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How to Track Fat Loss Progress

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The thing about calorie formulas is that they are all estimations. You set your calorie deficit based on them in the beginning. But you always adjust it based on results, the rate of fat loss.

This is why in the last video I told you to use the simple equation to estimate maintenance and set the deficit. You’ll have to adjust your intake anyway so we might as well start simple.

Now how do you know if your fat loss plan is set correctly?

You look at two things:
How your weight is changing
How your waist measurement is changing

Let’s start with weight.

The ideal rate of fat loss is between 0.7 and 1% of your body weight per week. For most people this means 1-2 pounds weight loss per week. Or 0.5 to 0.8 kg per week.

You can lose fat faster than this. But the risk of muscle loss, strength loss, and low testosterone is increased. I recommend losing maximum 1% of your bodyweight per week.

You’ll say wait a minute Radu… how do you accurately track weight change? Good question!

You need to use a weekly average. You’ve noticed that your weight can fluctuate a lot between days. Why? Three main reasons for that:

Water retention
A calorie deficit is a stress for the body. Cortisol levels go up and that leads to water retention. A very high fiber intake also contributes to bloating.
Food quantity in your GI tract
You can hit your macros eating 500g of food. Or you can hit the same macros eating 3 kilograms of food. Obviously you’re going to weigh differently based on how much you eat. You could also be constipated.
Hydration status
Did you know that you lose around 1% of your bodyweight through the moisture you exhale while sleeping? Yeah. So you can imagine what a difference your daily water intake makes.
To solve all these tracking problems you need to do a weekly average. You weigh yourself every morning, in your underwear, after you used the bathroom. Then every 7 days, you do an average. That is your real weight. If that is going down every week by around 1%, your progress is great. I’m a paper and pen kind of guy but you can use your phone for this.

But what do you do if your weight is stalling?

This is where measuring your waist becomes important. Your waist circumference around the navel is a very good indicator of fat mass change.

It may be possible for your weight to stay the same and your waist to go down. That’s reason for celebrating! Because it means you’re probably gaining muscle mass so fast that it equals the rate of fat loss. Your bodyweight stays the same, but you’re losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time.

If both your weight and waist are not changing, that’s when you adjust your intake. You need to eat less. The deficit is no longer present.

I recommend you reduce your current calorie intake by 10%. This will restart fat loss.

In terms of training, make sure your strength stays the same. I’ll address this topic in more details in a future video. But for now just know that if you maintain your strength, you also maintain your muscle mass.

In conclusion, this is how you track fat loss:

You set the initial deficit using calorie formulas
You check if your weight goes down by 0.7-1% per week
– if you don’t lose weight, check your waist. If your waist is going down, keep doing what you’re doing.
– if your waist stays the same as well, reduce your calorie intake by 10%
While doing this, make sure you maintain or increase your strength

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