So first time in my life ive actually started dieting , weighing my food portions , hitting cardio AM daily, and literally 1 cheat meal a week. Ive been dieting for 8 weeks now, started at 13.3st and now i am around 11.10st, my height is 5.10ft. Im sure i was around 21 percent bf when i started and now as my pecs are shaping properly, obliques top 4 abs are showing and bottom 2 packs can be seen if i move my lower belly fat around lol so im assuming im around 17 to 18% bf now.
Anyway ive been making changes started with around 1600 cals a day , then went down to 1400 cals and now im around 1300 cals a day with 1 cheat meal of 1200 cals a week. I started on short AM Daily cardio and now im doing around 40 mins AM cardio every day which burns approx 300 to 350 cals per day , and i hit the weights 5 times a week in the PM. 5 meals a day , every meal has 100g chicken / fish or atleast 30g protein, carbs and fats have been cycled daily depending on what im doing.
Now the question is do i carry on doing it as i assume the weight loss from now on will be less and less every week, so how do i keep up the work rate on burning the bf especially around my lower waist, and second question is, is it true that once you have been cutting and lost quite abit of weight, if you start CLEAN Bulking right after you will add on fat too as your body hasnt maintained this condition so its prone to adding fat? and if so how long do i maintain my weight/ training and diet for before i can start to add calories back into my diet to clean bulk ?
sorry if something doesnt make sense, ive been training for over 12 years but ive never ever dieting like this before so all info will help.
110g chicken breast with veggies and 20g oats
Workout at 5
110g chicken breast with rocket salad
110g chicken breast , 150g fruit , 20g peanut butter
This is my heaviest days, towards thursday and friday im having like 1 serving of 20g carbs
All these low calories and i dont feel like shit at all, feel well charged up and seem to be sleeping better, recovering better, so just want to keep dropping off the pounds so i guess until im eating just enough and burning the rest to have a defict of 3500 cals a week i can carry on dropping 1lb of fat a week
Keep going like this and you’re going to plateau hard. Of course this has worked for eight weeks, you’re effectively starving yourself. You dropped around 30 pounds in eight weeks (185 to 154 lbs), so a lot of that has had to be muscle, glycogen and water.
For reference, the general rule is to never go below bodyweight in pounds times 10 for your calories. So, your minimum would be 1600 calories give or take at your current weight. You’re at 1300 calories a day. Even with a 1200 calorie cheat meal once a week that is incredibly low.
Yes, you’ll lose weight. It’s going to end up being lost muscle.
Unless I’ve gotten the conversions wrong, with the information you’ve provided you are heading for a pretty unpleasant place very quickly.
You should, assuming you’re at 20ish per cent bodyfat, be able to lose fat with a moderate caloric deficit. You shouldn’t need cardio, just weight training. Cardio comes later, when you’re around that 10 times bodyweight area and still need to lose fat.
I was 164lb on sat but i get what you mean, i may carry this on for another 4 weeks max before i start maintaining as im really really happy with my results and condition , cant imagine what another 4 weeks would do, i get what you are saying but its working and i can see it work for another 4 weeks, i wont lower my cals any more, i may add in another weekly cheat meal, im watching the scales very closeley now and i am aiming to drop a max of 2lb a week, this should bring me down to around 11.02st end of 12 weeks. My main issue is maintaining this level of condition once i finish my cut and drop into maintenance, what would be the best way for me to preserve my bf and muscle through maintenance stage before i start clean bulking in jan/ feb .
You’re 164 lbs, so you should be able to maintain your condition getting between 2100 to 2600 calories per day give or take. Somewhere in that window, most likely towards the upper end, you would probably be able to gain muscle as well.
What I would suggest is to ramp your calories up slowly in increments of around 100 calories per day every couple of weeks until you hit around 2100 calories daily. I would expect that is where you would be able to stay for a little longer before adding more.
Okay bud let me run another 4 weeks on the cut and i will start to increase my calories slowly until i hit my maintenance calories. Once i go into maintenance mode , would i still need to carry on doing same amount of cardio or do i slow it down? Second question is how long is the maintenance phase normally for before i can start a clean bulk as ive read many times if you start to bulk before your body is used to the current leaner condition then you are highly likely to add on more fat back too?
That’s getting into territory I’m less familiar with.
You shouldn’t really need cardio to lean out until you’ve bottomed out your calories (and you’ve go way far past that, so we’ll just say that ship has sailed). Some kind of conditioning is almost always a good idea for general health and performance, so definitely keep something in.
For the maintenance phase I would leave it at least six months, maybe up to a year. I suspect you’re going to need to take some time to get your body out of starvation mode anyway, so I’d err on the side of caution and call it a year. That’ll give you plenty of time to figure out what your minimum maintenance intake is over a long period.
After that all you have to do is slowly add calories.
The thing is, as long as you’re training with weights and eating a little above maintenance, you’ll generally add lean mass. If you’re training with weights and eating a little below maintenance, you’ll lose mostly fat.
If you’re eating just enough to keep your body alive and training with weights, and you do that for a longer period, you’re going to lose lean mass and fat too.
I’ll admit I’m still trying to get my head around how you’re managing to train with weights five times a week, doing 40 minutes of cardio a day and eat 1300 calories a day with one 1200 calorie cheat meal a week. When I was at my leanest, somewhere around 10-12 per cent at 185 lbs or so, I was training four times a week and doing cardio twice a week. I was eating 2300 calories a day and I felt like dogshit.
You obviously are happy with what you’re doing and the results, just be really freaking careful because it doesn’t sound in the least sustainable. I’m still confident you’d have similar or better results with around 2300 calories a day.
