Reply
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Registered User DLMTAG's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2021
    Age: 51
    Posts: 6
    Rep Power: 0
    DLMTAG is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    DLMTAG is offline

    Question How to maintain energy while cutting

    Hi all, I am brand new to this forum and this is my first post - thanks in advance for any of your suggestions here.

    After a very unsuccessful bulk for 2 months (I did not gain a single pound -- but did this with a PT, clean diet, careful training, etc.), my PT decided to do a cut now, then try bulking again once I lower body fat. On my bulk I was at 1800 calories per day + 2 cheat meals per week. weight lifting 4x per week. Cardio 4x per week.

    I am now on this new cut and a week in and just feel like crap. I am totally exhausted because we are keeping the same weight lifting schedule and adding another day of cardio. I am on 1200-1300 calories -- very low carb -- a day now and just wiped out. Honestly, my PT gave me a diet plan for this but when I added up the macros it didn't even come to 1100 calories so I added a couple of healthy extras to bring me up to 1200-1300.

    It's only a week in -- down .5/.75 pounds, so hard to tell if it will be successful, but Im already so exhausted all the time. I am trying to time my workouts in the early AM right when I'm allowed to eat some carbs and healthy fats so I have the energy to push through, but after that, I'm spent and it's getting harder every day to wake up (I'm usually the complete opposite - early bird full of energy to go kill it).

    For reference I'm 5'3 / 112lbs / guestimation 20-20.5% bodyfat currently. Age 42 (not sure why my icon says different).

    Just looking for insights on if what I'm feeling in terms of fatigue is normal, if there's anything I can do to keep up my energy, and if adding a little carbs would totally derail the plan if I stay within the calorie deficit? Is it too a high a deficit? I feel like I'm going nowhere fast. Thanks so much in advance everyone!
    Last edited by DLMTAG; Yesterday at 03:22 PM.
    Reply With Quote

  2. #2
    I'm huge in Japan! xsquid99's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2013
    Location: Stanwood, Washington, United States
    Posts: 4,450
    Rep Power: 32842
    xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000)
    xsquid99 is offline
    I'm just curious, why did you think that 1800 calories was a "bulk" diet? Those are at or very near cutting calories, even for someone your size and your level of activity. And 1200 calories is extremely low, even for someone your size.

    Recommend you post a photo, because we can't give good advice without seeing one since people's self assessments aren't always the best information to go off of. You can upload one to an image hosting site if you need to and post the link, and you can black out or cut off your head if you have any privacy concerns.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
    Reply With Quote

  3. #3
    Registered User DLMTAG's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2021
    Age: 51
    Posts: 6
    Rep Power: 0
    DLMTAG is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    DLMTAG is offline
    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    I'm just curious, why did you think that 1800 calories was a "bulk" diet? Those are at or very near cutting calories, even for someone your size and your level of activity. And 1200 calories is extremely low, even for someone your size.

    Recommend you post a photo, because we can't give good advice without seeing one since people's self assessments aren't always the best information to go off of. You can upload one to an image hosting site if you need to and post the link, and you can black out or cut off your head if you have any privacy concerns.
    Thank you so much -- I thought so too re the low cals. In terms of the bulk, for me this was more maintenance calories at a bare minimum as I went down a pound in the end. I called it a bulk as that is what my PT thought he was doing/called it. Maybe because he felt I was small? No clue, and now I feel he's gone to the other extreme, making my deficit way too low.

    I will post some photos shortly!
    Reply With Quote

  4. #4
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2006
    Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
    Posts: 22,591
    Rep Power: 118366
    AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) AdamWW has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000)
    AdamWW is offline
    wow, pt's really can be idiots
    The power of carbs compels me!
    Reply With Quote

  5. #5
    I'm huge in Japan! xsquid99's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2013
    Location: Stanwood, Washington, United States
    Posts: 4,450
    Rep Power: 32842
    xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000)
    xsquid99 is offline
    Originally Posted by DLMTAG View Post
    Thank you so much -- I thought so too re the low cals. In terms of the bulk, for me this was more maintenance calories at a bare minimum as I went down a pound in the end. I called it a bulk as that is what my PT thought he was doing/called it. Maybe because he felt I was small? No clue, and now I feel he's gone to the other extreme, making my deficit way too low.

