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Higher Fat = Lower Metabolism?

So usually I bulk at around 3800-5000 calories per day depending on the year. When I cut I drop the calories to 2800, which is also my maintenance level. Most days I’ll be at around 1300 cals from carbs (fruit/veg/brown rice, mostly brown rice), 475-525 from fat, 900 from protein. One or two days per week I swap around the carb & fat numbers for a high fat / low carb day. I do this for a couple months until I’m down to around 195-200 lbs, and around 10% or lower bf.

This year after reading a lot on the nutrition forum here I decided to do something different. First, I decided to actually go below where my maintenance will be, to speed up the results. Carbs are pegged around 210 (175 net), so 800 calories roughly, Protein around 700 cals (175g), and fat 600-700 cals per day. So around 2100-2200 calories per day. Carbs from veggies, fruits. Fats from evoo, coconut oil, red palm oil, avocados, etc. So the first six weeks I went from about 230-215. I did a mini refeed for a few days, then went back to what I was doing. Since then I’ve lost 0 lbs. I’ve been stuck at 215 for 3 weeks. My strength isn’t declining; all my lifts are holding steady. I’m using the exact same routine I did last year when I went from 218-195. I’m not tired, I’m sleeping fine, and I am completely stumped. Any ideas? I’ve checked my calorie #s 4 times and using multiple different sources so I know I’m not miscalculating there. All I can think is that the extra fat has slowed down my metabolism??

Throw the scale away. It makes no distinction between fat, water, muscle, etc.

Since you are to taking in no complex carbs, I would think that you are trying to get in ketosis. Although, you are eating fruits, so am I not sure what you are trying to do. 33/33/33 “diet” has been around for a long time. Good starting point in figuring out what works best for you. Over the course of the next few weeks, just make slight adjustments and see how your body responds.

Now you know why people work with coaches. No two people are the same and things change.

[quote]JFG wrote:
Throw the scale away. It makes no distinction between fat, water, muscle, etc.

Since you are to taking in no complex carbs, I would think that you are trying to get in ketosis. Although, you are eating fruits, so am I not sure what you are trying to do. 33/33/33 “diet” has been around for a long time. Good starting point in figuring out what works best for you. Over the course of the next few weeks, just make slight adjustments and see how your body responds.

Now you know why people work with coaches. No two people are the same and things change.[/quote]

Thanks; I had done a lot of reading on the forums here and wanted to try something different for this cut…going to give it one more week to get going, and if not revert back to my previous methods.

get professional to train and follow up with your body development and behavior
no scale will tell you how much you really weight

you’re probably in better shape than me fwiw, BUT it sounds like you dropped too many cals too fast.

You could do an ELEL/EMEM cycle outined here: www.T-Nation.com/diet-fat-loss/truth-about-metabolic-damage

That might help you refresh the metabolism (I dropped 2 lbs on ELEL with no change in diet). From there, you could reset with more cals and work it down slowly (reduce carbs or fats 10-20g/week) to keep your fatloss progressing.

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
So usually I bulk at around 3800-5000 calories per day depending on the year. When I cut I drop the calories to 2800, which is also my maintenance level. Most days I’ll be at around 1300 cals from carbs (fruit/veg/brown rice, mostly brown rice), 475-525 from fat, 900 from protein. One or two days per week I swap around the carb & fat numbers for a high fat / low carb day. I do this for a couple months until I’m down to around 195-200 lbs, and around 10% or lower bf.

This year after reading a lot on the nutrition forum here I decided to do something different. First, I decided to actually go below where my maintenance will be, to speed up the results. Carbs are pegged around 210 (175 net), so 800 calories roughly, Protein around 700 cals (175g), and fat 600-700 cals per day. So around 2100-2200 calories per day. Carbs from veggies, fruits. Fats from evoo, coconut oil, red palm oil, avocados, etc. So the first six weeks I went from about 230-215. I did a mini refeed for a few days, then went back to what I was doing. Since then I’ve lost 0 lbs. I’ve been stuck at 215 for 3 weeks. My strength isn’t declining; all my lifts are holding steady. I’m using the exact same routine I did last year when I went from 218-195. I’m not tired, I’m sleeping fine, and I am completely stumped. Any ideas? I’ve checked my calorie #s 4 times and using multiple different sources so I know I’m not miscalculating there. All I can think is that the extra fat has slowed down my metabolism??[/quote]

The dietary numbers sound perfect to me.

