October 14, 2013 at 8:59 pm #13149DavidModerator
I also wanted to add that I understand everyone will have different goals for size and body fat percentage, so there’s no one-size-fits-all plan. Personally, I think a woman can look good with some well-distributed fat–and certainly with a higher BFP than a man. But belly fat has been shown in many studies to be dangerous and a contributor to several inflammatory conditions, and unfortunately, that’s where I gain weight. It has to go. But fat in the hips and the butt isn’t so bad, health-wise, though as man I don’t think it would be very flattering!October 15, 2013 at 12:26 am #13155NYC1234Participant
I have the same issue as you do – my weight goes in the stomach area.
Synopsis Of Research – Belly Fat:
From my non-180 degree health research this could mean either liver issues, insulin resistance, or too much cortisol. If the fat is visceral fat in the stomach area its probably not a leptin issue since visceral fat doesn’t produce as much leptin as subcutaneous fat. People with leptin issues are fat all over. But the visceral fat produces other hormones that suck. (paraphrasing)
Disclaimer – Don’t know if any of this is true – but other people believe that this is true.
Personal Experience – Calorie Restriction or Exercise
I’ve lost weight in my stomach area multiple times in the last decade either through caloric restriction or exercise and I always end up feeling like shit and gaining it all back in the stomach area. When I did both calorie restriction and exercise together it really fucked me up badly physically and mentally.
In my dietary experiments over the last few years I have noticed that sugar (sucrose, honey) makes my belly blow up incredibly fast with visceral fat. Sugar is good for many people but there are some people out there who it is not good for so consider that a possible contributor to your belly fat. If your body uses the sugar to build tissue and replenish liver glycogen then sugar is great. If your body decides to store it as fat then it sucks because it will be visceral fat around your liver.
Looks like you are going to follow a 500 to 1000 calorie deficit from your second to last post. Can you report back at some point and let us know what your hunger levels, physical energy, and mental energy are like a few months into your deficit?
If Matt’s beliefs are correct the calorie deficit will backfire in some way or another. But there are many others who believe in calorie deficits are healthy so Matt could be wrong.October 15, 2013 at 11:40 am #13161DavidModerator
Yep, belly fat is the worst. The more I’ve researched it, the more I realized I need to burn it, and it appears that cardio is the most efficient way to accomplish that. I saw a study that showed that weightlifting didn’t affect visceral fat levels, but cardio burned it pretty quickly. I lift weights anyway, but that’s because I want to be strong and keep some muscle on my frame, rather than become the archetypal skinny runner.
I intentionally overate calories for about half a year, and for the last part of that I was eating 5,000-6,000 calories a day. Amazingly, my hunger kept increasing to match my intake. I was actually hungrier eating 6,000 calories a day than I am now, when I eat 1,500-2,500 (depending on mood and exercise–I eat more when I run). My appetite has gradually decreased as it recognizes I don’t plan to eat more, and I don’t really feel deprived.
When I was overeating, I became the fattest I have ever been. Over the last several years (late 20s to early 30s), I averaged a weight of 170-180 at 5’9″, which was overweight but not drastically so. My weight then increased during overeating to a max of about 215, which is technically obese, and noticeable even under clothes. My belly made a lot of things more difficult, from putting on socks to running to walking up stairs. When I was younger and used to run, I weighed about 150-155, and it was so much easier than when I run now. It was especially hard to get started, but has gotten easier as my weight has fallen back under 200.
Since I put on weight in my midsection so easily (a trait I share with the rest of my family, even some of the women), I realized that I probably had visceral fat even when I look relatively fit–and that could explain some of my health problems. That’s why I intend to do a lot of cardio and burn that shit off. Once I reach my goal weight (160-170 with muscles), I’ll increase my calories for maintenance, but I’m going to keep the cardio at 30-60 minutes a day to be sure I keep the visceral fat away. Surprisingly, sumo wrestlers have almost no visceral fat while they are in training because of their long work-outs (4-5 hours a day). Their huge calorie intake keeps them obese, but it’s a healthy fat (subcutaneous) because of the exercise. However, I don’t want to look like a sumo wrestler either, so I’m watching my calories.
I’ll continue to post in these forums with my results. I generally post a bit every month or two with updates. If I discover that my 500-1000 calorie deficit starts to wear me down, I will be honest about it, as I have with my other failures. One thing that definitely didn’t work was a 1,500 calorie deficit, which I could only manage by eating tons of protein (because protein dulled my hunger). I was in a bad mood all the time and my digestion was awful. I also didn’t have great success when I tried to manipulate macros rather than just count calories. I was looking for a “trick” to fix my problems, and it didn’t work. But simple calorie restriction seems to be successful so far, because I can still allow myself whatever types of food I want, and it’s been enough to recover from three mile jogs and 30-minute weightlifting sessions. As I build stamina to the point I can run 6-8 miles, I will increase my calories accordingly.
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