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Randall
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2014/11/24 00:56:13 (permalink)
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too much of a caloric deficit

Hey guys,
 
so here's  thing.. I am constantly in a huge caloric deficit, but despite this, I am not loosing any weight.
Right now, I am studying at uni and I am not able to go the gym as I used to before. So at least I was trying to get my diet on point as I am trying to get that fat off me.  I am doing intermittent fasting for a long time now, but I don’t see any results from that… only one ‘benefit’ – I generally consume less calories. As I wasn’t seeing any progress I started to track my macros and get real serious.
As I am not that active, I limit my carbs to around 40 a day (I eat mostly paleo, just because I am gluten intolerant). I am trying to get as much protein as I can. I am 20 yo male, around 180 cm height and 67 kg (haven’t measured myself for a long time).
Based on my calculations, I should be consuming around 2000 kcal – let’s say I am cutting, so 1700-ish.
What I found shocking however is that I am struggling to consume even 1000-1200 kcals!! I do eat 90% real food, so no high-caloric treats etc. I am fully satiated and don’t feel bad at all.
I do HIIT 1-2x a week and also recently tried incorporating a cheat day / carb refeed to get my metabolism going.  I am still not sure if it’s more beneficial for the metabolism to do a real cheat day (eating whatever the hell I want just to get the calories high) or a refeed, where I just get my carbs at +- 300 and keep the fat low. I am not new to nutrition or fitness and I really don’t understand why I am not loosing weight/fat when I am in such a huge caloric, macro-controlled deficit.
 
Would you be able to give me any tips? What do you think about my ‘issue’ ?
 
Cheers
#1
simonboyle
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 01:04:49 (permalink)
You have answered your own question several times. Up activities.
Also, don't "estimate" your cals, weight and count them.
#2
Randall
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 01:16:55 (permalink)
Ye, I forgot to mention that... 
I do track my macros exactly.
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WhiteSnake
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 08:23:44 (permalink)☄ Helpfulby simonboyle 2014/11/24 08:52:56
Randall
Hey guys,
 
so here's  thing.. I am constantly in a huge caloric deficit, but despite this, I am not loosing any weight.
Right now, I am studying at uni and I am not able to go the gym as I used to before. So at least I was trying to get my diet on point as I am trying to get that fat off me.  I am doing intermittent fasting for a long time now, but I don’t see any results from that… only one ‘benefit’ – I generally consume less calories. As I wasn’t seeing any progress I started to track my macros and get real serious.
As I am not that active, I limit my carbs to around 40 a day (I eat mostly paleo, just because I am gluten intolerant). I am trying to get as much protein as I can. I am 20 yo male, around 180 cm height and 67 kg (haven’t measured myself for a long time).
Based on my calculations, I should be consuming around 2000 kcal – let’s say I am cutting, so 1700-ish.
What I found shocking however is that I am struggling to consume even 1000-1200 kcals!! I do eat 90% real food, so no high-caloric treats etc. I am fully satiated and don’t feel bad at all.
I do HIIT 1-2x a week and also recently tried incorporating a cheat day / carb refeed to get my metabolism going.  I am still not sure if it’s more beneficial for the metabolism to do a real cheat day (eating whatever the hell I want just to get the calories high) or a refeed, where I just get my carbs at +- 300 and keep the fat low. I am not new to nutrition or fitness and I really don’t understand why I am not loosing weight/fat when I am in such a huge caloric, macro-controlled deficit.
 
Would you be able to give me any tips? What do you think about my ‘issue’ ?
 
Cheers


Where to start....
 
You're consuming half or just over half what you feel is your daily calorific needs. You must be loosing muscle hand over fist. Plus you're "not that active". So you've got neither the training stimulus to grow or retain muscle and the "huge calorie deficit" to loose muscle. Double whammy! But muscle burns fat. I suspect your metabolism is on the floor.
Eat more of everything (macros) then get lifting weights.
You say you're not new to nutrition. But surely you know a "huge" calorie deficit is not needed to loose fat. It's great for loosing muscle though. And messing up your metabolism.
More calories, more weights.
For fat loss think muscle, not huge calorie deficits.
#4
Randall
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 10:52:20 (permalink)
Exactly. But it's not that I am trying to be in such a deficit. It's just the way I am eating mostly whole foods (a huge portion of meat and veggies = 1 snickers bar, calorie wise) in combination with IF.. I can't really force myself to eat more. But recently I upped my fat intake. 
The thing I don't understand is, if I am not feeling weak or deprived, the body has to get the energy from somewhere... and especially, if I am doing intermittent fasting, low-carb (most days) and have reasonably high amount of protein (to prevent the muscle breakdown as you mention correctly), I would expect it to reach for fat... which is obviously not happening.
 
