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Weight not coming down and fatigue kicking in


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Looking for a wee bit of advice and guidance. I'm 28 year old male. 5ft 8.  82.58 kg. Around 19% body fat. 

 

I've dropped down from 91kg 4 months ago. But the weight drop was in the first month and a half.  I've been aiming for 75kg for the next 2 months but would settle at 77kg. 

 

Training 3/4 times a week. 5 minutes cardio warm up. Day 1 - Chest and biceps, day 2 - back and tri and day 3 - leg, shoulders and abs. At the end of each workout I do either 15 minute HIIT cardio or  LISS cardio for 30 mins. In-between that I work and I'm on my feet doing around 8000 steps minimum per day.  I'm using progressive overload approach and finishing of my exercises with form dropping and doing 6-8 reps.

 

I started eating roughly 1710 calories a day occasionally breaking to 1850. With a protein intake of at least 140 grams per day.  For the first 3 months.

 

Having not really lost any weight (gaining strength and dropping some body fat).

 

Spoke to a guy in the gym advised to up it to 2000 at least a day and again increased my protein  intake to around 160grams per day. With more water intake. I've been doing this for the last two weeks stepped on the scale again No change!!

 

I've heard all the Trust the process and just keep going. But I'm feeling my motivation has taking a bit of a hit. Was at the gym today and felt low in energy that I didn't finish half my leg day exercises and end up leaving early.

 

Feeling a bit fatigued and low in motivation. Anyone have similar experiences or advice on how to progress? Is that delay in weight loss for body recomp normal? Any guidance would be really appreciated. 

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Sounds to me like you're at the point where measurements are going to be far more helpful than the scale in measuring progress. If you are keeping your weight the same but building muscle it sounds like you have things pretty well dialed in. If you are still maintaining weight with the increase in calories, I think you are actually at a good place. The problem is not the scale moving, it's that you have too much emotional energy invested in the number on the scale. If you don't change anything and find you can't finish workouts, it may mean you need even more calories than you are getting.

Check out this NF article:
https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/3-reasons-to-reconsider-stepping-on-the-scale-this-morning/

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Current Challenge

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Your probably right about emotional investment.

 

I know if I get to the targeted weight doing what I'm doing then it will likely be body fat loss. Which will give me more definition. 

 

I was concerned that with no real movement (1.5lbs,) from the scales for the last 7 weeks despite a calorie deficit and exercising, then I might be doing something wrong. I'm going to start taking chest, waist, arms and hip measurement. With body fat measurement then each month see if that helps. 

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First off, congrats on your progress thus far! And +1 on everything the illustrious Tank has suggested/mentioned.

 

I'm a numbers kind of person, so here are a few to keep in mind:

 

- for fat loss & muscle  gain, a good protein intake to shoot for is 1.6-2.2g+/kg of bodyweight; you're well within that range with the recent increase, but if you're feeling like you've 'stalled', that might be something else you can play with

 

- most TDEE calulators put maintenance intake for a 25yo male at ~180lb and 5'8" around 2,100-2,200kcal/day; that means that at 2,000kcal/day you're pretty darned close (5-10%) to maintenance, and any fat loss in that context would only look like 1/4lb of weight loss a week AT MOST - you can add another 200-300kcal deficit for each workout you do, but realistically speaking the changes you're going to see at this point will be smaller than what you saw when you first started (and some of those changes will be masked on the scale with water fluctuations anyway)

 

- when you lose weight, your resting energy expenditure (REE, aka BMR or basal metabolic rate) will go down because your body needs less energy to perform basic functions; unfortunately, sometimes when you lose weight your BMR will be slightly lower in comparison to someone at the same weight who was never larger - this has to do with your body becoming more efficient when in a caloric deficit

 

- there is a study that suggests that taking regular 'breaks' can help to further lose weight/fat over time, rather than constantly being in a deficit (https://www.nature.com/articles/ijo2017206) - so you'd eat at maintenance for 2 weeks, and then in deficit for 2 weeks (but keep your protein levels matched to your bodyweight, not as a proportion of total kcal), and then swap back and forth; this strategy has the added advantage of potentially helping your performance in the gym on the maintenance weeks, plus having the mood-booster of not being in a deficit

 

- your body has to 'work harder' (at least to start with) when you use novel movements, and compound multi-joint movements in particular stimulate more muscles at the same time; so you might consider switching out your split to a Full Body routine, just to shake things up a bit - this would also have the added benefit of increasing the frequency of stimulation for most of your muscle groups, which can also help to improve strength & hypertrophy gains

 

 

Finally (just to reiterate the most important point): try to stop worrying about your weight - increasing strength and losing bodyfat is a HUGE indicator of excellent progress, focusing on metrics like strength and girth measurements is a much more productive way to assess how things are going, vs watching a number that can change after you pee.

