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UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
1/11/13 1:08 P

Yes, Lifting the heaviest weight you can lift with good form for a maximum of 12 reps, usually for 2-3 sets. If you can lift 15 times, or if you can get that last set 12th rep out without struggling, time for a heavier weight.

RACHEL2WRITER SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,594)
Posts: 102
1/11/13 12:41 P


You have many great responses to everyone's questions - thanks! Can you explain what you mean by 'lift heavy'? Is that just using the highest weight you can actually lift for all reps?

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
1/11/13 10:54 A

CONMOST: You lost your muffin top through overall fat loss. The exercises you did couldn't have targeted those areas for fat loss. Our muscles draw their energy from the bloodstream, not the surrounding fat stores. Where your body burns fat first is determined primarily by genetics; if we have trouble zones, it will likely be the place the body holds on to the longest.

You lost your love handles because you were genetically going to. :) Not because of reverse ab crunches.

CONMOST SparkPoints: (22,945)
Fitness Minutes: (2,911)
Posts: 1,023
1/11/13 10:07 A

When I 1st started out, I lost my muffin top, or AKA love handles, by doing the superman, the pendulum, the side bends w/the towel, sitting rows, the lying abductions & adductions, and the reverse ab crunches. It only took about 4 weeks to get rid of it.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
1/10/13 5:42 P

Just as a side note, we cannot tell who you are replying to. If you want to direct a reply to a specific person, you will need to do so by typing out their name. :) We have no idea who these comments are directed to.

FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/10/13 5:29 P

thank you soo much! emoticon

FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/10/13 5:26 P

great advice, if i could just get it all down at the same time lol you look great!!!

FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/10/13 5:25 P

wow it's nice to meet people in the same boat! It sure is hard when you only have a little. I feel like i'm watching everything i put into my mouth. I have done 30 day shred and had great results in the past. I love nicoles videos too!! Especially because they are short and i'm not into working out for hours at a time.I;m going to try turbo fire next because I loved turbo jam so much.Good luck with your goals also!!

FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/10/13 5:20 P

Thank you so much for your help :))

JULIA1154 Posts: 1,783
1/10/13 5:13 P

I liked the analogy, too - it's a great mental image for a January day :)

BERTA6978 SparkPoints: (43,739)
Fitness Minutes: (58,319)
Posts: 821
1/10/13 4:53 P

I like the analogy of emptying a pool! Cheers me up. emoticon

N16351D Posts: 2,349
1/10/13 4:45 P

From what I read, it seems you want to tone and sculpt muscles more than lose weight. Example of how to get and stay where you want to be both in size and shape:

I am 5' 2 1/2 " and over the last forty years my weight has fluctuated between 112 - 120 pounds. ( I usually hit both in one year). I have kept it close to where I want it mostly by jogging, but doing a lot of sports when able such as biking, swimming, step aerobics, dance classes, horseback riding, water and snow skiing in season, stretching, outdoor chores (chopping wood, etc.) lifting weights, strength training, yoga, and pilates. Even when ill or injured, I can still do some parts of the above.

In general, I eat around 1400 - 1900 calories most days. With the physical activity combined with a reasonably balanced diet, I can eat whatever I want (in small quantities) and look good in most of my clothing. I had a flat belly until I went through menopause, (now age 55) so have to work harder to get and maintain that.

Get and stay active for the rest of your life. Strength training and Pilates will help define and shape your muscles, jogging helps burn calories, eating a balanced, healthy diet in normal portions sizes (see serving size on packages) will keep your weight where you want it to be.

It is that simple, and that hard to do! I exercise 1-2 hours, seven days a week. Creating a caloric deficit creates weight loss, but strength training and using muscles will tone and define hips, thighs, waist/belly, upper arms (triceps), calves, and more.

Just work out and eat sensibly in small quantities. Take it easy with sweet treats and alcoholic beverages (both loaded with high calorie and low nutrition value).

You'll be fine and will meet your goals. Best wishes!

1/10/13 4:43 P

Cardio and weightlifting are a great combination. One burns fat, the other builds muscle and along with healthy eating and portion control, yield results.

MACABBEY SparkPoints: (6,609)
Fitness Minutes: (2,995)
Posts: 87
1/10/13 4:31 P

HI! I'm like you at 5'3" and I struggle to get to 1200 calories per day. I was right around 128 lbs. 45 days ago and this morning I am at 120 and change.

At first I was doing lots of videos from the "Tone It Up" girls (on youtube) and reading nutrition blogs like Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth before I found Sparkpeople.

I really like the nutrition counter but get hung up on the calorie counts and the percentages for my macros. I also started tracking my sodium intake (eye opening!). I also really like the Violet Zaki (SP?) video that's on here and a few of Nicole's videos. Right now I'm going through Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred (just finished level one) and doing yoga and one or two of Nicole's videos.

I read a comment once that getting the fat off is like draining a pool: the shallow end always empties before the deep end. So, while I'm still looking down at my muffin top I am forcing my self to look past that at my newly toned calves and arms and realize that the deep end will eventually drain away. It is hard, and it's harder (mentally) for those of us who don't have a lot to lose because we don't see anything dramatically change.

