Getting rid of the last 15 pounds

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April 25, 2016

I have been working hard to get a chiseled Greek god body and am having a hell of a time dropping the last 15 pounds. I am wanting to see if anybody had any advice on how to get over the hump.

I started out at just over 280 lbs and found my wife's desire for me slipping. I'm 6'5" and I feel like my height almost made me look even bigger than I was. People would always talk about how big I was and call me names like Big Country. So I hit the weights hard and significantly improved my diet and my muscle has come back. At first, the fat melted away fast. But I am sitting at 255lbs and the last 15 lbs have been incredibly difficult to lose. I have an outline of my abs but just not quite where I want them. I have tried high protein/low carb meal plans and switching up my cardio routine but the last bit of weight has been stubborn. I am 41 so I wonder how much my age is impacting my metabolism. I have thought about getting my testosterone levels checked to see if that might be why my progress has stopped. I am a little limited on the cardio that I can do because I have a bad knee. I played football in college and have had 2 reconstructions, with the last one being 5 years ago to re-repair my ACL after if gave out. I get around fine but intense plyo kinds of exercises won't work for me. I was thinking about maybe getting a rowing machine or trying something new. I was curious if anybody else had a plateau that they hit, and how they got over the hump.

Post Information
Title Getting rid of the last 15 pounds
Author ImprovingMan
Upvotes 6
Comments 61
Date 25 April 2016 07:59 PM UTC (5 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
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[–]innominating1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

That's easy. Eat less.

[–]lionmenden0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Might not work. If he has low T his body will hoard that fat. It will drop his metabolism to make sure he keeps the fat. It will make it nearly impossible to lift hard at the gym to keep that fat. Cutting calories will make his T lower and further exacerbate the issue.

You need to eat good food at a reasonable but not extreme deficit. Ideally with some sort of intermittent fasting so you keep your good hormones up when your body is fed and keep your body from going into starvation mode (eg decreasing T and increasing cortisol).

You want your body to signal itself hormonally that more food is coming, it's ok to make muscle and burn fat. That means eating and lifting. You want to encourage it to burn fat when it needs, and that means intermittent fasting but not severe and constant caloric deficit.

[–]bornredd1 point2 points  (6 children) | Copy

I am much smaller than you (5'10" 195+ down to 160).

I'm down to the last 5-10 lbs of my major 9 month cut. Here's what I've found:

  • Cut all alcohol. This shit will cause you to retain weight like you wouldn't believe.

  • Cut all soda. I went with basically cutting all processed sugar.

  • Cook at home. Even if you're going to work, take a lunch. Restaurant food is the devil.

  • Lower your daily calorie intake. If you think you're running 500 kcal under your TDEE, but you're not losing weight, guess what? Your TDEE is too high. Lower that and readjust your targets.

  • Check your protein powder. Is it true Whey Isolate? Mine has like 30g Protein/ 3g Carbs / 1g Fat. That's tough to beat.

In short, it's all about diet, very little about exercise. If you want true calorie burning cardio, do some boxing training - intense workouts can burn 800+ calories.

[–]MRPguy2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Shit man, a 9 month cut is painful stuff. Good on you for losing all that weight!

Check your protein powder. Is it true Whey Isolate? Mine has like 30g Protein/ 3g Carbs / 1g Fat. That's tough to beat.

27 g protein, 0g carbs, 0g fat.

[–]bornredd0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Hot damn, thanks man.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Thanks for the response. I have cut out soda and eating out, with the exception of a very rare treat. I also cut out the protein powder and moved to actual food (mainly eggs). What I didn't do was eliminate my nightly drink and count every calorie. I stopped my drinks last night and will see where I am at in around 3 weeks. I guess I need to also start counting calories :)

[–]bornredd1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Count your calories. They sneak in where you don't expect.

MyFitnessPal is great.

When losing weight, ALWAYS count your calories. The more data points, the better off you'll be. Plus, as you near the end, your margin for error gets way smaller, and this will allow you to really control your weight loss.

[–]lionmenden0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Curious, are you saying a six pack a day was sabotaging you (expected) or that one drink a week was somehow sabotaging you?

I have cut my drinking to the point that the few drinks a week shouldn't, on a pure calorie basis, be a problem. But I hear some people talking about cutting all alcohol, which seems to imply it's more than just the calories.

Alternatively I know people who "dieted" by skipping food and only drinking vodka. They lost weight, but I would obviously not recommend this diet. However it suggests you can drink (even excessively) and still lose weight given other compromises.

[–]bornredd0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I was drinking 3+ drinks per night and cut it back to 0 on an average day and I drink socially now.

I find that cutting out all alcohol prevents me from falling into some bad eating behaviors, so for me it is better to cut it all out at home and only drink when I'm out (and not as prone to snacking).

[–]PowerCouple20111 point2 points  (12 children) | Copy

Get your T level checked. If it's under 700, get it supplemented til your level is 1000ish, and free is around 20.