  1. What are your protein sources?
  2. Do you eat whole eggs and red meat (if your not vegetarian, I would think you’d want to get about half your fat cals from animal sources to keep hormone levels optimal.
  3. What is your training rep range right now?

Anyway, I used basically that identical diet to get from 28% to 12%, but I have never gone below 12%. When I got down under about 15% I did find that refeeding on carbs seemed to speed things up, but I have to admit that I have not mastered what it takes to get from 12% to 8% or whatever. Some people say to double carbs every other day, some say one week out of every 3-4. I found that on refeed weeks my skinfolds dropped while my weight rose by 5-7 POUNDS so you may want to actually eat carbs until your weight has gone up 5 pounds and then return. I did get stretches of no weight loss, and they always were broken by eating enough carbs to actually gain back 5 pounds in a week. When I tried “safe” refeeds it didn’t really do anything.

In theory, after 9 weeks, your muscles and liver have slowly lost glycogen and your body has started to find other ways to refill it (but not fully “loaded”) and your body has gotten good at burning fat. You have basically an empty reservoir that can hold a few pounds of carbs. That’s where they are going to go.

Fat, carbs and protein all have differing thermic effects (i.e., the amount of energy required to digest.)

1 gram of protein nets 3.2 calories.

1 gram of carbohydrate varies depending on the amount of fiber. It sounds like you have a very clean diet, so a net of 3.35 calories is probably a decent guess.

1 gram of fat will net 9 calories. There is very little thermic effect at all.

So maybe your calorie intake increased more than expected because of your macronutrient ratio, but in all honesty I don’t think this is the cause of the problem you are having, because you already seem very familiar with this stuff (I mainly made this post for lurkers) Hope this helps.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
So usually I bulk at around 3800-5000 calories per day depending on the year. When I cut I drop the calories to 2800, which is also my maintenance level. Most days I’ll be at around 1300 cals from carbs (fruit/veg/brown rice, mostly brown rice), 475-525 from fat, 900 from protein. One or two days per week I swap around the carb & fat numbers for a high fat / low carb day. I do this for a couple months until I’m down to around 195-200 lbs, and around 10% or lower bf.

This year after reading a lot on the nutrition forum here I decided to do something different. First, I decided to actually go below where my maintenance will be, to speed up the results. Carbs are pegged around 210 (175 net), so 800 calories roughly, Protein around 700 cals (175g), and fat 600-700 cals per day. So around 2100-2200 calories per day. Carbs from veggies, fruits. Fats from evoo, coconut oil, red palm oil, avocados, etc. So the first six weeks I went from about 230-215. I did a mini refeed for a few days, then went back to what I was doing. Since then I’ve lost 0 lbs. I’ve been stuck at 215 for 3 weeks. My strength isn’t declining; all my lifts are holding steady. I’m using the exact same routine I did last year when I went from 218-195. I’m not tired, I’m sleeping fine, and I am completely stumped. Any ideas? I’ve checked my calorie #s 4 times and using multiple different sources so I know I’m not miscalculating there. All I can think is that the extra fat has slowed down my metabolism??[/quote]

The dietary numbers sound perfect to me.

  1. What are your protein sources?
  2. Do you eat whole eggs and red meat (if your not vegetarian, I would think you’d want to get about half your fat cals from animal sources to keep hormone levels optimal.
  3. What is your training rep range right now?

Anyway, I used basically that identical diet to get from 28% to 12%, but I have never gone below 12%. When I got down under about 15% I did find that refeeding on carbs seemed to speed things up, but I have to admit that I have not mastered what it takes to get from 12% to 8% or whatever. Some people say to double carbs every other day, some say one week out of every 3-4. I found that on refeed weeks my skinfolds dropped while my weight rose by 5-7 POUNDS so you may want to actually eat carbs until your weight has gone up 5 pounds and then return. I did get stretches of no weight loss, and they always were broken by eating enough carbs to actually gain back 5 pounds in a week. When I tried “safe” refeeds it didn’t really do anything.

