/ Fat Loss

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TheDrunkenBakers - on 27 Jan 2014
Hey all, Im keen to learn about fat loss techniques.

Im aged 38 about 74kgs, 5'8". I'm pretty muscular underneath the puppy fat and run quite a bit/train in the gym. I'm off the booze for Jan and will be cutting down dramatically after Feb when I allow myself a drink or two.

I would say I need to lose about 8-10lbs to really start to see some abs, so not massive fat loss.

Thing is, I'm running lots this year for half marathons, 10k etc finishing with the Snowdonia full in October. Therefore I suspect I need plenty of carbs.

I suspect my weekly training includes two trips to the gym (mainly compound moves), 3 days running (various distances but on the increase), 1 day complete rest and 1 day I'm thinking of adding swimming or perhaps really gentle running.

I dont want to gain much more muscle (OK a bit would be fine - I'm not getting younger) but that's not my main objective. I just want to lose an inch or two.

The basics I know about such as cut down on the main processed carb culprits, no sugary drinks, lean protein, lots of veg etc. What else should I do?
crayefish - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

You probably know this already but my brother swears by replacing all white carbs (ie. pasta, bread and rice etc) with the brown variety. I now do the same (except pasta as brown pasta is disgusting I think).
DancingOnRock - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Despite the current thinking on SMART training. 3 runs a week isn't going to get you in shape for a marathon.

Drop the gym, swim one day, run 6. Eat normally.
Antigua - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Running 6 days a week is a recipe for injury.
Steff - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to Antigua:

> Running 6 days a week is a recipe for injury.

No, it's not.
Turdus torquatus on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

There's so much misinformation about fat loss that it's hard to know what to believe. No doubt someone will post a link which entirely disproves this one, but Charles Poliquin knows a thing or two:

http://tinyurl.com/nn8g8zc

In short, more sprints, more heavy weights, less running.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to Turdus torquatus:

Interesting article although me'thinks this might be at odds with my other training goals.
DancingOnRock - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Yes. Doing sprints and lifting heavy weights makes you good at um, doing sprints and lifting heavy weights.
DancingOnRock - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to Antigua:

> Running 6 days a week is a recipe for injury.

No. What people end up doing is racing 4miles every day in an attempt at getting faster.

3 of those 6 days will be 'easy' days, gentle long distance runs of around 6miles.
Turdus torquatus on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Interesting article although me'thinks this might be at odds with my other training goals.

Yes, it's all a bit of a compromise. Sticking with some degree of weight training in the gym, e.g. strengthening hamstrings and glutes, could help prevent running injuries.
Shani - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to Turdus torquatus:

> In short, more sprints, more heavy weights, less running.

Fine article!

To the OP, emphasise food quality. Cut CHO on a rest day by a portion, and add an extra portion of CHO on a training day.
stroppygob - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to Antigua:

> Running 6 days a week is a recipe for injury.

Six on one off was always my training routine for marathons, didn't give me any significant problems.

Variety of running , short, long, slow, fast, fartlek etc is the key.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to Shani:
Sorry CHO?
Antigua - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Apologies I only skim read the OP. If someone has built up to it then fair enough I thought we were talking about an unfit non-runner.

Ignore me
The New NickB - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Get Matt Fitzgerald's new book 'New Rules for Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition'. It basically looks at getting the carbs you need for your training without eating excess calories.
Shani - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Sorry CHO?

Carbohydrate.
mark mcgowan01 - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Eat less, do more... That worked for me when I began climbing again in 2010. Simple, hard but fact. Good luck.
KingStapo - on 27 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

You could try intermittent fasting; 5:2 diet and don't change anything about your exercise regime.

Worked for me at the start of last year and I'm still doing it in the hope of increasing my life span by 40%...
Ben Sharp - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Just ignore all the advice man (although Matt Fitzgerald is worth reading for pleasure) you're going to be doing lots of exercise given what you've said. Don't diet, eat decent food and eat as much as you need. If you manage to do that training consistently you will lose weight, if you diet so hard you're exhausted and your body can't repair itself you'll get demotivated, you won't improve and you might injure yourself. All of which can quite easily lead to sitting on the couch eating pizza. If you stick to your training, avoid injury and don't eat like a moron then you'll have lost 10lbs easily by the summer. Diets and fancy exercise regimes are for people who want to be thin more than they want to be fit and strong, thankfully being fit and strong means you'll be thin anyway, like I said provided you don't rip the piss with what you eat.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to Ben Sharp:

