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    Long time fitness person here.. and I'm still confused about this "fat loss" question

    I should know the answer to this but I hear too much conflicting info. Can somebody help me understand this? I'll try to simplify it.


    If you're using intermittent fasting as a method of weight loss (calorie reduction), which one of these methods would have you lose weight fastest/best?


    Option A: The person only eats one meal a day, a dinner (assuming there'd be a deficit here)


    Option B: The person does the same except they have a protein shake (something as clean as protein mixed with water) in the middle of the day.



    I would normally assume A because the daily caloric intake would be less overall, but, I see conflicting sources, some saying that option A would put your body in a moderate "starvation" mode, meaning you hang onto those calories more, and therefore option B is more effective.


    Does anybody with a real education in this know the answer?
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    Starvation mode doesn't exist.

    The answer with the lowest calorie intake will lose the most fat.

    If you adjusted both options to have the same calorie and protein content, the results would be identical. Perhaps slightly greater muscle loss on A
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    OP, you should read up on "starvation mode", because for all intents and purposes its non existent for the purposes of any discussions on this forum.

    https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/starvation-mode/

    Studies have shown that equal spaced protein intake throughout the day is actually most beneficial for muscle protein synthesis, but overall as SP mentioned above the one with the lowest calorie intake will in theory lose the most fat.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Starvation mode doesn't exist.

    The answer with the lowest calorie intake will lose the most fat.

    If you adjusted both options to have the same calorie and protein content, the results would be identical. Perhaps slightly greater muscle loss on A
    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    OP, you should read up on "starvation mode", because for all intents and purposes its non existent for the purposes of any discussions on this forum.

    https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/starvation-mode/

    Studies have shown that equal spaced protein intake throughout the day is actually most beneficial for muscle protein synthesis, but overall as SP mentioned above the one with the lowest calorie intake will in theory lose the most fat.
    Thank you both, this was my guess.

    However, check this out, you would figure WebMD was at least... close to accurate right? I was researching this question a few days before making this thread and WebMD essentially said that it's not a good fat loss method - because, 1 meal per day will slow your metabolism, so when you begin eating normally again, you regain the lost weight.


    It essentially said that your metabolism slows with one meal per day, therefore two "meals" will maintain a better metabolism and have a greater weight-loss result because in option A your metabolism is slowed too much.



    To me, I interpreted that as WebMD's article saying the "starvation mode" factor is real in a sense. I wish I could find the article again but not seeing it.

    Were they essentially wrong?
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    Originally Posted by 3fifty View Post
    Thank you both, this was my guess.

    However, check this out, you would figure WebMD was at least... close to accurate right? I was researching this question a few days before making this thread and WebMD essentially said that it's not a good fat loss method - because, 1 meal per day will slow your metabolism, so when you begin eating normally again, you regain the lost weight.


    It essentially said that your metabolism slows with one meal per day, therefore two "meals" will maintain a better metabolism and have a greater weight-loss result because in option A your metabolism is slowed too much.



    To me, I interpreted that as WebMD's article saying the "starvation mode" factor is real in a sense. I wish I could find the article again but not seeing it.

    Were they essentially wrong?
    Your metabolism will slow down when you are in a calorie deficit, beyond what is predicted by the weight loss alone. Any diet that leads to a calorie deficit will have this effect. This effect is called “metabolic adaptation” and is generally quite small. So they are partially right, it’s just that adaptations are not particular to the diet you use.

    Metabolic adaptation was previously thought (by some at least) to persist once you switch to maintenance, but a quite recent study showed that metabolic adaptation eventually disappears after a maintenance phase.

    Regaining weight is more about failing to stick to the habits that were used to lose weight.
    Last edited by EiFit91; 08-13-2021 at 03:08 PM.
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    OP I think you need to understand the meaning of metabolism, which is simply the process your body uses to turn the food you eat into the energy it needs.

