Should I lose more weight?

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    Should I lose more weight?


    I'm currently at the end of a 10 week diet, having had two ephedrine cycles and consumed between 1,500 and 1,800 calories per day, consisting of 150-220 grams of protein, under 30gr of carbs from protein shakes and my meals were either 6 or 7 a day, 3 hours a part (either fresh chicken breast, or tuna cans).

    I started at 83kg (183 pounds, 13 stones) and am now at 71kg (156 pounds, 11.15 stones) and I am 1,77cm tall (5'10'').

    I have actually increased my weights in the gym on all exercises and muscles groups. Ex. 12 comfortable bench press reps at 80kg (176 pounds), 10 comfortable reps on 70kg (154pounds) on back pull-downs, 10 comfortable reps on 20kg on bicep curls (each hand) etc.

    These are my pictures so far. The quality isn't the greatest, taken from my mobile phone.



    As you can see, my six-pack is clearly visible, but I need to "tug" on that little bit of belly fat over the lower-half of the last two to get them fully visible. The top 4 are pretty clear, as seen below.



    Now, the million-dollar question; I used to be quite over-weight as a teenager (about 50 pounds heavier than what I should have been, from about 13 to 19), so my question is, can I get that really ripped look? Or has my bad form in the past robbed me of it? Is there any point in me pursuing to drop my bf% to 7-8% in order to achieve this? I reckon I'm about 11-12% right now. Can this little bit here be lost? Or is it just loose skin from being fat? See below:



    And because I don't like to leave things on a down note, here's my most flattering picture.



    NOTE: in the reflection in the mirror, you can also see the extra lower-back/waist fat I have, which I would love nothing more than to burn off.

    So, what does everyone think? Can I achieve that really awesome ripped look? Or is it a pointless endeavor and I should instead try to stay at my current bf% and bulk-up instead?

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    I'm not sure if you are really at 13-14% or not, but if you are 14% at 156 lbs. and you wanted to get to really lean 8% ish? that means losing about 10 pounds of fat, meaning you would be leaner, but at 145. At some point you start looking really skinny.... If it were me; I'd rather lean bulk to 175, over about a year, then try to shred that up to about 165-170 so you still have some size. Anybody can get that shredded look, although it is easier for some people than others. You have to be disciplined to get to 13-14-15% bodyfat, but it's another level of discipline/nutritional knowledge to get to 8%.
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    I'm pretty sure I'm currently less than 13% as 18 months ago I was 78kg and had a bf calculation which put me at 14,8%. Given that I've lost 15 pounds since then and I'm a lot stronger in my weights and reps (meaning I lost fat and not muscle mass) and I have my abs very visible (which before were not), I can't imagine why my bf% would still be in the 14% region. That would mean that I only lose 1% bf for a stone I lose, which I think is impossible given my weight and height.

    I'm just concerned about reaching that point were I'm losing 60% muscle and only 40% fat for each kg. I'd love to bulk up considerably one day, but for the time being, I'm more interested in being as lean and ripped as possible (call it a psychological issue from being fat all those years).
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    I don't think you should focus on losing any more weight at this point. If I were you, I would focus on recomping (losing fat while gaining muscle simultaneously). You could use to gain more muscle, it would give you a better figure all the way around and also help you drop BF.

    Diet is going to play a huge part in whether you will be able to lose that last bit of lower abdomen fat. Lots of veggies, lean meat, healthy fats. Try to get as much of your protein from solid forms rather than protein powder. Here is a great diet plan/article that I followed w/ great results when I was attempting to recomp:

    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_..._cycling_codex
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    I do get the majority of my protein from solid foods, either chicken or tuna. I have protein shakes 2 times a day on training days (recovery immediately after workout and 2 hours before I good to bed), and once on a rest day (2 hours before I go to bed).

    I do eat some vegetables here and there, but I tire of them extremely easily. I prefer a table-spoon of yogurt with my chicken breast any day of the week than a full plate of vegies.

