Weight Loss Guide

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  • #45505
    dbdmilton
    Participant

    Hi all,
    Need some guidance. I’m currently 33 years old, 84kg, 181cm tall and sitting at approx.13% body fat.
    I’m fairly fit and training for Alpinism. My targets at the moment is to get my AeT above 145bpm (its at 133 currently) and push my onsite grade to E3/Scottish Winter 4.
    I’m a fair drive from the mountains (2.5hours) and have a 6 month old, but have a good home gym (incline trainer, 45degree garage bouldering wall etc).

    My question is this…getting fitter, stronger, more efficient is one half of the battle but I feel I’m missing the other side. If I’m lighter I have less weight to haul up to summits.
    According to Lattice training, a good BMI for me would be 20, which at my height would mean a drop of roughly 18kg. Im aware im carrying too much fat, but even if I trim to a healthy fat %…I’ve still got 10kg of extra muscle I don’t need!

    So how do I solve this issue? If I continue my climbing based training and TFTNA max strength guidance, it seems to be promoting my body to hold on to muscle, not burn it down to something more efficient.
    Anyone got any advice?

  • Keymaster
    Shashi on #45517

    Relevant forum topics that you might find helpful –

    Training to lose weight and

    Losing weight while training without being stupid

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #45536

    I think it’s dangerous to look at only one metric. Much better to compare them. It’s not just weight to be concerned with, but strength-to-weight or power-to-weight.

    BMI is not a useful metric, because it doesn’t account for body composition, just height versus weight. As much as I love the fantasy of what I could do at a BMI of 20, I don’t think I could get there unless I atrophy one (upper or lower) half of my body. I’ve both rock climbed and skimo raced at a high level, and I’ve never been below 22. When not seriously training, I’m usually at 23.

    13% is not outrageous. It may be worth getting into the single digits if you can do so in a healthy, gradual way, but again ratios are more important than metrics.

    Participant
    DominicProvost on #45543

    I’d prioritize getting rid of aerobic deficiency, it might be enough to allow you to achieve your goals without having to be hungry. It might also make a change in your body composition, and allow you to lose fat more easily later on.

    Losing weight is tricky and you don’t want body composition to be a temporary thing. You also don’t want to be in such a big caloric deficit that you jeopardize your health and fitness. I also think being in a caloric deficit is extremely uncomfortable, demotivating, doesn’t feel good, is very hard to sustain and generally fucking sucks.

    Do the math. If you eat at a maintenance level and train for mountaineering, the food you eat will go into replenishing glycogen you used and healing muscle tissue you broke down. The muscles you don’t use as much as you used to will atrophy, and some of the fat that’s lying on your body will get used to fuel efforts when you’re at a slightly more depleted point of your day. Body recomposition doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s just the result of wise training over time. Trying to make things happen fast (like loosing a bunch of weight to send a project or win a competition, or trying to race the tour de france*) isn’t healthy, probably hurts you in the long run and is where things get tricky.

    *It wasn’t mentioned in the UA podcast about grit, but the performance oriented starving these athletes go through is incredible. Look it up but also understand that you’re not trying to win the tour de france and that these guys are absolutely willing to jeopardize their health to perform at that level.

    Participant
    briguy on #45572

    As someone who easily gains mass (muscle or fat) I get the OP’s POV.

    When I first began marathon training 10 years ago, my weight-lifter physique changed dramatically without any alteration to my diet. I dropped 30lbs during that first cycle.

    Since then however my metabolism has altered to become so much more efficient I struggle to get to “racing weight” even with 50+ mpw and 15+ hours per week of training. I’m sitting at about 10% fat right now so it’s not like I’m overfat. Granted, I know I’d be faster if I could lose another 5-10lbs but it’s not as essential/concerning to me now as it was when I was trying to meet a BQ time goal. In a road marathon, it’s been estimated that each extraneous pound is about equivalent to 2 second per mile at marathon pace. So an extra 5lbs is huge when you miss a BQ by <90 seconds.

    So my TLDR is alot of it depends on your goals/interest but only sometimes is getting to “race weight” worth the stress/trouble.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #45599

    Agreed, but race weight is not training weight.

    I think it’s worthwhile to think in three categories:

    – Lifestyle Weight: Left to unmonitored habits, what happens
    – Training Weight: A weight that is maintained throughout a training cycle that your body responds well to and is supported by good habits.
    – Race Weight: A weight that is temporarily sustainable for goal events that aids performance

    Participant
    briguy on #45614

    That’s a good way to look at it.

    One thing that has kept me sane in the last 6mo of fighting weight is that while I’m at least 5lbs from Race Weight, my bodyfat % has been closer to what it was when I was actually at race weight. So I suspect my emphasis on ME & strength has contributed to at least 5lbs of muscle in my legs and core. Meaning my power-to-weight ratio is probably higher.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #45701

    Of note, Indurain raced at a BMI of 23.

    photo of Miguel Indurain during a time trial

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