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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've decided to cut some belly fat and try to get a more defined physique and it's my first attempt at this. I've got a rough plan so was hoping for any advice. I hate being hungry so I'm going to have to try to work around this by eating healthy and exercising more rather than starving myself.

Normally I probably average about 500 calories of chocolate and 200 calories of crisps a day so first things first I'm cutting those out.
I'm trying to increase my water intake, drinking water whenever I feel slightly peckish and hoping it takes the hunger away.
I really like subway wraps so I'm getting them rammed full with as much veg as they can fit, lettuce, tomato, onion, sweetcorn and cucumber then buying 3 at a time (Tuna mayo / Double Bacon / Chicken) which I'll eat over 2 to 3 days, I'm still having cheese on them for taste.
I quite often eat toasted sandwiches with a lot of lurpak butter (Mackrel, seafood, cheese and tomato) so I'm cutting the cheese and tomato, reducing the butter and only having 1 slice instead of 2 packed with tinned mackrel.
I always get a lot of my calories from smoothies, this is something I'm unsure about as I've read that it's a bad way to cut weight but I'm hoping the fact that they're pretty healthy smoothies will help. I generally use 2 scoops of Huel powder, 1 scoop of protein powder, a dash of extra virgin olive oil, creatine and a few strawberries. I get through about 4 of these smoothies a day.
I regularly skip cardio so I'm trying to do at least 20 minutes / 200 calories on the treadmill at the end of each workout.
I'll buy some low calorie micromeals rather than the standard micromeals that I would eat so that I've got these on the side whenever I fancy a hot meal.
I've heard that apple cider vinegar is good for weight loss so I'll have a few tablets a day.
I often go out about 1-2 times a week and get drunk so I'll try to reduce this to once a week and drink more JD honey with diet coke / coke zero rather than drinking beer.

I estimate that I normally get through about 3,200 calories a day and my weight has been pretty stable at that but I'm thinking that this might bring me down to about 2,700 with an additional 200 calories a day lost on cardio.

Does this seem like a reasonable plan for cutting weight at a moderate pace? Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
 

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Eurgh. Where to start.

Firstly if you eat less than you do now and move a bit more you will lose weight. The rate of weight loss depends on the calorie deficit you achieve- whether that weight loss comes from fat or muscle depends on training and quality of nutrition - you haven't stated stats (hight, weight, bf%, training experience etc) however a number of things you have mentioned around nutrition indicate experience is low. So here is some key points:

1) use a structured strength based resistance training program; depending on experience something like fierce 5 or 5/3/1 BBB may suit your needs. Follow the structure; use the progression protocols to ensure progressive overload. This will ensure you burn fat instead of muscle whilst in deficit - if you're inexperienced you may even build muscle whilst burning fat.

2) don't guess at calorific needs OR intake. Download myfitness pal app and track your calories. Drop down to 2700kcal this week and weigh yourself next Sunday - stick to 2700kcal the following week and weigh yourself the following Sunday. If weight loss between 0.3-1kg stick at 2700. If less than 0.3kg reduce daily kcals by 200. If more than 1kg increase kcals by 200. Remeasure each week and use the above approach to adjust daily calorie intake. If you don't track your consumption you are doomed to failure

3) you say you don't want to feel hungry but then list out absolute junk that is only going to make you feel hungry. Smooties are okay but high calories and non-satiating; microwave meals are full of salt & sugar and subway wraps are just sugary crap that will make you hungry again not long after. I don't care how much veg you put in.

4) eat high quality whole foods; eggs, salads, meats, dairy, fruit & veg. These don't have to be boring - I've posted some good recipes up and Google is a great resource- if you're lazy you can sign up to one of those box meal services like gusto or hello fresh. You'll get way more dietary satisfaction than eating junk in a deficit.

5)drink in moderation, if you must. I always believe its better to give up for 12 weeks and focus on achieving your goals but it depends what's more important to you

6) chocolate, crisps, take aways whatever can be enjoyed in moderation (maybe one small choc bar/crisps per week and 1 take away per month) but deduct these from your daily calorific needs using myfitness pal

7) if you want to avoid feeling hungry f**k off the shakes/smoothies and stick to solid foods. If I was looking to intake 2700kcal per day id personally look at 5 x 500kcal meals + 1 200kcal snack. This is personal preference- other may favour 2 x 1000kcal meals and 3 snacks to make up the rest.

8) eat your fruit and veg. Its good for you. Leafy greens, mushrooms, apples, green beans, carrots, berries all contain vital vitamins and minerals to support your body and health. Make sure you get 5 portions a day, atleast 3 of which are veg - preferable more. Make sure fibre intake is atleast 35g per day. Having a varied diet rich in whole foods will negate the need for dietary supplements like apple cider vinegar.

9) aim for 2g of protien per kg body weight and make up rest of diet from fats and carbs. Prioritise carbs before training. Avoid refined sugars and sodium as far as reasonably practical

10) eat foods you enjoy - you may need to experiment a bit here but I always stress the best strategy is learning to cook foods your enjoy that fit your calorific needs - when cutting your unlikely to be able to do this with microwave meals or take aways
 

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Im going through the same process you are. I used to kill chocolate like it was my job, and in general was a carb monster. I thought I would feel like total s**t if I ever tried to cut down, but honestly it hasn't been bad at all. I am skinny fat from quarantine and decided to cut fat first. Finishing week 10 right now, I started and the scale was 196 - 198, today was a hair over 183. 13 - 15 pounds lost in 10 weeks and I don't really ever feel starving. I actually felt a lot hungrier in general when I was eating a s**t load of sugar.
 

