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:
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.
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.