Question about cutting.

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JoeB
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Question about cutting.

Post by JoeB » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:37 am

Shouldn't the body use muscle for fuel before it started using up fat stores? I am down to 188lbs from 231lbs and I still have fat around my stomach. I am beginning to wonder if the weight that I have loss so far is just muscle mass. I have dropped 15lbs on my bench press and my pull ups have increased but everything else seems to be staying the same.


RobertB
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Post by RobertB » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:13 am

As far as I understand it, you will use fat before muscle, I read that your weight loss has been steady (between 1-2lbs) so I know your at least in a safe range (for protecting muscle loss). *edit/more direct answer* I think 40lbs weight loss should have had a good dig at your "obvious" fat (stomach/handles/chest) and if you aren't happy, my personal opinion is to consider a lower carb approach.

Basically I am carb cycling now after about 2 months less than you in the gym (I think your about 1.5 years right? I'm about 1 year 2 months) and it's the first obviously noticable method that works, HIIT took me down from high teens (18-19) to about 16-16.5 but it started slowing without modifying my diet too.

Anyway - heres my short version where I basically sub only 2-3 things in my on/off days

On:
6:30am Oats/milk/protein (1 scoop)

9:30am - Protein shake with whole milk + baby bell mini cheddar (25g chunk of cheese..)

12:30 pre-gym: Blue berries/raspberries + recently caffeine

1:30/2 Post gym: protein shake with water

3pm: Meat salad (beef/chicken/lean ham/some salami... random meat) with some fat like feta cheese or a little mayo

4:30 aprox - a little fruit, quite random - but sensible (no bannanas etc)

6pm: Low carb evening meal - steak if lucky, otherwise 4 egg ommellete + cheese etc (random veggies - lots of red onion :tongue1: )

9pm: protein shake with milk

Then, all I do for off days is:
All shakes with water - my 9:30am one has double cream in it (helps keep calories consistent)
Breakfast: 3 eggs with cheddar
Skip 4:30 fruit, maybe something random like cottage cheese


The milk + oats and a little extra fruit sort out the on days fine for me.

My point being, or the short answer being, my fat kept stalling, until I used carb cycling properly and cut out all basic/trash sugar.

I'm doing GVT at the moment and I'm considering adding 400-500 calories for it to ensure the hypertrophy isn't restricted by general intake, since the work is "harder" than 5x5 I don't want a nasty suprize weight loss but at the same time I don't want any fat gains above 1.5%
Last edited by RobertB on Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by stuward » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:52 am

One of the reasons why relatively high protein is recommended if to prevent muscle from being used as fuel. The other dietary requirement is adequate fat intake. Once you get your body fat % down lower, the body will make up the deficit from muscle more than when you had lots of body fat to draw on. It will want to hold onto the last bit of fat because you're going into starvation mode.

Your strength loss is a sign you have lost some muscle but I wouldn't be concerned that it's a lot. You've lost over 40 lbs. For that all to be fat is unrealistic. A little muscle loss is to be expected.

If you're in a hurry, cycle your carbs as Robert suggested. If you aren't, a healthier way, and a more sustainable way, is to increase the amount you eat so that your body restores your proper metabolic rate. Ensure adequate protein, increase your saturated fat consumption, minimize omeag 6 fats and sugar. Make sure everything you eat is nutritious. This will lead to long term normalization of your weight.

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Post by JoeB » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:16 pm

So, by how much should I increase calories? I am currently eating around 1900 day. I actually did do kind of a carb cycle recently. For twos, I weigh in at 190lbs. Well, Friday I increased carbs--by eating more oatmeal--and the next day when I weighed in I was at 188lbs.

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Post by stuward » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:09 pm

Day by day doesn't mean much. There are a lot of things that can affect day to day weight changes. However, I have noticed that I can eat oats without water gain but not pasta. Root vegetables are also good for me.

In general, at least once a week take your calorie intake up to your maintenance level or slightly higher for a day or two. Then you can reduce about 20% for the next few days.

How much more do you need to lose to hit your target? If you have a way to go, keep the deficit period longer than the maintenance period. If you're close, you'll want to keep the cycle shorter and time the calorie peaks with your workouts. That will maximize the muscle building benefit from the workout.


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Post by JoeB » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:27 pm

I think need to get down to around 170lbs. Kind of worried though because I do not want to hit 170lbs and still have the fat that I do around my waist. Also, I really do not want to go under 170lbs. What days do you think I should increase my calories? Days that I lift?

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Post by stuward » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:39 pm

JoeB wrote:I think need to get down to around 170lbs. Kind of worried though because I do not want to hit 170lbs and still have the fat that I do around my waist. Also, I really do not want to go under 170lbs. What days do you think I should increase my calories? Days that I lift?
Days you lift are ideal. I would slow down the pace by carbing up before and after your workouts, low carb the rest of the time. Overall you should be in a deficit but you should be promoting some muscle growth.

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Post by GTO » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:36 pm

JoeB- I just wanted to comment on your bench press going down, maybe a better way to look at it is your body weight ratio to the weight you lift. I would bet it has increased , just wanted to throw that in and keep up the good work.

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Post by JoeB » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:06 pm

So what happens when you increase calories for a day or two?

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Post by stuward » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:16 pm

JoeB wrote:So what happens when you increase calories for a day or two?
It boosts your metabolism a little.

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Post by JoeB » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:30 pm

Do you have any links so I can read about this?

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Post by stuward » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:47 pm

Do a Google search for Leptin.

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Post by RobertB » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:36 am

Kind of worried though because I do not want to hit 170lbs and still have the fat that I do around my waist
Yea I was/am the same, I don't have a full showing set of abs yet and I'm pretty much at the lowest weight I want to be, so the key here is patience - we will both have to train a little more toward heart rate and watch sugar IMO.

As our muscle mass and metabolism get better it's going to take it away bit by bit, but simply dropping another 6-8lbs in 3-4 week wont do it I think, I/we will start to look a tad skeletal (well, I should speak for myself really, but it sounds like we aren't too far apart build/fat wise)

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Post by JoeB » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:16 pm

RobertB wrote:



6pm: Low carb evening meal - steak if lucky, otherwise 4 egg ommellete + cheese etc (random veggies - lots of red onion :tongue1: )
Are you buying lean red meat? I just bought a lb of Lauras 92/8 ground beef for $5. Almost the same price as a gallon of gas :cry:

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Post by JoeB » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:58 pm

I always do a 1/2 hour of cardio after I lift. Is the intensity of the cardio more important than the duration?


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