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  1. #1
    Registered User Mr E's Avatar
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    Why is it unhealthy to lose more than 2-3 lbs of fat per week? Does'nt make sense

    I've read quite a bit of information on the reasoning behind losing only 2-3 pounds of fat per week and it does'nt quite make sense to me. I'm just curious what others think of this as well. It seems to me that lifestyle and a person's unique physical makeup should be the determining factor in what's considered healthy weight loss as opposed to a magic number that would apply to every person on the planet.

    For example lets say you have 2 identical men in terms of body weight, body fat, height, muscle mass, etc. Now lets say one man refines his diet and exercise plan so that he loses 2 pounds per week, the 2nd man does the same as the 1st but in addition he adds an additional hour or two per day in physical activity (biking, running, sports, etc..). It seems to me that the second man should see a greater amount of fat loss per week simply due to the amount of physical activity that he's involved in.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is should'nt healthy weight loss be measured in terms of each person's unique situation? And should there really be a minimum or maximum as to what a person should be losing on a weekly basis?
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  2. #2
    Registered User papasmurph's Avatar
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    I THINK, the main reason is because more than 2-3 pounds a week, and you start burning muscle too. If you stay steady at losing around 2 pounds a week, you have better odds that its mostly fat.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Mr E's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by papasmurph View Post
    I THINK, the main reason is because more than 2-3 pounds a week, and you start burning muscle too. If you stay steady at losing around 2 pounds a week, you have better odds that its mostly fat.
    That kinda makes sense, although one could argue that's the point of including weight or resistance training in a balanced exercise regimine. But yeah I think that explanation makes sense.

    Where is Ringwood, Ill? I live in Olympia Fields, Ill which is about about 40 minutes south of downtown Chicago
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  4. #4
    Registered User eduardosa's Avatar
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    It sure does. If a person is top fat and starts to diet, this person will probably lose much more than 3 pounds per week, but if you're skinny you might lose some muscles while cutting so you don't wanna have a deficit bigger than 200 cals...
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  5. #5
    Registered User IMAPACKERFAN's Avatar
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    Totally dependant on how much fat you have to lose. I'd give my left testicle(or right if you prefer) to lose 7 or 8 pounds of fat per week. Hell, I wouldn't even care if I lost 2 pounds of muscle to get it.

    For people who compete, or work hard to build muscle preserving it is of utmost importance. That's why it's recommended to lose it slowly.
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  6. #6
    Registered User steve_nm156's Avatar
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    The amount of fat you lose compared to muscle is affected by a number of things,
    1) The amount of fat you have to lose, the more you have to lose, the more you can safely lose per week without risk to lean mass

    2) Diet. If you take in enough protein at the right times, and keep your carbs high enough to get through your workouts you have a better chance of burning fat than muscle.

    3) Genetics, some people build and retain lean mass easier than others.

    I've lost close to 95 lbs since January, of the 95 lbs, based on body fat tests performed when I started, and this past week. I've lost only 5lbs of lean tissue to 90lbs of fat. My body fat percentage is 27.7, and I'm still 300 lbs.

    I fully expect I will lose closer to 10% lean tissue in this 2nd half of the cut while trying to shed as much of remaining 85 lbs of fat I have left.
    __________________________________
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  7. #7
    Registered User jimsmith9999's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IMAPACKERFAN View Post
    For people who compete, or work hard to build muscle preserving it is of utmost importance. That's why it's recommended to lose it slowly.
    It's also important for people who don't want to experience rebound weight gain...
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  8. #8
    Registered User Boarding's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mr E View Post
    I've read quite a bit of information on the reasoning behind losing only 2-3 pounds of fat per week and it does'nt quite make sense to me. I'm just curious what others think of this as well. It seems to me that lifestyle and a person's unique physical makeup should be the determining factor in what's considered healthy weight loss as opposed to a magic number that would apply to every person on the planet.

    For example lets say you have 2 identical men in terms of body weight, body fat, height, muscle mass, etc. Now lets say one man refines his diet and exercise plan so that he loses 2 pounds per week, the 2nd man does the same as the 1st but in addition he adds an additional hour or two per day in physical activity (biking, running, sports, etc..). It seems to me that the second man should see a greater amount of fat loss per week simply due to the amount of physical activity that he's involved in.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is should'nt healthy weight loss be measured in terms of each person's unique situation? And should there really be a minimum or maximum as to what a person should be losing on a weekly basis?
    For most people, losing 3 pounds of fat a week would result in a fair amount of muscle loss. Slow cuts are the best.
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  9. #9
    Bar Flies and Cougars FTW Colonel_Clobber's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by steve_nm156 View Post
    The amount of fat you lose compared to muscle is affected by a number of things,
    1) The amount of fat you have to lose, the more you have to lose, the more you can safely lose per week without risk to lean mass

    2) Diet. If you take in enough protein at the right times, and keep your carbs high enough to get through your workouts you have a better chance of burning fat than muscle.