    When you're talking "speeding up" a metabolism you're simply talking about burning more calories in a day. If you have a guy who weighs 500 lbs and has to eat 5000 calories a day just to maintain his body mass, do you think he has a "slow" metabolism? Doesn't sound like it to me, his body is processing 5000 calories a day. What about me, I'm 205 lbs and quite active and I eat 3500 calories a day, don't I have a slower metabolism than the guy who eats 5000 calories in a day?

    Metabolism is largely just a sum off all the things that go into your Total Daily Energy Expenditure: NEAT (NON-exercise activity) + EAT (exercise activity) + TEF (Thermic effect of food) + BMR/RMR.
    Last edited by xsquid99; 08-13-2021 at 04:05 PM.
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    Originally Posted by 3fifty View Post
    I should know the answer to this but I hear too much conflicting info. Can somebody help me understand this? I'll try to simplify it.


    If you're using intermittent fasting as a method of weight loss (calorie reduction), which one of these methods would have you lose weight fastest/best?


    Option A: The person only eats one meal a day, a dinner (assuming there'd be a deficit here)


    Option B: The person does the same except they have a protein shake (something as clean as protein mixed with water) in the middle of the day.



    I would normally assume A because the daily caloric intake would be less overall, but, I see conflicting sources, some saying that option A would put your body in a moderate "starvation" mode, meaning you hang onto those calories more, and therefore option B is more effective.


    Does anybody with a real education in this know the answer?
    Starvation mode doesn't exist.


    The person that can sustain a deficit would do best, and the person who is in a calorie deficit, but not as large of one will probably be better off. They'll retain more muscle mass, they'll probably feel better, their metabolic rate should stay higher, and the metabolic adaptation that occurs won't be as severe.
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Your metabolism will slow down when you are in a calorie deficit, beyond what is predicted by the weight loss alone. Any diet that leads to a calorie deficit will have this effect. This effect is called “metabolic adaptation” and is generally quite small. So they are partially right, it’s just that adaptations are not particular to the diet you use.

    Metabolic adaptation was previously thought (by some at least) to persist once you switch to maintenance, but a quite recent study showed that metabolic adaptation eventually disappears after a maintenance phase.

    Regaining weight is more about failing to stick to the habits that were used to lose weight.
    Do you happen to remember how long after the "maintenance" part kicks in it takes for your metabolism to return to normal? Also, for general weight loss, you do think A is best?

    Originally Posted by MG5 View Post
    Starvation mode doesn't exist.


    The person that can sustain a deficit would do best, and the person who is in a calorie deficit, but not as large of one will probably be better off. They'll retain more muscle mass, they'll probably feel better, their metabolic rate should stay higher, and the metabolic adaptation that occurs won't be as severe.
    Interesting, so you think option B yields better results because they aren't quite at such a deficit that their body slows down as much?


    I'm getting somewhat different replies in here, I can't decide whether to do A or B. I will say that I feel fine fasting 1 meal/day, not worried about muscle mass (yet) but I don't like the idea of lowering my metabolic rate to a point where my "maintenance" is low for a long time making it easier to over eat for a long period of time.
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    Originally Posted by 3fifty View Post
    I'm getting somewhat different replies in here, I can't decide whether to do A or B.
    People are being very kind in here by not simply telling you that both options are kinda crappy.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    People are being very kind in here by not simply telling you that both options are kinda crappy.
    Indeed...

    OP, I actually thought you were just posting a hypothetical question, but since you're actually considering it then I'll say both ideas sound absolutely horrible.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Starvation mode doesn't exist.

    The answer with the lowest calorie intake will lose the most fat.

    If you adjusted both options to have the same calorie and protein content, the results would be identical. Perhaps slightly greater muscle loss on A

    While as a general statement? That might not be wrong but it’s not right either. Yes caloric deficit is a good general approach or overall position to take but? What you eat matters so much more. For example: Carbohydrates release insulin into your blood stream. One of insulin’s goals, on top of course of managing blood sugar? Is also to open cell sites for the absorption of nutrients... A whole
    Bunch of insulin and food of low nutritional value? Even if the same amount of calories as a steak? Yeah that huge insulin boost is going tj leave sites wide open for absorption pulling all these non-vital sometimes bad nutrients in, being added to fat storage? Rather than remaining elsewhere in the body to more easily be burned.

