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Is A Deficit All You Need To Get Single Digit BF%?


Is manipulation of carbs needed to get down to the low single digits (6/7%) or will a steady deficit with the occasional refeed/ cheat day be enough.

I have been following an 1800 (600-800 deficit) cal diet with a 2 days of maintenance/slight surplus.

My fat loss is stalled completely and I tried dropping calories to 1600 and felt way too weak/flat.

What cards do I have in my pocket except dropping calories further.

Adding cardio is out of the question as I tore a ligament in my left knee preventing me from walking/cycling for extended periods without feeling sharp pain.

Im 187 @ roughly 10%bf and need to get down to 7-8%bf by mid september/october.

Thanks in advance


Up your calories back to maintenance/2400? but go zero carbs with the exception of greens…


I bet KB Swings wouldn’t both your knee (Hip Hinge dominant version not the partial squat version)


Have you tried Hiit Weight training? I hate, hate, hate cardio so I incorporate hiit training in my weight lifting program. Essentialy I’ll do 10 sets of 10 reps of each exercise with just 20 seconds of rest. Do chest, back and abs one day, legs the next then biceps, traps and shoulders. rinse and repeat.

A couple of things that i find helps my performance and aids weight loss is using my gyms sauna and cold water immersion. The sauna mostly helps with recovery but will elevate your heart rate and provide you heat shock proteins that will help you burn some calories.


OP: I cant really answer your question, but I can say that 1800 calories for someone that lifts is waaaaay too low.

I would consider upping the calories again, and maybe try some nutrient timing strategies(carbs only before and after working out) to see if it helps.



In my own experience, I only got down to the 8% BF area (looking beach ready) through a combination of as much exercise as I could do with as few calories as required to fuel the former. (I uploaded some pix of this journey at my hub). This personally equated to around 2100 kcals a day, mainly low carb (although I am currently leaning out using a higher carb approach and Indigo but it is too early to start recommending this to others).

To put this in context, prior to this, when I first got back into training when I had gained a lot of fat, I employed an HIT programme which recommended x3 full body sessions to failure per week; and a 1600 kcal diet, which was about 50-60% carbs (many of them crappy, as was the entire diet plan). I lost weight but it became hellish and life was always about counting down when I got to eat next. I got lighter and into single digit BF through diet alone as the short sessions burned few calories. However, I also looked terrible and started to resemble a long distance runner rather than weight trainer. People often remarked I looked gaunt and underfed. This eventually led to a re-think and different methods were employed.

Therefore, the upshot, for me, was more frequency and volume, and more calories. Obviously rest and recovery is even more crucial.

Given your injury, you will need to consider a work around if you go down the additional activity route. Someone mentioned KB swings, which sounds like a good plan.

Finally, before I am set upon by the HIT crowd, I appreciate legends like Dorian Yates, Mike Mentzer, etc. got into incredible shape with minimum frequency training and a general balanced diet approach. I’m just pointing out what worked for me.


PLenty of competitors never really bring their carbs especially low and get nice n’ diced no problem. Others need to really shuffle their macros around. The bottom line though is that you always need SOME degree of deficit during the week (not necessarily every single day though).

The caloric range you threw out is seriously low. While I do conceded that sometimes pretty low DAYS may be needed here and there to get the body to dig in, I would never recommend it every day. You might actually benefit from working #s up some days during the week.