In theory, after 9 weeks, your muscles and liver have slowly lost glycogen and your body has started to find other ways to refill it (but not fully “loaded”) and your body has gotten good at burning fat. You have basically an empty reservoir that can hold a few pounds of carbs. That’s where they are going to go.
[/quote]

  1. Primarily chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, protein powder (this is the same as last year)
  2. I have a whole egg every morning, I don’t eat red meat usually, maybe once per week.
  3. Training reps are almost all 1-5 rep sets; large compound movements, olympic lifts, and sprinting

I’m baffled, this is the same thing I’ve done every year, just with different macros, and it’s gone horrid.

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
So usually I bulk at around 3800-5000 calories per day depending on the year. When I cut I drop the calories to 2800, which is also my maintenance level. Most days I’ll be at around 1300 cals from carbs (fruit/veg/brown rice, mostly brown rice), 475-525 from fat, 900 from protein. One or two days per week I swap around the carb & fat numbers for a high fat / low carb day. I do this for a couple months until I’m down to around 195-200 lbs, and around 10% or lower bf.

This year after reading a lot on the nutrition forum here I decided to do something different. First, I decided to actually go below where my maintenance will be, to speed up the results. Carbs are pegged around 210 (175 net), so 800 calories roughly, Protein around 700 cals (175g), and fat 600-700 cals per day. So around 2100-2200 calories per day. Carbs from veggies, fruits. Fats from evoo, coconut oil, red palm oil, avocados, etc. So the first six weeks I went from about 230-215. I did a mini refeed for a few days, then went back to what I was doing. Since then I’ve lost 0 lbs. I’ve been stuck at 215 for 3 weeks. My strength isn’t declining; all my lifts are holding steady. I’m using the exact same routine I did last year when I went from 218-195. I’m not tired, I’m sleeping fine, and I am completely stumped. Any ideas? I’ve checked my calorie #s 4 times and using multiple different sources so I know I’m not miscalculating there. All I can think is that the extra fat has slowed down my metabolism??[/quote]

The dietary numbers sound perfect to me.

  1. What are your protein sources?
  2. Do you eat whole eggs and red meat (if your not vegetarian, I would think you’d want to get about half your fat cals from animal sources to keep hormone levels optimal.
  3. What is your training rep range right now?

Anyway, I used basically that identical diet to get from 28% to 12%, but I have never gone below 12%. When I got down under about 15% I did find that refeeding on carbs seemed to speed things up, but I have to admit that I have not mastered what it takes to get from 12% to 8% or whatever. Some people say to double carbs every other day, some say one week out of every 3-4. I found that on refeed weeks my skinfolds dropped while my weight rose by 5-7 POUNDS so you may want to actually eat carbs until your weight has gone up 5 pounds and then return. I did get stretches of no weight loss, and they always were broken by eating enough carbs to actually gain back 5 pounds in a week. When I tried “safe” refeeds it didn’t really do anything.

In theory, after 9 weeks, your muscles and liver have slowly lost glycogen and your body has started to find other ways to refill it (but not fully “loaded”) and your body has gotten good at burning fat. You have basically an empty reservoir that can hold a few pounds of carbs. That’s where they are going to go.
[/quote]

  1. Primarily chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, protein powder (this is the same as last year)
  2. I have a whole egg every morning, I don’t eat red meat usually, maybe once per week.
  3. Training reps are almost all 1-5 rep sets; large compound movements, olympic lifts, and sprinting

I’m baffled, this is the same thing I’ve done every year, just with different macros, and it’s gone horrid. [/quote]

You HAVE gotten below 10% before though, so you may be pretty carb tolerant, but didn’t you cut carbs before? You may just not be losing as much muscle as in the past. 15 pounds of fat in 9 weeks is a lot. I mean it would be 6% bodyfat lost.

