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Old 02-24-16, 02:04 AM  
willowey124
 
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: South Glos, UK
How to lose fat....

So the science seems to say that you can't lose fat/weight whilst gaining muscle. You can either train and eat to gain muscle or train and eat to lose body fat/weight. You can't do both at the same time.

In order to gain muscle you need to:

1) Eat a larger amount of calories
2) Lift heavy
3) Minimize the cardio

So, does it then follow that in order to lose body fat, you need to

1) Eat fewer calories
2) Lift light/not at all
3) Lots of cardio

Is it really this simplistic? Would love to hear your thoughts as I am in the category of wanting to lose body fat.

Kaz.
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Old 02-24-16, 02:36 AM  
Chomper
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
I think that training purely for muscle vs training purely for weight loss is only if you want to be as fast and efficient at it as possible. I know that I have absolutely gained muscle while losing fat in the past with a very simple combo of weight work, cardio and watching what I eat. It just is a more gradual process and requires consistency.
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Old 02-24-16, 06:59 AM  
Tugger31
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
I think there is some credibility in the simplicity of your post. However, of course nothing can ever be that simple. I think in reality there only has to be a small surplus of calories to gain muscle (hypertrophy and strength) and it's likely that many people will overeat and thus gain more fat than intended. For fat loss, I would tend to disagree a bit with the 2nd statement. I would still continue to lift moderate weights at least to at least try to maintain the muscle/strength you have. If not, it will atrophy and you'd lose your precious, metabolically active muscle tissue to some degree, not mention your strength. The result would be the "skinny fat" look. I think in the fat loss scenario it is easy to underestimate the calories you are truly eating which definitely slows down the fat loss process.

I do feel it it important to pick a goal with your workouts whether it be fat loss or muscle gain so you can fine tune your workouts. If you want to just "stay in shape" I don't think it matters too much about workout rotations etc as long as you have variety and consistency in your workouts.
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Old 02-24-16, 07:04 AM  
fishywaters
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by willowey124 View Post
So the science seems to say that you can't lose fat/weight whilst gaining muscle. You can either train and eat to gain muscle or train and eat to lose body fat/weight. You can't do both at the same time.

In order to gain muscle you need to:

1) Eat a larger amount of calories
2) Lift heavy
3) Minimize the cardio

So, does it then follow that in order to lose body fat, you need to

1) Eat fewer calories
2) Lift light/not at all
3) Lots of cardio

Is it really this simplistic? Would love to hear your thoughts as I am in the category of wanting to lose body fat.

Kaz.
Great question Kaz! I always say that knowledge is power. Yes, it's that simple. There is so many studies in the field of diet and exercise. This is what I was told many many years ago from many people in the field:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/44...ight-training/
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Old 02-24-16, 07:29 AM  
Nuggie's Auntie
 
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I don't think it's that simple at all. Not necessarily, at least. I can't tell you how many people I know have trained for marathons (lots of cardio) and either didn't lose body fat or even GAINED body fat. For some people, endurance training can stimulate a stress response (excess cortisol) which can lead to weight retention.

As for reducing calories, yes, eating less than you burn is key, but again, it's very individual. I find it's important to get the right balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat. One person's ratio is not going to be the same as someone else's. The eat fewer calories/lift light or not at all/do lots of cardio might result in weight loss at first, but it might be hard for you to maintain.

I just find it's a really individual thing. The formula for one person might not be the formula for someone else.
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Old 02-24-16, 08:23 AM  
Lannette
 
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I just find it's a really individual thing. The formula for one person might not be the formula for someone else.
Yes, your mileage may vary. The biggest personal lesson I learned is that I can't out run what I can eat. Maybe short term but certainly not long term. Also quality beats quantity in all things including food and exercise/activity.
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Old 02-24-16, 08:34 AM  
LoveVA
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by willowey124 View Post
So the science seems to say that you can't lose fat/weight whilst gaining muscle. You can either train and eat to gain muscle or train and eat to lose body fat/weight. You can't do both at the same time.

In order to gain muscle you need to:

1) Eat a larger amount of calories
2) Lift heavy
3) Minimize the cardio

So, does it then follow that in order to lose body fat, you need to

1) Eat fewer calories
2) Lift light/not at all
3) Lots of cardio

Is it really this simplistic? Would love to hear your thoughts as I am in the category of wanting to lose body fat.

Kaz.
Am I the only one who thinks that the lose body fat routine is, for many people, destined to not work? I'll bet that's how most people approach losing weight and, by extension, body fat. They cut calories, spend hours each week on the elliptical or running and they do lose weight. Then they start to add some calories back in and the weight comes back. I feel like cutting back on calories, improving the nutrient density of your food choices, AND lifting weights, boosts your metabolism, allowing you to get rid of fat, boost your lean body mass and allows you maintain that lower weight without having to eat a "diet-level" type of calorie intake as long as you continue to emphasize nutrient-dense foods.

I wish I could remember the name of the documentary, but it was an HBO documentary years ago on our nation's obesity problem and it mentioned that for people who lose weight, in order to maintain that weight, they had to eat less compared to someone who had been at that lower weight his/her entire life. They didn't elaborate further other than to say that was why so many people had trouble keeping the weight off.

I immediately wondered if that was due to how people lost the weight: cut calories, spending hours doing cardio. They are probably causing their metabolism to slow down so that at that lower weight, they can't eat as much as they think.

Of course, everyone is different, but my approach was a hybrid of the two routines listed above and I managed to lose weight, lose body fat, and put on lean muscle mass. The result was that I boosted my metabolism and I actually had to eat more to keep from losing more weight once I blew through my target weight. At one point, I had to eat about 2100 calories just to put some weight back on (and I'm only 5' 2"). I have been able to maintain at my lower weight by continuing to balance weight training with cardio. I think my body has adjusted to my lower weight and I am about at 1700-1800 calories/day. In the past, that level of intake would have cause me to gain weight. However, I have continued to eat much much better than I did in the past. The changes I made to my diet were permanent.

1) I ate fewer calories, but ate more protein, fewer carbs, slightly more fat, emphasized nutrient-dense food
2) I lifted moderate to heavy weights 3x/week (and by heavy I don't mean "CrossFit" heavy or "I need a spotter" heavy. I guess I should say heavier than I was accustomed to all my life)
3) I did a few sessions of cardio, 2-3x/week
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Old 02-24-16, 08:43 AM  
Tugger31
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
I have had the same experience as you VA (I'm also petite). The progress is slow but definitely eating slightly less, but more protein/fat, less starchy carbs and also continuing strength training with some cardio has definitely given me visible results and I have maintained strength. My biggest obstacle was patience and allowing myself time (and I'm talking 4-6 months) to see results.
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Old 02-24-16, 08:53 AM  
Sue B
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Maryland
What I usually hear is that deconditioned people can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, the so-called newbie effect. A lot of VFers (from back in the day, anyway ) experienced that with the Firm, and when I joined a gym for the first time and started lifting, I went down a couple of sizes in a couple of months without dieting.

The experts that I trust all say that to lose fat, you have to have a calorie deficit, and do enough resistance training and eat enough protein to preserve your muscle. And be patient and consistent, which is easier said than done! Nia Shanks has some really good advice here: http://www.niashanks.com/lose-fat-easily/
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Old 02-24-16, 08:59 AM  
prettyinpink
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
I think that is much too simplistic.

I also don't think science has all the answers here.

If one is overweight, then getting rid of the weight is best. Reducing calories but with the right kind of calories, and doing moderate cardio and some type of strength training seem to have the best results for improving multiple health parameters.
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