Quest to Lower Body Fat


Hello. I'm a 5 foot 9 153lbs woman with 27% body fat.
I have just started out on the quest to lower my body fat percentage.

I would like to outline below what I am currently doing and find out if I am on the right path. I have lost some weight and lowered my percentage down from 29%, but the progress has slowed slightly.

1)Average daily calories: 1500-1800 calories made up of less than 125 grams of carbs per day. The remainder is protein and healthy fat.

2) 4 days per week weight training with 2 muscle groups per session. Heavy lifting, failure on last rep (average is 8-10 reps, 3 sets) 20 - 30 minutes.

3) 4 days cardio - 20 minutes interval training (approximately 30 seconds maximum with 2 minutes recovery)

If you have any suggestions about revamping my current workout routine, please let me know.

I am not looking for an overnight transformation, but am looking to achieve my desired results in less time. My time frame for the above is probably about 2 months time.

What is the average percentage I should lose in fat in this time period?  Thank you!

Answered By:
Jason Spencer, CSCS

Jason Spencer Online Personal Training

In 2 months a realistic decrease in body fat percentage for you can definitely be about 10% with the right routine, intensities, and frequency...

From what you have described about your routine and eating habits, there are a couple things I would say may be giving you some problems and might not necessarily be the right things to do.

Your carbohydrates and or total calories in general may be too low considering how often you are working out per week...

A lot of exercise and physical activity requires sufficient amounts of calories both for fuel and for purposes of helping to stimulate a fast and most effective metabolism.

Too little calories inhibits the level of energy you can put into your workouts, and also does not give your body enough of what it needs to learn how to burn.

Second, your strength routine seems to be too conducive to muscle building which can inhibit your weight loss because you have too much of a chance that you're putting on some muscle.

Even if you may not necessarily be seeing it. Muscle gains put weight back on you and hide the lost fat pounds, making you seem like you're not losing as much or as fast.

If you are failing at only 8 to 10 reps, this means your weights are too heavy and can possibly stimulate muscle growth.

Lastly, your cardio is on the right track with the interval training... But, it should probably be up over 20 minutes of activity to cause you to burn larger amounts of calories each time and more importantly give your body a better stimulus to learn to rev it's metabolism up more permanently.. 

A little programming would serve you greatly in regards to accomplishing all your fitness goals. I just sent you an email as I hope to be able to assist you more thoroughly! I would evn love to learn more specific details about your exact routine and exercise habits to be able to offer you a structured program if you would be interested in doing so...

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