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  1. #1
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    Default Older Fat Guy Question

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    This question is aimed towards Robert but, all well-considered replies are welcome.

    I'll call myself an older fat guy. I've always struggled with weight control with some periods of success and some periods of failure. Prior to the onset of the Covid lockdowns, I was in a decent period of success. I'm mid 50's and a smidge under 5'8" tall. just prior to Covid, I was hovering around 180 pounds and say around, 18 - 20% BF based on the Navy BF test. My best success with weight control during this time was gained eating a Paleo diet.

    Up until Covid hit, I had about 10 years of time with a personal trainer doing bro workouts. I don't blame the trainer -- his own experience with weight lifting was as a bodybuilder so this is what he knew. Having worked together for so long, the social aspect became as valuable as the physical workouts.

    With the loss of all of the support systems I had built prior to Covid and the mental impact of the disruptions the lockdowns had in my life, my level of caring and nutrition went to shit. By the time Covid ended, I had ballooned up to 240 pounds and according to my Omron BIA scale, about 36% BF. the scale also tells me my visceral fat is way too high. I realize that BIA scales cannot accurately measure visceral fat, however, there is a definite visual confirmation of the issue.

    In late May, I decided to join a Starting Strength gym rather than just beginning a cycle of dieting to shed some body fat. I think in choosing between those two options, I felt that for me, the best benefit would come from getting back in the gym and putting forth some hard effort.

    So, I'm now about two months into the NLP and this is where my lifts are at:

    Squat 125lb -> 205lb
    DL 135lb -> 215lb
    Press 65lb ->120lb
    Bench 105lb -> 165lb

    My squat and deadlift have been hampered a bit the last couple of weeks by a low back strain. I also realize my deadlift number is not great relative to squat. The explanation from my SS coach is simply that my anthropometry just plain sucks for deadlifting (short legs/short arms/long torso). Add in the fact that I require a bit wider stance and grip to accommodate my belly. Basically, my deadlift mechanics just suck. We've been focused on RDLs and rack pulls until my back resolves, given that poor deadlift mechanics are likely what started the back issue in the first place.

    During the last two months, my body weight has pretty much stayed the same, fluctuating by a few pounds. The scale says my BF has dropped by a few percent. There are definitely body comp changes where added muscle mass is visually apparent. I haven't been closely tracking macros and haven't been mentally ready for the task of strictly tracking calories. I know these are both huge blindspots in the dataset that need to be corrected. I have been making a concerted effort to get at least 200 grams of protein per day. I have no idea how many grams of carbs are being consumed and the same goes for fat grams, however, the fat grams are most likely way too high.

    I'm not looking for a free nutrition consult via the forum though. My question actually is:
    Is continuing the NLP to its natural conclusion the best option for what I've described above? The body fat issue is definitely affecting me mentally and physically. I'm physically uncomfortable carrying it around, it's negatively impacting my deadlift mechanics, which are already challenged, and the summer heat and humidity are no joy either. Am I in a situation where I would be better served by cutting calories, for now, maintaining an energy deficit and allow my lifts to stall while I shed 20 - 30 pounds, and use continued strength training to minimize the muscle loss?

    I'd love to hear a macro-level answer for now with the intent of scheduling a consult and possibly some nutrition coaching for a deeper dive into the solution.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2013
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    Glad you found your way over to a SSG. When you mentioned the social aspect I was thinking that was step 1 so you are ahead of me on that. My suggestion is ride out LP, lower your calories so you can shrink your belly and when progress is no longer sustainable on LP you move to something else with your coach. Given your numbers and bodyweight you should be able to lose fat and gain muscle for a bit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Robert, thanks for the response.

    After spending some time learning about somatotypes, I can say I am clearly in the endomorph category. Do you buy into the notion that being of a particular somatotype would be a factor in determining the optimal macro ratios when trying to cut or maintain body fat levels? I've spent some time listening to your podcasts and do find there to be lots of great information in them.

    Based on what I've heard in your podcasts and from your reply above, the approach to take would be to reduce calories below maintenance and continue working the NLP until my lifts stall and then become an "artificial intermediate" until I've lost the desired amount of fat. The caloric deficit would be achieved by setting protein at 1 gram per pound of target bodyweight, reduce fat as much as possible, and start reducing carbs only if fat reduction alone does not produce the desired result. Is that a correct understanding of your recommendations?

    Lastly, is a 300 - 500 daily calorie deficit sufficient if I'm trying to drop 30 - 40 pounds of fat? As to my earlier question, does being an endomorph have any influence on selecting the carbs and fat ratio?

    Thanks again...

  4. #4
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    Yes I do believe in somatotypes although I don't think that anyone is 100% of any. Some fat guys are weak as piss and some skinny guys are real strong. But sure the fat strong guy is probably more common as is the weak skinny guy. Your approach is correct. High protein, lowest fat you can realistically adhere to, and then carbs as needed. 300-500 is a good start and if you are truly an endomorph I'd err on the higher end of that. I don't think that being an endomorph impacts the ratio but it will impact the total calories.

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