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  1. #1
    Registered User Highlander2012's Avatar
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    Should I adjust calories?

    I have been training for about 7 months now, so as a newbie I am still trying to glean as much information as I can on this forum, which has been great, I have tried to make changes where necessary to get better results and as I stand at the moment, I am trying to get the body fat down, which according to my inaccurate, but the only thing I have, weighing scale with b.f measurements, I am at 25.7%, and 150lb, I want to drop to 15% as a goal, then I will build up again from there.
    My question is: I have worked out my calorie intake, macro nutrients and use ‘fitnesspal’ to try and track this, but at the moment I am training 3 days a week, I have worked out that for maintenance I should have 2200 calories, I have been having 2000 calories each day to try and drop the body fat, which is working very slowly.
    I train Mon/Wed/Fri on the Reg Parks beginners routine, but I also cycle to work from Mon to Fri (12 miles each day).
    Should I adjust my calories each time, e.g. 2000 calories on the training days, less on the Tue and Fri when I am only cycling and even less on the weekend when I am doing no exercise? Or should I just keep to the same intake each day?
    My reasoning on this is that on the training days I probably burn up an 700 calories, on the cycling days it is about 500 calories, and obviously on the weekend very minimal.
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  2. #2
    ╭∩╮(︶︿︶)╭∩╮ acrawlingchaos's Avatar
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    If you are losing weight at the current intake, there is no need to drop your calories. Personally, I would drop no lower than 2000 (without having to resort to massive amounts of LISS). I wouldn't bother with carb cycling either.

    What is your current rate of loss? (per week).

    What are your macros set to?

    What weight did you start at?
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  3. #3
    Not afraid of food! EB68's Avatar
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    Lots of people use carb cycling and have success with that, but for me setting a daily goal and sticking with it everyday works better. You could lower your intake to 1900 daily for a few weeks and see how that works, then adjust from there. Losing about 1 pound per week is looked at as the method of choice to keep as much muscle as possible while dropping the fat. I would adjust the calories until you are hitting close to that. When adjusting always make small adjustments and allow at least two weeks at that rate before adjusting again.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Highlander2012's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by acrawlingchaos View Post
    If you are losing weight at the current intake, there is no need to drop your calories. Personally, I would drop no lower than 2000 (without having to resort to massive amounts of LISS). I wouldn't bother with carb cycling either.

    What is your current rate of loss? (per week).

    What are your macros set to?

    What weight did you start at?
    My rate of weight loss is aimed at 1lb a week, I started off at 154 about a month ago, so it does seem to be working, my macros are 130g protein, 60g fat and to be honest i have not thought about the carbs, as i read not to worry about them so much, so long as you stay within your daily calories.
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  5. #5
    Not afraid of food! EB68's Avatar
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    If you are losing a pound a week now I would stick with what you are doing and not adjust anything.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Highlander2012's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EB68 View Post
    If you are losing a pound a week now I would stick with what you are doing and not adjust anything.
    Thanks! just looked at your profile, amazing transformation, very inspiring.
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  7. #7
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    As already stated, don't attempt to adjust your calorie intake on a day-by-day basis. This only makes things unnecessarily complicated, plus, you'd only be taking a wild guess as to how many calories you 'burned' from any single event of exercise.

    Consistent results come from consistent macro intake; moving targets are harder to hit.
    No brain, no gain.

    You can't out-train bad nutrition.

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  8. #8
    Registered User oldsuperman's Avatar
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    I would increase your protein to at least 180g and since you don't know what your carb intake is if say it is too high. I'd keep them at only 25g a day. You'll put your body into Keto and it will burn fat like crazy.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Highlander2012's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oldsuperman View Post
    I would increase your protein to at least 180g and since you don't know what your carb intake is if say it is too high. I'd keep them at only 25g a day. You'll put your body into Keto and it will burn fat like crazy.
    Just had a look at my diary over the last few weeks and the carbs are between 130 to 150g, 25g would be a big jump, but it is something i have not tried before, might give it a go and see, The carbs i get are mostly from oats, so i can readjust it and i will up the protein, Thanks.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Highlander2012's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    As already stated, don't attempt to adjust your calorie intake on a day-by-day basis. This only makes things unnecessarily complicated, plus, you'd only be taking a wild guess as to how many calories you 'burned' from any single event of exercise.

    Consistent results come from consistent macro intake; moving targets are harder to hit.
    That makes a lot of sense, thanks.
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  11. #11
    Registered User oldsuperman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Highlander2012 View Post
    Just had a look at my diary over the last few weeks and the carbs are between 130 to 150g, 25g would be a big jump, but it is something i have not tried before, might give it a go and see, The carbs i get are mostly from oats, so i can readjust it and i will up the protein, Thanks.
    IMO you're not getting enough protein to build and maintain muscle. You need to be more conserved with losing FAT and not just POUNDS. By increasing your protein you've gauenteed that you'll be ingesting enough protein to build and keep muscle. The low carbs will insure your body will attack it's fat storage for energy instead of Feeding your fat cells with the carbs you were eating. Pull out the carbs. Promis you'll be more successful IMO.
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  12. #12
    ╭∩╮(︶︿︶)╭∩╮ acrawlingchaos's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Highlander2012 View Post
    Just had a look at my diary over the last few weeks and the carbs are between 130 to 150g, 25g would be a big jump, but it is something i have not tried before, might give it a go and see, The carbs i get are mostly from oats, so i can readjust it and i will up the protein, Thanks.
    I think the bump up to at least the 150 mark is a good move, I would also bump fats to the ~75.

