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Help needed with body fat loss & muscle growth

drewfromriscadrewfromrisca Posts: 1,165
I'm struggling big time to lose the last bit of fat off my belly and hips (aka love handles) and also im noticing that I'm not gaining any muscle mass on my legs at all. I'm 32, 5'10" weight fluctuates between 67-69 kg and I have a 10.7% body fat. I'm lean all over my body except for the places mentioned above. My training consists of approx 5 days worth of 25-30 mile rides which I fit some intervals into and one day of a long ride up to 50 miles (can't do much longer due to dad duties for 6month old).

My diet is extremely good as I'm a bit of a health/quality food nut as heart disease runs in the family and my dad is severly affected due to a stroke and I don't want to end up like that. My breakfast consists of fruit salad ie banana, nectarine, figs, blueberries, melon, apple in a bowl with small amount of almonds & walnuts and a small sprinkle of agave nectar. A snack will be another piece of fruit like orange or mango slices. Lunch will be homemade salad no dressing just olive oil & lemon juice, another day it'll be scrambled eggs. Dinner is difficult because at moment I'm living with in laws and they are typical Americans with fatty, salty, processed food so I tend to try make dinner before they get to it or I starve & snack on more fruit. I typically try to stick to a paleo type diet & I'm lactose intolerant too!!! If I make dinner it's usually fish or turkey breast with vegetables, pasta occasionally & def no bread as I'm not a fan of it. I'll also make a small salad with it.

I know this is quite long post but I'm racking my brains on how I'm going wrong & I'm sure I've left something out!
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Posts

  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    If you want to gain muscle, lift heavy weights. Cycling won't help much.

    If you want to lose weight, eat less. You cannot target specific areas for fat loss.
  • colsoopcolsoop Posts: 217
    10.7% body fat is very good so nice one on that.

    You will have to target those areas with specific exercises In order to lose that last bit of fat.

    Get a gym ball and a medicine ball and you can work out at home.

    Russian twists. Side and back raises and balance work will hopefully get rid of that last bit of fat from those areas (within reason) although genetics play their part.

    Have a search for gym ball ab exercises.

    The same principle for the legs, you have to add resistance to build muscle coupled with the right fuelling to repair afterwards.

    Looking at your diet although very healthy it looks to be quite low in protein maybe try adding an extra portion of fish or lean meat during your lunch.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    A diet apparently so low in protein, and rich in fruit sugar is not perhaps what I'd call extremely good.
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  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    You could replace some of the fruit which is afterall quite carb rich with veg or low fat protein sources - ie swap some of breakfast for egg. Nuts are fat rich and nutritionally good but easy to overdo. good quality bread is no worse than pasta - as long as its sensible quantities.- in fact wholegrain bread is probably richer in trace elements, vitamins etc than pasta which after all is pretty refined starch.
    You could also increase your calorie burn by doing a bit more cycling - not intervalls - something sustained, medium pace.
    But to be honest going lower on your body fat is probably not necessary and could harm your health long term.
    If you want muscle mass (not very helpful for cyclists) do gym weights , lots of sets, 10 - 12 reps at a time. If you want strength (but little growth) - do 3-4 sets per muscle group at low reps 4-6 with heavy weights - but you need to build up to this over a peroid of months and neither will help your cycling endurance directly.
  • ..snip.. and also im noticing that I'm not gaining any muscle mass on my legs at all.. snip.. My training consists of approx 5 days worth of 25-30 mile rides which I fit some intervals into and one day of a long ride up to 50 miles!
    Your biggest issue seems to be that your training isn’t training – it’s just rides with some random intervals. It’s nothing to do with the distance, it’s what you do with the time around a structured plan. And you wonder why you’re not developing.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    colsoop wrote:
    You will have to target those areas with specific exercises In order to lose that last bit of fat.

    Get a gym ball and a medicine ball and you can work out at home.

    Russian twists. Side and back raises and balance work will hopefully get rid of that last bit of fat from those areas (within reason)

    Utter bolleaux
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    P_Tucker wrote:
    Cycling won't help much.
    .

    Except maybe develop a bit of endurance-related hypertrophy :wink:

    Agree absolutely about not being able to target fat and eating less.

    Sure you don't have a bit of body dysmorphia going on? 10% fat seems pretty low. A friend has very low fat levels but is convinced she's fat. What she calls fat, most of the rest of us would call skin. You might be able to exercise to increase definition in that area
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    P_Tucker wrote:
    Cycling won't help much.
    .

    Except maybe develop a bit of endurance-related hypertrophy :wink:

    Note careful choice of the word "much".
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    P_Tucker wrote:
    P_Tucker wrote:
    Cycling won't help much.
    .

    Except maybe develop a bit of endurance-related hypertrophy :wink:

    Note careful choice of the word "much".

    Note careful choice of the emoticon " :wink: " :D
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • NairnsterNairnster Posts: 602
    The Bounce wrote:
    ..snip.. and also im noticing that I'm not gaining any muscle mass on my legs at all.. snip.. My training consists of approx 5 days worth of 25-30 mile rides which I fit some intervals into and one day of a long ride up to 50 miles!
    Your biggest issue seems to be that your training isn’t training – it’s just rides with some random intervals. It’s nothing to do with the distance, it’s what you do with the time around a structured plan. And you wonder why you’re not developing.

    It's still exercise though, and if I was doing that much, and eating fairly healthily, i would expect some weight loss, and some strength and muscle gain probably

    To the OP though, do you actually have a calorie deficit, as it sounds like you are eating a whole lot of fruit, which has natural sugars in.
  • P_Tucker wrote:
    colsoop wrote:
    You will have to target those areas with specific exercises In order to lose that last bit of fat.

    Get a gym ball and a medicine ball and you can work out at home.

    Russian twists. Side and back raises and balance work will hopefully get rid of that last bit of fat from those areas (within reason)

    Utter bolleaux


    Despite his lack of tact in how he said it.... ^- what he said.

    You can't 'target' weight loss in specific body areas.
  • MdheatonMdheaton Posts: 10
    Fat loss requires you to be using up more calories than you're taking in. Muscle gain requires you to be taking in more calories than you're using up. It's very difficult to do both effectively at the same time: you're better off concentrating on fat burn for a few months, then switching your diet and upping your calorie intake for muscle gain.

    As has been said, it looks like you're eating a lot of fruit, which is virtually all sugar- good for your heart though it may be! I would up your fat and protein intake, the easiest way to do that would be to eat more meat. It sounds counterintuitive but fat is not your enemy when trying to lose weight as it's less calorie dense than carbohydrates and fills you up for longer.
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Fat is about twice the calories gram for gram as far as I know. Protein is about the same as carbs but requires more energy to utilise.
  • SimonhiSimonhi Posts: 229
    On guys, where fat stores are the first to accumulate (belly, hips / saddlebags) they are also the last to diminish.

    You cannot target specific area fo fat loss, it is an overall loss that you will notice.

    10% is quite low, keep to a slightly lower / less sugar intake and it will drop slowly, going less than 5% will yield striated muscle and the last of the gut will go, although I can't think there is much bagginess at 10%.
  • MattMTBMattMTB Posts: 95
    Mdheaton wrote:
    fat is not your enemy when trying to lose weight as it's less calorie dense than carbohydrates and fills you up for longer.

    I agree with most of what you wrote but this part is not true. IIRC carbs give around 7 calories per gram and fat gives around 9 calories per gram - therefore fat is more calorie dense (hence filling you up for longer).

    Fat certainly isn't the enemy in weight loss though - evidenced by my brother who lost over 2 stone eating only pork scratchings, bacon, butter, chicken and tuna whilst on an Atkins diet (I wouldn't recommend this though - a quick fix which does no good in the long run).

    To the OP - I would concur with others that you are eating far too much fruit to lose weight. Switch out some fruit for vegetables and switch your breakfast to eggs or oats with lactose-free milk or similar. Fruit is really not good for losing weight for someone of your relative lean-ness. If you were 30 stone and swapped pizzas for fruit it would probably work for a while but not at your size.

    Cheers,
    Matt
  • If your stomach is having problem losing the fat, do you do any core exercises? Some good weight crunches and general core training should sort out the middle area in terms of fat.

    Be careful of the people saying not to eat certain types of food, such as cutting carbs to drop fat quick. It works in the short term, but once you ingest the types of food again you gain everything and more back extrmely quick.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    what weights can I lift to get rid of my fat core?
  • brettjmccbrettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    Mdheaton wrote:
    Fat loss requires you to be using up more calories than you're taking in. Muscle gain requires you to be taking in more calories than you're using up. It's very difficult to do both effectively at the same time: you're better off concentrating on fat burn for a few months, then switching your diet and upping your calorie intake for muscle gain.