> Just ignore all the advice man (although Matt Fitzgerald is worth reading for pleasure) you're going to be doing lots of exercise given what you've said. Don't diet, eat decent food and eat as much as you need. If you manage to do that training consistently you will lose weight, if you diet so hard you're exhausted and your body can't repair itself you'll get demotivated, you won't improve and you might injure yourself. All of which can quite easily lead to sitting on the couch eating pizza. If you stick to your training, avoid injury and don't eat like a moron then you'll have lost 10lbs easily by the summer. Diets and fancy exercise regimes are for people who want to be thin more than they want to be fit and strong, thankfully being fit and strong means you'll be thin anyway, like I said provided you don't rip the piss with what you eat.

I think your last sententence sums it up nicely. I dont want to be thin. Hey, I dont even want to be overly lean, just fit, strong, healthy and above all happy. Dont get me wrong, compared to most of my age I'm in pretty decent form but one should always strive for those little improvements.

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In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
running 6 days a week is fine if you don't do any other exercise. I have run 6 marathons including 3 Snowdonia Marathon's on 3 runs a week so I could fit in my climbing and tennis.

If you're not concerned with times three runs plus your other exercise is fine.

And like Ben said just watch what you eat, I've lost 3 pounds in two weeks just through eating more decent evening meals but maintaining the same levels of exercise.

The issue I have is training for marathons, climbing twice a week and playing tennis twice a week don't really go together but I love them all so juggle them, a jack of all trades and a master of none :-)
Post edited at 09:31
FrankBooth - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I'm the same height as you and gradually dropped from 76kg to 67kg over the course of about 14 months - I managed it by being very conscious of calories in vs calories out.

For me that meant swimming/running at lunchtime three times a week (burning 300 - 400 kcal each time), climbing one night a week (400 kcal?), and then either a long run or bike ride every weekend (1500 kcal). This means I'm burning about 2800 kcal a week. Food-wise, I have a bowl of museli for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and a regular dinner (with plenty of salad and 'healthy' carbs rather than the white stuff. Also, cutting back on booze, chocolate, crisps, etc

I reckon that when I started the regime I was just at the tipping point, where the kcal count had a net gain, and the changes I made where just enough to change this into a deficit. The most important thing though is to do it very gradually, that way (touch wood) it stays off.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03t8r4h

Tomorrow night 9pm. Might be useful
Carolyn - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

It's also worth being aware how much added sugar there can be in "processed" foods - and not just ready meals, but things like a jar of pasta sauce rather than a tin of tomatoes and some herbs. I ended up putting on a few kgs when I ended up eating more convenience foods in a period when my husband was away a lot, and I was having to sort dinner around two tired small children - and basically, the food was the only change.
IainRUK - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to Antigua:
> Running 6 days a week is a recipe for injury.

why?

I didn't run April the first.. and then took 10 days off in December following a broken toe from a slip downstairs.

Just put in easy runs to freshen up. Ron Hill ran every day for decades, he may still be on his streak.
Post edited at 10:01
IainRUK - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to Ben Sharp:

> Just ignore all the advice man (although Matt Fitzgerald is worth reading for pleasure) you're going to be doing lots of exercise given what you've said. ...Diets and fancy exercise regimes are for people who want to be thin more than they want to be fit and strong,

It depends.. if he wants to run well, 3 runs a week is pushing it. Some will but Snowdonia will hurt. I'd at least put a few months in more running focus. Certainly the 10k's will be fine but for Snowdonia it will be much easier if he can run 5 days a week and 4 or 5 long runs.. much easier.

And the last statement.. not even worth answering, dismissive of anyone who takes a different approach to you.

TheDrunkenBakers - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to ivebittenoffmorethanicanstu:

> If you're not concerned with times three runs plus your other exercise is fine.

Good point. My targets for 2014 are below together with current PBs in brackets. I should also add that I do 4 runs per week, unless racing. Normally Tuesday night, Thursday night and Sunday morning. I'd forgotten that I also run a Saturday morning Park Run with a gym session in the afternoon.

