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Old 07-23-2015, 04:26 PM   #1
FlankNW
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Default Metabolic Rebasing

Hi guys - I've got a question regarding metabolic rebasing (if you don't know the term, you probably will understand once I've finished my question!)

The question is basically, is it actually a thing, and if it is, is it something I should do, I'll give some background on myself, and why I'm asking the question first

So, 5 years ago, I was very fat, drank a lot and didn't do much exercise (I think I was 121kg at 5'11.

I've slowly lost weight over that time, mostly by lifting, playing rugby, and being a bit more careful with what I eat.

Recently I've been hovering about 100kg and not making any more decreases in bodyfat (at 100kg I was 18% bodyfat (measured with electrode and calipers)). In order to change this, I dropped my calories to around 2200-2500 per day (whilst maintaining macros at ~220g protein and ~100g fats, rest made up of carbs/whatever), which I thought was a reasonable deficit, but still didn't see all that much change, the only thing I noticed was that when I ate more, I put on fat quite easily.

Fast forward to last year, I went for a health assessment through work at Nuffield health, with a nutritionist dude etc (this would have cost 600 had I paid for it myself, so I presume they at least have some idea what they're talking about).

The guy there tells me that given my bodyweight and body comp, along with my exercise/activity habits (4 heavy lifting sessions/week + average 2km of walking every day + probably 1 conditioning session per week), I should be on about 3500-3600 kcal per day - this obviously shocked me a bit (as well as making me happy, (who doesn't want to eat more)) the thing is, I then started eating more, and immediately piled on fat again. Convinced this guy was wrong, I dropped back to my 2200-2500kcal, and then my weight obviously stopped moving.

Fast forward to last week, I've been eating a bit more of late, because I've obtained a girlfriend, who likes to feed me and have put on a few kg's (I'm around 103/104 at the moment, but I reckon I've probably got a bit more muscle than I did last year), I'm obviously starting to get worried again, that this is me putting on fat through eating too much.... What happened next week was this-

I'm working away from home on a project, one of the guys in my team is a skinnny Chinese guy who does no exercise and weighs 58kg has been on the project with me for ages, I notice that he's actually eating more than me and not getting fat. Now, this has kind of made it dawn on me that maybe there was something in what the guy told me last year.

I had a chat with a few mates who are very into their fitness and work as personal trainers/nutrition specialist with professional sports teams, and they all seem to agree that my problem is that I'm eating too little.

Anyways, they've said that I should be trying to 'rebase' my metabolism, by eating ~3.5-4k calories per day, apparently I'll get a little fatter in the short term but it will normalise and I'll stop gaining wait after a couple of lbs, and it will mean that I can actually cut weight, whereas the place I'm in right now, there's no real way I can cut any more, and any excess will just immediately turn in to fat.

What are you guys opinions of this kind of thing - I'm obviously still a little sceptical as otherwise I wouldn't be asking, do you think it's something that will work for me? Any opinions are welcome, own experiences/anything more scientific is obviously welcome as well.

TL; DR: I have been told i'm undereating, should I start eating quite a lot more to rebase my metabolic rate and be able to actually cut fat again.
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:41 PM   #2
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If your concern is to lower your bodyweight and get leaner, then less calories is the way to go.

There is a point where the calories are too low and your body starts to resist weight loss. That is one end of the hormonal range.

If calories are too high, the body will rapidly gain weight.

Here's what I think is the rub...

If you pass a hormonal line that puts you into the "easy weight gain" mode, then getting back below that line is difficult. Meaning, that even if you undereat for a while, you'll hit a weight loss/body fat loss wall. Nothing you do will seem to reset your metabolism.

The keys will be to err on the side of less than maintenance calories for a long time and avoid any over-eating. You want your "muscle growth" calories to come from your body, not your food intake.

You should also make sure your lifting is really focused on progress or you won't really be demanding adaptation. In addition, whatever your baseline activity level, you should look for low-impact ways to increase activity level without hurting recovery. Walking/biking to a store instead of driving, stretching/mobility drills throughout the day, getting a manual push mower instead of gas-powered, etc. Whatever keeps you moving.

Closely scrutinize your diet for foods that have unnatural chemicals and/or cause inflammation and reduce them.

Your macro ratios could be wrong for you. Typical protein requirements, avoiding carbs or fats, etc. may not apply to you. Protein recommendations are often highly overstated, carbs are not always evil and fats are essential. General guidelines that work for most should be questioned.

Supplements like CLA, ZMA, fish oil, etc may hlp in some cases.
Extra fiber will help if you are underserved there.

Lastly, consider a 24-hour water-only fast 1-2 times per year. this is both cleansing and reminds your body to use it's survival mechanisms to access fat stores.

I won't list all my personal experience and observations of people and animals that lead me to these statements, but I think these combined will do the trick.

