Finally came to the realization that I have become rather overweight and lazy and decided why not perform an interesting scientific experiment (unfortunately with n=1) while I work to remedy at least one of those ailments.
My plan is to examine the differences in body composition changes through the same workout routine but at differing caloric deficits with relatively same diet makeup. I have completed the first four weeks of my experiment while under at least a 1500 kCal deficit (came out to 1637 averaged over the month). I plan to in the following month decrease to only a 1000 kCal deficit while maintaining same routine and level of intensity and then compare the results. After that I will continue to slightly decrease the level of deficit for future months and provide the resulting changes in my fat/lean mass ratio as well as a few other metrics like V02 max/RMR.
Here is the first round of results from 4 weeks of ~1500 caloric deficit.
Male – 31 – 5’10”
Interestingly I saw that my weight change (-13.1 lbs) was 95% fat loss and only 5% lean muscle loss which frankly was well above even my most optimistic predictions which I credit partially to the fairly rigorous workout regimen and careful macro planning.
I utilized the basic form of IF (intermittent fasting). I would fast each day until after my workout and would then eat about half of my calories for the day which consisted of at least 40g of protein (generally more but this was my minimum macro goal). Afterwards I would eat my remaining 2-3 meals of the day at least 2 hours apart which would consist of a minimum of 20g of protein. Would consume on average around 1600 calories a day and had a TDEE calculated at around 3200 with heavy daily exercise. (Never had any protein shakes as I love eating too much which may or may not be how I got here.)
This would mean that I would fast for around 18 hours a day eating my meals within the remaining 6 hour period and I would always enter a workout in my fasted state (mainly due to convenience but I found this to be an excellent psychological motivator for wanting to do my workout as soon as I was free so I could eat.)
Supplements: Additionally I ingest about 200 mg of caffeine through beverages and take daily 5000 IU D3. I also take a multivitamin because I enjoy having expensive urine.
Technically I have a full 7 day routine but I only lift for 6 of the 7 days. Although I do at least 20 minutes of cardio on the treadmill at the start of every workout. With an additional final 10 minutes of cardio on my back/bicep days.
Thursday: Chest + Triceps #1
Friday: Back + Biceps #1
Saturday: Legs + Shoulders #1
Monday: Chest + Triceps #2
Tuesday: Back + Biceps #2
Wednesday: Legs + Shoulders #2
Here are the exact lifts/numbers for each week, I’ve focused on relatively low weight but high volume trying to maintain slow controlled movement. You can ignore the funny symbols after some of them they were a personal note for how the set felt that I used to decide if I should increase/decrease weight for next workout.
Again I plan to for the following 4 weeks decrease my deficit to roughly 1000 kCal/day and then take additional tests at that end of that month to see how it influences change in fat and lean mass. Any feedback or ideas on how to improve my experiment or current performance would be awesome. (form/workout tips always appreciated as I’m fairly inexperienced relying mainly on book knowledge/papers).
VO2 and RMR Note that the VO2 value is taken from the start so it’s likely around 45-46 currently as it is calculated based on your weight and mine has decreased by 5% and it’s unlikely my cardiovascular capacity declined while running over 15 miles a week.
Average Steps Missing first 2 days since I didn’t get the tracker until the third day of my experiment. I have some additional graphs though if people would like to see such as active minutes/heart rate averages etc.
Over -1500 caloric deficit through daily cardio and weightlifting on a heavy protein intermittent fasting diet for 4 weeks ended up losing 13.1 lbs 95% of which was fat. No discernible change in strength, energy, or noticeable effect on metabolism and very minimal hunger cravings. Continuing next month on -1000 deficit to compare results.