5km - sub 22min (21.97) - would be nice to improve this a little
10km - sub 45min (45.04)
HM - 1:35 (1:36:40)
Full M - just complete but under 3:30 would be nice. I'm doing Chester this year which I believe would give me a chance and then Snowdon where there's a cat in hell's chance.
The New NickB - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> Just put in easy runs to freshen up. Ron Hill ran every day for decades, he may still be on his streak.

50 years this year, over 18,000 days.
The New NickB - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

You seem to race every distance at more or less the same speed, bodes well for the marathon on the basis that you get the long miles in, but some speed work will help with the shorter stuff.
james1978 - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to crayefish:

Stick with the brown pasta crayefish - everyone thinks it's disgusting at first, but within e few meals you don't even notice the difference. ;)

> You probably know this already but my brother swears by replacing all white carbs (ie. pasta, bread and rice etc) with the brown variety. I now do the same (except pasta as brown pasta is disgusting I think).

crayefish - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to james1978:

> Stick with the brown pasta crayefish - everyone thinks it's disgusting at first, but within e few meals you don't even notice the difference. ;)

Tried it for a bit but still can't stick it. Even in a pasta bake I can still taste the browness! Brown rice on the other hand... yum! If only it didn't take half a f*cking hour to cook. lol
Ben Sharp - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> And the last statement.. not even worth answering, dismissive of anyone who takes a different approach to you.

Maybe my comment was a bit flippant but you seem to know your stuff when it comes to exercise and I'm surprised if you think he needs to diet to achieve his weight loss goals. He's training 6 days a week for 9 months, he doesn't need a fancy diet to lose 10 lbs of fat in that time.

In terms of exercise regimes then there is a lot of good nutritional and training information out there and If you have time to study it and make a training plan to suit you then that's great and you'll obviously benefit. My comment was aimed at the swathes of "go palio it's great for runners" or "just do sprints" type comments which I think most people would be better avoiding in favour of listening to their bodies and trying to train in a way that suits their lifestyles and habits. We all respond differently and what works for some people might not work for you, if you have access to a good trainer they could help you sift through the various approaches, if you have time to do it yourself then awesome but following a fad training approach from a magazine or diet that someone recommended without studying it further might be les suitable than just eating reasonably healthy food and doing whatever training keeps you motivated and uninjured. In my admittedly uneducated and anecdote fueled opinion the thing that is holding most non-athlete exercise enthusiasts back is injuries, motivation and other commitments, not choosing the wrong diet.
Shani - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to Ben Sharp:
Given that thje OP wants to '...lose an inch or two' then the advice to 'go palio [sic]' or 'do sprints' is perfectly suitable (no one advised to 'JUST do sprints'.

By your own admission yours is an 'uneducated and anecdote fueled opinion' which begs the question of why you chose to post in the first place.

'Paleo' in diet-terms is just a short-hand term for avoiding (highly) processed food and way of eating that prioritises food quality. Hardly a fad, nutritionally complete, satisfying and easy to stick to. Also remember that there is no one paleo diet.

As for sprinting; sprinting has a carry-over in to endurance work so could be included in a program for distance running, but may well have limitations in training for a marathon distance. Sprinting drills will however have an excellent outcome on bodyfat which is what the OP guidance on.
Post edited at 14:05
crag_hopper_Jay - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
I have no idea what 'healthy' carbs are and no one seems to be able to define what they are?

Unless you've had an extended period of being fat, then insulin resistance isn't a problem, nor is increased leptin or cortisol. So you want to lose some fat and maintain lean body mass (read muscle if you like) then it's simply; reduce calories so you're in a deficit (this can be 500 cals per day, 3500 cals per week ~0.5lb fat loss per week) and maintain a slightly higher protein amount.

Use your waist measurement as a guide and make sure you measure consistently, i.e. once a week at the same time and in the same state. Track this and it will gove you a metric for fat loss. You might also want to weigh yourself (again being consistent) but you're body weight can easily fluctuate by 3-6lbs in water weight.
Post edited at 14:31
Shani - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to crag_hopper_Jay:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
>
> I have no idea what 'healthy' carbs are and no one seems to be able to define what they are?

It's probably easier to define 'unhealthy foods' (which will include some forms of carbohydrate rich foods), and we ALL know what are unhealthy foods. There may be some grey areas, but we could easily identify unhealthy foods.

> Unless you've had an extended period of being fat, then insulin resistance isn't a problem, nor is increased leptin or cortisol. So you want to lose some fat and maintain lean body mass (read muscle if you like) then it's simply; reduce calories so you're in a deficit (this can be 500 cals per day, 3500 cals per week ~0.5lb fat loss per week) and maintain a slightly higher protein amount.

