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Please keep questions on topic, write clearly, concisely, and don't post diet calculations.

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Jake Reidle
Jake Reidle

Hi Andy, couldn’t I get the best of both worlds and have my caloric intake in the middle of my cutting phase and maintenance phase to have a more sustainable fat loss or is that the essential goal of the maintenance intake? Being a 40 year old dad I’m always looking for the most sustainable way to get and stay lean (maybe 15-18% bodyfat) but not “stage-ready” lean…if that makes sense.

Jake
Jake

Yes, I’ve read lots of your material and it has been extremely helpful…that makes sense. Thanks

Giannis Karagiorgos
Giannis Karagiorgos

Really interesting article. So, in the last like two years I’ve been on a deficit of over 1000 calories and have managed to lose about 135 pounds. Now, I am aiming for the last 30 pounds mostly focusing on fat loss. It seems however that things are going way too slow, like Im 6ft4 215 pounds working out 5-6days/week and 2000 kcal still seems way too low. Calculating maintenance shows me above 3k. Should I aim to return to maintenance and stay there for a while until I cut again? Could dieting for so long have impacted my hormone levels/ability to lose weight/bmr? I am currently trying your approach to find my maintenance.Thanks so much.

Ryan
Ryan

I would like some advice on calculating maintenance calories. How many weeks should I look back to calculate my average weight loss per week? 1 week will yeild different results than say 4 weeks. Any thoughts?

Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg

Hi Andy, how long does it take to restore hormone levels after a diet typically? Mine specifically was a 2 month, 500 calorie deficit diet where I achieved a body fat of sub 10%. Will I be able to restore hormones to normal levels while maintaining that amount of leanness?

Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg

Thank you so much Andy. The article is incredibly informative and your response was quick and useful. Your entire website is great, and I’ve been using it as a guide for a while now. Keep up the good work, we need it! Best.

Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg

Believe it or not it is! Unfortunately it’s become a sort of spam email because so many use it as a random plug in email. Very cool! Hope you enjoyed the game.

Ali
Ali

So sorry for asking too many questions. But i just have 2 questions. Would you say that it’s okay to calculate my maintenance in a 2 week period rather than 3? And should i use your method of maintenance almost all the time after each cut?

Ali
Ali

How often should i calculate my maintenance calories since it’s a changing target. Would U say after each fat loss phase i do a 2-3 week maintenance just to find where my calories are at is a good general rule?

Ali
Ali

If I finished my 6-week aggressive mini cut however I didn’t reach my body fat goal. So should I take a mini-bulk or a maintenance phase to restore the hormonal function and BMR and etc.. and for how long should I be mini bulking or in a maintenance phase be for before going back to aggressive cutting?

Kristy Wong
Kristy Wong

Hey Andy!

From articles I’ve read before this, it was suggested I do reverse dieting, slowly adding about 50 ish calories daily every week until I reach maintenance or even beyond without the body fat gain. However, now you’re suggesting a 500 calorie increase immediately and I’m a bit taken aback and scared for the weight gain.

I’m scared your method won’t work out for me and I won’t lose the supposed water weight on the second and third weeks and simply lose all my progress with such a quick and high caloric increase as compared to reverse dieting.

Kristy Wong
Kristy Wong

Thank you for taking the time to give out even more information!

One (hopefully) last question, I want to be clear of all the factors that come with the recovery back to maintenance. And one of these factors is exercise. I’m just a normal teen girl who doesn’t really have access to the gym and just does cardio and no-equipment-required exercises at home whenever I can (and I try to—and pretty successfully—stay consistent). While I’m increasing calories back to maintenance, will I be fine sticking with this simple exercise regimen or should I up intensity or such?

Kristy Wong
Kristy Wong

Awesome, thank you again! You’ve been a great help.

Michael Cruz
Michael Cruz

I was following my deficit calories at 2500 calories and was maintaining, I guess I’ll lower them to cut the fat and then slowly go up calories 🙂

Samuel
Samuel

Hi Andy,

I’m approaching the end of a 16 week cut and it’s gone well, 1lb loss per week. Coming off the cut, can I just go ahead and add in 500 kcal? I started with a maintenance of 2700, and so my deficit has gone from 2200-1800.

Again thank you for your help, super appreciated!

Flo
Flo

Hey Andy,

Amazing website, thanks for the great content and the quality of the articles and the numerous advices you give to people in the comments, your work really means something to people like us, thanks again.

I’ve just finished my second cutting cycle but I don’t really know if and how I should adjust my calories.

[Deleted for brevity]

1) Do you think my maintenance changed?

2) During my next cut (in two weeks) should I go back to the same deficit (500 cal) or increase the deficit even further?

3) Do you think I should increase/decrease le length of the cutting/maintenance phase?

