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Muscle gain in deficit?

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  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member

    What does that have to do with anything since the men did not eat in a deficit, and the results showed no differences in body composition after the study?
  • disastermandisasterman Posts: 741Member Member Posts: 741Member Member
    What's interesting to me is the difference between the theoretical "is it possible?" and "how is it done?" (which is where these discussion usually go) vs. the question often asked "is this what's happening to me?" vs. the other question often asked "is this what I should be doing?" I agree with @SideSteel that blanket replies are doing people a disservice however I think over complicating things also does people a disservice-especially beginners. Given that he answers to the last two questions depend very much on who's asking, is it possible to develop any kind of generalized advice based on categories of people asking? Or would every answer necessarily need to be tailored to the individual situation every time?
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    What's interesting to me is the difference between the theoretical "is it possible?" and "how is it done?" (which is where these discussion usually go) vs. the question often asked "is this what's happening to me?" vs. the other question often asked "is this what I should be doing?" I agree with @SideSteel that blanket replies are doing people a disservice however I think over complicating things also does people a disservice-especially beginners. Given that he answers to the last two questions depend very much on who's asking, is it possible to develop any kind of generalized advice based on categories of people asking? Or would every answer necessarily need to be tailored to the individual situation every time?

    To be fair, typically someone lays out why they aren't losing weight and asks why, then someone pipes in with "don't worry, you're gaining muscle". To me, it's not worth a huge two page explanation/argument about whether it's possible; instead, people should address the actual reason the OP isn't seeing the scale move (often it's unreasonable expectations on rate of fat loss, but it depends on what the situation is).
  • disastermandisasterman Posts: 741Member Member Posts: 741Member Member
    To me, it's not worth a huge two page explanation/argument about whether it's possible.....

    That's what I'm getting at. I think we possibly do people, especially beginners, a disservice when we go into some huge theoretical argument when they just want to know "why isn't the scale moving?". The answer is probably often "because you're doing it wrong" and, would it be fair to say that, for most beginners at least, the advice often, though not always, ought to be "weight loss or muscle building: pick one"?
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    To me, it's not worth a huge two page explanation/argument about whether it's possible.....

    That's what I'm getting at. I think we possibly do people, especially beginners, a disservice when we go into some huge theoretical argument when they just want to know "why isn't the scale moving?". The answer is probably often "because you're doing it wrong" and, would it be fair to say that, for most beginners at least, the advice often, though not always, ought to be "weight loss or muscle building: pick one"?

    Ah sorry; I misunderstood what you had typed.
  • juggernaut1974juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212Member Member Posts: 6,212Member Member
    auddii wrote: »
    What's interesting to me is the difference between the theoretical "is it possible?" and "how is it done?" (which is where these discussion usually go) vs. the question often asked "is this what's happening to me?" vs. the other question often asked "is this what I should be doing?" I agree with @SideSteel that blanket replies are doing people a disservice however I think over complicating things also does people a disservice-especially beginners. Given that he answers to the last two questions depend very much on who's asking, is it possible to develop any kind of generalized advice based on categories of people asking? Or would every answer necessarily need to be tailored to the individual situation every time?

    To be fair, typically someone lays out why they aren't losing weight and asks why, then someone pipes in with "don't worry, you're gaining muscle". To me, it's not worth a huge two page explanation/argument about whether it's possible; instead, people should address the actual reason the OP isn't seeing the scale move (often it's unreasonable expectations on rate of fat loss, but it depends on what the situation is).

    Yeah, I agree - that's the point I was attempting to make up above as well vis a vis the context that is usually presented on MFP.
  • French_PeasantFrench_Peasant Posts: 1,636Member Member Posts: 1,636Member Member
    May I be permitted to put myself out here as a case study? This is a topic that is causing me a great amount of anxiety.

    I am 43. I have lost 25 lbs in the past half-year, with 15 more to go before I can theoretically fit into my old college clothes. I was losing around a lb a week, jut by cutting calories, walking, riding my bike, kayaking--with a bit of a plateau once cold weather set in, but this was remedied by hitting the elliptical machine at work in December. Over the past 6 months, I have floated around a particular weight for 3 weeks, then lost several lbs. in a "whoosh" effect in the 4th week, so my weight loss is opaque under the best of circumstances, but I know that my calorie counting is ballpark-accurate, and I've shifted to a much healthier diet. I hit a low of 144.6 in January.

    At that point, I signed up to do a 6-week course of remote personal training with my nephew. I cobbled together a few dumbbells etc. at home and have been lifting progressively heavier weights over the past 6 weeks (I've gone from 15 lb weights for a single arm bent over row to 33 lb weights, for example; I've gone from suffering to hold a 20 second plank to almost 2 minutes; I'm lifting 5-10 lb heavier barbells across the board). I lift for an hour 4 days a week, also do a half-hour "body sculpting" class twice a week (core with weights) and do cardio a couple times a week, along with 10,000 to 15,000 steps and lots of stairs on most days.

    I can feel myself becoming leaner, stronger, and more lithe. My old pants suddenly went from "a little too big" to "ridiculous" now that I've been lifting, and just today I had to dig out my old belts that I wore when I was a size 6 because my current belts no longer hold my too-big pants up (obviously I need to go shopping).

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    In December, I was at 29% body fat, so obviously I had a lot of fat to work with, and my macros are 40% protein, 40% fat, and 20% carbs (HA HA on that last one--I go over but it is all within a deficit). Of course, I need to get another body fat reading, and will within the next week, but under these circumstances isn't it plausible that enough muscle can be built/converted to offset weight loss from a deficit?

    @senecarr the article you posted above linking to the Bayesian site was very encouraging.

    I can see great results, my nephew was impressed with the visual progress in the 5 weeks since he last saw me, and I feel great, but I am beset with frustration, doubt and anxiety because the numbers are not coming off the scale. I have the flip side of the coin covered as well, with my despair that I will lose hard-won muscle mass if I go into a great deficit. Anyone's thoughts would be appreciated.
  • Vortex88Vortex88 Posts: 60Member Member Posts: 60Member Member
    lorib642 wrote: »
    So as not to derail topic on main board.

    I have heard people say they aren't losing weight because they are gaining muscle and "muscle weighs more than fat".

    Can you gain muscle in a deficit? Would it be a noticeable amount?

    I thought it was hard to gain muscle, and a goal, while losing weight, was to try to retain it.

    You have nailed it.

    They are almost certainly wrong. Fat can be lost very quickly. Muscle is built very slowly. If your weight isn't going down, you probably aren't losing any fat.

    You CAN gain muscle in a deficit but:

    a) it won't be very much

    b) you would probably need to be relatively untrained and now training very effectively


  • juggernaut1974juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212Member Member Posts: 6,212Member Member

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    I would point out a couple things...together they may contribute toward part of what you're seeing.

    1. RE: the bolded - what WAS a 500-800 daily deficit may not be quite so high any more now that you've lost 25 lbs (or ~15% of previous mass). Also, it's my experience that most people vastly overestimate the amount of calories burned in excess of normal daily activity from weight lifting. So if you've switched your exercise routine away from cardio toward weights, and are eating back exercise calories, it's possible you're cutting even further into your deficit. My "trial and error" experience was that I really only burned about 75-100 calories in excess of my daily activity setting (sedentary) from an hour of lifting (which makes sense, as at least a good third of the time, I'm resting in between sets)
    2. You say you hit your low "in January" and then switched to more lifting...are we talking early January...or January 31? If closer to the latter, it's possible you're still seeing effects of extra water being retained to help with muscle reparation and/or natural short term (~3 weeks) fluctuations.

  • AnabolicKyleAnabolicKyle Posts: 489Member Member Posts: 489Member Member
    lorib642 wrote: »
    I have heard people say they aren't losing weight because they are gaining muscle and "muscle weighs more than fat".

    Though it was brought up i would like to point out

    if youre not losing weight but gaining muscle
    -your weight would stay the same
    -youre losing fat
    -youre gaining muscle

    This is called body recomp. youre at maintenance calories and your body is changing but not your weight is not.
    lorib642 wrote: »
    Can you gain muscle in a deficit?

    yes, as others have said but its for noobz.
    lorib642 wrote: »
    Would it be a noticeable amount?
    if youre thin then it would be a noticeable amount if your heavy then it might be but probably not. Iam sure there are plenty of exceptions though.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 19,444Member Member Posts: 19,444Member Member
    May I be permitted to put myself out here as a case study? This is a topic that is causing me a great amount of anxiety.

    I am 43. I have lost 25 lbs in the past half-year, with 15 more to go before I can theoretically fit into my old college clothes. I was losing around a lb a week, jut by cutting calories, walking, riding my bike, kayaking--with a bit of a plateau once cold weather set in, but this was remedied by hitting the elliptical machine at work in December. Over the past 6 months, I have floated around a particular weight for 3 weeks, then lost several lbs. in a "whoosh" effect in the 4th week, so my weight loss is opaque under the best of circumstances, but I know that my calorie counting is ballpark-accurate, and I've shifted to a much healthier diet. I hit a low of 144.6 in January.

    At that point, I signed up to do a 6-week course of remote personal training with my nephew. I cobbled together a few dumbbells etc. at home and have been lifting progressively heavier weights over the past 6 weeks (I've gone from 15 lb weights for a single arm bent over row to 33 lb weights, for example; I've gone from suffering to hold a 20 second plank to almost 2 minutes; I'm lifting 5-10 lb heavier barbells across the board). I lift for an hour 4 days a week, also do a half-hour "body sculpting" class twice a week (core with weights) and do cardio a couple times a week, along with 10,000 to 15,000 steps and lots of stairs on most days.

    I can feel myself becoming leaner, stronger, and more lithe. My old pants suddenly went from "a little too big" to "ridiculous" now that I've been lifting, and just today I had to dig out my old belts that I wore when I was a size 6 because my current belts no longer hold my too-big pants up (obviously I need to go shopping).

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    In December, I was at 29% body fat, so obviously I had a lot of fat to work with, and my macros are 40% protein, 40% fat, and 20% carbs (HA HA on that last one--I go over but it is all within a deficit). Of course, I need to get another body fat reading, and will within the next week, but under these circumstances isn't it plausible that enough muscle can be built/converted to offset weight loss from a deficit?

    @senecarr the article you posted above linking to the Bayesian site was very encouraging.

    I can see great results, my nephew was impressed with the visual progress in the 5 weeks since he last saw me, and I feel great, but I am beset with frustration, doubt and anxiety because the numbers are not coming off the scale. I have the flip side of the coin covered as well, with my despair that I will lose hard-won muscle mass if I go into a great deficit. Anyone's thoughts would be appreciated.

    I'd focus on your pants rather than the scale. Congrats! And have you seen this? She's heaviest in the far right.

    9559523_orig.jpg
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    I would point out a couple things...together they may contribute toward part of what you're seeing.

    1. RE: the bolded - what WAS a 500-800 daily deficit may not be quite so high any more now that you've lost 25 lbs (or ~15% of previous mass). Also, it's my experience that most people vastly overestimate the amount of calories burned in excess of normal daily activity from weight lifting. So if you've switched your exercise routine away from cardio toward weights, and are eating back exercise calories, it's possible you're cutting even further into your deficit. My "trial and error" experience was that I really only burned about 75-100 calories in excess of my daily activity setting (sedentary) from an hour of lifting (which makes sense, as at least a good third of the time, I'm resting in between sets)
    2. You say you hit your low "in January" and then switched to more lifting...are we talking early January...or January 31? If closer to the latter, it's possible you're still seeing effects of extra water being retained to help with muscle reparation and/or natural short term (~3 weeks) fluctuations.

    And to add, when I switch lifting programs, I usually see a stall on the scale for 4-6 weeks, and then a whoosh over the following several weeks.
  • French_PeasantFrench_Peasant Posts: 1,636Member Member Posts: 1,636Member Member

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    I would point out a couple things...together they may contribute toward part of what you're seeing.

    1. RE: the bolded - what WAS a 500-800 daily deficit may not be quite so high any more now that you've lost 25 lbs (or ~15% of previous mass). Also, it's my experience that most people vastly overestimate the amount of calories burned in excess of normal daily activity from weight lifting. So if you've switched your exercise routine away from cardio toward weights, and are eating back exercise calories, it's possible you're cutting even further into your deficit. My "trial and error" experience was that I really only burned about 75-100 calories in excess of my daily activity setting (sedentary) from an hour of lifting (which makes sense, as at least a good third of the time, I'm resting in between sets)
    2. You say you hit your low "in January" and then switched to more lifting...are we talking early January...or January 31? If closer to the latter, it's possible you're still seeing effects of extra water being retained to help with muscle reparation and/or natural short term (~3 weeks) fluctuations.

    I was at my low from Jan 19 thru 22, so I should have had my "whoosh" well over a week ago. Since I've been constantly pushing myself to lift heavier, would that create longer water retention, or is that excuse only good for less than a month? ;) I suspect you are right about pushing myself with the cardio--I would do a 500 calorie burn cardio workout at home and that has been replaced by lifting and a couple of times a week on the elliptical. So maybe I will nudge that up more. My HR Charge says I am burning 2000 to 2,500 cals a day and I know it is not picking up the weight or core workouts I do but...I don't rely on its totals as they just seem too good to be true. Thanks for taking the time to respond and give me some ideas.

    @auddii I am halfway through week 6 of my program so maybe I will get my whoosh back soon...we'll see!

  • French_PeasantFrench_Peasant Posts: 1,636Member Member Posts: 1,636Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    May I be permitted to put myself out here as a case study? This is a topic that is causing me a great amount of anxiety.

    I am 43. I have lost 25 lbs in the past half-year, with 15 more to go before I can theoretically fit into my old college clothes. I was losing around a lb a week, jut by cutting calories, walking, riding my bike, kayaking--with a bit of a plateau once cold weather set in, but this was remedied by hitting the elliptical machine at work in December. Over the past 6 months, I have floated around a particular weight for 3 weeks, then lost several lbs. in a "whoosh" effect in the 4th week, so my weight loss is opaque under the best of circumstances, but I know that my calorie counting is ballpark-accurate, and I've shifted to a much healthier diet. I hit a low of 144.6 in January.

    At that point, I signed up to do a 6-week course of remote personal training with my nephew. I cobbled together a few dumbbells etc. at home and have been lifting progressively heavier weights over the past 6 weeks (I've gone from 15 lb weights for a single arm bent over row to 33 lb weights, for example; I've gone from suffering to hold a 20 second plank to almost 2 minutes; I'm lifting 5-10 lb heavier barbells across the board). I lift for an hour 4 days a week, also do a half-hour "body sculpting" class twice a week (core with weights) and do cardio a couple times a week, along with 10,000 to 15,000 steps and lots of stairs on most days.

    I can feel myself becoming leaner, stronger, and more lithe. My old pants suddenly went from "a little too big" to "ridiculous" now that I've been lifting, and just today I had to dig out my old belts that I wore when I was a size 6 because my current belts no longer hold my too-big pants up (obviously I need to go shopping).

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    In December, I was at 29% body fat, so obviously I had a lot of fat to work with, and my macros are 40% protein, 40% fat, and 20% carbs (HA HA on that last one--I go over but it is all within a deficit). Of course, I need to get another body fat reading, and will within the next week, but under these circumstances isn't it plausible that enough muscle can be built/converted to offset weight loss from a deficit?

    @senecarr the article you posted above linking to the Bayesian site was very encouraging.

    I can see great results, my nephew was impressed with the visual progress in the 5 weeks since he last saw me, and I feel great, but I am beset with frustration, doubt and anxiety because the numbers are not coming off the scale. I have the flip side of the coin covered as well, with my despair that I will lose hard-won muscle mass if I go into a great deficit. Anyone's thoughts would be appreciated.

    I'd focus on your pants rather than the scale. Congrats! And have you seen this? She's heaviest in the far right.

    9559523_orig.jpg

    That is an AWESOME comparison! Thank you! I would post a picture of my pants (it's pretty hilarious, but they are my all-time favorite pair of twill trousers, so I still wear them) but it would probably make my husband wonder what the heck I am up to.
  • French_PeasantFrench_Peasant Posts: 1,636Member Member Posts: 1,636Member Member

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    I would point out a couple things...together they may contribute toward part of what you're seeing.

    1. RE: the bolded - what WAS a 500-800 daily deficit may not be quite so high any more now that you've lost 25 lbs (or ~15% of previous mass). Also, it's my experience that most people vastly overestimate the amount of calories burned in excess of normal daily activity from weight lifting. So if you've switched your exercise routine away from cardio toward weights, and are eating back exercise calories, it's possible you're cutting even further into your deficit. My "trial and error" experience was that I really only burned about 75-100 calories in excess of my daily activity setting (sedentary) from an hour of lifting (which makes sense, as at least a good third of the time, I'm resting in between sets)
    2. You say you hit your low "in January" and then switched to more lifting...are we talking early January...or January 31? If closer to the latter, it's possible you're still seeing effects of extra water being retained to help with muscle reparation and/or natural short term (~3 weeks) fluctuations.

    I was at my low from Jan 19 thru 22, so I should have had my "whoosh" well over a week ago. Since I've been constantly pushing myself to lift heavier, would that create longer water retention, or is that excuse only good for less than a month? ;) I suspect you are right about pushing myself with the cardio--I would do a 500 calorie burn cardio workout at home and that has been replaced by lifting and a couple of times a week on the elliptical. So maybe I will nudge that up more. My HR Charge says I am burning 2000 to 2,500 cals a day and I know it is not picking up the weight or core workouts I do but...I don't rely on its totals as they just seem too good to be true. Thanks for taking the time to respond and give me some ideas.

    @auddii I am halfway through week 6 of my program so maybe I will get my whoosh back soon...we'll see!

    So, you guys were so helpful, I now have another question. I've finished my 6 week training course (plus an additional week redoing Week 1, just with much heavier weights). At the beginning of the course, my body fat % was 29.4%, and as of this morning it was 24.5%. I still haven't dropped any weight, even with trying to get more cardio back in, but that's okay as I can tell I am leaner and less jiggly. The initial measurement was at a CVS and confirmed on an Omron hand-held, and the final weight was just on the hand held, both times fasting overnight.

    If I was 147 lbs at the time of both fat analyses, does that mean I've converted 7 lbs fat to muscle? (147 * .294 = 43 lb; 147*.245=36 lb; 43-36=7 lbs lost). Is 7 lbs. recomped over 7 weeks good, average, or slacker-level?

    I've been trying to work as hard as I can, but since I'm training remotely, I am sure I am not working as hard as if someone were there watching me. :)
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    I would point out a couple things...together they may contribute toward part of what you're seeing.

    1. RE: the bolded - what WAS a 500-800 daily deficit may not be quite so high any more now that you've lost 25 lbs (or ~15% of previous mass). Also, it's my experience that most people vastly overestimate the amount of calories burned in excess of normal daily activity from weight lifting. So if you've switched your exercise routine away from cardio toward weights, and are eating back exercise calories, it's possible you're cutting even further into your deficit. My "trial and error" experience was that I really only burned about 75-100 calories in excess of my daily activity setting (sedentary) from an hour of lifting (which makes sense, as at least a good third of the time, I'm resting in between sets)
    2. You say you hit your low "in January" and then switched to more lifting...are we talking early January...or January 31? If closer to the latter, it's possible you're still seeing effects of extra water being retained to help with muscle reparation and/or natural short term (~3 weeks) fluctuations.

    I was at my low from Jan 19 thru 22, so I should have had my "whoosh" well over a week ago. Since I've been constantly pushing myself to lift heavier, would that create longer water retention, or is that excuse only good for less than a month? ;) I suspect you are right about pushing myself with the cardio--I would do a 500 calorie burn cardio workout at home and that has been replaced by lifting and a couple of times a week on the elliptical. So maybe I will nudge that up more. My HR Charge says I am burning 2000 to 2,500 cals a day and I know it is not picking up the weight or core workouts I do but...I don't rely on its totals as they just seem too good to be true. Thanks for taking the time to respond and give me some ideas.

    @auddii I am halfway through week 6 of my program so maybe I will get my whoosh back soon...we'll see!

