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  1. #1
    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    Losing fat is such a slow process.

    I'm 165 after pooping in the morning. I want to get to 140 pounds.
    That is 25 pounds to lose.
    At a pound per week, that is 25 weeks, or 6 months.

    6 month. Wow.

    It is possible to lose 1.5 pounds per week safely for the first 15 pounds, 1 pound per week for the next 5 pounds, then half a pound per week for the last 5 pounds. That is 10+5+10 weeks, still 25 weeks.

    I guess the way to look at it is that once I reach 150, who cares how long the last 10 pounds take, since 150 is not so bad. That can be reached in only 10 weeks, 2.5 months.



    Somehow the last time I ran the math, I thought I could lose 30 pounds in just under 4 months. When I recalculated 6 months for 25 pounds, I wondered how I could have gotten my math so wrong. Now I remember. The 4 month estimate was based on my plan of losing 2 pounds per week, which I have since learned would result in muscle loss. So 6 months is valid. But at last I can lose the first 15 in 2.5 months and then be at 150. So that gives some piece of mind.





    Don't ever spurge on ice cream or eat extra pizza under the plan that you can diet later. Even if you are bulking, a 200 calorie surplus is likely optimal, maybe 400 for some. The people who can eat extra are those who exercise a lot and got to fuel that energy. Cutting takes time, time that could have been spent bulking. I'm never letting this happen again.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Are you sure you want to reach 140lbs? How tall are you?

    Yes it's slow but 6 months is not much time for those of us that have been training for over a decade. It should be a lifestyle not a quick fix.

    Yes you can in theory lose weight faster - at least at first if you are genuinely overweight.

    But there are downsides to losing faster. Keeping weight off is statistically more likely if you take is slower and perhaps throw in some muscle gain phases between.
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    Registered User EiFit91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Keeping weight off is statistically more likely if you take is slower
    I don't think this part is true. Better muscle preservation/better chances of muscle gain is IMO the only strong argument for slow over fast weight loss.

    First time I see you posting something I kind of disagree with, actually somewhat relieved that it finally happened.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    I don't think this part is true. Better muscle preservation/better chances of muscle gain is IMO the only strong argument for slow over fast weight loss.

    First time I see you posting something I kind of disagree with, actually somewhat relieved that it finally happened.
    I think I heard this on a podcast (probably strongerbyscience) but that makes it hard to find references... Ah well maybe later

    I most likely is because of better lean mass preservation...
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I think I heard this on a podcast (probably strongerbyscience) but that makes it hard to find references... Ah well maybe later

    I most likely is because of better lean mass preservation...
    There have been some randomized trials that have compared rapid weight loss (e.g. 450-800 calories/day in the first study below) to slower rates of weight loss and find no effect on long term weight maintenance.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...13858714702001

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...1002/oby.21346

    There may be differences in results between overweight/obese individuals and the lifting population though. Would be very interested to hear that podcast - could form the basis for an interesting discussion in the Nutrition forum!

    Edit: In the second study, % fat free mass lost independently predicts weight regain, but apparently the differences in lean mass loss between groups isn't large enough to cause differences in rates of weight regain. This could be because participants have large fat stores so the risk of muscle loss is small. So it makes sense that these results could be different for normal weight individuals as they would have a higher chance of losing lean mass when losing weight quickly. Also I don't think they did resistance training in these studies, and if they had done that the study outcomes would maybe be different. Crap, I am ending up agreeing with you again
    Last edited by EiFit91; 06-15-2021 at 05:53 AM.
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    I don't think this part is true. Better muscle preservation/better chances of muscle gain is IMO the only strong argument for slow over fast weight loss.
    I've also read this from multiple sources - the key terminology being keeping weight off. I think the logic is quick weight loss usually involves unhealthy and/or unsustainable means, therefore the person is more likely to rebound, gaining back the lost weight, be it by returning to old habits or just reversing course and crash gaining after crash cutting. I'm fairly certain there is statistical data supporting the claim, and it also makes sense from a common sense approach.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Are you sure you want to reach 140lbs? How tall are you?

    Yes it's slow but 6 months is not much time for those of us that have been training for over a decade. It should be a lifestyle not a quick fix.

    Yes you can in theory lose weight faster - at least at first if you are genuinely overweight.

    But there are downsides to losing faster. Keeping weight off is statistically more likely if you take is slower and perhaps throw in some muscle gain phases between.
    I'm 5'8". But I have chronic ankle sprains and want to reduce how much weight I have on them. I also have enough other joint in tendon injuries in my upper body that I doubt it is possible for me to ever grow huge muscles even with steroid. I was 135 in high school and filled out to 150 pounds as an adult with maybe 15% body fat or 18%. I know that the most recent 15% gained is all fat, so I should at least get back to 150.

