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Are all deficits/surpluses created equal?

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  • Are all deficits/surpluses created equal?

    Is there any difference in outcomes between these 2 scenarios -
    Scenario 1 : Daily Expenditure = 2200 cals, Daily intake = 2000 cals, Deficit = 200 cals
    Scenario 2 : Daily Expenditure = 3200 cals, Daily intake = 3000 cals, Deficit = 200 cals.
    Would the same answer apply to caloric surplus too? Thanks!

  • #2
    There is no way to predict the "outcomes" based on the given information and question, i.e. what outcomes are you talking about, are the individuals pretty similar or not, and what is the macro intake (specifically protein) in both cases?

    That said, I wouldn't predict a whole lot of difference based on the information provided.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
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    • #3
      Hey Dr Jordan, thanks for the reply. This question is a purely theoretical one, for the sake of picking your brains. So please assume all variables are equal, except for the total calories consumed and burnt.

      Protein and fiber could be equated in 2 ways among the two scenarios - 1) equal percentage of total calories split between P/C/F (say 40/40/20) or 2) equal grams of protein and fiber between the 2 scenarios and remaining calories are split evenly between carbs and fats. I'm not sure which scenario would be more thought provoking so I'll leave it to you to choose.

      Regarding "outcomes" - By outcomes, I mean fat mass vs LBM lost. I understand total mass lost in both scenarios will be same over any length of time. However I'm most interested in the body comp changes. Will one group lose more fat mass or LBM over the other?

      The reason for asking this question is as follows. I was thinking about a hypothetical scenario where someone's TDEE = 1200 cal = BMR and ingests 1000 cals a day. Since he's on a 200 cal deficit, he'll lose mass. But since he's completely inactive (because his expenditure = BMR), wouldn't a greater percentage of mass lost come from LBM since the body senses no use for LBM? If yes, then could we extrapolate in the opposite direction (towards more expenditure and more intake) and say that lesser LBM will be lost?

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      • #4
        Yea I'm not really interested in doing theoreticals, as there's too much information missing (still) to say anything intelligent. If you have a question about a specific nutrition intervention in real life, I'm happy to discuss it, but not interested in all at doing theoreticals.

        You also changed the scenario in this post, e.g. sedentary vs. just different numbers. If someone is losing weight without RT, they'll probably lose more LBM, sure. You couldn't predict their level of activity based on just their TDEE, however.
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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