Need to _increase_ my calorie intake?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 30, 2009 8:02 PM GMT
    Hey guys -

    I'm wondering what you think about this.

    Since September I've lost over 60 pounds from drastically changing the kinds of foods I eat, eating less calories per meal and eating more meals a day. Since I've started going to the gym in the past 6 weeks, I've been increasing how many times a week I go, and how many minutes I put into it. Now I'm at 3 days of cardio at 50 minutes, and 3 days of weights at 60 minutes.

    Recently, as I'm starting to work out longer and harder and more often, I'm feeling like I have less energy available during workout. I'm wondering if I'm actually taking in too few calories, from when I was in diet mode but not working out.

    So, here's a typical day of eating:

    Breakfast - Yogurt and breakfast bar, 175 calories

    Mid-morning - Vegetable salad, 130 cal

    Lunch - example, lean Turkey chili, 450 cal(ish)

    Mid-afternoon - example, chick tabboleh, 350 cal(ish)

    After-workout - protein shake and apple, 225 cal

    Dinner - chicken breast, brown rice, veggies, 450 cal

    TOTAL: 1800 cal / day

    So 1800 per day was cool when I was working out, and it was terrific; after all, I lost 60 pounds doing it.

    But I've been stuck at the same weight since I started working out, and I'm perpetually tired. I wonder if I just need to eatBut I've been stuck at the same weight since I started working out, and I'm perpetually tired. more? I admit I'm kinda scared to eat more after all these months of holding my caloric intake back, but I think maybe my calorie deficit might be too great with exercise.

    So, I'm now down to 247 pounds at 5'10" at age 34. I'm calculating my basal metabolic rate at around 2100 cal / day according to an average of sources. Let's say at my job and being alive and out of bed I spend 500 cal / day? And I don't know how much calories I use on weight days, just that I'm sweating like a pig, breathing hard and exhausted. I do know from the machine readouts that on cardio days I'm doing about 750 calories.

    So that's
    Alive: 2100 cal
    Out of bed: 500 cal (?)
    Exercise: 750 cal (?)

    TOTAL: 3,300 cal / day

    That means my calorie deficit is 1,500 a day! And I'm definitely not losing three pounds a week now, at all. Even if I look at body fat, I'm not losing 3 pounds a week. Have I pushed myself into the start of starvation mode with this much difference, and that's why I stopped losing weight and am tired?

    I really welcome your comments and suggestions.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13999

    Apr 30, 2009 8:13 PM GMT
    Try moving your starchy carbs to earlier in the day, like your brown rice, and move your fiberous carbs, like your veggies, to later in the day.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 01, 2009 4:37 AM GMT
    I think thats a huge caloric deficit.
    Perhaps your metabolism is conserving mass in starvation mode and that is why you are tired. Maybe sort of deficit worked for the first 60 pounds because your endocrine system detected that there was plenty of body mass to burn, but not anymore.
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    May 01, 2009 1:45 PM GMT
    Thanks! I'll try that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 01, 2009 2:06 PM GMT
    Sometimes what works for me is taking in more calories earlier in the day. Also vary the caloric intake. Maybe a day when you add 400 calories and a couple when you subtract 200(not consecutive). Your body then doesn't quite know what to expect. You can do this and still stay within your weekly daily average of 1800/day.

    If you are crashing during the workout then definitely try and consume more calories during the day pre workout.

    I'm no pro but this has worked for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 01, 2009 2:34 PM GMT
    You aren't eatting enough period. I am 6 foot 180 do less exercise than you and am barely gaining weight on a 3600+ calorie a day diet. I lift 3-4 times a week for an hour and don't do cardio other than my job which involves being on my feet for 4 hours at a time. creating such a huge calorie deficit is putting your body in starvation mode which is why you have stopped losing weight. you should create your caloric deficit through exercise not through eating less. I would say if you pretty much double your caloric intake and keep your exercise regimen where it is you will continue to lose weight and have considerably more energy.

    Congrats on losing 60 pounds. try eating 3000 calories a week.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 01, 2009 2:37 PM GMT
    @stringman: Yeah, I am crashing about halfway through the workout

    @chungo: Thanks for the advice. I'll make up a new mealplan, targetting 2500-3000 cal now.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 01, 2009 2:46 PM GMT
    I've done what you are doing right now. You are not consuming enough of what you need because you have become accustomed to cutting. Mine is attributed to using weight watchers way back when.

    In doing my Body for Life challenge I constantly felt run down and tired. It turned out after speaking with a consultant that the reason I didn't get the results I had wanted and felt tired was because I was not consuming enough calories, carbs and fat.

    Somehow I had managed to squeeze 175 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and 165 grams of carbs into 1600 calories. What I needed to do was get in about 235 grams of carbs and need around 40-50 grams of fat per day.

    Since I started doing this a week ago I have achieved amazing results in one week. It's amazing to think that to get super lean you have to make sure your intake is optimized because even an under fueled engine isn't going to perform as well as it should.

    Here is what I am doing. I am eating six times a day. Each meal contains about 350 calories, 20-30 grams of protein, 30-35 grams of carbs and around 7 grams of fat. Well that is on average. Obviously it varies a bit, especially when I use my isopure meal replacement shakes which have 50 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat and 25 grams of carbs packed into 300 calories.

    Since I have done this, I have started to feel immensily better everyday with much more energy. I've dropped 3 pounds of body fat this week since Monday and added a pound of muscle. I look noticeably better in the mirror.

    I only wish I had realized that my portion sizes were to small back in January when I did my body for life challenge, I could have been ripped by now. It's not a big deal though because I'm confident I will get there with in the next few months.

    Good luck to you! I hope my story can be of service to you!