T Nation

Fat Loss: All Out Or Slow/Steady?


Just wondering how everyone felt about this. I've personally gone through both and had success with both. There are arguments for either direction obviously.

Back when I was really obese, I did a slow and steady diet (eat right, exercise, cut 500-1000 calories) and while there were bumps on the road, I lost a good amount of weight over two years.

When I got leaner, I got tired of always being on a 'diet' and opted for all out war diets (get shredded and vdiet). I'd lose the fat fast, then go on with my life. I, of course, followed general eating guidelines for maintenance, but honestly I've never felt it was difficult to stay where you are (so no yo-yoing for me).

Anyways, as for the reason why I'm asking, I think I'm going to cut down some recent fat gains. At my leanest point, I was 180 @ ~10-11% bf, but realized after awhile it was a bit too skinny for my frame. Added some muscle (around 15lbs I think), but unfortunately for a number of reasons, a good amount of fat too. Today, I'm 210 @ ~18% bf.

I'm debating what I should do now. I'm leaning toward going all out again for maybe 6-8 weeks, but was curious about everyone's opinion.


Sup Bro-I am acutually in about the same boat, but at 5'9 and 190 (15-17%) and I am about to start the GSD my self after much thought as to the best course of action.

I chose that route for both its proven results (just check out the blogs on the PN website) and the fact that whole food sources are used and one can easily transition into something like the Anabolic Lifestyle from it since it is also a high PRO/FAT, low carb method. I NEED to lose the fat fast since I have a weigh-in in about 5 weeks. If you'd like to join in, I can help keep you on track. Peace.


What I personally do is use a slow and steady to get down to about 10%, then switch over the V-Diet or GSD. It is personally very hard for me to lose fat at around 10% and below, so something like those 2 diets does the trick quite nicely.

It really is not necessary to go extreme when you are around 20% because it could kill your metabolism making it damn near impossible once you try and get single digit.

My philosophy is eat as much as you can to lose 2 pounds per week. Once you get 10% and under that becomes 1 pounds. The longer I do this the more I like the idea of adding in exercise as opposed to cutting out food.

Read of on G-Flux in the archives if you havent, interesting stuff.


I'm with you, Evilmage and MAC7. It's the band-aid principle - right off!


All out!


Too fast and you will almost certainly be burning most of the protein you eat for energy and losing lean body mass. This will make it harder to sustain the weight loss, as your resting metabolism will drop, meaning it will take eating fewer calories to hit the dreaded fat-gain zone. Also, 2 pounds a week is about the maximum amount of fat you can lose (about 1/4 to 1/3 a pound per day). More weight loss than this, and it is almost certainly water and lean mass you are losing.

Evilmage, no offense, but you say that both fast and slow have worked, and yet here you are again. Unless you had some serious health problem that caused you to have to eat more than you could burn, you haven't really succeeded with either. Not trying to be harsh, as I've been there and may again. What it does suggest is that you need to evaluate your strategy and try to come up with a plan that can become long-term habit, and sustainable not a temporary fix. Slow and steady is closer to this than fast and furious, and so seems to me to be more sensible. Just try to look for ways that help turn slow and steady into a very long term solution that has you worrying about fluctuating closely around a healthy goal and not figuring out how you even get close again.

Good luck!