Caloric Intake/Cutting
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Author:  Nate92 [ Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Caloric Intake/Cutting

I am considered "overweight" although I do not look it. I am 5 feet 10 inches and 190 pounds. I have been lifting for the past 8 or 9 months or so, and I want to cut my weight. I dropped my caloric intake to 2,000 calories, which is about where it should be. However, my lifting is severely suffering. The past two times I have gone to the gym I gave up and left. What I Was able to lift 3 sets of 8 on I am able to lift one set of 5, and then lucky to push a couple reps in the next set. It is getting frustrating and I feel like my efforts were in vain. Any advice?

Author:  Dub [ Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

Caloric reduction never leads anywhere. The only thing reducing your energy intake will do is shut down or atleast lower some levels of your metabolism, and force the body to do the same with less energy. You might lose weight, but it will be a mix of muscle and fat. Plus, after you end your diet, your weight will most likely bounce straight back if not higher, because your body has coped to deal with lower energy intake.

No wonder your workouts suck. 2000kcal? That's not even what a small woman should consume if she's exercising. Where did you come up with that? Depending on your age, that barely covers your basal metabolism, if even that. Sorry to say this, but your results keep going down if you continue like this.

Stop the caloric reduction, and consider other nutritional possibilities to lose fat. Carb cycling is quite popular and used by several fellows in this forum and in general world. So is messing with the meal frequency (fasting). The most important thing is to get your macros right. So the question we need to know is: What are you eating?

Author:  Nevage [ Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

I was doing fine on 800 cals a day for a last min cut with up to 22 hour fasts (Whey, multivit and omegas). My strength wasn't affected, reps were always low and calories/carbs were increased at weekends so more like carb cycling. The effects you're experiencing sound like me when I first trained low carb or fasted. No energy, no motivation, weaker etc. Stick it out, it's amazing what your body can adapt to.

Author:  robertscott [ Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

I think carb cycling is a much easier way to lose weight, counting calories would make me crazy

Author:  robertscott [ Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

Nevage wrote:
I was doing fine on 800 cals a day for a last min cut with up to 22 hour fasts (Whey, multivit and omegas). My strength wasn't affected, reps were always low and calories/carbs were increased at weekends so more like carb cycling. The effects you're experiencing sound like me when I first trained low carb or fasted. No energy, no motivation, weaker etc. Stick it out, it's amazing what your body can adapt to.

jeepers! 800 cals? That's heavy. I know Ironman goes as low as 1200 when he cuts, but you have him beat.

Author:  Nevage [ Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

It was the last few days before a holiday so I went pretty drastic because I wasn't noticing any real side effects from long fasts and training. It's probably the equivalent to Ironman's 1200 as he is a lot bigger than me though. I remember NightFALL also doing a PSMF type thing as well which was essentially what I did. I couldn't get over how few calories I needed during the week. No lethargy, I only did compounds in the gym to lower volume but strength was still there and just felt normal!

Author:  robertscott [ Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

I totally agree about the calories thing. Over the last month or so I've been eating about 1000 calories less a day, getting leaner, and still getting stronger.

Carb back loading changed my life. I'll eat this way forever.

Author:  Nevage [ Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

Same. I don't see any negatives about carb cycling for the rest of my life. Allows an enjoyable social life too!

Author:  Nate92 [ Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

So.. advice is to stick it out and see if my strength returns? And also eat a normal amount of calories over the week? I didn't know that before. What if I can't lift close to what I can normally no matter how long I wait?

Author:  Nevage [ Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

Yeah definitely wait a couple of weeks, 2000 cals is fine. What foods are you eating?

Author:  NightFaLL [ Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

Calories do matter - part of the reason I rarely read this site is the polarized views on it.

Low carb, as much fat as you want? Yeah right. I could throw down 5000 calories worth of protein and fat every day and I guarantee I'd put on pounds upon pounds of fat.

Carbs are not bad, fat beyond 90-100g a day is utterly pointless, and calories in vs calories out should ALWAYS be the base guideline for any fat loss plan.

Author:  Nate92 [ Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

It's just really difficult for me to lose weight for some reason.

I am making sure to carbo load before workouts since I posted and it's helped.

Only problem is now I need advice on how to shed the weight since it hasn't been working great.

I do my best to eat 2,200 calories a day, and sometimes it's less. For example toady was about 1,900. I try to eat meat every meal if I can, and a protein shake a day. But the weight just doesn't seem to want to come off.

Is a 1,000 calorie deficit to much?

I eat plenty of different things that are considered more "nutritional" and have practically eliminated junk food.

And I am fairly new so I don't know much about fasting. Is that a good idea?

Author:  Ironman [ Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

While saying it is polarized here could be a fair criticism, portraying an equally polarized view as not being so really takes away from any impact of said criticism. Plus there are some of us with a little more nuanced view on this; a view that may change just a little here and there based on new evidence.