    3) Genetics, some people build and retain lean mass easier than others.

    I've lost close to 95 lbs since January, of the 95 lbs, based on body fat tests performed when I started, and this past week. I've lost only 5lbs of lean tissue to 90lbs of fat. My body fat percentage is 27.7, and I'm still 300 lbs.

    I fully expect I will lose closer to 10% lean tissue in this 2nd half of the cut while trying to shed as much of remaining 85 lbs of fat I have left.
    Wow dude, that is a lot of weight loss!

    What triggered the sudden mentality shift from big and fat to lean and mean? These kinds of things really interest me.
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  10. #10
    Registered User steve_nm156's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Colonel_Clobber View Post
    Wow dude, that is a lot of weight loss!

    What triggered the sudden mentality shift from big and fat to lean and mean? These kinds of things really interest me.
    Thanks, weight finally got to be a problem for me physically. Even at close to 400 lbs I was active in sports, playing softball and golf (horrible at golf) year round, but found it taking a toll on my back and knees.

    I have a friend and cousin who have had their lives ruined due to their weight, diabetes, high blood pressure, bad backs, knees and hips, when I saw them over the holidays it hit me that it could be me if I didn't change my diet and overall approach to health.

    Why on Jan 15, 2008 I woke up and decided that was the day I couldn't tell you exactly, but it was, and I haven't looked back since.
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  11. #11
    Registered User 2kblacksleeper's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Colonel_Clobber View Post
    Wow dude, that is a lot of weight loss!

    What triggered the sudden mentality shift from big and fat to lean and mean? These kinds of things really interest me.
    Man thats great, you are an insperation to me.
    I am in the same boat. I'm 27 5'11" and at 330lbs. I have a large frame so i carry well. I have a 52" chest right now but my muscle is covered in a lil fat. There is good sized muscles underneith they are just waiting to get out. I am going to get down to 250 by the holidays this year.
    I am having trouble comming up with a diet. If you dont mind can you pm me your diet and any suppliments you are taking. I would be greatful.
    Thanks

    John
    I
    Weight loss results,

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  12. #12
    Registered User Waste's Avatar
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    Regarding Fat Loss vs. Muscle loss and the amount of weight loss per week......

    Does it make a difference if the calorie deficit comes from exercise rather than calorie restriction?

    For example, instead of cutting calories by a lot, what if you worked out like crazy.....a few hours of cardio and other kinds of exercises, along with weight training, ect.....so that most of the calorie deficit came from burning calories though exercise. I know this is unrealistic for most people, but I was wondering?

    You could lose more than 3 lbs a week, but would it be more likely to be fat in this case?

    I ask because I've watched that biggest loser show a few times and they drop massive amounts of weight consistently and look good at the end of it. They do it though exercising like crazy.
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  13. #13
    Registered User samatash's Avatar
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    Yes, you could eat at maintenance level calories and force a deficit through exercise.

    But realistically, you'd only be losing about 1-2lb a week (of fat).

    3lb a week through exercise would mean you have to burn over 10,000 calories in the gym in only seven days... That's just crazy
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  14. #14
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    What if you eat a great deal under your maximum calorie intake and its all extremely healthy and you work your butt off at the gym every week and your alot overweight? can u loose 3lb normally like that? or still hard to loose that much?
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  15. #15
    Registered User samatash's Avatar
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    You would lose a lot of muscle as well. Men generally shouldn't eat under 2000 net calories per day.

    Don't lose more than 2lb a week... You would considerable muscle as well, and you would just end up looking like a smaller version of your current self. Your body fat percentage would effectively not change, and it's what really matters.
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by Mr E View Post
    I've read quite a bit of information on the reasoning behind losing only 2-3 pounds of fat per week and it does'nt quite make sense to me. I'm just curious what others think of this as well. It seems to me that lifestyle and a person's unique physical makeup should be the determining factor in what's considered healthy weight loss as opposed to a magic number that would apply to every person on the planet.

