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  1. #1
    Registered User bshega's Avatar
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    When should I start cutting?

    Hello all,

    Newish to the forums and definitely new to body building/working out. I decided about 2 months ago that I was sick of being fat and wanted to starting putting on muscle so I bought a half rack, a bench and some weights and started Strong Lifts 5x5 program. Today will be week 8 of the program for me. I'm definitely getting stronger and putting on muscle mass but I'm noticing that my weight isn't really going down. I started the program at 210lbs and I weighed myself today and I'm still at 210. I think I'm losing fat though because my arms and other muscles are getting bigger but is it enough to offset the fat I'm losing?

    When should I actually start trying to lose weight (caloric deficit)? Currently I'm just eating as much as I always have and continue to lift 3 days a week but I still have this stubborn gut that just isn't going anywhere. From what I've been reading it seems that most people follow either gaining strength or losing weight because you can't really continue to get stronger by being in a caloric deficit, at least not grow as much muscle, is this true? Should I just continue lifting and putting on muscle until I'm happy with how much I can lift and then try to cut?

    My family is going to Disney World next November and it will be the first vacation for me in a while and I'd really like to be able to take off my shirt without being embarrassed and looking like I swallowed a whole watermelon.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Stats:
    Height: 5' 11"
    Current Weight: 210lbs
    Current BMI: 29.3

    Lifting:
    Squat: Starting - 45lb, Current - 150lb
    Bench: Starting - 45lb, Current - 100lb
    Row: Starting - 65lb, Current - 120lb
    Deadlift: Starting - 90lb, Current - 190lb
    Overhead Press: Starting - 45lb, Current - 95lb
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  2. #2
    Registered User ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    You won't exactly have a beach body by November with the amount of muscle you currently have but I would cut now because if you bulk you will have a long way to go when you finally start cutting and it will seem endless. You won't look fantastic after cutting because of a lack of muscle mass but at least you will be trimmer and in a better position to add muscle later.
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  3. #3
    Registered User bshega's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks. Do you have any advice on how much of a caloric deficit I should maintain? Also, the trip is next year November, not here in 3 months for clarification's sake. I'm not really looking to get a beach body but I'd at least like to get rid of my gut that sticks out a foot and looks like I've drank nothing but beer for the past 10 years (I don't drink at all, fwiw).
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  4. #4
    Never accept defeat! backinthegymbro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bshega View Post
    I think I'm losing fat though because my arms and other muscles are getting bigger but is it enough to offset the fat I'm losing?
    Muscle gains will offset the fat loss on the scale. So you can stay the same weight, get bigger muscles and lose fat at the same time which is great progress.
    The best way to keep progress is a mirror, pictures every week and a measurements tape. The scale is not perfect.

    Originally Posted by bshega View Post
    When should I actually start trying to lose weight (caloric deficit)?
    Today. Eat 500 calories deficit, do more cardio and track all your calories with myfitnesspal so your diet is accurate. Also weigh your food if needed.
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  5. #5
    Registered User bshega's Avatar
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    Great, thank you. I'll start today then. Is this going to impact how much I lift? Should I slow down at all or just continue the program and do as best I can?
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    Registered User ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bshega View Post
    Okay, thanks. Do you have any advice on how much of a caloric deficit I should maintain? Also, the trip is next year November, not here in 3 months for clarification's sake. I'm not really looking to get a beach body but I'd at least like to get rid of my gut that sticks out a foot and looks like I've drank nothing but beer for the past 10 years (I don't drink at all, fwiw).
    I'd start around 2250 calories w/210g of protein per day and let the other macros fall however you like (read the stickies for more info and minimum fat requirements) and after 3 weeks reevaluate. Track literally every single thing you eat, get a food scale to weigh it out, and DONT CHEAT on your tracking. It doesn't matter if it's something you shouldn't eat, your body is going to track it so you might as well track it too so you have good data to work off from. Weigh yourself daily and take a moving average (there are apps that do this) and measure your waist at your navel, this will tell you if you're making progress or not.

    As far as your weight training, keep it up but if you feel you are burning out drop volume but do not drop intensity or the weight if you can help it.
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  7. #7
    Never accept defeat! backinthegymbro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bshega View Post
    Great, thank you. I'll start today then. Is this going to impact how much I lift?
    Not necessarily. I eat 1600 calories a day and still make new PR's every other week and gaining muscle while losing fat. I just make sure my protein intake stays high. Around 1 gram per bodyweight lbs.

    Just don't neglect cardio. Try to do at least 15 minutes of incline walking every day, it burns a 100 calories which will help you lose weight faster. Or do jump roping, swimming etc. Whatever you prefer.


    Originally Posted by bshega View Post
    Should I slow down at all or just continue the program and do as best I can?
    Just lift like you usually would and give it your all. No need to slow down.
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