Breaking the plateau- how to lose fat from your trouble spots

 

How can I lose weight?

 

If you were to ask ten medical professionals that question you would hear the following answer ten times;

 

“Eat less and exercise more”

 

Sounds like good advice to me. In fact, for the typical person walking around with more than 25 percent body fat (female) and 15 percent body fat (male) this approach will work provided that you eat a sensible diet and move your body more vigorously than simply walking from the couch to the refrigerator.

 

In fact, every single diet book you will find in the bookstore is predicated on this and that’s why they will all work- but only to a point.

 

There will come a time during your body transformation journey when this approach will no longer be sufficient to take you to where you want to go. In other words, you are going to hit a “plateau”- a place where the methods you have employed to lose body fat stop working and fat loss comes to a screeching halt.

 

 

In fact, this may already be happening to you. In my experience I have found that on average, men and women exhibit distinctly different bodyfat distribution patterns.

 

Let me explain…

 

When body fat levels are high (women above 25% and men above 15%) fat distribution appears relatively similar with both sexes having fat around their stomachs, low back, thighs, hips, buttocks, arms, chest, face etc. But as fat percentage decreases things change.

 

For example, men tend to lose fat quickly from their face, legs, upper back and arms. When they hit about 15 percent that’s when things tend to stall out. At this point most guys struggle to lose fat from around their stomach and lower back (love handles).

 

Women are different. Most women will lose fat from their face, chest, lower legs, upper back and arms first. When they hit about 25 percent things tend to slow down considerably leaving the fat from around the hips, thighs, buttocks and stomachs.

 

This fat that is last to go is often referred to as being “sticky” or “stubborn” fat.

 

And indeed it is. This fat can be the toughest to get rid of and one thing I have found is this- the diet and training program that takes a woman from 45 percent down to 25 percent is not the same diet and training program that will drop her from 25 percent down to 15 percent.

 

Not all fat is the same

Your body has four main types of body fat;

 

The first type of fat you have is essential body fat. This is the stuff your body must hold onto  in order to maintain the health of your spinal cord, brain and other vital organs. The presence of this fat sets the lower limit for how lean a man or woman can get which is equal to approximately 3% in men and 9% in   women. Any person whose has a percent body fat close to these numbers is what the body building world calls “shredded” and has no visible fat (and certainly no trouble spots). For most people getting to this level is an arduous task and does not happen by accident. I have been there once in my life and hated every moment of it.

 

The second type of fat is visceral fat. Visceral fat is the fat surrounding your internal organs. Men tend to have more of this stuff than women due to their higher androgen levels. Visceral fat is a dangerous type of fat and is quite different from fat that lies beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat). It is not uncommon      to see people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol holding on to large amounts of visceral fat. Many years ago I had such a client. This person was a heavy drinker and despite being quite lean everywhere else they had large, protruding abdomen. If you were to touch this person’s stomach it was hard as a rock because the fat was not under the skin but rather inside the abdominal cavity and surrounding area. Many years of heavy alcohol consumption lead to this increase in visceral fat and ultimately, their    premature demise.

 

The third type of fat is subcutaneous fat and is what most folks think of losing when they go on a diet. The distribution of this fat varies from person to person. If you have lots of subcutaneous fat you will have a smooth appearance with little to no definition in your muscles. This type of fat is reduced quite      easily using general exercise and diet recommendations. The old “eat less and move more” method works well for removing subcutaneous fat.

 

To put it bluntly, the fourth type of fat is the real bitch and the main focus of this post. This is trouble spot fat- fat that just won’t go away even after  several months of a “eating less and moving  more” lifestyle. Subcutaneous and visceral fat aint got nothing on stubborn, trouble spot fat. I have witnessed firsthand this type of fat- from women with visible abs but fat thighs to guys with ripped chest and arms but still sporting a good pair  of love handles. Trouble spot fat is always the last fat to leave your body and the first fat to return. Its presence is both frustrating and infuriating.

 

As discussed, where your body holds onto its trouble spot fat is different depending on if you are a woman or a man.

 

For the women I have trained, trouble spot fat is distributed primarily around the hips, buttocks and thigh areas. While a woman may hold fat on her back, arms, chest and stomach, these areas can usually be reduced significantly by following a diet that allows for creating a calorie deficit and by incorporating a good exercise program. In some cases diet alone is enough to produce noticeable changes to these areas (a phenomenon commonly seen with programs such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc, etc). These programs work at reducing subcutaneous fat for many women simply because they make you eat less. However, they will NOT help you lose your trouble spot fat.

