T Nation

Weight Has Stalled

I started training to cut fat in Dec. Since I’ve gone from 254 -229. Size 40waist to 36. I’m 6’4" and in the last month I’ve weighed the same. I’ve stalled between 226-231. I suspect I’m undereating with all the training. I workout 3 times per week and interval cardio 3 times per week.

What is a great suggested calorie per day to continue to lose body fat? I’ve seen many and they are all different.

Thanks.

Are you taking HRX or other thermo? What’s your typical daily diet consist of?

Here is an article that estimates the amount of calories your body can actually metabolize from body fat per day.

mindandmuscle.net/articles/lyle_mcdonald/maximum_fatloss

You’ve seen a lot of different answers to how many calories it takes to continue losing because the answer is different for almost every individual case.

If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re stalling, you can take a week or two to STOP eating below maintenance. Give yourself a treat. Sometimes that gets your metabolism going again.

But usually… if you’re not losing weight, it’s because you’re eating too much. You can always try to create a caloric deficit by doing more stuff (cardio, gpp, etc.) but the easiest way to create a caloric deficit is to eat less.

I like to look at it as a very basic process. You eat which gives you energy. You do stuff which takes away energy. If you’ve got excess energy, you gain weight. If you’ve got an energy deficit, you lose weight. (NOTE: undigested stuff also adds to your weight and your weight fluctuates pretty wildly during the day.)

Working out helps determine the QUALITY of that weight so that you gain muscle and lose fat, but in the end, gaining and losing and staying the same is about how much energy you’re taking in vs. how much you’re expending. How many calories you have to take in to lose weight depends on you and your lifestyle. No one can give you a number that’s anything other than a WAG.

[quote]The Pencil Neck wrote:
You’ve seen a lot of different answers to how many calories it takes to continue losing because the answer is different for almost every individual case.[/quote]

But…but…but…

“a calorie is a calorie”

“calories in vs. calories out”

“if you’re not gaining, you MUST not be eating”

hence

“if you’re not losing, you MUST be eating [too much]”

If fat people can reach a point where they “can’t lose weight”, doesn’t this imply that skinny people might reach a point where they “can’t gain weight”?

Dangerous thinking there.

You’re slaughtering the sacred calf of this forum and many others. Are you okay with that?

No thermo’s yet. Typically during the day. Breakfast equals a 300cal protein shake 40g of protein, and 1/2 cup of oatmeal.

Meal two 20 grams of tuna, apple and almonds

meal three same as 2.

meal for is always up in the air don’t know what wife is cooking but I always sub steamed veggies for anything other then the main dish which is usually either: talpia, chicken, salmon etc.

No soda- just water and iced tea during the day.

I’ve cut out eating past 8:30 since that was a main problem for me.

The above is a normal day which I have about 4 out a 7 days a week. None normal days I lose a meal either meal 2 or 3 do to work etc and then compensate by a larger portion at home with the family.

Of course as I reflect on this more - I can think of instances of 6-8 hours between meals and other instances of eating out and not controlling my portions.

But I just think I’ve been mostly undereating in comparison to my workouts. My workouts are pretty intense.

Diet looks pretty good in the main, though eating out can throw everything off if you’re just ordering off the menu. It sabotaged my wife’s efforts a number of times…

Instead of 4 meals per day you might consider doing some intermittent fasting. That is - assuming a 3 meal per day regimen, just make a practice of skipping a meal and rotate which one it is. Eat the same calories, just apportioned differently. Breakfast or dinner are the best ones because it’s a 16 hour fast.

For some reason, this works for some folks. When the body starts running low on glucose (gotten from carbs and in some cases, protein) it seems to start metabolizing fat in those people who weight train or sprint. Those who don’t weight train or sprint tend to lose muscle tissue because the body is not receiving the stimulus that tells it to retain muscle and sheds what it figures it doesn’t need.

I haven’t lost any muscle tissue doing this and am pretty lean in the main…

[quote]The Pencil Neck wrote:

<<<But usually… if you’re not losing weight, it’s because you’re eating too much. You can always try to create a caloric deficit by doing more stuff (cardio, gpp, etc.) but the easiest way to create a caloric deficit is to eat less.

I like to look at it as a very basic process.[/quote]

Human energy metabolism is not a very basic process, though. It’s very complex, in fact. If it were basic, every hypocaloric diet would always work for every person indefinitely.

Usually, when my fat loss stalls, it’s because my metabolism has slowed, and I fix it by eating MORE.

Also, food choices matter and meal timing matters.

The post above mine is spot on.

With that in mind, this is how I recommend one diets: keep your calories as low as you find tolerable (say 10-12 x LBM), and when (a) performance decreases, or (b) fat loss stalls, or © both A and B… then you have a calorie spike day (cheat day). Note that this does not necessarily mean that you’ll be having a cheat day once per week or even once every two weeks; one of the criteria must be met.

If I were you, I’d implement a spike day on an off day from training and then immediately get back on your diet. From there, monitor your progress for the next 2 weeks. If you are still stalled, I’d recommend taking a full week off from the diet to eat at maintenance or slightly above maintenance levels. After this week, return to the diet.

