Lose Weight/Body Fat Plateau

(Mario) #1

Hey team! I’m a 30yo male looking to get lean after a long bulking phase. I’m currently 77kgs (170lbs) at 17% bf and aiming to lose around 7% of body fat while maintaining the muscle mass I’ve gained.

I’m currently eating 1800 calories split between 120g of Fat, 160g of Protein and 20g of Carbs. Tracking calories every day (really strict with it) and I’m vegetarian.

I’m also doing IF and only eating between 4-8pm. Exercising about 5/6 times per week, alternating between weights and cardio and have just started taking MCT oil.

Had lost quite a bit of fat to begin with but it seems to have slowed down and plateaued a bit. Does anyone have any recommendations on things I could do to help the process?

Have been considering doing a Fat Fast but just really conscious of maintaining muscle mass (I know that Ketosis helps to prevent muscle breakdown but I still feel like I’ve lost some muscle mass through this process so far).

It’s really just belly fat I have to lose now - which I know is usually last to go - I’ve lost around 8cms (3.15") off my waist in around 5 weeks but now it seems to be stagnant there.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and thank you so much!!

(Old Baconian) #2

Welcome to the forums!

The only requirement for a ketogenic diet is eating low carbohydrate. We recommend an upper limit of 20 g/day. This is virtually guaranteed to lower your serum glucose, and hence your serum insulin, to ketogenic levels. We also recommend a moderate protein intake, 1.0-1.5 g/kg of lean body mass/day, for a number of reasons. You will probably want to eat at the top of that range. Some experts recommend going as high as 2.0 g/kg/day.

We do not recommend eating to a caloric target, because this can cause metabolic issues if the amount is not sufficient. Instead we recommend, in addition to the low carbohydrate and moderate protein, an amount of dietary fat that satisfies your hunger. This may be a lot of food at first, but people with excess fat to shed generally find that their appetite quickly moderates to a level that allows both the dietary and the excess fat to be metabolised.

There is a period of fat adaptation, during which the muscle mitochondria heal, and certain cellular pathways are reactivated. You may notice a drop in performance during this adaptation period. Fear not, it will return. Endurance generally returns to pre-keto levels or better within six to eight weeks. Explosive power takes longer, but by two years into the diet, the glycogen of a ketoadapted athlete is identical to the glycogen of a carb-burning athlete. My belief is that the glycogen probably returns to normal much sooner than two years, but that’s the only data we have at the moment. You may need to moderate your exercise until fully fat-adapted; this is perfectly normal.

I wouldn’t recommend fasting during fat adaptation. Certainly, if you try it and there’s a problem, stop. Many people find themselves fasting almost by accident, and if you get to that point, then certainly it’s fine to fast.

Fat loss is never a linear process. You are probably close enough to what your body thinks an ideal composition for the fat to come off slowly, so don’t get impatient. The primary benefits of a ketogenic diet are metabolic, resulting from low serum glucose and low serum insulin. Fat loss is more in the nature of a side effect. Moreover, it won’t happen on insufficient calories, which is why we recommend eating to satiety. But wait until fat adaptation to judge whether this way of eating is for you or not. That’s my recommendation, anyway.

Give this a shot for about six months. It generally takes that long for blood work to look reasonable. If you have problems along the way, we are here to help.

(Butter Withaspoon) #3

Hi Mario and welcome!
You’re pretty lean really and doing a good amount of exercise, so my thoughts are that the combination of such a short eating window every day, and eating keto, may be too much if you’re concerned about maintaining protein. I’m just guessing, but if it doesn’t feel right you could experiment with longer eating windows for most of the time 8 10 or even 12 hours.

Sometimes pushing too hard from too many directions can backfire a little. Cutting down to 10% body fat is pretty lean (I think??) so take it slow, or stay there briefly (after a good photo shoot! :smile:). Grow well!

(Edith) #4

Are you still losing weight and it has slowed to a pound or two a week? If so, that’s normal and healthy. The initial large amount of weight loss drops off after a bit, especially for those who do not have a lot of weight to lose.

If you are still losing, that is what matters.