    Thanks for the diet ;-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
    I do get the majority of my protein from solid foods, either chicken or tuna. I have protein shakes 2 times a day on training days (recovery immediately after workout and 2 hours before I good to bed), and once on a rest day (2 hours before I go to bed).

    I do eat some vegetables here and there, but I tire of them extremely easily. I prefer a table-spoon of yogurt with my chicken breast any day of the week than a full plate of vegies.

    Thanks for the diet ;-)
    I know the feeling (getting tired of veggies easily). But they are so good for us! Lots of vitamins and fiber that we need + low calorie. I try to switch them up throughout the week. Spinach salad with mushrooms, bell pepper, sprouts and a little dressing, or steamed asparagus w/ a little lemon juice and salt. There are a plenty of options out there.
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    Any before pics?

    You look around 10-12% bf

    Great job by the way!

    Id say you look great,
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    Thanks Bryan :-)

    Sorry, no before pics. I did have some but I deleted them from my phone thinking I had already transfered them to my laptop, when I hadn't.
  9. vadox6466
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    if you're getting stronger, keep going. You want to tighten up the skin long-term anyway, and only an extended recomp (with an increased emphasis on losing fat) will get you there.
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    I agree with babywifey, for the moment you are lean enough to not need to concentrate on getting leaner so much as filling out what you've got. That will make it easier to get leaner, by having more muscle mass
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    Thanks for the advice and encouragement everyone :-)

    I'll try to alter my diet to slowly up my carb intake from under 50 per day to 75 next week, and an extra 25 each week after that, till I reach 150 (I'll keep it steady at that when I reach it), while increasing my calorie intake to a steady 1800 for 1 month and then up it by 100 each month there-after.

    I think that should see me through till March/April and I can monitor my weight each week to make sure I'm not putting on more than 1kg every 5-6 weeks.

    Does that sound like a good plan?
  12. vadox6466
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
    Thanks for the advice and encouragement everyone :-)

    I'll try to alter my diet to slowly up my carb intake from under 50 per day to 75 next week, and an extra 25 each week after that, till I reach 150 (I'll keep it steady at that when I reach it), while increasing my calorie intake to a steady 1800 for 1 month and then up it by 100 each month there-after.

    I think that should see me through till March/April and I can monitor my weight each week to make sure I'm not putting on more than 1kg every 5-6 weeks.

    Does that sound like a good plan?
    I'd actually suggest immediately replacing your current low-carb diet with a low-cal diet. You're going to inevitably gain water weight as you increase carbs, and you'll be frustrated when the cuts you've gained start to become hidden. Plus, you're still looking to recomp. So figure out the total calories you're consuming now, and create a new diet plan where 40% of the calories come from carbs (and 40% from Protein, 20% from Fat). But, make sure to stay at the same caloric intake. You're going to gain a bit of water, but because you're limiting your calorie intake to the same amount as before, you can be sure you're not gaining any fat. The water should disappear within 7-14 days once your body gets used to the increased carb intake, at which point you can decide to either up the calories slowly (add 150cals each week) or, with the newfound carb source, you might find your strength going up and stay with the cut
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    I am currently on a low-carb and low-calorie diet (as well as low-fat).

    I get my carbs from my protein shake (6 grams per 100 gram servings), the yogurt I like to have with my chicken breasts (200 grams a day at most, spread out over 3 or 4 meals, for a total of 10 grams of carbs a day) and whatever is in my chicken which I cook in the oven with lemon juice and sprinkles of paprika and fajita mix (to add flavour).

    All in all, my carbs intake at present can't be anymore than 25-40 grams per day, maximum.

    My calorie intake is between 1,200 to 1,500 on rest days and 1,400 to 1,700 on training days (courtesy of the extra protein shake and maybe an extra can of tuna for lunch with some vinegar on it).

    My fat intake is 10 grams from my protein shake (of which 5 is saturated) and 24 grams from the yogurt (of which 9 is saturated), for a total of 34 of which 14 is saturated.

    Of course I have the odd vegetable here and there (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli) so it might shift ever so slightly every 3-4 days, but you get the basics of it.