Thanks in advance

Flo

Marcey
Marcey

Hi Andy,
I’ve been on a program for the last 10 weeks (of my own doing). I am very happy with the results I have obtained. I’ve lost about 20-25 pounds and have more energy and feel so much better than I did 3 months ago! My question is: while I know that it is important to add calories back in, I am finding it difficult to eat more than what I am currently eating. I enjoy my diet and plan to add some calories in but will still be in a deficit. Is this safe?

Sam
Sam

Not a question, just wanted to say thank you for what an incredible resource your site has been! I’ve been going to the gym and played with all kinds of ‘diets’ since I was 18. I’m 31 now, cut alcohol out in the new year and counting macros has given me so much control, I am 9 weeks into a cut and I can see my goal in sight. This will be the best shape I’ve been in, I am happy and enjoy all the same foods within reason and moderation 😀 Thank you!

Nicholas Wells
Nicholas Wells

Hey Andy,
I’m coming off my diet in a week or so and then i have 3 weeks left before my holiday. I’m still planning to lose fat, but i want to eat the foods i want to when I’m on my holiday since i’ve never been there before. The current deficit i’m in is around 800 calories from my new maintainence. How do you recommend i ramp up my caloriesas quickly as possible with minimal fat gain and muscle glycogen gain. I am expecting fat gain, since I haven’t left much time. Thanks in advance.

Nicholas Wells
Nicholas Wells

So do you recommend I just increase my calories to my maintenance for the three weeks? Instead of increasing progressively increase all at once for three weeks.
Thanks for the advice.

Nicholas Wells
Nicholas Wells

Sorry For asking all these questions. Just got one more. Do you find the new maintenance calories through some calculator online or do you advise a way on how to do it above, post diet? Sorry for all the questions you’ve been very helpful.

Adam
Adam

Hi Andy

Great stuff here – really appreciate your website and articles!

You mention going back up to maintenance calories after a diet, but I saw in one of your examples (Chandler) that the key to his results were a very slow reverse diet post cut.

Just wondering why you don’t include any information about reverse dieting?

I am coming off of a my cut 24%bf to 11% bf — about to transition to a slow bulk and looking to minimize fat gain and wondering if it’s best to just go back up to maintenance like you mention in the article, or add back the calories slower to get back up to maintenance with a reverse diet. Thank you!

Adam
Adam

Thank you Andy for the quick response!

Kim
Kim

Hey Andy,

First thanks for your website. It is has so much information and is written so well that I can now read and start to get a proper understanding of how all my nutrition and training goes together. I am hoping you can give me some advice…

On average the last 7 weeks I have been losing 971gram per week.

I’m thinking ahead for my maintenance plan now though – so based on the information I have now I would need to make a 1070kcal daily calorie increase. Seems like a lot and is pretty intimidating, so hoping you can give me some advice.

[Note: I shortened this to the key points for the sake of other readers. – Andy]

Kim
Kim

Thanks Andy for the quick response. I’ve now read your downloadable book – its great thanks again 🙂

Nicole
Nicole

this was a great read! thanks for sharing 🙂

Carlos Vanegas
Carlos Vanegas

I have been on an aggressive cut for 5 weeks @ 1200 kcal/day, if I ignore the week 1 progress (assuming water loss) I come down to 2.2 lbs/week of average weight loss for the last 4 weeks. Following your math I would start by moving to 2,300 kcal/day.
During the cut I was working out 5 days a week for 45-60 mins. 3 days of high intensity resistance training and 2 days of HIIT. I want to go back to regular 3 day weightlifting split for maintenance. How do I account for the decrease in workload when estimating the initial maintenance calories?

Mei Nu
Mei Nu

This is awesome! I’m here to find out my diet break calories since I’m going to be travelling – thought it’d be perfect to do a diet break and try new foods too.
Thing is, is I won’t have a scale. Just measuring tape.

over 8 weeks I’ve lost 10lbs and have been eating an average of 1625cals (some weeks 1500, some 1800).
Can you tell me if this is the correct way to figure out maintainance?

10lbs/8wks = 1.25lbs/wk loss
1.25 x 3500 = 4375cals
4375cals / 7days = 625cal deficit
1625 + 625 = 2250 cals

Does this mean I maintain at 2250cals?

Bobbi
Bobbi

I found your article as I was searching for information on moving from cutting to maintenance macros. I know your site is geared toward men, so if you have a resource you feel will work better for a female, I would take any referrals. My delima is that I successfully accomplished my cutting goals (I followed cutting macros for 5 months) and I love the results I got, but since hitting my goal weight, I have had a hard time sticking to macros for any length of time so I can make an accurate increase of macros to maintenance. I’m not sure why I can’t stay as focused and dedicated now like I did for the past 5 months. Do you see this happen with your clients who move from cutting to maintaining, and if you do, how do you have them get past it?

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