I don’t have a ton to add to what @MarkKO, who gives some of the most practical advice around, said except on the reducing cardio.
In my own experience, so take it for what it’s worth, I have a threshold of cardio I “need” to do all the time. Let’s say 20 minutes 3x a week. If I don’t do that, whether dieting or not, I get worse at everything because my health suffers. However, that’s also the point of diminishing return - doing a lot more than that doesn’t let me suddenly eat a ton without being fat. I add more at the end of a (for me, rare) diet when I’m super dialed in and know exactly every calorie I’m eating every day and I’d rather do 10 minutes more of cardio than give up half an orange.
Anyway, ramble over, for you I think you’ll have to take cardio down gradually; especially if raising calories at the same time. I think it’s dumb to go super gradual (like drop 1 minute at a time), but neither should you go from 200 weekly minutes to 0. Maybe first drop all your days to 30. Then, after a couple weeks, drop a day. And so on until you get to whatever you set for your minimum (20 minutes 3x a week is the general cardiologist rule of thumb).
You should also find you have more desire to be active during the day as you pull yourself out of this deficit, so that spontaneous movement may offset what you give up in cardio to a degree.
Ha i agree i just understand how i dont feel like dogshit, honestly this is without any steroids too, but maintenance your saying upto a year , thats such a long time, does that mean i cant add lbm and slowly increase my bodyweight once i finish my cut , i was hoping to stay in maintenance for aoround 6 to 8 weeks but what you just said has thrown me off the scale lol
Agreed , around dec time ill slowly drop cardio over the course of december and as markko said add like 100 calories a day for few weeks till i hit my maintenance level, by then 3 or 4 days of 20 mins cardio seems reasonable tbh as i wna keep fit as such too while adding in the cals and gaining muscle back on my body
It doesn’t mean you can’t, but a maintenance phase is just that. Maintenance. You aren’t trying to add anything, just staying at that particular weight and body composition give or take natural fluctuations. Getting your body to a set point takes time.
Nothing about this is quick. Losing fat and keeping it off without losing too much muscle takes time; getting your body to be accustomed to being lean takes time; and adding lean mass without adding much fat takes time.
That makes sense , tbh anything is better then 1200ish calories and 40 mins cardio everyday and 5 days weights sessions lol. I guess when i do slowly bring it to maintenance i will most likeley add muscle to my body with the influx of extra calories and probably loose more fat as you said above
Main question is how would i know my body has completed the maintenance stage, i.e it has become used to the new condition and is ready to start adding quality muscle to its frame?
Exactly. I think you’ll know when you’ve gotten to a new set point when you really don’t see much change in body composition with varying intakes (within reason). So let’s say you have a week, maybe even two, with lots of eating out, missing a few training days etc and you look and weigh pretty much the same after. That’s when you know your body has set itself at that point.
Got ya but rule of thumb is it could be anywhere from 3 to 6 months when i start my maintenance phase for me to stabilise. Another 2 questions lurking in my head
during maintenance Phase would i still be doing my weekly cheat meal or does that stop as my calories increase to maintenance which is higher then my cut phase, and if i have say a extra cheat meal , the next morning it i hit cardio AM and say burn 400 to 500 calories would that balance the effect of eating that cheat meal?
currently im on a 5 day split hitting all of my body with reps mostly ranging from 10 to 15 to keep my muscles feeling like i need them and not let em waste as such, when my calories do increase during maintenance and my body may want to grow, what kind of rep ranges or workout should i go for? Keep to high rep ranges medium weight and high volume like now or lower volume higher weight and 6 to 8 reps?
I’d probably drop the size of the cheat meal as your daily intake increases, kind of in line with each other. So when your daily reaches a certain point, your cheat meal will be so small as not to really mean anything. Be very, very wary of assuming a particular amount of cardio burns a certain amount of calories. Our bodies are very good at conserving energy. Also, in your case I think your cheat meal is really a refeed, so you don’t want to be working it off as such. Its just there to keep your body from going completely insane from the deficit. So, from that perspective it makes sense that as your daily intake increases, your refeed size would decrease.
In respect of how you train, for muscle growth it’s a matter of effort and consistency. Different guys have achieved the same quality of result using different approaches so it’s going to be down what you find is most sustainable. I think generally as your intake increases you can absolutely benefit from pushing the intensity higher because you’ll have the fuel for it. Whether that’s more volume or same volume with more weight is up to you. What I would be mindful of is that you do want to be able to feel whatever muscle you’re training, regardless of weight. So if you find beyond a point that heavier loads decrease your ability to do this, only use the heaviest load you can while still feeling the muscle. Over time, that maximum load will increase anyway.
Remember, there isn’t one set system that is the only one that will work. The systems that produce results share the principle of progressively overloading your muscles, be it with weight or volume to generate fatigue. How well a given system will work is also going to be dependent on how much effort you make. So, let’s say you’re going low volume and high intensity, you need to go to real goddamn failure, not just the weight getting hard. That’s just an example, of course.
Got it, so the refeed will get smaller everytime i up my calories until its about even basically which makes perfect sense.
In regards to training as i enter the maintenance phase i think ill carry on with same routine but add more weight and maybe lower reps to 8 to 10 and keep rest where it is between sets which is 60 to 80 secs between sets. Once i complete my maintenance phase ill go for a push pull legs push pull split to really get it going.
Think youve answered all my questions bro credits to you , oh last one before im done lol, say my target is 2200 a day and ive consumed 1500 cals and i end up eating a cheese burger with fries which is like 600 to 800 calories, even though the cals may fit my macros, is it wise to do cardio next day to burn it off or just let it roll?