Back when I started my first goal (losing 40 pounds or more off of my then-fat-ass), I started to notice some changes the leaner I got. At first, when I set up the numerical data for my diet around my personal particulars, I lost weight real easy. I attribute this to something like: Rolling along feeding your face with whatever, and eating an abundance of calories over maintenance--then suddenly without warning (like falling off a cliff), calories stop coming in as abundant (setting calorie deficit), and the bodily reaction was very strong, and weight came off reletively easy--even in my mid 40's + at the time.
This is normal for most peeps in this sort of circumstance. The metabolic reasons for this response are obvious-at least to me. In short, my body was acustomed to or adapted to an abundance of calories, and adjusted to this metabolically. When I changed things (or put the brakes on) it reacted favorably--which is logical when you think in terms of metabolic adaptions. In addition, my body fat was high at the time.
The more I dieted, however, the more I learned just how wonderful "adaption mechanic" the body is. For several months, a set deficit of calories worked (macros did not matter-in the perspective of fat loss); however, after a few months, and the leaner I got, things began to change. At about 10/11% BF, I remained stagnant with the same amount of calories (and same exercise regime, albeit other activity), and the fat loss stalled for about 2 weeks.
The first adjustment, I made was tweaking the deficit down another 200 calories. I should note here that, I also adjusted my MT-line as my weight dropped, to adjust to the new calorie level (per body weight reduction).
Numerically on paper, this worked out to be about 1.5 (approx) per week, but as I would learn, this is NOT what would happen in reality. The next two weeks, were nearly identical to the previous two. With the exception, I lost a small amount, but it was not even close to the numerical numbers I worked out for my individual particulars. So, we have a month of no progress at this point.
At the time, what I did not reason with is the fact that, just as my body had adjusted to the large amount of calories at the beginning (and I got a strong response when this changed), it has also metbolically adjusting over several months to the amount of calories I have been eating--to the point it became VERY EFFICIENT
in what I was feeding it, though it was in a deficit. It slowed down metabolic expensive operations, sped up others, made hormonal adjustments, and simply was an efficient calorie (and energy pathway) bastard (
Though (the aformentioned) is personal, this is NOT an uncommon experience with a lot of dieters.
Some at this point, will resort to so-called metabolic stimulants, as a easier (or helpful) way out, without adjusting other aspects of the diet (macro-nutrients, re-feeds, gearing weight training as an AIDE to fat loss, etc, etc,), other then setting another different deficit. But, lowering deficits further can only go so far, and most certainly will not be a helpful assistant in keeping muscle
(look what happened to the holocost survivors, and the paper examining their dietary contents). Some will throw up there hands and say they tried everything, when in reality they haven't--the one that worked.
My thinking is this. Since my body has uncanny adaption mechanics, where it can adjust its metabolic properties in accordance to what---I DO TO IT--and this is natural.....then there MUST be a natural way to make an adjustment to its adjustments
. Working to get lean is different in the sense of what problems you are working WITH as compared to building muscle as the primary purpose goal point. A this point, I examined what was done, and what was not done in the dietary sense, and what I was facing. What I was facing was a metabolic slow down (keeping things simple), I haven't tweaked macro-nutrients, I haven't worked in planned re-feeds, I haven't worked in any (additional or tweaked the existing) metabolic weight training and/or cardiovascular work (realizing here that weight training and cardiovascular exercise can have vastly different energy pathways used, which is key to understand). In other words, the natural oppportunities are available. The only problem was which combination would work for me.
To make this short. At this point, I studied the "appropriate" papers relating to my specific problem.....heck its no closer than the finger tips of my hands. I was asked by very close friend to purchase a few books, and read them as it most related to my goal-position problem. I read some books written by Lyle Mcdonald, and he passed all the "common sense educational flags", I put up when I read things. In short, I brought my deficit back to where it once was (right at the start of the problem), reduced carbohydrates, and set a metabolic-circuit and carbohydrate-focused weighted training regime (albiet modified from the protocol, Lyle Proposes). After a specified length, added in re-feeds, and this worked like charm (to make this very short).
Lyle does support (but DOES NOT require), certain supplments, where one is working with depletion sets. One is Yohimbine HCL (At specific doses, and empty stomach, as insulin tends to reduce the effects), because of the specific properties it poses on specific inhibotors in fat tissue-pointing to resistent tissue) and hormonal properties, and others. But, he doesn't approve many.
Though I drink coffee, and has the stimulant Caffiene, I didnt like the level of heart rate increase some experienced using a good grade Yohimbine HCL, and never used it, and didn't need it--natural remedies WORKED. And, I may point out, I drink a lot of coffee per day, and it had no effect when I was having plateau issues with tissue loss at that time. It was useless in this persepctive. I just like it, though.
My point here is to THINK.......Think right. Natural recourses are available to you, and the manipulation of these are only limited to the amount of education (and the amount of education you want to learn).