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  • Blood Work and Fitness do not match my body

    Hi, I have been reading Marks blogs, as well as forum posts for almost a year now. I joined the forum because of a continued frustration I am experiencing.

    A few statistics.... Age: 31, heigh: 5/9, weight: 158

    I feel like I am in much better shape blood work and fitness wise. For example, I do "bootcamp" 4 times a week where we do short, high intensity workouts (burpees, jump rope, sprints, etc.). The bootcamp last about 45 minutes each time. I see guys that look like they should be on an NFL team, or cover of a magazine, and I can keep up with them, or even beat them most times. In addition, I recently had a physical and my blood work was pretty good.

    Fasting Sugar: 85
    TL Cholesterol: 180
    LDL: 106
    HDL 63
    Triglycerides: 53

    Ok, enough the background. If I showed you a picture of myself, everything would match the info above, except my stomach area. It is very round, pudgy, and I have pretty obvious love handles. I am pretty dedicated to Paleo, never eat grains, bad sugars, hydrogenated oils, etc, and yet, I cannot get rid of this problem area. I have had my cortisol levels checked and it was normal. So I am at a loss and this issue effects me far more than it should. I feel if I put in the work to eat and live healthy, I should look it. I am tired of constantly sucking in my stomach or being self conscious when i take my shirt off.

    One last note, I used to weight 255 pounds and never worked out so i was fat with low muscle mass. I am fairly sure it is not just skin I am seeing (at least the love handles).

    Does anyone else have a similar story and can give me some pointers on what I can do to lose this last bit of flab?

  • #2
    Do you eat a lot of Sodium?
    If you do eat more than 2000mg a day it might be that you are retaining fluids in your stomach area. Many people will hold it in their legs or all over the body but it te same with fat. Some people retain it on concentrated areas.
    I'm not sure if that's the issue or not but you might want to try limiting sodium intake for a while and see if it helps.

    My second guess is that you might have excess tissue there. Not just skin but connective tissue. You might want to ask your doc to test what it is.
    My story, My thought....

    It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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    • #3
      if you havent tried yet, intermittent fasting can do a lot for body composition

      Comment


      • #4
        also be patient, a year isnt actually that long in terms of body recomposition goals. Fitness comes faster than body aesthetics. Work hard and be patient, the results will come.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you are eating a calorie surplus, it doesn't matter how fit you are, your body won't reflect it.
          http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

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          • #6
            I don't think bootcamp 4x a week is going to get you where you want to go. Something like heavy weight lifting 3x a week plus 2x a week of all-out sprinting for (20 seconds on with rest in between).
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
              I don't think bootcamp 4x a week is going to get you where you want to go. Something like heavy weight lifting 3x a week plus 2x a week of all-out sprinting for (20 seconds on with rest in between).
              Agreed
              Depression Lies

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              • #8
                Originally posted by giantshark18 View Post
                Does anyone else have a similar story and can give me some pointers on what I can do to lose this last bit of flab?
                To bottom-line it - you're too fat - so you have to lose fat.

                You can go about it multiple ways. One way is to do a cutting cycle, weightlifting style - hit the barbells hard 3x a week, and run a significant caloric deficit (watch your macros!). Another way is an in-place body recomp - go to a slight caloric deficit while doing a StrongLifts style program plus some solid cardio work (not sprinting - real running/cycling/swimming).

                The former path will be quicker, but tougher, the latter easier, but will take longer. Do this for four weeks, and then re-evaluate.

                There are other ways, too, but they all share the common components - eat less, work harder.
                Last edited by DeeDub; 09-30-2013, 10:29 AM.

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                • #9
                  Start lifting heavy and often - squats, deadlifts, benchpresses, chin-ups, pull-ups, overhead presses. These are the things that will demand lean muscle creation, not jumping jacks and burpees. They're not going to do much of anything.