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Thanks Defining for the response. Your response is gratefully appreciated. 

 

I think I'm going got take the measurement on my lift weights increasing and hopefully of chest and waist size changing. 

 

I think I felt I've been hitting a wall despite doing all the recommended things.  I've been more concerned if what I was doing is  normal and the outcomes have been seen by others.

 

I'll take all your advice on board for moving forward.

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Well there will come a point, and you should be at it soon, where lean mass gain will completely cease and it will no longer affect the scale.    This effect only occurs 1-4 mo or so after starting strength training anew, after that muscle mass will only increase in a sustained calorie surplus with sufficient training.  "Fatigue kicking in" is what that point feels like, you've hit the trained plateau of fatigue management (more calories = bigger muscles = fatigue management); when cutting you will usually stall out strength gains and even go backwards a bit.

 

But, its not a totally hidden process.  Fat loss goes in notable cycles, where fat gets squishy then you wake up one morning and things firmed up an shrank.  Also usually where whooshes occur.  Squishy fat is a dead giveaway that fat loss is occurring.  This cycle gets stronger and stronger the leaner you are (it also can feel like little grapes under the skin when squishy).

 

The tape measure is your friend.  For males around your waist is everything.  Details in your abs come in at a specific measurement; this number will not change much even after years of training.  Fat mass changes extremely linearly with the tape; changing from 33"-32" will be the same fat loss amount as 35"-34".  The tape is far more reliable than the scale, it isn't subject to big swings from hydration and glycogen levels.

 

For me (6'1", 206) ab details come in around 31.5" and 1/4" = 1 lb fat.  Right now I'm at 33.25"; I'll need to cut about 7 more lbs to reach abs, to just under 200. 

 

But usually the issue with calories and why it isn't working comes down to poor estimating.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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If you want to try getting into the 'extreme' side of trying to gain muscle whilst not gaining a ton of fat, there's a nifty study here (https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0100-0) about resistance trained men & women who actually gained muscle and LOST fat at the same time due to cray high protein intake (in a caloric surplus 10-15%).

 

They averaged around 3.4g of protein per kg of bodyweight (that equates to ~280g for yourself); gained less weight than the 'normal protein (2.3g/kg)' group; gained more fat free mass (mostly muscle, plus some connective tissue typically); lost more fat. I dunno if I'd want to try something like that long term, but the study was for 8 weeks and the participants still saw results - that's a reasonable period of time to experiment with, IMO. Again, only if you're looking for ways to increase kcal without adding a ton of bodyfat back.

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My aim realistically is to maintain muscle mass I don't mind gaining some and shed fat down to 14-15 percent a more natural look. I'm storing more fat on my abdomen, chest and neck than really any where else.

 

I know you can't really isolate and target regions specific. 

 

The responses are giving me a wee bit of insight to this plateau I'm heading towards. I understand that according to 'defining' I'm at a 5-10% deficit of my maintance (I actually though it was higher like 2700 rather than 2150. ) The idea of dropping calories again is something I would reconsider and I like the idea of the start of the month 2 weeks at 2000 then drop down to 1750 for another 2 weeks. With my protein around the 150-180g mark. The only thing is am I going to "hit that wall" cutting calories and will it be none beneficial. 

 

Whar approach would you take ? 

 

Also on saying that I took a different approach of having something a little bit heavier than a high protein yoghurt, I had 3 eggs 1 egg white scrambled egg, almost tripping my pre workout calorie intake seemed to give me more of a push.

