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  1. #1
    Registered User Usernameisrequ's Avatar
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    Weight loss while avoiding adaptive thermogenesis / metabolic damage

    Hi,

    Please shine upon me with your wisdom.

    Age: 32
    Gender: Male
    Height: 183cm / 6ft
    Starting weight (14 weeks ago): 89kg / 196lbs
    Current weight (reached 3 weeks ago): 79kg / 174lbs

    Basically I lost 10kg / 22lbs over an 11 week period by straight up cutting calories (I did not count proteins, carbs or fats). I have in the past 3 weeks added 1h of weight lifting every day for 6 days/week (which temporarily halted the weight loss on the scale, but my waist is still going down at the same pace). Last week I heard about adaptive thermogenesis / metabolic damage which happens when you cut too many calories and the body slows down the metabolism, sometimes permanently... All I can find online is that a male should not consume any less than 1200 calories daily in order to avoid this state (of course it's individual), but I have now been cutting an average of 1000-800kcal per day (spread out over a week) for 14 weeks straight, and I am currently eating an average of 1950kcal/day (800kcal daily deficit according to the online calculators)... should I be slowing down or am I alright? I keep my protein intake to about 30% of my total calories.

    Every study I could find was with obese people, I was never obese, I just had/still have a **** load of body fat that needs to go asap (I am still incredibly motivated and I don't want to lose it by taking unnecessary breaks).
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  2. #2
    THE OG 1MANU's Avatar
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    Diet reset would do you some good.

    Eat at new maintenance or slightly above for two weeks. Then resume cut with a reasonable deficit - 300-400 calories. Take into consideration also your added weight training when configuring new maintenance and TDEE.

    Your weight loss will continue.

    Also, I would rethink six days a week with weight training. CNS recovery will be an issue especially in a deficit. If you are training intensely then 3-4 days a week should be plenty.
    Last edited by 1MANU; 04-14-2020 at 04:52 PM.
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    I would not worry about adaptive thermogenesis. Any lasting impact for you is going to be due to a variety factors outside of your control (ie, genetics, amount of organ tissue loss while losing weight). There are actually some authors who argue adaptive thermogenesis is not even a real thing under normal conditions. If everything is going well, you feel good, and you are happy with the results thus far, I'd continue what you are doing. Once progress significantly slows down, you feel run down, you lose motivation, or if anything else happens to indicate you are losing weight too quickly, then I would take 1-2 weeks off similar to what 1MANU suggested where you eat at maintenance, and then resume at a slow rate such that you are losing 0.5-1% of your bodyweight weekly.
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    Registered User Usernameisrequ's Avatar
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    Thank you for your replies, you've been really helpful!
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    Originally Posted by Usernameisrequ View Post
    Hi,

    Please shine upon me with your wisdom.

    Age: 32
    Gender: Male
    Height: 183cm / 6ft
    Starting weight (14 weeks ago): 89kg / 196lbs
    Current weight (reached 3 weeks ago): 79kg / 174lbs

    Basically I lost 10kg / 22lbs over an 11 week period by straight up cutting calories (I did not count proteins, carbs or fats). I have in the past 3 weeks added 1h of weight lifting every day for 6 days/week (which temporarily halted the weight loss on the scale, but my waist is still going down at the same pace). Last week I heard about adaptive thermogenesis / metabolic damage which happens when you cut too many calories and the body slows down the metabolism, sometimes permanently... All I can find online is that a male should not consume any less than 1200 calories daily in order to avoid this state (of course it's individual), but I have now been cutting an average of 1000-800kcal per day (spread out over a week) for 14 weeks straight, and I am currently eating an average of 1950kcal/day (800kcal daily deficit according to the online calculators)... should I be slowing down or am I alright? I keep my protein intake to about 30% of my total calories.

    Every study I could find was with obese people, I was never obese, I just had/still have a **** load of body fat that needs to go asap (I am still incredibly motivated and I don't want to lose it by taking unnecessary breaks).
    800 cals a day for 14 weeks? My gawd.

    And your still trying to lose weight?

    First off, there is no such thing as metabolic damage. Theres adaptation, and it can always become more or less efficient. It will never be "broken for good".

    If what your doing is working and giving you the progress you want then keep at it.

    I would suggest eating at maintance for a while then starting your cut again at something not 800 cals a day. I would die.
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  6. #6
    I'm huge in Japan! xsquid99's Avatar
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    Losing an average of 2 lbs a week over an 11 week period is well within the acceptable safe/sustainable rate of loss for someone your size. Weight loss is also not linear, therefore assuming your diet and routine (daily caloric burn) are still maintained then seeing a one week stall isn't something to really be concerned about. That being said fat loss will slow down the leaner you get, and so you will either need to keep dropping calories or increase daily activity as a result.

    I was able to sustain a constant weight loss for 7+ months and 55 lbs without ever needing a "diet break", you just need to be aware of your daily activity which I consciously increased the leaner I got to keep the weight coming off.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Usernameisrequ's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help!

