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Featherweights For those with just a few pounds, or trying to lose those last few pounds.

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Old 01-10-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
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Default Frustrated about all of the mixed messages about carbs and fat loss!!

Hi! I just wanted to get all of your opinions. I am very frustrated about something. I find I can eat very clean and healthy and keep my diet at a relatively low calorie diet (1300-1400). However, with all of the fruit, beans, edamame and veggie burgers (all natural; pretty much made of veggies), my carbs are around 185g!! That is just too many carbs according to every website out there. Apparently you cant lose fat with that many carbs. BUt it just doesnt make sense to me. How can you NOT lose fat while eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans and edamame?! Its very frustrating to me because I find myself really stressing about making sure I get less carbs and more protein. But I just cant do that. I love my fruit. A LOT!

Right now my macros are looking like this..Calories 1200, Fat 27, Carbs 175 and Protein around 90g

WHat is all of your takes on this!??!

Oh also, I have another confusion...

YOu need a calorie surplus to build muscle. However, you need a calorie DEFICIT to lose weight. So how the heck do you gain muscle and lose weight at the same time?!!?
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:35 PM   #2
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I eat lots and lots of carbs. As an Asian we eat mostly rice with everything. I still managed to lose fats. But thats just me. I would love to see what everyone else have to say.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:18 PM   #3
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Everyone is different... That's what makes it all so confusing. So if something is working for you, keep at it! If not, try something else! Also, from what I have researched/experienced.... If I am exercising more, I NEED those carbs to fuel my workouts. I think as a general rule, you should aim for .8-1g of protein per pound of lean body mass. So really- needing TONS of protein is overrated in my opinion. However- protein doesn't metabolize like carbs do, so your body has to work slightly harder to digest protein, burning a small percentage of more calories. Also, if you are eating purely carbs, especially simple carbs- they'll digest quickly, meaning that if you don't use those calories for energy right away, they are more easily stored in the blood sugar and eventually stored as fat. In short- I think it's more about calories in vs. calories out, and experimenting to find what is best for you.

As far as building muscle while losing fat, it's not likely to happen... Because what you stated is ver true. If you research a body building website- they'll usually go on a cutting phase (deficit) and a bulking phase (growing muscle). From what I understand, while trying to lose weight, you want to incorporate resistance training to maintain The muscle mass you already have, so that you're only burning fat.

That's just as much as I understand, someone feel free To correct me if I'm wrong ;-)
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
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You can't build much muscle while on a calorie deficit (the exception largely being that newbies to working out can gain a little), but you can maintain your muscle by engaging in the appropriate workouts. This will help you have a lower body fat percentage when you have reached your goal.

As far as carbs go, I don't get picky. I eat a lot of protein and vegetables, and I also eat good carbs and of course good fats. I am mindful of the amount of carbs I am eating, but mostly because the more carbs I eat the less protein I can eat, and I need protein for weight lifting.

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Old 01-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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Personally, I avoid white rice and white bread and white pasta, but that is because brown rice and bread and pasta is better for you (and to me it also tastes better). You also have to be mindful of the effect of these sugary carbs on your glycemic index. They can give you energy at first, but your energy levels will drop fairly quickly, and this in turn will prompt your body to try to get you to eat more of these low-nutrition-value foods to boost your energy again. And they can also trigger cravings for treats.

As for fat loss, if you are eating less than you burn, you will lose fat. If you aren't doing the proper exercises, though, you will also lose a substantial amount of muscle, and that in turn will affect your body fat percentage.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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Good point about the good fats. You need them, and they will help you stay full.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:26 PM   #7
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First off, WOW thank you for all of that advice everyone. I love it here. I have so many questions and they always seem to get answered with intelligence!

Petite Hiiii!!! Long time no see on here!! I think its been like 6 months?! Good to see things are still going well for you. I completely understand now why weight lifting really helps when you are trying to lose weight; to maintain muscle!! Have you heard of bodyrocktv? I started that today. Its only like a 7 to 12 minute workout but its like a crossfit workout. ONly using your body and doing intervals. What are your thoughts on that?

Kara Thank you sooooooo much for writing all of that for me! It really helps to motivate me to weight lift. Does running help shape your leg muscles? The reason I ask, when I was real good about a year ago and stuck with my running, about 4 weeks later my legs started REALLY shaping and looking different. But I was always told running burns fat not build or "shape" muscle. That only weight lifting does that. What do you think?

