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    Registered User siempreadelante's Avatar
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    Smile Breaking out of skinny-fat: size of deficit?

    Morning All,

    So over the past two years or so I’ve steadily lost 50 pounds, from 220 to my current 170. I’m 5’11.

    Unfortunately, like lots of guys I did it totally the wrong way - severe calorie restriction (I was on 1400/day until recently), not lifting and a lot of cardio. As a result, my weight loss eventually stalled and I ended up at a skinny-fat ~20%.

    I’m currently on a bit of a diet break, resting and eating at maintenance while I decide what to do next.

    I’m planning on essentially correcting my mistakes to date - find a solid lifting program, reduce the cardio and eat in a more moderate deficit while getting my protein.

    But I’m having trouble deciding on the size of deficit though: 500 seems like it would massively impact on my ability to gain *any* strength or size; 250 seems too little to have any effect on fat loss. So I’m not sure which to choose. After doing this wrong for so long, I’m keen not to keep spinning my wheels.

    Grateful for any advice. For what it’s worth, I think my maintenance calories are somewhere around 2000 at the moment, but expect it to be closer to 2300 when I start lifting again.
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  2. #2
    Registered User safcpaul's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by siempreadelante View Post
    Morning All,

    So over the past two years or so I’ve steadily lost 50 pounds, from 220 to my current 170. I’m 5’11.

    Unfortunately, like lots of guys I did it totally the wrong way - severe calorie restriction (I was on 1400/day until recently), not lifting and a lot of cardio. As a result, my weight loss eventually stalled and I ended up at a skinny-fat ~20%.

    I’m currently on a bit of a diet break, resting and eating at maintenance while I decide what to do next.

    I’m planning on essentially correcting my mistakes to date - find a solid lifting program, reduce the cardio and eat in a more moderate deficit while getting my protein.

    But I’m having trouble deciding on the size of deficit though: 500 seems like it would massively impact on my ability to gain *any* strength or size; 250 seems too little to have any effect on fat loss. So I’m not sure which to choose. After doing this wrong for so long, I’m keen not to keep spinning my wheels.

    Grateful for any advice. For what it’s worth, I think my maintenance calories are somewhere around 2000 at the moment, but expect it to be closer to 2300 when I start lifting again.
    Keep it 2000 and start lifting and try increase strength. Lowest i would go for myself is 2000 but im 6 foot 2 so i would say for you go no lower than 1800
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    Registered User siempreadelante's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    Keep it 2000 and start lifting and try increase strength. Lowest i would go for myself is 2000 but im 6 foot 2 so i would say for you go no lower than 1800
    I think around 2000 makes sense man. Would you suggest I mostly track my progress on strength gains? What would you expect to happen to my weight?
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    Gaintaining Mrpb's Avatar
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    If you're new to lifting I wouldn't recommend a deficit. Just eat at maintenance. You'll build muscle while you lose fat.
    Recommended science based fitness & nutrition information:
    Alan Aragon https://alanaragon.com/
    Brad Schoenfeld http://www.lookgreatnaked.com/
    James Krieger https://weightology.net/
    Jorn Trommelen http://www.nutritiontactics.com/
    Eric Helms & Team3DMJ https://3dmusclejourney.com/
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    Registered User siempreadelante's Avatar
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    Thanks man.

    And how would I track progress? Is it just strength gains in the gym or would I see physical changes too?

    As someone who’s been wedded to seeing changes on the scale for months, I’d be worried nothing was happening if the scale wasn’t moving.
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    Originally Posted by siempreadelante View Post
    Thanks man.

    And how would I track progress? Is it just strength gains in the gym or would I see physical changes too?

    As someone who’s been wedded to seeing changes on the scale for months, I’d be worried nothing was happening if the scale wasn’t moving.
    Getting consistently stronger on the main lifts in the medium rep ranges is generally a good indication of gaining muscle.

    Getting a smaller waist is generally a good indication of losing fat.

    Seeing changes in the mirror usually takes longer.
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    Registered User siempreadelante's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Getting consistently stronger on the main lifts in the medium rep ranges is generally a good indication of gaining muscle.

    Getting a smaller waist is generally a good indication of losing fat.

    Seeing changes in the mirror usually takes longer.
    Thanks again- that’s really helpful. I’ll definitely proceed as you suggest.

    Just finally- how long should I expect to keep making newbie strength gains while eating at maintenance? And when that eventually stalls, would you transition to a bulk or cut?
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    Originally Posted by siempreadelante View Post
    Thanks again- that’s really helpful. I’ll definitely proceed as you suggest.

    Just finally- how long should I expect to keep making newbie strength gains while eating at maintenance?
    As long as possible. Could be 2 months could be 8, no one knows.
    And when that eventually stalls, would you transition to a bulk or cut?
    Depends on what you prefer at that moment.

    If the recomposition works well it would be logical to bulk after.
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    Registered User siempreadelante's Avatar
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    Thanks again man- really appreciated
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