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Do I need to eat more? No weight gain over vacation - Printable Version

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Do I need to eat more? No weight gain over vacation - wookiemouse - 08-02-2017 03:27 PM

I need some insight on my food intake. Currently at 1800 cals, 40/30/30 macros. I lift heavy for 1.5 hours 3x a week, cardio for 45-60 mins 2x a week. I track with MFP and am pretty spot on most days - I eat clean, no cheat meals. I've been steadily losing weight for about 5 months now. Calorie goal was determined by Scooby's, IIFYM and 2 trainers - they all agree on the 1800 for a 1 lb/wk weight loss. Resting metabolism has been tested at 1598.

Fast forward to the past 3 weeks, I went on an RV trip with the family. No exercise other than sightseeing and some hiking. No counting calories or macros. I didn't go crazy, but I know my intake must have been 2500-3000 easily - I ate a bag of gummy bears or sour worms at least daily, burgers and fries if we ate out. In other words, I had fun. wink

We returned home this week and I weighed in on Monday. I gained exactly 1 lb over those 3 weeks. This morning, the scale was back to where I was before the trip. I don't think it was muscle loss because I was able to lift the same weights/reps this week that I did before we left. I'm assuming the 1 lb loss since Monday was water weight.

So, my question is - if I ate that much more during those 3 weeks and essentially didn't gain any weight, does that mean my current cut of 1800 is too low? My weight loss for the past 5 months has been incredibly inconsistent - 4 lbs one week, up a lb another week - despite nailing my calories, macros and workouts consistently. I'm not sure if I should stick with the 1800 or increase it. Before my vacation, I was pretty satisfied with 1800 (had to force myself to eat on some days), but since I've picked up the weights again I've been starving!

RE: Do I need to eat more? No weight gain over vacation - Tereza Toledo - 08-03-2017 12:01 AM

Are you eating 1800 plus your workout calories? If you are eating 1800 without eating back exercise calories (common practice on MFP), you already have the answer.

Yep, you could definitely be eating more. Even without knowing your stats, I can safely say that with the workouts you are performing weekly, your cut is too low. Plug your stats here and see what is gives you: http://eatmore2weighless.com/weight-loss-calculator/

That may not mean that your TDEE is 3000, but it could be close to it. Muscle loss takes longer to happen. Once you stay off wither weights for a while, you definitely lose some water weight. The more muscle you have, the more water you will be carrying around. Muscle without water is jerky.

That's being said, weight loss is not linear, so the ups and downs of the scale are perfectly normal and expected.

Check the calculator, take a deep breath, and you may want to test the water and increase your calories slowly. Why settle for less if you can eat the cake and have it too?! big grin

RE: Do I need to eat more? No weight gain over vacation - wookiemouse - 08-03-2017 08:20 AM

Thank you Tereza! 1800 was my cut - I've never eaten back exercise calories, as per my trainers. According to the calculator, I should be at 2000 with a 10% cut. But that also assumes my BMR is a 100 under what it was actually tested at, so I technically should be at 2100. I will start increasing my calories and see what happens.

RE: Do I need to eat more? No weight gain over vacation - Tereza Toledo - 08-03-2017 10:33 PM

That's a great plan! You will definitely be surprised at your strength gains with more calories! Keep track of the changes you notice. If you don't want to increase all at once, do it slowly, add 100 cals more, stay at that level for a week, increase again.

The calculator is a great guide as a starting point, very close to our TDEE as long as we put the right activity level. The best you can do is to increase slowly and test the waters.