It might be more complex than this. Given the OPs exercise schedule then cortisol might be an issue. There are other lifestyle factors to consider as well - such as sleep habits and quality. Feeding periodicity can also influence body composition.

> Use your waist measurement as a guide and make sure you measure consistently, i.e. once a week at the same time and in the same state. Track this and it will gove you a metric for fat loss. You might also might to weigh yourself (again being consistent) but you're body weight can easily fluctuate by 3-6lbs in water weight.

crag_hopper_Jay - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to Shani:

Then please define an unhealthy food?

Cortisol might be an issue indeed, but he would have had to have had blood work done on a consistent basis and a baseline with which to compare it against. Assuming he's not over training, doesn't suffer from undue amounts of stress and is getting enough sleep to recover, then his cortisol levels are likely to be with in nominal ranges.

I agree feeding periodicity can influence body composition. Eat all the time and you'll get fat, eat less often (and less) and you're likely to lose weight.

Shani - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to crag_hopper_Jay:
> Then please define an unhealthy food?

Twinkies, Coca Cola, Honey Nut Cornflakes.

> I agree feeding periodicity can influence body composition. Eat all the time and you'll get fat, eat less often (and less) and you're likely to lose weight.

Wrong. You can have two people on isocaloric diets and have different outcomes in bodyfat if one eats those calories throughout the day and the other eats in a limited feeding window.
Post edited at 14:42
crag_hopper_Jay - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to Shani:
I refer you to Prof. Mark Haub who went on the twinkie diet. His cholesterol readings improved and his level of triglycerides decreased. The main point being that he followed a calorie restricted diet.

Also see John Cisna who lost 37 pounds and lowered his cholesterol by eating 2,000 calories’ worth of McDonald’s food every day for 90 days. Again noting he followed a calorie controlled diet.

I do like your definitive answer, I can see that your open to ideas outside of what you currently believe. In both cases if they are in a caloric surplus they will get fat, irrelevant of the same number of calories.
Post edited at 14:50
IainRUK - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to Ben Sharp:

I don't think he needs to diet as such, just eat sensibly.
IainRUK - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to Shani:

Sprinting, well 200-300m is increasingly favoured. One of Salazars key sessions is 7 x 300m hard 300m easy.. a really really short session. However he'll still have farah up at 120-130 mile weeks.
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IainRUK - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Agree with Nick.. that's amazing consistency and screams that you can take your shorter times down easily.

3:30 looks very achievable, and possible at Snowdon. Chester is early see how you go. Aim for 3:25? 1:36 x 2 3:12.. I'd say 3:25 is a realistic target. and then it would give time to go for Snowdon. Snowdon at your speed is probably pushing 15 mins off pb.

Just get the long runs in still. Not 14-15.. the 18-22's are where it matters. They are boring, but mentally and physically they are key sessions.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

> Agree with Nick.. that's amazing consistency and screams that you can take your shorter times down easily.

> 3:30 looks very achievable, and possible at Snowdon. Chester is early see how you go. Aim for 3:25? 1:36 x 2 3:12.. I'd say 3:25 is a realistic target. and then it would give time to go for Snowdon. Snowdon at your speed is probably pushing 15 mins off pb.

> Just get the long runs in still. Not 14-15.. the 18-22's are where it matters. They are boring, but mentally and physically they are key sessions.

I like your confidence.

I'm particularly keen on trying to understand how to get the shorter times down. i must stress that my first even 10k proper was last April so I'm no life long runner. Perhaps worthy of its own thread but my 5 and 10 times are restricted due to simply running out of steam. I could run all day at 8min/mile and my last two halves were tough at around 7:25/mile. Running at 7/mile is really tough.

IainRUK - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Add some reps in training, below or at 5 k pace - 1-2ks are ideal. But just do more 5k races.

