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Old 11-26-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
Bridget Kelley
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New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

I started going to a CF affiliate about 6 weeks ago while simultaneously starting back to the zone. I go to my affiliate 3-4 times a week and eat 11 blocks a day separated in 3 3 block meals and 2 1 block snacks. I go strictly by what the book says for measurements of food.
I have made some great strength progress and I know that muscle weighs more than fat, but I have not seen a noticeable decrease in size, clothes fitting more loosely, and the scale only shows a 5# loss.
I know that things take time, but I am really feeling like there should be a noticeable difference by now. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it a matter of 'in the next 2 weeks it will all come together'?
I would appreciate any input as it is very depressing to know I'm stronger but actually look worse in the mirror. (Except for the arms... the arms look better )
Thanks for the help!
Bridget
(Also, I know that I am healthy and have no thyroid issues or anything else that should complicate fat loss)
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
Frank E Morel
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Re: New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

give it another 6 weeks and you will see a difference...
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:04 AM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

Have your performance in the gym and energy levels throughout the day been improving? Are you doing workouts that will lead to muscle gains (i.e. heavy squats/deadlifts/etc) or is your affiliate all metcon, all the time? Cutting back on long metcons in favor of stuff that will encourage muscle-building is generally a good thing.

How's your food quality? Getting your carb blocks from low-GL vegetables>getting them from grains, sugar, etc.

How much do you weigh and how active are you throughout the day outside the gym? 11 blocks is not much food (~1100 calories) so it's possible you're eating too little food and putting your body into starvation mode. Are you hungry throughout the day? If you're eating good food you shouldn't have to starve to lose weight.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:35 AM   #4
Jason Halm
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Re: New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

I'm no expert, but you should probably be eating more.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:48 PM   #5
Bridget Kelley
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Re: New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

Thanks for the responses,

I'm 5'6" or 5'7" depending on how tired I am, weigh about 152# down from 157#. According to the formulas in the back of the zone book I should be at 11 blocks.

I do run around outside of crossfit and have started to incorporate rowing to increase the cardio. My affiliate does a lot of strength training and my deadlifts went from 75# for 3 sets of 5 on 10/19 to 135# for 5 sets of 3 on 11/23.

I know that I've made tremendous gains in strength and that muscle weighs more, etc, but I also know that lean muscle burns more fat. I just thought I would have more fat loss by this time.

I hadn't really thought that I might be putting myself into starvation mode, but I did ramp up really quickly from being largely sedentary for the past 5 years. Seems strange to need to eat more to lose more...

My carb choices are largely good, veggies, berries, very rarely grains. (The sight of 6 cups of lettuce does make me cringe, though.) I do frequently feel hungry or I get the complete reverse and have no interest in food and have to force myself to choke it down.

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:55 PM   #6
Eric Montgomery
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Re: New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

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Originally Posted by Bridget Kelley View Post
Thanks for the responses,

I'm 5'6" or 5'7" depending on how tired I am, weigh about 152# down from 157#. According to the formulas in the back of the zone book I should be at 11 blocks.

I do run around outside of crossfit and have started to incorporate rowing to increase the cardio. My affiliate does a lot of strength training and my deadlifts went from 75# for 3 sets of 5 on 10/19 to 135# for 5 sets of 3 on 11/23.

I know that I've made tremendous gains in strength and that muscle weighs more, etc, but I also know that lean muscle burns more fat. I just thought I would have more fat loss by this time.

I hadn't really thought that I might be putting myself into starvation mode, but I did ramp up really quickly from being largely sedentary for the past 5 years. Seems strange to need to eat more to lose more...

My carb choices are largely good, veggies, berries, very rarely grains. (The sight of 6 cups of lettuce does make me cringe, though.) I do frequently feel hungry or I get the complete reverse and have no interest in food and have to force myself to choke it down.

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!
Yep, it is counterintuitive, but it's often the truth. Especially if you want the strength and lean mass gains to continue. 11 blocks might be fine for a 110lb sedentary woman, but if you're larger than that and active it's just not enough to support activity and recovery.

Keep pushing on the strength gains--aside from helping you gain muscle mass (which will crank up resting metabolism) the extra strength work will result in some positive hormonal changes, improved insulin sensitivity, etc. 135x3x5 on deadlift means you're still in the novice phase and capable of quick gains if you put enough attention into your strength.

I wouldn't resort to extra rowing just to get "more cardio"...in another counterintuitive way, adding in extra endurance work, especially if you're underfed, can have bad effects on your body composition. Do a little reading around about the effects of elevated cortisol on your body wanting to retain fat.

Do a search for "42 ways to skin the zone"--the zone is a good starting point but 40/30/30 is not an absolute truth. A lot of people will perform better and get leaner on a lower carb, higher fat version of the zone. Plus that keeps you from trying to eat a mountain of vegetables to get your blocks in.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:00 PM   #7
Bridget Kelley
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Re: New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
Are you doing workouts that will lead to muscle gains (i.e. heavy squats/deadlifts/etc) or is your affiliate all metcon, all the time?
Ok, I had to look up what metcon was I think we do those (I was subjected to Fran my first day - I can't believe I went back) but not in any huge percentage. That's one reason why I started to increase rowing at home.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:04 PM   #8
Bridget Kelley
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Re: New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

Thanks again for the good input, Eric, I'm going to look into the search you gave me.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:04 PM   #9
Eric Montgomery
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Re: New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

Metcon=pretty much any "for time" or AMRAP workout.

I'd say cut the extra rowing for now, unless it's just nice easy pace to get the blood flowing on a rest day. More work+not enough food=good way to jack up cortisol levels. Just hit your workouts hard at the gym, get stronger, eat more, get enough sleep, and see how that goes.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:32 PM   #10
Bridget Kelley
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Re: New to CF, strict zone, not losing pudge

Thanks!
I feel a lot better about this now. I just read "42 ways to skin the zone" and think I'm going to start cutting back some of the carbs and increasing some fat - if for no other reason then to escape a few 4 cup blocks of raw spinach I'm also going to experiment with going up in blocks and see if that makes a difference.
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