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SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
5/4/13 10:01 P

@MLS616: You may regret the decision to shed muscle to achieve a number on the scale. It actually sets you up for future gains. Muscle is metabolically active. Fat is not. Muscle actually burns calories continuously, even at rest. Fat does nothing. What this means is the more muscle mass that you have, the higher your resting metabolism. The good news is that you can eat more without gaining, which will really serve you well during maintenance.

Hypertrophy training, which is what body builders do, is very specific in regards to loads, reps, sets and overall training volume, and not what the average female who is strength training will do. You also have to be eating at calorie surplus to build muscle mass.

For anyone who is struggling with meeting their goal weight, I would highly recommend getting their body fat test with an experienced trainer using calipers or with the bodpod or hydrostatic weighing. This will give you a much better idea of how much you really need to lose. I could set my goal weight at 120, but if I weigh 148 and already have a body fat percentage of 23%, my lean body mass (muscle, bones, tissues, etc.) is 114. A woman could not be healthy with only 6 pounds or 5% body fat. A woman should not drop below 10 to 12 percent---which represents essential fat, the amount needed to support basic body functions. Elite athletes and figure competitors usually range in the 14- to 20-percent range, but most woman look trim between 22% and 25%. So 120 is an unrealistic goal weight in this case unless a person deliberately allows muscle to waste.

However, if a person weighs 148 and the body fat level is at 28%, there is room for more weight (fat) loss. However, you need to be careful to maintain muscle mass while reducing body fat. An experienced fitness professional can work with you to analyze where you are at and help develop realistic goals.

And nobody is trying to show off or prove how smart they are here. I'm glad that there are so many knowledgeable members who can correct myths and misconceptions with actual research and scientifically based information. Please don't take that personally. Everybody can have an opinion, but when you are dealing with exercise science and physiology, there is a right and a wrong.

MLS616 Posts: 157
5/4/13 8:52 P

I meant the look of the body, but're smart..we all know it.

My point is that SOME people gain when they work out too much with weights. I should know, I'm one of them. No matter what I do, if I lift weight, I DO bulk. And it happens fast.

The OP can take what she wants, but it's nice to have different views.
I have finally found what works for me and my weight is dropping and I'm leaning out, so I thought I'd share.

ERICADURR Posts: 243
5/4/13 12:13 P

One other myth I'll dispel is the "building long muscle." Your muscle length is predetermined. You can't lengthen a muscle though exercise, only tone it, build it, or eat it away (with too much cardio or a lack of nutrition). You're perpetuating two myths that have been dispelled time and time again.

ERICADURR Posts: 243
5/4/13 11:56 A

If she stops strength training, she will lose muscle. Brisk walks and pilates do not target muscles the same way as lifting. Also, body builders are an anomaly and do far more than just lift recreationally to achieve their results.

MLS616 Posts: 157
5/4/13 9:54 A


I suggested 'brisk' walking and pilates. She would not lose muscle doing that. She would gain lean, long muscle.

A lot of weight lifting will inevitably bulk people. Look at body builders.


MI-ELLKAYBEE SparkPoints: (228,267)
Fitness Minutes: (210,762)
Posts: 4,388
5/4/13 7:32 A

May God bless your success on this journey we all share!

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,328)
Fitness Minutes: (41,449)
Posts: 26,971
5/4/13 4:51 A

I think 1500 would be a good starting point.

Have you reset your goals, and included ALL your exercise (intensity and time) (and been realistic about the time frame) into the setup? It will give you an ideal range to work on. I know that you want to get down to 110, but honestly, I think that is NOT a good idea - you really are at a good weight now, and if your face shot is recent, then looking at that you can't really afford to loose any or much more.


5/4/13 12:50 A

How much more higher would you suggest 1500?

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,328)
Fitness Minutes: (41,449)
Posts: 26,971
5/3/13 7:30 P

With the amount and type of exercise you do, I don't actually think 1400 calories is enough. I would be inclined to up it a bit further and see what happens.


FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,045
5/3/13 7:26 P

Ok so I have been at this a long time over 4 years I set a goal and haven't been able to reach it. I workout 6 days a week and eat fairly clean. I have been at around 125 pounds for like at least a year or more. 2 weeks ago I started P90X. WOW is all I can say! I dropped 2 pounds in 2 weeks. I have finally busted through my plateau! Yeah! I am now 3.5 pounds to goal.

Also to add I have a layer of fat on my abs, butt, and thighs and it's finally coming off. I couldn't be more happier with my results so far and I have 10 more weeks to go.

Good luck!

