T Nation

Macros, Fat Loss Plateau, and the New Balance


#1

Hey everyone.
So, I started a weight loss journey in January and was introduced to macros and proper nutrition and started lifting. Since then I'm down 60 lbs. from 335 down to 275. I've hit a pretty hard plateau lately though and haven't seen much weight loss in 3 weeks. I keep telling myself it is muscle gain, but iI'mjust not certain.
My macros are as follows:
Calories 2500
Protein: 188
Carbs: 250
Fats: 83
I've been reading through this site and found a few things. I don feel like intermittent fasting would be great for me because I'm pretty ravenous and have a rotating schedule, but from what I'veread iImay be able to shave off some carbs and/or maybe some fats from my macros. Should iIreduce my total calories as well?
My goal is fat loss, but I certainly don't want to lose any of the muscle I've worked so hard for, so what should i do?
Ill still be lifting heavy, but I think I need some kind of change to my routine.
Thanks in advance to whomever.


#2

Congratulations on your progress. I'm in more or less exactly the same spot as you, having dropped a similar amount of weight in a similar span of time. No significant loss of strength for me, which I'm thrilled about. If you just started lifting in January I'm probably carrying more LBM than you though.

I've had success with simplicity, and I'm expecting that this will continue for a while longer. I eat meat and vegetables. Then I have some more vegetables. Eggs, nuts and protein powder are also on my menu. I limit carbs, except for my workout drink. I lift with heart. I still cheat on the weekends and progress continues.

Are you sure you've picked all of the "low hanging fruit", so to speak? No pints of Ben and Jerry's once a week? No sneaking in a sixer of IPA here and there? Are you certain that your macros are what you're actually eating, or is that just what you THINK you are eating?

I don't know much about intermittent fasting, but I do know quite a bit about being a 275+ pound dude. I believe you should still be able to make good progress by adjusting your intake down just a little bit and continuing doing what you are doing. No need for fancy methods or radical changes to an approach that you've been having success with..

My last adjustment like that was simply cutting out whole milk. Just like that, back on the progress train.

What does your lifting look like?


#3

Good job.

Consider carb and calorie cycling to get through a plateau. On days that you don't work out, cut calories and carbs. On workout days, boost carbs pre and post workout and calories. Instead of 2500 per day, think 17,500 per week - fewer on rest days, more on work days.

Just a thought.


#4

!!!!

Seriously, 60 lbs down is pretty damn impressive.

Also... if you can tolerate more protein... I would suggest getting up to a bare minimum of 225 (ideally 250-275) grams a day. This shift alone will be a big help for holding onto lean mass.


#5

I'm on more a 10 day rotation for lifting due to my schedule. Right now I do a back/bi day, a hardcore leg day with deads and squats, a conditioning day, and a chest/tri day. I'vebeen contemplating breaking up my leg day into two and doing a ham heavy day and a quad heavy day.
thanks for the kind words too.
I count everything for my diet, so it is fairly accurate id say. I do a cheat meal once a week, and sure, sometimes it is ice cream, but usually it is pizza.
So you guys think i could cut my carb macro down slightly and add it to protein?


#6

I wouldn't slightly cut down your carbs, I would dramatically cut it. I recommend to get 100-150 carbs, preferably the lower end of that. Also at 250 carbs a day, a cheat meal isn't necessary because your glycogen storage isn't low, cheat meals are for low carb diet. Can you lose weight at 250 carbs? Yes - you lost 60lb. But to break through this plateau, I believe you need a serious slash in carbs.

Edit:

Yes, substitute the calories you would've gotten from carbs with protein.


#7

I think when I first spoke with my trainer, who gave me the the nutrition info and taught me about macros and all of this, she wanted to set it up in such a way that it'd be sustainable and be a lifestyle change that could be more permanent.

knowing that the option is always there to cut carbs more and more to help with fat loss means that I will have an out when I reach a plateau. At least that's what it feels like I'm getting from this thread.

here's what i think my plan will be.

I'll boost my proteins up to 225 grams everyday to start and stick with 2500 calories on workout days but reduce fat by 10 grams and carbs by 10. Then on rest days, I'll reduce carbs down to 180 and fats back up to 75 and calories down to 2300. I feel like since I've been successful with the diet as it was for 6 months, perhaps small tweaks at first will make it more sustainable. That way the option to cut more carbs is there.
Plus, I bet I'd get irritable if i cut carbs too hard.

what do you guys think of that?


#8

Sounds sensible to me. If you like your carbs, you can keep your carbs. All that matters is whether or not you're getting the results you want with the things you do. If not, adjust.