I’m 22 years old, male, 5’5’’, 142 lbs, fairly strong and muscular and have been training for a few years now. My caliper tells me I’m 9% Bodyfat, that seems a bit low, but I certainly have Abs so it’s probably close to that range.
Anyways, I was interested in finally stripping a few pounds of fat to have a much better looking stomach. For whatever reason, I’ve always seemed to hold more fat on my stomach. My folds are around 6 to 9 for chest/thighs, but stomach it’s always like 15+. I really want to personally achieve that six-pack figure so I think a few more pounds would do. Those are my goals.
The V-Diet caught my eye but I’m unsure if it’s meant for me. It seems most people who do it are more in the 20+% BF and is meant to drop a lot of fat from those who do have a good amount to lose.
Also, it seems the whole purpose of the V-Diet is to “restart” healthy eating and “detox” from bad foods. I actually eat really well, haven’t had any sugars in months, and I never crave fast food or anything like that much. If that’s one of the biggest benefits, I’m not sure it even applies much.
So would you guys recommend it for me? I don’t know if Chris frequents the forum but if you’re reading, what do you think? If not, any ideas on what plan I should follow to just eliminate those last few pounds and get a smaller stomach fold?
@305pelusa - happy to offer some input. Are you able to post pics? 5’5" at 142lbs does sound lean indeed, but if you’re 142 at 5’5" and still don’t have a visible 6 pack, then you’re most definitely above 9% body fat. 9-10% body fat is a clear visible 6 pack, in any light, without flexing. Not a rock hard 6 pack, but you should have no problem seeing all abs below 10%. Additionally if your stomach is 15+ on the calipers, definitely more than 9%. If you can post a pic it would be helpful to give more input.
If you wanted to get those visible abs you may need to get down to 134-135lbs, at 5’5", you may wind up looking more skinny/lanky than built. Again, pics would be helpful! Just for comparison, I am 5’4" and my competing stage weight is 140lbs.
What’s your current training plan, cardio, and nutrition? Without knowing what you’ve been doing and what you’re currently doing in those aspects, it’s hard to provide specific, quality feedback.
The V-Diet might be a good choice, or you may benefit more from tweaking nutrition, maybe adding some HOT-ROX, and adjusting your training and cardio. Either way, if you can post some pics, or at least current training, cardio and nutrition, that would be helpful for sure.
Hey thanks for the answer!
I’m sorry if I was confusing. My abs absolutely show. My top and middle abs are fairly prominent, but I just always hold a lot of fat toward the bottom. I want to get the stomach fold to a 10 if possible.
I can post pictures, that’s probably a better indication than some Caliper formula. I’m not sure what’s most helpful though. I’m guessing front/side without flexing, first thing in the morning? I can post them tomorrow morning, no problem.
My training is all Calisthenics based. I don’t compete in gymnastics but did it in college and just stuck to it. I’ve worked up to pretty hard stuff over the years so it’s not just push-ups and pull-ups.
I’m not currently doing any cardio. Have been trying a more lean-bulk approach to gain muscle. My question is because in the near future, I would like to cut some of the fat. I think cardio would make sense then?
Nutrition is pretty on point I think. I get 175 g protein/ 275 g carbs/ 100 g of Fats and get pretty close every day. 2700 calories seems to be the sweet spot where I’m gaining like 0.2 lbs a week but the caliper seems to say fat isn’t increasing.
I could tweak nutrition, I’m just scared muscle will be lost in the process I suppose. I don’t know. I don’t know much about fat loss, never tried it in my life haha.
If you can see your 4 pack but not a 6 pack, you’re probably somewhere in the 13-15% range, or, you might just not have enough muscle mass in your abs to see a 6 pack. For pics, yes front and side are fine, make sure to stand up straight and have clear lighting, preferably from the front.
Without seeing pics, my initial reaction is to say you probably don’t have enough muscle to get really lean and look muscular. If you’re 142 at 5’5" and have a 4 pack, do mostly calisthenics and aren’t into consistent weight training, you may need to get down to 130 even to get the conditioning you want. It might be a good idea to focus more on your training and slowly adding lean mass, which will make it easier to lose fat when you’re ready, and will also unveil a better physique when you get there.
After you post some pics it’ll be easier to give a recommendation on where to go from here
Woke up at 143 lbs, with 7 mm chest, 16 mm stomach and 10.5 mm thigh. Supposedly that’s 9.2% BF so I don’t know. I’m sure a lot is water weight since I try to drink a lot of water (~gallon daily) and do use creatine.