    I'm eating at a 800kcal deficit (2750 maint - 800 cut = 1950kcal eaten per day). 800kcal/day for 14 weeks would probably kill me too :P

    According to my calculations I should be ready to end my calorie deficit in about 5 weeks time, therefor I have decided to keep at it until I'm done. This brings me to a new question: In order to keep my calorie deficit but also meet my protein needs to build some muscle (2g protein per kilogram of bodyweight: 2 * 79 = 158g/day), an average day diet looks like this:
    09:00: Whey 24g protein shake
    11:00: Whey 24g protein shake
    13:00: Lunch 25g protein (some random minor prepared meal)
    17:00: Whey 24g protein shake (post-workout)
    19:00: Dinner: 25-35g protein
    21:00: Whey 24g protein shake
    23:30: Caseine 24g protein shake

    I realize it's a silly amount of shakes, but as they are low kcal and I am trying to build muscle on a deficit, it's not thaaaaaat stupid... right?
    The internet that doesn't lie says you can build muscle on a deficit with a lot of protein, and so far (1 month in) I am actually seeing a little muscle growth!
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  8. #8
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Usernameisrequ View Post
    Thanks for all your help!

    I'm eating at a 800kcal deficit (2750 maint - 800 cut = 1950kcal eaten per day). 800kcal/day for 14 weeks would probably kill me too :P

    According to my calculations I should be ready to end my calorie deficit in about 5 weeks time, therefor I have decided to keep at it until I'm done. This brings me to a new question: In order to keep my calorie deficit but also meet my protein needs to build some muscle (2g protein per kilogram of bodyweight: 2 * 79 = 158g/day), an average day diet looks like this:
    09:00: Whey 24g protein shake
    11:00: Whey 24g protein shake
    13:00: Lunch 25g protein (some random minor prepared meal)
    17:00: Whey 24g protein shake (post-workout)
    19:00: Dinner: 25-35g protein
    21:00: Whey 24g protein shake
    23:30: Caseine 24g protein shake

    I realize it's a silly amount of shakes, but as they are low kcal and I am trying to build muscle on a deficit, it's not thaaaaaat stupid... right?
    The internet that doesn't lie says you can build muscle on a deficit with a lot of protein, and so far (1 month in) I am actually seeing a little muscle growth!
    Why are you using so much powder??

    Whole foods are going to be far more satiating....
    The power of carbs compels me!
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  9. #9
    Registered User Usernameisrequ's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Why are you using so much powder??

    Whole foods are going to be far more satiating....


    This is only since a week ago or so, and it will only go on for about 5 more weeks. I just figured I need a lot of protein while not increasing my calories too much, and this feels like the best option as I can be quite picky when it comes to food :P
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  10. #10
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Usernameisrequ View Post
    This is only since a week ago or so, and it will only go on for about 5 more weeks. I just figured I need a lot of protein while not increasing my calories too much, and this feels like the best option as I can be quite picky when it comes to food :P
    hm... well... you do you I guess.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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  11. #11
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    As you get lighter you need to consume fewer calories in order to continue losing, there is no way around this. More activity can also work however that’s a slippery slope in regards to hunger
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Originally Posted by Usernameisrequ View Post
    Thanks for all your help!

    I'm eating at a 800kcal deficit (2750 maint - 800 cut = 1950kcal eaten per day). 800kcal/day for 14 weeks would probably kill me too :P

    According to my calculations I should be ready to end my calorie deficit in about 5 weeks time, therefor I have decided to keep at it until I'm done. This brings me to a new question: In order to keep my calorie deficit but also meet my protein needs to build some muscle (2g protein per kilogram of bodyweight: 2 * 79 = 158g/day), an average day diet looks like this:
    09:00: Whey 24g protein shake
    11:00: Whey 24g protein shake
    13:00: Lunch 25g protein (some random minor prepared meal)
    17:00: Whey 24g protein shake (post-workout)
    19:00: Dinner: 25-35g protein
    21:00: Whey 24g protein shake
    23:30: Caseine 24g protein shake

    I realize it's a silly amount of shakes, but as they are low kcal and I am trying to build muscle on a deficit, it's not thaaaaaat stupid... right?
    The internet that doesn't lie says you can build muscle on a deficit with a lot of protein, and so far (1 month in) I am actually seeing a little muscle growth!
    There is no reason to eat that frequently. In fact it has been shown that more frequent eating leads to greater hunger in some people.

    You may have heard you need to keep protein topped up or something - but actually there is no advantage to more than about 4 or at most 5 widely spaced protein feedings per day. Some would even debate if it's worth doing more than 3.
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  13. #13
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Usernameisrequ View Post
    The internet that doesn't lie says you can build muscle on a deficit with a lot of protein, and so far (1 month in) I am actually seeing a little muscle growth!
    Internet that doesn’t lie= internet that tells you what you want to hear
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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