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Going for 15% @ 6'6

What’s going on,

So I’m trying to get down to 15% body fat

6’6 - 198cm
~320 - 140kg
30% bodyfat

Any idea how low I can take my daily caloric intake down to without losing too much muscle mass?


Use a small caloric deficit; don’t crash diet.

Let recovery guide your training. Do the maximum amount of muscle from which your body can recover.

How do you know you are 30%

If you are 30%, then we’re talking nearly one hundred pounds of fat. That is a (very) small female’s bodyweight in pure fat. Instead of choosing some arbitrary body fat percentage number, why don’t you shoot for 29% first? Of course, you won’t be able to measure each percentage point, but my point here was that you need to focus on the first steps, not the endgame. If you don’t want to lose muscle, keep working out and eat at slightly below maintenance, dropping a few hundred cals every time your body adjusts to the lower intake. Save the cardio for when you can’t adjust cals. Most people don’t lose much muscle on a cut, they just don’t have as much muscle as they thought they did.

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A buddy bought one of those electric grip bf calculators off of amazon

Maybe you’re right, I was thinking of crash dieting my way down to 260 then adjusting my maintenance calories

You don’t gain fat overnight and you can’t lose it that way either. Slow and steady is the way to go for long term results.

Have you any concept of studies showing obese subjects shedding pounds of fat and very little lean mass during fasting?

The poster could, in fact, fit into said category and benefit hugely from such a protocol. And this is not a crash diet either.

This why I was asking how he knew he was 30% bf.

He could take his bf divide by 15, use that percentage and multiply it by his body weight. That number would be how much he could lose weekly without any muscle loss.

Lyle goes as low as 13, Greg nuckols I believe uses 20.

I’ve seen people starve themselves, lose weight fast, and then rebound when they can’t do it anymore.

I think people need to prepare for a long term commitment to their weight loss and maintenance.

At 320lbs, he doesn’t really need to worry about calorie formulas. At that size, gross weight loss is surprisingly easy: you can still throw in cheat meals every week and the scale will show linear progress.

The main issue is how to best do it efficiently. I would argue there is enough science to say that is through fasting or PSMF. Of course, if someone is generally happier doing a long-term steady lifestyle change then that is the route for them.

Of course, it’s classic yo-yo dieting. However, I would argue there is a big difference between starving yourself and undertaking a proper fast (even PSMF). The science is out there to support that. The downsides of long-term negative calorie balances brings with it additional health issues from chronic undereating, not to mention the continual battle against hunger and cravings. You are more likely to yo-yo when you’re half-fed, especially if those macros suck.

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Your best bet to maximize your potential for success would be to do it right, with a little slower-and-steadier approach. Aim for 2-3lbs per week of weight loss through consistent nutrition that doesn’t make you feel too deprived or like you’re “dieting”, add cardio as needed and train hard. If you starve yourself to get to your goal, you will not have learned how to eat properly and will likely lose any progress you’ve made. Especially if you’re concerned about not losing muscle mass, “crash dieting” as you called it is not going to help your cause.

Personally, I think 2-3lbs a week at 320lbs is conservative. Obese people do not need to worry about losing lean mass on a diet. Neither do they require 2,000 extra calories a day compared to someone at 180lbs at 10% BF, for example. So to say, ‘do it right’ is a bit misleading with the greatest respect, as I know you have coached very obese people through the process.

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I see what you’re saying, and agree to an extent. “Do it right” is just as much mental as it is physical. I have never personally seen someone “crash diet” and lose 5-6 pounds a week or so, and keep it off. Doing it right isn’t just about trying to maintain muscle mass, it means developing a nutritional lifestyle change that is sustainable in the long term, not starving yourself until you lose the weight you want and then attempting to learn how to eat properly. If someone has that much weight to lose, there’s a serious mental overhaul that has to be undergone, as well as physical. A more aggressive weight loss plan may work for a few weeks, but will not be sustainable, and will likely lead to yo-yo dieting and halted progress in the long term.

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Hi Rob,

Two points:

  1. You are an educated man so you must know your statement is patently false. There is evidence of long-term weight loss success from subjects who fasted. Now I’m not saying that is the solution for the wider population, but it cannot be idly dismissed in such a manner.

  2. Be mindful also of the poster’s original question: how to lose the weight without losing lean mass. I cannot see how your approach would be superior in that regard either.


I agree completely. I should have been more specific. When I say “not sustainable,” I don’t mean physically it will stop working, I mean for the vast majority of people who have a lot of weight to lose, they will not be able to sustain an incredibly aggressive weight loss plan. Mentally they won’t be able to handle it, they’ll swing the pendulum too far too fast and they’ll fail. Are there some folks that can go hard and not stop? Of course. Just in my experience, I have found these people to be few and far between.

I was mindful of just that, which is why I posted my thoughts that 2-3 lbs a week is the way to go. Just my thoughts, from my experience with myself, and training others, including a large amount of significantly overweight people, and seeing their mental and physical struggles. It’s challenging but achievable, and personally I’ve seen far more success in that approach with people focused on weight loss, compared to more significant calorie restriction.

Regarding losing weight without losing lean mass, again, just my opinion based on experience, 2-3lbs a week of pure fat loss, ensured by proper training and nutrition, and appropriate life style and mindset changes, is absolutely superior to crash dieting and trying to maintain super aggressive weight loss for trying to maintain LBM, and sanity.

As always, a pleasure to clash swords my friend!

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You’re the man JB!

Dropped down to 300 pretty fast by going to sleep hungry pretty easy but that didn’t last too long. Quickly rebounded. Hopped on a 5-2 diet. Feels pretty good so far. Dropping weight at a slower pace but steady. Just pounding back protein shakes 2 days a week not on consecutive days on my off days from a full body routine. Probably not the healthiest way to do this but it’s working and I can eat like I normally do 5 days a week.