Basic Question about Calorie Need (Fat Reduction)

goal: reduce fat, i’m sure this has been mentioned here, but I am getting so many different info
44y male. 6.3ft. 251lbs currently. 27.5% body fat. on TRT 200mg/week
workout, 4-5x week, gym 45min weights only. small cardio, sitting job.
I calculated 3200 maintenance calories. currently aiming for 2500/2600 calories a day, with 200g protein + varied carb/fat.
is this a good number to loose fat without sacrificing too much muscle? maybe even gaining some. i made good gains in the last year in muscle, and lost 3% body fat from 30% (dexa)

You’re not going to lose any muscle unless under 10%, and even then - you’ve got TRT to keep your hormones stable, so you won’t need to worry about losing muscle unless training or eating insufficiently.

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yes. good place to start.

track weight over 7 days. use information to adjust accordingly.

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200mg a week vs every 2 weeks?

You’d honestly have to train and eat pretty poorly to lose muscle with basic fat loss. Muscle loss tends to be more a concern with enhanced athletes, as they’re going to put on more muscle than the body tends to hold naturally, and holding onto that becomes tricky.


please post a pic

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Thank you for posting a picture.

To be blunt - you don’t have enough muscle mass to be concerned about losing. I think you could sustain a more significant deficit, as long as hunger is bearable.

Can you walk me through your training a bit? Curious what a week with you in the gym would look like.


my gym routine is roughly this, and apologies i have no idea how most them are called, running a program from my gym trainer 25 years ago lol
day 1) a) chest, bench press, dumbbell presses, butterfly machine, and random machines. usually i do 3-4 different exercises on chest, 4 sets earch, 12-10-8-6 rule within 2 reps of failure and the last usually to failure. b) biceps, 2x exercises, rotating, same rules
day 2) triceps + shoulder. 3 exercise on triceps, 4 on shoulder, same rules. trying to change things up from week to week. things like overhead dumbbell press for shoulder etc
day 3) legs, 3 ex. on quads, 2x hamstring, 2x calf. legpresses etc - usually can’t walk afterwards must be good?
day 4) back. 4-5 different exercises, same rules, most to failure
day 5) if i make it do day 5(2x month), i do exercises from day 1/2, but not to failure and less, as much as my strength allows. since I push most body parts pretty hard, i usually don’t have much energy to do them more then 1x week.

i also haven’t done any dead lifts or squads so far, due to past back pain i approach this area gently, but i think i’m ready to get there
it might be time to re-work my entire gym regimen I’m aware of that, but I’ve seen good progress within the last year, as i had pretty low muscle mass, and I was able to lift significantly more on each exercise (I’d say 25-100% weight increase dependent on what body part)

right now my main goals is body fat reduction, to about 20% or so, maybe tiny bit more (but no ‘shredding’) and comfortable muscle gains. once my fat gets down, i prob reduce weight lifting tiny bit and focus a bit more on cycling/MTB

thank you for all the advice!


had another dexa scan. here are the results:
fat - 8.6 lbs (my BF from the original post was probably underestimated, and done based on samsung smart watch)
lean + 1.2 lbs (i gained some muscle, not huge, but i think this is still success, so in my case - gaining some muscle while loosing fat totally doable!)
the employee (scan done at dexafit) calculated that I overestimated the calories I burned. I did shoot for 3200cal and according to his math burned 3000cal on avg/day.

I tracked my calories most days, and did lifting 4x a week with little cardio.
TRT 200mg/week. tried anavar 3-4 times but felt like shit on it.
I did keto for 6 weeks and non-keto for another 6 roughly. I think I do way better on keto, with no big dives in strength, and much better appetite control. also hitting my protein goals (200g) easier.

next steps are;
a) reduce calories by another 200cal.
b) add cardio to 2 non-gym days.
c) stick to clean keto (red meat/low carb fruit/dairy/whey protein)

that should get me closer to 1lb/week fat loss. have another scan in 3 months.
thank you all for the advice!

old scan:
Nov 18 22:
BF - 30%
Lean Mass: 174 LBS (67%)
Total Mass: 260 LBS
Visceral fat: 3.60 LBS
Belly fat: 3.60 LBS
T-Score (Bone Density): 3.0 (top 5%)

new scan:
Feb 17 23:
BF - 27.5%
Lean Mass: 175 LBS (69%)
Total Mass: 252 LBS
Visceral fat: 3.11 LBS
Belly fat: 3.11 LBS
T-Score (Bone Density): 2.5

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nice progress. well done.

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its been a while. i am mid-way into getting into the desired BF%. prob around 25% now, but not sure, have a dexa scheduled. all my fat is around my waste. i started going into a solid cut mid november last year. 25lb down so far. at 6.3 height my goal is more of an athletic look as i’m a rather slow gainer, and getting jacked was never my goal. dumping 1lb/week consistently now. my diet is mainly meat/fruit/honey, with around 200g of carbs a day, and rest from red meat, eggs, greek yogurt etc. still on TRT 200mg/week, HCG 3x1500IU and started injectable l-carnitine couple months ago which is a huge boost. typical pre/post-workout stuff, like creatine, taurine, citruline, tmg, and some others