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If you're struggling with chocolate cravings consider either:

A) low calorie hot chocolate like options or galaxy do one

B ) myprotein protien hot chocolate

Failing that dark chocolate is typically less calorie dense than milk chocolate but limit yourself to a couple of squares every few days- when cutting you really wanna use every available calorie on food thats going to satiate hunger and aid recovery
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Eurgh. Where to start.

Firstly if you eat less than you do now and move a bit more you will lose weight. The rate of weight loss depends on the calorie deficit you achieve- whether that weight loss comes from fat or muscle depends on training and quality of nutrition - you haven't stated stats (hight, weight, bf%, training experience etc) however a number of things you have mentioned around nutrition indicate experience is low. So here is some key points:

1) use a structured strength based resistance training program; depending on experience something like fierce 5 or 5/3/1 BBB may suit your needs. Follow the structure; use the progression protocols to ensure progressive overload. This will ensure you burn fat instead of muscle whilst in deficit - if you're inexperienced you may even build muscle whilst burning fat.

2) don't guess at calorific needs OR intake. Download myfitness pal app and track your calories. Drop down to 2700kcal this week and weigh yourself next Sunday - stick to 2700kcal the following week and weigh yourself the following Sunday. If weight loss between 0.3-1kg stick at 2700. If less than 0.3kg reduce daily kcals by 200. If more than 1kg increase kcals by 200. Remeasure each week and use the above approach to adjust daily calorie intake. If you don't track your consumption you are doomed to failure

3) you say you don't want to feel hungry but then list out absolute junk that is only going to make you feel hungry. Smooties are okay but high calories and non-satiating; microwave meals are full of salt & sugar and subway wraps are just sugary crap that will make you hungry again not long after. I don't care how much veg you put in.

4) eat high quality whole foods; eggs, salads, meats, dairy, fruit & veg. These don't have to be boring - I've posted some good recipes up and Google is a great resource- if you're lazy you can sign up to one of those box meal services like gusto or hello fresh. You'll get way more dietary satisfaction than eating junk in a deficit.

5)drink in moderation, if you must. I always believe its better to give up for 12 weeks and focus on achieving your goals but it depends what's more important to you

6) chocolate, crisps, take aways whatever can be enjoyed in moderation (maybe one small choc bar/crisps per week and 1 take away per month) but deduct these from your daily calorific needs using myfitness pal

7) if you want to avoid feeling hungry f**k off the shakes/smoothies and stick to solid foods. If I was looking to intake 2700kcal per day id personally look at 5 x 500kcal meals + 1 200kcal snack. This is personal preference- other may favour 2 x 1000kcal meals and 3 snacks to make up the rest.

8) eat your fruit and veg. Its good for you. Leafy greens, mushrooms, apples, green beans, carrots, berries all contain vital vitamins and minerals to support your body and health. Make sure you get 5 portions a day, atleast 3 of which are veg - preferable more. Make sure fibre intake is atleast 35g per day. Having a varied diet rich in whole foods will negate the need for dietary supplements like apple cider vinegar.

9) aim for 2g of protien per kg body weight and make up rest of diet from fats and carbs. Prioritise carbs before training. Avoid refined sugars and sodium as far as reasonably practical

10) eat foods you enjoy - you may need to experiment a bit here but I always stress the best strategy is learning to cook foods your enjoy that fit your calorific needs - when cutting your unlikely to be able to do this with microwave meals or take aways
Thank you Sir, this has been a very helpful response.

I'm 37 years old, 5 foot 10, 13.3 stone / 84kg with 21.5% bodyfat and 2 years experience of working out.

I appreciate that it's not an ideal diet but I do have to cut some corners as I work 5 and a half days a week and spend 2 hours most days in the gym (I like to have a steam room and a jacuzzi after each session to relax) so I don't feel like I even have time to make the hello fresh meals as my free time is very limited as it is so I'm hoping to lose weight whilst still keeping a balance in my life.

One query though, I didn't think that the food that I was eating was absolute junk. Subway for example has one wrap but other than that it's all meat or fish and veg (granted with a bit of cheese and a dash of sauce) so I can't see how that would be high in sugar or classed as junk? Maybe I'm missing something?

I understand that micro meals are never the best choice either but I just figured if I can buy the ones with a lot of veg and lower calories / saturated fat / Sugar and sodium rather than buying the usual ones I like such as sweet and sour chicken then even if it's not an ideal diet I should slowly lose more weight than I would have otherwise. I've attached an image of a micro meal I had today as it seems to me to be relatively healthy?

I've done a bit of research based on what you said and it turns out that subway wraps actually have more calories 270 - 300 depending on who you ask than a 6 inch 9 grain sub which can have as little as 210 calories, however I did think that stuffing them full of veg would help fill me up with low calorie foods.

I didn't realise that salt can make you hungrier but it seems that research has suggested that salt does just that and can lead to obesity and that the sweet onion sauce that I sometimes use because it's low in fat is instead high in sodium and sugar so I'll have to turn the sauces down when I do eat a subway.

I've downloaded the myfitnesspal app but based on losing 1 pound a week it says I should limit myself to 1,500 calories lol... Maybe I've done something wrong.

Cheers for the tip about hot chocolate, I'm doing OK for chocolate cravings at the moment but if I do get the urge at any point I'm planning to check out the hot chocolate isle instead.

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I am same height as you roughly and have been eating around 2000 calories a day. I do four days a week at the gym. Somedays I eat 2200 others 1800, I have averaged 15lbs lost in 10 weeks now. Granted I had more body fat than you do. Eat proteins and good fats, it does wonders for making you not feel hungry every 10 min.
 
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