    There are several reasons fast weight loss is more prone to rebound. One is less time with a habit, or one that must be stopped eventually. Another is lost muscle mass. I don't think the sudden fat loss itself increases the odds of a rebound. My goal definitely is to not lose muscle, since muscle takes long to build.






    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    There have been some randomized trials that have compared rapid weight loss (e.g. 450-800 calories/day in the first study below) to slower rates of weight loss and find no effect on long term weight maintenance.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...13858714702001

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...1002/oby.21346

    There may be differences in results between overweight/obese individuals and the lifting population though. Would be very interested to hear that podcast - could form the basis for an interesting discussion in the Nutrition forum!

    Edit: In the second study, % fat free mass lost independently predicts weight regain, but apparently the differences in lean mass loss between groups isn't large enough to cause differences in rates of weight regain. This could be because participants have large fat stores so the risk of muscle loss is small. So it makes sense that these results could be different for normal weight individuals as they would have a higher chance of losing lean mass when losing weight quickly. Also I don't think they did resistance training in these studies, and if they had done that the study outcomes would maybe be different. Crap, I am ending up agreeing with you again
    These studies depend heavily on how exactly they were done. Body fat of people involved, what each group ate, when they ate, and exercise. If they don't publish that, or it is not conditions that match mine or what I'm willing to do, then the study does not mean much.

    Now, show me a study where almost lean people lost over 1% of body fat per week without losing muscle, and I'll have a look, since that would contradict other sources.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    I'm 5'8". But I have chronic ankle sprains and want to reduce how much weight I have on them. I also have enough other joint in tendon injuries in my upper body that I doubt it is possible for me to ever grow huge muscles even with steroid. I was 135 in high school and filled out to 150 pounds as an adult with maybe 15% body fat or 18%. I know that the most recent 15% gained is all fat, so I should at least get back to 150.

    There are several reasons fast weight loss is more prone to rebound. One is less time with a habit, or one that must be stopped eventually. Another is lost muscle mass. I don't think the sudden fat loss itself increases the odds of a rebound. My goal definitely is to not lose muscle, since muscle takes long to build.








    These studies depend heavily on how exactly they were done. Body fat of people involved, what each group ate, when they ate, and exercise. If they don't publish that, or it is not conditions that match mine or what I'm willing to do, then the study does not mean much.

    Now, show me a study where almost lean people lost over 1% of body fat per week without losing muscle, and I'll have a look, since that would contradict other sources.
    A lot of muscle retention is dependent on how you train and if you aren't training heavy and intensely enough you will have a hard time retaining muscle with a bigger deficit. Being leaner means losing slower. Your original calculations are unrealistic as a deficit 0f 750 calories a day at your weight would put the daily amount too low.


    Shoot for a pound a week As you lean out that same calorie amount will not yield the same weekly loss so things will slow down loss wise. Be more patient. Also visual muscle loss most of the time is just not having as much as you thought you did before dieting down

    Also understand that losing muscle isn’t the end of the world as once you reverse diet and continue proper training it comes back pretty fast. You really need to post a pic though as without one this is all a guess
    Last edited by Tommy W.; 06-15-2021 at 10:46 AM.
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    5'8 140, even lean, is pretty underweight. I'm 5'9, and when I got into fitness and diet my lowest weight was like 143 before I bulked up. I was very lean and had a little muscle (I think I have a pic in my profile from back then). Anyway - when I look back I think I was too skinny, and I was pretty fit.

    But of course if you have medical/physiological reasons to maintain a low weight then you would know best.
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    So what were you doing 6 months ago? Does that feel like a long time ago?
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    For the sake of your sanity, it’s supposed to be slow. I personally do 8 week cycles of lowering calories, then 1, at most 2 weeks of maintenance (until I’m ready for another fat loss cycle), then do another 8 weeks.

    Rinse and repeat.

    If you cut weight fast, you’re going to lose strength, lean muscle mass and the grit to keep cutting weight (psychological).

    Take it slow, it’ll be easier to adjust your diet lifestyle. Worst thing is cutting hard and fast, then failing when your weight bounces right back.
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    Piling up of fat is also a slow process buddy! so how you can imagine that it melt down in a day ?
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    These studies depend heavily on how exactly they were done. Body fat of people involved, what each group ate, when they ate, and exercise. If they don't publish that, or it is not conditions that match mine or what I'm willing to do, then the study does not mean much.

