4 months in, 20% BF, muscle definition not great, suggestions would be so helpful! (I'm female)

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4 months in, 20% BF, muscle definition not great, suggestions would be so helpful! (I'm female)

Post by Paiged94 »

Hi everyone£ I'm new to this community and found way here through questioning 'gains'. I have had one child. I am female 5ft 2. And have been training for 4 months with a personal trainer, weight training and compound exercises 5 days per week at the gym. I always manage to have great form with most exercises. I started at 9stone 11 and I am now 8stone 1. body fat is 20% and I can see I have lost some weight. But I am struggling to see any real muscle definition anywhere. stubborn area is legs and lower stomach. I know I have to lower body fat more to see more definition, but I'm really struggling to get to this point. Any suggestions would be so great :)!

Also a little more info - protein intake is around 40g per day I am vegetarian. calories are 1300 per day. I clean eat 7 days per week with no cheat day because I really enjoy eating healthy and don't want to slow progress at all and I'm happy with that. But I can't really see any progress! X
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Re: 4 months in, 20% BF, muscle definition not great, suggestions would be so helpful! (I'm female)

Post by Boss Man »

Hi Paige, good to talk to you.

The simple answer is your calories are too low.

Sedentary females need around 1,800 calories per day and you're active so on those days 200-400 more would be beneficial, to help fuel your workouts and reduce the risk of the workouts leading to muscle loss and / or fatigue, but because you're eating 1,300 a day your body is probably entering into a "starvation mode", where it doesn't want to get rid of any more fat.

Some of the ridden visceral and subcutaneous fat, will be the result of higher muscle mass improving your metabolism, as well as calorie, carbohydrate and fat reductions in the diet, reducing the conversion of such things to fat, but of course some of the weight loss you have experienced could be water weight, depending on how much salt you cut out of your diet, what water retention effects it was having and whether you have been consuming anything that might have a diuretic effect.

I would recommend increasing your calories back up by 40% on non-workout days and 60% on workout days, so roughly 1,820 calories and 2,080 calories respectively; though those are ballpark figures so you don't have to be about hitting them exactly.

It's possible that initially you might gain a little weight back owing to your metabolism adjusting to the new intake, because your body might view the extra content as excess initially and convert some of the calories and nutrition to fat, but in the long-term you should hopefully see additional reductions in fat and weight.

Hopefully that works for you :).
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