Also, lift more weights. Keep it consistent. You'll gain lean body mass, but the fat will melt off.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (9 children) | Copy

I actually have an appointment to have the doctor check that. Maybe it is all the commercials I see but being over 40, it is something I think about. I have a friend that started injections a few years ago and it changed his life. He shed a bunch of weight and says he feels great.

[–]PowerCouple20110 points1 point  (8 children) | Copy

It worked for me. Went from 36% bodyfat to 21% so far. Dropped 50lbs fat, gained 21lbs lean. I'm at 206lbs lean body mass currently 6'4". I think this is the key you're missing.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy

That is great. I think this is more of a mental hurdle for me. Because the initial weight came off pretty easy, I didn't have to do much other than cut out a few things and just have a better overall diet. To get to the finish line, I will need to put in more effort. I have cut out my nightly drinks and am hoping that I will see something in 3 weeks. Then I am going to be more diligent at counting these calories.

[–]PowerCouple20110 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

Testosterone helps control the mental game. If your levels are off, it's hard to get that last bit of motivation to keep your game straight.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

I had my blood drawn this morning after fasting. I imagine the results will be in a few days from now. I am pretty curious about this. I haven't have any big problems but I wonder if I just didn't notice. They did take my blood pressure a few times. Before I started lifting again, my blood pressure had been high in my last visits and they were considering putting me on medication. I don't remember what it had been but this morning it was 117/78, so it was right where it should be. They re-checked at the end of the appointment just to make sure it was consistent. It is good to know that the workouts have helped my health, as well as aesthetically.

[–]PowerCouple20110 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

For sure. Good stuff! Low dose aspirin helps with bp when working out as well.

[–]PowerCouple20110 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Remember, even if results are in the 600+ range, check to see if they'll let you ramp up to 1000+. It helps immensely.

[–]MRPguy0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I will need to put in more effort. I have cut out my nightly drinks and am hoping that I will see something in 3 weeks.

Not good enough. Count the calories now.

[–]abdadaRed Beret0 points1 point  (12 children) | Copy

Stubborn fat sucks, but you can still do it. Check out Ian Rambo Newland -- he's 62, started out a bit skinny fat and now he's shredded.

I don't suggest cardio for nuking stubborn fat. Try sprints, lots of sprints. Balls out sprints in the field, uphill is way easier on the knees. If you can't do running sprints, try a different high intensity heart rate workout.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (11 children) | Copy

Man that guy is shredded, and old. I didn't think about uphill sprints. Thanks for the advice

[–]abdadaRed Beret0 points1 point  (10 children) | Copy

Look at his "before" photos. He does it all at home in his basement/garage gym, too. Proof positive that age is merely an impediment, NOT a barrier.

I'm 42, I only get stubborn fat when I do bulks. And shredding the stubborn fat means TIGHT macros. NO alcohol.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 1 point2 points  (9 children) | Copy

First think I did was cut out beer and that was big. I still like one drink most nights so I switched to liquor. A trainer friend of mine said it is fine if it is distilled, but I am wondering if there are some other schools of thought on that.

[–]abdadaRed Beret0 points1 point  (8 children) | Copy

Personally when I do a cut every calorie counts. EVERY calorie.

Stubborn fat SUCKS. It doesn't want to come off, and in a deficit it is possible you're cutting muscle when the stubborn fat isn't activated.

Personally, I'm a fan of Yohimbine HCL for the last 2% body fat, but I can't recommend it for everyone. Some people have bad side effects, some have zero results. I do it fasted, on rest day, before I go play in the field (I love to throw frisbees with friends or ladies, or whatever). My heart rate goes up a bit, but feel warmer especially in my stubborn fat areas.

I am doing a 12 week bulk right now and into week 2 and I already have my stubborn fat back on my sides and back and abs. In 2 weeks. That's how fast that bastard comes back.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 1 point2 points  (7 children) | Copy

I was really hoping to avoid going to an extreme to get this done. But I am thinking that's what I will need to do. By the end of the summer, I want to get me back waxed and unveil my muscles at a pool party. And when people ask about my workout, I want to act like I barely do anything. People ask my wife about her muscles and after she explains that she doesn't even work out, they are more amazed

[–]abdadaRed Beret0 points1 point  (6 children) | Copy

Yep I've never been one to tell non-intimates what I do to stay ripped. "Genetics" with a wink and a cocky smile and then I'll turn and pick my date up off her feet, toss her over my back, slap her ass and run fast towards the swimming pool.

Mystery is better than facts, especially when it comes to physique. My LTR (was a plate, now LTR for past 2 years) had no idea I went to the gym. I never used it as an excuse with her because I never told her anything about my whereabouts.

Now she wants to get fit because she's afraid I'll lose interest, so she's joined me at the powerrack. It's cute watching women growl pushing 45# on the OHP.

I have oneitis for my barbell, that's for sure.

Stubborn fat SUCKS. That's why it's stubborn. Read The Lyle's book(s) on it.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy

I definitely want people to think it's genetics. I am just a big guy. My body is great at gaining and maintaining muscle. But the downside is it also holds on to fat, apparently. Especially now that I am older.

