Where am I going wrong with my diet/training?


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Where am I going wrong with my diet/training?

I'm 36yrs 182cm 89.4k 25.8% body fat

I've been training for 7 months 5–6 days a week for 1–2 hours weigh a session with a 10–30min walk afterwards and 2 15min HIIT sessions

My personal trainer has set my calories to 2350 this is after it being reduced over the last few months with them.

Though I have lost weight (was 107k and 33.8%body fat) my stats seem to be all over the place and taking a lot slower to go down from what I've read and watched online, I should be able to drop 5–7% a week but it's more like a month with me and some muscle loss too.

I've recently altered the diet plan I was given by increasing my protein to 180/190g a day to try help build muscle or at least not lose it.

I had recently taken a weeks holiday for my birthday but still kept up the training, during the holiday I kept an eye on what I was eating but still had 6–9 pints/beers which I'm very sure would easily but me over my calories for the day but my stats were great! Gained almost 2k of muscle and body fat even dropped. But after I got back to my regular routine my muscles mass dropped and body fat went up?!

I'm using smart scales to keep daily checks on my stats

Thank you for any help
First off: congratulations on losing almost 20 kg! That's some solid work in 7 months.

Sadly smart scales are not super reliable and water weight will influence their fat/muscle measurements. Alcohol tends to leave you dehydrated the next day so that could easily explain the difference. Other than that: how exact are you with your calorie counting? Do you weigh what you have, use measuring spoons/cups, or estimate? Most of us think we're eating less than we really are.
Thank you very much!
Some of it was muscle and water weight as I've heard that's normally the biggest drop in weight when you being dieting and training.

Yeah I've heard they're not amazingly accurate but still better that regular scares I'll try link in a screenshot of the scale feed back as it does mention body water.
I'm using the myfitnesspal app and weighing everything, even sauces (mayo, ketchup) when I do have them.

Thanks for the feedback back, it's very much appreciated 🙂


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Excellent job weighing everything: it's so easy to sneak in a couple of hundred calories a day otherwise. @Trusylver will probably have some helpful feedback on your training schedule once daylight reaches that part of the world again but you may simple be one of the unlucky people who really do have to stay consistent for a long time to see results.
Thanks llama! I actually enjoy it, finding out the difference in macros of certain foods at different weights. I'm also a chef so it's second nature using scales 😅.
Awesome thanks for tagging, I hope they can figure what it is.
But yeah, unfortunately that just might be the case (hopefully not!)
Thanks again @Llama
Katch-McArdle Calculations (Considered to be the most accurate formula without actually measuring in a lab)

Body fat 25.8 %
Weight 89.4 kg
Basal Metabolic Rate 1,803 kcal/ per day

Lifestyle multipliers (assuming male)

Very Sedentary 1.3 = 2343
Sedentary 1.4 = 2524
Light 1.5 = 2705
Light-Moderate 1.7 = 3065
Moderate 1.8
Heavy 2.1
Very Heavy 2.3

Plus Daily training average (total training calories / 7) not everybody eats back training calories

Most office workers count as sedentary, retail or those on their feet a lot would usually count as light or light- moderate. Heavy is usually manual labour jobs.

reduce total by 250-500 calories to minimise muscle loss.

Most people over estimate their exercise calories

Protein based on lean mass 66 kg X 1.6 = 105.6 grams needed eating a lot of protein beyond what is needed is generally of no real benefit, a little higher if VLC of Keto.

telling people they need X amount of calories beyond what is actually needed is great marketing from supplement companies.

I've been training for 7 months 5–6 days a week for 1–2 hours weigh a session with a 10–30min walk afterwards and 2 15min HIIT sessions

This does not tell me much about your training program to make any substantial comment other than you should not be needing 2 hours of resistance training if your program is well written.

Reps, sets, tempo and %max lifted all have specific effects depending on the combinations. The walking is good. Are you tracking your HIIT intensity ?
Thanks for the reply and figures trusylver!
Sorry I completely forgot to include my gender and your assumption is correct in male 😅.

I'm a chef so I'd say I'm probably light-moderate with being on my feet all day and kitchen activities

I track my training with a smart watch and Google fit app but I am also aware that they over exaggerate the calories used but a wrought idea with my training today, with 10,000 steps it stated 1000ish calories and about the same the last few days which I don't eat back.

Is the protein figure for maintenance or does it account for gain too? Just a question, I'm here for your advice and more than happy to take on your experience and expertise in looking at possibly re-composition? So can gain and strip the body fat 🙂.

My training program is Monday to Friday as I rarely get the chance train weekends due to work
Monday I do my own thing normally full body kinda a conditioning day which is why it can take 2 hours
Tuesday is with PT CrossFit kinda style cardio
Wednesday PT upper body accessory
Thursday PT CrossFit cardio again
Friday PT accessory lower body
Reps are normally 10-12 sometimes a little lower for heavier weights for 3 sets and normally super sets with most work outs

Rep intensity is normally finish the full first set, struggle to finish the second and potentially but not always fail the the last 2-3 reps on the last
Rep temp I'm not sure about the time to complete but I'd estimate about 2-3ish seconds on the positive and the same or sometimes slower on the negative.
My HIIT sessions are when I'm without the trainer, on the treadmill mill 1% incline starting at 10kph for 20sec on 10sec off, every minute increase the speed by 0.5kph for a total of 15min or until legs feel they are going to give out and not feel safe to continue.

Again thank you very much for your feedback, I'm sure there's much more details I'm probably missing out for you to be able to evaluate my diet and training but everything you've both given me so far has been great 🙂
I'm using the hevy app to track my workout when training solo if that's any help?
I will take a closer look at this tomorrow, I have been at Uni all day and my poor brain has had enough exercise science for one day.
Body recomp can be a tricky balance. when in calorie deficit you generally won't be able to build new muscle but the muscle you have will look bigger and more defines ad your bodyfat fall. While it is technically possible to build muscle in a deficit it is only when the bodyfat % is very high and the person has not done much training ever (newbie gains) I don't think this describes you so tricky it is.

body recomp relies on having only a small calorie deficit, the bigger the deficit the more muscle loss which is not what you are after. Due to not being able to build size in deficit it is better to concentrate on building strength which will help maintain muscle size better than training in the hypertrophy rep and weight range. Heavier weight with less reps in each set, volume is maintained through adding an extra 1-2 sets. Tempo is usually 0101 (which is shorthand for 0 seconds hold at the start of the lift, 1 second eccentric, no pause then 1 second concentric) the slower tempo is great for hypertrophy but as already mentioned due to the deficit for the fat loss this is unlikely to happen.

all of this makes for slow progress and is why bodybuilders will go through cut and bulk cycles, in that they will have a larger deficit, and expect to loose mostly fat and some muscle, minimising the loss with a strength based rep/weight scheme then go into a bulk with a moderate calorie surplus and change their lifting to a hypertrophy based rep/weight scheme to rebuild lost muscle mass and build new muscle size.

HIIT is great cardio for maintaining muscle mass but long bouts of cardio will burn through more muscle. Compare a sprinters build to that of a marathon runner, marathon runners don't carry much in the way of muscle mass but the muscle they do have is efficient.

The protein is based on a strength or endurance training athlete. some sections of the population do require more but as you are not a teenager, pregnant or breast feeding these extras don't seem relevant :D
Apologies for the late reply!
Thank you so much for all the information and time taken to do so there's plenty there to help me understand what I need to be doing 🙂

I first heard of body recomposition from Jeff nippard on YouTube he made it sound relatively easy but from what you've explained it's probably harder that I thought it might be 😅
Especially with out the newbies gains which he and yourself have both mentioned

So just to summarise, would you you recommend I:
Increase my calories from 2350cal to 2700cals (including deficit)
Decrease my protein intake to 105g
And concentrate on strength training
Higher reps rather than low and heavy?

Again thank you both so much for all your time, knowledge and encouragement 🙂 there's soo much information out there but being new to all this it's difficult to get my head around and understand what information to believe 😅 haha