Edited by: FITGLAMGIRL at: 5/3/2013 (19:28)
LADYSTARWIND SparkPoints: (83,977)
Fitness Minutes: (65,929)
Posts: 5,025
5/3/13 1:07 P

I wouldn't worry about getting all the way to 110! You don't say how long ago high school grad was...but if its more than a few years, you will have to accept that your hormones are changing a bit with the years. Not to you said Jllian is 5'2 and 120lbs. Don't get hung up on a number or an absolutely perfect body---- remember Perfection is a myth!!

As long as you are healthy, and working to keep your fitness, you are succeeding!! Keep at it, and follow some of the great suggestions others have already given you.

5/3/13 10:45 A

110 is what I graduated high school at. I have increased my calories to 1400 and I'm eating more snacks since I tend to get grumpy and hungry faster. I'd be even happy with 115lbs at this point just a lot a layer of fat (though I can see my top two ab muscles my lower abs are a disappointment) I keep reminding myself that Jillian micheals is 5'2" and 120 of awesome
But I do need to vary my workouts. I'm finding the days I eat more I see more definition and sometimes the scales at 119

ERICADURR Posts: 243
5/3/13 9:45 A

If you are only doing your favorite exercises, then you probably don't have enough variety in your strength training regimen. I find that splitting my days (1 primarily strength training, then the next cardio) helps me maintain a balance with regard to the workouts I do. Also, maybe you could find a 12 week program online to motivate you to leave your comfort zone (which may be why you're plateauing) and confuse your body.

I'm the same height as you, and started at 120 when I began to focus on fitness again (I relaxed entirely too much during law school). I got below 110, but after I started hitting strength training hard, I put on about five pounds of muscle and would much rather have a higher number on the scale with some muscles than be skinny fat and brag about how low my weight is. It seems that people on this site often focus too much on the number on the scale rather on the way they feel, their body fat percentages (I hate BMI, for what it's worth), and the way their clothes fit. There's also a weight at which your body is most comfortable. 120 may be yours, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Ultimately, I'd stop obsessing over the number on the scale, and I would strongly urge you to disregard the person who suggested only walking and to give up weights. You may lose weight that way, but it's primarily going to be muscle, not fat.

MLS616 Posts: 157
5/3/13 9:28 A

Hi Jojo

This may sound odd, but I would actually cut the heavy workouts and replace with things like walking etc.
I am on the last 6 lbs.I was 135 for a while and the only thing that has helped me get to 131 is sticking to 1200 calories a day and not doing a lot of heavy training. I think that things like a brisk walk and pilates will help you get that lean body you are looking for.

I get what you're saying too. At 5'5", I am technically at a healthy weight, but I definitely have fat spots that I don't like!! particularly in the belly!
At 125 I will also be at a healthy weight, just leaner.



5/2/13 7:43 P

Did you answer the question about why 110? Did I miss the answer?

Are you going to increase you caloric intake as was suggested below?

Working out "4-5 days a week and eat anywhere from 1200-1300" is asking for disaster in my opinion. Your body needs more food. It's going to fight you every step of the way on the path to 110...and once you get there, it's very likely the weight will come right back if you let up even for a second.

Focus on your fitness, not on the number you see on that scale. If you are thin but not healthy, you've won a hollow victory.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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4/29/13 10:44 P

Have you thought about hiring a trainer? Even 1 session could help you in designing a new program and getting the tone and definition you want.

4/29/13 4:09 P

Yes I normally lift to fatigue this why I don't have enough energy to do cardio. I do squats lunges barbell lifts of various kinda lat pull down leg press. russian twist etc .. I try to do a split routine but us normally end up doing jus my favorites.
What would be a better split routine?

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,530)
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Posts: 27,194
4/29/13 1:46 P

What types of exercises are you doing during that 45 minutes ? Can you describe your program ? Are you lifting to fatigue ? Meaning, are you using weights that really challenge your muscles ? Example, when I do a chest press, I use two 45 pound weights. When I do a shoulder press, I use a 50-60 pound bar or two 25 pound free weights. I'll admit it, I'm a strong girl. ;)

Do you feel fatigued at the end of your sessions or do you feel like you can go workout for another 20-30 mins ? If you feel like you have some energy, you need to increase the intensity of your workouts. That could be as simple as adding more weight and decreasing sets.

Also, all women are supposed to carry some fat (problem areas) to be healthy. If our body fat does go too low, we're at risk for a number of medical issues. Also, if your body fat goes too low, you lose those curves. That's the trade off. If you want to be tight and defined, that may mean losing your curves. curves = body fat.