 

I was able to work out previously on low intake pre workout, the reason being, previously over the last few years I was vomiting half way through full body workouts. I come from a medical background I thought that maybe I was working on a heavy stomach and triggering a vagus nerve response. I've avoided fully body workouts for that reason and worked out in the morning on a light diet. Seemed to have worked well so far. But might need to tweak that also.

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There is no such thing as hitting that wall where cutting calories is not beneficial (when your goal is fat loss).  There are a whole lot of confused people around the diet and fitness industry.

 

Pre-workout is marketing mumbo jumbo.  The only people it matters for are marathoners and legit "can productively lift for >90 min" bodybuilders.  Your body stores over 1000 calories of readily available fuel in the muscles and replenishes this from carb and protein intake throughout the day (there is no metabolic pathway for fat to resupply).  When you are lean and cutting hard (think >1K cal deficit for several days in a row) then you'll see the affect of local stores tapping out, where you lose the ability to sustain strength and start dropping reps bad after a few sets .  This usually does not affect peak output, you can still 1RM; 5 reps is also a point of low impact (its kinda like the 1RM of glycogen fueled strength), whereas 3 rep and 10 rep work will be hugely impacted. 

 

Most people are going to hurl if they to squat heavy (or run) on a full stomach.

 

14 hours ago, Defining said:

If you want to try getting into the 'extreme' side of trying to gain muscle whilst not gaining a ton of fat, there's a nifty study here (https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0100-0) about resistance trained men & women who actually gained muscle and LOST fat at the same time due to cray high protein intake (in a caloric surplus 10-15%).

 

They averaged around 3.4g of protein per kg of bodyweight (that equates to ~280g for yourself); gained less weight than the 'normal protein (2.3g/kg)' group; gained more fat free mass (mostly muscle, plus some connective tissue typically); lost more fat. I dunno if I'd want to try something like that long term, but the study was for 8 weeks and the participants still saw results - that's a reasonable period of time to experiment with, IMO. Again, only if you're looking for ways to increase kcal without adding a ton of bodyfat back.

 

There is no outwardly detectable difference between "true" simultaneous loss/gain (undulations under the measurement frequency) and short undulations; 3:1 (week), 4:1, 8:2, etc.. (a spouse would likely not detect the fat flux when doing a 4:1 undulating bulk).

 

If you are at 19%, go for it, that's well into the linear dieting zone.  There's no reason you can't drop to a 1k/day+ deficit and hold it for a month to get down to 14%.  Toward the end it'll start to suck but its NBD if you want your end goal.  Now below 14-15% or so, that's when breaks start to become relevant.  Max cutting speed doesn't start to seriously slow until single digit body fat; you can still cut over 1K a day on down to 12%; thats about where muscle loss becomes an issue too (not unrelated to max speed).

 

That said, there are some old truisms with this sort of thread.  19% body fat usually means 25%.  Gross underestimation is the norm, which is not good mentally when you realize your error.  Even people that are really good at this and know their body well underestimate their body fat %.  We all have to fight against this tendency.  The tape (and historical personal info) is your best defense against it.  For most males, when you start seeing the first hints of abs, you have to lose another 10 lbs (>5% body fat) before your appearance changes much again.  There is a very wide visual plateau in the mid-teens body fat %.  I'm eating at calorie level x and not losing weight usually means that you need to try again at x-(>500), especially for males whose bodies in general can handle larger deficits than women.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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There are very real hormonal implications to extreme deficits, and many of them cause lots of very undesirable side effects. Going on a 1,000kcal deficit or the average person is almost guaranteed to affect your performance in the gym, decrease NEAT, and run a much higher likelihood of losing a higher proportion of muscle mass in that time period (which is only offset with sufficient protein intake, especially BCAAs). You actually SHOULDN'T train hard when in a high deficit (30%+), because your body will not be able to recovery properly, and you will lose more muscle than if you chose a more moderate exercise and/or deficit strategy.

 

Independent of all that, extreme deficits are far more likely to result in rebound behaviour (unless they also dovetail with eating habit interventions), and are a terrible choice for adherence for more than a short period of time (eg. 10-14 days). A month at a 40% deficit will break most people's willpower, understandably so. Plus it's far more difficult to hit basic RDAs for vitamins and minerals - which, even with supplements, can be extraordinarily challenging to meet with higher deficits.

