Does resistance training/weight lifting stall fat loss?

(George) #1

My wife has been wanting to get onto a similar workout routine as me, which is pretty much just weightlifting, but is concerned if weight lifting will stall her fat loss progress. She broke a plateau about a month ago and has been steadily losing since then. Has anyone experienced a stall or even a gain?

I’m sort of curious myself. I’m starting to see a positive difference in my body composition (which is probably why she wants to get into it), but I also feel heavier and had a minor gain last week, but not sure if it was from exercise, or from a few pieces of chocolate I had the day before I weighed in (I know, I messed up, never again)

(Ken) #2

It depends. The normal rule is that you have to eat a caloric excess to gain muscle, and have to have a deficit to lose fat.

For people still with deranged metabolisms, there appears to be an initial window where it appears you can do both. There is no such thing as converting fat to muscle, they are two very different things.

The training doctrines for people cutting fat are focused on muscle preservation during fat loss, rather than increasing it. That’s why people focus on one or the other, you can’t really do both at the same time.

IMO, she should just do general exercises while she’s losing fat, weight training can come later.

(George) #3

I thought that having more lean muscle increases the resting metabolic rate, thus resulting in more fat burning.

As far as CICO, she’s either around maintenance intake or above, zero intense exercise (just walking for 20 minutes), but losing weight. I’m a little below maintenance, and have been having weekly losses except for last week where I gained.

Shes around 20 ish lbs away from goal weight, whereas I’m about 45ish lbs away, and would like to preserve what I have muscle-wise while continuing to lose fat.

I’ve been thinking about taking a week or two off myself to see how my body reacts, but haven’t been able to make myself go through with that yet. I just feel like I HAVE to workout. For example, I exercised yesterday as usual, but around 30 minutes before bed I had a random urge to do something physical, so I did a bunch of bicep curls LOL. I slept pretty crappy from doing that, but satisfied the urge

(KetoQ) #4

Hi George –

I know there are lots of discussions on these boards that get into the nitty gritty of muscle building and fat loss, and how to best optimize it.

However, what I believe people should keep in mind foremost is that getting on a weight lifting program, at its essence, is building lean muscle and burning calories. So it should encourage her fat loss progress. Although, she may gain some muscle weight, the body recomposition she will experience will probably feel like weight loss. She’ll probably prefer her body in that more fit and muscular state.

And I think weight training may have an added benefit of helping you stay compliant with your diet and exercise program – especially once you start to see results. As you work so hard to build muscle and get lean, you might think twice about eating the wrong kinds of foods, plus the endorphin rush from working out can be a bit addictive.

So, yes, consistently getting to the gym and developing healthy habits is a win win. Good luck.

(George) #5

Thats the impression I’m under, that building lean mass further stimulates fat loss, but I see so many differing opinions it’s tough knowing what is actually correct.

I know that a woman can realistically gain up to 1lb of lean mass in a month, whereas a man can gain 2lbs of lean mass in a month, so I freaked out a bit last week when I saw 1.6 lb gain on the scale, thinking if it wasn’t the damn chocolate I ate, it must be the exercise, but who knows.

And yes, the endorphin rush is very addicting!


(Full Metal Keto) #6

I believe you are correct George.

The normal rule doesn’t apply on keto I believe, extra protein is key to muscle building which can definitely be done while being a fat burner, calorie excess or deficit (fasting and burning body fat while working out) can both work while muscle building. Paging @Karim_Wassef :weight_lifting_man:t2:‍♂ for more scientific answers! :cowboy_hat_face:

(George) #7

My protein intake has skyrocketed since going mostly carnivore, BUT my fat intake is also pretty high. I think I may need to dial it back and let my body fat do it’s job.


Fat loss definitely keeps going for me, but scale loss completely stalls or reverses as soon as I add weights. It’s why I’ve officially given up on the scale. I have lost plenty of inches, and I am definitely getting stronger, but my weight jumped up when I began weight training a couple weeks ago and is verrrrry sloooowly crawling back down. It’s pretty discouraging, but I’m switching over to measurements now to track progress.

(George) #9

Tell me about it LOL. I wouldn’t mind so much if I was in the 100’s already, but I’m still in the 230’s, and definitely don’t want to be at this weight.

