T Nation

Obesity, Diet and Metabolism

I’m 20+ bf at this moment. I’ve got 154lbs of lean body mass at 6ft. So I’m by no means a muscular guy. I’ve been slowly lowering my cal intake to lose my fat. According to a navy taper test I’m 27% bf at this moment. I don’t really care about % but well, it’s very visible. I want to get down to 15% so that I can start gaining muscles again.

But is it true that lowering my cal intake for lets say 3 months (my goal is to lose 10cm on the waist by the 1st of April) will be bad for my metabolism? I mean, at this moment metabolism is the last thing I should worry about, but on the interwebzz people seem to bitch and moan about the danger of it a lot.

[quote]Kardash wrote:
I mean, at this moment metabolism is the last thing I should worry about, but on the interwebzz people seem to bitch and moan about the danger of it a lot.[/quote]
Only because lowering calorie intake too far(for too long) can damage your metabolism to the point that if you ever start eating normally again you will rebound and put all the weight back on and then some.

No big deal.

I have run into some metabolic issues through long term dieting. Now, I never do strict calorie reduction longer than 6 weeks. My body appears to get hyper efficient at that point and I just wont lose any weight. Plus I have found that I inevitably binge pretty hard when I diet longer than 6 weeks. I generally try to lose about 15-20 lbs during that period than go into a maintenance phase for around 2 months where my primary goal is not gaining fat and repairing my metabolism, and my lesser secondary goal is putting on muscle. I still have 8% BF to lose to hit my goal.

Since this is your first time trying to lose the fat, my guess is that you will probably respond well to dietary changes and increase excersize. I lost about 50 lbs in a pretty short period of time (12 weeks) when I first started trying to lose weight simply by cleaning up my diet, doing fasted walks every morning, and weight lifting 3 evenings a week. I never gained that fat back, but I did plateau at around 50 lbs of fat loss.

I am not an expert and will defer to those who are. I am simply providing anecdotal information.

[quote]Kardash wrote:
But is it true that lowering my cal intake for lets say 3 months (my goal is to lose 10cm on the waist by the 1st of April) will be bad for my metabolism? I mean, at this moment metabolism is the last thing I should worry about, but on the interwebzz people seem to bitch and moan about the danger of it a lot.[/quote]

If you are overweight you already have a damaged metabolism and I would not worry about calorie restriction in your case.

Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence that one will damage their metabolism further by using a calorie restricted diet. This is quite unfounded and belongs in the Hall of Brosciences.

In fact, fasting which can be seen as a type of calorie restricted diet can maximize fat loss at the same time that it primes one’s body for muscle building.

Google the term “intermittent fasting” and see the results of some of the people who practice it.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence that one will damage their metabolism further by using a calorie restricted diet. This is quite unfounded and belongs in the Hall of Brosciences.
[/quote]
So you do not believe that when you restrict calories for long periods of time that your metabolism adjusts to a lower set level and eventually you will not continue to lose weight?

Then inversely when one starts eating normal their metabolism is still at a lower level so what use to be normal calories is now a surplus.

Amazing what is accused of being Bro-Scince now.

[quote]JLone wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence that one will damage their metabolism further by using a calorie restricted diet. This is quite unfounded and belongs in the Hall of Brosciences.
[/quote]
So you do not believe that when you restrict calories for long periods of time that your metabolism adjusts to a lower set level and eventually you will not continue to lose weight?

Then inversely when one starts eating normal their metabolism is still at a lower level so what use to be normal calories is now a surplus.

Amazing what is accused of being Bro-Scince now.[/quote]

Sure, but that does not mean it is “bad for our metabolisms”.

To think it does is unfounded. “Slowing down” is the body’s natural response to decreased nutrient intake. I would suggest it is actually a good thing to do every once and a while because it allows the body to enter a hormonal state that does not often happen - as well as giving the digestive system a break.