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TOPIC: Weight loss after most fat gone

 
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May 27, 2012 9:10 AM
So I'm following a plan what myfitnesspal says will cause me to lose 1.5 lbs per week, which is roughly a calorie deficit of 750 calories per day.

My question is: eventually I will have lost most of my excess weight (fat). If I continue on the same calorie-deficit level, what will happen if there isn't much fat left to burn off? The last thing I want to do is lose muscle mass (I assume that's what would happen)?

Thanks to anyone who can help!
May 27, 2012 1:57 PM
I'm pretty sure you'd start to lose muscle mass at that point since there wouldn't be anything else to burn really. I'm assuming that once you get down to where the fat is gone that you'll either want to maintain or build muscle in which case you don't want a deficit so you'll have to up your calories.
  8437200
May 27, 2012 2:01 PM
As you lose weight, you can reset your goals in MFP and it will help you adjust your calories.
After you have lost a significant amount, 1.5 lbs per week, might be too much, but the amount of calories you need to simply function will also change. so just remember to re-do your goals in the settings every now and then.
May 27, 2012 2:03 PM
QUOTE:

So I'm following a plan what myfitnesspal says will cause me to lose 1.5 lbs per week, which is roughly a calorie deficit of 750 calories per day.

My question is: eventually I will have lost most of my excess weight (fat). If I continue on the same calorie-deficit level, what will happen if there isn't much fat left to burn off? The last thing I want to do is lose muscle mass (I assume that's what would happen)?

Thanks to anyone who can help!


It doesn't really work like that... as you lose weight you need to eat less to continue losing weight... so if you continued eating the same amount of calories you would just gradually maintain i reckon (this is excluding exercise factors).
  10260443
May 27, 2012 2:04 PM
Unless you're doing any sort of weight lifting, chances are you will lose some of your muscle mass during your weight loss. There are two ways around this: one is to weight lift your entire way through, not getting stronger but keeping at a continuous lean body mass - the weight may appear to be coming off slower, but you'll be sure that it's pretty much all fat. The other way is to accept the muscle mass loss and get to your goal weight, and then start weight lifting to regain anything lost (plus any more, as it makes you look awesome!)

Good luck with your goals!
May 27, 2012 2:04 PM
The site will ask you if you want to recalculate your Goals as you lose weight.

With that said, you can use this basic safe-deficit guideline to reset your deficit/Goals:

If you have 75+ lbs to lose 2 lbs/week is ideal,
If you have 40-75 lbs to lose 1.5 lbs/week is ideal,
If you have 25-40 lbs to lose 1 lbs/week is ideal,
If you have 15 -25 lbs to lose 0.5 to 1.0 lbs/week is ideal, and
If you have less than 15 lbs to lose 0.5 lbs/week is ideal.
  5978
May 27, 2012 2:05 PM
If you're only relying on diet alone, you'll probably be losing muscle mass as well as fat anyway. Incorporate some strength training and make protein your main macronutrient to maintain the muscle that you DO have. After the weight (fat, hopefully) is gone, continue to strength train to shape and tone your body and adjust your calories accordingly. :)

Love and Alohas,
Ihilani Kapuniai
  7665135
May 27, 2012 2:17 PM
You're right, and so are the people who gave you advise. You generally will loose some muscle mass as you loose weight, and thats why people on here go nuts about wt lifting, to make sure you're maintaining your muscle and loosing your fat. If you continue at a calorie deficit when you're body has little fat left to draw on, its just like a bank account with over draft, only the over draft is stuff like your essential fat (the fatty layer of your skin that you need, breast tissue, and stuff like that), and your muscle tissue. Your body literally starts to eat itself. You will see people who stay at a very low intake for a very long time, such as people surviving in a famine in Africa who get by for months on 800 cal or less a day, because the body becomes very, very efficient. We're very adaptable machines basically. This is starvation mode that people talk about on here. At this point the body is at a reduced capacity to heal, the immune system is compromised, and organs are unable to operate effectively, they can just get by. Thats why these people will have dry skin, look pale, have no energy, and probably have digestive issues. They get sick a lot too, generally.
Too much info? :)
May 27, 2012 2:33 PM
QUOTE:

Unless you're doing any sort of weight lifting, chances are you will lose some of your muscle mass during your weight loss. There are two ways around this: one is to weight lift your entire way through, not getting stronger but keeping at a continuous lean body mass - the weight may appear to be coming off slower, but you'll be sure that it's pretty much all fat. The other way is to accept the muscle mass loss and get to your goal weight, and then start weight lifting to regain anything lost (plus any more, as it makes you look awesome!)

Good luck with your goals!


I mostly agree with what you said, other than a few things. First...it's substantial muscle loss...not minimal. Fat is a major endocrine organ...muscles are only maintained to the level they use. Which...assuming muscle disuse...do you think your body will attack first? Additionally, if you're not providing your body the protein necessary to maintain that muscle...you will STILL suffer muscle loss even if weight training.

The other thing ties to the part in bold. That's called 'bulking'...and requires a caloric surplus. You WILL gain fat while bulking, along with some muscle. Many people who have dieted large amounts of weight off...aren't emotionally prepared for that.

So...my suggestion is to strength train 3x a week on non-consecutive days from the beginning, with adequate protein intake (1g per pound of lean body mass minimum, .80g per pound of bodyweight if you really don't know your lean body mass). If you choose to do cardio, keep it reasonable, and preferably only 2-3 days a week and on rest days from lifting. This brings up another point. Lifting doesn't burn fat OR build muscle. REST burns fat. REST builds muscle. Don't overwork yourself. 3x a week for about an hour (if you're effective in your workouts...more if you drag yourself around slowly) is more than enough.

And now some evidence. I lost 40lbs of fat in 3mos, doing nothing but strength training 3x a week, for less than an hour per session. Cardio was virtually NIL.

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I'm only posting these pictures so you can SEE with your own eyes what a proper HEAVY strength training regimen (yes, heavy...even though it was all bodyweight), no cardio, adequate rest...and a good healthy deficit can do in only 3mos.
  7434194

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