How Low Would You Go?

I’ve been dieting for quite some time, almost non-stop, well below maintenance level for close to two years. I lost around 40 lbs, but getting down further has become a huge challenge for me for over a year. I’m still over 20% bf. I might have some thyroid and adrenal fatigue, so I’ve been taking a break for the last two weeks from all ESW and eating above maintenance (around 3200 kc a day). I plan to complete three weeks at this rate, hoping that will be enough to “reset” my metabolism so that further dieting can actually be effective.

What I was wondering was, how low would any of you go in terms of faily caloric intake for the first week or two of dieting right after a break period? 8x bodyweight? I can go as low as possible as long as it’ll help me lose weight. Discipline in terms of eating and exercising is not an issue for me, it’s just figuring out what works for my body or not.

I’d appreciate any help!

…well below maintence level for two years? You should probably eat maintence and above for more than 3 weeks. Give it a couple months, your body needs food to survive.

We’ll need more info about your stats before we can answer the calorie question.

Training Info: Weights, cardio, how many days a week, what kind.
Lifts: Squat, Deadlift, Bench
Height, Weight, Age.
Current Diet, Fatloss diet, Supplements?

It will be easier to assess your situation after those have been answered. Please be specific. ie Diet macros, timing, food types as opposed to “my diet is good”.

Best of luck.

I’m 26, currently 218 lbs, 6’2". Not very muscular (higher than average, though), over 20% bf.

From about mid-February through March 26th I ate about 2550 calories a day. Less than 30g of carbs, and the rest split about even between fats and protein. Before that, I stayed around 2500 on average for several months, though I did try going very low calorie for a week here and there (as low as 1500 kcl a day), with little result.

Aside from those few isolated weeks, I’d say I’d been hovering around 2100-2500 kcl on average for most of 2008. In 2007, when I first started dieting, I lost around 40 lbs from the end of summer through the fall by eating around 1800 kcl a day. Mind you, my diet had been crap during that time, I simply went low calorie. In 2008 my diet was better, but I still wasn’t eating all that well.

It was only in February of this year that I started eating well, my diet comprising pretty much entirely of meats, some cheese, cottage cheese, nuts, seeds, protein shakes, and green veggies. I was following Thib’s Refined Physique Training strategy as close as possible. Low carb, and the rest of the calories split even between protein and fat, as mentioned above.

Two heavy lifting days a week, as much as I could lift, and two Lactate-inducing workout days followed by steady-state cardio. I lost a good ten pounds going low-carb, but couldn’t lose any more for all of March. So he suggested that I take a break for at the very least two weeks, which I’ve been doing.

Same basic diet, but with an added 150-200g of carbs (from fruit, beans, and some oats), plus one cheat meal every week. About 3200 kcl a day, which is maintenance for me. I’ll be at the third week mark this thursday, and I was hoping that would be enough. I’ve gained 8 pounds during this time, most of the water I imagine from upping the carbs.

Do you really think that I need to do this for two months? 2500 calories a day the previous months isn’t quite so low, right? I was looking at doing Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fat Loss plan for two weeks right after this break, and then onto a moderate diet plan (around 2500 kcl again) for an additional ten weeks.

Is that enough info? Or should I go into more detail regarding my exercises? I’ve been taking a lot of supplements. BCAA’s, creatine, L-Leucine, multivitamins (plus additional A, D, B complex, ZMA, glucosamine for my joint problem), TRIBEX, did HOT-ROX for a bit but am now taking a break, and during this reset period I’ve been taking stuff like Selenium, iodine (just iodized salt), Licorice root, Power Drive, and ginseng extract to help with the thyroid and adrenal gland stuff.

Part of what you lost could possibly be muscle mass.

I would say check out Thibs carb cycling codex article and follow that if your looking to diet for a long term. Otherwise, eating like your saying will be detrimental after a month or so.

I think 3-4 weeks of normal eating should be ok to get back on track, but you need to eat at maintainance.

Deffinately check out the carb cycling

I don’t think I lost any muscle mass since my strength hasn’t gone down; I’ve been consistently able to add more weights over time.

The weird thing is that I’ve felt really, really tired every day during this break at maintenance level. Maybe I’m just tired because of my boring job, but my energy level has been lower than ever. I had higher energy on that keto diet.

Psychologically, I just need to lose a good amount of fat soon. I’ve been trying so hard for so long, and I’ll do whatever it takes. That’s why I was thinking about Lyle’s Rapid Fat Loss plan, as extreme as it is. Just for a couple of weeks, and then onto a moderate diet.