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  1. #1
    Registered User SDKERR414's Avatar
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    30% BF feeling lost, cut or maintain?

    Hi everyone,
    6 foot male, 48 years old, 233 lbs, about 28-30% BF. Untrained for a few years. Started a fat loss diet and doing 3 full body workouts each week, focusing on the compound lifts, with a couple days of cardio thrown in for about 10 weeks now.

    When figuring maintenance calories on My Fitness Pal I set the activity level to sedentary thinking this was good way to ensure I was in a deficit. My Fitness Pal gave me a 2500 cal a day maintenance and I decided to cut 1000 cal a day, eating 1500 cal to try to lose 2 lbs a week. I get about 1 gram of protein per lb based on a target weight of 200. I lost 2 lbs a week for the first 8 weeks though have plateaued for the past 3 weeks. Plus my workouts were suffering and I did not feel like I was making the muscle gains I should as a newbie due to the deficit.

    A trainer I know almost fell out of his chair when he heard how little I was eating and said my maintenance was likely closer to 3100 and suggested I cut only about 500 cal. I then went to several different calculators, put in an activity level that reflected 4-5 days of training days a week and almost all of them came up with 3100 maintenance so I have increased my calories to 2600 (still a 500 cal deficit) for almost a week now.

    No noticeable weight loss yet which makes sense as I am eating more volume of food like oats, potatoes, rice etc, though I have stronger workouts and honestly felt better pumps and DOMS this week than previous weeks.

    Though I still feel lost. I want to lose my gut but I do not want to waste newbie gains either.

    Will I lose weight and build muscle while my body recomps as a beginner if I keep my cal at 2600?

    Should I increase cal even higher to build as much muscle as possible and worry about fat loss later? My concern is that it will take 3-5 months to get as lean as I want then that is 5-6 months of newbie gains left on the table which I think I will regret.

    Looking for some sage advice from the fine folks here to offer some council and direction.

    Thanks all!
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  2. #2
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SDKERR414 View Post

    Should I increase cal even higher to build as much muscle as possible and worry about fat loss later? My concern is that it will take 3-5 months to get as lean as I want then that is 5-6 months of newbie gains left on the table which I think I will regret.Thanks all!
    NO. Your number one goal right now should be getting to a healthy body fat level. Increasing calories is only going to slow down weight loss. At your level of body fat I would aim to lose about 2-3 lbs per week. You need to track scale weight because calculators are only giving you an estimate. If you are not losing 2 lbs per week lower your calories even more. At 28-30 percent body fat you can absolutely build muscle eating under maintenance calories, especially as an untrained lifter.
    Last edited by TAWS6; 11-14-2019 at 03:04 PM.
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  3. #3
    Super Macho FatBallz's Avatar
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    At your bodyfat level, you should definitely continue to cut. Don't worry about bulking until you shed a decent amount of fat. You should continue aiming for a loss of 1 or 2 lbs a week while lifting with full effort. At that point you should focus solely on gaining muscle.

    "Newbie gains" aren't tied to a timetable. If you cut for a few months while lifting, you haven't lost any potential gains. You only delay them a little. Newbie gain potential are tied more to genetics. The time it takes to get the most out of them is related to the workout routine, nutrition, and recovery. If these aren't optimal, it just takes longer to get there.

    Best of luck
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  4. #4
    Registered User SDKERR414's Avatar
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    I appreciate and am grateful for your response. Thank you both for the guidance and encouragement. I will adjust accordingly.
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    Registered User WakingOp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TAWS6 View Post
    NO. Your number one goal right now should be getting to a healthy body fat level. Increasing calories is only going to slow down weight loss. At your level of body fat I would aim to lose about 2-3 lbs per week. You need to track scale weight because calculators are only giving you an estimate. If you are not losing 2 lbs per week lower your calories even more. At 28-30 percent body fat you can absolutely build muscle eating under maintenance calories, especially as an untrained lifter.
    Can you please cite a primary source for this?
    I mean, I don't doubt you, it's currently happening with my spouse. I'd just like to have a more... scientific source of information on the subject
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  6. #6
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WakingOp View Post
    Can you please cite a primary source for this?
    I mean, I don't doubt you, it's currently happening with my spouse. I'd just like to have a more... scientific source of information on the subject
    Sure.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFo_wQq8M3Q&t=491s
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  7. #7
    Registered User WakingOp's Avatar
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    Sweet. Repped, for what it's worth
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  8. #8
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    This is also a good article:

    https://mennohenselmans.com/gain-mus...the-same-time/

    You can click through to primary sources if you are intending to read beyond the authors opinion.
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  9. #9
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    This is also a good article:

    https://mennohenselmans.com/gain-mus...the-same-time/

    You can click through to primary sources if you are intending to read beyond the authors opinion.
    Really good article. I think a lot of common sense goes out the window when it comes to this subject. The reason most recomps fail IMO is because the lifter is just too lean. Regular people in the 15-20 percent body fat range should be able to recomp.
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