-Stu

[quote]andersons wrote:
The Pencil Neck wrote:

<<<"But usually… if you’re not losing weight, it’s because you’re eating too much. You can always try to create a caloric deficit by doing more stuff (cardio, gpp, etc.) but the easiest way to create a caloric deficit is to eat less.

I like to look at it as a very basic process."

Human energy metabolism is not a very basic process, though. It’s very complex, in fact. If it were basic, every hypocaloric diet would always work for every person indefinitely.

Usually, when my fat loss stalls, it’s because my metabolism has slowed, and I fix it by eating MORE.

Also, food choices matter and meal timing matters. [/quote]

I didn’t say it WAS a very basic process, I said that I like to look at it as a very basic process. I understand about nutrient timing and how you can restart your metabolism by eating more for some period of time and all that crap.

That’s not the point.

USUALLY (and I used this word from the very beginning)… USUALLY when MOST people aren’t losing weight, it’s because they’re eating too much. USUALLY if you get someone to really analyze their diet when their weight loss slows, it’s because they’re not as clean with their diet as they think they are.

If you put people on a hypocaloric diet, they WILL lose weight. If they stop losing weight, then the diet is no longer hypocaloric. If you decrease the calories again, then they will start losing weight again.

When you start a diet, you have to eat X calories to lose weight. But then when you’ve lost some weight (which is fat and muscle), you have to steadily decrease the amount of calories that you eat to continue your weight loss because your metabolism is slowing for a variety of reasons (including the muscle lost). You can make that as complicated as you want but ultimately, you can’t continue eating the same things and continue to lose weight. You have to continually adjust your amount of calories.

Now, with that said, if your body starts thinking that you’re about to die of starvation, it will start losing muscle mass more than fat mass in an attempt to keep you alive. To keep that from happening, you have to occasionally refeed in one way or another and for one period of time or another.

Which is why… in the part of my original post that you conveniently cut out… I said that the original poster might want to experiment with eating more.

But I really think his weight loss has probably stalled because he’s still eating the same things that allowed him to lose weight initially and hasn’t decreased his intake to correspond with his body’s decreasing needs. He’s probably still basing his intake on his original weight.

Flatheads,

Your weight loss has stalled…

Congratulations!!!

this means that your body is functioning normally and that you most likely do not have any underlying metabolic malfunctions (thats good).

Human metabolism is elegantly designed for survival.
If you increase your energy intake, your body will adjust its metabolism up. If you decrease your energy intake your body will decrease its metabolism down. This is a survival mechanism and like every other body function it does not happen overnight and does have its limits.

Think about it in reverse, it is easier to visualize.
Bill is 25, and weights 200 lbs. Just graduated college and now is in the rat race working 80 hrs a week, no longer working out like in college. Eats fast food so he can get back to the office and get his career going.
One year later he’s 210 lbs. Now he keeps this life style up for the next 15 years (he is now 40). Does he now weight 350 lbs??? Most likely not.
He is probably between 250 and 275. But NOT 350. Otherwise there would be a helluva lot more guys over 300 lbs walkin around. Do the math, at age 50 Bill would weight 450 lbs if it was simply a matter of calories and math.
Sumo wrestlers struggle to CONTINUE to gain weight. Most of them fail, we only see the “gifted” ones.

Bill’s body in trying to survive:
A) stores as much of the excess energy as it can(fat).

and then

B) ramps up his body’s metabolic set point to burn more of it up.

Thats why we don’t have a nation of 400 lbs’er walking around. The metabolic set point gets raised. Of course in the long run this causes problems of its own. Can we say diabetes, heart disease etc. But these take time and most occur after 40 years old. In nature this means plenty of time to have offspring which means…
SPECIES SURVIVAL
Nature don’t give a damn if you have a heart attack at 40, or cancer or diabetes. Its all about gettin the next generation on its feet and running. And if you ain’t got that done, or well on its way by 40 then your a bit slow and may not be seen as the best breeding stock in Natures view. A male lion or moose or bear etc. all have to compete for the right to bear offspring. And it ain’t usually to old lion that wins the competition.

You started dropping weight in Dec. Its taken awhile for your body to catch on that this isn’t just a weekend thing. Now your body is adjusting (survival mechanism) to the change. It is adapting. It is adjusting your metabolism so that it can do the same with less.

Your metabolic set point has changed. Again thats great. Your parts are in good working order. Its bad because what you did since Dec to loss weight ain’t gonna work no more. At least not for a while.

You can do one of three things now:

  1. give up and stuff your face. Most folks do. Its easy.

  2. frantically try to cut even more out of your diet. Of course your body see’s this as a real emergency and things get way out of wack if you keep it up.

  3. adjust to your curent weight for a few weeks, allow your body to settle down, remember it takes awhile for your body to adjust to the physical changes you’ve made (your biceps don’t grow an inch overnight after a heavy set of curls). Then when your body/metabolism adjusts to your new/lower-weight as being “normal” THATS the time to cut the diet back again and your new/lower-weight body will respond just like what you’ve seen since DEC.
    Keep cycling like this within reason. It is the natural and health way to cut weight.

You can do it with more drastic methods, but they ain’t healthy and your body will respond in kind.

good luck to ya

LB