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  1. #1
    Registered User Fitmancer's Avatar
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    Come a long way, still a long way to go. Need recomp advice

    Background: When I was young I was naturally really skinny. Started drinking a lot in college and realized I got skinny fat so I started running, I was about ~215. First pic of me is about 5 months of me running, weighed about ~210. I moved across the country and started to take my fitness to the next level and managed to cut down to ~192 by simply cutting calories. About 5 months ago I began lifting 5-6 days a week consistently and noticed substantial improvement in my physique. About one month ago I started getting really serious about my diet and began tracking macros in MyFitnessPal and have been consistently staying at a caloric deficit. Most recent pic was from a week ago, and now I am still at ~192 but at ~17% body fat.

    For the past week I have been really pushing it with my diet and I am a little unsure of what direction I should go in and need advice. I have been running a caloric deficit of about 800-1000 and am noticing I am much weaker in the gym, however I feel that thats more due to a lack of energy than actual muscle loss. Note that I have sharply increased the amount of cardio I do; I have been running 5 miles, hiking for two hours, going on hour long walks, etc. I have also been making damn well sure to be taking in at minimum 170g of protein each day.

    I guess where I am at is that I don't really know if running that much of a deficit is productive. I think that I am going to shift down to a much more moderate 600 calorie deficit and start eating a bit more so I have more energy to lift and run, but this is still a bit lower than a lot of the recommendations I've seen. I am chilling at about 17% body fat right now but I want to cut down to 13-15%: just enough to see my abs. After that, I want to start running a ~300 calorie surplus to start bulking and gain serious muscle. During my initial time slimming down and not really tracking macros I was able to hit two plates on the bench, but I feel like I am starting to get to a point where building muscle is going to require me to eat a bit more. I don't really mind the body fat percentage I'm at right now overall, but I'd much rather get it lower so I can bulk for a longer period of time without getting pudgy.

    If I am running a higher deficit for a few months, mostly due to increased cardio, I shouldn't lose that much muscle, right? As long as I am consistently hitting protein goals? I guess I just feel a bit lost at this point and am trying to figure out what direction I should take my fitness. In the long term, I want to have about 5-10 more pounds of muscle and be a little leaner than I am right now, but I feel like I am two years off from that at best. I also don't want to get too pudgy or set back my muscle gains along the way.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    This forum is kind of quiet, it might be worth posting this in Workout Programs.

    It probably would pay to use a moderate deficit that allows you to maintain your lifting volume. I think that slower weight loss means you stand a better chance of keeping it off.
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