It's probably my f-ed up genetics or something...
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simonboyle
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 11:08:15 (permalink)
ACTIVITY.
 
still need to ''burn'' the fat.
a snickers is what, 250cals?  starving yourself is not the way.
and ''a huge portion'' isn't a measurement.
weigh and count.
#6
Randall
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 11:27:23 (permalink)
Like you didn't even read what I wrote previously...
I AM tracking macros, I AM weighing food. I am NOT starving at all. 
 
If I disregard the hormonal impact of exercise, it's purpose is to burn calories. If I eat 1500 kcal, or go for a workout, burn 500 kcal and then eat a Big Mac worth of 500 kcal, it's the same thing. 
 
And I do HIIT 2x a week.
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simonboyle
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 11:48:42 (permalink)
no, it isn't.
your lack of results if nothing else should attest to that.
 
and yes i did read your posts, but i read that so often from people asking similar questions ''I track/count my cals''
how much you eating? ''a lot'' ''like a horse'', ''huge portion''
none of these are measurements, and neither is ''= 1 snickers bar'', which I will skip the obvious contradiction of saying ''i track my macros'' and ''huge portion of meat and veggies = 1 snickers bar'' macros? really? how much protein does a snickers bar have? less than a ''huge portion of meat'', so from your posts it seems you are contradicting yourself.
 
but cool, join a site for 10 hours, ask for help, then act like a douche with 5 posts behind you, good effort.
I won't read your posts from now on, just sorry i wasted my time even typing my first responses.
 
i'm out.
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kinghelmet
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 13:19:48 (permalink)
Sorry, what is your real goal here? You say you can't go to the gym because you're at uni is that due to workload or? It's like you're going back on yourself here, listen to what help people are trying to give you.
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Randall
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 16:37:41 (permalink)
Simonboyle, there clearly must have been a misunderstanding.. you're not reading my post anyway, but I'd like to explain myself to others. 
I wasn't trying to act like a douchebag or be offensive in any way. If you perceive it this way, then I do sincerely apologize. On the other side, the fact that I am new to the forum doesn't necessarily mean that I have to be stupid, right?
 
On topic... my statement about the "snickers" and portion sizes was in no regard to the fact if I am counting macros or not. I was responding to your statement, that I am starving myself. 
A person eating a 1500kcal diet consisting of only snickers would indeed be starving himself - no satiation, small nutritional value, small volume of the actual food and f-ed up macros.
Another person, eating a 1500kcal diet consisting of real, whole foods would be completely satiated - good portion sizes, good micros and macros. I hope everyone agrees with that. 
 
So although I am very low on calories and carbs, I still manage to get decent amount of protein and fats. And yes, I am using exact measurements (scale, nutritional labels and online food tracking service).
 
On the point of achieving negative energy balance through exercise. Could someone elaborate on why my previous statement is not correct? I might be missing on something that I don't know about. 
 
@kinghelmet: ye, it's mostly the lack of time and money. So at least, I want to have my diet on point. I feel like the diet contributes to the majority of the body composition anyway (or at least it's supposed to, because for me it's obviously not the case :P)
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WW10
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 17:02:34 (permalink)☄ Helpfulby WhiteSnake 2014/11/24 20:23:37
Hi Randall,
 
I don't understand, why at 67kg you're in a deficit to begin with. You say it's to compensate for your lack of energy expenditure but do you know your bodies response to low energy intake? I'm sure you're well aware (If you're as clued up as you claim to be ) that it promotes increased hunger, reduces metabolic rate (which is what I think you should be most worried about), decreases in leptin, insulin, testosterone, thyroid hormones. What you're doing is craziness. How long have you been keep this up for? No wonder you can't lose weight- your body is naturally in survival mode and will be holding on to any weight it can.
 
EDIT: I forgot to even mention the increase in ghrelin & cortisol, the latter which has been shown to induce muscle protein breakdown.
post edited by welshwizard10 - 2014/11/24 17:07:43

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#11
Randall
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 18:41:21 (permalink)
Hello welshwizard10,
 
yes, looking just at the numbers, it's sounds crazy.. 180 cm and 68 kg seems to be absolutely fine (even at the low-end). But my body comp is completely different. As a kid, I was really skinny.. I have thin/light bones and a small frame, so I was always naturally lightweight. Then, during secondary school I overcame mononucleosis (+ I was eating pizzas, muffins and toast and sitting at home playing call of duty ) and I got chubby. From that point on, I really struggle to loose weight. Of course I am not that fat anymore, but I still have some excess fat. During the time I was actually doing strength training, I did put on some good muscle, so that saved me from the skinny-fat issue, but I never managed to 'get cut'. Quite the opposite. Once I tried to bulk and I had to stop after 2 weeks, because I gained 5 kg.
 
Today, I actually managed to weigh myself. Still 68 kg, so not a single damn pound lost after 2 months of dieting.
Quite disappointing and demotivating, to be honest.
 
