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  1. #1
    Registered User SyrionDeath's Avatar
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    Some questions about fat loss

    Im 46 and 5' 10. 230lbs. I have a office job so i sit most days. but I lift 3 times a week and I try to get out for a couple 20 minute walks a day.
    Weightloss always seems hard for me. I measure everything with a scale, but when Im in a deficit I seem to stop losing after a week. maybe my setpoint is 230. There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding weight loss info for me. People say dont eat too little, but if i cut 500 calories from my maintenance that puts me under 1900 calories. If I stall and cut calories again all I will hear is that those calories are way too low for my stats. So I cut 500 calories once, stall and then Im done I guess? Cardio also seems confusing. Do I count the calories burned from lifting? Do I do cardio everyday or just on days when Im not lifting? How hungry should I be when cutting and how low is too low? Information seems to be all over the map on the internet. maybe you guys can clarify on how I should approach it.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated?
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    Im 46 and 5' 10. 230lbs. I have a office job so i sit most days. but I lift 3 times a week and I try to get out for a couple 20 minute walks a day.
    Weightloss always seems hard for me. I measure everything with a scale, but when Im in a deficit I seem to stop losing after a week. maybe my setpoint is 230. There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding weight loss info for me. People say dont eat too little, but if i cut 500 calories from my maintenance that puts me under 1900 calories. If I stall and cut calories again all I will hear is that those calories are way too low for my stats. So I cut 500 calories once, stall and then Im done I guess? Cardio also seems confusing. Do I count the calories burned from lifting? Do I do cardio everyday or just on days when Im not lifting? How hungry should I be when cutting and how low is too low? Information seems to be all over the map on the internet. maybe you guys can clarify on how I should approach it.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated?
    You need to stay in a deficit for a long period of time. The average calorie intake during that long period of time will determine your weight loss. Don’t focus on daily fluctuations, it is the long run trend that matters. Be patient.

    Don’t try to guess how much you burn during exercise. Just pick a calorie number and run with it for a few weeks. I suggest about 2000 calories for you. Make adjustments according to how fast you are losing at that amount. If you are counting correctly you might not be able to maintain such a large deficit but it will kickstart the weight loss.

    But you are probably not counting correctly if you think your maintenance is that low at your weight. I am 50 pounds lighter than you and my maintenance is higher - and I am pretty sure I am underestimating my calorie intake too.

    This is why I favor cutting calories aggressively when starting out. Many try to cut just 500 calories but miscount their intake and end up in a very small deficit. My take is cut as aggressively as possible from the start and learn to count along the way.

    In the start I would recommend completely avoiding processed carbs and alcohol to make it easier to stay in a deficit.
    Last edited by EiFit91; 07-28-2021 at 10:29 AM.
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    You need to stay in a deficit for a long period of time. The average calorie intake during that long period of time will determine your weight loss. Don’t focus on daily fluctuations, it is the long run trend that matters. Be patient.

    Don’t try to guess how much you burn during exercise. Just pick a calorie number and run with it for a few weeks. I suggest about 2000 calories for you. Make adjustments according to how fast you are losing at that amount. If you are counting correctly you might not be able to maintain such a large deficit but it will kickstart the weight loss.

    But you are probably not counting correctly if you think your maintenance is that low at your weight. I am 50 pounds lighter than you and my maintenance is higher - and I am pretty sure I am underestimating my calorie intake too.

    This is why I favor cutting calories aggressively when starting out. Many try to cut just 500 calories but miscount their intake and end up in a very small deficit. My take is cut as aggressively as possible from the start and learn to count along the way.

    In the start I would recommend completely avoiding processed carbs and alcohol to make it easier to stay in a deficit.
    this. you don't "stop losing after a week", you need to give it at least two weeks to see if you're still losing weight or not. you can't go from losing a pound per week to losing nothing in such a short amount of time if your deficit is the same
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    Registered User SyrionDeath's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    You need to stay in a deficit for a long period of time. The average calorie intake during that long period of time will determine your weight loss. Don’t focus on daily fluctuations, it is the long run trend that matters. Be patient.

    Don’t try to guess how much you burn during exercise. Just pick a calorie number and run with it for a few weeks. I suggest about 2000 calories for you. Make adjustments according to how fast you are losing at that amount. If you are counting correctly you might not be able to maintain such a large deficit but it will kickstart the weight loss.

    But you are probably not counting correctly if you think your maintenance is that low at your weight. I am 50 pounds lighter than you and my maintenance is higher - and I am pretty sure I am underestimating my calorie intake too.

    This is why I favor cutting calories aggressively when starting out. Many try to cut just 500 calories but miscount their intake and end up in a very small deficit. My take is cut as aggressively as possible from the start and learn to count along the way.

    In the start I would recommend completely avoiding processed carbs and alcohol to make it easier to stay in a deficit.
    When I use a calorie calculator app it says my maintenance would be 2400-2500. So with my lifting which my apple watch estimates at 350, and my two 20 minute walks a day would that be how I achieve my deficit? Which means Id still be eating 2400-2500 calories in food?
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    When I use a calorie calculator app it says my maintenance would be 2400-2500. So with my lifting which my apple watch estimates at 350, and my two 20 minute walks a day would that be how I achieve my deficit? Which means Id still be eating 2400-2500 calories in food?
    Just try to eat 2000 every day for two weeks and keep track of your weight. Then come back here in two weeks with the daily weight measurements. We can estimate your actual deficit and rate of weight loss from that.

    These calculators are theoretical predictions and may not be accurate for you. Best to go by your own data.
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.

    - Richard Feynman
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    Registered User SyrionDeath's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Just try to eat 2000 every day for two weeks and keep track of your weight. Then come back here in two weeks with the daily weight measurements. We can estimate your actual deficit and rate of weight loss from that.

    These calculators are theoretical predictions and may not be accurate for you. Best to go by your own data.
    Thx a lot man! I will report back in 2 weeks from now with those numbers
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    im here for the inspiration
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    If you were losing 5 lbs a week you could definitely say you're eating "too little", but the fact that you're losing nothing shows that not only are you not eating too little, you are eating too much.

    You're definitely going to be hungry, especially for the first few weeks of a sustained caloric deficit, but you just have to fight through it.

    The advice above is solid, eat a consistent amount day in/day out (no cheat meals) and report back after a few weeks.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    When I use a calorie calculator app it says my maintenance would be 2400-2500. So with my lifting which my apple watch estimates at 350, and my two 20 minute walks a day would that be how I achieve my deficit? Which means Id still be eating 2400-2500 calories in food?
    Eat 2000 cals a day, keep your cardio and lifting the same, keep at it for two weeks if nothing changes reduce cals by 100 and increase cardio, rinse and repeat till your losing each week
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    Wearing a fitness tracker has been the best decision I've made in recent memory. The feedback is pretty invaluable for someone with no reference points.

    At your weight, you could probably be in a fairly large deficit. Walk more, if you have to, to drive your expenditures up (this is where a tracker helps) and simultaneously give yourself room to eat more - so that you can meet healthy macro levels etc.

    If your macros are good, hunger probably shouldn't be too big of a problem.
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    Registered User SyrionDeath's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Just try to eat 2000 every day for two weeks and keep track of your weight. Then come back here in two weeks with the daily weight measurements. We can estimate your actual deficit and rate of weight loss from that.

    These calculators are theoretical predictions and may not be accurate for you. Best to go by your own data.
    So it has been 2 weeks. I measured all my food and here are my weight numbers for the last 2 weeks.
    229.0, 230.2, 229.4, 230, 231.2, 231.2, 229, 229, 229, 228.2, 228.2, 228.8, 229.8. So where do you guys think I should go from here?
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    So it has been 2 weeks. I measured all my food and here are my weight numbers for the last 2 weeks.
    229.0, 230.2, 229.4, 230, 231.2, 231.2, 229, 229, 229, 228.2, 228.2, 228.8, 229.8. So where do you guys think I should go from here?
    So according to a line of best fit, you are losing about 0.7lbs per week.

    This means your current calorie intake is about 365 under maintenance.

    If you wanted it to go a little faster, you could deduct another 2-400 calories...
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    So it has been 2 weeks. I measured all my food and here are my weight numbers for the last 2 weeks.
    229.0, 230.2, 229.4, 230, 231.2, 231.2, 229, 229, 229, 228.2, 228.2, 228.8, 229.8. So where do you guys think I should go from here?
    Seems to me that you are in a deficit of a little more than 300 calories a day, dropping a little more than half a pound in a week. If I were you I would drop my calories by a further 500, then you will start noticing some real scale movement.

    You should also clean up your counting, I think you are underestimating how much you are eating by quite a lot.

    Edit: Suffolk beat me to it
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    Registered User SyrionDeath's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    So according to a line of best fit, you are losing about 0.7lbs per week.

    This means your current calorie intake is about 365 under maintenance.

    If you wanted it to go a little faster, you could deduct another 2-400 calories...
    How could i be losing .7 lbs a week when almost every day of those 2 weeks was at or higher than the first day? out of 2 weeks the lowest I got was 228.2. that was only for 2 days before it shot back up to almost 229 again. Im a little ignorant in these matters, so please be patient with me. But something doesn't add up.
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    Registered User SyrionDeath's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Seems to me that you are in a deficit of a little more than 300 calories a day, dropping a little more than half a pound in a week. If I were you I would drop my calories by a further 500, then you will start noticing some real scale movement.

    You should also clean up your counting, I think you are underestimating how much you are eating by quite a lot.

    Edit: Suffolk beat me to it
    I dont know how I can clean it up more. Im weighing everything on my scale or using measuring cups. Im not guessing or anything like that. I account for all the food going in.
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    How could i be losing .7 lbs a week when almost every day of those 2 weeks was at or higher than the first day? out of 2 weeks the lowest I got was 228.2. that was only for 2 days before it shot back up to almost 229 again. Im a little ignorant in these matters, so please be patient with me. But something doesn't add up.
    I used a line of best fit through the noisy data.

    EiFit91 probably used the same method and got the same result.

    Each day, a reading could be a couple of lbs higher or lower than your 'true' weight because of varying amounts of water in your body. Line of best fit is one simple way of accounting for this variation.

    The line of best fit actually starts higher than your first data point and finishes lower than your last.

    Plot the graph in Excel and you'll hopefully see why - days 4-7 strongly influence the starting height. What would you conclude if you were only looking at days 5-11?
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 08-11-2021 at 07:02 AM.
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    Maybe I should know better at this point, but what is the "line of best fit" and how do you derive it? I'm assuming this is some kind of a statistics term?
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    I dont know how I can clean it up more. Im weighing everything on my scale or using measuring cups. Im not guessing or anything like that. I account for all the food going in.
    Post some food items you have been eating and how many calories you assume they contain? The more detailed you are the greater the chance we can help find eventual errors in your counting.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Maybe I should know better at this point, but what is the "line of best fit" and how do you derive it? I'm assuming this is some kind of a statistics term?
    It's a straight line that fits the points as best possible.

    The main way to do this is to "minimise the sum of squared residuals".

    This is not as fancy as it sounds. You measure the (vertical) distance between your line and each data point, square each number and add them all up. You want this number to be small as you can make it.

    There is a mathematical formula which can take a set of data points and tell you the slope for the line of best fit. I won't go into that but you can invoke this magic in excel using the =SLOPE(y-range, x-range) formula.

    In this case, the slope of a line representing someones body weight is telling you at what rate they are losing or gaining weight.

    I believe Excel has built in options to add "regression" lines to graphs so you don't even need to use the formula...
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I used a line of best fit through the noisy data.

    EiFit91 probably used the same method and got the same result.

    Each day, a reading could be a couple of lbs higher or lower than your 'true' weight because of varying amounts of water in your body. Line of best fit is one simple way of accounting for this variation.

    The line of best fit actually starts higher than your first data point and finishes lower than your last.

    Plot the graph in Excel and you'll hopefully see why - days 4-7 strongly influence the starting height. What would you conclude if you were only looking at days 5-11?
    I don’t have access to a computer now so I just took the average weight for the first week and subtracted the average weight of the second week. I then divided that by 13 and multiplied by 7, suggesting a weight loss of 0.63 pounds a week. So very similar result despite different method this time!
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    Registered User SyrionDeath's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Seems to me that you are in a deficit of a little more than 300 calories a day, dropping a little more than half a pound in a week. If I were you I would drop my calories by a further 500, then you will start noticing some real scale movement.

    You should also clean up your counting, I think you are underestimating how much you are eating by quite a lot.

    Edit: Suffolk beat me to it
    Would dropping my calories 500 be too aggressive? that would be 1500 calories. I have no issue eating that low, but i always hear about people warning about reducing calories too fast and wrecking their metabolisms
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    I don’t have access to a computer now so I just took the average weight for the first week and subtracted the average weight of the second week. I then divided that by 13 and multiplied by 7, suggesting a weight loss of 0.63 pounds a week. So very similar result despite different method this time!
    That's still using more information than just the first and last points... which is the issue I see a lot here...

    Another quick one is the average delta - which gives 0.06 which again is an underestimate in this case.
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    I don’t have access to a computer now so I just took the average weight for the first week and subtracted the average weight of the second week. I then divided that by 13 and multiplied by 7, suggesting a weight loss of 0.63 pounds a week. So very similar result despite different method this time!
    Is there a way to figure out the average for each week. Math is not my strong suit
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    Fascinating, thanks. I'm finding the applications of higher math increasingly interesting.

    I would have stopped at simply taking an average and observing each marginal change from week to week lol.
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    Is there a way to figure out the average for each week. Math is not my strong suit
    Yes. Take each week's weight, add it together, and then divide it by the number of weeks measured. Simple as that.
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    Would dropping my calories 500 be too aggressive? that would be 1500 calories. I have no issue eating that low, but i always hear about people warning about reducing calories too fast and wrecking their metabolisms
    This is why I think you are underestimating. An actual properly tracked 1500 will be very very difficult and you’ll feel terrible. I have been as low as about 1600 before and it is not pleasant.

