Fat Loss, Muscle Gain? Too few calories?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by TrialsLife, Jan 18, 2011.

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  1. Hi all,

    Since begining the application process in Sept I realised I would have to loose weight. Before applying, I weighed in at 16st 3lbs. My height is smack on 6 foot, medium/large build. Before my medical in november, I had got it down to 15st 1lb. This weight loss was due to cutting out all the crap, and a bit more excerise that my weekly bike shenanigans (doing silly things on two wheels, not much cardio). At this point I think my calorie intake was around 2000-2200 a day.

    Mid december, I cut my calorie intake down to 1500, whilst visiting the gym twice a week just doing cardio. Come christmas I weighed in at 14st 8lbs.

    Since the start of last week, I began visting the gym 4 times a week and doing more of a mix of cardio and weight training. I cut a few things out of my diet (more crap) and replaced it with taking whey protein supplements as I felt my low calorie diet was not getting enough protein.

    Now, that rather large intro has led to this question. Is 1500 calories a day (including whey) to small an amount?

    I'm starting to think that I may be stumping developing my fittness by having so few calories.
  2. I remember reading somewhere (Runners World I think) that you shouldn't get less than a certain percentage of calories deficient, I think about 20% so if you need 2500 calories a day for the average male then you shouldn't go under 2000 a day and that doesn't include exercise.

    "Your body goes into starvation mode. This mechanism, which is thought to have evolved as a defence against starvation, means the body becomes super efficient at making the most of the calories it does get from food and drink. The main way it does this is to protect its fat stores and instead use lean tissue or muscle to provide it with some of the calories it needs to keep functioning. This directly leads to a loss of muscle, which in turn lowers metabolic rate so that the body needs fewer calories to keep ticking over and weight loss slows down. Of course, this is the perfect solution if you're in a famine situation. But if you're trying to lose weight, it's going to do little to help you shift those unwanted pounds."

    I stole all of that from Dieting and Metabolism

    that webpage says you must consume 1000-1200 calories a day but not including extra requirements from exercise.

    I am no expert, just keen on exercise so if anyone else knows better please set me straight...

  3. I'm no authority on the matter but I'll give it a shot. It depends what your goal is. From what you have said it sounds like you want to lose fat, but when you say gain muscle, do you just mean extra strength or actual muscle mass? Because they're two different things. It's not the calories that will 'develop your fitness', it is what those calories are i.e. carb/protein etc.

    If you're medium/large build you shouldn't have much problem with mass, so keeping your calories low with lots of cardio will carry on reducing body fat. If you add resistance training you will develop strength but not mass unless you eat more calories than you burn.
  4. Cheers for the info guys.

    I'm not looking to bulk up at all, just looking at resistance training as an aid to weight loss, more muscle mass = higher metablism (i believe).

    Looking at my diet, i'm getting enough fats and protein but I'm falling behind on carbs. My missis (nurse) has also commented on my breath recently, which she thought could be a symptom of ketosis which is where there are not enough carbs in the body to replenish glycogen.

    After doing a bit more research, I think they best thing to do is slowly increase the amount of carbs I'm taking in. So that my daily calorie intake is around 2000.

    Finally, an excuse to eat more....
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    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2012
  6. Musman, apart from you being a spamming git, is there any reason you've posted the same link 3 times?
  7. Age, gender, physical activity and your body composition affect weight loss. Because muscle loss and reduced physical activity cause a slower metabolic rate, older people often have more difficulty losing weight than younger ones. Women tend to have more difficulty losing weight than men, and sedentary people have a harder time losing weight than active people. Eating too few calories to support good health undermines your efforts. On an extreme diet of less than 1,100 calories, up to 30 percent of the weight loss may be from muscle loss, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. In addition, eating too few calories in an attempt to lose weight can lead to weight gain when you return to normal eating.

  8. Ditch the whey protein for a start - no evidence of benefit at all, and they're not cheap.

    Recommended intake for normal adult male is 3000 kcal per day. If you want to lose weight, cut this to about 2000 per day. Below this, you will go into the starvation mode mentioned by 3BadgeAB. Drink plenty of fluid, do various exercises (circuit training is good), and cut out the booze.

    Weight loss doesn't happen overnight - rapid solutions are not sustainable and you're much better playing the long game.
  9. Eh?

    Anyway, seing as this post has been raised from the depths.

    I'm down to 13 stone now, could do with another half but I am under 25 bmi.

    I did end up cutting my calories down to 1200, which I cannot recommend. Hit Ketosis and started eating more.

    Plenty of weetabix, soup, baked potatoes, tuna, beans etc etc etc. Oh, not forgetting plenty of phys sorted it out.
  10. happy.gif

    Gotta disagree with this one. The whole idea is that you don't want to lose muscle. The fact that you're working out while cutting your calories should help maintain muscle mass while you lose fat. Still, it's best not to lose weight too quickly, or you risk losing muscle along with fat, and cutting calories drastically is exactly how you lose too quickly.

    Aim for a loss of no more than two pounds a week. SpringfieldVA's advice is good. What you're doing now sounds about right, but if you find after a few weeks that you're not on a steady pace of losing a pound or two a week, you can adjust your calorie intake slightly in the direction you need to go in order to get to that pound or two a week rate.

  11. Like I said, I hit ketosis, and therefore started eating more as muscle loss was not something I needed.

    This thread is over a year old, and I fell out with SpringfieldVA after he nicked my favorite dust cloth.
  12. Nutrition NAMETs, close up.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. 3000cal per day, Doc? Don't get me wrong, you're the MBChB around here, not me, but 3000cal per day seems a bit on the steep side. Is that purely to maintain weight?

    Anothe rule of thumb I have heard is 25cal perday per kg of bodyweight that you want to stabiliste at (ie 80kg = 2000cal/day)
  14. For a bloke, if you're active, (ie do more than sit on your arse or have a token 1.5 mile run once a week to convince yourself you're "fit"), 3000 kcal per day is bang on to maintain weight. I am 82kg and if I was sedentary 2400 kcal would see me right. If I only had 2000 kcal per day I'd rapidly become very ill indeed.

    I will point out that that my diet is 3000 clean calories with only 50g of fat all in. the remainder is 1 part carb to 2 part protein. If you eat shit then even with a low calorie intake you'll end up a tubby twat, if you eat clean and clever then you don't go hungry and can eat well. There's a reason everyone in the queue at Dominos and McDonalds is a sallow fat ****.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2012
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  15. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

  16. De-spammed

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