Anywho, here are the pictures. I didn’t realize just how unflattering a not-flexed picture can be haha
So I think I’m going to stick to this very slow lean bulk for a few more weeks to see if I can reach 145 while still keeping the stomach fold at around 16.
My question is what I’ll have to do after that. I think if I lose 4-5 lbs of fat, my abs would be much more visible. I just don’t know if the Velocity Diet is a good call for that. It seems like it’s used mostly by people with much more fat and as a way to re-set their eating habits so idk how applicable it is for me.
And if anybody else has any insight as to whether the V-Diet is a good choice, I’m all ears. I guess I was hoping Chris himself frequented the forum but it looks like he might not as much? I don’t know.
Good details. I’m guessing your BF is ~12-13%, the calipers might say differently. Ultimately, I think body fat percentage is irrelevant for our purposes. Are you happy with your conditioning, or do you want to be leaner? Since you’ve already mentioned your goal is to get tighter, it’s not like you’re going to change your mind based on the calipers. Ultimately I do think your measurements may be off. 9% you should see clear shoulder cuts, tighter abs. 5-6% is close to bodybuilding stage-ready, and I think you’re more than a few pounds away from that.
Regarding the water weight comment, the amount of water you drink daily isn’t really a factor to your weight if you drink roughly the same amount. Your body gets used to regulating the amount of water you take in, so it’s not like drinking more water adds more water weight. It’s actually the opposite, the most effective way to lose water weight is to drink more water, so your body has no reason to hold on to extra water it may be retaining. Water loading is a common practice during peak week for bodybuilders. The creatine, unless you very recently started taking it, shouldn’t be a factor either.
Overall, I wouldn’t obsess over your stomach fold, the calipers and your percentage. Make your decisions based on your mirror and your progress pictures.
Yes if you lost 4-5 lbs I think your abs would definitely be more visible. While the V-Diet would help, unless you’re in a serious time crunch, I think you might do well to focus your training to build more muscle, keep your diet in check at maintenance, and let the muscle fill you out more. I wouldn’t be so concerned with reaching 145 or a specific number, maybe just start a solid training program, eat at maintenance, take weekly progress pics and keep track of the weight. If you get to 145, you may find you’re looking tighter than you look now, and wouldn’t mind continuing to see what you look like at 146 or 147.
I’ve done the V-Diet and a couple of variations on the V-Diet, and it is certainly a great tool and would be helpful, but just IMO I think you’re right that mostly
it definitely can be, and has been, used by leaner folks who want to get even leaner, but if you have the discipline to execute a consistent nutrition plan geared towards your goals, just my opinion, I don’t think you need to do the full blown V-Diet.
If you wanted to keep cutting and implement a V-Diet style approach, you could have a Metabolic Drive shake for breakfast (there are recipes on the page if you scroll down), a solid pre and post workout meal, and Mag-10 between meals.
My plan was absolutely to continue my lean bulk. I’m not sure until when, but the surplus does wonders for my strength and recovery and Lean Body Mass gains have been consistent every week so I want to continue until I get stuck. I’ve been taking pictures and I do notice positive changes. I started at 132 at the beginning of the summer.
My question was me planning well ahead in advance haha. I envision trying to lose weight perhaps 4-8 weeks down the line and I want to make sure I have a good plan for when the time comes.
So I’m still a bit confused. I know for sure I want to continue trying to gain muscle if I can at a conservative caloric surplus. But at some point, I would like to lose as much fat as I can without losing muscle (I guess that’s what we all want haha). I just want to know if the V-Diet is a good choice for that. It sounds like it could be, but a better choice would be to go on a simple caloric deficit it sounds like?
I don’t particularly care about the V-Diet, I just have no idea what the best choice for cutting a few pounds of fat in a short time is and preserving all muscle. Is a 500 calorie daily deficit with regular food a better choice?
Yeah, I think given your current level of conditioning, I think it would be easier and more manageable/enjoyable to calculate a deficit, beef up your cardio, rather than the full blown V-Diet, especially if you have the discipline to stick to a nutrition plan consistently.
If you’re looking to bulk, I HIGHLY recommend Micro-PA. This supplement was a game changer for me when I started it years ago, and I still use it every day!
Is it cool if I ask you a couple of guidelines about that? Most of the fat loss advice I see online is for people with much more fat or for the competitive BBer (and hence end up looking rather complex, with water/IF/carb backloading methods that I’m afraid I will screw up).
