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Trying to lose weight while building muscle, doing an aggressive lose 1kg per week target.

Diet is zero carb (not keto, because I do not actively consume a lot of fats) and 2 meals of veg and meat per day only, no snacking.

15 mins before exercise, I consume matcha drink (3 teaspoons, no other added ingredients).

Exercise is done 5 days per week in the morning (Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat)

  • 30mins 4kph - 5kph on treadmill at max incline

Followed by 4 sets of:

  1. Lift 16kg dumbbell, 10 reps (I can only do 3 good reps total max, all the others are lifted halfway)

  2. Hold 16kg dumbbell and use shoulder shrug to lift, 20 reps

  3. Lift 16kg dumbbell, backwards, 20reps.

  4. Crunches 50 reps

  5. Squat while holding the 16kg dumbbell, 50 reps.

  6. Toe lift while holding the 16kg dumbbell, 50 reps.

This totals to about 600kcals (from Samsung Watch 4 Classic).

My weight loss is not going as fast as before, how do I continue to hit the aim of at least 1kg per week? Is there anything I can do to the diet, or exercise routine to improve/optimise it?

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  • Are you doing the same weights every time you train? If you're not making an effort to progress, then your body won't need to get stronger or fitter. It will just get used to the routine.
    – Alec
    Feb 3 at 23:54
  • Yes, using the same weights. I don't think I can go any higher in terms of weights. Physically too challenging and risk injury. Feb 4 at 0:58
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    How did you get to 0 carbs while still consuming vegetables?
    – Luciano
    Feb 4 at 13:47
  • @Luciano I would image they mean excluding vegetables, though I believe proponents of the keto diet offset the amount of fibre in a vegetable with the carbs (I'm not entirely sure of the calculation, but I'm fairly sure it's something like that)
    – Dark Hippo
    Feb 4 at 14:02
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    @Luciano fair point. I'm actually curious which energy pathway they're using. With zero carb and not purposefully loading up on fat, seems to me they'd flag a bit with their training, I know I would.
    – Dark Hippo
    Feb 4 at 14:05

1 Answer 1

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Weight loss = (Calories burned) > (Calories consumed)

How many meals per day doesn't matter as much as how many calories you're eating per day and what's your activity level. You're already exercising 5 days per week, so you need to make sure you're eating less than you burn. Calculate your maintenance calories, track how much you eat and calculate how much you should eat to create a deficit that will get you down 1kg per week. There are many online calculators you can use, for example this one.

That said, over time the body will adapt both to the low calories and the exercise level, so you should change one or the other (or both). So you'll need to gradually increase the activity level, since at some point a very aggressive diet will get on the way of your muscle building objective. The leaner you are, the harder it is to lose body fat.

If you can't increase the weights you lift or the amount of reps, you're not getting stronger = not building muscle. To build more muscle = burn more calories = eat more calories or burn more fat. It sounds counter intuitive, but you might need to increase you calories at some point to be able to continue to lose fat.

You say you eat zero carbs and not a lot of fats, so you're making it really hard for your body to have energy to burn. To lose fat your body still needs to spend some energy, so if you eat very little you'll eventually slow down your progress and neither lose fat nor build muscle!

If for some reason you don't want or can't eat carbs, you need to eat fats. Although usually it's easier to extract energy from carbs than it is from fats (eating fats won't make you fat, it's eating too many calories that will).

Exercises:

Try to keep it simple. Use full body, compound movements (squat, deadlift, bench press, etc) since they recruit more muscles and you'll get stronger faster + burn more calories in less time. Add more weight or more reps over time, there are plenty of beginner lifting programs you can follow with some progression structure.

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  • i think you are going on the assumption that i can do more than 16kgs. i can't. it's my max now. Feb 5 at 1:01
  • @theAnonymous nope! The idea of progressive overload is that, over time, you will be able to lift more than 16kg. You need to do small increments, you won't be able to jump from 50x16kg to 50x24kg. You might need to start with less reps or squat lighter on some days, for example, to have more energy on other days to squat heavier. But you'll probably need to eat more.
    – Luciano
    Feb 7 at 8:52

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