Fit but Fat

My weight has yo-yoed up and down all my adult life. I got to a comfortable size 10 for 3-4 years but in the past year it has slipped back up again to a 14 (which is heavy as I am short). I am very happy within myself though, whereas I was in a bad relationship when I was slim, must have been nervous energy burning the excess fuel! I train and exercise every day, averaging 10K steps daily plus a weightlifting, kettlebell or circuit session 6 days a week. So I am fairly fit, strong and calm but with too much fat to carry. Hoping to get back to a size 10-12 by Christmas with your support.

13 Replies

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  • Hi Superchunk! :)

    I would suggest having a look at the NHS 12-week plan. It's full of all sorts of tips and tricks to get you started. It sounds like you're doing well on the exercise front already, but have you tried keeping a food diary of what you eat? This as well as kitchen scales have really helped me. It could be that you're eating more than you think! I know I had a really bad idea of what a portion size was. I was essentially eating 2 or 3 meals at every meal, and all on one plate! :O

    Good luck and I'm sure you can get there! :)

  • Hello and welcome (loving the name btw!)

    You certainly have gotten the exercise part down, well done! Wish I had your motivation levels.

    I agree with Vicky, portion size could be part of your problem.

    I also know that more exercise can tend to stimulate our appetites, and sometimes we feel like "well I've done all this work today, so I need this fuel" and tend to over eat, thinking we 'need' to eat more than we actually do after exercise.

    Definitely recommend (if you don't already) using an app or something to track every single little thing you're eating, it may be where things aren't balancing out.

    Good luck with your goal! :)

  • Definitely I need to sort out my portion sizes, and for so far this week have managed to cut out refined sugar, although I am still eating fruit at the moment. I found before, that once my stomach shrank and I was off sugar it was easy! 😝

  • Hello superchunk Welcome to the Weight Loss NHS forum. It’s great that you’ve joined.

    Take a look at the Pinned Posts section, to the right of your screen (bottom, if you're using a mobile) and have a look at the Welcome Newbies thread.

    Look at the Topics section beneath that, for posts that could answer any questions you may have. Consider joining any, or all, of our challenges, as they're fun and motivating.

    Join us for the Monday Group weigh-in. If you follow Lowcal and Moreless (our very approachable site Admins), you'll be notified when they post the threads. The latest weigh-in thread can always be found in the Events section, to the right of the home page.

    Be active on the forum, as that's where we exchange ideas and get our daily dose of motivation and inspiration.

    Enjoy the forum, and wishing you success with your goals.

  • Hello Superchunk,

    Lots of great advice has been offered thus far, not least when it comes to portion sizes and eating to replenish muscles following exercise.

    Regardless of the frequency and intensity of exercise, if calorie consumption routinely meets or exceeds TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), weight won’t be lost. However, the advantage of consuming more calories than TDEE leads to increases in mass and strength of the muscles.

    As such, if you’ve continued to eat over and above TDEE, it may explain your current level of strength and conditioning, since an excess of calories will have fuelled your ability to increase the amount of weight you’ve been able to lift and press, for example.

    Without being conscious of the fact, you may have spent a number of months bulking, so it’s now time to begin cutting.

    If you’ve not already done so, to gain an appreciation of calorific requirements, based upon measurements (age/weight/height) and level of activity, it’d be worth consulting BMR and TDEE calculators, seeking to introduce a daily deficit (preferably 500Kcal) from your TDEE.

    Should you decide to consult BMR/TDEE calculators, since your level of exercise is fairly intense (I’d recommend multiplying BMR by 1.55), even with a 500Kcal deficit, your recommended intake may still be higher than BMR, meaning that the calories consumed will be sufficient to support your endeavour whilst providing the body with sufficient nourishment to maintain existence.

    However, if a daily 500Kcal deficit happens to take you below BMR adjust the deficit accordingly, since routinely consuming fewer calories (than is require to meet BMR) will be detrimental to energy levels and weight loss ambition.

    As for exercise, although you’re decreasing calorie intake, still continue to maintain the amount of weight you lift and press (increasing it if possible) to ensure overload of fibres.

    They won’t necessarily increase in size (as you’re running a calorie deficit), but their shape and definition will become more pronounced as the fat covering them is utilised as energy.

    Don’t make the mistake (that many do when cutting) of reducing weight and increasing the amount of reps, since it undoes all the work spent upon progressively overloading the muscles to achieve hypertrophy (muscle mass).

    As the amount of excess calories (stored in body fat) reduces, you may need to reduce the number of sets performed and/or increase periods of rest between them.