    For example lets say you have 2 identical men in terms of body weight, body fat, height, muscle mass, etc. Now lets say one man refines his diet and exercise plan so that he loses 2 pounds per week, the 2nd man does the same as the 1st but in addition he adds an additional hour or two per day in physical activity (biking, running, sports, etc..). It seems to me that the second man should see a greater amount of fat loss per week simply due to the amount of physical activity that he's involved in.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is should'nt healthy weight loss be measured in terms of each person's unique situation? And should there really be a minimum or maximum as to what a person should be losing on a weekly basis?
    3,500 calories is a pound. 3 pounds a week means you are in a deficit of 10,500 calories a week.

    which means you are 1,500 calories below maintenance PER DAY.
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  17. #17
    Registered User matthiasisyourm's Avatar
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    I am 6'0", weighing around 295lbs, and I eat between 3200-3500 calories per day, plus 6 days per week I lift for about an hour to an hour and 40 minutes (depending on which muscle groups I'm working on), plus about 30 minutes of cardio on an eliptical, plus an hour and a half long walk every night after dinner, and weight loss kicked in 3 weeks ago at about 3-4lbs per week.
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  18. #18
    Registered User ctulloch's Avatar
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    Progress on my lifts (Rippetoes) has recently slowed down, and I haven't been counting my cals or macros really so this has begun to concern me.

    I've got a fair diet, I eat clean and good things mostly (chicken, whole wheat, nuts/carrots/lettuce, lean beef and turkey, milk, whey, the usual suspects) but only eat 4 times a day, still cheat every so often, and probably eat 1800-2200 calories on average when not cheating. My BMR is 2543. I lift 3x a week and try to cardio 6 days, but have really only gotten 4 on average for the last 3 weeks.
    I've lost a little over 3 pounds per week on average. Do I need to up my cals? Try and go for a 50/25/25 ratio with protein, rather than the 40/40/20 I've targeted and probably been close to?

    Originally Posted by matthiasisyourm View Post
    I am 6'0", weighing around 295lbs, and I eat between 3200-3500 calories per day, plus 6 days per week I lift for about an hour to an hour and 40 minutes (depending on which muscle groups I'm working on), plus about 30 minutes of cardio on an eliptical, plus an hour and a half long walk every night after dinner, and weight loss kicked in 3 weeks ago at about 3-4lbs per week.
    Seems like we're in about the same situations. You're eating about 1000 more calories, but you're also doing alot more elliptical, a bit more lifting, and you're doing that hour long walk that I'm not doing at all.
    Last edited by ctulloch; 04-22-2008 at 08:12 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by papasmurph View Post
    I THINK, the main reason is because more than 2-3 pounds a week, and you start burning muscle too. If you stay steady at losing around 2 pounds a week, you have better odds that its mostly fat.

    This
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by triplesticks View Post
    This
    No. If you life hard and get enough protein and you are NOT a competitive bodybuilder you will be hard pressed to lose any muscle no matter how much your deficit. Don't be worried about losing muscle.

    The problem with losing 3 lbs a week is that you will feel like crap. Maybe not in the first two weeks, but it will get mentally worse each week. This is what you have to worry about when trying to lose that fast. You will find it mentally very difficult.
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  21. #21
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    Just do the math. 2lbs a week is going to a weekly deficit of 7000cals, or 1000 cals a day. That's a pretty big deficit. If you're already small with a low maintenance of 2000cals, are you going to eat 1000 cals every day? Probably not.

    It'd also be tough to create the deficit with activity. Some could, but it's probably not a realistic option for most.

    If you're huge and have a high maintenance (3000-4000 cals/day), going to 2000-3000 cals a day isn't nearly as bad.

    With a huge deficit and a low daily intake, you'll be hard pressed to get adequate protein and other nutrients, therefore bye bye lean mass.

    That's why.
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  22. #22
    Registered User birdlegs's Avatar
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    Just finished my first week of a 12 week transformation. Went from 209 to 202 on 2000 cals per day. No idea how. Maybe water weight. I'm sure the fat loss will slow down now. I'm also did 30 mins of cardio in the morning Mon-Sat and lifted weights the same nights. Those 2000 cals were pretty clean too. I am going to bump my cals up a few hundred and I expect to lose only 1-2 lbs per week for a while.
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    Steep deficits tend to lead towards more injuries. High volumes of training with really low calories is usually a recipe for disaster in this regard.

    Check out Lyle McDonalds site. He talks a lot about why steep deficits with large volumes of training don't tend to work out too well.
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    a 4.5 year old thread, neat....
    There is always someone less fortunate, with real hunger, with real adversity, who made something of themselves. What is your excuse?
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