    I'm rather mindful of reducing my calories any more, as I find myself pretty tired during my training days as it is. I don't want to be under-eating. I do feel hungry during the day as well, the smell of any food makes my nose bleed, as it were LOL.

    I was thinking of adding some steamed brown rice in stead of the yogurt in two meals on my training days and once during my rest day (possibly leaving out the last protein shake to keep the calorie intake the same).

    I'd be looking to start at a steady 1,500 calories on my rest days and 1,800 on my training days, and as I said, slowly increasing the carb intake by 25 grams per day every week while making sure that the calorie intake increased by 100 per day (both rest and training days) each month.

    Perhaps if I kept my carb intake at what is is during my rest days and slightly increased only on my training days?
  14. vadox6466
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
    I am currently on a low-carb and low-calorie diet (as well as low-fat).

    I get my carbs from my protein shake (6 grams per 100 gram servings), the yogurt I like to have with my chicken breasts (200 grams a day at most, spread out over 3 or 4 meals, for a total of 10 grams of carbs a day) and whatever is in my chicken which I cook in the oven with lemon juice and sprinkles of paprika and fajita mix (to add flavour).

    All in all, my carbs intake at present can't be anymore than 25-40 grams per day, maximum.

    My calorie intake is between 1,200 to 1,500 on rest days and 1,400 to 1,700 on training days (courtesy of the extra protein shake and maybe an extra can of tuna for lunch with some vinegar on it).

    My fat intake is 10 grams from my protein shake (of which 5 is saturated) and 24 grams from the yogurt (of which 9 is saturated), for a total of 34 of which 14 is saturated.

    Of course I have the odd vegetable here and there (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli) so it might shift ever so slightly every 3-4 days, but you get the basics of it.

    I'm rather mindful of reducing my calories any more, as I find myself pretty tired during my training days as it is. I don't want to be under-eating. I do feel hungry during the day as well, the smell of any food makes my nose bleed, as it were LOL.

    I was thinking of adding some steamed brown rice in stead of the yogurt in two meals on my training days and once during my rest day (possibly leaving out the last protein shake to keep the calorie intake the same).

    I'd be looking to start at a steady 1,500 calories on my rest days and 1,800 on my training days, and as I said, slowly increasing the carb intake by 25 grams per day every week while making sure that the calorie intake increased by 100 per day (both rest and training days) each month.

    Perhaps if I kept my carb intake at what is is during my rest days and slightly increased only on my training days?
    add refeeds, bump up cals to 1700, use the 40/40/20 ratio, concentrate carbs at breakfast and preworkout -- good to go!
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    Will do ;-)
  16. vadox6466
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    Quote Originally Posted by vadox6466 View Post
    add refeeds, bump up cals to 1700, use the 40/40/20 ratio, concentrate carbs at breakfast and preworkout -- good to go!
    sorry, meant concentrate carbs at breakfast and POSTworkout. Maybe 40% at breakfast, 20% preworkout, and 40% post workout.
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    I'd say BULK, Lean bulk. and get a tan.
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    LOL I live in Scotland mate, not enough sun to go around, and I've heard sun-beds are very bad for your skin (giving you an aged look).

    P.S. your amendment has been duly noted Vadox6466. Thanks again ;-)
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    You really need to increase your fat intake, specifically EFAs. You need to double, if not treble it. You're going to start wreaking havoc on your testoerone production and that itself will stop you from losing fat and adding muscle.
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    Any suggestions as to what food I should work into my diet? I see peanut butter and various nuts (almonds, walnuts etc) have been recommended on the boards.
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    Well since someone bumped it I'll add my comments too. You were not 12% in those pics.
    I'd say 10% is very accurate. 10% bf does not get ride of the stuborn fat areas. Yeah you could lose a few more lbs to look real lean but it's not worth it since you risk losing more muscle at those levels And yourhormones are not ideal for bulking when you go sub 10s. Start bulking up to 15% than cut back down and repeat till you got the size you want than go to 8% and maintain from there.
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    I say you are dam small enough already, time to grow!

    Eat as clean as possible and start pushing the big weights and let yourself put on another 20lbs over say a year, then when you trim down the fat you will be one lean mean sob!

    You hardly have any fat as it is right now, you are lean enough. If you go dieting more you will just burn off what mass you do have then take even longer to get where you want to be.

    I wouldn't go letting myself get up to 15% bf as stated in the post above. You don't want to be in the old cycle that I was where all you gain is fat then you diet it off and end up where you began. Take it from someone who has been there done that!

    Keep yourself lean, take your time, be sure that you are progressing every week in the gym (1 more rep or 1 more lb, be progressive!). If you are starting to get a little be soft throw in some cardio for a few days (15 mins tops, HIGH INTENSITY) and be back on your path.

    I noticed you didn't mention anything in your top post about your legs strength. Don't be like everyone else and neglect the legs, especially if you are wanting to grow! Doing heavy squats will naturally cause your body to produce more Testosterone and release more Growth Hormone as you sleep.
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    Its really up to you. Your lean enough show the ladies your abs, and you muscular enough for health purposes. What you do after that is your decision. A site called Anabolicminds will tell you to go to one extreme or the other, but it's your life. You could even just maintain if that's what you wanna do. Do what your heart tells you.
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    Thanks for the further comments guys :-)

    I was prudent enough to take measurements of my chest, biceps, triceps, forearms and waist about 10 weeks ago, and I'm proud to report that NO muscle group has decreased in circumference, despite the 12 kilo (26,5 lbs) loss, except of course for my waist, which is is a full two inches narrower.

    In fact, my chest and triceps have grown a tad as well.

    The last 3 weeks I've been going all out in the gym. As heavy weights as I can hope to lift, EVERY SET to failure, going for at least 4-6 reps each set. This has however upset my weekly routine, as I'm finding my recuperation taking longer and as a result, I can't yet fit my routine in a single week.

    I used to do back and shoulders on Mondays, chest and traps on Wednesdays and biceps and triceps on Fridays (abs each time). Now, if I do back/shoulders on Monday, I'm still too sore to go back on Wednesday, so I end up going either Thursday or even Friday and then Sunday for the my arms, which in turn makes my re-start the cycle mid-week rather than on a Monday.

    The result; I'm ALWAYS HUNGRY! I'm eating 8-10 times A DAY!

    I have 7-8 solid meals plus 2 protein shakes. 5 meals of chicken breast with yogurt and lettuce/cabbage wrapped in a wheat tortilla, 2-3 oat protein bars and the protein shakes.

    I'm eating every two hours and I never feel full. The good news is that this have been going of for a bout 3 weeks now, and I've only put on about 4,5 lbs, which given the water I must be retaining with all these carbs I'm taking, gives me reason to believe my metabolism is handling it well.

    I want to keep this going till March-April (a full 6 months) and see where I am there. If I need to, I can always trim down 5-10lbs to get a leaner look.
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    Try not to push to much volume in your workout, keep it short and simple, major moves only (squat, bench, pull ups, t bar row, etc)

    Also be sure to get ample amounts of rest, try as hard as you can to be lazy throughout the day, take naps, etc. Without this rest you will not be able to grow as fast as possible. Also if you are hungry all the time that is very good, feed the beast! Remember though, if you have a Dodge Viper, you don't go putting 83 octane in it. Use the good stuff in your high performance car and the good diet for a high performance body! Clean wholesome foods is the way to go man.

    Keep it up man!
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    Thanks ;-)

    Speaking of being lazy, should I cut out my 30 minute cardio at the end of each session? I walk at 6,5km/ph at 15% incline. It's not strenuous, just boring. I don't want it to keep me from making all the gains I can.
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    I'd say pay attention to yourself on a daily basis. If you are starting to fall out of the lean you want to maintain toss it in, but just long enough to get yourself back to as lean as you want.

    For me I watch my lower abb veins/delt veins. As soon as they start to glaze over I toss my cardio back in. It usually only takes a couple of days and I am back as lean as I want. Cardio for me is 6mph jog at 10degree incline for 10 minutes. I am at a point now that I really only do cardio about 4 times in 2 weeks.
  

  
 

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