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View Full Version : Do I need to bulk or to cut ?



Ramirez
03-02-2003, 07:36 AM
I'm 26, 5'8", 195 lbs and I'm trying to lose some fat. I have a spare tire around my stomach and I want to get rid of it. I'll say that I need to lose 15 pds to be happy.

I'm on a very clean diet with no cheating day of about 1500 cal/day with a balanced Proteine/Carb/Fat ratio and I've been working out with weight for quite some time now. I'm also doing some cardio 3 times a week.

Now with all this weight lifting (I'm on the I.C.E. program of Big Cat), my muscles are seriously growing, some of my old shirt don't fit anymore and I can see some muscle definition where I could see none before. In fact, I'd like to change my game plan and gain mass instead of losing fat, but still I want to lose that spare tire pretty bad.

Since you can't bulk up and cut down at the same time here's my question:
Should I stay on the calorie deficit diet and continue to train like I do (5 days split routine+cardio) if I don't want to lose muscle, or should I up the calories and get on a maintenance diet to try to gain quality mass and the fat will shed off by itself with time? I'm quite patient, I can make myself wait if I know I'll have a better physique in, lets say, about 6-8 months.

I also need to know if its normal to yo-yo on the scale like I'm doing right now. One day I can drop from 195 to 192, then I take 1 pds everyday of the week starting heavier than I was before, to lose it again, etc. I know the scale is not the tool to keep the track of progress when you lift, my BF% is (and its decreasing slowly), but I need to know if anybody saw this happen before.

Fluid
03-02-2003, 08:35 AM
Originally posted by Ramirez
I'm 26, 5'8", 195 lbs and I'm trying to lose some fat.
You've answered your own question, cut.


Originally posted by Ramirez
I'm on a very clean diet with no cheating day of about 1500 cal/day with a balanced Proteine/Carb/Fat ratio and I've been working out with weight for quite some time now. I'm also doing some cardio 3 times a week.
That's a terrible diet, you're starving yourself. The only way you should be eating 1500 calories/day on a cut is if you're a 5'0" 100 lb woman! You're losing tons of LBM!


Originally posted by Ramirez
Should I stay on the calorie deficit diet and continue to train like I do (5 days split routine+cardio) if I don't want to lose muscle
You need to definately up your calories. Someone of your size should be cutting at 2000-2500 calories per day! I weigh ~155 and I cut at 2000 calories!

Your diet needs some serious revamping!

Fluid

Ramirez
03-02-2003, 08:57 AM
My maintenance calorie level is about 3100/day, how come if I cut it in half I don't lose some weight anymore?

I see the point of cutting, but it feel strange to eat more to lose more. I've been on this diet for almost 3 months now and I lost nearly 25 pds. Can somebody know why I stopped losing weight and why I'm yo-yoing with the scale?

Geez... the exercise part is the easy one in this "losing fat" buisness.

JD-
03-02-2003, 10:36 AM
why did you stop losing weight? here's why:

1) you had a nice metabolism going prior to your diet, capable of burning about 3100 calories per day (your maintenence).
2) you cut your intake in half, and began to lose weight because your metbolism remained at about 3100 calories, as your body had not adjusted yet. what you didnt know is that over these three months as you lost weight eating only 1500 cals/day, your body adjusted and slowed down your metabolism because you were (essentially) starving yourself.
3) you are here now. your body's metabolism has slowed to 1500 calories or so, and now that had basically become your maintenence.

so now comes the tough part... you often hear of anorexics who have been treated quickly gaining weight after treatment, that is because they began to eat normally, but their body hadnt raised the metabolism yet. (i'm not suggesting you were/are an anorexic, if you were under like 700cals/day maybe... but i think youre just a case of "taking the diet too far")

you need to raise your calories to at least 2600... you should never go more than 500 cals above or below your maintenence (ex: your weightloss diet should be 2600cals, weight gain should be 3600cals).

i'm not very knowledgeable as to how you should re-raise your metabolism without gaining much weight... because keep in mind at first your body is going to only be able to burn about 1500 cals, and you'll be eating more. it'll take some time.

perhaps some of the ultra-knowledgeable people like Timbo, str8flexed, janderstein can help you with that part...

