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  1. #1
    Registered User beq1991's Avatar
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    Is it feasible to eat at a deficit long-term?

    So I went through a cutting phase from May to August and have been bulking since then. It was my first time eating at a deficit. I'm 6'2 and weigh 195 lb right now. I am assuming my body fat percentage is around 15% and am not very satisfied with my current appearance. I would like to add 5-10 lb of muscle, keep size, and then cut the body fat so I get to 12-13% body fat. I like bulking, but I look in the mirror and would like to get a slimmer mid-section. My profile picture is current, for reference.

    My TDEE is 3100 calories a day. I was considering eating at a 500 calorie deficit a day long-term to cut down my body fat, meaning eat 2500 calories a day until I get down to 12-13% body fat and then eat at maintenance.
    Last edited by beq1991; 10-08-2019 at 07:39 PM.
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    Registered User akghostrider's Avatar
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    I looked skinny at 6'2 and 195. We've got a similar build but I was more defined. I'd put you closer to 17-18% honestly.

    I cut from February to July and experienced lack of sex drive, irritability and lack of energy. Bulking now and much happier
    Eat heavy and lift peanut butter
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  3. #3
    Registered User beq1991's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akghostrider View Post
    I looked skinny at 6'2 and 195. We've got a similar build but I was more defined. I'd put you closer to 17-18% honestly.

    I cut from February to July and experienced lack of sex drive, irritability and lack of energy. Bulking now and much happier
    So would you suggest starting to eat at a deficit in my situation? If you're right and I am 17-18%, I feel like I have no business continuing to bulk. Even if my estimate of 15% is right, I still feel like I have no business bulking. I'm not looking to get Mr. Olympia-style huge, but was hoping to pack on some mass before eating at a deficit again. I am following a good workout plan, but realize my diet needs to be tweaked a bit. I'd like to be a lean 205-210 12-13% body fat as my end goal.
    Last edited by beq1991; 10-08-2019 at 08:00 PM.
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    Mind games.

    Cut now and you will end up with same physique you started began with. Bulking should be a long long endeavor - IMHO - 8-12 months in duration at a moderate surplus.

    Gaining some fat is part of this game. Easy to cut. Much harder to put on LBM.
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    What are your lifts?
    Eat heavy and lift peanut butter
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    Originally Posted by 1MANU View Post
    Mind games.

    Cut now and you will end up with same physique you started began with. Bulking should be a long long endeavor - IMHO - 8-12 months in duration at a moderate surplus.

    Gaining some fat is part of this game. Easy to cut. Much harder to put on LBM.
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    Registered User beq1991's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 1MANU View Post
    Mind games.

    Cut now and you will end up with same physique you started began with. Bulking should be a long long endeavor - IMHO - 8-12 months in duration at a moderate surplus.

    Gaining some fat is part of this game. Easy to cut. Much harder to put on LBM.
    I agree, but it's hard to get motivated to get bigger when you think you're carrying too much body fat already, especially with fat in the lower back area. I keep looking in the mirror and see fat spilling over my pants and think my body fat % is too high to keep bulking. At the same time, I've only been bulking for 2 months now and don't want to get in an endless cycle of cut for 2-3 months, bulk for 2-3 months and get frustrated, etc. and get nowhere.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I agree, but it's hard to get motivated to get bigger when you think you're carrying too much body fat already, especially with fat in the lower back area. At the same time, I've only been bulking for 2 months now and don't want to get in an endless cycle of cut for 2-3 months, bulk for 2-3 months, etc. and get nowhere. I
    You’ll feel differently once you gain 5-10lb if lean tissue. It changes your shape completely, especially in the upper body
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Registered User beq1991's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    You’ll feel differently once you gain 5-10lb if lean tissue. It changes your shape completely, especially in the upper body
    How feasible is it to gain 5-10lb of lean mass when my body fat is too high? Shouldn't I be cutting down to 12-13% body fat before I do that?
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    How feasible is it to gain 5-10lb of lean mass when my body fat is too high? Shouldn't I be cutting down to 12-13% body fat before I do that?
    What does gaining muscle have to do with your BF?

