Tried Everything! I Can't Lose Fat!
Here's the prob. I'm a 23 yr old female. I'm a definite GYM RAT. I live at the gym 6 days a week. I've tried every diet/cut down/small meal deal out there AND I STILL CAN'T LOSE THE WEIGHT! (Slim fast, Atkins, weight watchers, LA weight loss, 5 meals a day, nothing bigger than your fist, dry tuna etc.) I've been going extremely hard core since January of 2002 and I've only lost 7 lbs, which leaves me at 193. Building muscle is NOT a problem for me. I'm quite solid with exception of my stomach (I can feel the muscle underneath the fat layer) rear end and mid-section of my back. The prob is getting the body fat % down! I do crunches, sit ups, those hanging twists, those new Ball thingies to do crunches etc, weighted crunches. Nothing has helped.
I have tried cutting back on weight lifting and putting more cardio/kick boxing classes into my work outs. I've been living on 900 calories a day, I avoid sugar with exception of fruits, I'm at about a gallon of water a day some with lemon in it, Nothing has changed except muscle mass. You are my last hope. HELP!!
This is a pretty interesting question that a female has asked. I found this unusual because most of my FAQs come from guys that are into bodybuilding and building huge muscles. I wanted to answer this question because I have extensive experience dealing with female clients.
Your case interests me. I would understand how you could not have lost any weight by using all of those carbohydrate dominated diets but not losing on the Atkin's diet is intriguing. The only thing that I can think of here is that hidden carbohydrates may have sabotaged your progress. But lets not ponder on the past you are in good hands now. I like your statement "Building muscle is NOT a problem for me". I have you pegged for an endomorph. I am similar to you in the sense that I feel that I am in between a mesomorph and an endomorph body type myself. The good thing is that we can bulk up rather easily. The bad is that we must diet and rely on cardio heavily in order to lose weight. In the same breath it is important to know that we also have a tendency to hold on to our muscle really well when dieting. This is awesome.
Try using a modified Atkins diet for a couple of months. You have to be brave on this diet. Go two days low carbohydrates. Go as low as you can. On your third day keep the carbohydrates low but bump up the fats to about 30-50 grams. On your fourth day go back to a low carbohydrate diet like you followed on the first two days. Day five will be reload day. On this day consume about 600 grams of carbohydrates. Try to use carbohydrates only. Do not eat protein and fat. Once you have completed the five day cycle do it again. While on your low das use fibrous carbohydrates for processing purposes. Do not worry about the carbohydrates that are in green beans, broccoli, and spinach. I think that this is you ticket.
Do not kill yourself with crunches and all types of abdominal work. Instead invest your time in cardiovascular activities. I know that you said that they did not help in the past but the bottom line is that they do work. Cardio burns fat! Working your abdominals only strengthens those muscles. It does nothing for losing fat in the abdominal area. It is impossible to target or spot reduce fat with out surgical procedures. Keep lifting weights, this is great and will help you obtain your goals. Lifting keeps the receptors activated and allows the body to burn stored glycogen. Doing this will allow the body to store some when you have your high carbohydrate day. It will also allow the body to burn fat when the glycogen levels get really low.
Your water intake is fine and I will not even snap at you for using the lemon. In fact I recommend that you pick up some crystal light or some type of non-sugar powder to put into your gallon jug. This will with out a doubt allow you to down more water on a daily basis. This should help you out. If you need examples of dieting foods go to my articles concerning fat, protein, and carbohydrates. These articles have examples of great dieting foods in them. Good luck! I am proud of you for staying in the ring and fighting. Keep it up girl!