Hit a plateau, would like input on my plan

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Potz
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Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:02 pm

TLDR: Skip to the bottom and give me input on plan 1 or 2 please.

I've been struggling with my weight my whole life (for more background check my new member post), currently I'm at the lowest I've been in ~7 years but have hit a big plateau on the weight loss and my strength gains simultaneously.

Exercise:
I started off doing Stronglifts 5x5 (3 days a week), then when I hit a plateau in that (5 months ago) I moved to 5/3/1 Boring But Big(BBB) and that seemed to help. This week I decided to switch it up again to see if that helps and started 5/3/1 Building the monolith (uses an A/B cycle) but instead of doing 3 days a week planning to do A/B on Monday/Tuesday, rest Wednesday then A/B again on Thursday/Friday and have two rest days over the weekend so I can get maximum results (Maybe dumb?). I felt like the 4 day split of BBB with working each muscle only once a week wasn't enough and I wasn't getting progress but perhaps this was nutrition related?

Diet:
I have been on a mostly zerocarb/carnivore diet, I eat primarily beef and lamb with the fat, no organ meats, cheese, butter, bacon, salmon and occasionally chicken (Eggs make me nauseous). I do intermittent fasting (only black coffee or water when not in a feeding window), primarily OMAD, but after discussing it with a friend who lost of lot of weight he said I might not be getting enough calories in, so I have started adding in lunch too. I have been eating a cheat meal every second weekend or so which contains carbs so that might be hurting my progress too since it would arguably knock me out of the medium level ketosis of the diet (I have a keyto-breath-sensor and am generally on 3/6 on the scale, if I up the fats or add a periodic fast I can get to 6 easily).

While I still had a lot of weight to loose it was easy to drop the weight and build muscle at the same time, but now that I'm a bit lighter it seems I have to pick one?
My two plans of action that I am considering are as follows:

1. Do more periodic fasting (2-3 days) to get higher ketosis levels and less weekly calories to drop the weight until I hit my goal body fat %. I fear with this approach that instead of plateauing on the strength that I will loose strength. Would hitting the strength training using my current weights instead of trying to go up maintain the muscle I have gained?
Or
2. Increase my caloric intake to about 300 calories above basal metabolic rate (my smart scale says mine is about 1730 kcal/day), hit the gym hard to build more muscle and over time the increased muscle will result in a higher basal metabolic rate and burn more fat.

Any advice appreciated and thanks for taking the time to read
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jackBruh
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Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:30 pm

Hey man. If you've dropped a lot of weight over a long period of time then your body has probably adapted to being in a significant calorie deficit. I can't remember the exact details, but Menno Henselmanns has a recent (in the last few months?? would link if I could find it sorry) fb post on the topic of adaptive metabolism. Probably best off eating at maintenance for a while and giving your body a chance to recover and acclimatise to your new weight, this will increase your metabolism again. And then begin your cut again and it should be easier.
As far as muscle goes, just keep upping the weights when you can. Progressive overload still applies
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Manganiello
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Wed Sep 08, 2021 1:40 pm

I've hit many plateaus ans done a lot of research on adaptive thermogenesis.

Your TDEE can drop up to 500 calories. Usually in the 200-300 range. The more extreme and the longer you're diet lasts the more of an effect it has. That's basically what you need to know. It definitely has an effect.

Some options for the plateau.

(One)
I don't have a popular opinion about this. But you can drop your existing calorie consumption by 500 calories to see results again. Just take multivitamins to ensure you're not lacking nutrients when you go low cal.

(Two)
Also double check that you have ACTUALLY been eating the amount of calories you think you have. I've hit plateaus struggled with why. And then when I think about it I realized I hadnt logged some snacks (like after 9pm) and then the math works out to a plateau.

(Three)
Wait it out. You are losing fat. Just not "weight". The scale will show the results in a week or two.

(Four)
Increase calories to reverse adaptive thermogenesis (never done this) but a lot of other people have and says it works.



Also getting your basal metabolic rate through gaining muscle takes a very long time. In my opinion it's not worth it if the goal is to lose weight *now*.

The math wasn't very inspiring. It's a common piece of advice but when I looked at peer reviewed papers about it the actual change on TDEE it was minimal unless you got significant muscle mass gainz.

I'm not shredded or built like a lot of the other guys here. But I was very diligent in researching this stuff. Dropped 50 lbs last year and continue to drop it.


Out of all of those options #1 worked the best for me. But it was also the hardest.
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Potz
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Wed Sep 08, 2021 2:03 pm

Thanks @Manganiello and @jackBruh for the advice!

Decided I'm going to track calories for the next couple weeks on MFP and aim for my BMR and keep progressive overload on my current program and see what happens after the two week period.

Thanks again!
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Svadhishthana
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Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:03 pm

Re: plateauing on your lifts. Strong Lifts and 531 are solid programs (I've heard - haven't tried them myself). Iirc, 531 has 3 weeks of serious lifting, and then a de-load week. Your lifts should go up after the de-load week. If they aren't... Why?

Maybe inadequate recovery (calorie deficit, sleep, stress, additional physical activity). Maybe you simply aren't trying as hard as you could be. Or maybe you simply need to own the plateau and be patient.

I'd suggest you stick to the program you're already on, as written, for a month or two. If your lifts go up, it's working. Don't think about it, just keep doing it. If not, then you probably need to change something.

What should you change? I dunno. Apparently you don't either, since you're asking us. And lemme tell you, you can go down a rabbit hole of different approaches for years trying to figure out what's not working, while seeing minimal results. So if you're at that point and it's in the budget, I suggest following Andy's advice in the tinder guide and hiring a strength coach.

Of course, if you show up consistently, try hard, and recover, you will see results no matter what else you do. But having an expert tell you specifically what your weaknesses are and how to overcome them will get you results *much faster*. Trust me, I spent years trying different diets, programs, etc, constantly burning out and getting injured. Since I hired a strength coach this summer, I've made more progress in a couple months than I have in years of independent training, without any significant aches and pains, and without ever really trying hard.

Find a good one. If you have cash in hand, you can hire the same coach that might train pro athletes on other days of the week. Their fees are often the same or only slightly higher than the dudebro at 24 hour fitness. The best way to find a good one is through personal recommendations. Your immediate social network is great - but you can also just try asking the best minds in the industry. Straight up ask Jim Wendler if he has recommendations for strength coaches near you if you're a fan of his programs. The whole industry runs off connections, and Jim might have a badass friend he'd love to send business to who lives just a few blocks away.
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Potz
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Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:14 am

@Svadhishthana Thanks for the solid advice, I was trying to crush the weight as hard as possible so OMAD basically eating just a 300 gram ribeye steak a day which is about 870 calories, so I'm fairly certain I'm not getting enough calories to progress on the lifts coupled with not enough sleep so going to address those two key areas for the next 2-4 weeks and reevaluate.

I think getting a strength coach is a great idea and probably a great investment, I will find one near me and give it a go
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