    Macros matter so much and whilst everyone’s physiology is different? This statement you’ve made is not accurate

    One of the things that’s important to do if taking bodybuilding seriously? Is first to keep your protein intake in line with your testosterone levels and? Only consume as much carbs with your meal, that will open up the cell sites for absorption? Whilst not leaving a whole bunch extra that will eventually be turned to fat
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    based on my experience, setting meal times is one way to lose weight without torturing yourself by limiting consumption. and exercise is the most important thing, even if it is done independently at home. hope i help you with my experience. xoxo.
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    Originally Posted by 3fifty View Post
    I'm getting somewhat different replies in here, I can't decide whether to do A or B. I will say that I feel fine fasting 1 meal/day, not worried about muscle mass (yet) but I don't like the idea of lowering my metabolic rate to a point where my "maintenance" is low for a long time making it easier to over eat for a long period of time.
    You're not paying attention, then. Metabolic slowdown is a VERY MINOR factor. Forget starvation mode in the sense that you are thinking of it.

    There is NOTHING that says spreading out your protein during the day means you have to take in more calories.
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    Originally Posted by LoseWeightGoals View Post
    based on my experience, setting meal times is one way to lose weight without torturing yourself by limiting consumption. and exercise is the most important thing, even if it is done independently at home. hope i help you with my experience. xoxo.
    This is very true, regularly scheduled eating times undoubtedly help in weight loss. Constantly keeping waste moving through your digestive track is important. Your body has a biological clock and when you eat at regular intervals? It both helps keep the waste moving and also starts up bodily processes that do metabolic function...


    Also, surprised no one here has mentioned water and water intake being a large determinant in weight loss. Really can’t understate the importance of staying hydrated.
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    You're not paying attention, then. Metabolic slowdown is a VERY MINOR factor. Forget starvation mode in the sense that you are thinking of it.

    There is NOTHING that says spreading out your protein during the day means you have to take in more calories.
    Nothing you say? Well I’m not going tj go ahead and nitpick at your response? Except I will say? That testosterone levels fluctuate heavily during the day and have a number of variables which elicit effect on those levels. Now remember two the distinction between free testosterone and bound testosterone too. Testosterone is the single biggest determinant of a persons ability to digest and synthesis protein for it to even be able to be absorbed at all... In addition to things like type of diet, water intake and certain vitamins having an effect on testosterone levels? Variance in the time of day also has a large effect on
    Testosterone as well. So to pretend as though the more appropriate times for protein consumption and factoring in the amount at that time? Intelligent decisions can be made as to how this is done to be most effective. It’s as though we’re trying tj pretend here like protein is high af in fiber so? It’s going to just roll through you? Na dog, not at all on that one but I’m bored on this topic now.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    OP I think you need to understand the meaning of metabolism, which is simply the process your body uses to turn the food you eat into the energy it needs.

    When you're talking "speeding up" a metabolism you're simply talking about burning more calories in a day. If you have a guy who weighs 500 lbs and has to eat 5000 calories a day just to maintain his body mass, do you think he has a "slow" metabolism? Doesn't sound like it to me, his body is processing 5000 calories a day. What about me, I'm 205 lbs and quite active and I eat 3500 calories a day, don't I have a slower metabolism than the guy who eats 5000 calories in a day?

    Metabolism is largely just a sum off all the things that go into your Total Daily Energy Expenditure: NEAT (NON-exercise activity) + EAT (exercise activity) + TEF (Thermic effect of food) + BMR/RMR.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    People are being very kind in here by not simply telling you that both options are kinda crappy.
    Actually lol'd at this.

    This is true. Both are bad options.

    I'm not gonna read through all the additional comments, but choose a way of eating that works for you.

    By works for you, I mean one that allows you to consistently stay in a moderate calorie deficit. Do that, and you will lose weight. Whether that be 2 meals a day, 5, 7. Carbs or no carbs, paleo, fasting, whatever. There are people that have lost weight and kept it off doing everything I just mentioned (different number of meals, keto, fasting, paleo). Or, what I recommend which is not following a specific trendy diet with a name or anything like that. Just hit your protein, variety of foods, including fruits and veggies, have some not so nutritious foods in moderation. Just an overall balanced diet that meets your nutritional requirement.