 

As for the men, 99% of the time their trouble spot fat is located in and around the abdominal area and lower back. Men will lose fat from everywhere else first and here last. Most men can lose a considerable amount of fat and even get a pretty decent looking body simply by eating less junk, drinking less beer, performing some cardio and lifting some weights. However, losing those last 5-10 pounds that have taken up residence around your mid section will require a slightly different approach.

 

 

Losing body fat 101

The first step to losing your trouble spot fat (or fat from anywhere on your body) is to get the fat out of your fat cells where it can be burned off. To do this, your body calls into action an enzyme known as HSL or Hormone Sensitive Lipaze. HSL is turned on by adrenaline and noradrenalin and turned off by insulin.  Adrenaline and noradrenalin are hormones known as catecholamines   and they can speed up or slow down the fat burning process depending upon what receptors they attach to in your body.

 

Alpha receptors will bind these catecholamines rendering them ineffective and shutting down fat burning. On the other hand beta receptors will do the opposite and will amplify the catecholamines fat burning effects.

 

And here is where things get interesting- these alpha and beta receptors are located in specific areas of the human body depending on whether your mother dressed you in blue or pink. As you have probably guessed, women have more alpha receptors in their hips, thighs and buttock areas and men have more alpha receptors around their stomachs and love handle areas.

 

Insulin- your evil nemesis

As discussed, the hormone insulin impedes the action of HSL. This means that regardless of where or how much body fat you currently have the first thing you must do is get insulin under control. When insulin is high catecholamines will be low and fat burning will be pretty much nonexistent.  When insulin is low the opposite occurs and fat burning is ramped up.

 

In healthy individuals controlling insulin is not too difficult. Exercise lowers insulin and increases catecholamines. Eating refined carbs does the opposite. This is why consuming sport drinks while running on the treadmill is not the best idea if your goal is to lose fat.

 

The fastest way to lower insulin and increase catecholamines is to not eat anything. I have written about intermittent fasting before and have always been a proponent for fasted, steady state cardio for fat loss. Intermittent fasting is a very controversial subject. I have used it and have found it to be effective but I have also achieved excellent results without resorting to completely abstaining from food for extended periods. The choice is yours but for the purpose of this post I will not be discussing intermittent fasting.

 

The most important dietary change you can make today if you want to maximize the fat burning effects of your body’s catecholamines  is to eat a healthy diet rich in protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, minimal processed carbohydrates and eliminate all high insulin producing foods such as refined grains, fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup, candies, cookies and anything containing sugar.  A good example of such a diet would be a macronutrient breakdown of approximately 40 percent healthy carbs, 30 percent protein and 30 percent healthy fats. Eating like this will serve to lower your insulin levels so that your body can start burning fat again.

 

If you are thinking that this sounds like the “Zone” diet popularized many years ago by Dr. Barry Sears then you are correct. Good old Barry was on the right track and ahead of the curve when he developed this. However, his diet quickly derailed as he took it to mass market and began to monetize it with all of his crappy shakes and bars.

 

The 40:30:30 approach is a great place to start and will get most folks burning fat again (provided that the calories are under control and you are in a calorie deficit). I use this type of diet as my “maintenance” plan. However, getting rid of trouble spots requires a more radical approach.

 

 

Getting rid of the sticky stuff

We know that the two most important factors when it comes to losing body fat from all over your body are calorie control and insulin management. We also know that achieving this is relatively simple and why the standard medical advice of “eat a healthy diet and go for a walk” will work for the vast majority of the population.

 

However, this approach only works up to a certain point and unless you are amongst the most genetically gifted (and if you are reading this then you probably are not) then you will still have a problem losing fat from the trouble spots we talked about earlier.

 

From a dietary perspective, losing fat from your trouble spots will require a more radical approach. In order to maximize the fat burning effects of your cataecholamines we are going to be using a take on the good old cyclic ketogenic diet or CKD.  The only difference being you will not be eating so few carbs that your body goes into ketosis.  Here is how it works;

 

Days 1- 4: Cutting calories and carbs

Ok, I am going to warn you now- the next few days are going to suck. You are going to throw your body into a severe calorie deficit by virtually eliminating most carbs and slashing your calorie intake to 50% of your recommended intake for weight maintenance. If you are wondering what your recommended calorie intake is for weight maintenance here is a simple formula I use:

 

Weight maintenance = Bodyweight (lbs) x 10

 

For some women with fairly low body weight 50 percent of this calculation can result in a very low number (and one that may not provide your body with sufficient nutrients). For these individuals I recommend not going much lower than 1200 calories per day. The remaining calories can be burned through exercise.