    I will post some photos shortly!
    Ok, yeah so I'd be highly suspect of any further advice you get from this "trainer". If I was trying to get you to build some more muscle and didn't see any weight gain over the course of 2-3 weeks then that would have been the first clue that you needed to increase your calories further; 1-2 lbs per month of gain is what you should expect to see if you're trying to build muscle while keeping fat gains to a minimum.

    20% bodyfat for a female is already fairly lean (but we haven't seen photos to confirm that number yet). For a trainer to recommend that you completely "switch directions" like that is very odd, you went from basically your maintenance calories (or a very tiny deficit) to a bigger deficit, and now you're very likely feeling the effects.

    You need a well defined goal, and then you need to train (and eat) in support of that goal.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
    Reply With Quote

  6. #6
    Registered User snailsrus's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2016
    Age: 29
    Posts: 7,761
    Rep Power: 116199
    snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) snailsrus has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000)
    snailsrus is offline
    I’d die on 1200 calories

    I cut on 1800

    I’m about the same size

    You pt is a ding dong.

    And ya 1100-1200 calories you’ll feel like a slug all day

    If you didn’t lose or gain on 1800, did your strength change at all? Also, how much of a cheat meal were you having twice a week? I mean your maintenance is most likely higher than 1800 cals if you were able to have two decent “cheat sized” meals. End even then it sounds like you were losing weight at the end? If your strength was still going up your probably ok staying around 2000 but get rid of the cheat meals. Posting a picture would help too

    Just out of curiosity what’s the lifting routine he has you on?
    Insta is username snails.r.us
    Reply With Quote

  7. #7
    Registered User EiFit91's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2020
    Age: 51
    Posts: 232
    Rep Power: 2947
    EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500) EiFit91 is a glorious beacon of knowledge. (+2500)
    EiFit91 is offline
    Originally Posted by DLMTAG View Post
    Hi all, I am brand new to this forum and this is my first post - thanks in advance for any of your suggestions here.

    After a very unsuccessful bulk for 2 months (I did not gain a single pound -- but did this with a PT, clean diet, careful training, etc.), my PT decided to do a cut now, then try bulking again once I lower body fat. On my bulk I was at 1800 calories per day + 2 cheat meals per week. weight lifting 4x per week. Cardio 4x per week.

    I am now on this new cut and a week in and just feel like crap. I am totally exhausted because we are keeping the same weight lifting schedule and adding another day of cardio. I am on 1200-1300 calories -- very low carb -- a day now and just wiped out. Honestly, my PT gave me a diet plan for this but when I added up the macros it didn't even come to 1100 calories so I added a couple of healthy extras to bring me up to 1200-1300.

    It's only a week in -- down .5/.75 pounds, so hard to tell if it will be successful, but Im already so exhausted all the time. I am trying to time my workouts in the early AM right when I'm allowed to eat some carbs and healthy fats so I have the energy to push through, but after that, I'm spent and it's getting harder every day to wake up (I'm usually the complete opposite - early bird full of energy to go kill it).

    For reference I'm 5'3 / 112lbs / guestimation 20-20.5% bodyfat currently. Age 42 (not sure why my icon says different).

    Just looking for insights on if what I'm feeling in terms of fatigue is normal, if there's anything I can do to keep up my energy, and if adding a little carbs would totally derail the plan if I stay within the calorie deficit? Is it too a high a deficit? I feel like I'm going nowhere fast. Thanks so much in advance everyone!
    Fire the PT and read the stickies + listen to the people in this forum instead.

    2 months is not enough to measure progress, you need to measure over many months, ideally holding everything constant.

    Also, you may not need to "bulk" to gain muscle. Did your lifts progress during that 2 months period?
    Reply With Quote

  8. #8
    Registered User DLMTAG's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2021
    Age: 51
    Posts: 6
    Rep Power: 0
    DLMTAG is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    DLMTAG is offline
    Originally Posted by snailsrus View Post
    I’d die on 1200 calories

    I cut on 1800

    I’m about the same size

    You pt is a ding dong.

