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Don't Diet for More Than 8-12 Weeks?


I have read thousands of articles that say: Don't diet for more than 8-12 weeks...
How do people get big and lean then? After 8-12 weeks just just eat crap again?

I have been dieting for over a year (intensely). I think i haven't had a "cheat" during the whole time. Pure strict dieting! Mostly lowerish carb but recently gone up.

I know it's unhealthy and I unpacked a lot of muscle(as well as 30 kgs of fat) but have been plateaued for the past 9 months.

I have not changed the number of calories eaten from when i was trying to loose weight (1800-2100)

I know.. Major metabolism screw up...

Any ways i can get it back on track?


Well most of us make life style changes or minor adjustments on what is called a maintanence phase as far as eating goes after dieting. Ex: Using healthy oils for cooking, sticking to lean cuts of meat & lower GI carbs. Will help keep most of your progress when off the diet.

Wow 30kgs of fat in a year? Did you just give up? I don't think it's a plateau you hit. I think you need to regress your diet & workout. No offense but I've only seen that happen to people that quit working out & dieting all together.

From a quick read of what you posted, I don't know much about your diet & body type. All I can suggest is to switch diets. Especially if it's been 9 months with no progress. Read up on how protien/fats/carb effect your body & metabolism. Make some lifestyle changes as far as eating goes. Not only when dieting, but for life. Good Luck.


by 30 kgs I mean, 15 kgs over 1 summer and then about 2-3 kgs per month in the first months and then slower.

I think i am a mesomorph and i have some excess skin/ left over fat in the gut.

What do you mean refress my diet and workout?

That's the thing.. I am so scared to eat more calories because I am so afraid that I will gain all that weight back. It was hell trying to get rid of it. I cannot picture myself redoing it all.

ps. I already try to eat meals that are either P + F or P + C :slight_smile:


Start adding 100 cals/wk if you're worried. Your body will adapt again and start burning hotter. You can track progress via morning body temp, and feel. Scale might go up based on water if some of those cals are composed of carbs so don't worry to much about that.

After the first month add 50cals/wk until you find you Maintenance phase, then you're good to go. Bulk or maintain for a bit to reset yourself.


by "diet" they mean "eat in a caloric deficit." Doing that for too long can result in metabolic slowdown.

Also, even if you're not dieting that doesn't give you an excuse to eat like shit and pile all kinds of crappy processed foods down your throat. You should be eating sensibly year round (with occasional indulgences); dieting is simply doing that with less calories.


If you are really fat you can diet longer than 8-12 weeks w/ out metabolic slowdown or screwing up your hormones. Although, since you have been at it a whole year it would probably be a good idea to take 2 week diet break. This doesn't mean it like shit. It means you should be eating at maintenance level (or slightly below to account for metabolic slowdown) You can go back to dieting after your break if you still need to lose body fat.


I'd like to echo what jlats wrote but add that after such a prolonged period of dieting, it may take longer than 2 weeks at maintenance to get everything working properly again. I would take a month off, eat at maintenance, and perhaps go a little easier on the cardio as well (i.e. stay away from higher intensity HIIT stuff and focus on brisk walking, swimming, etc.)


Sounds like you live in fear, are unaware of the 90% adherence rule, don't train hard enough in and out of the gym, and have never heard of the G flux either.


haha yeh i can relate to living in fear

Fear of getting weight back on and loosing muscle :confused:


and the award for "most helpful post" goes to...


I would take my CURRENT BMR, workout the amount of calories I need NOW and maintain for 2 weeks or so.. Then i would take 10% off and go from there.
I would be manipulating carbs to remove calories. I would eat high protein and moderate fat and be resistance training at least 3x/wk to keep metabolism high. This is paramount.
I would trim off any excess calories with a small amount of cardio.. but keeping that low as calories can be reduced further... according to hunger.

I would eat a lot of fibre, drink a lot of of water, eat a lot of fibrous veggies, lean meats and nuts. Oils and fish too.
I would be supplementing BCAA, Fats, leucine and Whey, along with ZMA and even a herbal 'test booster' and possibly some sort of caffeine(sp?) product (i personally would use T3.. but that's me, not you :wink: )

I would have a weeks food planned out and bought.. and plan deviances from that diet for 1 cheat MEAL every 7-10 days.

