I would like to discuss what people have found to be the most important variables in losing fat, aside from lowering calories to a level where you are losing fat. Consider these points, and lets hear people's feedback. Yes, these have been discussed before, but not from this critical approach, and not this directly.
1) I hear a lot of talk about EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids), ie Flax oil/Fish oil. Yes, it is good to have good fats in any balanced diet as it promotes overall bodily health and stability, however why is it so heavily emphasized for FAT LOSS? What is the connection between EFAs and METABOLISM?
2) How important are the carb/protein/fat ratios that are discussed? Once caloric intake is adjusted, and fat is being lost, in what way does this ratio help promote further fat loss? Or, are these ratios important as they promote bodily stability and maintenance of muscle during dieting? How strictly do we need to stick to these ratios?
3) What would be the difference between doing one body part per day split and extending your workouts to 30 minutes+, or doing cardio for 30 minutes a night? Its a given that weight training is very important (especially for us bodybuilders) during cutting, but would it be feasible to say that doing bodybuilding exclusively with high intensity could substitute cardio for enegy expenditure?
I hope to get some good critical, cogent evaluations of these questions, rather than just "knowledge passed on". And remember these are to be considered once calories have been lowered to a point where a person is losing 1-2 pounds a week. So I guess the overall theme of my questions is: If you lower your calories in any reasonable way and you are losing weight, do we really need to worry about EFAs/food type ratios/cardio and other dieting advice?
Last edited by Katz; 08-16-2005 at 11:05 PM.
You lower calories to lose WEIGHT. You lift heavy to convince your body to hang onto muscle. Thus coercing it to drop fat instead.Originally Posted by Katz
I don't pretend to understand the details, so I'll let someone smarter drop in here with the HOW, but as I understand it, the EFAs in fish oil help with nutrient partitioning.Originally Posted by Katz
The ratios are utterly meaningless.Originally Posted by Katz
Think of your macronutrients as DOSES, dependent upon LBM. Just like drugs.
Standard protocols are:
Protein: 1.0-1.5g/lb lbm
Fat: there is evidence that a minimum of 0.5g/lb lbm supports endocrine function, in particular test production. You can exceed this dosing, but it's probably wise to not drop below it. I usually go to about 0.7 or 0.8g/lb lbm, especially when cutting.
Carbs: Whatever you like, given your calorie limit
I don't understand this question.Originally Posted by Katz
If you're asking if cardio is necessary for cutting, I'd say no. If you're asking if lifting is important, I'd say yes. If you're asking if you could sub cardio for lifting, that would be another no. Cardio just burns off a few calories. Basically, it lets you eat slightly more while cutting. Lifting keeps your metabolism high for hours after you train, and helps convince your body to hang on to muscle while eating under maintenance calories.
Losing 1 lb of fat a week requires a 500 calorie a DAY deficit. For a big guy whose maintenance calories are 3500 a day, dropping 500 calories isn't that big of a stretch. But for a small woman whose maintenance calories are 1500 a day, dropping 500 calories a day is FAR too large a deficit. A drop of 15% - 20% is really the lowest you'd want to go unless it's for a very short time, and with planned refeeds.Originally Posted by Katz
EFAs: yesSo I guess the overall theme of my questions is: If you lower your calories in any reasonable way and you are losing weight, do we really need to worry about EFAs/food type ratios/cardio and other dieting advice?
food type ratios: No. See above for details. Make sure protein and fat grams are sufficient for lbm
other dieting advise: ???
Thanks for your reply, I've lurked here for a long time and was hoping I'd get your input.Originally Posted by Built
My history goes something like this:
At 13 - obese. Did a simple calorie cut diet and lost about 25 kilo (55 pound roughly). Learned I was an ectomorph afterall lol. I estimate my bf at around 20% here, but it was a miraculous change.
15 - Dieted again, but this time went overboard, was living off 800 calories a day and lost all muscle and didn't lose a whole lot of fat. Dropped about 10 kilo, but lost most of it in muscle. Almost annorexic.
17 - Started weights. Dads done it his whole life so we have weights at home and I have been surrounded by BB mags since a child, and all of his knowledge has been passed to me Bulked up a fair bit.
20 - Current. Up to around 24% BF while doing a dirty bulk. Happy with size/strength gains, but wanted to cut. Been cutting for around 6 weeks, so far ive lost 6.5 kilo (14 pound, some would have been water). I eat around 1800 - 2000 cals a day, train for over 30 minutes around 4 times a week, and eat a pretty balanced diet. Probably could do with more protein and a little less carbs, but I'm not losing muscle at this point and I am losing inches in the right places so I'm happy with my progress. This week I only dropped one pound, but I'll weigh myself tomorrow as it may be bowel related. This made me think about maybe throwing in cardio or start being more careful about exactly what im eating with my diet. At this point im going to do 30 mins cardio 4 times a week and see if that bumps the loss up to 1 kilo a week.
So I am always telling people that cardio is useless also. Somewhere along the line, people associated running on a treadmill and fatloss, but we all know that couldn't be further from the truth. I've learned that its 95% diet. I'm thinking about taking flax oil everyday also, but I'll see how I go with this weeks loss. Current BF is around 18%, wanting to get down to 13%.
Thanks again for your reply.
Take fish oil - better than flax IMHO.
And keep your fats up - it helps.
I don't think cardio is useless, but it is overrated. I do some, but not a lot.
Best of luck in reaching your goals!
Cardio is not useless. It is not necessary to drop bodyfat, but it can definately help burn a few more calories and improve cardiovascular function (health benefits). General cardio on its own is more of a calorie burner, but something like HIIT and the like has some benefits in freeing up stubborn fatty acid deposits.
"I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn't even matter." - Linkin Park
So high intensity cardio can burn stubborn fat deposits? So im assuming that you mean once you are down to a low BF% then HIIT will help get rid of the last bit of BF%?
This seems to be a pretty strange claim, to my knowledge, stubborn BF is just like any other BF, however it is in the places that fat first stores, thus if you want to get rid of it, you just keep dieting until your BF% drops until those places that fat first stores is devoid of fat.
Do you agree?
(Oh, and this is a discussion about cardio in relation to dropping BF, not to cardiovascular/respiritory health. I certainly agree that cardio is fantastic for improving all-over health and can be very satisfying in itself, but that is not what the purpose of this thread was to discuss, thus my blunt comment about the "uselessness of cardio")
EFA's aren't extremely important for fat loss, I know it's bad, but I've been cutting pretty well all summer with barely any EFAs (I absolutely can't stand fish). I just bought a bottle of fish oil a few weeks ago though, I take fish oil on and off becuase I know I should, but I'm kind of lazy about it. Don't follow my example though, take your fish oil becuase it's good for you, haha
And avoiding simple sugars is another thing you can do during your cut. I don't know how much it really helps (if at all) but spiking your insulin all day, whether in a caloric deficit or not, can't be a good thing
My diet is currently pretty controlled, cutting is coming along nicely the past few weeks. My only problem with builts advice is hitting the .5g/lb fat. I find myself taking in 50-60g a day, weighing in at 200-210lbs. If I try to take in 100g of fat, thats 900-1000 calories from fat alone, and to hit 1g protein/lb thats another 900-1000 cals in protein alone. My daily intake has been 1800-2000 cals, then a cheat day on the weekend. Strength has dropped at all, in fact, its gone up in many exercises so I don't think I'm losing muscle.
I did up my fish oil from 3 pills a day to 10.
0.5 grams per pound of LEAN body mass. What's your BF%?
The Reconstruction Project (Journal)
Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%
Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3
Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg
One of the reasons EFA's are emphasized so much for weight loss it the fact that when you first enter a calorie deficit your body uses EFA's first because they are more easily mobilized.
Cardio is NOT useless. When I was doing cardio ONLY, at least three times a week, no weights at all, I was losing sometimes 3 whole percents of bodyfat a week. Every week my b/f went down at least one point. On the other hand, I feel I really did slim out too much, I feel muscle was def. lost. Conclusion, cardio good, but just don't go overboard w/ it as I did.
Well if you had 3% bf a week to lose, you were probabaly pretty obese, and anything is going to help then. When you get to lower bodyfat levels, it's much harder to lose fat. But cardio does have its placeOriginally Posted by AzBboy
Last time I measured BF 6 weeks ago or so I was right at 15%. Definately lower now. Starting to see some lower ab definition and discovering new veins all over the place. My legs are getting vascular for the first time I noticed last leg day.
I'm actually very ectomorphic topdog, never even been in the average ''healthy'' weight for my stats until recently like 4 months, been underweight my entire life. So it must of been the cardio making me drop the bodyfat.
AzBboy, ANY caloric deficit will help you drop weight. Ectos have a particularly easy time of it.