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  • confused on calorie deficit principles

    Jordan, I've been following you and your ideas for a while now. 2 years. I've seen every youtube video, a ton of IG lives, read every BBM resource, currently in group programming, bought the template bundles, etc. Of particular relevance to my question here is that I've read/digested TBAB many times, and have done calorie tracking with various degrees of success. Still have a bit of confusion, so here it goes.

    To keep things short yet provide some context...creating a long-term calorie deficit to achieve slow weight loss is difficult for me. Same for gaining weight. I THRIVE easily at maintenance intake. It comes natural for whatever reason. My set point perhaps.

    Currently 46 yo, 5'10", 205lbs with ~38" waist.
    Strength training about 22 months. SSLP for a few months then almost directly to BBM afterward.

    The Positive: I've gained about 20 lbs, mostly muscle according to all verifiable metrics (waist size decreased from the untrained state, arm/chest/thigh circumference measurements all went up, fat pinches went down, etc). All good right?

    The Negative: All this change happened in the first ~8 months of training. The last 14 months, very little change in body composition. I've gotten stronger, and body composition has improved but it's been very slow.

    My Objective: I want to be leaner sooner. I have an athletic build and I'm tired of being fluffy on top of that, especially living on the Gulf Coast where I'm shirtless all the time in my leisure. I don't care about maximum strength or muscle at the moment, though I do want to increase both over the long term. I feel like the way I eat now, I'm kind of spinning my wheels and will never get where I need to go. I can't seem to lose the fluff this way and fee like I need to be more drastic. I can't comply to a moderately restrictive diet long enough to cause a chance. Short term I'd like to drop 2-3" off my waist.

    I've seen you suggest things about more drastic short term deficits providing good results with no fear of metabolic damage as others suggest. I really don't care if I get a bit weaker in the process, but I don't want to lose the muscle I've gained either. I'd accept moderate strength/muscle loss.

    I'm considering going on a 1000 calorie/day diet for 2-4 weeks, at least during the week. Weekends would be more of my typical maintenance intake, tracked around 2700 calories.. I think I can maintain this for 5 days each week before the weekend hits. This would be a huge weekly deficit over my current dieting, hopefully stimulating quick fat loss.

    THE QUESTION: Is there something glaringly wrong about this approach? I just want to get the weight off quick so I can forget about it, then return to my more normal eating patterns as I feel like I could likely keep my BF% roughly the same once I get my waist down. I might be wrong on being able to comply with this but it feels doable at the moment.

    Thanks for everything you've done for me the last 2 years...without even knowing it perhaps.

  • #2
    Euby,

    Thanks for the post and kind words. Comments in line:


    Originally posted by Euby View Post
    To keep things short yet provide some context...creating a long-term calorie deficit to achieve slow weight loss is difficult for me. Same for gaining weight. I THRIVE easily at maintenance intake. It comes natural for whatever reason. My set point perhaps.
    I think that maintenance calorie intake is, by definition, easiest to comply to. The lowest dietary RPE, if you will.


    Originally posted by Euby View Post
    My Objective: I want to be leaner sooner.

    I've seen you suggest things about more drastic short term deficits providing good results with no fear of metabolic damage as others suggest. I really don't care if I get a bit weaker in the process, but I don't want to lose the muscle I've gained either. I'd accept moderate strength/muscle loss.

    I'm considering going on a 1000 calorie/day diet for 2-4 weeks, at least during the week. Weekends would be more of my typical maintenance intake, tracked around 2700 calories.. I think I can maintain this for 5 days each week before the weekend hits. This would be a huge weekly deficit over my current dieting, hopefully stimulating quick fat loss.
    I don't think this is likely to work. People end up eating much more on weekends using this approach and typically don't do very well in any regard. I would be seeking for a way to sustain a calorie deficit on ALL days of the week leveraging all possible resources.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      I'm the exact opposite. I'm excellent at extremely slow cuts while maintaining and even gaining strength, but when I try to bulk up (as I am currently in the 12 Week Strength template) I overwork myself and try to eat my way out of the pain. Needless to say I blow up pretty quickly. Went from 36" waist to 39.5" (I think I keep pulling the tape tighter in order to not hit the 40" mark ). I really don't think a relatively slow bulk with good recovery is in the cards for me anymore at my age (40). But I do keep trying.

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      • #4
        Jordan, thanks for the response. An alternate solution I'm considering is doing a 4-6 week stint of Rapid Fat Loss using liquid feeds like Izzy did a few years back.

        Is this idea less stupid?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Euby View Post
          Jordan, thanks for the response. An alternate solution I'm considering is doing a 4-6 week stint of Rapid Fat Loss using liquid feeds like Izzy did a few years back.

          Is this idea less stupid?
          I think that it's likely to be more successful than the previously suggested idea, but the real question is why? You don't really have any reason to engage in rapid fat loss and i don't think we have evidence for you that your compliance would be significantly better or worse. I'd probably not try and reinvent the wheel here.
          Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
          ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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