Expect slow and steady results, not rapid changes...it could be 2-3 years before you really recondition and re-comp the way you want to.
You should feel good and strong the whole time. If you feel miserable all the way, it's not healthy or sustainable.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:47 AM   #3
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I think you're going to get fat real quick if you double your calories.

I agree with JD. These changes can sometimes take years. Small macro adjustments might help, like making the move to fewer carbs. You could also try calorie or carb cycling, or even 4 week blocks of low carb eating.

Increasing activity level might be need at this time. Do you perform any HIIT?
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:27 AM   #4
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Hey FlankNW - I struggle with this issue as well. I've been on a diet since March and let me just say it has been a slow process. Given my workout routines (very intense) and the number of calories I consume (currently around 2250) I assumed that the fat would just melt off me. But, no. It has been a battle. But, then I start thinking like you - maybe I'm not eating enough? But, then that just doesn't make sense to me.

I agree with what JD says - you do reach a point where your body does resist more fat loss. I know because I am experiencing it. I have gone as long as two weeks without dropping any weight - it's frustrating because I put myself through hell for the week and the scale doesn't move. But, then, the next week I'll see a little movement.

So, I guess, I say keep at it. Eat below maintenance and continue doing that. For some of us, I believe, it's extremely difficult. I'm down almost 20lbs from where I started. It has been a huge battle for me but I struggle on. Keep at it and good luck.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:16 AM   #5
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disclaimer: I've never tried to cut weight before, I'm on a permabulk.

The only way I think a calorie surplus might work is for you to divide your meals up throughout the day. Eating 3,000 calories over 5-6 meals might spike your metabolic rate, as your body may get used to a steady flux of food, it may be more likely to relinquish some fat.

Just a speculation. Good luck!!
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Old 07-24-2015, 01:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I think you're going to get fat real quick if you double your calories.

I agree with JD. These changes can sometimes take years. Small macro adjustments might help, like making the move to fewer carbs. You could also try calorie or carb cycling, or even 4 week blocks of low carb eating.

Increasing activity level might be need at this time. Do you perform any HIIT?
Flank - I agree with btb. As a large dude myself (142kg and losing) consistent HIIT and a balanced whole food diet while removing processed carbs is the only way to go.
I've heard that term "metabolic rebaselining" and I strongly believe its bro science. You can accomplish this with cycle pharms (T3, Clen, ephidrene) but I don't recommend it. BBrs live eight weeks of their lives (and sometimes die) that way.
As for nutritionalists, they are just like psychiatrists and wives.... they have to over complicate everything to justify their existence.
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Old 07-24-2015, 01:36 PM   #7
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Solid info from JD. This video on reverse dieting may be useful as well.

Its a bit long ~ 30 min, but the gist is simple - body gets used to low calories during dieting, and weight loss is harder. If you increase the food intake fast, you get fat fast. You increase the food intake ever so slightly, and do it over a longer period of time to get to a "normal" level, the metabolism slowly recovers.

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Old 07-25-2015, 02:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandbox View Post
Flank - I agree with btb. As a large dude myself (142kg and losing) consistent HIIT and a balanced whole food diet while removing processed carbs is the only way to go.
I've heard that term "metabolic rebaselining" and I strongly believe its bro science. You can accomplish this with cycle pharms (T3, Clen, ephidrene) but I don't recommend it. BBrs live eight weeks of their lives (and sometimes die) that way.
As for nutritionalists, they are just like psychiatrists and wives.... they have to over complicate everything to justify their existence.
Hey, Hey, I got my degree in nutrition, and I for one do not make it complicated, no do I agree with everything when research it is right and I'm not your Mrs. telling to pick you after yourself and every time I had to work with someone from mental health I find them as looney as the patients they treat.
For anyone looking to loose body fat and weight, KISS principle applies less intake, more out put, and that mean carb cycling, some increased cardio and keep the weight heavy as possible to keep your muscle mass that basically what is needed as common since also applies Sand Box I'm not Mad at you Bro!
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:21 AM   #9
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To reset you metabolism. You need to really get below 10% BF first. Something around 7-8%. Then Slowly raise Cal. every week by 500.. Do this till you gain more fat then you want. When that happens. Drop back -500 for a week and try going up 500 again then next week. You may have to flip flop like that a couple times till for it to work.

I've read some guys are taking in 4k-6k Daily and still staying lean. It just takes time. Some that have already lower BF can do it quicker, but it may take a year to reset. The good thing is once you have done this. It makes dropping BF much easier.

I'm actually doing this right now. Along with Carb Cycling.
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramrod View Post
You need to really get below 10% BF first. Something around 7-8%.

some guys are taking in 4k-6k Daily and still staying lean.
That's one of the hormonal threshholds I mentioned.

Once the metabolism is re-programmed, it will be almost as hard to gain weight as it currently is to lose it.

Getting there is the challenge FLANK is dealiing with.
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