As for my diet, do you think the carbs are ok? If I add a little more fat I think my percentages will be closer to 40-30-30..

I think I have it in my mind that if I eat more carbs, I have to eat less fat since carbs are burned before fat. Its almost like I am making up for the extra carbs that have to be burned, and then it wont have much diet fat to go through till it gets to my actual body fat.. is this way of thinking nonsense? lol
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
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KARA....I love reading your posts. I learn something every time.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:06 PM   #9
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That is so interesting. I did not know that about muscles. I am now wondering how much is enough to maintain muscle? I decided to start these 7 minute body exercises that are sort of like cross fit. Basically doing body exercises to build muscle (lunge jumps, pushups, squat jumps, burpees, etc.). But is 7 minutes really enough?! I hear you are very sore from it so it has to do something? I wont know till two days from now since I just did my first workout tonight...

ALso, thank you for sharing with me your spreadsheet you made! I will def play around with it.

What are YOU keeping your calories at? What do your workouts look like? What about your macros? Tell me about your story!!!
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:35 PM   #10
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Danzi I just realized my response to you didnt post!!! So basically, while you are trying to lose weight and fat, you shouldnt be focusing too much on gaining muscle? Just on maintaining the muscle you already have? This is all actually making sense. When I was in high school I ate the worst of the worst. And I promise I am not over-exaggerating. My friends called me an alien because of all I hate and never gained. I really think I ate around 4,000 calories of BAD food AND drank probably 4 nights a week. BINGE drinking. BUT, I was very active and had/have a lot of muscle. I think because of the large amount of muscle mass, it saved me from gaining too much. But as I got older and less active, I started gaining the fat. Do you think its possible I still have a good amount of muscle from when I was younger? I am just curious how long it will take me to get a good amount of lean muscle after I lose the weight I want..

How long should I make my weight training work outs?? I am SO lost when it comes to weight lifting. I know zero about it!!

Kara YOu have truly inspired me to weight lift. And I have ALWAYS been a skeptic when it came to weight training. I think I will buy the book you are talking about. Its going to be tough though because I have always used the scale as a way to track my weight loss and help motivate me. As long as I saw the scale going down, I could stick with anything! But with weight traning I know it can stall the loss. So Im a little nervous about it knocking my confidence/motivation. We will see!

Oh and you forgot to put how many carbs you eat a day..
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:12 AM   #11
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My personal experience:

My body has a tendency to stick at it's set point (around 116 lbs) if I have carbs in my diet... whether good quality carbs or bad quality. I can eat a serving bowl of white pasta and I won't gain weight there, but I won't lose it either.

Now, I am not comfortable at 116. (I am only 5'0" with a small frame.) To get any smaller, I have to cut carbs significantly. I recently adopted a paleo diet, and for the first time since having kids have watched my weight continue to drop with no significant loss of muscle. I don't count calories or carbs, I just eat according to plan. I am never hungry and I don't obsess about food.

Now, I don't necessarily think this style of eating is right for everyone. I am not very active, so I don't need carbs to fuel exercise. In addition, I think every body is different. Some people do very well on a high carb diet, others not so much.

BUT I don't think grains/carbs are a necessity for good health, either. A high protein diet can be healthy. So my suggestion would be to continue doing what you're doing if it works for you. Eat the carbs if they make you feel good and if it doesn't stall your progress. But if it stops working, then start tweaking things.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:29 PM   #12
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I didn't focus on carbs AT ALL while I was losing weight. By keeping my fats around 20% and my protein atleast 30%, my carbs were automatically regulated. HIgh -protein, low-fat worked very well for me. I also think that combination did wonders for my overall fat loss and muscle build.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:32 PM   #13
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Kara, why the assisted chin-ups? I'm just curious. I have never done them assisted. I do pull-ups unassisted as well. I use machines as little as possible.

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Old 01-11-2012, 03:44 PM   #14
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Ah, I thought that might be it. That makes sense. I think when I started working out they didn't have machines that assisted. Certainly, they didn't have them at my gym. There were hardly any women lifters in that gym or any others, either. It was a different world.

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Old 01-11-2012, 03:53 PM   #15
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I have a very fit and healthy co worker that gave me some advice early today actually... and she told me a calorie is a calorie regardless... i choose to count calories and some days I have higher carb days than others
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