I would like to see someone throw down 5000 calories of fatty meat. I have to have a certain amount of carbs in the diet to make it that high. I'd be ready to throw up well before the end of that day. If you get it down you would gain weight. It would be to a different degree than with different macros though. If that wasn't true than you could bulk up on anything too. You can't though. I need less carbs than most, and even I can't do that.

The quicker something digests, the less time you have to use it before it gets stored as fat. Once it is in the fat stores, it takes more effort to get the body to use it as energy, as the body will down-regulate metabolism a little when burning fat. At the same time if it's more quickly digested, it's more readily available to fuel a workout, and is much more efficient than relying on fat stores, or slower digesting foods.

Either macros matter or they don't, either carbs offer more quick energy or they don't. You can't have it both ways.

Author:  Ironman [ Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

If you could stand to eat the same thing every meal, every day, you could eat say 3 jumbo eggs with 2 slices of cheese. The energy digests slowly and evenly, you should also feel satisfied, and with 3 meals a day it's 1100 calories tops, which is probably lower than you need. Now obviously you can't eat that every meal, but you can eat other similar things most of the time. Eating more carbs, and only reducing calories to small extent, and then doing a whole bunch of cardio is another way to do it. A lot of bodybuilders like to do that. I'd rather just not eat something, and spend a lot less time on cardio though.

Author:  Dub [ Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Caloric Intake/Cutting

Yeah, there are many polarized views about the issue. Have you ever wondered why?
I'm not to bash you or anything, but to throw in my opinion about the issue. Ironman is a wise fellow, said alot of things I would have said and agreed to, but let me give my 2 cents.

A calorie isn't a calorie. That's a given. Not everything you eat will have the same results on digestion. Not even close. There are several things in physiological level why all the grams of nutrients aren't the same. Calories in - calories out is not a way I would go. Atleast by a longer shot.

Caloric restriction works only so far. A small one is alright (200kcal) reduction from what you truly need. If you cut back on everything, no matter the nutrients, for a thousand calories, you'll be in trouble. The body still uses over 2000 calories daily, there's nothing you can do about it. Unless you severely restrict your calories and exercise much. Then your body will seriously trigger into starvation and slower your metabolism down a notch. Then you use less energy. When there is a noticeable caloric defiency day in and day out, the body notices it and tries to reach balance. That's a fact. When you end your "diet" and try to eat normally, you will gain fat because of the sad fact your metabolism is still very degraded from the starving. The biggest loser constests are the best example of this fact.

Exercise changes everything. When you exercise, you use a way lot more calories. Nutrients come less important; the muscle absorbs anything it can, no matter what you eat. Severe calorie cutting and exercise will most likely lead to recovery issues and loss in muscle mass as well as fat.

I think carbs are the primary fuel for exercise. When we think about optimal performance and recovery, carbs should belng to your nutrition pre-workout, during workout and after workout. The windows in before and after can vary from long to short depending on exercise and goals. Nowhere else do you need carbs except for that window. That's a sad fact, and the main reason why the world is so obese. Carbs are evil for non-exercisers. Why? Because they are so easy to overconsume. Eat a bag of candy (100-250g or even more), that's what many people do several times a week. Well, that one bag can give you over 60-150g of carbs instantly. Can you imagine what that does in your body? Try to consume that much fat or protein in a short period of time. It's impossible. To eat that much protein, you should binge down over 300-700g of meat in a relatively short time. And still it wouldn't have the same effect on your body, because the nutrients aren't the same. The same goes with fat. You just can't overeat too much fat that easily.

Then again, I would like to point out that in moderation everything is alright. You can eat low-fat and high carb and still not gain pounds. Atleast some people can. Especially for athletes this has been a staple for decades, and it seems to work as well. The body needs energy and nutrients. If you give the body the right amount of those nutrients, it'll stay the same. If you exercise, you need more nutrients. If you sleep all day, you shouldn't be eating that much. Even though the point of using the energies and calories you have eaten is relatively true, it needs moderation and thought for optimal results. It's not about the calories, and neither is caloric reduction. They both happen because of the amount of nutrients you should consume. Let's think it that way. For general weight loss, there is a rule of thumb to lessen the amount of calories eaten. How does that happen? By cutting the sugars and excess carbs. Tadah. Caloric reduction shouldn't lead to nutrient cutting, nutrient cutting should lead to caloric reduction. The point in burning more than you eat lies behind the fact you must first burn of the glucose and carbs from your body before the fat gets it's turn (in general). So, wouldn't it be easier to burn more than you eat if you already cut back on carbs on average non-exercise days. Then the body can concentrate on burning off the fat. Plus, I don't think we even have to mention what Insulin bursts do to fat loss. There's another reason why caloric reduction with high amount of carbs doesn't work so well.

So instead of daily caloric defiencys, I'm still in favor of carb cycling. It involves lower calorie days and higher calorie days, but it's not about the calories. It never has been.

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