    If you are counting protein and fats, it shouldn't be much more work to keep track of calories and carbs. Your rate of loss is great. So keep the calories where they are. I think with these slight modifications, you'll do great.

    FWIW, if you are not counting calories, I would personally go the Keto route. The drop in carbs typically ensure a deficit (for me). If you are counting calories, just maintain the deficit with the above protein and fat intake. This extra tracking should allow you to consume as much as 150 grams of carbs a day.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Highlander2012's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by acrawlingchaos View Post
    I think the bump up to at least the 150 mark is a good move, I would also bump fats to the ~75.

    If you are counting protein and fats, it shouldn't be much more work to keep track of calories and carbs. Your rate of loss is great. So keep the calories where they are. I think with these slight modifications, you'll do great.

    FWIW, if you are not counting calories, I would personally go the Keto route. The drop in carbs typically ensure a deficit (for me). If you are counting calories, just maintain the deficit with the above protein and fat intake. This extra tracking should allow you to consume as much as 150 grams of carbs a day.
    I had a read up on this Keto, i have seen it mentioned a few times, but never thought much about it, I will try and drop the carbs, but i don't think i could get to 25g, I usually have chicken with brown rice or pasta for lunch. Any suggestions on what to replace the carbs with instead of the rice or pasta? I also get the carbs from fruit, apples and bananas, should I cut these out too?
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    Registered User oldsuperman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Highlander2012 View Post
    I had a read up on this Keto, i have seen it mentioned a few times, but never thought much about it, I will try and drop the carbs, but i don't think i could get to 25g, I usually have chicken with brown rice or pasta for lunch. Any suggestions on what to replace the carbs with instead of the rice or pasta? I also get the carbs from fruit, apples and bananas, should I cut these out too?
    It won't work if you don't drop it to 25 or less. It's a mute point. Good luck in all your fitness goals.
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    Not afraid of food! EB68's Avatar
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    I have been consistently dropping fat with 150 grams of carbs per day. If I go any lower my energy tanks and strength goes out the window. I previously went from 23% BF to 10 % bf eating 150 grams of carbs per day. The KETO route works for some, but not for me.
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  16. #16
    Registered User Highlander2012's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EB68 View Post
    I have been consistently dropping fat with 150 grams of carbs per day. If I go any lower my energy tanks and strength goes out the window. I previously went from 23% BF to 10 % bf eating 150 grams of carbs per day. The KETO route works for some, but not for me.
    That is what worries me, with all the respect for oldsuperman, I do my training at 5:45am and then i have to cycle 6 miles to work, I find it difficult enough at this moment to achieve this, and with very little carbs, I think I would struggle to get to work! I might give the calorie deficit another month and see what happens.
    How long did it take you to get from 23% to 10% and how long and how often did you train?
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  17. #17
    Not afraid of food! EB68's Avatar
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    It took seven months training 4 days per week for about 75 minutes per session. That was 30 pounds in 28 weeks, so you are on the right path now.
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    Originally Posted by EB68 View Post
    It took seven months training 4 days per week for about 75 minutes per session. That was 30 pounds in 28 weeks, so you are on the right path now.
    Thanks for the feedback! gives me something to aim for, although I will be happy to make it to 15% Body fat!
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    Registered User oldsuperman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Highlander2012 View Post
    That is what worries me, with all the respect for oldsuperman, I do my training at 5:45am and then i have to cycle 6 miles to work, I find it difficult enough at this moment to achieve this, and with very little carbs, I think I would struggle to get to work! I might give the calorie deficit another month and see what happens.
    How long did it take you to get from 23% to 10% and how long and how often did you train?
    I do this for a living. Truste me you'll have more energy and no glycemic lows or highs. For maximum FAT loss and MUSCLE growth, drop your carbs and increase your protein. People love their carbs yet when we have excess fat to burn in your case, it's best to use them as energy and use your food for building muscle. When your BF hits about 10% then start adding lower glycemic carbs like brown rice, etc.
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    Registered User Highlander2012's Avatar
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    I hear what you are saying old superman and could try it, my main problem is what to eat to keep my calories up while taking all the carbs out, I am not very imaginative when it comes to making meals for lunch, that is why I have rice and pasta as the side dishes, I will take a good look at my diet and see if I could try it for a while and see how it affects me. having more energy sounds good!
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    Originally Posted by oldsuperman View Post
    I do this for a living.

    Are you a nutritionist?
    Thanks,
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    Originally Posted by ironwill2008 View Post
    As already stated, don't attempt to adjust your calorie intake on a day-by-day basis. This only makes things unnecessarily complicated, plus, you'd only be taking a wild guess as to how many calories you 'burned' from any single event of exercise.