    So, you guys were so helpful, I now have another question. I've finished my 6 week training course (plus an additional week redoing Week 1, just with much heavier weights). At the beginning of the course, my body fat % was 29.4%, and as of this morning it was 24.5%. I still haven't dropped any weight, even with trying to get more cardio back in, but that's okay as I can tell I am leaner and less jiggly. The initial measurement was at a CVS and confirmed on an Omron hand-held, and the final weight was just on the hand held, both times fasting overnight.

    If I was 147 lbs at the time of both fat analyses, does that mean I've converted 7 lbs fat to muscle? (147 * .294 = 43 lb; 147*.245=36 lb; 43-36=7 lbs lost). Is 7 lbs. recomped over 7 weeks good, average, or slacker-level?

    I've been trying to work as hard as I can, but since I'm training remotely, I am sure I am not working as hard as if someone were there watching me. :)

    My guess is that you haven't converted so much as you are in fact losing fat and the scale just isn't reflecting that yet. As a newb, you could add muscle while in a deficit, but there's no way it's going to be a lb/week. Keep going, and for now ignore the scale. You're definitely seeing results, and over thinking the math of what is actually happening I don't think does you any help at all.

    And congrats on your progress!!
  • CharlieBeansmomTraceyCharlieBeansmomTracey Posts: 7,702Member Member Posts: 7,702Member Member

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    I would point out a couple things...together they may contribute toward part of what you're seeing.

    1. RE: the bolded - what WAS a 500-800 daily deficit may not be quite so high any more now that you've lost 25 lbs (or ~15% of previous mass). Also, it's my experience that most people vastly overestimate the amount of calories burned in excess of normal daily activity from weight lifting. So if you've switched your exercise routine away from cardio toward weights, and are eating back exercise calories, it's possible you're cutting even further into your deficit. My "trial and error" experience was that I really only burned about 75-100 calories in excess of my daily activity setting (sedentary) from an hour of lifting (which makes sense, as at least a good third of the time, I'm resting in between sets)
    2. You say you hit your low "in January" and then switched to more lifting...are we talking early January...or January 31? If closer to the latter, it's possible you're still seeing effects of extra water being retained to help with muscle reparation and/or natural short term (~3 weeks) fluctuations.

    I was at my low from Jan 19 thru 22, so I should have had my "whoosh" well over a week ago. Since I've been constantly pushing myself to lift heavier, would that create longer water retention, or is that excuse only good for less than a month? ;) I suspect you are right about pushing myself with the cardio--I would do a 500 calorie burn cardio workout at home and that has been replaced by lifting and a couple of times a week on the elliptical. So maybe I will nudge that up more. My HR Charge says I am burning 2000 to 2,500 cals a day and I know it is not picking up the weight or core workouts I do but...I don't rely on its totals as they just seem too good to be true. Thanks for taking the time to respond and give me some ideas.

    @auddii I am halfway through week 6 of my program so maybe I will get my whoosh back soon...we'll see!

    So, you guys were so helpful, I now have another question. I've finished my 6 week training course (plus an additional week redoing Week 1, just with much heavier weights). At the beginning of the course, my body fat % was 29.4%, and as of this morning it was 24.5%. I still haven't dropped any weight, even with trying to get more cardio back in, but that's okay as I can tell I am leaner and less jiggly. The initial measurement was at a CVS and confirmed on an Omron hand-held, and the final weight was just on the hand held, both times fasting overnight.

    If I was 147 lbs at the time of both fat analyses, does that mean I've converted 7 lbs fat to muscle? (147 * .294 = 43 lb; 147*.245=36 lb; 43-36=7 lbs lost). Is 7 lbs. recomped over 7 weeks good, average, or slacker-level?

    I've been trying to work as hard as I can, but since I'm training remotely, I am sure I am not working as hard as if someone were there watching me. :)

    those hand held fat measuring devices are not accurat,only thing more accurate but still not 100% is a bod pod or a dexa scan . you cannot turn fat into muscle. it doesnt work that way.you can build muscle under the fat,you can burn the fat over the muscle to make your muscles show more but you cannot take fat and turn it into muscle. also for a woman to gain 1lb a muscle a week,I dont think thats possible. women gain muscle more slowly then men,even newbie gains I doubt would be that high.
  • ndj1979ndj1979 Posts: 29,021Member Member Posts: 29,021Member Member

    HOWEVER...I have not lost an ounce of weight, according to my scales. I've fluctuated up to 5 lbs above my January low, with no "week 4 whoosh" to be seen. I am eating a 500-800 cal deficit, which is tracked fairly accurately as shown by my previous weight loss. Visually, I see a huge difference, but then I read these forums and learn that old ladies can't build muscle in a short amount of time, especially old ladies in a deficit.