I suspect you are similar to me in that endurance isn't a huge issue, its running faster. I sped up by doing reps at first, it teaches you how to hold on. I then did it just by good miles but I'd look at reps if you have limited time to train.. tempo efforts, so 15-25 minutes hard.
The New NickB - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Measure out a flat mile, after a gentle warm up, run it as hard as you can, so hard you want to throw up at the end. Compare that with your 5k pace. You should be able to run a 5k at a pace 20-25 seconds slower per mile than your single mile. Try a session which is 4 x 1 mile at 10-15 seconds slower than your single mile, with a 3 minute rest between each mile.
Shani - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to crag_hopper_Jay:

> I refer you to Prof. Mark Haub who went on the twinkie diet. His cholesterol readings improved and his level of triglycerides decreased. The main point being that he followed a calorie restricted diet.

And to quote Haub himself; Haub's "bad" cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his "good" cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent.

"That's where the head scratching comes," Haub said. "What does that mean? Does that mean I'm healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we're missing something?"

Despite his temporary success, Haub does not recommend replicating his snack-centric diet.

"I'm not geared to say this is a good thing to do," he said. "I'm stuck in the middle. I guess that's the frustrating part. I can't give a concrete answer. There's not enough information to do that."

Two-thirds of his total intake came from junk food. He also took a multivitamin pill and drank a protein shake daily. And he ate vegetables, typically a can of green beans or three to four celery stalks.

-- -----------------------
So it was hardly a Twinkie diet as it was heavily supplemented. Furthermore we don't know what other dimensions of health were affected and whether this diet was sustainable.

This brings us on to the bigger question around weight loss. Body fat is not managed on short periods. Our bodies have evolved of several thousand years to manage energy over longer terms than days or weeks. Of course we can lose weight by cutting calories in a short term, but the relationship isn't linear and eventually most dieters are compelled to cave in to increasing biological cues to eat.
-- ---------------------------------

> Also see John Cisna who lost 37 pounds and lowered his cholesterol by eating 2,000 calories’ worth of McDonald’s food every day for 90 days. Again noting he followed a calorie controlled diet.

MacDonalds? Plenty of quality meat is avaialble in one of those along with fruit and some veg. Depends how you pick from the menu. But again the body manages fat over longer terms and it isn't clear how sustainable this diet is or how it affected wider biomarkers.

> In both cases if they are in a caloric surplus they will get fat, irrelevant of the same number of calories.

Wrong - and here is robust evidence why; Four groups, two different isocaloric diets and two different feeding windows. Different bodyfat outcomes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22608008
DancingOnRock - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

> Measure out a flat mile, after a gentle warm up, run it as hard as you can, so hard you want to throw up at the end. Compare that with your 5k pace. You should be able to run a 5k at a pace 20-25 seconds slower per mile than your single mile. Try a session which is 4 x 1 mile at 10-15 seconds slower than your single mile, with a 3 minute rest between each mile.

What is that supposed to achieve?
The New NickB - on 28 Jan 2014
In reply to DancingOnRock:

It is a simple speed session that will help the OP improve his 5k. Straight out of the coaching manual.
DancingOnRock - on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

Ok. Just wondering what angle you were coming from. Reading Daniel's Running Formula, for those kind of 5k times 1000m-1200m would be better distance for repeats than miles and he'd be better doing 6 of them i.e. More repeats for slightly shorter distance. Get more out of the training session.

Mile repeats are good for fast runners, ie ones that can do them in around 5minutes.

Ultimately. Experiment. But I think trying to hold on for a whole mile (7minutes?) you'll lose form and speed on the latter repeats.
Irk the Purist - on 29 Jan 2014
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

There's so much diet advice out there that whatever good stuff there is is drowned out by rubbish stuff. The signal to noise is very low! All food is good in moderation, if you do enough exercise you will lose weight and fat. When I was training for the Lakeland 100 I found that by eating some good old processed sugars and/or 'bad carbs' like white pasta straight after a long run, it restored my energy levels quickly, allowed me to function at work and allowed me to do long runs day after day. I also ate protein for recovery in the first hour after and during. I ran 30miles on Sunday and 20miles on Monday for weeks. But what worked for me probably won't work for you. I think I drank about 200 litres of milkshake that year. I personally wouldn't recommend upping exercise and reducing calories at the same time, unless you're morbidly obese. It's just a tweak to your energy balance that you need.

6 days is fine but build up to it, you seem to be a regular runner but be honest with yourself about how regularly you've done it. The secret to marathon training is to not miss sessions and training becomes habit. Going from 2-3 a week to 6 is a big, big step. Going from 4 every week, week after week, to 6 is a manageable one.

Good luck. Just go out and run, don't overthink it. Body craves, body eats.


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