    Consistent results come from consistent macro intake; moving targets are harder to hit.
    X2. Stay the course OP.
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  23. #23
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Highlander2012 View Post
    I hear what you are saying old superman and could try it, my main problem is what to eat to keep my calories up while taking all the carbs out, I am not very imaginative when it comes to making meals for lunch, that is why I have rice and pasta as the side dishes, I will take a good look at my diet and see if I could try it for a while and see how it affects me. having more energy sounds good!
    There's no requirement to stop eating carbs. Besides the fact that they're the body's primary source of energy, the micronutrients you'd be giving up from not eating carbs would be otherwise difficult to replace.

    Changes in body composition are brought about by calorie control, not by restricting an entire macro category.
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  24. #24
    Master Roshi IronCharles's Avatar
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    I think what Old Supe is trying to say is, by reducing carbs, you force your body to turn to burning fat for fuel instead. Your body will look to burn carbohydrates first, then excess protein, and then fat.... in that order. And the way to spare muscle tissue (protein) is by working it hard enough that the body recognizes that that muscle tissue is required for survival.

    You don't need to eat carbohydrates. Your body will convert fat and protein into fuel, if carbs are removed. Thousands have lost weight with keto (no carb) diets. Don't let anybody tell you there's only one right way. You should try different methods that have been proven to work for others, until you find what works best for YOUR particular metabolism.
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  25. #25
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    Originally Posted by EB68 View Post
    If you are losing a pound a week now I would stick with what you are doing and not adjust anything.
    This^^

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  26. #26
    ╭∩╮(︶︿︶)╭∩╮ acrawlingchaos's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IronCharles View Post
    I think what Old Supe is trying to say is, by reducing carbs, you force your body to turn to burning fat for fuel instead. Your body will look to burn carbohydrates first, then excess protein, and then fat.... in that order. And the way to spare muscle tissue (protein) is by working it hard enough that the body recognizes that that muscle tissue is required for survival.

    You don't need to eat carbohydrates. Your body will convert fat and protein into fuel, if carbs are removed. Thousands have lost weight with keto (no carb) diets. Don't let anybody tell you there's only one right way. You should try different methods that have been proven to work for others, until you find what works best for YOUR particular metabolism.
    Even though you are in ketosis and preferentially burning fat, this doesn't mean adipose tissue. You will simply burn dietary fat first if you hit a surplus. IMO the only reason Keto diets work well with non counters, is because "usually" eliminating carbs will change your eating patterns enough to put you in a deficit.... "usually".
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    Originally Posted by acrawlingchaos View Post
    Even though you are in ketosis and preferentially burning fat, this doesn't mean adipose tissue. You will simply burn dietary fat first if you hit a surplus.
    Why do you assume people on a keto diet wouldn't eat at a deficit? People on a diet that includes carbs will simply burn dietary carbs before dipping into the fat stores, too.
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    ╭∩╮(︶︿︶)╭∩╮ acrawlingchaos's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IronCharles View Post
    Why do you assume people on a keto diet wouldn't eat at a deficit?
    I'm not assuming that those in ketosis do not go into a deficit. What I am stating is that ketosis IN AND OF ITSELF (as implied by oldsupermans post) does not ensure a deficit.

    People on a diet that includes carbs will simply burn dietary carbs before dipping into the fat stores, too.
    Which illustrates exactly why if you are having difficulty dropping weigh, it would make sense to take the extra effort to count calories. If given the option of dropping fat through severe carb restriction and guessing you are in a deficit, over moderate energy restriction (with moderate carb intake) while counting... I will stick to counting.





    Again... this only applies to those that may have difficulty losing. If you are losing with whatever method you are using... have at it.






    25 grams of carbs? F*ck that!!! (not literally, no homo).
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    Registered User oldsuperman's Avatar
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    Actually low carb diets require a high fat content to work. You shouldn't be in a calorie deficit if done properly because of the required fat in the diet is high in calories.

    Originally Posted by acrawlingchaos View Post
    I'm not assuming that those in ketosis do not go into a deficit. What I am stating is that ketosis IN AND OF ITSELF (as implied by oldsupermans post) does not ensure a deficit.

    Which illustrates exactly why if you are having difficulty dropping weigh, it would make sense to take the extra effort to count calories. If given the option of dropping fat through severe carb restriction and guessing you are in a deficit, over moderate energy restriction (with moderate carb intake) while counting... I will stick to counting.





    Again... this only applies to those that may have difficulty losing. If you are losing with whatever method you are using... have at it.






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    ╭∩╮(︶︿︶)╭∩╮ acrawlingchaos's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oldsuperman View Post
    Actually low carb diets require a high fat content to work. You shouldn't be in a calorie deficit if done properly because of the required fat in the diet is high in calories.
    If you consumed enough fat that you are not in a surplus, you won't be losing any fat.

    IMO... if you want to lose weight / fat.... positive energy diets would be counter productive.


    FYI
    Fat intake is not required for fat loss. Some more extreme diets like RFL completely strip all fat and carbs from the diet.
    Last edited by acrawlingchaos; 08-01-2013 at 02:41 AM.
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