    Keep lifting and striving for progress in the gym.

    Sleep 7-9 hours

    Manage stress levels, stay hydrated, and eat higher volume, less calories dense foods.

    Protein at 0.7-1 gram per pound body weight or goal body weight if you have 25+ lbs to lose

    20-35% of calories from fat.

    Rest of calories from carbs.

    It's all quite simple, but not easy.

    The hardest part is being consistent and patient and doing the small things daily that'll get you to your goal.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    People are being very kind in here by not simply telling you that both options are kinda crappy.
    I’m not sure what it is precisely you’re getting at but I have a YouTube video for you now

    **** it slipped my mind, it can always be revised. I mean not like you’re of any importance to anything at all so? What the fucj would be continuing on you right? Biggest issue of course Is me walking into places acting like
    I’m operating off factual information when really it’s only a subliminal I may have misunderstood or misinterpreted... Meh fucj it... let them have their time to play their games....

    In the words of the department of justice? In the end Jesus wins....

    Alright fucj you later moron....

    Never
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    To simplify things

    A) there is no such thing as starvation mode

    B) fat loss/gain will depend on weekly calorie amounts
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Originally Posted by pantiespending View Post
    While as a general statement? That might not be wrong but it’s not right either. Yes caloric deficit is a good general approach or overall position to take but? What you eat matters so much more. For example: Carbohydrates release insulin into your blood stream. One of insulin’s goals, on top of course of managing blood sugar? Is also to open cell sites for the absorption of nutrients... A whole
    Bunch of insulin and food of low nutritional value? Even if the same amount of calories as a steak? Yeah that huge insulin boost is going tj leave sites wide open for absorption pulling all these non-vital sometimes bad nutrients in, being added to fat storage? Rather than remaining elsewhere in the body to more easily be burned.

    Macros matter so much and whilst everyone’s physiology is different? This statement you’ve made is not accurate

    One of the things that’s important to do if taking bodybuilding seriously? Is first to keep your protein intake in line with your testosterone levels and? Only consume as much carbs with your meal, that will open up the cell sites for absorption? Whilst not leaving a whole bunch extra that will eventually be turned to fat
    There are NEAT adaptations which are recorded as being small in most people - in an average person, their TDEE adjusted by 1-200 calories during sustained dieting. I omitted this information because it can be confusing to those who are trying to get their priorities in order.

    Also, these NEAT adaptations respond to long term net calorie balance, they are not influenced by minor intra day fiddling of meal timing. Which is another reason for not mentioning it in the context of OPs question.
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    Lots of really poor info in this thread
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    I'm going to use starvation mode to lean bulk.
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    Originally Posted by pantiespending View Post
    While as a general statement? That might not be wrong but it’s not right either. Yes caloric deficit is a good general approach or overall position to take but? What you eat matters so much more. For example: Carbohydrates release insulin into your blood stream. One of insulin’s goals, on top of course of managing blood sugar? Is also to open cell sites for the absorption of nutrients... A whole
    Bunch of insulin and food of low nutritional value? Even if the same amount of calories as a steak? Yeah that huge insulin boost is going tj leave sites wide open for absorption pulling all these non-vital sometimes bad nutrients in, being added to fat storage? Rather than remaining elsewhere in the body to more easily be burned.

    Macros matter so much and whilst everyone’s physiology is different? This statement you’ve made is not accurate

    One of the things that’s important to do if taking bodybuilding seriously? Is first to keep your protein intake in line with your testosterone levels and? Only consume as much carbs with your meal, that will open up the cell sites for absorption? Whilst not leaving a whole bunch extra that will eventually be turned to fat
    you need to go back to misc. it fits your personality much better. You shouldn’t be giving out nutrition info.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    People are being very kind in here by not simply telling you that both options are kinda crappy.
    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Indeed...