Also, I have found that even when I stopped losing weight my body composition was still changing and I lost fat but gained muscle. That’s occurred over several years, though.

Finally, I’m a 55 year old, 5’3”’woman. You are eating about the same amount of calories that I eat. I don’t think you are eating enough for all your exercise and size.


It seems you lose fat wonderfully, if it slowed down or stopped for a week, it’s not a stall yet, maybe you are a bit too impatient?
It seems you do things right and I wouldn’t worry about not losing fat unless it’s a way longer time than this. It should work according to my knowledge about cutting. Of course, I don’t know the needs of your body but the numbers sound right and you must know your own energy need. If you would some random guy, I would write maybe 1800 is too low, it is for some with your weight and activity, even with less muscles… While it works for many hobby bodybuilders at this weight. But you probably have a good reason to eat as much (or little) as you do…

Yes, I eat around this on my best times myself but I don’t lose and every important detail is vastly different.
Bodybuilders, even amateur ones means business when cutting, they aren’t fine with a snail’s pace. They do some impressive pace that is still safe enough (if they are smart. some bodybuilders do very stupid things. but it’s not hard to find good information). 1800 kcal is enough for some. I saw such people, height like my SO’s, muscle mass an extra 20kg… And he cut with this little or a bit more, I don’t remember if it was 1800 or 2000 kcal. Meanwhile my SO was very hungry at 2500 but slimmed down (not 7% though, he never wanted that) quickly while you would think he needed to go lower than the bodybuilder. So we can’t really compare even similar people as there is a huge personal factor if it’s about energy need.

(Robin) #6

I have one suggestion for that plateau…. Don’t look at it that way. And not a stall. My body stops losing every 5 pounds or so for weeks or months (while I change nothing) and then starts down the road again. Makes sense to me. My body has learned not to trust me over time. And I don’t blame it… feast or famine. So, I believe my body is on a long hike and stops to take stock, breathe, and find a new balance… then it’s back to the slow slog. Nothing wrong with that. maintenance is also progress. Be patient, walk away from the scales for a bit, relax. You got this.

(Mario) #7

Hey everyone, thank you SO much for your responses! I really appreciate you all pitching in!! :blush:

The truth is I’m actually trying to get ready for a photoshoot on the 1st of December so I’m on quite a tight schedule. This is more of a fantastic method for me to get into shape with it rather than a permanent lifestyle change which is why I can’t wait months unfortunately.

I’ve been looking into doing a fat fast for around 3 days which seems like a great method for kick starting things again. Also considering doing a 24-48 hour fast to help push myself a bit further into ketosis.

(I’m not peeing as purple anymore on the strips but I know that could just be cause my body is more fat adapted and thus I’m not getting rid of excess ketones like I did at the beginning - I’ve got a blood keto meter on the way but the post is taking forever atm so might still be another week away till I can have a more accurate reading).

Does anyone have much experience with fat fasting? And does anyone know whether it would cause any muscle loss in that time?

Thank you all again!!

(Butter Withaspoon) #8

Photoshoot, I knew it!
I would just mix it up a bit. You’ve probably just adapted to using your ketones so peeing less out, that’s normal.

Have a fasting or very low food day to use some more body fat, followed by keto feasting days that maintain metabolic rate and muscle building. If you fat-fast this works to lower insulin but you don’t really burn any of your own fat because you’re ingesting plenty.

Possibly a 24 to 36 hour fast once per week for a few weeks with the other days being good protein keto days could help. Don’t fast more than you need and make sure you feel good and that energy is good. If it were me I’d only be doing one 24 hour bone broth fast per week. Take care

Edit: remember weight loss and fat loss aren’t linear. You might challenge your insulin to go lower, then show your body you’re not in a famine, then your body takes some time to think about it before using that belly fat.
Rule no 1: feel good!


I only know the fat fast where one eats very low-cal but mostly fat. It must be great for fat burn (but it can’t matter very much for most people as it’s super short) and it’s surprisingly satiating. Not like I do low-protein for “long” so I quit mine on the second day, I am a bit paranoid about that. But whenever I eat mostly fat, it’s interestingly great for satiation, no matter the type of fat. With a more proper protein intake it’s vastly different.