 

As for carbs they should come primarily from green veggies and perhaps a small sweet potato (I like mine with salsa…yum, yum).

 

Drink lots of water with lemon in between meals.

 

No alcohol and no fruit or fruit juices please.  Oh, and no milk. As you know, I think milk sucks and as Arnold once said- “Milk is for babies, when you grow up you have to drink beer”.

Sage advice indeed but sorry, you can’t have any beer either.

 

 

During days 1 through 4 your diet will consist of the following foods:

 

Protein foods such as chicken, beef, turkey, bison, eggs etc. Protein should make up approximately 35% of your calories.

 

Healthy carbs from organic sources such as broccoli, green beans, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, zucchini, sprouts, mixed greens etc. These carbs should make up about 15% of your daily calories or a minimum of 1 cup daily.

 

Healthy fats from a variety of sources including olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil, flax oil and avocado. These fats should comprise approximately 50% of your daily calories.

 

Divide your day up so that you are eating 3-4 times. In addition to this there are some supplements that will help as well;

 

Greens+ multi. This will help fill in any gaps in your nutrient requirements. Very important when you are on a very low calorie diet.

 

BCAA’S. Branch chain amino acids (5 grams) taken during and after your workouts to help with energy and recovery.

 

Fish oil. A high potency fish oil should be taken each day. About 5 grams per day will suffice.

 

Day 5: The end is nigh!

Oh yeaaa, this is what I am talking about baby!  Today is the day you get to bring the calories (and carbs) up again. Today is the day you get to eat things like bagels, bread, oatmeal and some fruits. I recommend starting your “re-feed” ONLY after you have worked out and preferably this will occur in the later afternoon (something I will discuss more of in my next post). Working out on this day will serve to deplete glycogen stores (a full body workout seems to work best). The goal with the re-feed is to replenish glycogen stores and induce a glorious cascade of hormonal reactions that will ultimately result in greater fat lost (and perhaps even some new muscle growth too).

 

 

Day 6: The party continues  

Today you get to eat high carb/high calorie (with some fat) for the whole day. You should enjoy this day and the way it makes your body feel. You don’t even have to work out today and if you do I would recommend very low intensity and short duration work only. Why not take the day off? You deserve it after what you have been through.

 

 

Day 7: Back to the grindstone

Today the party ends and you can begin training as normal again. As for your diet I would recommend just eating sensibly. You could take this day to begin another cycle of low carb/ low calorie eating but depending on how you structure your re-feed days you may want to wait until the week is over to begin again. The choice is yours. However, be sure to eat very sensibly today and do not continue with the high carbs/ high calories of the previous day. That ship has sailed and it is time to move on sailor.

 

 

That’s it. The only thing I would possibly ad to this is the use of some sort of thermogenic or appetite suppressant. You can use these on the days that you cut your calories and they can really help. Some ingredients to look for would be Coleus Forskohlii (helps with increasing catecholamines and HSL), HCA, Alpha lipoic acid and green tea extract.

 

Hope you enjoyed this. In another post I am going to discuss the best way to exercise to make this work even better.

This post was written by

Bruce – who has written posts on Cutting edge muscle building and fat loss secrets.
bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

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About

bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

32 Responses to “Breaking the plateau- how to lose fat from your trouble spots”

  1. Nancy says:

    This is a great article Bruce – going to save and re-read later – thanks!

  2. jane says:

    such great information, thank you for sharing!

  3. Hi Bruce

    Great read.I concur with this approach.I am working with a nutrionist who is using the same approach.My objective being to improve my collestrol numbers.

    • admin says:

      Hi Peter- this type of approach should improve your numbers- let me know what happens as I am interested (as would be some of the other readers as well). Thanks and take care,

      Bruce

  4. Liz says:

    Bruce,
    I’ve read and followed your posts for about the last year. Love them. They have helped me in my quest to go from skinny fat to fit. This post is very interesting. I would like to try this – carefully. I am an active fit woman in my mid 40′s. Small frame. Weight ranges from 118-125 depending on # of weekly workouts, eating (and fun summer drinking). I have the problem of lean (too lean if you ask my husband) upper body and jiggly butt/fat thighs. Totally infuriating. I am a “weekend warrior” triathloner. I know I need to have a leaner stronger lower body to improve my triathlon results in the future. I have a training program for my workouts. My question (finally) is: How often do you have to cycle through this approach- and how- before you start seeing noticeable results i.e leaner, cut upper legs without becoming skeletal on top?

