Quote Originally Posted by loafingcactus View Post
Anecdotally, it seems to be very hard for the body to put on muscle or even preserve muscle and drop fat at the same time. It seems that you can do one or the other. Body builders cycle between building and cutting as they say. I have rarely seen someone successfully lose 100 pounds or more without any gains- IMHO their muscle mass just gets too low to support the metabolic rate necessary to keep losing fat.

I don't see anything counter-intuitive about that at all... When you are doing slow motion starvation, which is the way you get fat off while preserving as much muscle as possible, why would your body let you build muscle that increases your metabilic needs and could kill you in the famine?
Losing a hundred pounds successfully while maintaining fat loss in entirely possible. I did it over the course of 11 months. I did lose some muscle mass in that time, but I spent the next year building it back and I'm in better shape than I've ever been while still maintaining the fat loss. It can be done but it's not easy.

I also agree that optimizing your diet and exercising is controlling your weight loss. Once you find what works for you it's just a matter of fine tuning the formula.