 

 

That being said, I agree that there's no need to eat a big meal before hitting the gym, @4leafclover - if anything it'd be recommended to NOT eat a ton for 1-2hrs before working out. Getting in a pre-workout shake for additional protein is helpful, but isn't really too important if you're already eating sufficient protein for the rest of the day.

 

I also agree that often 'I'm not losing weight' has more to do with underestimating intake and overestimating expenditure (ie. eating more than you realise, and doing less exercise than you think), but that's also why I like to use the 'sedentary' TDEE as a baseline and then just add on specific workouts on top. 

6 hours ago, 4leafclover said:

(I actually though it was higher like 2700 rather than 2150. )

So for example here, you'd take a 'sedentary' TDEE and add in 3-4x ~300kcal for each workout, which averages out to something probably around 2,300-2,400/day TDEE all else being equal. You'd only reach 2,700kcal/day with 'moderate activity', but true moderate activity levels are typically only reached if your daily job is physical (eg. hotel cleaner, framer, landscaper, etc.). Regular workouts and average step counts don't = moderate activity, unfortunately.

Let's say, for sake of discussion, that you're actually eating closer to 2,200kcal instead of 2,000kcal (10% is a common 'margin of error' to consider when estimating calories), at which point you're back to a 700-1,400kcal deficit a week, which translates to relatively slow fat loss. There isn't anything inherently wrong with that, unless it's not working for you. If you want to see faster results, I like using the 2 weeks on/2 weeks off strategy for adherence and just general ability to still enjoy life. So, for example, that might look like 2,400kcal on maintenance weeks, and <1,700kcal for deficit weeks, with protein intake ideally hitting 180-200g/day. 

 

If you have a pre-existing condition that affects your exercise selection, the best 'next steps' for you would be to consult with a trainer (and ideally a nutritionist too), to determine where your routine could benefit from adjustments. Strangers on the internet are no substitute for professional advice.

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57 minutes ago, Defining said:

There are very real hormonal implications to extreme deficits, and many of them cause lots of very undesirable side effects. Going on a 1,000kcal deficit or the average person is almost guaranteed to affect your performance in the gym, decrease NEAT, and run a much higher likelihood of losing a higher proportion of muscle mass in that time period (which is only offset with sufficient protein intake, especially BCAAs). You actually SHOULDN'T train hard when in a high deficit (30%+), because your body will not be able to recovery properly, and you will lose more muscle than if you chose a more moderate exercise and/or deficit strategy.

 

Extreme is more like 1500+, where you are basically semi-fasting and/or doing absurd amounts of LISS.  Most males can handle 1K just fine down to very, very lean (heck for many 1250 is nbd).  Certainly 750.

 

The diet industry has pretty much scared people off from cutting with big deficits, but yet at the pro level, actors, athletes and bodybuilders, when they cut they go for it hard.  5 year forevercutting is better for business for the diet industry.

 

Muscle loss pretty much only happens when the starving hormones are active, control those hormones and muscle loss is minimal.  And when you "lose muscle" you mostly are not actually losing muscle fiber, you are losing some of your local glycogen and atp reserves and their persistence.  Things are severe when real muscle loss is happening and at that point there's absolutely no mistaking what is going on with your body, as your body's war on starvation has gotten extreme.

 

When it comes to hormone control, time is a much stronger variable than depth; our bodies are better at sensing y/n that loss is occurring than the rate.  Most of the serious gurus nowadays agree that cutting when lean is best done undulating with breaks, as you alluded to.  When you're lean and start cutting, your leptin is going to drop in about 2 weeks no matter how hard you cut, and by 4 weeks the going will be tough even if you are doing small deficits (assuming you arent at maintenance every other day).  1 week is the minimum for a break, beyond 2-3 is getting excessive.  You want to refill your glycogen reserves, so the first few days of a break you want a small surplus.

 

There really is one long continuum of depth of cut and break frequency:
- the obese can cut at any intensity without breaks without affecting hormones

- those in the normal zone could use a break every 2-3 months, shorter with high intensity

- those lean will see ideal break time shrink from monthly to biweekly, no matter the intensity.

 

One neat little trick people have figured out; the body's hormonal system doesn't understand you a cutting when you come out of a break for about 2 weeks.  No matter how extreme you get, you aren't going to get any hormonal pushback for the first 2 weeks.  This is a core principle exploited by the pros.