                  Eat less fat if you haven't already done do. Remove lots of fat and skew that fat towards protein. If you eat low carbohydrate, stop it. Trade even more fat for carbohydrate. I like about 30% calories from fat, 35-40% calories from protein, 30-35% calories from carbs for body composition.
                  Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone, but I think i am a bit more confused now. I keep reading about what "Grok" would be doing and I assumed I should avoid unnatural things. Meaning, I doubt Grok laid on his back and pushed boulders up and down just for the heck of it (bench press) or when he killed an animal, said, "I'll lay off the fattening stuff and only eat the lean white meat" (less fat but more protein). Also, my goal is not necessarily to be ripped. I really don't care for how really muscular body builder type guys look (wider necks, humungo thighs, etc.) To be honest, I don't even care if I have defined abs, I just don't want the fat (at least to start) as i have not had a flat stomach since I was 10 years old.

                    Also, i don't think i can go much lower calories wise. I currently eat an average of about 1300 calories a day, even on workout days, so I thought going any lower would cause starvation mode. My diet may be too low in carbs however, as the only carbs I eat are what I get in fruits an vegetables.

                    Sorry for all of the info, but here is an example of daily meal routine.

                    Breakfast-3 egg whites and 2 eggs with spinach, tomatoes, onion, salsa and 1 strip of bacon
                    Lunch: Mixed greens Salad with one chicken breast, guacamole, salsa
                    Dinner: Two Grilled Chicken Breasts, 40 raw almonds,

                    For those who say to workout harder, and more often, I must ask, how do you get the energy/motivation? I get up daily at 5 AM for work and do not get home until almost 7 PM, so i must admit, its tough to use the two hours of time for myself for daily workouts. Plus I am engaged to be married and I know she would not be happy if I used that little bit of free time at the gym...

                    I do think fasting could play a role as I have toyed with it a few times and feel like I get more results from 24 hours of not eating compared to a week of tough workouts and eating light. My problem with this is my family and friends accuse me of starving myself and think I have an eating disorder.

                    With all this said, i think the best advise might have been from MarkG who said to just give it time. I am currently the leanest and most muscular I have ever been, so perhaps I just need to keep at it (with a few tweaks of course.

                    Thanks everyone and apologies that the post is so long and jumps around a bit.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by giantshark18 View Post
                      I keep reading about what "Grok" would be doing...
                      Grok would not be eating food from a grocery store or meat from farm animals, either. If you want an approximation of Grok's life, go watch a few episodes of "Naked and Afraid".

                      ...I just don't want the fat (at least to start) as i have not had a flat stomach since I was 10 years old.
                      Grok wasn't fat because he spent most of his life struggling to find enough to eat, and was constantly active. We don't live in a society where food is hard to come by, so we have to consciously choose to eat less than what is available.

                      Also, i don't think i can go much lower calories wise. I currently eat an average of about 1300 calories a day, even on workout days, so I thought going any lower would cause starvation mode.
                      There is no such thing as "starvation mode", as the phrase is generally used. If you maintain a large caloric deficit, you will continue to lose weight indefinitely. If you doubt that, pull up pictures of Sally's Kids from Africa or of holocaust survivors.

                      For those who say to workout harder, and more often, I must ask, how do you get the energy/motivation? I get up daily at 5 AM for work and do not get home until almost 7 PM, so i must admit, its tough to use the two hours of time for myself for daily workouts.
                      It is a challenge. Such is modern life.

                      With all this said, i think the best advise might have been from MarkG who said to just give it time. I am currently the leanest and most muscular I have ever been, so perhaps I just need to keep at it (with a few tweaks of course).
                      The last little bits are the toughest. If you're close, that's a lot better than being far.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If a grok could be fitter and faster than most of his peers but also could store a little bit more fat wouldn't he be the ultimate grok? able to handle a longer winter, perform the best in low food conditions.

                        The body "WANTS" to store fat, it also wants to be fast and agile, it's a survivability/ functionality trade off. That's why most of us have set points that we struggle to go under if we're healthy. Yes over time we can slowly lower this set point as the body gains confidence it is getting enough calories and nutrients year round to sustain it.


