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Adjusting calories
10-21-2015, 05:47 AM
Post: #1
Adjusting calories
Hey,

I have a question. I was eating for some time at maintenance while lifting heavy which obviously resulted in some muscle gain. Now I want to cut to see some more muscle definition.
It might sound like a silly question, but it confuses me happy Currently I am eating around 1900 kcal a day while exercising 4-5 times a week. My height is 166 cm and my weight upped from ~57 to around 59 kilos. I feel good eating at this level, not bloated and not hungry, but Scooby calculator gives a larger number. I have trusted this process so far but right now I am a bit afraid to increase calories to the Scooby recommended level (which is around 200 kcal more). I feel pretty good eating 1900 calories and have enough energy for my workouts and I'm concerned that it might slow fat loss process or stop it completely. On the other hand, I don't want to do damage to my metabolism.
So the main question is what to trust - my body or the numbers?
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10-21-2015, 06:29 AM
Post: #2
RE: Adjusting calories
Why would you not want to eat more? That's my only question. I pushed my numbers up (yes, it started off feeling a bit bloaty) because it meant that my cut was higher. Instead of eating around 1900 calories, I can now eat 2300 and I can cut at 2050 calories versus a cut at 1700. Big difference, eh? (I'm 46, 5'6" and 146 lb).

The reason why you might not want to trust your body is that bodies can get used to lower calories. When I had my ED, I could eat 800 calories and it felt fine.
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10-21-2015, 08:36 AM
Post: #3
RE: Adjusting calories
I would definitely push your intake as high as you can and eat at that level for a couple of months. There is a very good chance that at 1900 you aren't even up to your TDEE yet. And, like mrsukyankee said, you want to be able to cut at the highest level possible.

Have you read the blog I did on determining your true TDEE? If not, it is definitely worth a read:

http://eatmore2weighless.com/how-do-i-fi...true-tdee/

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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10-22-2015, 07:17 AM
Post: #4
RE: Adjusting calories
mrsukyankee,

When I was eating at my maintenance level, my calories were around 2100-2200, but at that time I gained some muscle, so I am wondering how to choose cutting calories correctly.
I am in doubt because I feel that I am doing great - muscle definition is coming, performance at the gym is getting better and better. Also, I'm now never bloated from all the food. When I was eating at maintenance, I constantly felt bloated which I easily mixed with feeling fat and miserable, so this calorie level is better for me mentally as well.

Anitra,

Thanks for the link, it's really useful.
I was eating at maintenance for 2+ months, so I think I am ready for a cut. I also used a calculator in Eat to Perform site, which gives me 2389 kcal for maintenance and with 20% deficit cutting calories would be around 1900. Do you think it's too drastic cut?
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10-22-2015, 09:05 AM (This post was last modified: 10-22-2015 09:06 AM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #5
RE: Adjusting calories
Oh, I think I misunderstood in your original post. So that 1900 figure is your cut? I thought you were saying that was what you were eating for Maintenance... Generally EM2WL recommends no more than a 15% cut in order to keep your metabolism burning at the highest level possible. Ideally, once coming off maintenance, start with a 10% cut and stay at that level for 4 weeks before re-evaluating. If there is no positive movement then either continue on that 10% for an additional 4 weeks or try increasing your cut to 15% for 4 weeks. At the end of that 8 week period, re-evaluate again. The general idea is that you want to eat as much as possible while still seeing positive results.

Regardless of what the calculators give you, at this point you need to work off of what you actually did. So if you reset at 2100 calories, then take your 10% cut off of that number. Taking a cut off of that 2389 figure doesn't really make much sense, since you didn't ever really ate at that level.

What I would suggest is, after this cut, when you return to TDEE, try pushing it a bit higher and see if you can get closer to the figures that the calculators are giving you. Again, you want to make sure that when you reset that you are eating at the highest level possible and not resetting at a level which is lower than your true TDEE.

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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10-26-2015, 08:46 AM
Post: #6
Big Grin RE: Adjusting calories
It's so much clearer now! If I do cutting value calculations on my maintenance calories (~2100), 1900 calories comes as a 10% cut value. Since I am getting positive results, I will definetely not decrease it any lower happy
That 2389 number threw me off a bit, but now I'm calm - huge thanks to both of you!

Ahhh, I love this forum! happy
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10-26-2015, 11:04 AM (This post was last modified: 12-15-2015 08:08 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #7
RE: Adjusting calories
Yep, you got it! Just remember that there is a good chance your true TDEE is higher than the 2100 that you reset at, so when you take a TDEE diet break try to push your intake up a bit higher to see if you can get close to what the calculators are giving you...

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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10-26-2015, 12:21 PM
Post: #8
RE: Adjusting calories
(10-26-2015 11:04 AM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  Yep, you got it! Just remember that there is a good chance your true TDD is higher than the 2100 that you reset at, so when you take a TDEE diet break try to push your intake up a bit higher to see if you can get close to what the calculators are giving you...

I will! And how often do you recommend to take a diet break? I have been cutting for almost 4 weeks now. Although, I had a couple occasions where I indulged a bit but since on the following day I wasn't hungry, I ate less. Do I even need a break with this pattern?
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10-26-2015, 01:26 PM
Post: #9
RE: Adjusting calories
We suggest after 8 weeks, max 10-12. Even if you have random occasions where you indulge, you really want to have an extended one week long break from cutting. Remember, this isn't a race, but a journey.
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10-26-2015, 02:08 PM
Post: #10
RE: Adjusting calories
Yep, you want to make sure that every couple of months you eat at TDEE for a week or two, just to "remind" your metabolism of what normal is. You don't want it to down-shift and assume that this cut is now maintenance. If you are eating at a deficit for 8 weeks, then a week at TDEE should be fine, if you go as long as 10 - 12 weeks, then you will want to go ahead and take a two week "diet break".

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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