Ramirez
03-02-2003, 02:39 PM
Thx JD,
I've read a lot about this but never applied it to my case.

I think the only way to not gain too much weight is to up my cal. intake per day gradually over 4 weeks, I'm thinking about maybe 250/day, and add a cardio training session to my schedule to burn the extra calories.

So I guess my body will be like a sponge and absord the extra calories to store them as fat and I will go up on the scale.

If can somebody can enlight me on the subject with an article or a thread I'll appreciate. I want to transform this wrong turn into knowledge, not into a drop out session.

Canadian_AF
03-02-2003, 04:10 PM
The most sound advice I can give you bud, is keep your protein intake high, and carb intake to clean carbs, and watch your fat intake, (I tend to disagree with the keto diet, no one take offense to this post, but in general, there's too much fat in that diet, and long term use can lead to some serious health risks.) not neccessarily low carb intake.

Personally, I'm 6'0, and 185, and a typical day for me, I will take in *at least* 200g protein, anything less is not enough to gain muscle. As far as how many *calories* you should be eating.. STOP COUNTING, counting calories is a waste of time, as long as you make sure you are getting enough protein, and you can definetly eat carbs, but keep them clean, fruit, veggies and rice. Stay away from high fat processed meats. Stick with tuna, chicken, salmon, egg whites, red meat <---- (occasionally don't overdue it, very high in cholestorol (sp?). And most importantly STAY AWAY FROM PROCESSED SUGAR, that is a *KILLER* to bodybuilders. Does this mean you can't eat apples? oranges? No. Stay away from Candy, Bars, Chocolate. If you question yourself when you are about to eat something whether or not this will help you build a better body, then simply don't it eat. Yes I know this takes a bit of time to get used to, and it's not easy but it's well worth it. Oh, and I also recommend a good multi-vitamin-mineral supp, along with flaxseed oil, and of course your protein drinks, which i'm sure your prob already taking.

You should be working out 5 days a week (preferable is 6). Always give yourself an off day, Everyones body needs a break.

There's also a big misconception between people trying to cut, to doing more Cardio then they actually lift, I don't know if this is your case, maybe or maybe not, but I totally disagree IMO. When you are lifting, crank your intensity a few notches, (almost like circuit training, but not quite.) Your ideal workout schedule should look something like this.

Day 1 - Chest, Biceps
Day 2 - 30-45 Min, Cardio session, (try to mix it up on diff equipment).
Day 3 - Back, Triceps
Day 4 - 30-45 Min Cardio
Day 5 - Legs, Shoulders
Day 6 - 30-45 Min Cardio
Day 7 - Rest.

Remember before starting to lift, always warm-up with about 15 min of cardio, preferably HIIT, this gets your heart racing, and is awesome for cranking out a few extra pounds.

And Keep yourself interested!! Mix up your exercises! I normally do 4 sets, 8-12 reps, 3 exercises, sometimes 4 (max) per muscle group, DON"T OVERTRAIN. If you have 10 exercises in the back of your mind, for each muscle group, pick 3 or 4. Then the next week do 3 or 4 different ones, or variations at least. This promotes muscle growth where you haven't had any before, and it also keeps it interesting when you train.

I've only been lifting for about 2 years now, and the knowledge I've gained I've tweaked to suit my body and lifestyle better. I now look and feel better then ever. I hope you take something with you from this post, and best of luck in your training, remember, go hard or go home ;)

Pe@ce

Ramirez
03-02-2003, 06:22 PM
I'm going to stop counting the calories as of today. I've been on this low calorie diet for 3 months and I see I was on the wrong road. Men its hard to see the right from the wrong in all the info everyone is giving. The problem is not a lack of info, the problem is too much controversial info.

I think the only real way to do this is to eat my 6 meals a day until i'm full, then lift weight regurlarly and do some cardio and stop freaking out about counting calories and losing weight.

I'll stay away from white sugar, cookies, pastries, candies, etc and from processed meat and fried stuff. I'll stay away from junk food, chips and colas and just enjoy my healthy meals :) I'll try to stay away from white product and eat the brown type of foods.

