Weight Loss Support - Ugh! Can muscle significantly change/minimize fat?




luckystreak
01-30-2013, 06:59 PM
I weight 140lbs and Im a pretty tall girl! If you saw my body, you'd say I have max 5 lbs more to lose. Well thats what everyones saying! but if you see my stomach, youd be confused. Its not HUGE, but its definitely not just a slight "pudge." When I sit, theres atleast a good 2 rolls. I dont get how i look so skinny everywhere else except this dang stomach! Ive been trying to get rid of it by eating smaller portions, counting calories and exercise but still NOTHING!

The only thing I HAVENT done is a lot of muscle work or ab work. The reason for this is I just dont have any classes at my gym targetting that, and dont even know where to start. Not to mention my gym is tiny, and theres no room to run around on mats or do any of those things Ive seen on pinterest/health blogs.


novangel
01-30-2013, 07:30 PM
Same here. I'm pretty thin everywhere but when I sit down my stomach looks a wreck. I still have a few more pounds to lose but I think we're going to have to do some serious ab/weight work. Jillian put out a new DVD specifically for abs a few months back (Killer Abs) I think that's where I will start once I meet goal. Right now I just want to hit goal weight then maintain while fixing the pooch. ;)

Arctic Mama
01-30-2013, 08:16 PM
I recall saying this to you on another thread - YES, muscle makes a massive difference. It won't specifically remove fat deposits, but it will absolutely make the area appear much tighter and firmer, even if the skin on top of it is still a little loose.

Planks, pullups, lunges, squats - there are DOZENS of unweighted body resistance exercises that can build a fair bit of muscle. Adding in basic dumbells and lifting to failure, with low to moderate reps (the recommendations vary but I'd say if you can still do the lift nine times with proper form the weight is simply too low), will do your body worlds of good.

The answer remains the same - fat loss doesn't do much for your appearance except emaciated adipocytes. To get the look most women desire when they see an actress or beach body, weights or other basic strength training is the way to go. Simple, cheap, highly effective.


NorthernChick13
01-30-2013, 08:21 PM
This might help explain things :) Good luck!

lunarsongbird
01-30-2013, 08:24 PM
I agree. Some toning and strength training is really important if you want that athletic appearance.

You mentioned pinterst- so I pulled this page, it has many ideas that don't require much space- http://pinterest.com/maddier88/ab-workouts/

nelie
01-30-2013, 08:27 PM
My husband lost weight when we changed our eating habits (without trying) and ended up at the bottom of his weight range. His doctor told him not to lose any more weight but he still had a small but noticeable belly. Fat is protective when it is not in excess and the stomach area is one of the prime storage areas.

Anyway, he started running and started doing body weight exercises. He didn't do any specific abdominal exercises but body weight exercises tend to require a strong core area. Anyway, he actually gained weight, didn't change his clothing size (still a tiny guy) but there was a noticeable difference in his composition and the stomach roll he had disappeared.

luckystreak
01-30-2013, 08:41 PM
I recall saying this to you on another thread - YES, muscle makes a massive difference. It won't specifically remove fat deposits, but it will absolutely make the area appear much tighter and firmer, even if the skin on top of it is still a little loose.

Planks, pullups, lunges, squats - there are DOZENS of unweighted body resistance exercises that can build a fair bit of muscle. Adding in basic dumbells and lifting to failure, with low to moderate reps (the recommendations vary but I'd say if you can still do the lift nine times with proper form the weight is simply too low), will do your body worlds of good.

The answer remains the same - fat loss doesn't do much for your appearance except emaciated adipocytes. To get the look most women desire when they see an actress or beach body, weights or other basic strength training is the way to go. Simple, cheap, highly effective.

yeah I upped my muscle in general but still no difference. I think I need to go insane on this. Im just getting frustrated! I dont see why my body wouldnt just burn the fat easier, im so young!

sacha
01-30-2013, 08:41 PM
Yes, it makes a big difference. I'm a size 4 at 110lbs before weight training and a size 4 at 129lbs after weight training for several years (and well, I've had 2 kids since then bah... but working on it). HUGE difference, actually ;)

luckystreak
01-30-2013, 08:43 PM
My husband lost weight when we changed our eating habits (without trying) and ended up at the bottom of his weight range. His doctor told him not to lose any more weight but he still had a small but noticeable belly. Fat is protective when it is not in excess and the stomach area is one of the prime storage areas.

Anyway, he started running and started doing body weight exercises. He didn't do any specific abdominal exercises but body weight exercises tend to require a strong core area. Anyway, he actually gained weight, didn't change his clothing size (still a tiny guy) but there was a noticeable difference in his composition and the stomach roll he had disappeared.

See I didnt do direct ab work outs but I have been doing some machine weights and i dont even see a difference in the slightest. I've been doing it for 2-3 weeks now and not even an inch.. my stomach still looks as big as ever. How long would this take? I think Im going to have to seriously start some ab work outs but if it doesnt work after that, i quit!

luckystreak
01-30-2013, 08:44 PM
This might help explain things :) Good luck!

