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How long does it take to...get rid of that *stubborn* fat?

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  • Fatvaporizer
    Fatvaporizer Posts: 139 Member
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    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?
  • SusanMFindlay
    SusanMFindlay Posts: 1,804 Member
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    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?

    Yes. Your body can only burn a certain fraction of its fat on any given day. So, if you don't have a lot of fat (and are just looking to lose a few vanity pounds or "tighten up"), a small deficit will be better. If your deficit is too large, you'll tend to lose more muscle mass alongside the fat.

    For somebody with more fat to lose, a larger deficit become reasonable and, in their case, will lead to faster fat loss. But for somebody who is small, raising your deficit beyond the maximum amount of fat your body can burn in a day is counterproductive. (This is, of course, speaking long term. So, if somebody does intermittent fasting, we're looking at their weekly deficit and how much fat their body can burn in a week instead of the daily numbers. For most other people, daily numbers are easier to deal with.)
  • Gallowmere1984
    Gallowmere1984 Posts: 6,626 Member
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    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?

    Yes. Your body can only burn a certain fraction of its fat on any given day. So, if you don't have a lot of fat (and are just looking to lose a few vanity pounds or "tighten up"), a small deficit will be better. If your deficit is too large, you'll tend to lose more muscle mass alongside the fat.

    For somebody with more fat to lose, a larger deficit become reasonable and, in their case, will lead to faster fat loss. But for somebody who is small, raising your deficit beyond the maximum amount of fat your body can burn in a day is counterproductive. (This is, of course, speaking long term. So, if somebody does intermittent fasting, we're looking at their weekly deficit and how much fat their body can burn in a week instead of the daily numbers. For most other people, daily numbers are easier to deal with.)

    If this were true, my cutting methods would eat lean tissue off of me left and right. However, that doesn't occur, and I'm not an anomaly. The entire idea behind fat mobilization being limited in any meaningful way is bad science at its worst. If that's how it worked, bodybuilding contest shape would be pretty much impossible.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,812 Member
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    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?

    Typically a smaller deficit is recommended more because it is sustainable and you don't burn out when training especially if you are starting out weight training. Maintenance of lean body mass at higher deficits has been challenged as Gallowmere stated above, however, I believe people with more experience cutting weight, elite athletes with little to lose etc will be better able to handle a more intense deficit and do it safely/correctly vs someone who is still learning to build a healthy lifestyle.
  • Gallowmere1984
    Gallowmere1984 Posts: 6,626 Member
    edited May 2017
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    sardelsa wrote: »
    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?

    Typically a smaller deficit is recommended more because it is sustainable and you don't burn out when training especially if you are starting out weight training. Maintenance of lean body mass at higher deficits has been challenged as Gallowmere stated above, however, I believe people with more experience cutting weight, elite athletes with little to lose etc will be better able to handle a more intense deficit and do it safely/correctly vs someone who is still learning to build a healthy lifestyle.

    Now these are valid points. The most important part of any dietary/activity changes is consistency. Rapid cut plans work great for some, but make others miserable. Any diet (within reason) is only as good as a person's ability to stick to it. As I've seen stated many times, "diets don't fail; people do".
  • malioumba
    malioumba Posts: 132 Member
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    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    Fat is not stubborn.. you need to refocus your efforts on body composition.

    Unfortunately you are wrong about that. Some fat is stubborn! It's location varies between women and men but it very much is a real thing.

    This. Ask any bodybuilder who's dieted down to contest leanness. For most men, the body can get to the point where it would rather eat the muscle off of your big toe, than to take the last of the fat from the midsection. It gets hard as hell the further down you go.

    15% bf is easy. 10% is challenging. 5% requires more concerted effort in a month than 10% does in six. And sadly, that last few percent is almost always in the "problem areas": abdomen and lower back for men, hips and thighs for women.


    Hips and thighs for women? Definitely hips, but as well abdomen, and lower back for women.
  • Gallowmere1984
    Gallowmere1984 Posts: 6,626 Member
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    malioumba wrote: »
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    Fat is not stubborn.. you need to refocus your efforts on body composition.

    Unfortunately you are wrong about that. Some fat is stubborn! It's location varies between women and men but it very much is a real thing.