    The issue is that you’ve only been trying to gain for 3 months and you’re already stopping.

    Next thing you know, you’ll be cutting until early spring, and feel too comfortable in your leanness to try gaining for summer for fear of losing definition, then you won’t do any proper growing until a year from now.

    Why not kill it in the gym for another 6-7 months, then consider dropping some fat over a 2-3 month period, then resuming gaining?
    Last edited by AdamWW; 10-08-2019 at 08:46 PM.
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    Registered User beq1991's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    What does gaining muscle have to do with your bodyfat?
    What I meant is why should I be attempting to add muscle or any weight onto a body that has too much body fat? Wouldnt it make more sense to get down to a lean state before trying to add muscle?
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I agree, but it's hard to get motivated to get bigger when you think you're carrying too much body fat already, especially with fat in the lower back area. I keep looking in the mirror and see fat spilling over my pants and think my body fat % is too high to keep bulking. At the same time, I've only been bulking for 2 months now and don't want to get in an endless cycle of cut for 2-3 months, bulk for 2-3 months and get frustrated, etc. and get nowhere.
    How much weight do you gain per month while bulking?

    If you gain 1 pound per month you should be able to stay at the same body fat percentage or even lean out a bit.
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    Originally Posted by akghostrider View Post
    What are your lifts?
    Can't really help you with a posed pic and no idea how strong you are. If you're 6'2 and 195 you wont be big with a 155lb bench press bro.
    Eat heavy and lift peanut butter
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    Originally Posted by akghostrider View Post
    Can't really help you with a posed pic and no idea how strong you are. If you're 6'2 and 195 you wont be big with a 155lb bench press bro.
    I'm not sure how to answer this question, because I haven't tested any of my lifts for 1 rep max in ages. On top of that, I don't do back squats or conventional deadlifts anymore because of back issues, so I couldn't even provide you with an estimate for either of those lifts. I do the front squats instead of the conventional back squat and RDLs instead of the conventional deadlift.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I'm not sure how to answer this question, because I haven't tested any of my lifts for 1 rep max in ages.
    You could give your 5rm or whatever rm lift.

    You could also answer this question: How much weight do you gain per month while bulking?
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    You could give your 5rm or whatever rm lift.

    You could also answer this question: How much weight do you gain per month while bulking?
    I would say 1 gain between 1-1.5 lb a month bulking.
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    I ate at a defecit for 9 months so I would say it is feasible long term. I'd say the first 6 months were pretty easy in fact, but it did eventually become more and more difficult.

    I'm bulking now and feel fat half the time but whereas not-quite-strangers (i.e. random people like my dentist) were asking if I was ill when cutting, now I have similarly random people commenting that I look really in shape. I'm 5 months in and intend to bulk for at least another 5 months, otherwise I will just end up back where I started at the end of my cut. I'm also a big believer that many of us can look good with either a shirt on, or a shirt off, but often not both during the same period.
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    Your not going to like my reply but really are you just planning to spin your wheels forever. If so why don't you just get as lean as you like and stay there???

    How many posts do you really need to explain its part of the process bulking takes time and cutting takes time.

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177141501 - in May

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177161591 - again May

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177288651 - June

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177376321 - July

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177449301 - August

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177457681 - August again

    So only one month you haven't been spinning your wheels and you wondering why no progress is being made. Come on man do you really believe decent physiques appear over-night this stuff takes years of either cycling bulks/ cuts or years and years of maintenance training.

    Also why haven't you had your back issue dealt with? It was highlighted in this thread:-

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177321121

    You basically don't like them:-

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177167881


    My belief you don't want to do the hard work and hate lifts that are hard. Until you change your mind set you are stuck as you are.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I would say 1 gain between 1-1.5 lb a month bulking.
    Ok. But you didn't answer the other question.