    If you state some food items with how many calories you assume we may be able to help you clean up your tracking.

    The metabolism thing is a myth. There are adaptations but they are generally small and I don’t think adaptations vary with the size of the calorie deficit (?)
    Last edited by EiFit91; 08-11-2021 at 08:25 AM.
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    Is there a way to figure out the average for each week. Math is not my strong suit
    If you don’t want to do any math, just weigh yourself daily and keep track of the lowest number each week. If that lowest number keeps getting lower each week you are losing weight. Then adjust calories based on the rate of loss.

    This method uses all the information without you having to compute any averages.
    Last edited by EiFit91; 08-11-2021 at 08:42 AM.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    That's still using more information than just the first and last points... which is the issue I see a lot here...

    Another quick one is the average delta - which gives 0.06 which again is an underestimate in this case.
    Oh yeah you should definitely use some kind of average or trend!

    In case it wasn’t clear btw OLS is my favorite method and if there was a church of OLS I would join it!
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    This is why I think you are underestimating. An actual properly tracked 1500 will be very very difficult and you’ll feel terrible. I have been as low as about 1600 before and it is not pleasant.

    If you state some food items with how many calories you assume we may be able to help you clean up your tracking.

    The metabolism thing is a myth. There are adaptations but they are generally small and I don’t think adaptations vary with the size of the calorie deficit (?)
    I eat a plant based diet. Typically my breakfast is a half cup of oats (140cal), mashed banana 127 grams (113 cals) Cup of Silk cashew Milk (25 cals) 1 scoop of Vega chocolate protein. 44grams (160 cals)
    Lunch: parboiled white rice 200 grams (246 cals) Black beans 150 grams (185 cals) Broccolli frozen 170grams (50 cals)
    Dinner: potato air fried or baked 300grams (330 cals) Brown Lentils 150grams (174 calories) broccoli frozen 170 grams (50 cals)
    snack: silk Milk (25 cals) vega protein powder 44 grams (160 cals)
    Sometimes instead of lentils it will be tofu, like a stir fry. 118 grams (100 cals) maybe a slice of bread gets thrown in 1 slice 85 cals.
    Mostly thats the type of stuff I eat. I may air fry some potatoes with a tablespoon of olive oil. My breakfast is almost identical everyday, same with my lunch. Dinners flex a bit. Sometimes theres some brown rice pasta. 350 grams (571 cals) or if its a mexican night I might have 50 grams of corn chips for 250 cals. Im a fairly boring eater and Im not a big fan of sauces or addons. I like stuff fairly plain. Just salt, maybe 3 table spoons of Salsa (15 cals) Not a sweets guy so I dont have much in the house, sometimes maybe a square or two of dark chocolate after dinner 13grams (75 cals) I try not to do that too much though. Oh and sometimes Ill put a tablespoon of peanut butter in my oatmeal. 90 cals Hope this gives you a rough idea.
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    Originally Posted by SyrionDeath View Post
    I eat a plant based diet. Typically my breakfast is a half cup of oats (140cal), mashed banana 127 grams (113 cals) Cup of Silk cashew Milk (25 cals) 1 scoop of Vega chocolate protein. 44grams (160 cals)
    Lunch: parboiled white rice 200 grams (246 cals) Black beans 150 grams (185 cals) Broccolli frozen 170grams (50 cals)
    Dinner: potato air fried or baked 300grams (330 cals) Brown Lentils 150grams (174 calories) broccoli frozen 170 grams (50 cals)
    snack: silk Milk (25 cals) vega protein powder 44 grams (160 cals)
    Sometimes instead of lentils it will be tofu, like a stir fry. 118 grams (100 cals) maybe a slice of bread gets thrown in 1 slice 85 cals.
    Mostly thats the type of stuff I eat. I may air fry some potatoes with a tablespoon of olive oil. My breakfast is almost identical everyday, same with my lunch. Dinners flex a bit. Sometimes theres some brown rice pasta. 350 grams (571 cals) or if its a mexican night I might have 50 grams of corn chips for 250 cals. Im a fairly boring eater and Im not a big fan of sauces or addons. I like stuff fairly plain. Just salt, maybe 3 table spoons of Salsa (15 cals) Not a sweets guy so I dont have much in the house, sometimes maybe a square or two of dark chocolate after dinner 13grams (75 cals) I try not to do that too much though. Oh and sometimes Ill put a tablespoon of peanut butter in my oatmeal. 90 cals Hope this gives you a rough idea.
    Pasta and rice is 350 calories per 100 gram. So that lunch for instance is 700 calories just for the rice and not 246.

    350 grams of pasta is 1050 calories.

    Cut down on the pasta and rice and you should lose weight much faster without much pain.
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