    I would point out a couple things...together they may contribute toward part of what you're seeing.

    1. RE: the bolded - what WAS a 500-800 daily deficit may not be quite so high any more now that you've lost 25 lbs (or ~15% of previous mass). Also, it's my experience that most people vastly overestimate the amount of calories burned in excess of normal daily activity from weight lifting. So if you've switched your exercise routine away from cardio toward weights, and are eating back exercise calories, it's possible you're cutting even further into your deficit. My "trial and error" experience was that I really only burned about 75-100 calories in excess of my daily activity setting (sedentary) from an hour of lifting (which makes sense, as at least a good third of the time, I'm resting in between sets)
    2. You say you hit your low "in January" and then switched to more lifting...are we talking early January...or January 31? If closer to the latter, it's possible you're still seeing effects of extra water being retained to help with muscle reparation and/or natural short term (~3 weeks) fluctuations.

    I was at my low from Jan 19 thru 22, so I should have had my "whoosh" well over a week ago. Since I've been constantly pushing myself to lift heavier, would that create longer water retention, or is that excuse only good for less than a month? ;) I suspect you are right about pushing myself with the cardio--I would do a 500 calorie burn cardio workout at home and that has been replaced by lifting and a couple of times a week on the elliptical. So maybe I will nudge that up more. My HR Charge says I am burning 2000 to 2,500 cals a day and I know it is not picking up the weight or core workouts I do but...I don't rely on its totals as they just seem too good to be true. Thanks for taking the time to respond and give me some ideas.

    @auddii I am halfway through week 6 of my program so maybe I will get my whoosh back soon...we'll see!

    So, you guys were so helpful, I now have another question. I've finished my 6 week training course (plus an additional week redoing Week 1, just with much heavier weights). At the beginning of the course, my body fat % was 29.4%, and as of this morning it was 24.5%. I still haven't dropped any weight, even with trying to get more cardio back in, but that's okay as I can tell I am leaner and less jiggly. The initial measurement was at a CVS and confirmed on an Omron hand-held, and the final weight was just on the hand held, both times fasting overnight.

    If I was 147 lbs at the time of both fat analyses, does that mean I've converted 7 lbs fat to muscle? (147 * .294 = 43 lb; 147*.245=36 lb; 43-36=7 lbs lost). Is 7 lbs. recomped over 7 weeks good, average, or slacker-level?

    I've been trying to work as hard as I can, but since I'm training remotely, I am sure I am not working as hard as if someone were there watching me. :)

    those hand held devices are wildly inaccurate ..

    I would guess that you have put some good newbie gains and have lost some fat, but I don't think the percent drop is that steep ...
  • French_PeasantFrench_Peasant Posts: 1,636Member Member Posts: 1,636Member Member
    Aw. I suspected as much. (sad trombone plays in the background) (shuffles away like Charlie Brown)

    :)

  • czuzakczuzak Posts: 2Member Member Posts: 2Member Member
    lorib642 wrote: »
    I have heard people say they aren't losing weight because they are gaining muscle and "muscle weighs more than fat".

    Though it was brought up i would like to point out

    if youre not losing weight but gaining muscle
    -your weight would stay the same
    -youre losing fat
    -youre gaining muscle

    This is called body recomp. youre at maintenance calories and your body is changing but not your weight is not.
    Yep. This is happening to me right now. I've been using MFP for a month now trying to stick to a deficit diet. While I was losing about 1 lb per week, I still didn't feel happy with my progress. I started a lifting program and while my weight is no longer decreasing, I feel and am visibly stronger. The most immediate thing I noticed was my waist line slimming down. All of sudden, I'm not so picky about a number on a scale.

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