I was once over 181 pounds and for my body type I was tipping on the scale of very fat to obese. I started to do lots of cardo and watched what I ate(but never dieted as I knew if I diet I won't be able to keep it up forever and probably gain more weight in the end).

It's been 6 years since I decided to lose the weight and got all the way down to 128 pounds. Yet I still have a belly(I had like 12% body fat according to the BMI) and I really did not want to lose too much weight as in my opinion I was loosing it in the wrong areas(like around my neck I looked a bit too boney)

Back in Dec 2011 I decided to get a personal trainer to help me build muscle as this is something that I always had trouble with as I never could achieve it by myself as I just could not keep to a routine and would start and stop so many times. With Cardo it was different I would jump on and watch the tv or listen to music so it was no big deal.

For the first 10 weeks we just did endurance and mobility to get me ready for weights. I been doing weights now for a few months now and gained 6 pounds in fat and 9 pounds in muscle(they machine at the gym somehow figures it out) and brought me up to 143 pounds.

This is ok with me as I think I was a bit too skinny and alot what I gained in muscle so that is good too.

However the fact remains I still have a belly that I hate and don't know how to get rid of it.

First I am not sure if I can achieve both at the same time(build muscle and lose the belly fat) but I would hope they sort of are mutual(building muscle burn fat).

My trainer has advices me to change my diet and I am starting to make those changes but I like to hear other ideas and second opinions.

First my trainer does not believe I get enough protein and eat enough. He wants me to take in about 143 grams of protein a day (one gram per pound). I done lots of research and believe I found a protein powder that won't bankrupt me even if I take 3 scoops a day(75grams of protein) and will start this soon.

I usually drink my shakes with milk and a 2 teaspoons of natural peanut butter.

My trainer wants me to stop eating cereal in the morning and have some whole wheat toast and my protein shake(this seems best for me as I am not a morning person so I don't like having huge breakfasts, nor do I have time to make it and I don't eat eggs something he first recommended).

He also suggested to switch to whole wheat pastas what I will be doing after I finish the old stuff up.

I think my exercising is good as I do go 5 days a week to the gym.

usually twice a week for cardo (25 mins) then 3 times for weight training(Chest / Shoulders, Back / Biceps, Legs) for about an hour and this includes warmup on the stair master.

For me another thing that I am having a hard time to get use to is that I will be gaining weight again as I build muscle. It still scares me when I step on the scale and the number is higher than before as I don't want to ever be that fat again.

So what other changes should I be making to achieve my goals. I am looking for stuff that is doable.

  • You should really split this up into multiple questions. One specific issue at a time.
    – Robin Ashe
    Jun 27, 2012 at 23:50
  • I thought there was one question: "What changes should I be making to achieve my goals."
    – user3085
    Jun 27, 2012 at 23:51
  • I suppose you could look at it that way.
    – Robin Ashe
    Jun 27, 2012 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


I would suggest a low carb "paleo" type of diet: Ditch the grains of all types, legumes, a and dairy products. Eat a wide variety of vegetables, especially the leafy green ones, watch the starchy ones (yams and sweet potatoes are a good choice over regular potatoes), wide variety of meats, especially lean ones, and some fruit. Use healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil for cooking. Main issue you will find with this type of diet is trying to get enough calories if looking to build strength, eat a lot.


The advice from your trainer seems solid: stick with your lifting/cardio work and eat enough food to support that activity. At 12% bodyfat, and 143 pounds, you're probably not fat (I don't know your height, so I'm guessing a bit here).

If you really have a belly (hard to believe at 12% bodyfat), it will sort itself out. Maybe it just looks like you have a belly because you don't have developed muscles elsewhere to make the rest of you look big (again, just guessing).

  • I was 12% when I was 128 pounds but I just looked it up and I am now 14% due to gaining 6 pounds fat and 9 pounds muscle. I am about 175cm in height and I have a waist of 35inches. Unfortunately I do have a belly. It's not massive but it's big enough(it's a good 2 handfuls to grab). Most people do think I am skinny but like I said I am skinny everywhere but the stomach. I always think geez is all that 12-14% on my stomach.
    – xiao
    Jun 28, 2012 at 16:37
  • You can't "look up" your body fat percentage. The only way to know, is to get it measured. DEXA scan is the gold standard, a 9 point caliper test done by someone that knows what they are doing, or even a Tanita type scale (Although the accuracy of those vary wildly). (And if you gained 15 lbs, if you haven't measured you have no clue what is muscle what is fat.) The more you develop your abs, obliques and local muscles, the more the skin will tighten up. Unfortunately, if you were obese for a long time, you may have excess skin that only a surgery will get rid of, but that's for a doc to say.
    – JohnP
    Jun 28, 2012 at 21:48

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