Forum

Results 1 to 4 of 4
Page 1 of 1
Jump to page:
Jump To:
  • Posted On: 05-20-18, 11:20 am (EDT) #1

    It works till it doesn't

    May 20, 2018, 11:20 am

    I thought I’d share a lesson I recently learned on fat loss.  I fell into this trap even though I should have known better.  For most of the fall and winter I was sedentary due to a pretty bad shoulder injury.  I ballooned up to about 250lbs (I’m 6’1”), mostly due to eating a bunch of garbage because I was depressed.  In mid-January I got cleared to workout again, and I had some serious work to do.

    I have a health science degree, so I have a very solid understanding of human physiology and nutrition.  The diet I setup was extremely aggressive, with about a 1300kCal deficit daily.  The idea was to use all the stored energy I had (fat).  I made sure my protein and healthy fats intake were on point, and used vitamins and supplements to cover my micronutrients.  I had a very low carb intake, and used carb cycling to maximize beta oxidation.  Initially, my fat loss was very rapid and my muscle development was where I expected it to be.  Then, as I got down in the mid-220lbs things slowed down considerably, but I stuck with the plan till I got down to 210lbs at the 90 day mark.  This is where everything stalled out, no fat loss and no muscle gain.

    Then, purely by accident my diet got disrupted.  With all the spring events going on, graduations and the such, I was travelling and engaged in all kinds of social events.  It’s hard to maintain a diet in these situations, so I ended up eating less than healthy foods.  I only missed one or two workouts, so that was my saving grace.  The guilt from breaking my diet kept me off my scale, and from measuring my body fat.  I assumed I had put on fat, and didn’t want to face up to it.  Well, things calmed down, and I had to evaluate the damage I had done.  To my surprise, I had lost a couple of pounds, and by body fat had dropped.  I also noticed I was able to get over a few of the plateaus I was on with the strength training.  My aggressive diet was hindering my progress.

    I had lost sight of the forest for the trees.  Because my results were so good with my plan initially, I got stuck in the rut of continuing what I was doing. We do what works, right?  What I should have done was adjust my calorie deficit as my body fat dropped.  I had less stored energy to work with, and I was starving myself to the point I couldn’t meet my body’s calorie demand.  This most likely triggered my body to begin conserving energy, so no fat loss and no muscle gain.  Now I’m running about a 250kCal deficit, eating more carbs, and I’m leaning out very fast.  I turn 40 in July, and I want to be toned up and moderately shredded.  I’m on track for this goal, and I’m really excited.

    So, the lesson is that no plan can be static.  This is especially true with diet.  So if you’re cutting, and your progress has slowed.  The right adjustment may very well be adding more food. Which is kind of counter-intuitive on the surface, but make sense when considering all the factors involved. I hope this helps anyone who is stalled out.

  • Posted On: 05-22-18, 7:25 pm (EDT) #2

    It works till it doesn't

    May 22, 2018, 7:25 pm
    Posted by: voelkern

    I thought I’d share a lesson I recently learned on fat loss.  I fell into this trap even though I should have known better.  For most of the fall and winter I was sedentary due to a pretty bad shoulder injury.  I ballooned up to about 250lbs (I’m 6’1”), mostly due to eating a bunch of garbage because I was depressed.  In mid-January I got cleared to workout again, and I had some serious work to do.

    I have a health science degree, so I have a very solid understanding of human physiology and nutrition.  The diet I setup was extremely aggressive, with about a 1300kCal deficit daily.  The idea was to use all the stored energy I had (fat).  I made sure my protein and healthy fats intake were on point, and used vitamins and supplements to cover my micronutrients.  I had a very low carb intake, and used carb cycling to maximize beta oxidation.  Initially, my fat loss was very rapid and my muscle development was where I expected it to be.  Then, as I got down in the mid-220lbs things slowed down considerably, but I stuck with the plan till I got down to 210lbs at the 90 day mark.  This is where everything stalled out, no fat loss and no muscle gain.

    Then, purely by accident my diet got disrupted.  With all the spring events going on, graduations and the such, I was travelling and engaged in all kinds of social events.  It’s hard to maintain a diet in these situations, so I ended up eating less than healthy foods.  I only missed one or two workouts, so that was my saving grace.  The guilt from breaking my diet kept me off my scale, and from measuring my body fat.  I assumed I had put on fat, and didn’t want to face up to it.  Well, things calmed down, and I had to evaluate the damage I had done.  To my surprise, I had lost a couple of pounds, and by body fat had dropped.  I also noticed I was able to get over a few of the plateaus I was on with the strength training.  My aggressive diet was hindering my progress.

    I had lost sight of the forest for the trees.  Because my results were so good with my plan initially, I got stuck in the rut of continuing what I was doing. We do what works, right?  What I should have done was adjust my calorie deficit as my body fat dropped.  I had less stored energy to work with, and I was starving myself to the point I couldn’t meet my body’s calorie demand.  This most likely triggered my body to begin conserving energy, so no fat loss and no muscle gain.  Now I’m running about a 250kCal deficit, eating more carbs, and I’m leaning out very fast.  I turn 40 in July, and I want to be toned up and moderately shredded.  I’m on track for this goal, and I’m really excited.

    So, the lesson is that no plan can be static.  This is especially true with diet.  So if you’re cutting, and your progress has slowed.  The right adjustment may very well be adding more food. Which is kind of counter-intuitive on the surface, but make sense when considering all the factors involved. I hope this helps anyone who is stalled out.

    You live and you learn @voelkern! That's why it's always best to start with a small deficit when cutting - it gives you room to move as your body fat % and weight drops, so that you can keep lowering your intake, keep dropping fat, but not have to starve yourself.

     

    The major problem with crash diets like that where you go into a deficit of 1000 plus calories is like you say, you drop a good amount of weight very quickly, but you also plateau very quickly, and it can be hard to lower things even further from there, because they are already so low already. And that's why a lot of people bounce back into old habits.. they almost do things too fast and then when the results stop, they think that's the best they can achieve and they just stop trying.

     

    Glad you found the solution though.. even if it was by accident haha. Slow and steady really does win the race!

  • Posted On: 05-23-18, 9:12 am (EDT) #3

    It works till it doesn't

    May 23, 2018, 9:12 am

    Yes, definitely learned my lesson. This is the first time in my life I've ever had more than 10lbs to lose. At least now I have a better understanding of the challenges overweight and obese people face when they try to get in shape. There are so many hurdles, and disheartening things that happen when you're trying to lose a significant amount of weight. I see how people get so easily derailed even when they have the right motivation. On to the next challenge, figuring out how to tighten up my lose skin, haha. Thanks for the reply.

  • Posted On: 05-24-18, 12:25 am (EDT) #4

    It works till it doesn't

    May 24, 2018, 12:25 am
    Posted by: voelkern

    Yes, definitely learned my lesson. This is the first time in my life I've ever had more than 10lbs to lose. At least now I have a better understanding of the challenges overweight and obese people face when they try to get in shape. There are so many hurdles, and disheartening things that happen when you're trying to lose a significant amount of weight. I see how people get so easily derailed even when they have the right motivation. On to the next challenge, figuring out how to tighten up my lose skin, haha. Thanks for the reply.

    It can be tough I'm sure, but you just have to stick with the process and keep in mind that if something isn't working, then doing the same thing over and over again won't change that. Your body won't change if you won't! Keep up the good work @voelkern, you got this!

Results 1 to 4 of 4
Page 1 of 1
Jump to page:
Jump To: