Can’t cut anymore?

Brain5ick

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So I was wondering if it was possible to cut down to a certain weight and not have enough muscle mass to keep losing fat effectively. I’m seeing striations in my shoulders while working out, more vascular (seeing veins in biceps and delts for the first time) but my strength is dwindling away and I’ve remained at the same weight for weeks now.
I started my cut after a good bulk and was 183-185lbs give or take and I’m now 165-166lbs but the weight loss has ceased. Still have a little fat on the stomach, still a little bit of love handle stuff going on, a little chest fat, you get it. Eating at 1,500-2,000 calories a day depending on my workout intensity. Doing HIIT cardio everyday I train being 4-5 days out of the week. I’ve tried dropping calories even lower than this but can’t do that and still feel good in any way. I can see a little bit of upper abs coming in which is encouraging but I’m losing my mind here. Do I just need more muscle mass?
 
christ83189

christ83189

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How tall are you? and whats your diet like? Im not a pro at cutting here though but will try and help
 
BennyMagoo79

BennyMagoo79

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Dude, your cals are too low. My advice (for what its worth) is reverse diet back to maintenance, hold steady for a couple months, then either decrease cals or increase workout vokume slowly.
 

Brain5ick

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How tall are you? and whats your diet like? Im not a pro at cutting here though but will try and help
5’11, clean diet.
Good sources of carbs like white and brown rice, yams and potatoes, oatmeal and Ezekiel bread.
Proteins are egg whites or egg beaters/whites in the carton in a pinch, bison steak medallions, lean grass fed beef, chicken here and there, turkey sausage, etc. low fat higher carbs. I’m hypoglycemic (opposite of diabetes) so I need my carbs lol I’ve tried the keto **** and it was ok but the doctors don’t want me doing it anymore.
 

Brain5ick

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Dude, your cals are too low. My advice (for what its worth) is reverse diet back to maintenance, hold steady for a couple months, then either decrease cals or increase workout vokume slowly.
I’ve tried going back up around 2,000 because maintenance for me is just around 2,500 or so a day and have done refeeding day’s to kick the metabolism back up, no success.
 
BennyMagoo79

BennyMagoo79

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I’ve tried going back up around 2,000 because maintenance for me is just around 2,500 or so a day and have done refeeding day’s to kick the metabolism back up, no success.
When u say no success, do u mean u put on weight at 2000cal/day?
 
christ83189

christ83189

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I might be with BennyMagoo79 on this one. Calories seem a little low. I wouldnt be able function on those calories lol but im alot bigger than you are. Maybe upp calories for a bit then go back down. You said you do HIIT? What about regular weight training?
 

Brain5ick

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I might be with BennyMagoo79 on this one. Calories seem a little low. I wouldnt be able function on those calories lol but im alot bigger than you are. Maybe upp calories for a bit then go back down. You said you do HIIT? What about regular weight training?
Yeah I do sprints on the elliptical (can’t use treadmill due to leg injury) and I do high intensity weight training but that’s just what feels good for me. No weight gained on 2,000 calories.
 
christ83189

christ83189

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Maybe try switching up your training routine a bit? Fat loss can be tricky. Sometimes its as simple as doing something different in the gym. I always hit my compound movements hard and then high rep accessory work. I wouldnt go any lower on calories though if i was you
 
BennyMagoo79

BennyMagoo79

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Yeah I do sprints on the elliptical (can’t use treadmill due to leg injury) and I do high intensity weight training but that’s just what feels good for me. No weight gained on 2,000 calories.
Keep bumping the cals up each week by 100cal/day then, til u gain weight 3wks in a row, then decrease by 100 again, and this should be ur maintenance. It takes a while to 'reset' your hypothalamus after a brutal cut, so u need to take a break from weightloss and focus on performance. At this point gains are a good indication of healthy metabolism.
 

Brain5ick

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Thing is that I’m relatively strong for my size. 365lbs DL, 235-245lbs on bench, 225lbs squat for 2-4 reps, 20-30 reps with 35lbs dumbbells (unilateral) 65-80lbs on the curl bar for 15-20 reps depending on how worn out my arms are by the time I get to that exercise. I’m not the largest but I’m not a weak guy. I change up my routine every week or so, supersets and drop sets as well. I’ll toss up a photo as well for reference.
 

