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Developing A Long Term Fat Loss Strategy

Hey everyone,

Just as the title suggests I am in the process of developing a long term sustainable fat loss strategy. Here is a quick overview of my situation:

28 y/o male, 5’8", 250-260 lbs, +30% bodyfat. Overall goal is to get down to around 200 lbs and 15-18% BF.

Current focus is powerlifting, started competing a couple years ago but only have done a few meets. Next meet is this July.

I have mainly run 5/31 and variants for the past 8-9 years, but just started 5thSet by Swede Burns as it was developed specifically for raw powerlifting. Probably 15 years of lifting experience total. Approximate strength levels as follows: S=560, B=330, D=605 all at around 230lbs BW. My training will remain largely the same regardless of diet. Lifting 3 days per week, and trying to incorporate in more sled push/pulls, weight vest walks, and active recovery circuits.

Long story short, I left myself get pretty fat. Mainly due to poor eating habits (too much junk food, eating late at night, etc), which I am currently replacing with good/better ones. I understand how to calculate caloric requirements and adjust it, how to calculate macros, carb cycling, reverse dieting, and meal timing so on and so forth. I guess my two main questions are these:

  1. When you are as fat as I am, how aggressive can you be with weekly fat loss targets? I have read that you should aim to roughly lose about 0.5% of your BW a week which is around 1.5lbs for me. But could I realistically aim for 3 lbs a week? And if I did choose this more aggressive strategy at one point would I scale down targets, as an example if I hit 25% BF would I then reduce my weekly loss targets? When in doubt I will just aim for that 0.5%, but I just am wondering if I could be a bit more amibitious, at least out of the gate.

  2. My other question is how long would one such as myself remain in a caloric deficit, before moving back up to maintenance and or surplus? I really doubt that I will be able to lose all the weight in one shot both for biological and psychological reasons. Should I just plan to be in a deficit for 10-12 weeks at a time, then reverse diet back to maintenance for some time before going back into a deficit? Or should I just continue until lifting performance begins to suffer and then return to maintenance and a short time at surplus?

Or am I just overthinking all this stuff and should just jump in the fire and figure it out as I go?

Currently leading up to my meet my goal is to just focus on eating mostly whole food sources and follow some general daily requirements I got from a stint I did on Precision Nutrition, and start consistently food journaling so I can get used to tracking and being more mindful about my eating. In addition I am going to get a 2 week meal plan in place with grocery list in place so to get rid of my “paralysis by analysis” problem I have.

If anyone has any input it would be greatly appreciated.

  1. The faster you lose, the more likely you will struggle to stay on your diet.

  2. The RP folks recommend 6-12 weeks of fat loss follower by 2-4 weeks of maintenance.

You can be pretty aggressive, consistency is key either way. Don’t worry about losing muscle. Hit a 20-25% calorie deficit, eat your protein and lift your weights.

If you’ve got that much fat to lose, you can be in a deficit for QUITE A WHILE. One of my clients stayed in a deficit for over 2 years. He was almost 400 lbs when we met, we got him down to 194lbs over two years of consistency to his plan.

Aside form eating healthier, you need to have a hard focus on total calorie intake. You should be weighing all your food to ensure accuracy with your calories.

You are overthinking, but don’t figure it out as you go. You’ve got the right idea. JUST START, and be sure to post with any questions!

To summarize -
You can be in a deficit for a really long time. You won’t lose muscle. Train, weigh your food, do it every day without fail, and you’ll get there.

Thanks for the input! Its greatly appreciated. I will be sure to post any questions I have here.

1 Like

Anytime, glad to help!