    • admin says:

      Hi Liz and thanks for the great question. There are a couple points to consider. The first is that fat loss is systemic. That means it will come off from wherever your genetics dictate. Even though the article is about losing fat from your trouble spots it was not meant to imply that you can spot reduce fat from wherever you choose at will. This cannot be done. However as discussed there is a reason why women have different fat distribution patterns than men. Some experts such as Charles Poliquin suggest that lower body fat in women is linked to estrogen however this is not validated by science. Even if it were true there is little that could be done about it naturally. What I do know is that if you lose enough fat eventually your lower half will lean out. I have also found that women need more cardio than men do in order to make this happen (cardio using a bike can be particularly useful for losing lower body fat). At any rate, there is little that can be done to slow fat loss in one area (face, breasts etc) in favour of another area (like legs and butt). You have to watch and see what happens as you progress. Be very cautious of anyone who tells you that they can selectively reduce your body fat sites as it just isnt possible. I have seen results with this approach after one week but it depends on many factors such as training intensity, duration and frequency, diet compliance etc. Men tend to lose faster than women. This type of eating is very “doable” once you get used to it and can be repeated as often as you wish. I am working on a training article to accompany this so keep an eye out for that over the next couple weeks.

  5. Eileen says:

    Bruce – a very in-depth, well researched article!

  6. lo says:

    GREAT ADVICE AS ALWAYS

  7. Veera mohan says:

    Great read will try and follow but any more tips on food?

  8. Maritsa says:

    Hi Bruce,

    First I would like to say that I’m new to this blog & I love it!! It’s just what I’ve been looking for! Regarding this article, I’m 5 foot 3 inches & weigh 54 kilos. I train 5 times a week & include weight training 3-4 times, cardio twice & yoga once a week. I eat a fairly low carb diet but allow cheat days on the weekend. I’m naturally pear shaped & hold my weight on my tummy, hips & thighs! I’m looking to lose only about 4-5 pounds as this is the weight I was this time last year & would love to become leaner again! The problem I’m having is that I’m finding it very difficult to lose these pounds despite training hard!! I worked out what I should be eating in calories for fat loss & it’s only 600??!! Is this correct as it seems very low!! My maintenance tells me that I should be eating 1200 but I eat more than this on a daily basis which I thought was fine?? Please help me!!…And sorry for the long message!! Thank you

    • admin says:

      Hi Maritsa- welcome aboard! Yes, 600 calories is WAY too low. At your level of activity I would not drop below 1200 calories. One approach to try is to eat only protein, vegetables and essential fats during the week and then bumping up both carbs and calories on the weekends. You should try to eat about 1200 calories during the week and then double that on the weekends. Don’t eat junk foods however. On the weekend I would eat high glucose foods such as pasta. Eating pure sugar or fructose is never a good approach. On low carbs and low calories you should also be careful to not over do it in terms of interval training. Allow the calorie deficit from a reduction in food intake to do its job and use weight training as a way to prevent muscle loss. Keep the weight relatively heavy and dont go crazy with the sets and reps. For people who like to train hard this can be tough to do but it is a better approach! Lets see how that works for a few weks and go from there.

  9. Maritsa says:

    Thank you for the advice, I will give that a go & keep you posted!
    Oh & thanks for the quick reply! :-)

  10. Maritsa says:

    Hi Bruce, sorry it’s Maritsa again! Just another question??
    I forgot to mention that because I hold my weight on my lower half I do have a tendency
    of building muscle quite quickly on my legs & thighs, but also my inner thighs never seem to tone which is annoying!! I would like to maintain muscle tone but would also like to slim my legs & thighs especially my inner thigh area?!
    Should I maybe cut down on my weight traning & add in more cardio??
    Hope you can help with this & tell me It’s possible!!

    Thanks again Maritsa

    • admin says:

      Hi Maritsa- great question. The answer is you have to experiment to see what works for you. Running tends to slim down the legs on some women but does not work for everybody. Diet is number one and to be able to mobilize lower body fat you will need to restrict non-vegetable type carbohydrates (grains, rice etc) for most days of the week. This will help to lower insulin and allow for greater fat release. Sometimes you will have to be willing to get very lean in other areas (breasts, face etc) before you lose your most stubborn areas. Some thermogenics can help such as caffeine and coleus forskohlii. Beta agonists like ephedra work too but there is a risk of side effects so use at your own risk. Oral Yohimbine is also known to be effective when used in conjunction with a low carb diet but it too is a beta agonist that can raise heart rate, blood pressure etc. Blood flow is essential for mobilizing fat so keep up the exercise. Hope this helps.