    OP, I actually thought you were just posting a hypothetical question, but since you're actually considering it then I'll say both ideas sound absolutely horrible.

    Originally Posted by MG5 View Post
    Actually lol'd at this.

    This is true. Both are bad options.

    I'm not gonna read through all the additional comments, but choose a way of eating that works for you.

    By works for you, I mean one that allows you to consistently stay in a moderate calorie deficit. Do that, and you will lose weight. Whether that be 2 meals a day, 5, 7. Carbs or no carbs, paleo, fasting, whatever. There are people that have lost weight and kept it off doing everything I just mentioned different number of meals, keto, fasting, paleo. Or, what I recommend which is not following a specific trendy diet with a name or anything like that. Just hit your protein, variety of foods, including fruits and veggies, have some not so nutritious foods in moderation. Just an overall balanced diet that meets your nutritional requirement.

    Keep lifting and striving for progress in the gym.

    Sleep 7-9 hours

    Manage stress levels, stay hydrated, and eat higher volume, less calories dense foods.

    Protein at 0.7-1 gram per pound body weight or goal body weight if you have 25+ lbs to lose

    20-35% of calories from fat.

    Rest of calories from carbs.

    It's all quite simple, but not easy.

    The hardest part is being consistent and patient and doing the small things daily that'll get you to your goal.

    Lol, I laughed at it too. Alright if anybody is in the mood, please tell me why it's so horrible, but first let me explain my lifestyle/goals.

    I actually have a bit more knowledge than it may come across. I've lifted on and off most of my life and visited forums/articles to learn from, I've been lean enough to see abs -when I wanted- and had a fair chunk of muscle on me at some points. My current lifestyle is a little bit different. I'm not trying to gain muscle right now, yet. My girlfriend and I essentially like to eat "whatever we want" within reason at dinner together, it's our only meal together and we like that.

    Given that I'm not lifting for muscle mass and not trying to maintain any muscle mass at the moment, I'd like to just be more lean and lose about 15-20lbs, maximum. At that point I may begin lifting again, life is just too busy right now -or rather, I'm prioritizing other things- to want to prioritize that just yet. I'll spare you the boring details but it makes sense right now.

    Therefore, knowing that our "fun" together is our one dinner meal together, and knowing that we'd like to be able to go get spaghetti, some Thai food, burgers, whatever we want for dinner, this intermittent fasting/one meal a day -not all days but most days of the week- has been my solution.

    It's worked, so far I've dropped about 10lbs and happy with the results, I've been doing it for a few months and it's not too hard.


    I'm fully aware that I can count macros and I know how to do the "best" dieting format but it's not my interest right now. That's why I've chosen the 1 meal a day -possibly with a small water protein shake mixed in- as my solution.


    If I'm making any gigantic mistake please point it out to me so I can correct it lol. I sleep very well for now and do my best to manage stress, etc.



    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Lots of really poor info in this thread

    Your post would be more helpful correcting the other peoples advice with what you'd consider as better advice rather than just calling them out lol. If you're in the mood, please share your $0.02!
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    Originally Posted by 3fifty View Post
    Lol, I laughed at it too. Alright if anybody is in the mood, please tell me why it's so horrible, but first let me explain my lifestyle/goals.

    I actually have a bit more knowledge than it may come across. I've lifted on and off most of my life and visited forums/articles to learn from, I've been lean enough to see abs -when I wanted- and had a fair chunk of muscle on me at some points. My current lifestyle is a little bit different. I'm not trying to gain muscle right now, yet. My girlfriend and I essentially like to eat "whatever we want" within reason at dinner together, it's our only meal together and we like that.

    Given that I'm not lifting for muscle mass and not trying to maintain any muscle mass at the moment, I'd like to just be more lean and lose about 15-20lbs, maximum. At that point I may begin lifting again, life is just too busy right now -or rather, I'm prioritizing other things- to want to prioritize that just yet. I'll spare you the boring details but it makes sense right now.

    Therefore, knowing that our "fun" together is our one dinner meal together, and knowing that we'd like to be able to go get spaghetti, some Thai food, burgers, whatever we want for dinner, this intermittent fasting/one meal a day -not all days but most days of the week- has been my solution.