                        Sent from my iPhone
                        A little primal gem - My Success Story
                        Weight lost in 4 months - 29kg (64 lbs)

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                        • #13
                          I would suggest 16/8 intermittent fasting and lifting heavy. I believe that the bodies of most people are pretty bad at burning fat so a bit of persuasion is what is required. I shifted belly fat by running frequently for long distances and only eating fat and protein, it wasn't as effective as it could have been if I had paid attention to leptin levels Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple
                          The running thing was about a personal goal rather than an effective body recomposition strategy- for that lift like choco says.
                          Man seeks to change the foods available in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essence of life contained in them.
                          www.primaljoy.co.uk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by giantshark18 View Post
                            Hi, I have been reading Marks blogs, as well as forum posts for almost a year now. I joined the forum because of a continued frustration I am experiencing.

                            A few statistics.... Age: 31, heigh: 5/9, weight: 158

                            I feel like I am in much better shape blood work and fitness wise. For example, I do "bootcamp" 4 times a week where we do short, high intensity workouts (burpees, jump rope, sprints, etc.). The bootcamp last about 45 minutes each time. I see guys that look like they should be on an NFL team, or cover of a magazine, and I can keep up with them, or even beat them most times. In addition, I recently had a physical and my blood work was pretty good.

                            Fasting Sugar: 85
                            TL Cholesterol: 180
                            LDL: 106
                            HDL 63
                            Triglycerides: 53

                            Ok, enough the background. If I showed you a picture of myself, everything would match the info above, except my stomach area. It is very round, pudgy, and I have pretty obvious love handles. I am pretty dedicated to Paleo, never eat grains, bad sugars, hydrogenated oils, etc, and yet, I cannot get rid of this problem area. I have had my cortisol levels checked and it was normal. So I am at a loss and this issue effects me far more than it should. I feel if I put in the work to eat and live healthy, I should look it. I am tired of constantly sucking in my stomach or being self conscious when i take my shirt off.

                            One last note, I used to weight 255 pounds and never worked out so i was fat with low muscle mass. I am fairly sure it is not just skin I am seeing (at least the love handles).

                            Does anyone else have a similar story and can give me some pointers on what I can do to lose this last bit of flab?
                            I'd challenge your assertion that your bootcamp classes are "short" workouts. 45 minutes of that intensity is not short.

                            You used to weight 255 pounds. You still have body fat to lose, but the last bit is rough. Your body was broken and you're expecting it to heal 100%. The likelihood is that -- just as when you break your ankle and don't regain 100% mobility back -- you're not going to gain back 100% the ability to have washboard abs.

                            You'll likely continue to make progress over time as your body continues to heal, but I'm not certain that your expectations are in line with your genetic ability at this point.

                            Patience and acceptance are likely your best bet at this point.
                            Rebooted Body -- Ancestral Health + Modern Psychology | The Rebooted Body Podcast

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sounds like you are doing excellent to me. Keep eating primal with healthy fats and protein as the focus. Give it time. If you are coming from 255lbs then you have overcome so much already! Just keep it up. Law of diminishing returns tends dictate that around this stage progress will slow. At 5'9 158lbs and healthy lab numbers we are approaching "vanity" tweaks now. So Intermittent fasting, caloric cycling, and a more nuanced approach to your strength and fitness programming may be necessary. But if you are in it for health rather than what mens fitness tells you you should look like then be proud of where you are and happy that continuing with this program will lead to YOUR optimal body weight. Composition will be more of a function of the exercise programming you employ WHILE you eat primal...rather than any tweaks you make to eating primal itself.

                              In summation look at your strength and workout programming if you really wanna continue seeing compositional improvement. Primal is the optimal nutritional vehicle, but proper adaptive stress to exercise is integral to reaching that next level of physique if that is your goal.

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