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I am almost 24 and I have to confess that I have been overweight for past 24 years :( I never did any serious sport and never had regular workouts either. I spent most of my life behind a PC or game consoles and also sitting in class!

Let me give you a bit of my history.

My peak weight was ~120kg when I was 17...that year I went crazy and I ate almost nothing in during that summer (Well I can't recall what did I do exactly...) by end of that summer I was about 90 kilos and I managed to keep myself at that weight until a year ago when I graduated and started to work as an electrical engineer (Just to tell you I sit in lab or behind a PC about 8 hours a day). This caused me to go up again to 102kg, I decided to lose weight again but this time I followed a better diet. I forbid a lot of things like any drinks, pizza, fast food, rice and stuff like that...so I mainly went for vegetables and meat (mostly chicken fillet, beef and fish).

I also started jogging and for the past 80 days I almost did about 2 or 3km, 5 times a week and I started to use my bike and also my feet to go around (shopping, work and ...) instead of my car or public transport. Also I never went to GYM :(

At the moment I am 1.83cm tall and 88 kilos. My problem is that I lost most of my fat from around my chest and specially my face...I used to look quite good (hehe chicks always liked my face but never my fatso body :P) and now I can feel my skull under my skin!!!

From belly and love handles and bottom!! almost I feel I did not lose anything...well of course I did but I feel that I just scaled down a bit and still have the same proportions like before :( I only lost 2 size of jeans...I wear 36/36 now but I went from XL and XXL to L for T shirts.

What is my problem? I jogged for about 3 months and I did not drink/eat any food that you could consider fattening.... What should I do?

Please let me know if you need more info about me. Hope to get some nice answers from you guys.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Sean, it's important to keep exercising, add muscle building to your routine, etc., but is there a specific answer to your question? Why there?

As Berin mentions, "you" can't target where your body loses fat from. Indeed, "you" can't control your heart beat, for example.

But ... something in your body controls your heart beat.

And, something in your body controls where the fat is going on or off.

What is that "something"? It is your hormones, and I'm going to guess specifically your sex hormones.

As an engineer you'll be pleased to know the problem is rational, solvable, and you can do something about it, but first you'll need to gather a lot of information and have a lot of theory on your side before you have practice on your side.

in short, it seems that the trio of your

  • sex hormones
  • growth hormones
  • insulin

must remain in balance. Note that your sex hormones do much more than erect your penis, and your growth or "repair" hormones do much more than allow young people to grow.

In short, if your insulin level is too high, in fact your sex hormone level must be too low.

If insulin goes up, your sex hormones (and/or growth hormones) must go down.

I direct you to Leben Ohne Brot or in English Life Without Bread by Dr Wolfgang Lutz. As soon as the book arrives from Amazon, turn to page 22 and study the chapter on hormone balance, and then the following chapter on insulin resistance curves (interestingly enough some of the charts therein are time series ECG charts, which you will appreciate given your profession!)

anabolic hormone balance

Image from page 25 of this book.

Here's a dramatic example of the issue of "where" fat deposits happen.

This woman injected two spots on her upper legs with insulin for many years. Two unusual fat deposits grew at exactly the sites of injection!

unusual fat deposits

That is from this book which you should also check out.

Once again, something in your body controls where the fat is going on and off.

What is that something? Your hormonal balance.

My guess, your sex hormones. Your sex hormones, growth hormones, and insulin, must stay together, so if one is too high (whether generally throughout the day, or, perhaps at critical moments during the process of eating and digestion) the other is too low.

As you are an engineer, I also particularly recommend chapter 5 of Life Without Bread which will explain exactly in detail the energy processes in your body, both anaerobic and aerobic.

I also strongly recommend Practical Programming for Strength Training by Rippetoe & Kilgore which is a fantastic book. (Which Berin pointed out on this forum, it is a great book thanks Berin!)

And I recommend "Chemicals for Life and Living" by Eiichiro Ochiai.

Those four books are a great start.

But definitely Life Without Bread by Lutz for a great exposition of catabolic and anabolic hormones in your body - how your body works and "makes decisions"! Otherwise you're just plugging in resistors and capacitors with no idea what those do. I hope it helps!