4/29/13 1:34 P

My main issues is with those trouble spots of fat and lack of body definition. My main program is based on strength training for about 45 mins to a hour and 20-30 mins of cardio. My first love and workout I enjoy most is lifting. Should I just focus on that? How should I change my diet (carbs to proteins ratio) and how much cardio? How often should I strength train? It's all I do really at the gym..

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,530)
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Posts: 27,194
4/29/13 11:57 A


Your spark page says that your height is 5ft 2. If you're currently 120 pounds, that puts your BMI at 21.9. That really is a very healthy weight for your height. If you try to lose say 5-10 more pounds, that puts your BMI at 20.1 to 21.

Here's the thing, the closer a person gets to a healthy weight for their height, the harder and longer it takes to lose any perceived excess. ask any member down to those last 5 to 10 and they'll tell you they don't lose 1-2 pounds per week. they'll tell you they are lucky if they lose a pound a month, if that.

Because you have less to lose, it means you're going to have to watch every single morsel you eat. It means you may have to forget any cheat meals or cheat days. it means eating pretty cleanly. There are members who will do that in order to take off those last pounds. However, let's say you do take off those last 10 pounds, will you be able to keep them off ?

That's the problem with selecting a goal weight which might be too low for your frame. You may want to weigh 110 pounds. your body might be more comfortable at 120. it's one thing to take off the weight, it's another to keep it off. So, don't beat yourself up because you're finding it hard to lose those last 5-10. It may be that your body IS comfortable at your current weight.

What do you do for strength training ? When someone tells me they are having a problem taking off the last few, I ask them if they do any strength training. See, a good strength training program could help you lose 1-2 clothing sizes without changing the scale. You may find that adding lean muscle may be a better option for you than losing fat. You may have lost as much weight as your body will let you. Now, how about adding some lean muscle to "tighten" you up ?

Many times, I've had women tell me they want to lose weight because they jiggle too much. I tell them if they want to stop jiggling and add definition, they need to add muscle. So, are you doing and strength training ? You may find that if you really want to drop a clothing size, strength training will do more for your body than trying to lose weight will.

Too many women do fixate on what the scale says instead of what a tape measure says.

Just a few thoughts.

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
4/29/13 11:11 A

I would try going up a bit in calories (1500-1800) for about a month to see if it better supports your current activity level. If your body feels it is not getting enough food, it hangs on to every calorie. This response is hardwired to allow us survive in times of feast or famine.

If this doesn't restart your weight loss, perhaps you need to re-evaluate your goal. Why did you select that weight? Have you ever been or maintained that weight? How many years ago? Also, have you had your body fat tested? That would give you a much more accurate picture of your body composition. I have a lot of muscle mass. Based on my body fat, I would actually have to lose muscle mass to meet my BMI range.

Hydrostatic weighing is the most accurate and you may be able to find it for a lower fee at a college that teaches sports medicine. Otherwise, check with local trainers or your gym who are experienced with calipers. Don't rely on the scales or handheld instruments, which are often inaccurate.

And although underfat may sound good, for women, this means a disruption in metabolic and hormonal functions. Even elite athletes who model or compete at that level do not maintain at that level.

MI-ELLKAYBEE SparkPoints: (228,267)
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4/29/13 4:16 A

May God bless your success on this journey we all sharel

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,328)
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4/28/13 7:55 P

Based on the height you give on your SparkPage and your current weight as it shows on your weight-ticker, your BMI is already at the mid-low healthy range - at 21.77. It might be why you are having difficulty, and in all honesty, I would be more inclined to focus on maintaining.


SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,328)
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4/28/13 7:47 P

I went to have a peek at your nutrition tracker but you seldom use it. Are you using one elsewhere?

If not, then by weighing and recording all you eat you will get a better idea of where you need to make adjustments. I am wondering if with any exercise you are doing, that you may not be eating enough? I know that this seems strange and counter-productive, but it really CAN make a big difference.

It may also be that you are around your ideal weight for your height, etc. - just not YOUR goal weight. Sometimes people have as a goal, a weight that is really too low for them.

Apart from that, the last few lbs are generally the harder ones to shift. It may be that your exercise needs changing up a bit.

Good luck,

4/28/13 5:53 P

Hey guys
So I've lost about 14lbs since last summer and need to get off that last ten lbs. I workout 4-5 days a week and eat anywhere from 1200-1300 calories a day.
My weight hasn't budged in a few months despite this hard work. I've added muscle and my measurement have hardly budged as well.
Any help Or Advice I can get would be helpful to bust this plateau

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