    This. Ask any bodybuilder who's dieted down to contest leanness. For most men, the body can get to the point where it would rather eat the muscle off of your big toe, than to take the last of the fat from the midsection. It gets hard as hell the further down you go.

    15% bf is easy. 10% is challenging. 5% requires more concerted effort in a month than 10% does in six. And sadly, that last few percent is almost always in the "problem areas": abdomen and lower back for men, hips and thighs for women.


    Hips and thighs for women? Definitely hips, but as well abdomen, and lower back for women.

    There's a lot of variation between individuals, but I see a lot of women with abs that you could wash clothes on who still have pretty notable fat on their legs.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,812 Member
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    malioumba wrote: »
    RoxieDawn wrote: »
    Fat is not stubborn.. you need to refocus your efforts on body composition.

    Unfortunately you are wrong about that. Some fat is stubborn! It's location varies between women and men but it very much is a real thing.

    This. Ask any bodybuilder who's dieted down to contest leanness. For most men, the body can get to the point where it would rather eat the muscle off of your big toe, than to take the last of the fat from the midsection. It gets hard as hell the further down you go.

    15% bf is easy. 10% is challenging. 5% requires more concerted effort in a month than 10% does in six. And sadly, that last few percent is almost always in the "problem areas": abdomen and lower back for men, hips and thighs for women.


    Hips and thighs for women? Definitely hips, but as well abdomen, and lower back for women.

    There's a lot of variation between individuals, but I see a lot of women with abs that you could wash clothes on who still have pretty notable fat on their legs.

    Yea that is me... although I don't end up with washboard abs, it's more bones :#
  • Fatvaporizer
    Fatvaporizer Posts: 139 Member
    Options
    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?

    Yes. Your body can only burn a certain fraction of its fat on any given day. So, if you don't have a lot of fat (and are just looking to lose a few vanity pounds or "tighten up"), a small deficit will be better. If your deficit is too large, you'll tend to lose more muscle mass alongside the fat.

    For somebody with more fat to lose, a larger deficit become reasonable and, in their case, will lead to faster fat loss. But for somebody who is small, raising your deficit beyond the maximum amount of fat your body can burn in a day is counterproductive. (This is, of course, speaking long term. So, if somebody does intermittent fasting, we're looking at their weekly deficit and how much fat their body can burn in a week instead of the daily numbers. For most other people, daily numbers are easier to deal with.)

    So are you saying that...for example, someone walks all day at a park and someone else only walks 20 minutes that day. The amount of fat loss will pause at some point for the all day walker who probably used up a lot of calories, and that it's kind of pointless to keep burning calories after a certain amount of exercise or diet?
  • SusanMFindlay
    SusanMFindlay Posts: 1,804 Member
    edited May 2017
    Options
    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?

    Yes. Your body can only burn a certain fraction of its fat on any given day. So, if you don't have a lot of fat (and are just looking to lose a few vanity pounds or "tighten up"), a small deficit will be better. If your deficit is too large, you'll tend to lose more muscle mass alongside the fat.

    For somebody with more fat to lose, a larger deficit become reasonable and, in their case, will lead to faster fat loss. But for somebody who is small, raising your deficit beyond the maximum amount of fat your body can burn in a day is counterproductive. (This is, of course, speaking long term. So, if somebody does intermittent fasting, we're looking at their weekly deficit and how much fat their body can burn in a week instead of the daily numbers. For most other people, daily numbers are easier to deal with.)

    So are you saying that...for example, someone walks all day at a park and someone else only walks 20 minutes that day. The amount of fat loss will pause at some point for the all day walker who probably used up a lot of calories, and that it's kind of pointless to keep burning calories after a certain amount of exercise or diet?

    Not in a single day - or even a week. Bodies don't operate on a "oops I ran out of fat burning ability by walking one minute too long" kind of time scale. Like anything else, it's a sliding scale of "at a very low deficit, you'll pretty much only burn fat; as the deficit increases, the amount of lean tissue burned as well increases along with the amount of fat burned such that the percentage of fat burned decreases as the deficit goes up. Much of this is hormonally driven (which is why the long term pattern matters more than a single day's activities). But if you're asking whether an exercise bulemic can get to the point where they're destroying their lean mass before eliminating every last trace of fat? Yes, they can.

    There are, of course, ways to reduce the net loss of lean mass. Strength training and ensuring sufficient protein intake go a long way toward allowing the body to rebuild the lean tissue that is broken down as a result of the deficit. So, yes, the poster above who lifts heavy and does a protein-sparing modified fast to cut is able to burn fat about as fast as the body can handle. But even he would run into issues with lean tissue maintenance if he tried to run *too* huge of a deficit (which, in his case, might involve adding several hours a day of cardio to his routine since the calories really can't go any lower during those cuts) or stayed in a cut phase for too long.

    Please don't misunderstand my comments to imply that the typically recommended 0.5 pounds/week is the highest rate of fat loss that a "healthy BMI" body can handle. There *is* scientific literature on what those numbers actually are; I don't have the links on hand and don't remember the numbers off the top of my head. I want to say something like 30 calories of deficit per pound of fat on the body per day, but I could be misremembering. And, again, that's for prolonged calorie cutting not for short-term body building cut phases.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,993 Member
    edited May 2017
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    Bump.

    OP: Why did you "bump" this stale thread 5 months after the last post?

    Are you still trying to lose enough BF to achieve visible abs after all this time?

    If so, what are your current stats (weight and BF%), how was your BF% measured and what have you been doing all this time to try to do what you are asking about?

    FWIW, I went from 16.9 with barely visible abs to 10.1% BF and defined abs in 6 months. So, depending where you were 5 months ago, you could already be "there" already.

    Just saying . . .
  • Gallowmere1984
    Gallowmere1984 Posts: 6,626 Member
    Options
    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?

    Yes. Your body can only burn a certain fraction of its fat on any given day. So, if you don't have a lot of fat (and are just looking to lose a few vanity pounds or "tighten up"), a small deficit will be better. If your deficit is too large, you'll tend to lose more muscle mass alongside the fat.

    For somebody with more fat to lose, a larger deficit become reasonable and, in their case, will lead to faster fat loss. But for somebody who is small, raising your deficit beyond the maximum amount of fat your body can burn in a day is counterproductive. (This is, of course, speaking long term. So, if somebody does intermittent fasting, we're looking at their weekly deficit and how much fat their body can burn in a week instead of the daily numbers. For most other people, daily numbers are easier to deal with.)

    So are you saying that...for example, someone walks all day at a park and someone else only walks 20 minutes that day. The amount of fat loss will pause at some point for the all day walker who probably used up a lot of calories, and that it's kind of pointless to keep burning calories after a certain amount of exercise or diet?

    Not in a single day - or even a week. Bodies don't operate on a "oops I ran out of fat burning ability by walking one minute too long" kind of time scale. Like anything else, it's a sliding scale of "at a very low deficit, you'll pretty much only burn fat; as the deficit increases, the amount of lean tissue burned as well increases along with the amount of fat burned such that the percentage of fat burned decreases as the deficit goes up. Much of this is hormonally driven (which is why the long term pattern matters more than a single day's activities). But if you're asking whether an exercise bulemic can get to the point where they're destroying their lean mass before eliminating every last trace of fat? Yes, they can.

    There are, of course, ways to reduce the net loss of lean mass. Strength training and ensuring sufficient protein intake go a long way toward allowing the body to rebuild the lean tissue that is broken down as a result of the deficit. So, yes, the poster above who lifts heavy and does a protein-sparing modified fast to cut is able to burn fat about as fast as the body can handle. But even he would run into issues with lean tissue maintenance if he tried to run *too* huge of a deficit (which, in his case, might involve adding several hours a day of cardio to his routine since the calories really can't go any lower during those cuts) or stayed in a cut phase for too long.

    Please don't misunderstand my comments to imply that the typically recommended 0.5 pounds/week is the highest rate of fat loss that a "healthy BMI" body can handle. There *is* scientific literature on what those numbers actually are; I don't have the links on hand and don't remember the numbers off the top of my head. I want to say something like 30 calories of deficit per pound of fat on the body per day, but I could be misremembering. And, again, that's for prolonged calorie cutting not for short-term body building cut phases.

    I see where you were going now. I misunderstood your intent to be supporting the once accepted (and patently absurd) idea that lypolysis is somehow rate limited in any meaningful way. The old "if you eat less than (insert favorite number here) kcals on any given day, you start catabolizing lean tissue" absurdity.

    You are correct, in that I absolutely do not attempt to run extended periods of RFL anymore, now that I am at a lower bodyfat. Interestingly I've seen some pretty compelling anecdotal reports of guys in the sub-10% range utilizing it to cut to near contest shape very quickly, and suffering no ill effects other than feeling like crap a few days after refeeds. Though again, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who doesn't have a firm grasp of physiology, hormone balance and an iron will.
  • Fatvaporizer
    Fatvaporizer Posts: 139 Member
    Options
    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?

    Yes. Your body can only burn a certain fraction of its fat on any given day. So, if you don't have a lot of fat (and are just looking to lose a few vanity pounds or "tighten up"), a small deficit will be better. If your deficit is too large, you'll tend to lose more muscle mass alongside the fat.

    For somebody with more fat to lose, a larger deficit become reasonable and, in their case, will lead to faster fat loss. But for somebody who is small, raising your deficit beyond the maximum amount of fat your body can burn in a day is counterproductive. (This is, of course, speaking long term. So, if somebody does intermittent fasting, we're looking at their weekly deficit and how much fat their body can burn in a week instead of the daily numbers. For most other people, daily numbers are easier to deal with.)

    So are you saying that...for example, someone walks all day at a park and someone else only walks 20 minutes that day. The amount of fat loss will pause at some point for the all day walker who probably used up a lot of calories, and that it's kind of pointless to keep burning calories after a certain amount of exercise or diet?

    Not in a single day - or even a week. Bodies don't operate on a "oops I ran out of fat burning ability by walking one minute too long" kind of time scale. Like anything else, it's a sliding scale of "at a very low deficit, you'll pretty much only burn fat; as the deficit increases, the amount of lean tissue burned as well increases along with the amount of fat burned such that the percentage of fat burned decreases as the deficit goes up. Much of this is hormonally driven (which is why the long term pattern matters more than a single day's activities). But if you're asking whether an exercise bulemic can get to the point where they're destroying their lean mass before eliminating every last trace of fat? Yes, they can.

    There are, of course, ways to reduce the net loss of lean mass. Strength training and ensuring sufficient protein intake go a long way toward allowing the body to rebuild the lean tissue that is broken down as a result of the deficit. So, yes, the poster above who lifts heavy and does a protein-sparing modified fast to cut is able to burn fat about as fast as the body can handle. But even he would run into issues with lean tissue maintenance if he tried to run *too* huge of a deficit (which, in his case, might involve adding several hours a day of cardio to his routine since the calories really can't go any lower during those cuts) or stayed in a cut phase for too long.

    Please don't misunderstand my comments to imply that the typically recommended 0.5 pounds/week is the highest rate of fat loss that a "healthy BMI" body can handle. There *is* scientific literature on what those numbers actually are; I don't have the links on hand and don't remember the numbers off the top of my head. I want to say something like 30 calories of deficit per pound of fat on the body per day, but I could be misremembering. And, again, that's for prolonged calorie cutting not for short-term body building cut phases.

    30 calories is the limit amount of calories that goes to fatburning, and anything past 30 calories is lean tissue? Sorry, I'm a bit confused.
  • SusanMFindlay
    SusanMFindlay Posts: 1,804 Member
    edited May 2017
    Options
    Is there a difference between eating at a small deficit or large?

    Yes. Your body can only burn a certain fraction of its fat on any given day. So, if you don't have a lot of fat (and are just looking to lose a few vanity pounds or "tighten up"), a small deficit will be better. If your deficit is too large, you'll tend to lose more muscle mass alongside the fat.

    For somebody with more fat to lose, a larger deficit become reasonable and, in their case, will lead to faster fat loss. But for somebody who is small, raising your deficit beyond the maximum amount of fat your body can burn in a day is counterproductive. (This is, of course, speaking long term. So, if somebody does intermittent fasting, we're looking at their weekly deficit and how much fat their body can burn in a week instead of the daily numbers. For most other people, daily numbers are easier to deal with.)

    So are you saying that...for example, someone walks all day at a park and someone else only walks 20 minutes that day. The amount of fat loss will pause at some point for the all day walker who probably used up a lot of calories, and that it's kind of pointless to keep burning calories after a certain amount of exercise or diet?