Wow. All I can say.

luckystreak
01-30-2013, 08:45 PM
I agree. Some toning and strength training is really important if you want that athletic appearance.

You mentioned pinterst- so I pulled this page, it has many ideas that don't require much space- http://pinterest.com/maddier88/ab-workouts/

thank you. Ill try some of these out.. im desperate at this point!

sacha
01-30-2013, 08:47 PM
It can take years to build quality muscle... this is not measured in weeks, but months and years. Which is why so few women benefit from it, because they are impatient.

luckystreak
01-30-2013, 09:00 PM
It can take years to build quality muscle... this is not measured in weeks, but months and years. Which is why so few women benefit from it, because they are impatient.

well then Im sorry if I sound so naive but how is it some women start off really heavy and in a year manage to have an amazing flat belly and bikini bod?

nelie
01-30-2013, 09:05 PM
Well you still have fat so you'll need to burn some of it off as well as build muscle. Also, machines tend to isolate and not work your core. I'd look into doing some body weight exercises, especially pushups, pullups (or modified, some gyms have a machine to help modify) and squats. Planks are a good core exercise to add into the mix as well.

PlayingForKeeps
01-30-2013, 09:47 PM
I was always a cardio girl. I would run and run and run. That's how I lost most of my weight (along with calorie counting and a healthier diet). But even at goal, I wasn't happy with the way my body looked. My stomach wasn't my problem area, but I had noticeable pockets of fat in my thighs and butt that just wouldn't. Every body is different, but many of us have those "trouble areas."

I just started p90x a little less than 3 weeks ago. Having never followed a strength program, I didn't know what I was in for. I can tell you - muscle changes everything. In just the short time of doing it, I can already see changes in my body that didn't even know were possible. I honestly can't wait to see what my body will look like at 90 days. My measurements haven't changed. And the scale is actually UP. But, I look better than I ever have in my life.

But, to build that kind of muscle, I am realizing that you really have to work at it. You don't necessarily need anything like p90x, but you have to lift heavy and really push your muscles. You should be failing around your 8th rep.

There are a lot of really great ab exercises out there. I highly recommend planking. Do a youtube search for "Fifer Scissors" - those are a killer!

Good luck!

luckystreak
01-31-2013, 02:10 AM
I was always a cardio girl. I would run and run and run. That's how I lost most of my weight (along with calorie counting and a healthier diet). But even at goal, I wasn't happy with the way my body looked. My stomach wasn't my problem area, but I had noticeable pockets of fat in my thighs and butt that just wouldn't. Every body is different, but many of us have those "trouble areas."

I just started p90x a little less than 3 weeks ago. Having never followed a strength program, I didn't know what I was in for. I can tell you - muscle changes everything. In just the short time of doing it, I can already see changes in my body that didn't even know were possible. I honestly can't wait to see what my body will look like at 90 days. My measurements haven't changed. And the scale is actually UP. But, I look better than I ever have in my life.

But, to build that kind of muscle, I am realizing that you really have to work at it. You don't necessarily need anything like p90x, but you have to lift heavy and really push your muscles. You should be failing around your 8th rep.

There are a lot of really great ab exercises out there. I highly recommend planking. Do a youtube search for "Fifer Scissors" - those are a killer!

Good luck!

Thanks so much. I guess I always just wanted to hear someones success stories.. Im going to try again and hopefully this time it will work.

sacha
01-31-2013, 08:07 AM
well then Im sorry if I sound so naive but how is it some women start off really heavy and in a year manage to have an amazing flat belly and bikini bod?

Because everybody's bodies are different- some lose easily in some places and some don't. Some women hold more fat in their bellies, some hold it more in their thighs. Once you understand your body type, then you can tailor a workout accordingly (spot reduction doesn't do a thing but you can target certain areas to build muscle). It also matters the elasticity in the skin and how slow a woman loses/how fast she loses etc... there are a lot of variables to it.

Heather
01-31-2013, 08:09 AM
Also, cut yourself some slack if you're looking for a perfect body -- remember that many of the bodies that look so perfect in the media are airbrushed.

Honestly, nearly every real grown up woman has a tummy pooch of some sort. Seems like there's only a lucky few who have the genetics and/or the regimen to have a completely flat tummy.
(am I wrong on that?)

sacha
01-31-2013, 09:13 AM
Also, cut yourself some slack if you're looking for a perfect body -- remember that many of the bodies that look so perfect in the media are airbrushed.

Honestly, nearly every real grown up woman has a tummy pooch of some sort. Seems like there's only a lucky few who have the genetics and/or the regimen to have a completely flat tummy.
(am I wrong on that?)

