mode with calories? Hopefully, someone else will be able to help, but I imagine that you would want to increase the amount of weight used during strength training and/or maybe increase it to 3 days/week. You could also try doing different forms of cardio - riding your bike, swimming, rowing machine.

RAVELGIRLY SparkPoints: (113,437)
Fitness Minutes: (71,280)
Posts: 521
12/12/13 1:17 P

I reached my goal weight but I'd like to drop my body fat another percentage point. Is it possible to lower my body fat without being at a caloric deficit? If so, how do I go about it?

Currently, I run or use the elliptical three days a week. I strength train twice a week.

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