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anastasiak1
05-13-2018, 04:23 PM
Hey guys

Just have a question I’m sure it’s simple but I’m a bit confused.

I have a very active lifestyle. Heavy strength training 5x a week, and 1 strongman session. I also work as a baker on my feet which is extremely taxing on my body and I’m always sweating.

I’ve been eating 1800 calories for about 5 years. I thought it was the calories my body needed - and then I started gaining some fat so I did some research and I think I caused metabolic damage by undereating for so long.

I got tests done and my adrenals were quit worn out and cortisol was higher than usual. I think this is from stress coupled with overtraining and undereating.

After doing a baseline calculator my TDEE is 2540 cals. I have upped my calories and have been eating this for 4 weeks now.

My questions are:

- How long do I eat these calories to repair the damage I’ve done?
- Is it possible for me to still build muscle being in this surplus, or is my body only going to use the calories to repair itself?
- When I diet again, is 100calories deficit per day too little?

Thank you!

Heisman2
05-13-2018, 04:32 PM
How has your weight changed in the last four weeks?

Adrenal fatigue is made up. There is no such thing.

How much weight did you lose while eating 1800 kcal daily for 5 years? Of not much while being quite active you probably were eating a lot more than you think.

Tigress84
05-14-2018, 04:51 AM
How has your weight changed in the last four weeks?

Adrenal fatigue is made up. There is no such thing.

How much weight did you lose while eating 1800 kcal daily for 5 years? Of not much while being quite active you probably were eating a lot more than you think.


If someone's cortisol is significantly higher or lower than normal, that is not made up, it is a fact. If you don't like the name "AF", you can call it GAS, which was how originally Selye named it. Repeated blood and saliva tests don't lie.

Mortar34
05-14-2018, 04:56 AM
How has your weight changed in the last four weeks?

Adrenal fatigue is made up. There is no such thing.

How much weight did you lose while eating 1800 kcal daily for 5 years? Of not much while being quite active you probably were eating a lot more than you think.

One of the biggest, most proliferated, lies on this forum.

Right, because adaptation is a thing that only applies to literally every other bodily function, except metabolism? I mean, people tend to take a chit at the same time every day, but your body can't become accustomed to a consistent amount of daily calories and adapt it's ability to process them more efficiently?? GTFOH

Tigress84
05-14-2018, 04:59 AM
Hey guys

Just have a question I’m sure it’s simple but I’m a bit confused.

I have a very active lifestyle. Heavy strength training 5x a week, and 1 strongman session. I also work as a baker on my feet which is extremely taxing on my body and I’m always sweating.

I’ve been eating 1800 calories for about 5 years. I thought it was the calories my body needed - and then I started gaining some fat so I did some research and I think I caused metabolic damage by undereating for so long.

I got tests done and my adrenals were quit worn out and cortisol was higher than usual. I think this is from stress coupled with overtraining and undereating.

After doing a baseline calculator my TDEE is 2540 cals. I have upped my calories and have been eating this for 4 weeks now.

My questions are:

- How long do I eat these calories to repair the damage I’ve done?
- Is it possible for me to still build muscle being in this surplus, or is my body only going to use the calories to repair itself?
- When I diet again, is 100calories deficit per day too little?

Thank you!


I had a similar case, and only raised my intake and lowered my workouts when my cortisol levels were dangerously low and I was feeling like crap. Took two years of higher calories, minimal workouts and resting to get my cortisol levels back to not optimal but normal. I gained 15 kg / around 33 lbs in the meantime. Lost 2/3 of it by now. I know how much suboptimal cortisol levels can ruin someone's life, but once you recover, things will get way better.

SuffolkPunch
05-14-2018, 05:16 AM
One of the biggest, most proliferated, lies on this forum.

Right, because adaptation is a thing that only applies to literally every other bodily function, except metabolism? I mean, people tend to take a chit at the same time every day, but your body can't become accustomed to a consistent amount of daily calories and adapt it's ability to process them more efficiently?? GTFOH
Chill. He didn't say there isn't an adaptive component in metabolism. He said adrenal fatigue is not a real thing.

Some references:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997656/
https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/another-look-at-metabolic-damage.html/

Mortar34
05-14-2018, 05:24 AM
Chill. He didn't say there isn't an adaptive component in metabolism. He said adrenal fatigue is not a real thing.

Some references:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997656/
https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/another-look-at-metabolic-damage.html/

Fair, but the implication that TDEE remains perpetually consistent is bro-science, yet it's regurgitated here like gospel when people ask questions.

To be frank, I have no clue what adrenal fatigue even is. I'll read up on it. I also get that plenty of people aren't as good at tracking as they think, but the folks who tell people that metabolic damage/adaptation isn't real defies both logic and science.

Heisman2
05-14-2018, 05:32 AM
If someone's cortisol is significantly higher or lower than normal, that is not made up, it is a fact. If you don't like the name "AF", you can call it GAS, which was how originally Selye named it. Repeated blood and saliva tests don't lie.