  11. Maritsa says:

    Hi Bruce,
    Thanks again for your response, I’ve started the low carb & I’m also taking fish oils so I’m hoping for some results soon.
    Also, just wanted to say this is a great blog with lots of info! A very happy reader!!

  12. Julie says:

    Hi Bruce,
    I’m new to this blog….but I see that it’s recently active so I’m excited to write to you! I am so glad to finally find a site about going from fit to SUPER fit, instead of everything being for obese people to get down to “normal” size. I’m already past normal size. I’m 5 foot 3, and somewhere around 128 lbs. I’ve always been strong, and have good muscle on me. I run, and love to bike and am an active person (however I definately have room to be much MORE active. I want to be running at least 20mi a week at some point but it’s cold out…) I’m just trying to get rid of that little roll on my tummy so that it’s FLAT for once in my life. I think I lose fat rather evenly. So my arms could be a tad more carved, my thighs a tad slimmer, my tummy a tad flatter, etc. I”m not a pear, not REALLY an apple….but my tummy is probably most annoying. Anyway I have the problem of also being a FOODIE. I LOVE food. GOOD food. I love to cook, I cook everything myself. I love all vegetables, and eat mostly vegetarian, but I just love to make food delicious. I also love baking. I just belong in the kitchen. Where I really belong is in a garden with all my vegetables….but that’s another story. So i am having a hard time wondering if I have to have a life style where food is no longer the best thing in life, but rather just some “supplement” i take to keep my body working like a machine. I don’t know if I can do that! but I suppose something has to change to get rid of this last 5-10 lbs!! In your suggestions, what exactly would your diet plan for the week include each day? Here’s what I usually eat like: breakfast is often greek yogurt with a banana and apple cut up in it, coffee and water. other days it would be steel cut oats with raisins, and apple, and a banana too. lunch is usually either a big salad with nuts, or cut veggies, or maybe leftover homemade soup of some sort, and then another piece of fruit. Dinner….I love making bean soups, stews, roasted veggies, curries, vegetarian pastas..anything like that…..So I”m a big time greens n beans girl and I make it taste good! My downfalls are that i love bread with a passion. Toast, cereal, bagels, oatmeal, waffles you name it. I try not to eat these too often but if i do fail it is usually because of these foods. So can I lose these stubborn pounds? I wanted to try the daily fast thing where I don’t eat past 7 pm and then wake up, go for a short run, and then eat breakfast around 8 or 8 30 am. Do I have to eat chicken and meat during hte week and if so how much? can i still eat beans? Or fruit? I suppose I can handle anything for one week though. I just have a hard time visualizing what the diet you reccommend for the week would actually look like. Can you break it down for me?
    thank you so much..I’m sort of at my wits end or i would not be rambling on like this on some blog online….

    • admin says:

      Hi Julie! Losing those last few pounds will require some tweaking of your diet. The first thing I would try is some carb cycling. The idea is to control insulin to allow for a natural inhibition of your alpha receptors and to allow for enhanced fat loss. Start by limiting carbs (oats, breads, rice etc) and eating them POST workout only.Please read my posts on losing trouble spot fat as this will outline things better. Also, check out my post on “When fruit makes you fat” as this may be relevant to you as well. Thats your homework for now!

  13. Julie says:

    Hi Bruce! Thanks I’ll read those, although I might have ready the one on trouble spots…it was a late night though. I started eating the way you suggested this week. I’m not eating any carbs from bread rice or oats etc, only veggies and fruit and beans (but you’re right, I LOVE FRUIT so i’ll have to read that). I THINK i’m around 1200 calories a day right now, but it’s hard to be completely sure. I have been keeping a food diary… I could send it to you if you want :) I”ve also been not eating past 7 pm and then eating breakfast at around 8. The post said that on day 6 and 7 add more carbs in. How come? I guess it’s just to mix things up? And how long should I eat like this? Do you do it every other week or something? I was thinking maybe next week, eat a few more calories and good carbs, but work out harder and longer. Like try to do 2 hrs of some type of workout each day. Anyway I feel good so far, so I will keep this up this week. :) thank you i’ll do my homework too

  14. Victoria says:

    Hi Bruce,

    Is there a vegetarian friendly version of your diet plan? I’ve been on a 1200 calorie diet for a couple months now and it’s helped me trim down from 140 to 130, but my goal is 120 or lower and I can’t seem to get that flat sexy stomach I’ve always wanted! I have lost a lot of weight around my legs and butt region, but it seems my trouble area is, my stomach. I know I do eat a lot of carbs and dairy to make up for the lack of meat, but as for protein should I just be eating an enormous amount of beans and tofu?
    Thanks.