Thanks for the advices all, I think my diet as just ended today. I'll switch for a healthy way of heating with no cheats allowed.

Charger
03-02-2003, 06:30 PM
Canadian, great post. I did the same thing as Ramirez last year, uped my cals and started losing fat again. Now I don't count cals either, just watch what I eat and try to spread it out into 6 small meals.

Sonny
03-02-2003, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by Canadian_AF
Personally, I'm 6'0, and 185, and a typical day for me, I will take in *at least* 200g protein, anything less is not enough to gain muscle. As far as how many *calories* you should be eating.. STOP COUNTING, counting calories is a waste of time, as long as you make sure you are getting enough protein, and you can definetly eat carbs, but keep them clean, fruit, veggies and rice. Stay away from high fat processed meats. Stick with tuna, chicken, salmon, egg whites, red meat <---- (occasionally don't overdue it, very high in cholestorol (sp?). And most importantly STAY AWAY FROM PROCESSED SUGAR, that is a *KILLER* to bodybuilders. Does this mean you can't eat apples? oranges? No. Stay away from Candy, Bars, Chocolate. If you question yourself when you are about to eat something whether or not this will help you build a better body, then simply don't it eat. Yes I know this takes a bit of time to get used to, and it's not easy but it's well worth it.

Actually, you offered a simple easy approach for me now.

Canadian_AF
03-03-2003, 02:40 AM
Originally posted by Ramirez
I'm going to stop counting the calories as of today. I've been on this low calorie diet for 3 months and I see I was on the wrong road. Men its hard to see the right from the wrong in all the info everyone is giving. The problem is not a lack of info, the problem is too much controversial info.

I think the only real way to do this is to eat my 6 meals a day until i'm full, then lift weight regurlarly and do some cardio and stop freaking out about counting calories and losing weight.

I'll stay away from white sugar, cookies, pastries, candies, etc and from processed meat and fried stuff. I'll stay away from junk food, chips and colas and just enjoy my healthy meals :) I'll try to stay away from white product and eat the brown type of foods.

Thanks for the advices all, I think my diet as just ended today. I'll switch for a healthy way of heating with no cheats allowed.

Awesome to hear buddy! Welcome to the world of BB! ;)

Thanks all for the comments, greatly appreciated!

kendo
03-03-2003, 06:52 AM
Hi guys

I'm sort of in the same boat. My contest usually in the summer has been rescheduled for winter - when I'm almost 40 so it may be next year before competing again. I would like to add more muscle but I've already got too much bodyfat. I dont want to be counting cals either but as Canadian puts it getting protein intake right and the rest from clean cals with cardio I should be on the right track slowly dropping b/f and adding muscle. I have been picking at junk food lately and it shows. Thanks Guys this thread had helped settle my mind.

I was there too at one time Ramirez cut cals that much it set my metabolic rate there and was treading water. You can only diet for so long and the body adjusts.

Ramirez
03-03-2003, 08:58 AM
Thanks for the comment kendo, it just set my mind on my new diet and way to eat.

I see now why I was yo-yoing that much on the scale, its the water weight fluctuating. I've stopped losing fat for the last 3 weeks, I was just shedding some water and gaining it back.

I see the wisdom of this and begin to find article and knowledge about what I'm going through. Our body is a wonderful machine that adapt itself to every situation. Put it in a shock state and it will adapt to your new situation. In this case, less calories is not less fat. Cutting too much calories is not the good option, 500 calories below our maintenance level is as far as we should go. This plus a good deal of cardio and a healthy diet and there goes the fat loss. This is a slow process, all it takes is patience and dedication.

I see why now so many peeps are dropping out of diet, its kinda depressing to put that much effort into a diet and see it stop working without understanding why.

JD-
03-03-2003, 08:07 PM
looks like you got it all sorted out bro! good to hear!

yeah that's exactly why people drop their diets and "gain it all back"... do the math: they've killed their metabolism in the diet, so they go back to their old eating habits and suddenly find their metabolism cant keep up. before they know it, theyre back at square one.

if only they knew! like you said... so much conflicting information out there it's hard to see what's right. but i think the majority of guys (and gals) on this site are living proof that this is probably one of the better answers.