T Nation

Muscle Mass Beyond Max Deficit


can anyone explain why it is ok to surpass your max deficit when you are cutting please?

for example, when you are cutting, you typically are either increasing cardio/activity level and/or decreasing you calories.

so, you are increasing your deficit, even though the max deficit that your body can sustain is actually getting smaller...

it seems weird to me. i am about to cut again soon and i have gained some muscle that i do not want to lose. i will be calorie/carb cycyling again and i plan to try and keep my low days at about 10 cal/lb which to start will be about 1700 and try not to ever lower it from there if possible, even as i drop weight, but rather increase calories.

here's what i would like an explanation on:

lets say that i am at my last 12 or so pounds. if you know about calculating the max deficit then you know that the max your fat can sustain without cuttung into muscle is fat (12) times 31= 372. so, i can sustain a 372 calorie deficit a day without losing muscle.

but here's the thing, what if i am already eating at that deficit (the 1700), and doing an hour to an hour and a half or cardio a day and still not losing? it's obvious i've creating that small (372 calorie) a day deficit but yet nothing is happening....

so my question is, is it ok for me to (if fat loss has stalled) then increase activity (ie add another 15 or 30 min or cardio a day) into my routine? will i be burning that extra 600+ calories which are OVER my deficit from my muscle mass every day, or will they just not be coming right from me since i'm already staying the same where i currently am anyway? is it ok to not pay as much attention to my calculated max deficit but rather pay more attention to what my body is doing and what i need to do to keep the fat loss coming off...i.e if it stalls, increase cardio...i will try to increase the deficit with exercise first and keep calories the same since i want to spare as much muscle as i can (and i also am taking glutamine, bcaa, creatine, 1.25 gr pro/lb etc to ensure it as much as possible in my carb cycle)

if someone can please explain why i am (this happened to me last time so i am assuming i will run into it again and would like to know your opinions on what to do) surpassing my max deficit by lets say 7 or 800 calories a day and still not losing. ex: calories ate: 1700 calories burned approx. 1400 bmr + approx 500 (hr long cardio) + approx 300 (weight training) + approx 300 (half hour cadio post weights)= 2,500. that basically puts me at an 800 calorie a day deficit even though i can only sustain a 372 one (based on how much fat i carry)... so is it ok to increase cardio when i stall like this and not pay attention to the "max deficit" but just do whatever i have to to lose the fat? will those extra 500 calories come from my muscle? or is it just that you have to force those last 12 pounds and under off so it's ok to do that and i dont need to worry about burning off pounds of muscle???? that is what stumps me. i know that bodybuilders only have like 10 pounds of fat, but they end up doing sometimes two cardio sessions up to an hour each...even if you eat maint. calories, that's aready much more than the 372 calories defifit right there...

thanks a lot for reading and i'd love to have this explained in a way i can understand it on how that works and why its ok to go over your deficit and what will happen to my muscles!

also, i am an endo/meso type and i gain muscle/fat easy and find it harder to come off and muscle doesn't come off too easy either but i still worry :slight_smile: thanks!



I stopped reading about halfway through that post. You're thinking WAHAAAAY to much into this.

Yes, while dieting has to be planned properly, you shouldn't be planning it that deep.

Goto CTs carb cycling article. Follow his equasions. Then diet like that. After three weeks, make some modifacations. Either lowering fat, raising protein, whatever. Just take stuff as you go.

From what I did read I think the answer to your question is that peoples metabolisms change throughout a diet.