You started 12 pounds heavier this time.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
So usually I bulk at around 3800-5000 calories per day depending on the year. When I cut I drop the calories to 2800, which is also my maintenance level. Most days I’ll be at around 1300 cals from carbs (fruit/veg/brown rice, mostly brown rice), 475-525 from fat, 900 from protein. One or two days per week I swap around the carb & fat numbers for a high fat / low carb day. I do this for a couple months until I’m down to around 195-200 lbs, and around 10% or lower bf.

This year after reading a lot on the nutrition forum here I decided to do something different. First, I decided to actually go below where my maintenance will be, to speed up the results. Carbs are pegged around 210 (175 net), so 800 calories roughly, Protein around 700 cals (175g), and fat 600-700 cals per day. So around 2100-2200 calories per day. Carbs from veggies, fruits. Fats from evoo, coconut oil, red palm oil, avocados, etc. So the first six weeks I went from about 230-215. I did a mini refeed for a few days, then went back to what I was doing. Since then I’ve lost 0 lbs. I’ve been stuck at 215 for 3 weeks. My strength isn’t declining; all my lifts are holding steady. I’m using the exact same routine I did last year when I went from 218-195. I’m not tired, I’m sleeping fine, and I am completely stumped. Any ideas? I’ve checked my calorie #s 4 times and using multiple different sources so I know I’m not miscalculating there. All I can think is that the extra fat has slowed down my metabolism??[/quote]

The dietary numbers sound perfect to me.

  1. What are your protein sources?
  2. Do you eat whole eggs and red meat (if your not vegetarian, I would think you’d want to get about half your fat cals from animal sources to keep hormone levels optimal.
  3. What is your training rep range right now?

Anyway, I used basically that identical diet to get from 28% to 12%, but I have never gone below 12%. When I got down under about 15% I did find that refeeding on carbs seemed to speed things up, but I have to admit that I have not mastered what it takes to get from 12% to 8% or whatever. Some people say to double carbs every other day, some say one week out of every 3-4. I found that on refeed weeks my skinfolds dropped while my weight rose by 5-7 POUNDS so you may want to actually eat carbs until your weight has gone up 5 pounds and then return. I did get stretches of no weight loss, and they always were broken by eating enough carbs to actually gain back 5 pounds in a week. When I tried “safe” refeeds it didn’t really do anything.

In theory, after 9 weeks, your muscles and liver have slowly lost glycogen and your body has started to find other ways to refill it (but not fully “loaded”) and your body has gotten good at burning fat. You have basically an empty reservoir that can hold a few pounds of carbs. That’s where they are going to go.
[/quote]

  1. Primarily chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, protein powder (this is the same as last year)
  2. I have a whole egg every morning, I don’t eat red meat usually, maybe once per week.
  3. Training reps are almost all 1-5 rep sets; large compound movements, olympic lifts, and sprinting

I’m baffled, this is the same thing I’ve done every year, just with different macros, and it’s gone horrid. [/quote]

You HAVE gotten below 10% before though, so you may be pretty carb tolerant, but didn’t you cut carbs before? You may just not be losing as much muscle as in the past. 15 pounds of fat in 9 weeks is a lot. I mean it would be 6% bodyfat lost.

You started 12 pounds heavier this time. [/quote]

That is true, I’m just surprised the progress has slowed to a halt the last few weeks. I am pretty carb tolerant, I just wanted to add more healthy fats this time around, so the fat calories added needed to come out of the carb count. I have cut carbs sometimes in the past, last cut once or twice per week I would go low carb (like 30g net) and high fat for a day or two every week.

I would try going back to your old macros, starting at about 2500-2700 calories/day, and adjusting from there.

Essentially you added about 8 grams of fat/day to your diet just to get “more healthy fats”, but personally I don’t think there is some magic difference between 65g F/day and 72g F/day.

Also, if you get good results, another future adjustment would be to reduce the number of low carb/high fat days per week to one instead of two. That adjustment might keep things moving faster for you compared to your original plan, which seemed to be working pretty well.

