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  • Body Weight Question

    I am wondering what my ideal body weight should be? And how to end a time of restrictive calorie intake?

    Some background, I am 41 years old. I am 5' 10" tall. 184 pounds. Pretty typical white guy, I work a job that is a mixture of desk work and running around. Pretty normal size. Average physically by nearly every measure.

    On 7/15/2021 my weight was 340 pounds. Grossly overweight, not sure on body fat or exact measurements, but was wearing a size 44 pant. Basically I have been eating 2k calories a day since 7/15/21, other than a break in September of this year where I ate 3k calories a day and put on 7 pounds. Not sure on measures exactly, but wear a size 30 pant today. According to a body impedance scale (take that for what it's worth), I am 20% body-fat.

    My present plan is to drop to 180 pounds, eat a few more weeks at 2k a day. Once at 180, do 10 days at 2400 calories and then start eating 2800 calories a day. Hopefully that puts me at about 185-ish and in a maintenance zone. I will close attention to figure out my maintenance calories, but presently at 2k a day calories the last 6 weeks, I have lost 10 pounds. If a pound truly is 3500 calories, 2800 is about what I burn.

    A few thoughts, early on in the weight loss I felt great. Started to feel like trash at some point this year. Hence the 3k calories a day in September. Felt amazing that month, all sorts of energy. Lifting was going great. I have been working through a modified starting strength program. My lifts were stalling in the summer, but in September after implementing some intermediate steps from starting strength and the extra calories my lifts starting going up again.

    Presently I have 1RM's of 405 / 335 / 455; squat / bench / dead lift. And that has largely remanded unchanged since being back in calorie deficit in October. And I lift in the morning and work from 6 to 4 and generally eat most of my calories earlier in the day, generally save 250 calories for 4pm to get me through to the end, but I am running out of energy by 6pm or so. But eating earlier in the day keeps me pretty energized during the times I need it. Eating pretty close to 200g protein, 200g carbs, 44 grams of fat. Some days I may have a bit more fat and less carbs depending on what my body is telling me, but not by a huge factor.

    So my questions. What do you think my ideal body weight should be? At least at this point.

    Secondly, how does one come out of calorie deficit, reverse diet, etc? I know people generally put on a few pounds shifting from calorie deficit to maintenance and it's mostly water, but what should I expect? Any macro split recommendations.

    Thirdly, what program should I get on to capitalize on going with maintenance calories? If my experiment in September was any indication, I feel like a may get another shot at noobie gainz for a small period.

    Fourthly, you guys are awesome. Your podcast, this forum, the website. At least from a body-fat point of view, "To Be A Beast" changed my life.
    Last edited by alan.whitney; 11-26-2022, 10:06 PM.

  • #2
    Hey Alan,

    Nice job on your weight loss so far and I would definitely not classify anything about you as average. For example, the average American man is 5' 9 and 200lbs with a larger waist, and is much weaker than you.

    To answer your questions, I do not believe in an ideal weight. That term is actually related to insurance-adjustor data sets based on BMI. That said, a BMI < 30 and waist circumference < 37" would've been my initial recommendations. I think you have already achieved this and so I'd be looking at ~33" waist or so.

    For your second question, I just have people do a maintenance period for 2-4 weeks after weight loss, then jump up ~ 500 Cal to where their maintenance may be. People should not gain weight during this period, but everybody is different.

    Third, the exercise program is not really important outside of training goals and personal preference. I do not think it is likely that rapid gains in strength or muscle mass are likely to be the result of a modest deficit or surplus. Rather, I think this is mostly due to programming, environment, mood, and other factors. I do think doing the LP - modified or not- is severely limiting your progress. The sooner you switch programs, the better.

    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Book a Consultation/// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


    • #3
      Thank you Jordan for your reply and the tremendous resources you provide the interwebs.

      Not to lean on you for additionally questions too much, but for clarity. So I measured my waist. Right around my belly button, it is 33 inches. It's 31 were I wear my pants. Neck is 15 5/8, cause, well, I had the measurer thingie. So just to understand you correctly, dimensional wise, I am a fairly healthy size? Form general health perspective? If it matters I had some dangerous blood pressure / sugar / lipid levels at 340 body-weight, now everything is pretty nominal, so I am told and I feel pretty good all and all. Maybe get less stuck on the scale as subjective data and more on the body measurements? Try to keep around a 33 waist? Heck I would love to beef up to 190's with a 33 inch waist.

      I am still going to go to under 180 now, even if it's just a pound or two, because I have not been below 180 since I was 12 years old, and hey, why not. And I have just a tiny bit of visible abs and the wife likes it.

      So after a few weeks and I hit the weight I want to, jump to 2200 to 2300 for a month or a little less, then try 2700 and 2800 and see what happens? Make a adjustments as seem necessary. Also, I have played with macro ratios a bit, have settled on 40/40/20 is where I feel the best at 2k calories a day. Earlier I feel better with a 50/30/20 split (protein​ 250 / 150 carb / 45 fat), the last stretch carbs are just feeling good. With more calories I imagine more freedom to play with macros? Even some days now, like today, after a heavy dead lifting, I ate more protein and less carbs to work through muscle fatigue, my bum still hurts. And actually finished the day closer to 2100 calories than 2000. Any information or guidelines you have macro split? I am sure you are going to recommend something similar to the To Be a Beast and other things you have published and the said in the podcast. But anything you can give me for pro-tips?

      In existing present Calorie restriction, I am only eating 10 unique food items. Literally had days on end with every meal was the same as the day before. In exiting and moving to more Calories, I have no plans to introduce more unique foods at first. But would like to with time. This is more my mental health than anything, but I know the timing and triggers associated with my over eating. Know how to avoid them and deal with them. Don't want to fell back into any bad habits, hence the though process to not add unique foods, but just increase quantities as I move to maintenance. But almost for the social health of my family, would love to a greater diversity of foods with time. Are they any concerns or observations with adding foods to your diet? I assume you just do it gradually.

      Sorry to dump so many questions on you, but as a guy been in calorie restriction for a while and logged every calorie for nearly 17 months, there is fear about screwing it up while trying to take it in for a landing.

      As far as programming lifts go, I know wrong forum, but throw a template recommendation at me. I will go buy it now. and a t-shirt, despite the model used in most of the photos. And a I want to bench 4 plates with a 33 inch waist. That's the new goal.​

      And again, thank you for what you do. I hope barbell medicine continues to thrive, it has add positive impact on my health.


      • #4
        Hey Alan,

        Thanks for the reply. A few notes:

        1) Yep, your weight and waist measurement are - in and of themselves- consistent with a healthy body comp. I cannot speak to any of your current labs and health implications without knowing them and I would be periodically checking them given your history.

        2) I do not have a preferred macro split, though I do think getting ~1.4-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight per day is a good minimum to aim for. Save for that, you can fill the rest of your energy requirements as you please. I do not think low carb/high fat is best for getting stronger and gaining muscle mass, but moderate amounts of each to hit your energy target would be fine.

        3) I do not know what you're eating currently, but I would not advocate for a restricted diet from a lean protein, vegetable, fruit, legume, and whole grain perspective. That said, repeating similar meals often is fine too.

        4) I think someone coming off of LP, who is also interested primarily in strength and muscle mass, would do great on Powerbuilding I. I love that template myself.

        I appreciate all of your kind words and am glad you've made such great strides. Really awesome to hear!

        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Book a Consultation/// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


        • #5

          From a calorie intake point of view, I will start to pay attention to waist size, keep a 33" around the belly button measure. Try to keep my blood pressure around the 110/65 it is now. Likely will care care vaguely about what body impedance scale says for BF %, and likely will try to keep a hint of visible abs.

          As far as moving to maintenance, I will stay the course to 179 (183 today), than try 2250 calories a day for two weeks, 2500 for two weeks, 2750 for two weeks, and see where maintenance calories is falling. I think I will stay with a 40/40/20 macro split for now, address after I have my maintenance calories dialed. Then just play around with how I feel.

          If you are curious what I eat, and likely you are not, but my 10 things are
          chicken (mostly skinless, boneless breast)
          fairlife milk
          cottage cheese
          mixed veggie medlay thing

          and too much coffee and too much hot sauce.

          I eat four meals a day, at the same set times every day.

          Very boring I know, but as a life long chronic unhealthy eater, it's what it took to get me to break myself and get into a healthy routine. It's almost a thoughtless process now. And I find myself very not tempted by foods that previously would of caused a three to four thousand calorie binge.

          And I know you are not a fan of the huel, but I drink/eat tons of it. Normally two meals a day. Two scoops of huel, one scoop of whey, 500 calories, 47 g carbs, 13 g fat, 54g protein, too easy. 5 minutes and done. No thought process.

          Just downloaded the template, look forward to it. As well as the templates to follow.

          And again, thank you very much. Your work at BBM is great. Incredible access to information.​ Really appreciate taking the time to answer my questions.


          • #6
            Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
            Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
            ///Book a Consultation/// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///