T Nation

When to Start Fat Loss Cycle?

When should I start a fat loss cycle? My goal is to look lean and feel good and fit for the warmer months of spring and summer, possibly march or april. Should I start cutting away now, or add a little more mass before I try to do something like that?

I am 22, and at 5’11" I am hovering around 175lbs, which is where I have been for the past 2 months or so. I am not super strong, and I would say that my max deadlift is in the low 300s. I am basically a skinny white boy that has been weight training for 7 months. Most of the fat on my body is on my belly, and even when I ran track in high school I didn’t have visible abs.

I’ve heard that one shouldn’t even consider cutting if one weighs less than 150. While I’m not in that category, before 7 months ago, I was around that weight.

I sort of understand that the best way is to eat clean while your bodyfat is low, but the fact remains that my bodyfat is not low enough for me.

So what do you all recommend? Strength training for two months and then cut? Hypertrophy for two months then cut? Cut now? Don’t cut at all? Please help! Thanks for your time.

You’d probably be fine if you just cleaned up your diet and kept training as usual. If you’re not quite there when your deadline starts to draw near, I’d judiciously add in some cardio. You shouldn’t have to get too elaborate, though.

So then what would constitute clean eating? Right now I eat around 3,500 calories a day at 175. I eat a good amount of carbs, protein, fruit, and veggies, while avoiding junk food. Are you suggesting that I reduce my caloric intake? I don’t know what I would have to do besides that to eat cleaner than I already do.

Where you get your carbs from is kind of a big deal. To be safe you probably want to stay away from most processed carbs and starchy carbs, (potatos, white bread, some rices, etc) but depending on the timing and quantity they are not necessarily bad.

I wouldn’t consider a fat loss cycle until you cease to be ‘skinny’ by T-Nation standards provided that you are already under 15%bf

Legionnaire,
It sounds like you’re telling me carb cycling might be a good idea. I am probably skinny by T-Nation standards, so I will take that into account. Thanks a lot.

there’s lots of great information on here about eating clean, just look around.

if you eat 500 Cal less each day, that’s one pound per week you will lose. 500 Cal is 10 oreo cookies, no joke, that’s it. In 3-4 months you’ll have lost a great deal of your belly if you keep your workouts the same…

I would recommend eating twice your bodyweight in grams of protein daily while avoiding sugar and trans fat.
Combine that with a simple and intense weight training routine 3-4 times a week, with cardio on your off days, to gain muscle at a regular pace while figuring out your own carb and cardio tolerance to cap a limit on your fat gains.

But it sounds like you are in the wrong place. This the bodybuilding forum. Maybe you would be better recieved at MensHealth.com, or BeachBody.com

Maybe just keep the carbs cycled and in PWO and morning windows only. This coupled with good old fashioned intense training (maybe do your lifts in 3 lift circuits) should keep you lean and make you bigger.

The biggest problem with having visible abs is that often times peoples abs and general trunk muscles are not large enough to b visible through most fat levels. So work hard on you whole body size and keep the carbs in their spots.

so I would stay the same as you are and do not go on any “dirty ‘eat anything’ bulks” to avoid fat gain.

-chris