Weight loss and Weight Regain
Bala Krishna Reddy
This article is to give you some valuable information, which currently is needed for everyone here. As many of you are going through great transformations either doing it on your own or following a Fittr coach’s plans. I observe almost 90% of these transformations are fat loss transformations. And one of the common things which I notice is that people go through drastic fat loss phases in a very short span (especially with Transformation Challenge, ICN and the competition you get from other competitors), they go in a very low calorie intake phases, especially at the end of the cut. Now what you guys are doing is great and the visible changes are amazing. But you should know that, no matter what you do, while you are going through a fat loss phase, you are bound to lose some amount of muscle (until and unless you are new to training and dieting). With bigger deficits, the loss of lean mass and muscle is going to be more. For example, if the deficit per day is, let’s say 300-400 Kcals/day, the loss of muscle is going to be minimal given that you are going through your resistance training regime (which again needs to be smartly programmed). But If your deficit is let’s say around 1000 Kcals/day, the loss of muscle is going to be huge. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25010545/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19710198/ Now some of you might think that it’s ok to lose muscle, getting shredded is important. Problem with that is, with reduction in lean mass, you also see declines in your resting metabolic rate, bringing your maintenance calories to a lower number (maintenance calories are the calories at which you maintain your physique and weight). Lower maintenance implies lower caloric intake for maintenance and if you go back to normal eating immediately after your cut, you are bound to regain the weight and this time it’s going to be higher. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25010545/ Also, this loss of lean tissue is high in women with bigger deficits and it is even higher in men Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16117189/ This loss of muscle is mainly because when individuals go through a calorie deficit, there is a reduction in Muscle protein synthesis (the process of adding new muscle) and an increase in Muscle protein breakdown (the process of losing muscle) Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23739654/ So how do we avoid weight regain? 1 Well one of the best ways to transform (either lose fat or gain muscle) is to do it slowly, which means smaller deficit for fat loss and smaller surplus for muscle gain. My recommendations are approximately 300 - 500Kcals deficit for cut and 200Kcals surplus for putting on muscle and monitor progress very carefully every week. In fact, in the below studies a moderate calorie deficit with resistance training has shown an increase in Muscle protein synthesis. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19247271/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21938075/ 2 Diet Breaks are a great tool to implement during your cuts. It is shown that with regular diet breaks during your cut phase, your reduction in resting metabolic rate is minimised. How regular? How to implement diet breaks? To answer these we need a separate post altogether. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28925405 3 Focus on growing as much muscle as possible. With more lean tissue, you’ll have a higher resting metabolic rate. Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10357728/ 4 Implement reverse dieting, at the end of the cut. Instead of straight away jumping into normal eating. Estimate your new maintenance calories, and start adding calories above maintenance slowly and periodically and involve yourself in resistance training. This will help you improve your resting metabolic rate and also help you put on some muscle mass minimising the fat gain. Hope this was helpful. All the best for your transformation.