  15. sam says:

    Thank you for sharing this article Bruce. I have often hit that plateau in my life and pretty much give up at that point……I’m going to start again with new motivation to blast through it this time!

    I do have one question. I remember reading about two years ago in some fitness magazine that new research show that spot reducing (fat) is possible. Especially in the stomach area where everyone wants it. Now, I don’t remember it being a panacea or anything just that if you do concentrate on the abs area you actually can spot reduce (fat) there. Now by how much I don’t know…..I’m imagining like 10-20% faster than the rest of the body but not like you’ll have a six pack along side of fatty legs and arms. Anyways, your comments on this would be appreciated. My trouble spot is my chest and waist….my legs and arms stay thin and toned but the fat stays in the middle.

    • admin says:

      Hi Sam- increased blood flow is an important part of the fat loss process and theoretically this build the case for enhanced spot reduction as a result of targeted exercise. However, I tend to agree that fat loss is systemic and where it comes off from first is determined by your genetic make up and adrenoreceptor density. Take a look at this post for some more info.

      Thanks for your comment!

  16. JACOB says:

    For the 7th day, does that mean going back to low carb high protein/fat?

  17. trey says:

    Hmm. I really like this article but I have a few questions that trouble me. I just started an intermittent fasting diet/workout plan. I’m 6’1, 185lbs(181.5 after 3 days) male. I have a 4 hour eating window, with a 20 hour fast everyday of the week. I workout 3 days a week with weights(only upper body). And do a brisk walk everyday for cardio. My caloric intake for workout days is 2200 and off days 1800.
    The questions I have are:
    1. In your article you said to cut the body weight in half, but I’ve read reducing calories too much would cause the body to store fat instead of burn?
    2. I used the leangaines caloric equation and it calculates using your “desired weight”. How am I supposed to know my desired weight if I just wanna lose fat and stay cut/semi muscula? My stubborn areas are odd for a male(butt/thighs)
    3. Should I attempt a full 24hr fast a few times a week to speed up this process or are my caloric intake values correct?

    • admin says:

      Hi Trey!
      Thanks for your question. A 4 hour eating window is pretty strict and I know that Martin recommends an 8 hour window. Regardless of what meal frequency you decide on the most important factor will always be calorie balance. For most active males I don’t recommend dropping below 1200. All of this fasting talk is great but it is not a panacea and there are many methods you can use to get to your goal (I do not recommend that you fast for 24 hours more than one day per week). Your calorie intake sounds good but what matters most is the results you are experiencing. If you are not dropping pounds then you either have to increase calorie expenditure through exercise or decrease calorie intake. You could start by reducing your calories on your off days by an additional 300 for a total of 1500. Also, I recommend that you train your whole body on your workout days. Neglecting leg training is a big mistake and will hold you back.

  18. MOHAMED HESHAM says:

    HEY BRUCE i really like your article but i have a question i am a body builder so i eat 4 times at least a day carbs + protiens for ex : (rice and chicken ) putting in mind that i am having hard time losing that stubborn fat around belly waist and buttocks i need a plan to follow to have that shredded look ??

    • admin says:

      Hi Mohamed- it is important to understand that muscle building and fat loss are best pursued one at a time. Muscle building requires a calorie surplus while fat burning (especially losing stubborn fat) requires a calorie deficit. My preference is to pursue fat loss first and then after you have reached your goal shift your training and nutrition plan to one of muscle building. In order to lose your stubborn body fat

      Check the link above for a detailed post on how you can do it.

    • admin says:

      Hi Mohamed- yes, following a proven plan is the best way to reach your goal. Without a plan it is very easy to fall off track and getting “shredded” is more about diet than it is about exercise. Best of luck to you.

  19. Carol H says:

    I’m a trainer and in the weight loss business. I have to say it is an interesting post, but not one that I agree with at all. But then that’s wht makes the world go around!

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