To lose fat you need to be in a Caloric deficit.
However, the biggest mistake I see skinny-fat guys make is to have an aggressive Calorie deficit.
An aggressive Calorie deficit will at first help you lose more weight, but there are many big downsides:
- Metabolism: Your metabolism will slow down. This means that you will need to cut food intake further to sustain fat loss.
- Hunger: When your food intake is already low and you have to cut food intake further to support fat loss, you will get unbearable levels of hunger.
- Loss of muscle mass: You will lose a lot of muscle mass and end up looking skinny and starved instead of lean.
- Low testosterone levels: Your natural testosterone production will decrease and you will see a huge drop in sex drive and sexual performance.
In other words, you are facing a terrible trade off.
You are getting 2-4 weeks of slightly quicker weight loss in exchange for unbearable levels of hunger, low energy levels, low sex drive, loss of muscle mass, a slowed down metabolism and low testosterone.
And worst of all, once hunger becomes unbearable, you will go on a binge and regain all the fat you lose.
So when you regain all the weight you lost, you will have to restart the process again.
However, when you restart the process, you will be doing so with a slower metabolism and lower testosterone production.
This means that you will have to spend time optimising your metabolism and natural testosterone production.
For some people this can be 4 weeks.
For other people it may take a year or more to reset metabolism.
The time depends on how long you sustain a low Calorie diet and how sensitive your endocrine system is to the shock of a low Calorie diet.
The take-away lesson here is that you should never put quick weight loss over your metabolic and hormonal health.
The only way to achieve long-term fat loss is to put your health first and that means having a slight Caloric deficit, implementing re-feed meals and being patient.
Be proud but stay hungry!
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer