TLDR: Andrew Morgan’s The Last Shred Manual: Eat as much as possible while losing fat for successful and consistent progress
The key to a sustainable and successful dieting is eating as much as possible while still progressing. In Andrew Morgan’s The Last Shred, he sets out to dispel the idea that a diet must be hardcore, no carbs no fat, and chicken breast daily.
In a fat-loss diet, the body will frequently adjust to a new lower Basal Metabolic Rate, therefore halting fat loss progress. A successful diet must account for that, adjusting when necessary. However, tracking progress has its problems; fluctuations in weight and measurements due to water blurs progress. Any sudden unexpected changes would probably be just changes in water and salt content and does not warrant worry.
To set up a fat loss diet, he recommends starting with a smaller deficit. A smaller deficit opens the possibility of muscle gain even during a cut, and on top of that, reduces rebound risks of people going berserk with food after a harsh cut. The weight loss recommendations are as follows:
Body fat % Loss /week
30%> ~2-2.5 lbs / 0.9-1.1 kg
20-30% ~1.5-2 lbs / 0.7-0.9 kg
15-20% 1-1.5 lbs / 0.45-0.7 kg
12-15% 0.75-1.25 lbs / 0.35-0.6 kg
9-12% 0.5-1 lbs / 0.2-0.45 kg
7-9% ~0.5 lbs / 0.2 kg
<7% <0.5 lbs / 0.2 kg
There are also diet break recommendations for people on a leaning out phase. Diet breaks are a time when the lifter stops counting calories at all and eats to satiety. These breaks are 10-14 days long, and the recommended frequency of them increases the leaner the lifter gets. This is a chance for the body to reverse the adverse effects of hard diets, like metabolic adaptations. It is likely that the lifter will feel fatter, but it is probably due to the filling up of muscle glycogen and water. The disclaimer is that the lifter does not purposefully binge during the break.
Probably the most important part of the book is when to reduce calories. As written in The Last Shred, the author does change anything until the 4-week point. If the lifter falls short on his goals, a reduction of 250kcal/day can be made. After that, a change can be done every 2 weeks. However, the reduction is only done when a few criteria are met:
- Scale weight has stalled but the rate of change is decreasing
- The lower rate of change does not correspond to recommended fat loss range in new body fat percentage
- Measurements are not declining
- The lifter is consistent with his diet, not under an unusual period of stress and is not due for a diet break
- Systematic and sustainable outlook to successful dieting
- Decreasing calories is the last resort after all factors are considered
- Nothing bad that I can find