Yes, and it changes with time too! I had a flat stomach at 21 after losing the weight the first time, I was blessed with that body type, but 2 kids later... hah. Not even at the same weight. Women are not genetically inclined to maintain a flat stomach and airbrushing does a great job. Aside from airbrushing, how many women will post a real photo of themselves in a bikini without sucking in their stomachs? Let's be realistic...!

marigrace
01-31-2013, 09:24 AM
This has always been my problem area too. The only two things that ever worked for me, are reducing carbs and building muscle.

bunnabear
01-31-2013, 09:24 AM
I have always had an ab issue. Even when I was very thin and was lifting weights on a regular basis with a strict regimen I still didn't have nice defined abs, there was a distinct pooch. I'm an apple shape so any fat tends to live there. I've always heards abs are part genetics, part diet, and part exercise. I read the information below in an article recently and it resonated with me and put my goals into perspective. I understand my body type better now and what it would take to get "washboard abs" versus a more realistic goal.
From the article:
Be realistic. For visible abdominal definition, your body fat percentage has to be pretty low—that's about 8 percent body fat for men, and 14 percent body fat for women. To put this in perspective, "healthy" ranges of body fat are 14%-17% for men and 21%-24% for women. It may be impossible for some people to reach such low percentages without going to extreme measures. Remember that women are genetically predisposed to store more fat around the belly and need minimum levels of body fat to be healthy and menstruate. You'll have to decide if washboard abs are worth going to extremes or not. For most people, simply flattening the stomach and losing a few extra pounds is a realistic, attainable goal.

krampus
01-31-2013, 12:48 PM
I feel your pain.

I lift heavy 3 times a week and have been for months, it's helped A LOT, yet my stomach looks great under clothes but there's just that...dangly line/seedy underbelly. It might be loose skin, or just my curse...but it seems like there's lots of fat left to lose.

tricon7
01-31-2013, 01:11 PM
You'll need to ultimately drop more weight (i.e. fat) to see those rolls go away. Getting good abs will show that you're in good shape when you get them, but not if you can't see them.

AlmostMe
01-31-2013, 01:32 PM
I don't have a fat free tummy now because I'm really, really overweight. But I could probably weigh a good deal more than you and have less fat on my tum, especially just below my ribs. That's the way I'm built. Now...if we were to compare thighs or upper arms or butts.... I'd probably be mega-jealous. There are a couple women on my team with a bigger tum than me but I'm way fatter than they are.

If you want firm abs, then the way to do it is by exercising those core muscles. Weight machines do isolate muscle groups, when you are working your legs your are JUST working your legs. However, anything that you do with free weights or body weight is likely to improve your core trunk muscles, even if it's not ab specific. And the more you move the better. Planks are good, but hill climbers are better. (I hate them, btw)

I know people say you can't spot reduce, but I somewhat disagree. It's happened for me. However... you can't control or predict spot reduction. So just working on your core may reduce that layer of fat there - or it may just mean that you have rock hard abs under a layer of fat. You'll still be a winner either way and I guarantee you'll look more toned.

Strength conditioning takes time. Give yourself the time. Also you might want to come out of the gym and try a yoga studio. Bikram yoga gave me AMAZING abs (underneath a layer of fat) - it felt like there was a steel belt around my middle...in a good way. Other people swear by pilates for sculpting the waste. My current workout of movement and no specific ab work is giving me great obliques and pretty decent abs.

Finally, women are supposed to have a bit of a roll when they sit down. Really. Not a big one, but something. When you sit you're usually compressing your trunk. The skin and essential layer of fat have to go somewhere - hence - roll. Bikini shots are always taken standing up or lying on a lounger, never sitting... :)

sontaikle
01-31-2013, 02:47 PM
Oh gosh, look at women in bikini pictures. They usually are sucking it in, standing up and flexing the right way; very few people have flat abs otherwise. Sitting down is the worst pose!!

I have a pooch and I wear the smallest sizes in the stores. I have loose skin and I believe it's not going to go away despite all of the lifting, exercising, and clean eating that I do.

I've accepted it :) I focus on what I can do vs what I look like.

luckystreak
01-31-2013, 04:15 PM
I dont expect to be cellulite-free, stretch-mark free and completely perfect, I just dont want 2 rolls of stomach when I sit and I wont give up until I improve on this. I dont even mind having a tiny bit of something there when I sit, I just dont want it to be THIS noticeable! :(

sontaikle
01-31-2013, 04:30 PM
I dont expect to be cellulite-free, stretch-mark free and completely perfect, I just dont want 2 rolls of stomach when I sit and I wont give up until I improve on this. I dont even mind having a tiny bit of something there when I sit, I just dont want it to be THIS noticeable! :(

Trust me, I KNOW how you feel. When I sit down it is very obvious I have a gut. I remember when my artist friend wanted to draw a picture of me in the summer because of my totally awesome arms. I was driving my car, she was in the seat behind the passenger seat and drew me from that angle.

She draws it like she sees it! She drew me with a stomach roll :lol:

I was kind of horrified! All of that hard work and I still had a gut. It's annoying, frustrating and maddening after losing all of that weight. But still, is it worth going crazy over?

In your case you probably have a bit more hope than me. You've lost less than me according to your ticker, so focusing on weight training and eating a clean diet might help you out quite a bit :) Even for someone like me it does wonders, despite the loose skin. I have ab definition above my bellybutton, before the loose skin starts :lol: