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What body and health changes can I expect entering into maintennance?

peachvine29peachvine29 Posts: 228Member Member Posts: 228Member Member
I am 26, 133 lbs., down from 200 lbs. about 1.5 years ago. I have been restricting calories since February 2018 with some maintenance days sprinkled in, as well as a 3 month plateau from May 2019-July 2019. My goal is to be around 125 lbs. or whenever I feel comfortable before I start bulking, as I still have excess midsection fat that I am not yet comfortable with yet.

I have been weightlifting the entire weight loss journey and am enjoying seeing my muscles come through when I flex, and can't wait to bulk. My health now is pretty good, but I feel my skin may have aged, it is a little loose in some areas, I have stretch marks but they're very light.

I am excited to start bulking and working on my physique. I wish I would have never damaged my body, but I have never been this light, and have been at least fluffy since childhood, so I am excited for that.

I am just wondering how maintaining my level of body fat will affect my body? Will my skin get tighter, more glowing when I get to eat more? I feel a little depleted.
edited August 15

Replies

  • peachvine29peachvine29 Posts: 228Member Member Posts: 228Member Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    What are your goals? What is your reason for bulking? I just ask because while I am a huge fan of bulks (I have run 3 myself) they are not for everyone, and I typically wouldn't recommend them unless someone has specific bodybuilding goals or is underweight or close. It can be very difficult to go from significant weight loss mode to gaining fat again (congrats by the way on your loss!)

    I would recommend you spend some time at maintenance, think about recomp, get used to the new you, set some new goals and go with the flow. Recomp is a great way to work on body composition... make sure you are lifting and getting enough protein, and have fun! I can't say anything about tighter skin or glow, but I know many people see improvements over time once they hit maintenance and start recomping over time.

    I have not defined any specific goal for myself yet...

    I guess throughout my fat loss journey I have been reading up and listening to bodybuilders (Sean Nalewanyj, Vitruvian Physique on YouTube) for advice on lifestyle, weight training, and nutrition. I have let myself dream a little about about training for a competition or something, however I am not sure if that is a route I want to go, as I don't know if the lifestyle that requires would be good for me or my mental/social health.

    I guess I just want to see my muscles for the first time in my life. I've fallen in love with and learned a lot about weight training. I want to feel strong and beautiful and womanly. I don't want to be embarrassed of my body anymore, I want confidence for once in my body.

    I have heard from the bodybuilders I listen to that recomp isn't really likely if you're not a newbie at weight training, and even if you are it won't last too long, and that it is much more effective especially for someone who has been training a while to cycle cuts and bulks to grow muscle. I started training in high school where I took weight training classes and did it lightly over the years I was fat, sometimes consistently others not. I have been on the bodybuilding AllPros' Fierce 5 routine for a couple of months now and have been making progress.

    I guess I need to have specific goals in mind soon.
    edited August 15
  • peachvine29peachvine29 Posts: 228Member Member Posts: 228Member Member
    nowine4me wrote: »
    Nice job Peach!

    Please take This VERY good advice from @sardelsa . Let your body settle in at maintenance for 6 months. And by all means, keep lifting. I suspect that yes, your skin and energy will improve. And loose skin will tighten up. I promise. Next Spring, if you still want to bulk.

    Thank you. :)
    I will take your ladies' advice. You all are much more experienced than I. I definitely don't think it would be easy mentally to handle putting on Any fat at this stage. I think trying to see from a more long term perspective helps me see that settling into maintenance will probably be best for me mentally and physically. Thank you for your advice. I'm already impressed with how my body has handled what I've put it through and think I'll give it a little break weight wise :)
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 5,781Member Member Posts: 5,781Member Member
    From a different perspective, priority, for me, after a large weight loss should be for a time at maintenance and an even keel.

    Let your body and mind catch up. Get settled into not losing or gaining. Once you've settled in and know you have things under control, can handle changes as they come at you, don't have un-resolved excess hunger or similar issues, then you will have the perspective to decide what you want to do in the future.

    You notice that I am not addressing your athletic goals, though I suspect that @sijomial is quite correct in his suggestion.
  • MadisonMolly2017MadisonMolly2017 Posts: 4,093Member Member Posts: 4,093Member Member
    sijomial wrote: »

    Your bodybuilders are horribly misleading you.
    THEY may need to do cut bulk cycles to progress but the vast majority of the population do not. The way you describe it you are very much still a beginner. Recomp is also not as limited as they seem to believe, I could still make good progress in my 50's.