A friend of mine has something like 6% bodyfat. His abs have veins in them and he is just shredded. He actually never even works out other that playing basketball once a week. All he does is eat fried food and drink massive amounts of calories and nobody knows how he isn't 300 lbs. I played with him in college and he looks exactly the same. Even after 18 years. It must be nice to just naturally look like that. I am a racist for saying this but I think there is a racial aspect to it. My buddy is black and my wife is half black and they have both said that they think they athletic body genes of not having to workout is from that. Sorry if that offends anybody haha

[–]abdadaRed Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

There's genes at work, for sure, in how we store fat and how high our metabolism drives at rest.

My entire family is fat, or even obese. I have ONE cousin who isn't fat, and he's ripped but he spends 5 hours in the gym a week. I spent 90 minutes in the gym a week, max. I also play in the park almost every day, though.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

90 minutes a week in the gym isn't bad at all. I am so busy with work, kids, and social commitments that the time this is taking is the hard part.

[–]MRPguy0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

said that they think they athletic body genes of not having to workout is from that.

I have a buddy who was a starter in the NFL for many years. He tells stories of players in the lockeroom eating nothing but chicken nuggets from McDonalds and fries. Guys were shredded all year long and had a terrible diet. We are all gifted with different attributes. He knew that if he ate like that he would blow up like a blimp.

[–]MRPguy1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

I have oneitis for my barbell, that's for sure.

We are banging the same woman.

[–]abdadaRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I can tell from her knurling, she's been around the block a lot.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

/u/bluepillprofessor has a post, check his submitted on it

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy


[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Second the intermittent fasting. I have been doing this for years. I eat only between noon and 8pm each day sometimes longer depending, except for rare social occasions requiring otherwise. Unlike the rest of you, I love to run. Usually everyday, have done for two decades. My weight has not fluctuated more than 5 or 6 pounds in years.

[–]blarggggggggggg0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Cut out alcohol completely for 2-3 weeks and see if your progress is any better.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Thanks. I have a drink at night as part of my unwinding process but if it's possibly holding me back, I don't want it. Since that is the easiest change to make, I am going to start tonight and see where I am in a few weeks.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Drink some decaffeinated herbal tea instead. Cut back to once per week on the booze and see what changes.

[–]Big_Daddy_PDX0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

You talk about everything you're doing with the exception of the one thing that makes abs - the work in the kitchen. It is time to be aggressive if you want to break the plateau. Cut out sugar and alcohol and increase fruits and vegetables. I'm 45 this month and al my cuts happen with food. Portion size king.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I have been decent with food. Not great, but pretty good. I am interested in fruit though. I actually cut that out after a trainer friend explained that it is filled with sugar and your body responds to it the same as it would with soda, because it doesn't matter if it is from a "natural" source or not. I have no idea if that is the case but he made a pretty compelling argument. He said avoid fruit for the most part and go with veggies instead. I am wondering if there are studies on this one. My buddy believes in a few weird things so I can't say if he is right or not. As with my food portions, I bet this is the #1 area I could make a cut. I appreciate the advice!

[–]MRPguy0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I actually cut that out after a trainer friend explained that it is filled with sugar and your body responds to it the same as it would with soda, because it doesn't matter if it is from a "natural" source or not.

Sure, fruit will raise insulin, but nothing to the degree that soda or other processed sugars will. And if you are training hard, then carbs can be your friend. But none of that matters much, you have to be in a caloric deficit.

[–]ThrowTheEgg0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

This is a reply to another person, but applicable to you as well.

You may be doing this, but probably not since you've stalled: the number 1 (and 2, 3...100) thing to understand and commit to is figuring out your TDEE (how many calories you burn a day), and eat ~500 fewer calories than that, daily. And get your macros right (you need enough protein to grow muscle - sounds like you know that).

More here:

good luck

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Thanks for the resource!

[–]NevrEndr0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Try intermittent fasting coupled with HEAVY lifting

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I am seriously looking at this intermittent fasting. This thread was the first I have ever heard of it. Thanks

[–]mediamole0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

The math is the same, although your TDEE needs decline slightly as you lose weight.

The calculator I use,, says your basic caloric needs dropped from 2,713 at 280 lbs. to 2,577 now, excluding exercise.

Those last 15 lbs. require you to expend 52,500 calories more than you eat over any given period.

Whether that is through eating less, avoiding alcohol, working out more, not eating on Wednesdays ... whatever. If you eat that many fewer calories, you'll lose 15 lbs.

[–]ImprovingMan[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I have made excellent progress without having to really count calories. I guess now that I am stuck, it is time to be a Nazi about it. Thanks for the resource!

[–]MRPguy1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

This is the key. You were so fat that anything you did was an improvement. You've reached homeostasis now and won't lose the rest without being diligent. 3,500 calories = 1 pound.

[–]insurrecto0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy


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