Ask a Nutrition & Training Coach Anything!


Awsome, I’d apreciate it! Right now, I’m just doing 5 situps, and 2-3 pushups every other night. My goal isn’t really strenght training, but I’m not sure what exercises burn more fat.

Even better, if your suggested exercises don’t rely on weights. Just your own body.


I’d forget exercise for burning fat, a calorie deficit (diet) is the only thing that burns fat, strength training will help your body composition look/feel/move better… although it will burn calories a bit, its not enough to burn a significant amount of fat (unless done for hours daily)

Diet = fat loss

Strength training = look/feel/move better and aids the calorie deficit/allows you to eat a tiny bit more

Cardio = improves cardio and aids the calorie deficit/allows you to eat a tiny bit more

Will deffo knock up something soon, its on the ‘to do’ list :slight_smile:


That has just summed me up perfectly. I really folded Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Needed this.


I apreciate that, but I think you misunderstand. The goal isn’t to give more calories for me. I’m not trying to eat more. Its more me noticing my weigh loss is steadying out. And instead of decreasing further, as I’m having trouble staying within my limits most days as it is, I’m hoping to do exercises to help keep that weight loss going.

I’m 10 lbs shy of my current goal. Its sooo close I can almost taste it.


Got you!

Ok, so my advice isn’t what you’e going to want to hear in the short term, but for the long term & to hit your goal this is going to be KEY!

I means what’s the point of hitting that goal, doing tons & tons of exercise & struggling with hunger forever to stay at that goal weight… in all likely hood you wouldn’t be able to maintain it & would just put some weight back on after hitting it temporarily…

You’ll have to trust me on this…

You need to take a diet break, to put yourself in a better position to keep moving forward (1 step back, to move 2 steps forward)

Have a look at how much weight you’ve been losing over the past few weeks (maybe 2) and if calories have been the same throughout that time, however many pounds/lbs you’ve lost ADD 500 calories

1/2 lb loss = 250
1lb loss = 500
2lb loss = 100 etc etc

We’re basically going to your ‘new’ maintenance calories (to maintain your current condition) for at least 2 weeks (2-4) to let you recover hormonally & also the stress that the body goes through which causes resistance to keep losing fat, which can also cause water retention (plus the mental break - who wants to be in a calorie deficit forever? it’s no way to live. It should be get in & get out as fast as possible whilst being sensible)

Now, when you up your calories your ‘SCALE’ weight will most likely increase, due to the extra food in the gut plus an increase in carbs will bring some water with it, BUT keep in mind it’s IMPOSSIBLE to gain fat at maintenance, so it’s just water not fat.

do that for 2-4 weeks, then you should be able to go back into a deficit but on slightly more calories, you’ll obviously see a drop in scale weight due to the excess water dropping but the stress on your body from the prolonged deficit will be less plus hormonal adaptations will have taken place (better performing metabolism & you’ll just feel better)

Then you can continue on-wards to smash your goal, which you should find quite a bit easier .

Sounds backwards I know, but If you’ve ever trusted anything I’ve said, trust me on this one.

@TonyC might be able to give you some insight from his experience with this

Realistically we want to be taking a break & coming out of maintenance every 6-12 weeks (the leaner more often)

There’s also some solid evidence showing that 2 weeks on 1 week off brings about the same results as 3 weeks of straight dieting (due to the fatigue causing subconsious adherence issues)



um…what? That is the most confused I’ve ever been since I started this whole journey back in august.

In order to move forward, I need to add 500 per pound I’ve lost? And this won’t gain fat?

Yea, I’ve been doing this calorie deficit since august with no breaks. Sure. But…how does adding calories help when your weight loss steadies out?

And, just saying I do trust you on this, how do I know how long to keep this up for? What signs am I looking for, to tell me when its good to start a deficit again?


Sorry, maybe I didnt explain very well.

Your body basically needs a break from the diet/deficit for hormonal/metabolism recovery as you’ve been in a deficit for so long,

So we need to temporarily come out of the deficit and go up to maintenace for to allow for the recovery

For example you’re losing 1lb per week, thats a decifit of 3500 calories, which is 500 per day, so in that case adding 500 per day would bring you upto maintenance

remember you cant gain fat at maintenance, they’re simply the amount of calories that will ‘maintain’ your current condition, to gain fat you need to be in a calorie surplus (and to lose fat a deficit)

2 weeks at maintenance should be fine, then you can drop calories again and you should find that everything performs/responds better as your metabolism will have had a ‘boost’ if you will, plus the important mental break that people tend to ignore

Hope this makes sense?


a little yea. so after that 2 week period, how far to I decrease it down to? do I do a slow decrease or a sudden drop off?


I’ve done it a few times kept pushing pushing pushing and usually break down have a blowout then feel shite. Mentally it’s easier planning to stay in a calorie deficit for so long then know your going to go to maintenance calories for a week or two. Your on maintenance calories so you won’t add any weight just recharging the batteries ready to go again .


It’s up to you mate,

If you’ve been struggling with hunger yo could drop slightly by 200-300 calories or so, if you’re now losing weight on more calories than before, GREAT!

If you don’t want to take it slowly & ensure you go straight back into losing you’d just remove the amount of calories from your maintenance to reach your target loss per week.

a target of 1lb per week = 500 per day, 2lb = 1000 etc


Better explained than me in less than half the words lol


:raised_hand: for sure


ok, one last thing from me.

When I first started, MFP recommended a 2k (2,000) limit. When I did that, I gained weight. Now adding 500 calories to my current limit will put me at 2.1k (2,100). So are you quite sure I won’t actually gain weight?


Maintenance Calories…

Hi - I’ve spent the last two weeks tracking my intake with a fair amount of detail.

My average daily intake over the 14 days was 2,220 calories.

My average weight for Week 1 was 175.6lb

My average weight for Week 2 was 174.47lb

Does a 1.13lb loss imply that my maintenance calories = 2720lb?

That doesn’t seem right to me, so I assume that I’ve misunderstood the maths. Not for the first time, either…

Any thoughts?


Hi mate,

Forget MFP recommendations, it’s just a random guess.

How many calories have you been consuming over the past 2 weeks, & how much weight have you lost during that time?



(people usually under estimate how much they eat by AT LEAST 50%, crazy right?)


Hidy ho,

Yea, I figured that out when I started gaining weight. I adjusted my desired weight loss to 1.5 lbs a week, and it moved that number to 1740. Then I started to plateau, and I moved it myself to 1600. And I’ve kept it there.

For the most part, I’ve been keeping it under 1600 per day for at least a month now. Maybe 2.

I did have 1 bad day, in the past 2 weeks, when I had to stay in a hotel for a storm. I still entered everything, as close as I could get it for that day. But It was still 750 over.

Looking back, 2 weeks to my last weigh in, I’m down 1.3 lbs. I do have to weigh myself tomorrow, so that might change to a gain due to that one day.

Also, I’m not trying to argue. More pointing out that 2k calories had me gaining weight when I first started. And your recommendation to add 500 for my daily allotment will have me at 2,100 calories. Which is more then my initial 2k. And since I gained when I first started, my limited knowledge is saying that would have me start gaining again.

Which is fine I guess. I’ve already lost close to 60 lbs. So I know I can lose it again, but wouldn’t that be counter productive? Gaining weight to loose weight seems bass ackwards.


Ok so since there’s 3500 calories in 1lb of fat, over 7 days that’s 500 per day

since you’ve lost 1.3lbs over the past few weeks on the same calories, it’s means that you’re in a deficit of just over 500 calories, which means you’re about 500 calories below your maintenance calories (1.3lbs is more like 650 calories, but everybody eats more than they think so I’d lean on the cautious side)

Re-read my earlier notes about why scale weight WILL increase due to water & extra food in the gut, but fat gain is impossible if you’re at maintenance (maintenance is maintenance not surplus)

Re-read my earlier notes about why you need a diet break



Ok, I’m a little nervous about un-doing all of my work to date. But I’m willing to trust the folks on this forum and give it a shot…I just need to measure my waistline during this time to see if I actually gain weight or not.


You’re not undoing anything mate, you’re simply ‘taking a break from weight loss’ & allowing your body, mind, metabolism etc to recover so you can have another dig into it soon :slight_smile:

PS - you WILL gain ‘weight’ (mostly water from increasing food/carb intake & food content in the gut/body etc), but you can’t gain ‘fat’ at maintenance.