    It's worked, so far I've dropped about 10lbs and happy with the results, I've been doing it for a few months and it's not too hard.


    I'm fully aware that I can count macros and I know how to do the "best" dieting format but it's not my interest right now. That's why I've chosen the 1 meal a day -possibly with a small water protein shake mixed in- as my solution.


    If I'm making any gigantic mistake please point it out to me so I can correct it lol. I sleep very well for now and do my best to manage stress, etc.






    Your post would be more helpful correcting the other peoples advice with what you'd consider as better advice rather than just calling them out lol. If you're in the mood, please share your $0.02!
    Lets just say LoseWeight Goals and Pantiespending shouldn't be giving advice
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    Originally Posted by 3fifty View Post
    Lol, I laughed at it too. Alright if anybody is in the mood, please tell me why it's so horrible, but first let me explain my lifestyle/goals.

    I actually have a bit more knowledge than it may come across. I've lifted on and off most of my life and visited forums/articles to learn from, I've been lean enough to see abs -when I wanted- and had a fair chunk of muscle on me at some points. My current lifestyle is a little bit different. I'm not trying to gain muscle right now, yet. My girlfriend and I essentially like to eat "whatever we want" within reason at dinner together, it's our only meal together and we like that.

    Given that I'm not lifting for muscle mass and not trying to maintain any muscle mass at the moment, I'd like to just be more lean and lose about 15-20lbs, maximum. At that point I may begin lifting again, life is just too busy right now -or rather, I'm prioritizing other things- to want to prioritize that just yet. I'll spare you the boring details but it makes sense right now.

    Therefore, knowing that our "fun" together is our one dinner meal together, and knowing that we'd like to be able to go get spaghetti, some Thai food, burgers, whatever we want for dinner, this intermittent fasting/one meal a day -not all days but most days of the week- has been my solution.

    It's worked, so far I've dropped about 10lbs and happy with the results, I've been doing it for a few months and it's not too hard.


    I'm fully aware that I can count macros and I know how to do the "best" dieting format but it's not my interest right now. That's why I've chosen the 1 meal a day -possibly with a small water protein shake mixed in- as my solution.


    If I'm making any gigantic mistake please point it out to me so I can correct it lol. I sleep very well for now and do my best to manage stress, etc.
    Given that your only goal is weight loss and you don't care about muscle, assuming you eat the exact same thing for dinner in both scenarios, the answer is option A.
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Lets just say LoseWeight Goals and Pantiespending shouldn't be giving advice

    Oh I see. Well, I'd like to hear your input on option A or B given my goals, which don't currently include muscle growth or preservation.

    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Given that your only goal is weight loss and you don't care about muscle, assuming you eat the exact same thing for dinner in both scenarios, the answer is option A.

    Ok cool. Thanks. Yeah, that's my goal for now, afterwards I intend to get back into the muscle building portion as I've done before.

    Anyway, now that you know my goals and said option A, do you think it's a terrible way for me to achieve my goals? Just want to make sure there isn't some risk you're aware of that I'm not yet. Thanks.
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    If it's been working for you and you're happy with the results, you get to enjoy dinner with your girlfriend, and this approach fits your preferences and lifestyle, then go for it.


    You know what you want and your situation better than any of us.

    So going way back to your original question, the option without the additional protein shake would result in faster fat loss, assuming everything else remains the same. For the reason you said - less calories.

    Whether that number of calories is too few or not, we don't know. It depends where your calories are at with the protein shake. If you're in a 400 calorie deficit when you have the one large meal per day and a shake, and without the shake it puts you in a 550 calorie deficit, that's no big deal. That's still a reasonable calorie deficit, with or without the shake.

    Now if you were in 800 calorie deficit with the meal + shake and then a 950 calorie deficit without the shake, that'd be a bigger problem.
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    Originally Posted by 3fifty View Post
    Oh I see. Well, I'd like to hear your input on option A or B given my goals, which don't currently include muscle growth or preservation.




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    I already did that in post #19
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