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  1. #1
    Slowly diminishing fatty SoSadBtTrue's Avatar
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    Question about only losing 1 pound per week

    Hi All,

    A common thing I see here is you shouldn't try to lose too much weight too quickly, or you will lose muscle. Some people recommend 0.5 pounds per week, some people recommend 1 pound, etc. I'm not here to debate what the best amount to lose is.

    Let's ASSUME that losing 1 pound a week is ideal, okay? Now, let's also keep things simple and say that my maintenance is exactly 3000 cals per day, so I need to eat 2500 calories per day (500 deficit) to lose my 1 pound per week (500*7 = 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat).

    Okay, so my question is, is there a difference between eating 2500 calories every day and eating let's say 2000 calories for 6 days and 5500 calories on day 7? Either way that's 17500 calories per week, which is 3500 below my maintenance of 21000.

    The reason I'm asking this is because I eat about 1700 calories on the days when I stick to my diet, and I justify a cheat meal once or twice a week by saying I don't want to lose too much too fast. I want to make sure I'm not hindering my progress.

    Here is my worst-case scenario that scares me. For those 6 days, I'm eating too few calories, and thus burning muscle along with the fat. Then, on the 7th day when I cheat, I'm gaining fat because I'm eating way over maintenance. So, even though I may have lost a pound for the week (cals in vs. cals out), I have actually lost 2 pounds of muscle and gained 1 pound of fat.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Registered User Crush086's Avatar
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    I haven't been doing this too long myself, but I think 2 cheat meals might be pushing it.

    Personally, I've lost about a pound a week since I started (roughly 5 a month), but I have a cheat meal once every 2 weeks maybe.

    I don't know how your given scenario would affect you though. The macros with the cheat days might hinder you somewhere.
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  3. #3
    Monster to Beast cyco85's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SoSadBtTrue View Post
    Hi All,

    A common thing I see here is you shouldn't try to lose too much weight too quickly, or you will lose muscle. Some people recommend 0.5 pounds per week, some people recommend 1 pound, etc. I'm not here to debate what the best amount to lose is.

    Let's ASSUME that losing 1 pound a week is ideal, okay? Now, let's also keep things simple and say that my maintenance is exactly 3000 cals per day, so I need to eat 2500 calories per day (500 deficit) to lose my 1 pound per week (500*7 = 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat).

    Okay, so my question is, is there a difference between eating 2500 calories every day and eating let's say 2000 calories for 6 days and 5500 calories on day 7? Either way that's 17500 calories per week, which is 3500 below my maintenance of 21000.

    The reason I'm asking this is because I eat about 1700 calories on the days when I stick to my diet, and I justify a cheat meal once or twice a week by saying I don't want to lose too much too fast. I want to make sure I'm not hindering my progress.

    Here is my worst-case scenario that scares me. For those 6 days, I'm eating too few calories, and thus burning muscle along with the fat. Then, on the 7th day when I cheat, I'm gaining fat because I'm eating way over maintenance. So, even though I may have lost a pound for the week (cals in vs. cals out), I have actually lost 2 pounds of muscle and gained 1 pound of fat.

    Thanks!
    I'm pretty sure your body doesn't do a 24 hour inventory and then eat up muscle. If you did 28 low cal diet days and then 2 12k+ binge days, that would be a different story. What you're doing is probably okay but you may want to up it a bit on your diet days and drop your cheat days a bit. For the past 5 weeks I've taken one day where I eat at maintenance (~2800) and then the next 6 days I eat in my deficit range (1300-1700 cals). For me, it seems that I am 1) More fulfilled and 2) the deficits feel more efficient, but it may be all in my head.
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  4. #4
    Registered User buckiaj's Avatar
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    Concerning you being concerned your calorie deficit most of the week is too low, do this math.

    Find out how much fat you currently carry. (ex: I am 158 at 15% so that comes out to 23.7lbs of fat)

    Take that number and multiply it by 30. In my case that gives me a number of 711. That is the greatest calorie deficit i can aim for each day before it starts to really impact my muscle. I forget who had that premise, (lyle mcdonald maybe?) but a lot of people here swear by it and so do i.

    Basically, the idea is that the more fat you have to burn, the greater your deficit can be before it burns your muscle.

    Concerning your weekly macro numbers, that is personally what I do every week. My goal every week is to have a 3,500 calorie deficit. I aim for a 700 calorie deficit for six days, then allow myself to eat about 500 over on the 7th day.

    Just try and keep that cheat day the same day each week, and try and keep it as close to maintenence as you can and you will be good to go.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Just10's Avatar
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    Idk.

    Personally I'm a fatty so I probably work differently than you, but...

    I stick to around 1,500 calories a day and I usually work out 6 days a week (a lot of cardio).

    Forget cheat meals, I have cheat days. lol

    But on my cheat day I stick to around 2,000 calories.

    For me that process works extremely well. I think my cheat day helps speed up my metabolism and boost my energy for the rest of the week.

    Then again I'm a newb so I'm probably wrong, but until it stops working that's what I'm sticking with!
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  6. #6
    Slowly diminishing fatty SoSadBtTrue's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by buckiaj View Post
    Concerning you being concerned your calorie deficit most of the week is too low, do this math.

    Find out how much fat you currently carry. (ex: I am 158 at 15% so that comes out to 23.7lbs of fat)

    Take that number and multiply it by 30. In my case that gives me a number of 711. That is the greatest calorie deficit i can aim for each day before it starts to really impact my muscle. I forget who had that premise, (lyle mcdonald maybe?) but a lot of people here swear by it and so do i.

    Basically, the idea is that the more fat you have to burn, the greater your deficit can be before it burns your muscle.
    I seem to remember reading that (pretty sure it was from Lyle), but I don't remember if he ever said that was per day or per week or whatever. In other words, that formula says your max deficit is 700 per day. But, if you did a deficit of 4900 per week (700*7), does it matter how you split that up throughout the week?

    Anybody that's really low bf% follow this? That would mean as you get leaner and leaner, you'd actually be eating more since your pounds of fat are getting smaller, therefore your deficit is getting smaller.

    Originally Posted by cyco85 View Post
    I'm pretty sure your body doesn't do a 24 hour inventory and then eat up muscle. If you did 28 low cal diet days and then 2 12k+ binge days, that would be a different story.
    This is kind of what I think and what I was hoping for. Any other opinions?

    Originally Posted by Just10 View Post
    Forget cheat meals, I have cheat days. lol

    But on my cheat day I stick to around 2,000 calories.
    That's a weak cheat day.
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  7. #7
    Registered User buckiaj's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Just10 View Post

    Forget cheat meals, I have cheat days. lol

    But on my cheat day I stick to around 2,000 calories.

    I see you call it a cheat day and not a cheat meal. But you say you only eat 500 more calories on said cheat day than on a deficit day....

    *scratching head*

    Where I am from, a cheat day consists of a h@ll of a lot more calories than 500 more than my deficit day. lol
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  8. #8
    Registered User buckiaj's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SoSadBtTrue View Post
    I seem to remember reading that (pretty sure it was from Lyle), but I don't remember if he ever said that was per day or per week or whatever. In other words, that formula says your max deficit is 700 per day. But, if you did a deficit of 4900 per week (700*7), does it matter how you split that up throughout the week?

    Anybody that's really low bf% follow this? That would mean as you get leaner and leaner, you'd actually be eating more since your pounds of fat are getting smaller, therefore your deficit is getting smaller.
    To answer your last part of your post, when you get smaller, your maintenence calories naturally go down. So a person wouldnt have to eat more to maintain the max deficit that Lyle presented as they got leaner per se. In fact, a person could probably eat about the same amount of calories thru out their weight loss to maximize the fat loss window that Lyle puts forward. Make sense? Basically, a person who has a max deficit of 1000 with a maintenence of 3000, would eat 2000 everyday. As he got leaner, lets say his maintenence got down to 2500 and his max deficit was now only 500 because he was leaner, he would want to make sure he is still eating 2000 calories per day. I get that its probably not that linear, but a good example nonetheless.

    Back to the beginning of your message, concerning per day. I think he was implying per day to be honest, but I would be willing to bet you could stretch that a little. I think most people talk about days, and not weeks, is simply easy math and easy segments. I dont see any reason why your math for the entire week would not work out ok.

    Basically, I would just make sure I was hitting my deficit at that maximum point, then try and limit the binge day as much as i could.
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  9. #9
    Slowly diminishing fatty SoSadBtTrue's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by buckiaj View Post
    To answer your last part of your post, when you get smaller, your maintenence calories naturally go down. So a person wouldnt have to eat more to maintain the max deficit that Lyle presented as they got leaner per se. In fact, a person could probably eat about the same amount of calories thru out their weight loss to maximize the fat loss window that Lyle puts forward. Make sense? Basically, a person who has a max deficit of 1000 with a maintenence of 3000, would eat 2000 everyday. As he got leaner, lets say his maintenence got down to 2500 and his max deficit was now only 500 because he was leaner, he would want to make sure he is still eating 2000 calories per day. I get that its probably not that linear, but a good example nonetheless.
    I actually thought of this while I was typing that, but then I thought that your maintenance shouldn't really go down if you're cutting properly. If your maintenance is based solely on LBM (certain calculators do this), and you are maintaining LBM, then your maintenance should stay the same.

    Anyway, I get your point. Thanks.
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