    And ya 1100-1200 calories you’ll feel like a slug all day

    If you didn’t lose or gain on 1800, did your strength change at all? Also, how much of a cheat meal were you having twice a week? I mean your maintenance is most likely higher than 1800 cals if you were able to have two decent “cheat sized” meals. End even then it sounds like you were losing weight at the end? If your strength was still going up your probably ok staying around 2000 but get rid of the cheat meals. Posting a picture would help too

    Just out of curiosity what’s the lifting routine he has you on?

    Tell me about it - my family says I look like a zombie on the sofa...

    So in terms of the routine, 4-Day Split on weights and 5X cardio. I definitely gained strength on the higher calorie routine, consistently moving up in weights on almost all exercises except for a couple.

    Cheats weren't horrible as I'm not into junk food really, but they were relatively calorie-dense: examples include pastas with meat sauce; larger portions of steak or fattier cuts of lamb with rice pilaf or mashed potatoes and salad with more olive oil; larger portion of salmon or other seafood with a more carb-heavy side dish -- always a desert -- chocolate cookies or small slice of cake, or extra fruit and a full-fat cappuccino with real sugar.

    And photos are not the best but will give a general idea.
    Attached Images
    Reply With Quote

  9. #9
    Registered User DLMTAG's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2021
    Age: 51
    Posts: 6
    Rep Power: 0
    DLMTAG is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    DLMTAG is offline
    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    I'm just curious, why did you think that 1800 calories was a "bulk" diet? Those are at or very near cutting calories, even for someone your size and your level of activity. And 1200 calories is extremely low, even for someone your size.

    Recommend you post a photo, because we can't give good advice without seeing one since people's self assessments aren't always the best information to go off of. You can upload one to an image hosting site if you need to and post the link, and you can black out or cut off your head if you have any privacy concerns.
    OK I added some photos above -- not sure if they came through OK -- this forum's upload feature is a little weird. Thanks for all the insights and I agree. I also felt that it would make more sense to be patient, keep increasing quality calories as I increase in strength.

    Bodyfat percentage I based on a bodyfat scale I have at home (I know those aren't totally accurate), factoring in that last year, I was 5lbds less and had professional dunk-tank reading that put me at 19% then. So I sort of ballparked it based on those two pieces of data.
    Reply With Quote

  10. #10
    Registered User DLMTAG's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2021
    Age: 51
    Posts: 6
    Rep Power: 0
    DLMTAG is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    DLMTAG is offline
    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Ok, yeah so I'd be highly suspect of any further advice you get from this "trainer". If I was trying to get you to build some more muscle and didn't see any weight gain over the course of 2-3 weeks then that would have been the first clue that you needed to increase your calories further; 1-2 lbs per month of gain is what you should expect to see if you're trying to build muscle while keeping fat gains to a minimum.

    20% bodyfat for a female is already fairly lean (but we haven't seen photos to confirm that number yet). For a trainer to recommend that you completely "switch directions" like that is very odd, you went from basically your maintenance calories (or a very tiny deficit) to a bigger deficit, and now you're very likely feeling the effects.

    You need a well defined goal, and then you need to train (and eat) in support of that goal.
    Trying photo upload here.
    Attached Images
    Reply With Quote

  11. #11
    Registered User DLMTAG's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2021
    Age: 51
    Posts: 6
    Rep Power: 0
    DLMTAG is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    DLMTAG is offline
    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Fire the PT and read the stickies + listen to the people in this forum instead.

    2 months is not enough to measure progress, you need to measure over many months, ideally holding everything constant.

    Also, you may not need to "bulk" to gain muscle. Did your lifts progress during that 2 months period?

    Thanks much. I agree it was too short a time to measure progress and I joined this forum for the great insights. Thank you again!
    Reply With Quote

  12. #12
    Registered User readreindeer666's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2021
    Age: 51
    Posts: 85
    Rep Power: 51
    readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10) readreindeer666 is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    readreindeer666 is offline
    1800 calories is fairly low to grow lean tissue
    Reply With Quote

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts