No announcement yet.

How do you lose bodyfat but maintain weight?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How do you lose bodyfat but maintain weight?

    Apparently I'm "too skinny" as dubbed by my family, which is fine because I want to add some muscle and definition. However, my BF is 20.8% as per my scale (so who really knows), but I'd like to lose a little more around the mid-section all the same. How do I do this without dropping the numbers on the scale? I'm about 121 lbs right now and 5'3. Thanks!

  • #2
    there's a few conflicting ideas going on here. mostly, if you want to add muscle, there's a good chance you're going to add weight. the first thing you need to do is tell your family that you're not too skinny, everybody else is too fat (i seriously have to remind people that while i am a lot thinner than i used to be, i'm still a little overweight...when did overweight become the new standard?); then you need to throw out your scale. mostly, if you are interested in building muscle, you need to do resistance work. i think Primal Blueprint Fitness is perfect for this...all bodyweight, minimal equipment, and it can get hard. if you don't want to add a lot of size, but want to get and look strong, PBF might be perfect for you.


    • #3
      I think you have come to the right, lifestyle. The Primal/Paleolithic lifestyle really provides the appropriate macro-nutrients (i.e. protein, fat and "good" carbs from vegetables & fruits) in the right quantities to enable muscle anabolism. However, if you are going to build are going to have to work your butt off physically with some anaerobic (i.e. non-cardio) exercise. Weightlifting is what I used to build my muscle (I originally went from 120 lbs to 220 lbs) when I was adding mass. However, there are other kinds of exercise that will do the trick. You can look some of everyone else's preferred exercise(s) in the forums. There are tons of them. The key is to really make the lifestyle change to adopt both a diet and exercise program simultaneously. The diet provides the building provide the exercise...and your body does the dictated by your genetic makeup. What I mean by " genetic makeup "is some people are predisposed to gaining weight/muscle others are not. Depending on where you fall in that scale of will easily gain muscle if you are blessed with those genes or you will have to work your butt off if not. Either way, eat right. Work out. Be consistent with your lifestyle and you WILL get the results. It will happen if you are focused on your goal. That should be to eat enough quality protein in your diet to build muscle (i.e. you should target eating about 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight EACH DAY. Also, for conversion purposes, meat is generally considered to have ~ 7g protein per ounce. So, divide your total protein grams by 7 to convert to ounces of meat required each day ). Only protein builds muscle. Keep that in mind. If you want to build need to eat protein. And you need to eat enough of it each day to provide for all of the muscle maintenance & structure repair that your body does normally.....AND extra to build new/bigger muscles!!!!

      One last thing....since it sounds like you are new to this Primal thing, as am I, you will be curious to know that this lifestyle enables fat loss while you maintain & gain muscle! The best of both worlds! You burn fat all day by using it as energy for running your body.Your body uses its bodyfat (plus fat from your diet) to do this. Plus, all the protein you are getting from eating meat is converted to maintaining and building muscle. As long as you are working aren't going to be in danger of converting extra protein to glucose and storing it as fat. Anyway, its a lot of biochemistry and I dont know if that is at all interesting to you or not (it is to me!), but just keep following the lifestyle & exercise and you should succeed in your goal.

      As for me, I have been working out for 28 years of my 41 total. As I said earlier, I originally gained 100lbs from when I started trying to get bigger & stronger. After years of eating however I wanted and following the conventional wisdom for diet (i.e you need to eat CARBS!!! NOT!!!)...I had gotten as heavy as I could be at 248lbs (Im 5'8). This past January I started my Paleo lifestyle. I have dropped 16 lbs since then and I am AS strong or stronger than I have been in 20 years!
      I have ~ 20lbs of fat to lose to get to where I want to be. And I know, and can feel, that I am well on my way there. The primal lifestyle is THE only way to go!!!!!
      If you can just get your....mind together....then come on across to me.....
      James Marshall (Jimi)Hendrix


      • #4 family annoys the_____out of me from there. You have amazing understanding and patience.

        Even if you you gain more muscle mass by weight than the fat you lose you'll still appear much smaller. Tell them to get over it.

        late onset type1 diabetic 4-27-10 @ age 30


        • #5
          Eat clean, and lift weights. Stronglifts 5x5, starting strength or the lean gains programs would all do well.
          If your food is fast, maybe you should fast.


          • #6


            • #7
              Short answer: Weight/Resistance Training!

              Long Answer: It can only happen under certain conditions: I think you fall in to one of those cases (if you're new to resistance training).

              Also, don't put too much stock in the BF% given by your scale. Mine says anywhere from 13-16%, depending on how hydrated I am, but I think it's gotta be lower than that. I'll post some pics in the before/after thread or something once I get up the courage.

              Once you're lean and have been weight training for a while, it becomes very difficult to add muscle while losing (or even just not gaining) fat. From personal experience, it's best not to focus on the scale and go very slow (be patient). I've tried eating way more than necessary in order to speed muscle growth and all it did was speed up fat gain.
              Last edited by yodiewan; 02-17-2011, 08:46 AM.


              • #8
                I didn't read the entire thing, but from what I did read, I'm seeing the main point as illustrated (har) in this graph of weight group vs aerobic group. Weight group gained weight, lost fat mass, and gained "other" weight (muscle, I assume).

                If you gain muscle, you will gain weight. Weight =/= fat, obviously. Weight increase is not bad. It's what you're increasing that matters.
                August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

                I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)


                • #9
                  To recap: 1) tell your family to STFU. You look great in your pic.
                  2) Don't actually tell them to STFU, that's bad for family relations.
                  3) Slight caloric deficit + weight training (a/k/a Lift Heavy Things) = bodyfat going bye bye and muscle adding on.

                  Now, I can't tell how old you are, but unless you're a teenage boy lifting real heavy and eating lots, you won't add on pounds and pounds of muscle, but go to Batty's page ( and see how she added on muscle. and her muscles are smokin' hot.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Goldensparrow View Post
                    Apparently I'm "too skinny" as dubbed by my family, which is fine because I want to add some muscle and definition. However, my BF is 20.8% as per my scale (so who really knows), but I'd like to lose a little more around the mid-section all the same. How do I do this without dropping the numbers on the scale? I'm about 121 lbs right now and 5'3. Thanks!
                    Everyone else has posted great advice, so I won't try to add my (sorely lacking) knowledge there - but why does it matter if the number on the scale drops? Unless your family is really, really concerned about your weight and is making you do weigh-ins or something, who cares if it drops? Their weight is none of your business, although there's nothing wrong with them being concerned about you - yes, they may be a bit misguided, but I assume that they care because they love you and all that.
                    But yeah, if you have a bit to lose around the middle, the scale may end up giving you a lower number, even if you gain muscle. Don't sweat it, and good luck getting stronger and building muscle!

                    p.s. I know bone structure varies a ton, but 121 at 5'3" sounds like a really healthy weight, so your family just needs to accept your smallness, lol.


                    • #11
                      Thanks you guys! I appreciate the links and suggestions so much. I knew about strength training, but I also knew I'd have to up my intake more to build the muscle, which worried me about the bodyfat %.

                      I feel healthy, which is all that should matter right lol? I think next time my family gives me heck about my weight I'm going to tell them I don't know what I weigh cause I threw my scale out LOL. That'll fix'em huh? It is quite sad times we live in tho when a person is seen as unhealthy if they aren't shoving a big mac and coke down while weighing 300lbs. I'm 5'3 for pete's sake....I was never ever meant to be the 160lbs I came down from...period. And I would be totally cool weighing 130 if I had some nice muscle definition going on.

                      Ok enough ranting...thanks again!