Brain5ick

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IMG_1157.JPG
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These are semi recent I guess. You guys be the judge. Many people and my buddies that compete in bodybuilding all day I just need more mass now. I just feel like if I’m to cut further I’d feel hellish and tired and would probably be 150 or so by the time my abs come through. Also I’ve been 135lbs and still no abs lmao but that’s before lifting.
 

jdm23

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Honestly I'd add 200-300 calories a week until you start gaining a small amount of weight. I was in your position a month ago and I upped my cals and switched to eod crossfit workouts/strength workouts.
 

Brain5ick

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Honestly I'd add 200-300 calories a week until you start gaining a small amount of weight. I was in your position a month ago and I upped my cals and switched to eod crossfit workouts/strength workouts.
Went up to about 2,400 calories tonight. Think a lean bulk is what I need to do?
 
AlexPowell

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I agree with Benny, if you slowly increase your calories, say 5% every other week you should be able to gain weight just fine without getting fatter. Keep increasing your training volume as well.

This will push your maintenance calories up over time. The key point is to keep doing more work in the gym as calories increase and this will push your NEAT / metabolic rate up with it.

From my experience helping people that have previously lost a lot of weight, an IIFYM approach doesn't work so well. And my "IIFYM" I mean eating dumb **** like donuts and protein powder and thinking its OK because your macros and caloric intake for the day is fine. Get most of your calories from red meat and starches, then train as hard as you can and you'll do great
 

Whisky

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Keep bumping the cals up each week by 100cal/day then, til u gain weight 3wks in a row, then decrease by 100 again, and this should be ur maintenance. It takes a while to 'reset' your hypothalamus after a brutal cut, so u need to take a break from weightloss and focus on performance. At this point gains are a good indication of healthy metabolism.
Totally agree with this but after the reverse diet I’d lean bulk. I say that as it looks like you’ve dropped a large amount (80lbs plus) of weight at some point and the skin appears loose?

Adding some lean mass to fill it out is the only way (short of surgery) that I think you’ll get lower abs to come through (if at all).

I’m in that boat myself btw, picture below is from a few weeks back after a hard cut. You can see even with the clear leanness upper body, arms, etc that skin at the lower part of the belly is a million miles away from being tighter.

Personally I’m aiming to add lean mass (if you were previously overweight fat regain is easier hence more importance to keep it lean) over a long spell to see if that can get me there as from personal experience I couldn’t cut more than this (also started losing strength etc) and you can see it’s not where you’d want to be....

Hope that helps bro

162A33DD-D87F-4DB8-AC2A-1809470798ED.jpeg
 
Chados

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I think you have some access skin rather then fat. Ive personally not been there myself but I think it can be a bit trickier to lean out because of that. Adding some muscle might fill out this nicely.. Keep working, you've lost a lot of weight already.. Try go high protein, medium carb and low fat. Like 200+ gr protein at your weight
 

Brain5ick

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I think you have some access skin rather then fat. Ive personally not been there myself but I think it can be a bit trickier to lean out because of that. Adding some muscle might fill out this nicely.. Keep working, you've lost a lot of weight already.. Try go high protein, medium carb and low fat. Like 200+ gr protein at your weight
I’ve been going about twice or a little less carbs than protein. I’ve come a long way considering I used to be 325lbs! Thanks to everyone for the solid advice!
 
Chados

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I’ve been going about twice or a little less carbs than protein. I’ve come a long way considering I used to be 325lbs! Thanks to everyone for the solid advice!
Well thats a huge weight loss brother, good job. A typical fatloss besides things like keto is to go really high protein so try that if you wanna cut. You should not be disappointed with these results seriously, You're almost there!
 
luckylefty811

luckylefty811

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more protein and fats then trickle in the carbs. your body is probably in shock from the weight loss and trying to hold on now with whatever your calories are. start lifting heavy and see if you start to feel hungry afterwards that will be a good sign that you are back ! try to get sore from working out and then fill in protein and veggies afterwards, good luck !
 

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