I'm so glad I found Sparkpeople because without the knowledge, advice, and support I have found here I would have probably given up already. We can do it! I know we can! emoticon

(edited for spelling error)

Edited by: MACABBEY at: 1/10/2013 (16:32)
UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
1/10/13 3:28 P

Always lift heavy. There is no body weight/shape goal that is not helped by lifting heavy.

Losing fat? Lift heavy.

Gaining muscle? Lift heavy.

Reshaping? Lift heavy.

Actually, there is one - recovering from injury? Lift light!! :)

I wouldn't stick to 1410 on the nose, as the maths is never exactly right for each individual (it's only a guideline) and age is also used to calculate BMR so I assumed a midrange 35 for you - that might not be right and the result might vary.

I would suggest eating around 1300-1500 most days.

Edited by: UNIDENT at: 1/10/2013 (15:29)
FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/10/13 3:25 P

ok so I should stick to 1410 ? Yes I do have body fat that needs to go more so and no muscle on my body from lack of exercise the last few months. I don't know if I should start lifting heavy or not.. I do have some jari love dvds I used to do. Any ideas? and thank you for your help!!

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
1/10/13 3:19 P

Yes 1800 would be too much for you, especially without exercise.

If your exercise is 400/week, that's 60/day on average. So say your needs actually are 1600, you would add the 60 to make 1660, then subtract a 250 maximum daily deficit, for an average intake of 1410. So 1200 is too low, but 1800 too high.

If you want to do Bob's thing of gaining muscle first by eating a 300 calorie surplus I'm not sure I'd go that high, maybe 100-150 surplus) then you'd eat around 1680+300 = 1980. You already know you gained on 1800, let alone 1980.

I'd be tempted to be in fat loss mode now, rather than increasing lean body mass. When you've dropped bodyfat a little the muffin tops will be less obvious and can then work on a small daily surplus and increasing muscle mass.

Personally? Muffin tops are purely the result of ill fitting clothing. Buy the size you actually are instead of the size you think you want to be, and you won't have muffin tops. It's purely caused by your pants squeezing you too tightly and pushing your fat up and over. Wear pants that fit and you don't have muffin tops.

FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/10/13 3:16 P

I guess you could say im sorta skinny/fat.I mainly need to get into shape, not lose a whole lot. I will try that, maybe I do need to build some muscle.

FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/10/13 3:14 P

Thank you soo much! I get so confused with this.So would that mean 1350 including exercise? I was eating around 1800 I believe when i gained the 5lbs back and thats with no exercise. I really don't burn a lot exercising maybe 100 per day 4 x a week. So i figured I would need to eat less.

FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/10/13 3:09 P

Thank you really good advice. Needed that.

BOB240 SparkPoints: (6,131)
Fitness Minutes: (1,285)
Posts: 359
1/10/13 3:08 P

A muffin top means that your bodyfat is high. You may even be skinny fat. To get rid of it:

1] spend 12 weeks eating 300 calories above maintenance whilst lifting heavy weights.
2] diet for the next 12 weeks at 300 calories below maintenance and still lift heavy.

get at least 110g of protein a day.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
1/10/13 3:01 P

When you try too hard to lose weight, the opposite of the effect you want can happen - you can stop losing (or even gain).

I calculate about a BMR+activity of 1600 for you, which means without any exercise, your body would take around 1600 calories to maintain its weight.

If you are attempting to lose so little, the ideal amount of deficit is 250 for half a pound a week max. If you are averaging even 100 calories a day in working out (700/.week) then you need to eat no lower than 1350.

Creating a larger deficit (you're eating lower than that and if you're exercising it's even worse) can stop your weight loss.

How high were you eating when you gained on higher, and for how many weeks? If you actually are undereating, the normal body reaction when you stop doing that IS to gain weight initially, so you simply may not have given it long enough.

JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
1/10/13 2:48 P

The closer you are to healthy weight, the more your body wants to hang on. It likes having extra, just in case of famine. Just really dial in your diet. Also, if you don't have a lot of muscle, and you're at a healthy weight, but feel your body fat percentage is too high, you might consider actually eating at or just above maintenance and lifting heavy for 6 or 7 months to see about adding a bit of muscle. You'll add a bit of fat, but then when you restrict calories again, that fat will hopefully go, and you'll have some nice muscle to show.

Also, if by "muffin top" you mean a bit of belly that hangs over your pants, think about how your clothes fit and consider going up a size. I know that kills the ego, but often a muffin top is cause or, at the very least, made worse by, ill-fitting clothing.

Edited by: JENMC14 at: 1/10/2013 (14:49)
FIRSTBB24 Posts: 572
1/10/13 2:41 P

I don't have a lot of weight to lose i'm 5'3 128 but i've got a muffin top that needs to go!! I'd like to be 120-123. I changed my diet and i'm eating about 1200 calories. If i go any higher I gain weight. I'm a petitie frame so 1200 is fine for me.My question is how do you burn fat and lose lbs. Whats the best way to go about losing just a few lbs and why is it soooo hard!!

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