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Stalled Fat Loss on Intermittent Fasting


I know there are a lot of threads out there on stalled fat loss, but I couldn't find one that involved IF (if that makes any difference).

I've been "cutting" for 10 weeks now, and have dropped from 220lbs to 206lbs (6'3", probably low teens bf). For the first 6 weeks I consistently lost just over 2lbs per week, but have stalled on 206lbs for the last 4 weeks. I believe I have maintained all the lean mass I started with.

I have always gained weight on few calories, and calculated that I was maintaining 220lbs on around 2,500kcal per day. For this cut I've been counting calories for the first time and I've been taking 2,000kcal per day: roughly 210g protein, 125g carb, 65g fat.

I've been intermittent fasting. 18 hour fast, 6 hour eating window. 3 meals - pre workout I have almonds, cashews and beef jerky; post-workout I have meat, greens and either potatoes or brown rice; final meal I have eggs and fruit. Once per week I have a higher carb day, but still 2,000kcal total.

Training wise I'm doing a 6x per week bodypart split. Both volume and intensity is relatively low.

My goal isn't extreme, just to lose around 5lbs and get down to around 10 percent bf.

Any and all suggestions on where to go from here are welcome. Thank you.


Maybe add some cardio?


IMO....you are at the absolute minimum for daily calories. The options are eat less or do more; if you are already eating less; the answer is to do more.


Thanks for the advice guys.

Yeah I really don't want to lower the calories further, so I'll start adding in cardio.


Ya I'd add cardio In and like BlueCollar said your at a low calorie point already for your weight.The cardio should help give your metabolism a boost to get past the sticking point.


Have you considered periodic re-feeds? 2000 cal/d x 10 weeks has likely had a profound effect on your leptin levels.


THIS as well.


This is something I've been wondering about recently - how much higher should calories be during a re-feed than during the diet? I've got a feeling that anything beyond a certain threshold that allows your leptin levels to come back to normal would be counterproductive, but how much is enough? Slightly above maintenance, perhaps?



Thanks again for the help guys.

I have done periodic refeeds but by accident rather than intention. I visited relatives twice during the 10-week period and basically just ate whatever I wanted (though still relatively clean). I'd estimate around 2,500-2,700kcal. Each time I'd immediately gain 2lbs or so (I'm guessing water and glycogen etc) then drop straight back down to where I was before.

I'm considering returning to maintenance intake for a few months, while just slowly working on strength at my new weight, before attempting another cut. What would you guys think of that?


IMO...it depends on the deficit macros. After I am several weeks into a low-carb protocol (40-60g net/daily); I conduct unlimited 4-6hr re-feeds one day per week; without disrupting progress. I run the deficit at about 3,000 cal/day and am certain I double that on a re-feed day.


So it seems like one should not worry too much about going overboard on a re-feed day and just chill and eat away :slightly_smiling:


I think that sounds like a good plan.

As for 'how much feeding does it take to count as a re-feed?'--I for one am not aware of any research on this subject (would love to see some if anyone has a link). The guidelines I have heard include eating 2-3x the baseline diet intake (so for you, that would be 4-6k cals), or double maintenance (for you, ~5k). Probably not a coincidence that those two recs are basically saying the same thing. Other guidelines include a free-feed time window as mentioned above, or having a day where the rule is 'eat until comfortably full, repeat all day as necessary.' Again, note that these strategies are likely to result in a similar caloric intake as the ones mentioned first.

Of course, there are other folk who will simply binge all day, and they are likely to come in substantially higher in terms of calories.

All that being said, I don't think your 'refeeds' as described above--ie, occasionally eating at or barely above maintenance--are the sort that would be expected to favorably reset leptin (but like I said, I'm not aware of any systematic research on the subject). So in my opinion, refeeds remain an untested strategy with respect to your current diet stall-out.

(Edited for a spelling error)


After you finish leaning up, I would definitely keep tracking macros and try to add 20ish g carbs per week, or whatever amount allows you to slowly gain about a pound a month. This will allow you to build your metabolism by slowly letting your body adapt to the increased food intake. 2,500 calories at a relatively lean 220 lbs is not much, you shouldn't be maintaining on that amount


Several weeks on 3,000 cals/day (40-60gr of carbs),
then a refeed of 6,000cals for 4-6 hours,
then repeat that 6k refeed EVERY week, only if the remaining days of the week are 3k/day (40-60gr of carbs).
Right ?


No longer relevant as the thread has moved on- but he's clearly not at the 'absolute minimum'. He's at maintance calories, which means he could cut further


It is not a re-feed day; it is a scheduled window of time; preferably beginning with the last meal of the day. 4-6 hours is plenty.




You clearly are trying to start some shit.
An active lifter with the LBM the OP has in his avatar should not routinely run at 10 cal/lb; and certainly shouldn't reduce levels any lower. If you are correct and he has succeeded in establishing 2,000 daily calories as maintenance while weighing 200 lbs. he has much larger problems than some stalled fat loss!


I'm certain 2,000kcal isn't my maintenance. Would be horrible for quality of life and performance maintaining with that little food!

I'll increase calories while staying at this weight and imagine I'll settle at at least 2,500kcal.

Thanks for the advice, really appreciate having experienced guys such as yourself helping out. All the best.


Best Of Luck!