    Not in a single day - or even a week. Bodies don't operate on a "oops I ran out of fat burning ability by walking one minute too long" kind of time scale. Like anything else, it's a sliding scale of "at a very low deficit, you'll pretty much only burn fat; as the deficit increases, the amount of lean tissue burned as well increases along with the amount of fat burned such that the percentage of fat burned decreases as the deficit goes up. Much of this is hormonally driven (which is why the long term pattern matters more than a single day's activities). But if you're asking whether an exercise bulemic can get to the point where they're destroying their lean mass before eliminating every last trace of fat? Yes, they can.

    There are, of course, ways to reduce the net loss of lean mass. Strength training and ensuring sufficient protein intake go a long way toward allowing the body to rebuild the lean tissue that is broken down as a result of the deficit. So, yes, the poster above who lifts heavy and does a protein-sparing modified fast to cut is able to burn fat about as fast as the body can handle. But even he would run into issues with lean tissue maintenance if he tried to run *too* huge of a deficit (which, in his case, might involve adding several hours a day of cardio to his routine since the calories really can't go any lower during those cuts) or stayed in a cut phase for too long.

    Please don't misunderstand my comments to imply that the typically recommended 0.5 pounds/week is the highest rate of fat loss that a "healthy BMI" body can handle. There *is* scientific literature on what those numbers actually are; I don't have the links on hand and don't remember the numbers off the top of my head. I want to say something like 30 calories of deficit per pound of fat on the body per day, but I could be misremembering. And, again, that's for prolonged calorie cutting not for short-term body building cut phases.

    30 calories is the limit amount of calories that goes to fatburning, and anything past 30 calories is lean tissue? Sorry, I'm a bit confused.

    This was the article I was remembering: http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/showpost.php?p=139222&postcount=3 and this is the original scientific paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15615615

    The short answer is "it depends". Your personal limit will depend on all sorts of factors: what types of workouts you do, how much protein you consume, use of certain supplements. The ~30 calories per pound of fat per day value was for relatively normal people who work out but don't take some of the specific drugs that some bodybuilders favour. There are likely ways to cheat that number a little higher.

    That said, don't imagine it like a switch. Your body isn't a car. It doesn't run on fat then run out of fat and switch to lean body mass. Your body doesn't particularly care what you do on a single day. It cares about your average input and output. People who do 5-2 intermittent fasting don't lose lean mass on their two "fasting" days. Nobody loses lean mass because they ran a marathon one day.

    Frankly, most people are going to be miserable running the "maximum allowable" deficit for an extended period of time. Their body is going to crank up the hunger hormones and mess with their heads. It's going to cut their energy levels and make it hard to keep their NEAT at a decent level. It may even mess with their heads enough to make them "forget" to log some of their food.

    e.g. A 150 pound woman with 25% bodyfat could theoretically handle a 1125 calorie/day deficit (assuming high enough activity level that that would allow her to still obtain essential nutrition). That's pretty much me (except my bodyfat is probably higher than that) and I'd be utterly miserable running that big a deficit every day. I know my body, and it would fight me *hard*. I also know that, psychologically, I do better with slow steady loss than I would doing alternating cut and maintenance phases. That's me, and I don't assume everyone else is the same.

    e.g. A 180 pound man with 10% bodyfat could theoretically handle a 540 calorie/day deficit. That's only about 1 pound per week. But he's also quite lean and only has 18 pounds of fat on him to start with. Men aren't supposed to go below 5% bodyfat so he's really only got 9 pounds of "expendable" fat. It is any surprise that his body's going to get stingy about parting with it? Now, if he's a bodybuilder who knows what he's doing, maybe he'll run a higher deficit than that for 2 weeks, say. But that's only 2 weeks, and he'll be incredibly careful about his workouts and exactly what he's eating. He's not a person who can run a large deficit for a long period of time because, bluntly, he'll run out of fat.

    Long story short: For most people losing weight, the theoretical maximum deficit is exactly that - theoretical. Most of us carry enough fat on our bodies that we'd be miserable anywhere close to that maximum deficit for a prolonged period of time. So, you can do the math on yourself if you're curious (and have a reasonable estimate of your bodyfat percentage; scales that you stand on are not accurate). And if you're the sort of person who can handle getting that close, make darn sure you do your research first.