    After 5 - 10 years of really serious training to progress everything has to be optimised and despite that progress grinds along slowly. The first months/years are the ones where any old training and diet will work.
    This from Lyle McDonald illustrates it nicely....
    grw5erahxn41.png


    Decide your goals first, then decide your training and your diet - but train and eat for how you are, not how someone else needs to train and eat. Meanwhile suggest you maintain and train for at least a few months before deciding your next move.

    @sijomial
    Thank you. This chart & your answer was just what I needed to know!
  • jrwms714jrwms714 Posts: 407Member Member Posts: 407Member Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    From a different perspective, priority, for me, after a large weight loss should be for a time at maintenance and an even keel.

    Let your body and mind catch up. Get settled into not losing or gaining. Once you've settled in and know you have things under control, can handle changes as they come at you, don't have un-resolved excess hunger or similar issues, then you will have the perspective to decide what you want to do in the future.

    You notice that I am not addressing your athletic goals, though I suspect that @sijomial is quite correct in his suggestion.

    I totally agree with this. It takes time once you hit your maintenance goal for your mind and body to settle in ... you need to establish your range and to see what you can and can't do to stay within that range ... and also to have a plan about what to do when you go over that range for more than a week or for whatever amount of time you set for yourself. Use a trending app to help you with this. They are great. And try to establish a range, and not a number, as your maintenance goal. Maintenance is just loss with more calories and a total change of perspective about food and exercise ... the hard part of maintenance is cutting back calories when you need to, and knowing what it will take to get back to where you were. Give yourself the luxury of time to figure all that out. It's important. Good luck!
  • cheryldumaischeryldumais Posts: 1,699Member Member Posts: 1,699Member Member
    I'm not a bodybuilder, yet, but I wanted to comment on the skin issue. I lost alot of weight 2 years ago. It has taken until now for my skin to recover. I am in my 60's so I still have some loose skin but it's definately much better than 2 years ago. Give your body some time to accept the new weight and adjust accordingly. Congrats on your loss!
  • apullumapullum Posts: 3,996Member Member Posts: 3,996Member Member
    To answer the last part of your post: Your skin *might* get tighter on its own; adding muscle should help. It's impossible to say how much it will change, but you should see some improvement.

    I honestly don't know what it means for skin to "glow." But, if being in a deficit was bad for your skin, then I'd agree with giving your body some time to settle into maintenance and see how that helps.

    You should have more energy in maintenance, simply because by definition you're giving your body exactly as much fuel as it needs. If you continue to feel tired after being in maintenance for a while, then I'd consider how many rest days you're taking and how often, as well as getting checked out by your doctor.

    I will say don't run out and buy new clothes just yet. Your shape may continue to change for a while, especially if you're trying to build muscle. I do only a little strength training--running is really my thing--and still my pants and bra sizes both went down over the past 2 years in maintenance.

    Other people besides me are far more qualified to tell you about recomp and muscle building :)
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Posts: 4,440Member Member Posts: 4,440Member Member
    I recommend staying at maintenance for a while and working towards a recomp. It is possible, even if strength training through your weight loss. I have had really good results from keeping up my weight training, progressing slowly. My skin tightened up from where it was from my initial loss, and I'm much older than you. Your programming, diet, and fat levels will determine how much your body will change. What program are you running now?
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Posts: 36Member Member Posts: 36Member Member
    Another vote for training at maintenance for a while and seeing what happens. Bulking isn’t necessary when you are new to weight training. You can reassess later if you get really serious about bodybuilding.
  • peachvine29peachvine29 Posts: 228Member Member Posts: 228Member Member
    I recommend staying at maintenance for a while and working towards a recomp. It is possible, even if strength training through your weight loss. I have had really good results from keeping up my weight training, progressing slowly. My skin tightened up from where it was from my initial loss, and I'm much older than you. Your programming, diet, and fat levels will determine how much your body will change. What program are you running now?

    My weekly average has went up to 136.5 lbs., so I will continue cutting to around 130 lbs., then maintaining I guess. I am currently following the Fierce 5 routine (https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=159678631&page=1) but only training 2x per week usually due to circumstances/other obligations. I'm at least 22.5% body fat, most of it in my midsection. I hope my skin tightens all the way! But we'll see. It stretched back really well so far considering how big I was.
    edited September 3
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Posts: 4,440Member Member Posts: 4,440Member Member
    It looks like an ok program, as written. However, by limiting it to only twice per week, you are not getting full body done twice, so your progression will be slow. Try to hit main lifts twice(squat, bench, shoulder press, lat pull/row, deadlifts). Other stuff is more accessory...
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