Weight Loss is… confusing

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I got mixed answers (unsurprisingly) on the jpfitness forum. A few of the regulars referred me to Leigh, in a fat loss forum, so I’m taking the advice with a grain of salt.

The general opinion against a program like NROLFW, for women who want to see size and weight loss is that a lifting program will not produce the desired results, it is generally only for people who have little to no weight to loose and want to improve their body composition…

???

Leigh is quite negative about the idea of building muscle to reduce fat:

To be blunt, the whole “muscle trade out” thing is kind of a crock. Don’t get me wrong, a slight amount of muscle can be gained and water with it. However it depends on your “level” of fat loss needed. If you have 30 pounds to lose, sorry the scale should move. If you have 20 pounds to lose, the scale should move. The less you have to lose though, the less drastic the movement will be. …

This [increasing muscle to increase your BMR] is overrated. It takes a large amount of muscle to increase basal rate of burn. Non-exercise activity is way more important than muscle to caloric burn.

She limits fat-loss success on programs like NROLFW to people who have the right genes/lifestyle/willpower/health.

On the optimistic side she does say that it is possible, if eating at a caloric deficit, to control if you are loosing fat or muscle:

Not true. You can have a huge role in controlling if muscle or fat is loss. This is where tailoring your macro intake becomes key. If you keep your protein intake at a certain level and stimulate muscle, even on the smallest levels sometimes, you should have no problem maintaining mass.

People freak out about muscle loss and it just isn’t as easy as people think it is IF you are eating right and moving a little. I am not suggesting that the common person or even researched person understand what that is, but I assure you it isn’t complicated.

However she does flag that you may see a drop in metabolism if you have a significant amount of fat to loose, apparently significant in this case is more than 20 lbs and less than 100 lbs.

For Leigh it comes down to reduce the calories and bring back the light activity until the weight is lost, then work on body comp:

NROL is not the “technical” reason you and others can’t lose fat. The technical reason is you are eating to much to see results.

Now, can this program be contributing to that factor? Possible. It is highly aggressive in the lifting and women respond to rises in cortisol by eating and eating a lot. Most of you would be better served just eating in a deficit and doing some light work a few times a week until you got the fat off and THEN work towards a body recomp program towards the desired look you want.

Needless to say, I am somewhat confused.

The book says the exact opposite, but the diet book industry is less than reliable.

This person is fairly respected on the jpfitness forum, but then forums are not the most reliable place for advice either.

What I do know is this:

I have in the past 8 years been unable to consistently maintain a 1,500 cal/day or lower diet.

I can maintain healthy eating habits, with relative ease.

I did loose and keep off 6 dress sizes going slowly from 3,000 cal/day down to 1,500 (just wasn’t able to keep it at 1,500 long term).

My weight loss with slow calorie reduction was accompanied by light exercise, that is 30 min elliptical, 30 min treadmill, some floor ab exercises and some light weights exercises.

I have absolutely NO idea what the right balance between calories and exercise is. My only solution right now is to try to watch and see if the scale goes down as food goes down, and exercise increases.

My plan at the moment is to try to get a caloric range between 1,500 and 2,000 cal/day and test out exercise programs that incorporate some of the lifting from NROLFW, some of Health Habits HIIT programs and maybe I put the light cardio back in.

Generally…. very confused.

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