    Assuming you're getting stronger on your lifts in the medium rep ranges, I would just keep going. Keep gaining 1 pound per month. I still see some ab definition in your pic, you shouldn't be far off 15%.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Ok. But you didn't answer the other question.

    Assuming you're getting stronger on your lifts in the medium rep ranges, I would just keep going. Keep gaining 1 pound per month. I still see some ab definition in your pic, you shouldn't be far off 15%.
    100% this,

    Hell im back from a layoff and re-comping around 20%
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Ok. But you didn't answer the other question.

    Assuming you're getting stronger on your lifts in the medium rep ranges, I would just keep going. Keep gaining 1 pound per month. I still see some ab definition in your pic, you shouldn't be far off 15%.
    Seriously, just give us some lift numbers for fook sake. Even if they aren't powerlifting lifts, just so we can get an idea of your relative strength level.
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    Originally Posted by hardyboysare View Post
    Your not going to like my reply but really are you just planning to spin your wheels forever. If so why don't you just get as lean as you like and stay there???

    How many posts do you really need to explain its part of the process bulking takes time and cutting takes time.

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177141501 - in May

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177161591 - again May

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177288651 - June

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177376321 - July

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177449301 - August

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177457681 - August again

    So only one month you haven't been spinning your wheels and you wondering why no progress is being made. Come on man do you really believe decent physiques appear over-night this stuff takes years of either cycling bulks/ cuts or years and years of maintenance training.

    Also why haven't you had your back issue dealt with? It was highlighted in this thread:-

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177321121

    You basically don't like them:-

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=177167881


    My belief you don't want to do the hard work and hate lifts that are hard. Until you change your mind set you are stuck as you are.
    /end thread.
    Strong mind + Strong body = UNSTOPPABLE
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  23. #23
    Gaintaining Mrpb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 1MANU View Post
    Cut now and you will end up with same physique you started began with. Bulking should be a long long endeavor - IMHO - 8-12 months in duration at a moderate surplus.
    So true. I had to learn this the hard way.

    Eric Helms said the same thing btw.
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    The OG 1MANU's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    So true. I had to learn this the hard way.

    Eric Helms said the same thing btw.
    I hear you. All about learning!
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    So true. I had to learn this the hard way.

    Eric Helms said the same thing btw.
    It's arguably the biggest issue I see with people who just aren't comfortable putting in a long, sustain surplus (even a small one) to reap the long term benefits.

    This is anecdotal, but EVERY 'jacked' person I know spent anywhere from 1-4 years in a consistent surplus, getting to the upper-teens in BF% (some even more) and just getting super, super strong.

    Cutting for them was a breeze, because by that time their body had adapted to the surplus so well that they start their deficit on a cut at very, very high calories... makes it SO much easier.

    Cutting from 18-19% down to 10-12% when starting cals are 3000 is much, much better than starting at 2200.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    @Adam, yeah I think that is the biggest issue: bulking too short together with the other big issue: bulking too fast. So people get too fat too soon.

    Btw, this 'cutting is a breeze' hasn't been my experience when I went from ±18 to ±9%. It was a struggle and strength took a big hit, as could be expected. I'm trying to end up around 15% this time around.
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    🅾🅼🅴🅶🅰 🆆🅴🅰🅿🅾🅽 EjnarKolinkar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    It's arguably the biggest issue I see with people who just aren't comfortable putting in a long, sustain surplus (even a small one) to reap the long term benefits
    Yep, training drives size. People yo-yo diet focusing on short term nonsense and undermine their training. Untrained height-weight proportionate folks eating normally (plus a little) would be so much more productive because it does not undermine consistent training.

    Nothing happens quickly...
    The most important aspect of weight training; whether for the athlete, bodybuilder, or average person is to better ones health and ability without injury. - Bill Pearl

    Ironwill2008 is surely doing RDL's and eating eggs and bacon somewhere right now.
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