About 8 months ago I started my internship at a software firm. Its a 9-4 stationary job. Ever since then I been slowly putting on fat around my waist. This has been very new to me since I always worked my core through compounds and have always been active so I was surprised to see a pair of infantile lovehandles when I took off my shirt.

My calorie intake is around 2k and have lowered it to around 1.8k due to my internship. If I lower it anymore, I run the risk of losing strength since I'm lifting 3-5 times a week. I'm not exactly sure what the culprit is since my calorie intake is at the bare tdee and I haven't put on any weight in any other areas of my body such as face, legs, or arms. I'm thinking its due to poor posture or high estrogen. The latter which is possible but I doubt due to the fact I'm constantly seeing strength gains in the gym. The former which is true (My sitting posture sucks).

What can I do other than cardio, and more core work? Cutting calories isn't an option for me.

More info:

20 years old, 6'0 180 lbs. Lift 3-5 times a week, mostly strength work (Candito's). Big three: 190 incline bench, 240 front squat, and 50lb pullup (can't do deadlifts due to bad back)

Calorie intake varies a bit but mostly 40% carbs 40% fats 20% protein. Get around 90 to 120g of protein a day. Cutting carbs and upping protein isn't an option since carbs are very cheap unlike protein, unless someone can kindly point out cheap sources of protein besides whey and chicken.


2 Answers 2


I am in the same situation. I just started working as a software engineer. It's a 9 to 6 stationary job like yours. I can't tell you what you should do as everybody is different, what I can tell you though is what I do.

First thing first .. I lowered my calories (I know you don't wanna do that) but I started eating most of my carbs before workout so I don't loose my strength. (It worked)

Secondly, more protein and less carbs - cheap source? Egg white cartoons at costco, one cartoon has about 50g of protein, no carbs and will cost you a dollar

I also started drinking more coffee, so I can up my metabolism even when I'm sitting on a desk ..

More cardio is another thing you might wanna try as it usually helps strengthening your core

These are my .2 cents but than again, it entirely up to you how you wanna make it work.

  • 1
    50g for a dollar..Well damn. Thanks for the suggestion :) Aug 23, 2014 at 15:44

Having seen your updated post, I think your problem may stem from your distribution of calories. First, I don't think your problem is due to estrogen or sitting posture. The location you describe (love handles around the waist) is a common area to deposit fat. If possible, I would look to see if you made any dietary changes around the time you started your internship. Keep in mind that any excess calories that are not burned will be stored as fat. Given that, I would suggest you adjust your nutrition percentages gradually. Since you are training 3 to 5 days per week, I would recommend you switch to 50% carbs, 30% fats, and 20% protein. If that does not help, then, you should try to reduce the fat even more. Remember, a gram of fat is going to provide 9 calories versus a gram of carb or protein (4 calories each). You may not be getting the right kind of calories to support your lifestyle. Of course, the other alternative is to increase the cardio to burn more calories. But, that doesn't sound like what you want.

  • been eating a bit less clean since I left college, might be the reason. I guess cardio is my only real option. Aug 22, 2014 at 15:59
  • Why do you think this is about distribution of calories? Why do you think adjusting macro ratios would help? If anything, more protein and less carbs would be better for someone who lifts weights regularly. As for reducing fat, as long as the OP is correct in calculating his overall calorie intake, there's no need for it. Low fat diets were a fad in the 80's and have been thoroughly debunked since then. Aug 22, 2014 at 18:36
  • @JohnKugelman Well, I base it on the experiences I've had for over 20 years as a competitive bodybuilder. And the fact, that tweaking one's diet can make a difference. Regardless, I'm not sure what you base your opinions on. Because, they are that....opinions.
    – rrirower
    Aug 22, 2014 at 18:51
  • I'm not sure if macro distribution is really effective. I know some people react to high carbs versus high fats and there's always ketosis but isn't it just calories in vs calories out? Aug 23, 2014 at 15:59

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