 

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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1 hour ago, Waldo said:

Extreme is more like 1500+, where you are basically semi-fasting and/or doing absurd amounts of LISS.  Most males can handle 1K just fine down to very, very lean (heck for many 1250 is nbd).  Certainly 750.

 

1 hour ago, Waldo said:

One neat little trick people have figured out; the body's hormonal system doesn't understand you a cutting when you come out of a break for about 2 weeks. No matter how extreme you get, you aren't going to get any hormonal pushback for the first 2 weeks. This is a core principle exploited by the pros.

 

You and I are fundamentally in disagreement about this, and I think it is misleading and potentially even dangerous to suggest that there aren't hormonal implications 'for the first two weeks', or that a 40% deficit isn't 'extreme'. Suffice to say, the OP should consult with professional for their own needs and health, and I'll try not to clutter up his thread with anymore back and forth. 

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For someone with a 2500 resting TDEE, eating at 2000 calories and doing 500 cals of exercise is in no way shape or form "extreme".  Its eating less and moving more.  2500 is the standard male TDEE.  500 cals is what you'll burn running a 5K or lifting for an hour.  Pretty much any guy with some gut can maintain an intake at 2K/day indefinitely, its not a tough number.  As you get leaner, periodic breaks are much more effective than slowing down.

 

If you're in shape, its no biggie to kick that workout burn even higher with some LISS.  Fasted LISS is well known to target fat directly in ultra lean folk that can't mobilize the remaining fat via any other means.  Walking up hills on a treadmill works wonders, its the oldest cuttin time cliche there is.  Big deficits are always going to come from exercise, not semi-fasting, you always want to eat a decent amount.   

 

If you go out and run 10 miles, you'll need to eat over your resting TDEE to not have a deficit >1K.  Granted, not everyone can do this, but I'm just sayin, when you're in shape its ok to kick up the exercise and not eat it back, especially the easy exercise.

 

Were our hypothetical person above eating 2K/day and running a 5K or lifting an hour every day were to add a 2 mile brisk walk with the dog each day to their exercise, an additional 200-250 calories or so, taking their deficit to 1200 per day, fortunately muscles would not instantly deflate, hormones would not instantly freak out, but the scale sure will be friendly real quick.

 

What was dude at the gym's advice to OP?  Eat at 2K and hit it hard.  Hmm.  Its the classic good advice for guys on how to lose weight and get some muscle tone.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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I think both your posts are valid points.

 

I suspect your message Waldo came across more of extreme dieting 1500 calorie deficit which would work but isn't maintainable and rebound effects of weight gain when reupping the calories might make it non beneficial. I've always found that the hard part when doing calorie defecits in 1500 mark (but I've had it work before). 

 

As I said my calorie control is pretty strict in terms of what's going in I record literally after every meal. I've obsessed over the nutrient details on food at the moment prior to purchase. So I know that most days I'm between 1900-2000 (it was 1710 2 weeks ago). Very occasionally under that and very very occasionally marginally over my targets. I'm only exercising 3 to 4 times a week for around 2 hours each. The scale weights I've used my own digital and the gyms. I've also used both of these for fat percentage which was a bit of a difference between two and made an attempt at the manual callipers. I know it's all roughly about the numbers I base my results on.

 

At the gym yesterday performance was not to bad but again I had something to eat rather than go to the gym pretty much fasted. 

 

The main principle of basic weight loss is you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, as to how much becomes detrimental I'm not sure and that was something I was asking about earlier. I know I should be eating 2700 calorie daily based on most calculators. I'm down 700 already and a further 500 most workout days, meaning at least 3 days a week I'm in a 1200 calorie deficit. Around 6400 calorie deficit each week.

 

Should I be doing more? Is the odd days i felt actually done and cut workouts short likely diet related or just poor performance days ? I get there is an element of mental strength and most of the times I push through but I was wondering if you guys felt that push was more detrimental than beneficial?

 

The end goal is a lower body fat percentage, healthier weight and bit better strength and endurance wouldn't go a miss. 

 

Again I appreciate you taking time to respond. 

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5 hours ago, 4leafclover said:

As I said my calorie control is pretty strict in terms of what's going in I record literally after every meal. I've obsessed over the nutrient details on food at the moment prior to purchase.

This isn't any more sustainable than a 1500 calorie deficit. It works till it doesn't. At one point you will likely burn out on calorie counting.

5 hours ago, 4leafclover said:

The main principle of basic weight loss is you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, as to how much becomes detrimental I'm not sure and that was something I was asking about earlier. I know I should be eating 2700 calorie daily based on most calculators. I'm down 700 already and a further 500 most workout days, meaning at least 3 days a week I'm in a 1200 calorie deficit. Around 6400 calorie deficit each week.

The body adjusts to lower caloric averages over time which can cause weightloss to stall. I'll let others who understand it more explain it, but sometimes weightloss is counterintuitive.

5 hours ago, 4leafclover said:

Should I be doing more? Is the odd days i felt actually done and cut workouts short likely diet related or just poor performance days ? I get there is an element of mental strength and most of the times I push through but I was wondering if you guys felt that push was more detrimental than beneficial?

There aren't any direct answers to your second question. We still don't know as much about the body as we'd like to believe. Honestly, I suspect you may want to look into why the number on the scale is so important to you. If your waistline is dropping, does it really matter what the scale says?

Current Challenge

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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On 5/12/2022 at 3:28 AM, 4leafclover said:

I suspect your message Waldo came across more of extreme dieting 1500 calorie deficit which would work but isn't maintainable and rebound effects of weight gain when reupping the calories might make it non beneficial. I've always found that the hard part when doing calorie defecits in 1500 mark (but I've had it work before).

 

Weight rebound is very different than fat rebound.  You really need to break a destructive understanding of the scale.  Weight is always going to rebound after dieting.  There will be more stuff in your guts, more glycogen in your muscles and liver.  This can be more than a 5 lb difference (you actually look the best after this rebound has occurred, usually 3-5 days after raised cals is your appearance peak).

 

Actual rapid gain that results in fat gain, right after a diet, is borderline impossible.  Just to rebound a pound in a week takes buckets of ice cream (I have tried, and failed, to do this, lol)

 

On 5/12/2022 at 8:44 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

This isn't any more sustainable than a 1500 calorie deficit. It works till it doesn't. At one point you will likely burn out on calorie counting.

 

Very true. 

 

When I first started losing weight I did so at around 1500-1700 cals, and did it for a couple months; lost gobs of weight, but I was quite obese so it wasn't a big deal.  I did a taper up to something more sustainable, but one of my "if I did it again what I'd do different" is that I excessively tapered to too small of a deficit over time and very slow progress (dieting too slow is a colossal waste of time).

 

I counted cals strict for 3 years and have counted every time I've dieted in the 8 years since.  I'm usually pretty lax about it; the most strict I get with counting the in general the less I eat and bigger the deficit gets; right now I'm in a strict mode as I'm in the final push to abs.  It was a good experience to do it though for those years; I ended up with a plethora of data and experimented with some extreme stuff to understand the boundaries (it good to know what the body's hormonal starvation defense feels like and the effects, though I do not suggest trying this at home, my body lost a few hundred cals of resting TDEE over the course of a couple weeks that took a year of bulking and cutting to recover).  I don't think I'll ever stop reading labels or having a general idea of how many calories I've eaten today, that level of self awareness will always be there, kind of like which way north is.

 

On 5/12/2022 at 8:44 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

The body adjusts to lower caloric averages over time which can cause weightloss to stall. I'll let others who understand it more explain it, but sometimes weightloss is counterintuitive.

 

It can.  There are multiple mechanisms at work.

 

Simply losing fat causes TDEE to drop.  You weigh less, which requires less effort to move.  Fat has a metabolic cost, albeit very low.  It takes less calories to maintain a smaller body.

 

But there is more on top of that, a hormonal, mental, and physical process.  It most likely is controlled by the hormonal process, but it seems some times the mental process gets away (you get super lazy, just sit around huddled under blankets, and drop the neat) even when there is minimal hormonal defense active.  Like all things in this category, time is likely the stronger variable, in this case teeny tiny pushes turn into habits that throttle TDEE. 