I’ve read that 3500 calories equals a pound of fat. So then I’m thinking a 500 calorie daily deficit means one pound lost a week. Do that for 4 weeks, and I should hopefully lose 4 pounds of fat. I would move macros around to hit maybe closer to 1.5-2 g of protein per lb BW. Is that a good, effective plan?
Also, how do you guys judge if you lose muscle in the process? I might not be great with the caliper and judging pictures so I’m hoping there’s a way through judging muscle circumference perhaps?
I’ll look into Micro-PA and Hot-Rox as you mentioned earlier. Thanks, I just need a bit of clarification but you’ve been extremely helpful already
Absolutely man, feel free to tag me anytime. Losing fat really doesn’t need to be complicated, some folks like to make it seem more difficult than it really is and get engulfed in minutia, when the principles are simple. Create a caloric deficit, distribute macros properly, and don’t stop until you reach your goal.
In short, yes, a good effective plan. 3500 cals is roughly a pound of fat, but it can be more involved than that, it’s not like if you create a 500 cal deficit you’ll guaranteed lose a pound of pure fat per week. But, it’s a great place to start, look in the mirror, take pics, monitor your weight, you’ll definitely continue to get leaner. Getting lean, especially the leaner you get, is not a linear process. Meaning, there will be fluctuations. You may execute the same exact plan for four weeks, and each week will yield different results in terms of the scale weight movement and body composition. So, it’s important to take a slow and steady approach, collect as much data as you can (pictures, weight log, etc.) and learn what works best for you.
I think 1.5g protein is the highest you’d want to go. It’s not like 2g is bad, but really 1g per pound is all that’s necessary to maintain and build mass, so if you keep protein lower, you leave more room for fats and carbs. Sometimes it’s necessary to lower carbs, depending on the individual, in which case, you could raise fats and protein some. But, IMO 2g per pound is too much. Having done contest preps with protein ranging from 1g per pound up to 1.8g per pound, I can tell you at least for me, closer to 1g yielded better results and allowed me to keep in more carbs and fats, which were essential and really improved my mood and composition.
I’d recommend protein between 1g-1.2g, fats at 20-25% or total caloric intake, and fill the rest with carbs. That’d be a good starting point, and you can adjust from there.
I don’t do it by measuring body fat, there still wouldn’t be a way to know from that, plus I pretty much never measure body fat because what matters above all is how I look and if I am achieving the desired level of conditioning I want. But, on a proper cut, you shouldn’t lose mass and strength loss should also be very minimal. To ensure you don’t lose precious LBM:
-Consume at least 1g protein per pound. Keep in mind more isn’t better, it’s not like 2g per pound will help you keep MORE muscle or something, doesn’t work that way. Just consume enough and you’ll be fine.
-Keep lifting heavy during your cut and give your muscles a reason to hang around.
-Don’t over-do it on the cardio, only do as much as you need to. If you do cardio after your weight session (my preferred method) don’t do more than 20-30 minutes. If you need to do more than that daily, split it up into two sessions. Once I need to do more than 20-30 minutes, I add a separate session in the morning, starting at 20min.
-If your strength stays consistent and doesn’t drop, or at least doesn’t drop significantly, you haven’t lost any LBM. Again, keep lifting heavy to maintain strength and muscle tissue.
Unless you take a DEXA scan there’s no way to know exactly how much muscle tissue you’re starting and ending with, but if you follow those principles, you can rest assured your LBM is fine. All of my contest preps, strength has maintained and only dips at the very last couple weeks when I’m doing like 2 hours of cardio a day and am at basement calories and carbs. At that point, making it home alive is my goal!
Micro-PA is fantastic in both a bulk and a cut. If you’re trying to gain, it’ll certainly help you put on quality mass. In a cut, I think of it as “muscle insurance”, because you may not gain any mass on a hard cut, but Micro-PA will certainly help you keep what you have! It’s been a staple for me and I believe has played a role in helping me develop solid size and strength for someone of my height and weight that’s a natural competitor (5’4", 140lbs stage weight.)
Again feel free to tag anytime. If you really want to get diced and learn more, hiring a coach may be something to consider.
Absolutely. This all makes perfect sense. I will continue onwards with the lean bulk trying to keep the increase to around 0.25 lbs per week. And once the time comes where I want to get rid of some fat, I will follow these basic guidelines. I understand the mirror and the scale are the most important when it comes to understanding what’s happening. And as long as I train damn hard and consume about 140 g of P, I won’t worry about muscle loss.
Once again, I appreciate the help immensely. Looking at the V-Diet (around 1600 calories), I think it might be a poor choice for me and my goals.
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