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  1. #1
    Registered User Gordo955's Avatar
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    Are ultra-low calorie diets ok when consuming enough protein?

    So for example, I take a protein shake that serves 42g of protein for 240 calories. I used a calculator to get that my body requires 90-300g of protein a day.

    Not saying its what I would do... but technically... why not just buy 3 shakes at 720 calories and 126g of protein?

    Anything wrong with this approach? Im really trying to lose weight fast
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    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    Your body requires fat. Also, at a certain point, a huge calorie deficit is just miserable to try to maintain after a short period of time.
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    I think there's a limit to how many calories you can get from bodyfat (~30 cal per lb of bodyfat per day IIRC), so if you have 30 lbs of fat, you could theoretically use 900 calories from fat.

    Any bigger deficit than that you may end up using muscle for fuel.

    ^^ I'm sure those numbers aren't precise, but you get my point that there is a limit.
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    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Besides what Spradish said above, which I agree with...

    You're essentially describing a PSMF (protein sparing modified fast) which is where you basically only eat protein. It is not recommended to follow this diet for long, it is pretty much only good for people who are already fit and lean and trying to shred down the last % of body fat over a week or two.

    Following a super low calorie diet long term will result in weight loss, including both fat and muscle. If your rate of loss is too quick, you WILL lose muscle, which is not the goal. This more than anything is the reason to not do it.
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    Registered User Gordo955's Avatar
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    Look, Im 280lbs fat+muscle.. more fat. Im tired of being heavy and want to slim down as fast as I can.

    If around 800 is too little, then what about like 1200? Any diet will hurt muscles, so how can I decide?
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    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gordo955 View Post
    Look, Im 280lbs fat+muscle.. more fat. Im tired of being heavy and want to slim down as fast as I can.

    If around 800 is too little, then what about like 1200? Any diet will hurt muscles, so how can I decide?
    This is a perfect recipe for failure right here, we see posts like this a lot on this forum, and they always end badly. Realize that you didn't get fat overnight, it took you years and years to do this to yourself, and now you think you can erase all those years of bad behavior and slim down in a few weeks or months; IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT.

    Here's the deal, you need at least 0.8g of protein and 0.4g of fats daily to both maintain muscle mass and ensure proper organ and hormone function. For a 280 lb individual that means you need minimum 224g of protein (896 calories) and 112g of fats (1008 cal) for a grand total of 1904 calories MINIMUM per day. And keep in mind thats if you ate exactly zero carbs, which is not a realistic scenario.

    Put yourself in one of those extreme dieting scenarios and you will feel like chit and look like chit when its all over with (if you even last more than a couple weeks).

    Do it right, use a moderate caloric deficit coupled with strength training and a few sessions per week of cardio to keep the heart/cardiovascular system healthy and you'll make far better progress.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Registered User shmanks's Avatar
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    Google TDEE calculator to see the amount of calories you need.

    Also use MyFitnessPal to count your calories.

    Then eat in a deficit of 300-500 calories( you can do more or less based on how your body is doing in the deficit) and count your calories and do this right by weighing everything you eat by putting it on a scale that measures in grams(you can get one for 10-20$) If you are serious about counting calories get the scale do not estimate because this will definitely put you over your target calories and measure everything including butters and oils that you use even if you cook with it. If you give in to a cheat meal plan ahead and save yourself the calories.

    Give it a few weeks in the deficit and if the weight is coming off at a rate you are happy with then stick to it, you can always adjust based on what your body tells you based on fatigue. You will have to reassess your TDEE when your weight loss stalls. Good luck.
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    You can lose faster than someone who is smaller but I wouldn't attempt more than about 2.5lbs a week (a daily deficit of about 1250 calories). remember you are going to have to sustain this for a long period of time.
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    Besides what Spradish said above, which I agree with...

    You're essentially describing a PSMF (protein sparing modified fast) which is where you basically only eat protein. It is not recommended to follow this diet for long, it is pretty much only good for people who are already fit and lean and trying to shred down the last % of body fat over a week or two.

    Following a super low calorie diet long term will result in weight loss, including both fat and muscle. If your rate of loss is too quick, you WILL lose muscle, which is not the goal. This more than anything is the reason to not do it.
    Also will pull minerals from you teeth, bones, nails and hair
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  10. #10
    Never accept defeat! backinthegymbro's Avatar
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    A man once went a whole year without food. Vitamins and water + his own body fat only. But he was supervised by a medical team.
    So is it possible to eat very low calories? Yes. Is it the most optimal? No.
    Also a lot of motivated obese people want to start out strong, diet insanely low calories, then crash and binge eat and give up all together.
    Smaller deficit but continuous over a long period of time is always better.
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  11. #11
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Those diets are for very short periods and for very experienced people with nutritional knowledge. For the inexperienced it only leads to weight rebound. You need to read the stickies and go about fatloss the right way
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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  12. #12
    Registered User Gordo955's Avatar
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    What about the McMaster University study where out of shape guys ate 40% of their original intake, but consumed 1g of protein per lb of weight and gained muscle? Ive read about it a few times
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gordo955 View Post
    What about the McMaster University study where out of shape guys ate 40% of their original intake, but consumed 1g of protein per lb of weight and gained muscle? Ive read about it a few times
    There are a lot of studies with various results. Most are lacking reasonable context. You seem hell bent on doing this type of diet. good luck......
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Generally not a great idea to lose more than 1% of your bodyweight weekly; beyond that you tend to lose lean body mass which is a recipe for regaining the lost weight in the long term (which is undesirable obviously).
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    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gordo955 View Post
    What about the McMaster University study where out of shape guys ate 40% of their original intake, but consumed 1g of protein per lb of weight and gained muscle? Ive read about it a few times
    They ate in a 40% deficit, not at 40% of TDEE. It was a four week study on young untrained men. Not shocking that they built some muscle.

    Untrained and obese people can certainly add some muscle in a deficit. But as a morbidly obese person, your goala should be to lose fat and maintain muscle AND learn better eating habits for the long run, NOT screaming down to a low weight and then having no long term coping skills.
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  16. #16
    I post too much. SuperChieftain's Avatar
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    Can you even drink 3 protein shakes a day? I needa get my protein in somehow, and i don't eat enough.
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    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuperChieftain View Post
    Can you even drink 3 protein shakes a day? I needa get my protein in somehow, and i don't eat enough.
    I mean, you "can" but it's not ideal. I try to get most of my protein through diet and limit myself to 1 protein supplement/day, whether it be a shake or a bar or whatever. But sometimes when I haven't eaten the way I should, I'll lean heavier on the supplements...I see the supplements as an assist, but don't rely on them if that makes sense.
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