 

When the hormonal process is active you experience a rebound effect physically when you raise cals.  Raising cals initially will make you super sore, your body has been doing minimal recovery to conserve cals, increasing available cals rapidly dethrottles the recovery choke and you spend a week tired and sore before the increased cals overtakes the actual recovery load.  There is also thought to be a physical process with beige fat, which is a recently discovered type of adjustable fat with white and brown properties, that could feasibly modulate the body's temperature setpoint a bit to conserve cals (so the coldness isn't purely psychological).

 

When the hormonal process is strongly active, that's when both mentally and physically there is a strong calorie conserving push, incl potentially loss of sexual function (girls lose it easier than guys).

 

Defending against the hormonal process, time and body fat are the strongest variables, the time variable can be broken with diet breaks and extended with refeeds.  The leaner you are, the more rapid the onset of the hormonal process (body fat is literally the organ the generates the hormones, it has some minor endocrine functions, this is one of them).

 

But I also think resting TDEE is not a number but a band.  Your body can raise and lower metabolism to a small degree to prevent net change in fat mass.  I think what ends up happening for a lot of people is that time with a teeny tiny deficit leads to lots of times where the body adapts to the lower intake (you sit on the couch huddled under a blanket, spend extra time laying in bed) then that just becomes habitually how you live in that state of throttled metabolism, sabotaging your good days as well where you had enough of a deficit to cause loss, but now you get less loss. (Habits like these can be broken pretty easy if you know what to look for).

 

On 5/12/2022 at 3:28 AM, 4leafclover said:

The main principle of basic weight loss is you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, as to how much becomes detrimental I'm not sure and that was something I was asking about earlier. I know I should be eating 2700 calorie daily based on most calculators. I'm down 700 already and a further 500 most workout days, meaning at least 3 days a week I'm in a 1200 calorie deficit. Around 6400 calorie deficit each week.

 

Should I be doing more? Is the odd days i felt actually done and cut workouts short likely diet related or just poor performance days ? I get there is an element of mental strength and most of the times I push through but I was wondering if you guys felt that push was more detrimental than beneficial?

On 5/12/2022 at 8:44 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Honestly, I suspect you may want to look into why the number on the scale is so important to you. If your waistline is dropping, does it really matter what the scale says?


To me it sounds like you are doing pretty much everything right, a case of overfocus on the scale, better tools for measuring fat loss (tape measure) will show there is nothing to be concerned about and the lack of weight loss is strictly a positive; fat loss is being offset by lean mass gain.  This isn't a forever process and eventually the scale loss will pick right back up.  Quit lifting and in 2-3 weeks or so you'll miraculously lose a bunch of weight as your body ditches the extra locally stored fuel that has been hiding your fat loss from the scale the last couple months.

 

Now eventually you'll notice the hunger start to grow.    Getting a growly hungry stomach at times when you don't typically eat is a huge red flag that the anti-starvation hormones are active, the situation is going to continue to degrade daily until you take a break or do a refeed; if you don't this is when muscle loss and TDEE loss is a huge risk.  Extra growly before meals is another clue.  I don't mean run of the mill I'm dieting hunger, at some point it legit starts to get much more intense, this is a symptom of dropping leptin.  Refeeds (huge jolt of carbs w/o concurrent fat or protein, the point is to spike your insulin which causes a leptin pulse) will buy you time and take the symptoms away for a while.  Diet breaks are a total reset, its like you're starting a new diet afterwards.

 

2 hour workouts and a 700-1200 deficit?  Yeah man, you're out of gas.  That's very excessive for cutting.  1 hour is good enough, 3-4 work sets per muscle group.  Work up to a peak set (which should be unaffected), then expect to start losing reps (and strength when severe) in later sets as the lack of fuel bites.  You'd be better off spending that 2nd hour walking up hills on a treadmill.

 

Its ok to push, but its good to know when to say when.  Max effort should be restricted to just a single peak set per muscle when cutting, otherwise leave a rep(s) in the tank (this rule doesn't apply to beginners).  Never do crazy things that trash your recovery like rest-pause work when you're cutting.  Rule of thumb switching from bulking to cutting is to keep or increase the intensity while dropping the volume.  Low rep strength work is what best preserves muscle and is least affected by calorie deficits.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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