    If you feel that you need to reduce the amount of sets performed, reduce the amount of isolation sets, ensuring that focus remains upon executing compound movements (squat, shoulder press, deadlift).

    When running a deficit, diet remains key. Since you’re exercising regularly, aim to ensure that lean protein accounts for 35-40% of daily intake, to reduce the risk of existing muscle being broken down to be utilised as fuel.

    In terms of a split between the various food groups, in addition to reducing consumption of simple carbohydrate, initially aim to ensure a 40/35/25 split between protein, carbohydrate and fat, altering the split between carbohydrate and fat to suit if you feel that energy levels are lacking.

    As such, it may be worth consulting macronutrient calculators, in order to ascertain how many calories should be obtained between the respective food groups (as a percentage of BMR), taking into consideration that protein and carbohydrate each contain 4Kcal per gram and fat contains 9Kcal per gram.

    By knowing your numbers, chiefly that of BMR and TDEE, you stand a far greater chance of weight loss success. Although, bear in mind that as the body begins to weigh less (usually every 7lbs), you’ll need to re-evaluate BMR in order to reduce the risk of the dreaded plateau.

  • Thank you. Yep definitely don't want to reduce my numbers, my bench is at its highest ever and we've been performing 12/10/8/6 super set rep ranges resulting in great strength gains. I'll stick with compounds. I've calculated my macros and using My Fitness Pal to help me get back on track. Here goes!

  • You’re welcome, superchunk.

    Although you shouldn’t seek to reduce the intensity of your exercise, to lose the excess you’ve accumulated (even when exercising regularly) you’ll need to consume fewer calories than your TDEE.

    By keeping calorie consumption at TDEE, you’ll simply maintain current weight.

    As you consume fewer calories on a daily basis, don’t worry so much about how a decrease may impact upon muscular strength , since the body still has more than enough calories (stored in existing levels of fat) to fuel your endeavour.

    Once you draw closer to your goal weight, however, calorie intake will need to increase beyond BMR, since the body will no longer possess the levels of fat that it once did.

    Granted, the margin between BMR and TDEE will be tighter, but so long as you’re consuming fewer calories than is required to satisfy TDEE weight will still be lost.

    Equally, as you grow closer towards goal weight (10-15lbs or so away), by making small weekly increments in calorie consumption towards TDEE (75-100Kcal per day), you’ll be better placed to maintain your goal weight once it’s reached.

    As much as you need to reduce daily calorie intake at the beginning to create a deficit, you also need to increase calorie consumption (ensuring it doesn’t exceed TDEE) towards the journey’s end, so that the body continues to give up those final few pounds, in addition to ensuring that it has sufficient energy to sustain daily endeavour, particularly since resistance training and HIIT cardio are part of your exercise regime.

    If you don’t feel comfortable about introducing a daily deficit of 500Kcal, for example, half it, so that you’re somewhere in between BMR and TDEE.

    Weight loss will be slower, but when it comes to increasing calorie consumption back towards TDEE (to maintain body weight), you’ll find it far easier to accomplish.

  • Hi superchunk , I know how you feel . I'm only 5 ft 2 & was a size 10-12 for quite a long time. I then moved in with my now husband & I ballooned to a massive 13.5 stone. I then lost quite a bit of weight & got to a some times 12 sometimes size 14.

    I then stopped watching what I ate & went back to a size 16 .

    I'm now trying to get back from size 16 to a size 14 & hopefully a comfortable size 12.

    My portion size was so out of control its un-believable

    I keep sabotaging myself & eating badly again .

    My motto for this is that it's going to be a bumpy road so I mustn't get too hung up on the scales , there will be gains as well as losses so I have to look at the big picture.

    Good luck

  • Sucks being short doesn't it?! I think our portion sizes should be quite tiny (or what I'd consider tiny) to keep the cals to the right level, for example I can easily batter a whole steak but then discovered its around 800 cal before you add anything else.

    As a matter of interest, what dress size are you at 13½ stone?

  • When I was 13.5 stones (85 kg)I was probably a size 18-20 . Luckily I didn't put it all back on & now weigh about 74kg. I'm hoping to gradually get back to 68kg . Then I'd be a 12-14 depending on shops.

  • I'm about a 14 now

  • You'll do it! 🤗🤗

  • Sucks being short doesn't it?! I think our portion sizes should be quite tiny (or what I'd consider tiny) to keep the cals to the right level, for example I can easily batter a whole steak but then discovered its around 800 cal before you add anything else.

    As a matter of interest, what dress size are you at 13½ stone? I'm a 14.

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