PS for future readers, regarding Sean's excellent idea (below) to get actual lab work done. Beginning page 57 of Life Without Bread, Lutz, an explanation in great detail of exactly the three clinical tests, which are available, which investigate your sugar response curve.

To repeat myself, Schole/Sallmann/Harish of "metabolism" - in other words, the ongoing balance and/or war between catabolic and anabolic processes in your body. once again, chapter 3 of Lutz is the best explanation I have found of the topic (having read about 10 related books).

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Thanks for approaching my question from the scientific side. I also have some doubts about my hormones (But I dont really see a problem in sexual activity). Anyway I am considering to give a blood test for hormones and diabet. Thanks for referencing the books, I will try to get them soon. –  Sean87 Sep 22 '11 at 9:29
    
Dear Sean, that is a fantastic idea to get lab tests. If you turn to page 57 of Life Without Bread, Lutz it will explain in great detail exactly the three clinical tests which are available, for your sugar response curves. It's great to hear you're having lots of intercourse! :-) No problem there! However the (so-called) "sex hormones" play a huge role in your body, indeed, one thing in particular being body shapes / adipose tissue locations - just as in your excllent question. Same thing with so-called "growth hormones", which would probably better be called "repair hormones". Cheers! –  Joe Blow Sep 22 '11 at 12:00

It's terrible to 'eat almost nothing' and can do a lot to mess up your metabolism. It is confusing to your body after you start eating nothing and it goes into starvation mode, your body becomes more efficient at using energy and burns lean tissue and muscle so it can conserve fat reserves. To correct this, I would focus, as you have been, on eating healthy foods (lean meats, veggies, etc.) but in small meals interspersed throughout the day. That way you can keep your energy levels up, and you can start to train your body back to a regular metabolic state.

As for exercise, jogging is great, but I would try some interval training where you mix high bursts of exercise with moderate intensity recovery periods. It has incredible advantages.

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This is totally correct. Your body needs a HUGE, HUGE amount of FATS and PROTEIN to keep re-building itself - bones, organs, tissue. It is incredibly bad for you to skimp on food. You should eat "like a pig" - fill your body with protein and fats. And also the small daily amount of CHO molecules which you need. –  Joe Blow Sep 22 '11 at 12:09

Unfortunately you can't target where your body loses fat from. All you can do is keep losing fat until you are comfortable with your weight. I found that for every 9-10kg lost I had to buy a new pair of jeans.

The good news is you've lost a lot of weight (32kg or about 70 lbs). After having lost over 85 lbs (38kg) I still deal with a little more roundness in the midsection than I like. However, it's flatter now than when I first began.

First, I highly recommend going back to a before picture, and comparing it to a picture of you now. You will see how much you have lost overall--not just in the face. The fact that you had to buy new clothes because the others were too big proves you've lost weight all over your body. Relish the new you, I can say with all certainty that you will be pleasantly surprised at how good you look now and horrified at how big you were before you lost weight. At least that was my reaction.

Next, keep at it. Jogging is good and all, but fat is controlled most in the kitchen. Keep the protein up in your diet, and don't go crazy with everything else. Lastly, you may want to consider types of exercise that require more energy from you. In about 1-1.5 hours of lifting I burn somewhere around 1000 Calories. If my metabolic rate is 2400 Calories a day, that averages out to 100 Calories an hour--so my net effort is an additional 900 Calories in one hour. If lifting doesn't appeal to you, consider swimming, cross-fit, basketball, etc. Something that requires a high demand, and helps you get stronger will give you more muscle which in turn burns more Calories even when you are resting.

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Thanks for nice reply! yeah you are right, atleast I have lost some and just feeling healthier motivates me more. –  Sean87 Sep 21 '11 at 21:00

Well, in males belly is where most of the fat is located . As Ron said, jogging is not enough. You need to go to the gym or you can start swimming if there's a pool nearby

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It just looks like you are only losing it on the upper body. You are actually losing it all over. As you continue you will see it everywhere.

You need to exercise the upper body to build it up, if you want to look muscular. That is not helped much by jogging. It is a separate issue.

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-1, he is pretty clear that more weight has come off of the top half. I'm not sure why you would contradict that. Many people fatten, and lose fat, unevenly. –  michael Sep 21 '11 at 20:13

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