    Now, show me a sstudy where almost lean people lost over 1% of body fat per+ week without losing muscle, and I'll have a look, since that would contradict other sources.
    I am not arguing that lean people aren't at risk of muscle loss. I am just saying that there is not good evidence to my knowledge that it's generally easier to maintain weight loss when you lose the weight slowly.

    The diet they used in the above studies would be considered suboptimal for muscle retention, but even then there weren't detectable differences in loss of lean mass between groups. Just had a look at the second study and weight regain wasn't correlated with BMI either (BMI ranged from 28-35). To me this at least suggests that people who are overweight/obese shouldn't worry about muscle loss and should cut as fast as they can until they reach a more healthy state and THEN focus on muscle gain. For anyone else moving slowly towards your desired weight makes sense to me as it's better for muscle gain and muscle retention, and not really any big health benefits to losing weight quickly.

    In your case you probably need to do both mass gain phases and fat loss phases to get where you want. What you should do first is impossible to tell without pictures.
    Last edited by EiFit91; 06-16-2021 at 08:03 AM.
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    Originally Posted by JustinP72 View Post
    I've also read this from multiple sources - the key terminology being keeping weight off. I think the logic is quick weight loss usually involves unhealthy and/or unsustainable means, therefore the person is more likely to rebound, gaining back the lost weight, be it by returning to old habits or just reversing course and crash gaining after crash cutting. I'm fairly certain there is statistical data supporting the claim, and it also makes sense from a common sense approach.
    I have heard it many times too but I have never seen solid evidence behind the claim.

    I do agree that for people who cut within the healthy BF% range, the claim makes sense as there is risk of substantial muscle loss. For overweight people I don't think the claim is true at all and the evidence suggests you can even cut on a crappy "crash diet" as in the above studies and still there's no difference in people's ability to maintain the weight loss.
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    Patience is, unfortunately, a big part of weight loss, There's a few ways to frame the time. I like to try to appreciate the small scale victories. Like if I make it 2 weeks, 1 month, etc... that's a victory along the way.

    Sometimes surges help mentally. Like a strict 2lb weight loss week sprinkled in here and there can help you feel like things are moving a little faster.

    The reverse is also true. Like sometimes a 'metabolism booster' week where you take a break can be good. Just make sure it's spaced reasonably. Perhaps something like at 2 months and 4 months? Maybe just structure it around uncontrollable events like family vacations or the like.

    ...but yeah... time and diets... ...it's a PITA. If it helps I'm right there with you. I had a bad year least year and started losing weight about 2 months ago. I also have about six months of total effort to look forward too. Irritated to see myself slip after like 3 years of great consistency, but here we are.
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    ...
    You really need to post a pic though as without one this is all a guess
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    5'8 140, even lean, is pretty underweight. I'm 5'9, and when I got into fitness and diet my lowest weight was like 143 before I bulked up. I was very lean and had a little muscle (I think I have a pic in my profile from back then). Anyway - when I look back I think I was too skinny, and I was pretty fit.

    But of course if you have medical/physiological reasons to maintain a low weight then you would know best.
    Yes, your May 9, 2012 pick is not far from where I'm headed, though an inch adds 6 pounds. I agree, you look better now, but it will be interesting to see if my joints and tendons allow more weight in the future. I'm staying in the high rep range for now.


    ...
    I've not been counting calories precisely this whole time. Some days I take mental note of how many cans of peas I've been eating and other stuff and have checked that I'm around 2000 calories per day.

    I did a 14 mile hike a few weeks ago which really aggrevated my ankles. So now I'm getting around in my wheel chair till they recover. I missed many days at the gym. I just started lifting again, but I can't do treadmill or much cycling. I just do any exercise that does not put force on my ankles. They are taking forever. For all the calories I burned on that hike, I missed burning far more from the lost gym time. I'm just glad I made it back without having to be carried out, which would not have happened.
    Last edited by Darkius; 06-18-2021 at 04:31 PM.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    If you think losing fat is slow, try gaining muscle
    Lol exactly what I was going to say
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    But I have chronic ankle sprains and want to reduce how much weight I have on them. I also have enough other joint in tendon injuries in my upper body that I doubt it is possible for me to ever grow huge muscles even with steroid.
    Are you under a doctor's care for these maladies? What did the MRIs and scans show, specifically?

    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    I did a 14 mile hike a few weeks ago which really aggrevated my ankles. So now I'm getting around in my wheel chair till they recover. I missed many days at the gym. I just started lifting again, but I can't do treadmill or much cycling. I just do any exercise that does not put force on my ankles. They are taking forever.
    Given your first quoted statement, why would you go on a 14 mile hike?
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