Let’s be real, when we are losing weight we would all like it to be over as fast as possible so why in the hell would you want to slow it down?
That answer is simple, the goal of weight loss is to lose fat, not JUST lose weight so the more aggressive you are the more likely your body is to break down your muscle and use it as a source of energy.
So let’s walk through the scenarios and see if we can make sense of this all.
As many people know I am in a fat loss cycle, in the first week I lost 5 pounds. Why? That’s simple, most of the time I am not dieting and eating in a bit of a surplus to hold onto the muscle I have and to potentially build muscle along the way.
So five pounds in the first week is mostly water, am I concerned? I think it would be wrong to not be concerned but the answer is no. Most muscle loss isn’t actual tissue, tearing down tissue takes time (which is why I am not a fan of long drawn out deficits) so some of it is a bit of dehydration.
Certainly I have not lost 5 pounds of fat YET.
So what will I do? This is the part a lot of people get wrong and it’s an easy fix. First of all you need to make sure you have enough protein in your meals to replace the muscle that tears down each day. We recommend .7 to one grams per pound of body weight. One is really reserved for super lean people but it’s rare that protein causes an issue so if someone prefers more protein we give it to them. I am at about .8
The second and important thing is to stay active. Specifically with resistance training (can be body weight). The reason is simple, for the muscles to stay hydrated and full you need to give them a reason to stay full, so even when you are eating less your body can use the nutrients you are putting in for that purpose.
This is also an argument for moderate carbs. Right now my workouts are mostly cardio so I try to get in some body weight movements (ideally slower is better) at least three times a week for about 15-20 minutes. Nothing crazy. Carbs both fuel your muscles and keep them hydrated.
I do think people obsess about this one and probably shouldn’t but low carb and intermittent fasting can really dehydrate you fast and if you are being too aggressive for too long your muscle will be at risk and muscle is not fat.
So you want to avoid that.
The other part that helps me is that our plan is not a drastically low plan right out the gate, so I have some time to go lower (though I am extremely happy with my outcome so far). The more patient I can be, the more muscle I can keep. I would much rather lose ten pounds of just fat rather than say twelve pounds, six pounds of fat and six pounds of muscle. Or worse. The more aggressive I get the sooner the more likely the bad outcome will happen. So I want to do everything I can to avoid that.
Which brings me to my last point. I can predict what I will weigh once the first six week cycle is over with a high degree of certainty (I am planning on doing the second six week cycle also).
On May 11th I will weigh 186.8 pounds with a margin for error on both sides of about 2-3 pounds. So I could be as low as 183.8 or as high as 186.9. How can I be so confident?
Because we aren’t guessing. A lot of programs give you a lot of BS about how much weight you can lose using their program, here is why that is a lie. To accurately give you that number you need X, X is the amount of food you were eating in the period where you weren’t dieting. I know as an example that X was 3000 to 3500 calories. Y is simply the amount of calories for a deficit and Z is the outcome.
So without knowing X with a high degree of certainty any prediction of how much weight you can lose is a lie.
Also we TOO are guessing.
The first time.
But what often happens is that unless someone was over consuming their SECOND cycle is the one we can predict the best.
Which is why we work to keep people's weight stable and push X in the non-dieting period so that Z ends up being a better outcome.
Also so they can diet less for the rest of their life.
I definitely understand that I went all data nerd on you in the last piece and if it sounds a bit confusing that’s why we handle it for our clients. If you are looking for a better approach to fat loss (and weight loss also) we can help. To talk to a coach simply hit the link below and they can walk you through the free trial, our hand written and customized meal plans and our weekly challenges.
Even the programs that reverse don’t do a good job because they cave to the fear of their clients or they let AI (artificial intelligence) do the work.