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Thread: How do I ....ahem... get bigger?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
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    74

    How do I ....ahem... get bigger?

    I know this has been answered before, but I am really confused by what I have read.

    I spent 2012 trying to get healthy and in shape; and made good progress. I tried to follow the PB in terms of diet and exercise.

    This year I want to take things a few steps further forward.

    Iím just not sure how I can grow bulk/muscle and shed fat. Although itís not apparent from the pictures (I pull stuff in and push stuff out when the camera appears), I am carrying a lot more fat than I want

    In the last 4 weeks my daily calorie intake has been 3,017. The split is; fat 49%, protein 44% and carbs 8% (61 grams a day) and alcohol zero. This is almost the same split since the start of 2013.

    My carb levels are usually quite low as I try to just eat plants and animals. My carb levels this year have been very low as I have tried to shed fat quickly

    I try to get to the gym once or twice a week to lift weights; and occasionally attend a spin class.

    Should I just eat more and hope for the best; should I care about the levels of carbs? It seems counter-intuitive to lose fat by eating more.

    I really would appreciate some guidance (someone has suggested Nick Nilssonís Metabolic Surge; ďEssentially, fasting until your workouts and consuming your largest meal of the day afterĒ. Iíll look into it).


    This is a short history;


    2010 Ė First attempt to follow PB (living in Bulgaria)



    January 2012; The start of my determined effort to get into shape



    December 2012 -


    After a four week vacation over Christmas and New Year, I really struggled to get back on track. In total, I went about 8 weeks with very little exercise; and I strayed from my regular diet.


    Late February 2013





  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    993
    You've done well,
    But i see what you mean with the "love handles" above hips, I imagine you have a little on the belly as well.

    You said you lift weights a few times a week, what's your average day like, seated job or active?

    I do about 2 days a week in a general handyman role, this gives me weight lifting, squats, stepups, etc, etc, Basically it's like 8 hours in the gym and varying in intensity and repitition, I think this all over movement helped me a lot, over xmas break, I gained in all the places you are showing.

    The other thing you may consider is IF, I generally stick to 1 meal/day most of the time, this forces the body to cycle fat stores and I think it helps reduce and redistribute problem areas.

    Anyway, good luck with it, no matter what, you've done really well, Congrats.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    74
    Thanks Omni; I really appreciate it

    Yep: love handles and a roll of belly fat.

    I’m pretty much desk bound; so should probably up my exercise regime (I will start sprinting when the snow and ice finally got here). Tonight I am going to try a boxercise class at the gym for the first time.

    I guess I should give IF a shot; I think that subconsciously I’m worried that I will end up feeling hungry. I am well entrenched in a three meal a day routine; and a little daunted about going to one; or none

    Good luck to you too

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    West Yorkshire ( UK)
    Posts
    142
    3000 cals seems a lot to me, to shed body fat I have been down to 1500-2000 a day and I'v lost all by belly fat. I guess it depends how much cardio your doing. I don't do that much other than simple body weight stuff and walk about quite a bit.
    Caution! My replies may contain traces of nuts!. My posts are just my opinion based on my experience with the primal way of life, there is no assurance it will work with others in the same way.

    Started Primal 15th October 2012
    Height 5'9"
    Start weight 200lb
    Loss so far 33.8lbs, now 166.2lb
    Goal was 168lb's

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Seekins View Post
    3000 cals seems a lot to me, to shed body fat I have been down to 1500-2000 a day and I'v lost all by belly fat. I guess it depends how much cardio your doing. I don't do that much other than simple body weight stuff and walk about quite a bit.
    Thanks Richard.

    I guess my concern is that if I reduce my calorie intake that much, I will lose (hard won) muscle before I lose the remaining fat. I also don’t look good facially ( I look drawn and old) if I lose too much weight; several people have said to me recently that I should not lose any more weight (based on facial appearance)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    5,426
    You didn't say how much protein you are eating. Eating as much protein as you need (but not more) and cutting back on your energy calories is how the fat will creep off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    You didn't say how much protein you are eating. Eating as much protein as you need (but not more) and cutting back on your energy calories is how the fat will creep off.
    Thanks

    I am eating 318 grams a day; 43% of my calorie intake. (Fitday only gives the last two months) . I’m not sure what you mean by energy calories.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
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    3,758
    From what I have heard (and in my personal experience) it is quite hard to simultaneously lose fat and build muscle provided you are already fairly lean and have been training consistently for a year or more. If either of those don't apply, then it is certainly possible.

    I have been using Leangains principles in my diet and training for well over a year. I don't claim to "do" Leangains because I do not strictly measure my calories or anything. My strategy over the past few years has been to do slow, subtle cut/bulk cycles. I will bulk for a month or two, gaining maybe a total of 5 pounds in weight. Then I will cut for a month or so, until I feel I am lean enough to start another bulk. I keep my training more or less the same regardless of whether I am trying to gain or lose weight.

    If I were in your shoes, I think I would do a slow cut for a few months, or as long as it takes to get really lean. If you do it slowly, eat plenty of protein, and keep up good heavy training, you will not lose much, if any, muscle. That's the beauty of a slow cut versus a more traditional crash diet. Start with a small defecit. If you are losing like a 1 pound a week or so, just keep it up, don't cut further. It takes more patience to do this, but the end results are much better.
    Last edited by yodiewan; 03-01-2013 at 07:27 AM. Reason: flip-flop

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Observable Universe
    Posts
    270
    By looking at your pictures you do have some subcutaneous fat in your midsection, but you also seem to have some loose skin; and by looking at your legs, arms, face and clavicles, you are skinny, and lack proper muscle mass overall. In my opinion, and others should share theirs, I'd say a slow bulk with a good workout program, concentrating on heavy barbell exercises: deadlifts, squats, bench press, presses, barbell rows, etc and, very important, progressive overload. Because, I think, if you keep on losing more weight, you'll end up looking skinny fat.
    Last edited by Darz; 03-01-2013 at 07:05 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darz View Post
    By looking at your pictures you do have some subcutaneous fat in your midsection, but you also seem to have some loose skin; and by looking at your legs, arms, face and clavicles, you are skinny, and lack proper muscle mass overall. In my opinion, and others should share theirs, I'd say a slow bulk with a good workout program, concentrating on heavy barbell exercises: deadlifts, squats, bench press, presses, barbell rows, etc and, very important, progressive overload. Because, I think, if you keep on losing more weight, you'll end up looking skinny fat.
    Darz – thanks!

    I think you describe me pretty well. I’m not sure what skinny fat is but I’m sure I don’t want to look it. Yeah I don’t want to lose more weight (I really look tired and drawn when I do). Does slow bulk mean increase my calories (protein? fat?) ? (Sorry to ask a dumb question)

    I will try to ramp up the workout program. – and find out what progressive overload is

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