View Full Version : Calorie Help --intakes for mass build and fat loss

06-23-2010, 09:30 AM
I need some clarification here please. I'm a 200lb guy at 6 feet tall. I'm in shape - not incredibly ripped but I donít have a gut. (I usually get called muscular / jacked; kinda have a 4-pack).

Iím this way because I work out hard 5 days a week; my job requires me to walk an additional 2-3 miles a day.

However, I only eat about 2100 calories a day - High protein, mid carb, low fat. (if it matters my arms are 17inch, chest 46inch, waist 35inch)

I have read almost 20 articles now about mass building and fat burning. And they all shock me. They say on average, someone my size and weight training, should be eating anywhere from 3100-4000 calories a day! to build LEAN mass. Or about 2900-3400 a day for FAT loss.

If i were to eat nearly 4000 calories a day -- I would not be putting on lean mass. Yes there would muscle, but a lot of fat too. Now i know everyone has different metabolisms and such -- but I work out hard at the gym and live a fairly active life style. How can my body be that far off from these articles?

Case in point. Last year i wanted to bulk.. So i ate about 2500 calories a day. I put on weight. Thatís still 600-1500 away from what these articles say about lean mass.

Earlier this year I wanted to lose fat -- get a 6-pack. I ate about 2000 calories a day. No added sugar, etc, etc. While i did trim up -- i never got really ripped. However, once again, I'm still 900-1400 calories less that what these articles say for fat loss.

What am I missing here?

Thanks for any info.

06-23-2010, 09:48 AM
The articles you read give an average of calorie intake. To really get the amount your body needs you need to calculate for yourself on an individual basis. First you need to find your Basal metabolic rate or BMR. The Harris-Benedict equation is the most common means of doing this. I have a calculator set up in excel, your BMR is approximately 2065. This means you would burn 2065 calories a day just sitting on the couch. After this number is found we take activity level in to account. Since you work out 5 days a week and are fairly active outside the gym as well we will multiply by 1.725 giving a maintenance calorie amount of about 3560.

To lose weight from here you would subtract 500 calories, and to gain lean mass add about 250 to 300. Now reasons why your body is far off from this amount may include the prolonged time you have spent in a calorie deficit your body has adapted to in taking less calories and your metabolism is slower. You may also have a slow metabolism naturally.

My suggestion is to slowly increase your calories. eat 250 more calories each day for about two weeks and repeat this until you reach your maintenance level. Then stay at that calorie amount for a month or so so your metabolism can re adjust. After that period start eating at 250 to 300 over maintenance to build muscle.

06-23-2010, 10:05 AM
Wow, thanks for the answer.

So I really am in a deficit - it was not so much that I was missing a major point. Dont know if it means anything but I used to be fat. I lost 100lbs several years ago -- since then I been trying to go through phases of mass build, cutting, and maintance. Based on my training/experiences; at this point in my life I would say my metabolism is average. I dont store fat incredibly fast, but at same point I can't eat anything and everything.

Is it bad that my body/goals to have adjusted to this defecit? I.E. is it setting me back from my goals? (I'd like to be about 210-220 lean/cut)

Not to repeat, but for past 3 weeks in effort to add mass I been eating 2315 calories a day, 252g protein, 32.5g fat, 44g fiber, and 181 carbs - and ive noticed a slight increase in weight, but yet to measure so couldnt tell you if its fat,muscle,water retention.

I been reclucant to increase the fat/carb level due to fact (as i mentioned earlier) I put on weight at this level, but want to ensure its lean mass.

One last note -- it is summer and want to look my best for next couple months. I'm interested in adopting your ideas....however, would it be best to wait till fall or could I start this now without packing on much fat?


06-23-2010, 11:25 AM
I know exactly where your coming from I was once pretty overweight myself. As far as it setting you back form your goal goes, it did a little bit but the main thing is recognizing that it did and making the changes you need to make to pursue your goals.

As you start to increase calories you will notice weight gain as your metabolism catches up with the amount of food you are eating. There is a possibility of fat storage so if you want to look your leanest for summer you could cap the calories at 2500-2600 and just increase by 100 every two weeks from where you are now and then get up to maintenance come September. As long as you stay active though fat loss should be minimal and you could start it now safely and as an extra precaution use a more steady method of calorie increase. Like 100 to 150 cals every 2 weeks instead of 250.

For putting on mass you will want to be eating at least 45 percent of your calories from carbs as a bare minimum. Ideally it would be a bit higher, but if you are carb sensitive it is a good place to start.

06-23-2010, 11:51 AM
Thanks for the great info, I really appreciate it. Im still kind of at aw, about how low I been eating (Granted I adapted to it). I never go hungry and my weight flucuated with calorie changes so I thought I was doing good, but not based on the numbers all those articles provided.

I'll have to add a piece or two of whole wheat bread with some no sugar added jelly or pb at some-point during the day for added carbs. I already eat the traditional eggs, tuna, chicken, wraps, peas/salad, otameal, cottege cheese, whey / casein protein, beans, etc etc.

07-14-2010, 06:13 AM
granted its been about 3 weeks - i have begun this process - and put on some weight -- but non of which has been good.... ive gotton some extra low-back fat and my abs have found a hiding spot. While im sure it will take a little bit for my body to level out -- im still not quite to terms with this.