(Edith) #10

I don’t know much about them, but you may want to look into a protein sparing modified fast. It’s considered for temporary use only, but you might try it a couple of times between now and December.

Maybe this link may shed some light on it.

(Mario) #11

Yes! This is SUPER helpful! Thanks so much Hallie!!

I’ve heard about this with fasting days or even low fat days - which was the idea I’d read about fat fasting - where straight after the fat fast you have a very low fat day which encourages your body to use its stored fat instead. But I wonder if I could implement this ideology even without the fat fast! I’m gonna implement some 24-36 hour fasts as you said cause I enjoy doing those anyway! But I wonder if some occasional low fat days might help too?

On the feasting days you mentioned, would I eat more calories than usual and if so how much more?

And yes feeling good is always super important!! I’ve actually felt great through all of this and I absolutely LOVE fasting so I actually feel a lot better now than when I was bulking and force feeding myself all the time :joy:

(Mario) #12

Thanks so much @Shinita ! Yup that’s what I’ve heard and yeah fat is always super satiating, it’s so interesting isn’t it! I’m gonna look into it some more :slight_smile:

@VirginiaEdie that’s super interesting too! I’m gonna read up on the protein-sparing modified fast!! Thanks so much!!

(Butter Withaspoon) #13

At this point I’m gonna say you have to figure it out for your body because there’s some trial and error and I’m not a body builder so I might be missing something. For me, if I’m keto and wanting to grow muscle, eating a bit over some days seems like a good idea. Sometimes I have big eating days, occasionally I’ll fast for longer than 14 hours. I feel that mixing it up is good. I think I look pretty incredible for someone my age who has never been to a gym :woman_shrugging:

Love your post, super positive and happy, great progress!

(Mario) #14

Yup ultimately the biggest thing is figuring out our own bodies so will do! That all makes a lot of sense though so really helpful. And that’s awesome, keep up the great work with looking and feeling fit!!

I’ve been learning a lot from Thomas DeLauer on YouTube too, he’s got so much great information!

Thanks SO much for all your advice and help and keep up the amazing work!! :smile::heart:

(UsedToBeT2D) #15

I have plateaued as well after 2+ years and 50 lbs down, but the stubborn belly fat just doesn’t seem to want to go. I’ve read some about coffee/ insulin sensitivity, and I had been drinking a lot of coffee. I have switched to hot tea, and over the past 2 weeks I have noticed a slight loosing of the belt. But too early to tell.
Is it the coffee or caffeine? Admittedly, I drink much less tea than I used to drink coffee.


No, fat isn’t always satiating, I personally find added fat not satiating, maybe at all… (Except on super low-protein days but I almost never do them, I tried out fat fast and egg fast and quickly abandoned both. I need my protein to feel right.)
Many people can overeat fat using certain items (fatty processed meat products, for example. or cheese. or nuts. or something very different). Satiation is very individual.
Don’t you have such items to help with bulking? I know some people get satiated when reaching some macros but most(? but surely many) of us have some control, we just need to choose different items - or change the number of meals.
I suppose you tried what you could and it didn’t work well enough (eating over your need for a long time is probably not something anyone can do easily even if they have items they seem to eat in a nearly endless loop… I could pull it off I am sure), I just don’t know what you did and wonder about things.


I see a few things that concern me, you’re fresh off a bulk and only eating 1800cals/day? That’s pretty damn low man! What were your calories during your bulk, and how long have you maintained before starting to cut? Going straight from bulk to cut always ends will more gains lost than if you held on a while first. Your protein would be fine normally, but since you’re a veggie your protein sources (sorry) aren’t as good, and typically not as bio available. I’d up it to compensate. I’d 100% stay the hell away from fasting. You’ve got enough going against you.

Don’t cut back on your lifting! You’re now eating less calories, eating under your bodyweight in protein, lifting less, and now fasting, your body is getting a clear signal it doesn’t need to hold on to that extra muscle. Make sure the food protein (meaning not supplemented in) is complete!