You are correct; if someone's cortisol is significantly higher or lower than normal when measured correctly that is not made up. It's quite likely there is some sort of underlying medical diagnosis in that case. However, adrenal fatigue is not a real diagnosis. I've read through several papers on this and spoken to multiple endocrinologists about this specific topic. If someone has actual adrenal insufficiency (where there cortisol cannot appropriately elevate when ill) that can lead to severe illness symptoms when sick. Very high cortisol levels can lead to a cushingoid appearance. There is a spectrum of other conditions in between. But adrenal fatigue specifically is not real.


One of the biggest, most proliferated, lies on this forum.

Right, because adaptation is a thing that only applies to literally every other bodily function, except metabolism? I mean, people tend to take a chit at the same time every day, but your body can't become accustomed to a consistent amount of daily calories and adapt it's ability to process them more efficiently?? GTFOH

It only adapts to a point. BMR may decrease ~15% while cutting. NEAT can certainly decrease significantly. But 1800 calories daily while living both an active lifestyle and doing heavy strength training 6x/week is a recipe for weight loss; certainly not fat gain as OP is claiming. Even in the famed Minnesota starvation experiment the participants were eating ~1550-1600 kcal daily and lost massive amounts of weight and experienced significant psychological effects; granted 1800 is more than 1550 but the active lifestyle and heavy training should account for a couple hundred more calories daily (if I recall correctly the Minnesota participants were walking a few miles a day but not doing further exercise beyond that; I may be misremembering).

SuffolkPunch
05-14-2018, 05:34 AM
Fair, but the implication that TDEE remains perpetually consistent is bro-science, yet it's regurgitated here like gospel when people ask questions.

To be frank, I have no clue what adrenal fatigue even is. I'll read up on it. I also get that plenty of people aren't as good at tracking as they think, but the folks who tell people that metabolic damage/adaptation isn't real defies both logic and science.
I think the gist is that there is some small component of metabolism change in long term dieters - but it's only really measurable in extreme cases, mostly females doing contest prep. And it gets reversed almost as soon as the person starts eating at maintenance.

For the average person here who is looking to lose a few lbs, it's more common that they are simply getting hungry and subconsciously expanding their portion sizes or mismeasuring - as well as doing less overall activity. So it's mostly mental. In any case, the usual advice is to reduce calories - if they were mismeasuring then that advice will still work unless they really start to cheat...

Mortar34
05-14-2018, 05:40 AM
It only adapts to a point. BMR may decrease ~15% while cutting. NEAT can certainly decrease significantly. But 1800 calories daily while living both an active lifestyle and doing heavy strength training 6x/week is a recipe for weight loss; certainly not fat gain as OP is claiming. Even in the famed Minnesota starvation experiment the participants were eating ~1550-1600 kcal daily and lost massive amounts of weight and experienced significant psychological effects; granted 1800 is more than 1550 but the active lifestyle and heavy training should account for a couple hundred more calories daily (if I recall correctly the Minnesota participants were walking a few miles a day but not doing further exercise beyond that; I may be misremembering).

Sorry m8, I was a dik and shouldn't have been.

My only point is this: if you curl the exact same weight, sets and reps for 5 years, you will stop gaining strength/size at a certain point. Using that same logic, eating the same calories for 5 years (assuming that is actually the case) will have the same, or at least similar, effect.

I can't claim to know about actual "damage" to metabolism, but to say that it can't be adapted is an area where I simply can not connect the dots.

Heisman2
05-14-2018, 06:04 AM
Sorry m8, I was a dik and shouldn't have been.

No worries. I started coming to this website in 2003 and posting in 2004; I've had worse things said to me, lol.


My only point is this: if you curl the exact same weight, sets and reps for 5 years, you will stop gaining strength/size at a certain point. Using that same logic, eating the same calories for 5 years (assuming that is actually the case) will have the same, or at least similar, effect.

This is true; eventually you will reach a new equilibrium and stop losing further weight unless you change something up. But most people will certainly lose a decent amount of weight before they get to that new equilibrium.


I can't claim to know about actual "damage" to metabolism, but to say that it can't be adapted is an area where I simply can not connect the dots.

BMR will typically decrease to some degree while dieting. Most papers I've seen that look at this do not show more than a 15% decrease typically. NEAT is the big factor that is quite variable amongst different people; it can decrease quite a bit. If it decreases more it makes it harder to lose weight. These adaptations almost fully reverse when people go back to eating maintenance calories; there is however some persistent adaptation. Maintaining lean body mass while losing fat helps to minimize the amount of adaptation that occurs.

Metabolic adaptation is 100% real and I'm not disputing that at all. But no typical size male who is training hard 6x/week while additionally living an active lifestyle is going to be able to sustain their workout intensity on 1800 kcal/day without becoming quite skinny. It is so much more likely that OP is consuming more calories than he/she realizes, but it is hard for me to state this with complete confidence without knowing OP's height/weight.