This may sound silly, but I was in your situation a few weeks back when my cut came to a halt for a couple of weeks. I had 2 choices… I could drop my calories 200-300 or up my energy levels a bit throughout the week. I chose the ladder and started taking 45 minute walks 4-5 days per week upon waking on an empty stomach. Just enough to burn a couple hundred calories and get things going again. Pretty simple and I’m back on track losing 1-2lbs each week.

Thanks for the advice everyone;

weighed myself yesterday for the first time in 6 days; down 3 lbs, so I guess things are moving again. My ‘large carb’ meal in the afternoon before working out had been an avocado for the past couple weeks. I switched to using sweet potatoes for a few days, and I literally felt my energy spike after the first time. Seems to have gotten things going

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
Thanks for the advice everyone;

weighed myself yesterday for the first time in 6 days; down 3 lbs, so I guess things are moving again. My ‘large carb’ meal in the afternoon before working out had been an avocado for the past couple weeks. I switched to using sweet potatoes for a few days, and I literally felt my energy spike after the first time. Seems to have gotten things going[/quote]

That would make sense given that an avocado has 17g of carbs, 14g of which is fiber. :slight_smile:

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
Thanks for the advice everyone;

weighed myself yesterday for the first time in 6 days; down 3 lbs, so I guess things are moving again. My ‘large carb’ meal in the afternoon before working out had been an avocado for the past couple weeks. I switched to using sweet potatoes for a few days, and I literally felt my energy spike after the first time. Seems to have gotten things going[/quote]

An avocado? that is basically virtually no carbs. Didn’t you say you were aiming at close to 200 grams of carbs a day? For me, on a typical day for losing fat I still had a 12 oz baked potato (75 carb grams) AND maybe 40 grams of carbs from rice each day, about 115 total. Plus maybe a banana for 140. It way key to get around 150 grams of carbs a day versus prior low carb attempts where I stayed strictly under 100 and probably averaged 75.

And if you are getting 150 a day, you can STILL throw in a v low carb day.

I was going to say that what I would do is add 200 grams of carbs from rice and potatos a day for one week and then go back to the lower carbs.

And I still would recommend getting half of your fat from grass fed beef butter, and egg yolks. A key with more fat is that your test doesn’t drop as it often does with any calorie reduction, and so you don’t lose strength.

I am glad it is working now and I am personally shifting back from maintaining at around 12-13% to go under 9 in the next 6 weeks so I’d like to learn something from your lead.

Yea, I have an avocado checking in at 3 grams of non fiber carbs. It is a great fiber and MUFA source though. Add 3/4 cup of rice and a 6 ounce bison sirloin and now your talking.

Thanks!

Yeah I wasn’t thinking with the whole avocado thing. I either go with a sweet potato, or an avocado. I should probably be going with both. I’m going to be adding in more butter as I continue the cut. I’ll let you know how it goes. Definitely feel better after a few days using potatoes/rice for carbs, I think that was the issue.

On top of butter (which I use 1-2 tbsp a day) and egg yolks (which I get 4 a day), add in coconut oil. Very digestible, great for stir frying due to higher smoke point AND has saturated fats, great for your test.

He has coconut oil. In terms of added oils I personally try to get half animal and half high monounsaturated plant (red palm, avocado (oil), macadamia which is almost all monounsaturated and high smoke point, and olive, but if I get more coconut I may cut back a little on saturated fat. Plus I use 9% fat bison and 3+ egg yolks a day. Kerrygold butter is the only brand I’ve found made from grass fed cows.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
He has coconut oil. In terms of added oils I personally try to get half animal and half high monounsaturated plant (red palm, avocado (oil), macadamia which is almost all monounsaturated and high smoke point, and olive, but if I get more coconut I may cut back a little on saturated fat. Plus I use 9% fat bison and 3+ egg yolks a day. Kerrygold butter is the only brand I’ve found made from grass fed cows. [/quote]

Yeah I use Kerrygold myself. I actually bought a pack of the unsalted sticks to make Ghee! Good stuff.