    To qualify before I say this, its my understanding, not scientific at all...

    You also have to have the correct food to help promote muscle growth, its not just down to calories, you require Protein and the correct Amino Acids at the right time and constantly. Yes, sure you need to take in more energy, but it has to be the correct energy/fuel. As someone said above the OP seems to have a very light protein intake. He makes no mention of recovery procedure after a ride, which I personally still believe having come from a weight lifting background, is the key time to take in the necessary nutrients to help repair the stressed system.
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  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    Tom Dean wrote:
    what weights can I lift to get rid of my fat core?

    A handful of celery and a glass of water
  • gilesjukgilesjuk Posts: 340
    Just wear a girdle :D
  • P_Tucker wrote:
    Tom Dean wrote:
    what weights can I lift to get rid of my fat core?

    A handful of celery and a glass of water

    :lol:
  • Ber NardBer Nard Posts: 827
    A good diet is easily ruined by getting p!ssed up every weekend.

    Rob
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    MattMTB wrote:
    IIRC carbs give around 7 calories per gram
    YDNRC. It's 4.
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  • drewfromriscadrewfromrisca Posts: 1,165
    Ok 1st off cheers for the many replies!!!!!! Wow!!!! 2nd, I haven't read through any of them yet (time difference) so I'll get to it asap but thanks!
    There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday...

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
  • rsturborsturbo Posts: 109
    Diet is FAR to high on fruit. If your glycogen levels are full in your muscles and liver (which yours no doubt are) the fructose in the fruit you eat will be quickly converted into fatty tissue.
    Eat a diet high in quality protein around 1.5g per kg and complex carbs, YAAS, oatmeal, wholemeal bread etc plenty of veg and some fruit.
    Get in the gym 3 times a week and do basic compound movements, squat, bench press, deadlift etc and progress your weights every week 5*5 each movement hitting each bodypart once per week.
    You will put on lean muscle if you exceed your daily calorie intake for your current weight and your ridin will take care of the cardio.
    It's all about diet!
    Try and eat small portions every 2-3 hours.

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  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 7,649
    rsturbo wrote:
    Get in the gym 3 times a week and do basic compound movements, squat, bench press, deadlift etc and progress your weights every week 5*5 each movement hitting each bodypart once per week.!
    Hmm. Some might say that time on the bike would be a better use of time, unless vanity is a greater priority than getting faster on the bike.
  • drewfromriscadrewfromrisca Posts: 1,165
    Yea I was thinking that the fruit was a bit much, I'll have another go at the oats for breakfast. I used to eat them daily but found I was starving again quite quick. I do have eggs now and then for breakfast but luckily I like them a lot so I'll try doing them more often too. I do do core work, it's nothing to do with the bike though before we get into that argument it's because I need a hip replacement so I do them to help with that.

    As for one contributor mentioning 'structure' to my training, it's not been too structured at the moment what with a new baby and moving over here from the UK but I'm getting on top of that now and starting to do some sensible training.

    To be honest I'm probably being a bit censored about it really but it's just annoying when you work hard (or try to) at something and it doesn't seem to be going away!!!!!

    As for the muscle mass topic, I think I worded that wrong. What I meant was muscle mass on my legs. They are so skinny it's unreal and when I was running they were much bigger. I saw a pic of me y'day running & my quads were huge compared to now! I would hope it to be other way round :lol:

    Thanks for all the advice etc, I'll put the suggestions to practice and see what the outcome is. Oh btw I know to lose weight I need calorie deficit but calculating what I'm eating daily and I'm definitely getting the deficit. Was wondering if my body was shutting down the fat loss to go into preserve mode maybe :?:
    There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday...

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
  • Do more crouches and situps. Have a well balanced easy healthy meals of low carb and high protein foods. You cannot target a specific part of your body to lose fat.
  • huuregeilhuuregeil Posts: 780
    rsturbo wrote:
    Get in the gym 3 times a week and do basic compound movements, squat, bench press, deadlift etc and progress your weights every week 5*5 each movement hitting each bodypart once per week.!
    Hmm. Some might say that time on the bike would be a better use of time, unless vanity is a greater priority than getting faster on the bike.

    Yes, but the OP is not trying to go faster, he/she is trying to lose fat and gain muscle, and, in the context of time pressures, a couple of gym sessions a week would be an excellent plan, rsturbo is spot on.
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