I cant think of anything right now.. but thats what i'd do with the info you gave.. :wink:


sorry for the hijack...

JMo, PM Me


...asshole... :wink:


I lost about 100kg over the course of a year with extreme deficit AND extreme exercise. I did no reading and did all the wrong things. That was four years ago and since then I've managed to use my body as a little science experiment and try a few things out, read a lot and here is what I have found. I've existed for extended periods in the last three years between 9% and 20% BF.

For me it's always about body fat, that's what determines what I should do. I find that I only start having to worry about losing muscle mass once I get under about 12-15% BF, over that and I'm pretty much fine.

For sanity and physical well being I tend to take it easy every four weeks even when dieting hard. I will eat just below maintenance or at maintenance and back off exercise slightly. This isn't really important until I' quite lean, but it's more of a sanity and general energy thing when I'm not so lean.

If you've read stacks of articles then you know fat loss is diet and muscle building/maintenance is done in the gym. This is absolutely true for me. I've packed on the most muscle doing the Stripped Down Hypertrophy program for about three months and just changing exercises around every four weeks. Like anything I changed programs when gains petered off. Find a program and do it for six weeks or so, people smarter than you or I have made them and even if gains are mild it's six weeks of the rest of your life. You will learn about your body either way.

I would suggest you need to change things up, and you need to monitor your food intake. You give no idea of your body weight, but if you are actually taking in 1800-2100 calories then you need to prove this to yourself. Add measurements such as BF% and tape measurements to your arsenal so you know if some change is happening. I've had periods where scale change was minimal but tape measurements were noticeable.

I'd basically suggest after this length of dieting to take a week or two off eating 500 calories extra or something. Fat gain will be minimal in that period and it'll probably improve your mental, hormonal and physical state. Take that time to pick a program that's outside your comfort zone from the site, and a diet that works with your lifestyle and following them both for 4-6 weeks and see what happens. Reacess at the end of that.

Good luck, nice work on the 30kg.


As long as you're training often, you need not fear this


Wow some nice answers here guys!
I weigh 66kg (149 pounds) and am 5'9 (176cm).
I think i am a Meso since i was born with a naturally wide back and quite big body (also put on weight easily)

I have been lifting for a year and have seen A LOT of toning and I would say at least moderate gains.
For someone of my body type/ 12-14% BF/ age (17 years old), Would you guys reckon a upper/lower body split is more efficient? Or full body? Or 5 day split hitting each body part once a week?


You seriously need to change things.

You are very light indeed.. 150lbs at 5'9" is lightweight man. I don't doubt that you are still skinny-fat, but this is not anything to do or be helped by dropping calories more.

You need to start changing your mind-set about weightloss and a good physique.. before you know it if you continue dieting, you will be 120lbs with the SAME amount of fat you have now.
You seriously need to get anabolic with this shit now.. seriously, you need to build muscle, this will burn a lot of calories as is, and naturally results in a lower bodyfat level/%.

You need to eat higher protein, and eat at maintenance.. eat no less than 150g protein a day.. and no more than 200g. Eat low 'GI' carbs.. all i mean is carbs that are slow digesting, low fat and high fibre.
Eat lots of veggies and fruits.. if you feel you benefit from it more.. control the carbs in your diet and eat more healthy fats. one or the other though, dont decrease or add both simultaneously.

If you continue down this road you not only will make yourself feel ill, you will look shit and will feel further from your goal that you do now.

Trust me, it's my job :wink:



:slight_smile: I eat like 250-300 grams of prot a day
but it's true that my carbs are rather low.

And i eat like 3 pounds of broccoli haha

I have to change things. Starting from today I eat no less than 2500 kcal.

Do you reckon i should still eat these many calories in my no/low carb day?
Or should i also cycle calories on this day and eat way less (e.g. 1600, since no kcals from carbs are eaten)


Oh and Brook,
How many kcals out of my daily total should be post workout?
And should i save some for the pre bed meal?


Oh and Brook,
How many kcals out of my daily total should be post workout?
And should i save some for the pre bed meal?