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Fat Loss Stalled After 50lb Weight Drop

Looking to get some advice/perspective on a lack of diet progress.

I’m 32 and been lifting for a few years seriously having started to improve my rugby performance. After years of not tracking my food and working away I got up to 256lbs

I read Bigger, Stronger, Leaner by Mike Matthews in June 2019 and realised that despite choosing relatively healthy options I was eating calorie dense foods in an abundance (nuts, peanut butter, whole fat milk, etc) and nearly 50lbs in a year. Since around June last year I’ve struggled and only lost around 6lbs in total and I’m currently floating between 204-202lbs. I took a month long diet break in December (eating at maintenance until Christmas) and have been dieting again since Jan the 1st.

I started the year off at 2400 kcals (I forget the macro mix as I can’t go back and see it on MyFitnessPal) but went down to 2288 kcals after a couple of weeks once I got rid of the holiday weight gain and fat loss stalled. Current macro mix is:
Carbs - 272g
Fat - 52g
Protein - 183g

I do two consecutive re-feeds at maintenance circa 3000kcals calories with carbs up to 400g on those days to try and spike Leptin.
I also started on the 16:8 a couple of weeks ago and saw an initial drop of a couple of lbs.

An example of my diet plan for the day (today)

1st thing
Green tea

10:00: pre training
Black coffee
75g whole grain oats with almond milk, blueberries and one scoop of a protein blend
1 whole grain pitta and 2 whole eggs

12:30 post training
60g of pasta
Lean beef Mince and pasta sauce
200g of low fat Greek yogurt
200g of pineapple

15:00
1.5 scoops protein blend
Frozen berries
Almond milk

18:00
Lean pork steak
Sweet potatoes
Green veggies
20g 85% dark chocolate

Training wise I’m doing 531 4 days per week programme and several conditioning sessions a week doing HIIT or metcon, I also tend to do 20-30 fasted walk first thing most days which I actually enjoy just to start the day.

I tend to sleep between 7-8 hours per night and go to bed and get up at the same times mostly

This is me now, as you can see I’m not exactly really lean and could stand to drop a few more lbs. I’m planning on a diet break for a week next week once I come off a deload this week.

If anyone can help me out in terms of anything I’m doing wrong or could improve that would be great

You seem to already be keeping carbs fairly high on the day to day: what leads you to believe you need to be refeeding and upping carbs considerably? That would make more sense to me if you were cycling carbs and keeping them low, in order to deplete yourself of glycogen in the first place.

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It’s something I’ve only started to implement recently after reading the Eric Helms book The Muscle and Strength Pyramid, he talks about increasing carbs and doing two consecutive refeed days to spike leptin and stave off effects of metabolic adaptation.

I am planning to drop it to a single day post diet break anyway.

Any consideration to cycling carbs if you’re going to have a period of high carbs like that? If one’s goal is fat loss, that would make the most sense to me. Otherwise, it’s just eating more food on 2 days, which doesn’t seem productive for fat loss.

Jamie Lewis’ “Apex Predator Diet” would fit well with those 2 high carb binges. Otherwise, there’s these articles

Yeah should have said that I drop carbs on Sunday’s on which I only tend to go for a walk but keep at same level on conditioning days. Looking at the carb cycling articles you’ve sent they seem more pertinent than what I’m currently doing, thank you. Think I should be cycling down carbs in line with these articles on my conditioning days.

What’s your experience with the protein levels in CT’s article? I currently use 0.82g per lb plus 5-10g after reading a meta-analysis showing there was no additonal benefit in going over 0.82 (article even argued not much benefit past 0.64). I used to go 1.1-1.2g per lb but when I dropped found I looked and felt less bloated. My mrs was also pleased as I was leaving less smells in the house :slight_smile:

I’ve legit never counted a calorie or macro in my life, so I couldn’t say. I keep my carbs low year round, which means my protein and fats tend to be high, but as far as numbers go I couldn’t really say.

Good work… based on your current pic your at the stage where fat loss is will happen at a crawl now.

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Why? He’s lean but not stage lean. He can still pretty comfortably drop 1-2lb/wk if he really wanted. The longer he drags it out the harder it will be to keep dropping as his body establishes a new set point.

The obvious answer is to drop cals. I don’t really understand the rationale behind refeed days when you’re still eating 2400 cal/day. With the refeeds looks like you’re averaging 2600. You don’t have to worry about leptin or metabolic adaptation right now.

For reference, I’m 5’11" and was ~200lb when I STARTED my last cut at around 2000 cal with no refeeds until I was around 1800. I finished my cut around 1500-1600/day. I didn’t lose any strength or muscle.

Point being, you have plenty of room to still manipulate calories. I don’t even think you need to worry about cycling carbs right now.