And my diet.. again, looking at the numbers it seems crazy. 1200 kcal. But if you think about it, it's really hard to get any higher with IF (basically a bulletproof coffee instead of 2 meals), a salad with some healthy fats, eggs, bacon, tuna, fish, chicken, steak, steamed veggies and protein powder/greek yogurt/cottage cheese (as a desert).
 
And it's not like I am doing this non-stop. My metabolism surely gets some hits during the occasional night out (or getting drunk and bing eating). And for the last couple of weeks I've been much more strict about it, doing only a clean carb-refeed after my HIIT. So I am not sure exactly on how adaptive the metabolism is.
 
But to be honest (and to give quite a bad example), I've never seen a fat homeless person. They eat crap all the time, probably well below their BMR long term. No worrying about macros, refeeding or exercise.. but they are lean :D
Or this one: 12 weeks on an apple and a can of tuna. 
 
 
I know this is probably very extreme, but I just don't think human metabolism is adaptable to such an extent. I will have to do some research on that soon.
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WW10
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 19:45:07 (permalink)☄ Helpfulby Randall 2014/11/24 23:39:28
You're being extremely defensive to your strategy yet the numbers are there right in front of you; whatever you're doing is not working and the reason why is because you're constantly in a "huge calorie deficit" as you called it. The number one goal for your body is survival; remember this. Your body doesn't want to starve, and theoretically that is what you're doing to it. So by going low calorie, your body is reducing it's metabolic rate even further in order to prevent you from starving yourself. Your body is simply doing its job and that is why you're not losing any weight.
 
You really need to take care of your metabolism. Simple by going out, or having a refeed once a week is not going to "reset" it, you cannot reset it, it's not that simple.
 
You seriously need to recover- take time off from eating 1,200 calories a day- it's nonsense. If you carry on the way you are, trust me when I say you will keep running in to this problem and you will simply not lose weight. Take time off, and slowly increase calories, week by week.
 
I highly suggest you listen Podcast 4 on this channel.
 
https://itunes.apple.com/...erformance/id885246231

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WhiteSnake
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 20:41:52 (permalink)☄ Helpfulby Randall 2014/11/24 23:39:39
Agree with all of WelshWizard's comments.
 
You say diet contributes to the majority of body comp...yes if you're training right. Then you can tweak the carbs down and monitor your progress as you go. But your deficits are too large so your metabolism and muscle mass are going down the pan.
 
 
 
 
#14
Randall
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/24 23:48:45 (permalink)
Alright, thanks a lot guys. I will listen to that podcast tomorrow. I just went through it very quickly and seems to be quite informative. I think I will forget about intermittent fasting, low-carb and all this 'good stuff' for a moment and focus on some reverse dieting to get back on track and then start fresh from ground up. 
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WhiteSnake
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/25 08:25:53 (permalink)
Randall
Alright, thanks a lot guys. I will listen to that podcast tomorrow. I just went through it very quickly and seems to be quite informative. I think I will forget about intermittent fasting, low-carb and all this 'good stuff' for a moment and focus on some reverse dieting to get back on track and then start fresh from ground up. 


Nice one!
Nothing wrong with IF (I do it myself) if you're coming at it from the right platform. But it shouldn't lead to 1000 cal deficits imo.
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kinghelmet
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/25 13:20:11 (permalink)
Sorry to be intrusive but how much money do you spend a week on food? You said you eat wholesome and good foods 90% of the time right?
 
Why don't you go for some less expensive foods to get your calories in then starting training properly? IMO whats the point being lean if you dont have any muscle unless you're into long distance running etc?
 
I typically spend around £45 a week on food and I'm hitting 3750-4000 kcals a day, my gym membership is £17 a month so I probably spend around £50 a week on gym and food and I'm seeing results. Although i go for cheaper options, I'm maintaining a high carb and protein level and im gaining good weight. I'm abit of a hobit around 5'7" but I weigh around 75kgs, it's all about finding a diet that suits you.
 
Listen to WhiteSnake and welshwizard, they're much more clued up than me but find what goal you really want to achieve, put the correct procedures in place then stick with it no matter what and you WILL see results.
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WW10
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/25 22:45:01 (permalink)
Randall
Alright, thanks a lot guys. I will listen to that podcast tomorrow. I just went through it very quickly and seems to be quite informative. I think I will forget about intermittent fasting, low-carb and all this 'good stuff' for a moment and focus on some reverse dieting to get back on track and then start fresh from ground up. 




Good man. You really need to make patience an ally of yours whilst you go through this process. It can often be quite long and drawn out but it will be worth it in the end. If you need anything else don't hesitate to ask/drop a PM.

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Randall
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Re: too much of a caloric deficit 2014/11/26 14:38:59 (permalink)
Cheers. Really appreciate your helpfulness welshwizard :)
kinghelmet
 



Well, I am not spending much on food at all. No more than £20 a week.
It's my accommodation that's f-ing expensive. Anyway, I will start going to the gym soon again. Obviously, I would not expect any significant results without working out.
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