Week 7, what am I doing wrong?

  • What am I doing wrong?

    That is a summary of my challenge so far in one sentence. I am starting week 7 and I have not lost a pound, not lost inches, my clothes are not getting loose, and I am getting a bit discouraged. I have been following the program by the book, the same way that I did five years ago when I did my first challenge. I had great results that time and thought I would see similar results this time but I have not. One positive is that I have gotten considerably stronger since I started. My weights have been increasing every week, I have been hitting high points and I feel the muscles under the flab. My cardio is going good. I have been alternating between an elliptical trainer, treadmill and stationary bike and have been increasing the speed and resistance on all three. That is really what keeps me going is seeing the progress in the gym. The only thing I question is doing cardio in the evening when I usually have time to do it. I do my cardio in the morning one day a week on the weekend and maybe one weekday if I am motivated but it usually ends up in the evening around 8:30 or 9:00. Is it really that much better to do it first thing in the morning? 
    My meals have been strict by the book except on free day where I may have to pare back to one indulgence instead of feeling that I can eat whatever I want all day. Most weeks I try to eat like the rest of the week until dinner on free day.

    My typical meal schedule:
    Meal 1: egg beaters on whole wheat tortilla
    Meal 2: Myoplex shake
    Meal 3: Can of tuna, apple and carrots
    Meal 4: 3/4 cup no fat cottage cheese & 6oz cup yogurt
    Meal 5: Grilled chicken breast, brown rice, steamed broccoli
    Meal 6: Myoplex shake

    That's a lot better than what I was eating which was bacon, egg and cheese bagels, McDoubles and McChickens, Chinese buffet and lots of Coca Cola. Yet, I am not seeing results which leads me back to the original question: What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions?

  • Are you female or male?

  • Male.  

  • Hello long!  First of congratulations on making the decision to change your life, I have done recently myself as well.  I'd love to help you out, so can you give me some more information about your start stats and what your goals are?  Age? What weight did you start at? Body fat %?  What measurements are you taking?  Is your cardio HIIT?



    Here are my start stats and current stats:

      1/9/2012 2/22/2012
    age 43 43
    Weight 217 210
    chest 45 45
    Gut (across navel) 45.5 45
    waist 40.5 40.5
    hips 41.5 41.5
    L bicep 15 14
    R bicep 14.5 14
    L thigh 23.5 24
    R thigh 24 24.5

    % fat (calipers)


    29.5 28.4
    % fat (electrode) 33 32.5

    I tried to keep my goals reasonable as far as weight is concerned, so I chose a goal of losing 20 lbs of scale weight by the end of this challenge.  I also have a goal to lose 5 inches (or more) around my gut so I don't have to exhale to put on a pair of socks or shoes.  Make better food choices and stay away from high calorie, low nutrient fast food.  I am happy to say that my cravings for fast food are almost non existent.  Longer term goals: have visible abs by July and run more races this summer (my knees have suffered from my weight). 

    My time in the gym has been good.  I have increased my weights almost every week since I started and I can feel the muscles under the flab.  I just changed the weight exercises and felt quite a difference.  I enjoy being at the gym.  My HIIT cardio has been improving also, increasing in speed, resistance or incline depending on whether I am on my stationary bike, eliptical trainer or treadmill.  A sample workout from this week on the treadmill:

    2 min at 3 mph 2% incline, 1 min at 4.5 mph, 1 min at 5.5 mph, 1 min at 6.5 mph, and 1 min at 7.5 mph X 3 sets.
     1 min at 4.5 mph, 1 min at 5.5 mph, 1 min at 6.5 mph, 1 min at 7.5 mph, and 1 min at 8.5 mph X 1 set.

    Weights have been by the book, staying with one muscle group 12 reps, increasing weight, 10 reps, increase, 8 reps, increase, 6 reps, decrease to 8 rep weight level and do 12 reps, change to a different exercise of the same muscle group and try to do all 12 reps (for example: Bench press, flyes).  I do weights hree days a week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.  Cardio on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.  I teach a Tae Kwon Do class at the local YMCA on Wednesday evening.  (That's brings me back to that lose inches around my gut - It's hard to do good hamstring stretches and splits streches when your gut is in the way!).

    I have never been a morning person.  My exercise has been almost primarily in the evening.  I arrive between 8:30 and 9:00pm, do my 50 minutes of weights or 20 minutes of HIIT and go home.  That brings me to one of my questions:  Is it really better to to the cardio in the morning?  I did most of my cardio in the morning during my last challenge in 2008 and I did have faster results, but being my first challenge, I couldn't attribute my success to just that.  Is the timing that important?

    My typical meal plan is listed back at the beginning of the thread, but is there anything I should tweak to get better results?  I am using the same meal planning I used back in 2008 and trying not to go crazy on Free Day.  I do have a Myoplex shake when I get back from the gym of weight days and that could be around 10:00.  Is that too late if I tend to get to bed between 11:00 and 11:30?  I've read some advice that says not to eat withing two hours of going to bed.

    Any suggestions?

  • I would say that your timing is important. I have been personally seeing good results since I stopped eating after 8pm.

    What were your final results back in 2008? If your body gets used to being a certain weight for a long period of time you could platue and it will be much harder to lose that last little bit. Make sure that you have good muscle confusion on your weight lifting days and instead of resting between sets for 1 min, try doing some abs for at least 30 seconds.

    You have an awesome diet going for you too! The only thing I would change is maybe try another brand other than the myoplex shakes. Maybe just opt for some Whey Protein instead sometimes.

    Instead of focusing on the negative, think about the positives! You have dropped 7 lbs scale weight; you have a very active life style; you probably feel way better than when you had a bunch of bad food; you are running fasting and lifting more!

    Keep it up man!

  • Thanks for the encouragement.  

    In 2008 I lost almost 30 pounds in the 12 weeks, leveling off at 178.  It seemed like every time I stepped on the scale I was losing another pound or two and it wasn't until the last two weeks that I hit the final number.  I fit back in shirts labeled Medium!  Had a beach vacation that year and hadn't looked that good in years.  Life and food temptations got in the way again again and I'm back doing BFL since it worked back in 2008.  I know it will because I saw it, I just wish my body would start with the dramatic results I saw before.

    I do use unflavored whey protein isolate (Now brand) mixed with water as a last meal sometimes because Shawn Phillips recommeded that in his book, AbSolution.  One scoop has 105 calories, 25g of protein and very low in cholesterol which some protein powders are not.  I will also have a scoop of the protein and 1tsp (5g) of Creatine Monohydrate 30-60 minutes before a weight workout.  I add the creatine to some water sometime during the day on non weight training days to maintain its level in my body. I used EAS Phosphagen back in 2008 but am using a different brand of creatine monohydrate now.

    I was doing the same exercises with my weights because I was seeing so much progress.  My weight just kept going up and I was feeling HUGE.  I probably should have changed the exercises earlier because as soon as I did I really felt the difference.  For example, I changed bench press and flyes to incline press and decline press.  So instead of working my pecs from side to side I was working them from top to bottom.  I can feel the difference.  I have since changed most of the exercises and will do so every 2-3 weeks.

    I just wish this gut would get smaller.  I try to just keep saying the mantra, "Progress, not perfection.  Progress, not perfection".

    It's getting late, I gotta go to the gym.  Closes at 9:00 tonight.

  • I do think timing is important.  It is said that by doing your cardio b/f your first meal in the morning, you are burning stored fat vs what you have put in your body "today."  It is supposed to jumpstart your metabolism and therefore help you burn more calories during the day.  

    I am not a morning person either...so it is easy for me to tell you get up early and get your cario in...but I do understand the reality of it.  

    Did you have your %fat checked by someone else or did you do it yourself?  You may want to have someone else do it just to see if you get the same results.  

    Peace and good luck!  

  • Hang in there, like you Idid BFL about 10 years ago. I saw great progress however I didn't see any real change until I was in my 8th week.  I was really frustrated but I kept at it and the weigh dropped off and I was able to reach my goals.

    This time, I started off very well but after about 3 weeks I wasn't seeing much progress.  My meals are about what yours but I decided to make three of my meals a Myoplex shake.  Previously I was doing two a day.  I also switch from the Myoplex to Myoplex Lite and I try to drink my first one shortly after I do my workout.

    Although I'm not a morning person either I did make the decision to work out in the morning.  It's been a real challenge, I try to get to the gym by 5:30.  It's around 6:30 by the time I get home so if I'm really tired I grab a nap before I have to go work.  I don't have to be in until 9 so I can usually get an hour and half in before I have to get ready.  I think of it as a little treat.

    Good luck!

  • Hey long,

    Good on you for sticking with it, because going through plateaus like this can get really frustrating!

    Personally I've found that if I'm not losing weight it's usually because I'm either eating too much or not eating enough... or a little of both...

    What I mean is: you have to continue to adjust your caloric intake as you lose more weight otherwise you won't be in as much of a deficit and therefore won't lose the same kind of weight.

    On the other hand, if you eat too little food for long enough your body will eventually go into starvation mode and your body will hold onto every ounce of fat it can as if your survival depends on it.

    one way to solve both of these problems is to re-evaluate your nutritional needs each week, making sure you're in a moderate caloric deficit, then one to two days per week have a "re-feed" day where you eat at or slightly above your caloric needs to reset your homones.

    There are a couple other very simple things you can do as well that will enhance your results drastically without changing your diet too much because overall it doesn't look too bad.

  • I'm really thinking there is a week 8 miracle for men also.  On 2/22 I weighed 210.  A little over a week later I am at 203.  I guess my body finally gave up resisting.  I really haven't changed anything and I have been getting stronger in the gym.  I'm only having one free meal a week and not feeling hungry.  I even went to a pizza buffet with my kids, ate only salad and didn't feel deprived!  I do at least two of my cardio sessions in the morning now, but I still feel I was able to push harder doing them at night.  I will continue doing them in the morning because I think the results I'm getting will outweigh the tired feeling when I start.  Four more weeks, so I will work harder and see what kind of results I can get!

  • Awesome! the pizza buffet might have even helped to kick-start your metabolism.

  • I'm so glad to hear you are seeing results!  I'm sorry I didn't answer sooner, but I had a few things that have kept me from being online.  One night, I had a response going and the site forum seemed to have crashed, it was weird.  It's not that you haven't had progress, because 7 lbs is a great start!!

    I wanted to tell you to check out this link, it helps explain what is happening in our bodies.  This link talks about why BFL works: hussmanfitness.org/.../TPBodyforLife.html

    This link talks about how are fat loss happens and why we seem frustrated at times:  hussmanfitness.org/.../TSInsideOut.html

    Also, I started my challenge with evening work outs, both cardio and weights.  Anything is better than nothing... once I was on a roll, I tried moving to mornings.  Sometimes it works and other times I go in late.  At the end of the day just get your workout in!  I found that I need to wait about 4 hours before working out.  I had a few times I went earlier and felt with the intensities I was going to hurl... now no one would like that lol...

    Your diet looks good, just make sure you are hitting your protein grams.  How many servings of egg beaters and tuna are you having?  Those were the only two meals that don't look like they cover about 40g.