My wife hasn’t done any exercise in 2 months and getting closer to her goal weight every week, I know she’d freak out if she started working out again and the scale numbers reversed on her LOL

What I find interesting is that I’ve been exercising from the beginning (January). I was doing cardio for 1 hour, and weight lifting for around 20 minutes, 5 to 6 days week, and consistently lost weight. I have since eliminated cardio, and only weight lift 3-4x/week for up to 40 minutes or so as of a month and a half ago. Still losing weight, but at a slightly lower rate, except last week which I hope is dietary related (chocolate day before weigh-in, sneaky sugars throughout the week as well)

(Karim Wassef) #10

Weightlifting adds muscle mass and bone density… which increases weight.

We use the term “lose weight” like it’s a good thing. When I went from 255 to 160, I felt weak. I remember one moment when I buddy of mine gave me a bear pat on my back like he always does, and my whole body moved forward.

That felt awful. I had lost so much muscle mass that I couldn’t steady myself without effort.

So I’ve been weightlifting, eating a lot of protein and gained 20lbs back. Some of that is actually fat but I feel much better.

What we really want is to “lose fat”, not lose weight. Weightlifting isn’t necessary but it’s beneficial for strength, health and longevity.

For men, it’s hormonally important too.

Watch Gabrielle Lyon to hear more on this

And Luis Villasenor from ketogains

(Karim Wassef) #11

I’ll add that my body has a hard time being both anabolic (building muscle) and catabolic (losing fat). The hormonal states are different and don’t overlap at the same time.

My approach has been to use time and cycle my states each day. I OMAD to trigger AMPK and be catabolic and then eat massive protein to trigger mToR and insulin for a short window to be anabolic… all in one day.


The first time it happened to me, I definitely freaked out, and it resulted in me pretty much giving up. Now I know the pattern, so I know to expect it. If the weights didn’t “call” to me so much, I would’ve done the smart thing and waited til I hit my goal to start, but I couldn’t resist their siren song any longer. I love lifting weights, and I know the scale will discourage me, so I’m just dropping it altogether.

(Karim Wassef) #13

One more key element for me.

I lost massive fat on keto and fasting. Probably 3/4 of the 95lbs was fat.

However, as I try to get leaner (I’m at 22% bf now), I need to use my fat adaptation to burn my own fat instead of dietary fat. That means that I needed to reduce my fat intake which also reduced my satiety. This is still in keto since I’m <20g carbs but I also target <100g of fat too now. I consume 240g of protein. This would not have worked in the beginning… this is an endgame play now that my body knows how to do it.

Keto needed to do the heavy lifting up front… so I can go high protein lower fat now. This is controversial and YMMV but that’s my path right now.

(Karim Wassef) #14

Was that enough? :smiley:

(George) #15

I’m trying the same thing this week.

(George) #16

Have you considered taking a couple weeks off lifting and seeing if that accelerates fat loss, then resume lifting again?

(Full Metal Keto) #17

Remind me again how long you’ve been eating a keto diet and what your starting weight was George. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Full Metal Keto) #18

It seems to be working for you, you look fantastic. :cowboy_hat_face:

(George) #19

haha 6 months and 18 days, and 297, BUT that was with following a 75/20/5 “balanced” ketogenic diet, with a roughly 80 cardio/20 weight lifting routine, with a 2-3 week break of zero exercise after my wife’s surgery

Now that my protein intake is much higher, dietary fiber is practically non-existent, and my exercise is 100% weight lifting, I’m sure the way my body is working/reacting is much different than my prior approach.

(John) #20

I had been walking and working out with weights last fall when I first got started. I got out of the habit during the winter - weather made it harder to get out for walks, and going too fast too soon with the weights caused me some tendinitis in my right elbow which pretty much required me to stop lifting for a few months.

I started back with both on a regular basis about 4 weeks ago, and have noticed a slowdown in weight loss while seeing visible improvements in muscle definition and a noticeable change in the fit of my pants and belts (they are looser now). I am also adding about 5g of creatine monohydrate per day, which helps with muscle retention in older people when combined with resistance training.

So what is probably happening is some slight increase in actual muscle mass, as well as in increase in the amount of water being retained in my muscles.

Below is what I have seen since starting back to exercising, while not really changing my eating habits much. It took a 58 hour fast to get that -2 the week of 6/10.

Date Weight Wkly Chg
5/20/2019 228 0
5/27/2019 227 -1
6/3/2019 226 -1
6/10/2019 224 -2
6/17/2019 224 0