1

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If you count calories ...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 10, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I'm trying an experiment of consuming MORE calories to build muscle and burn fat. I've been trying for some months to get lean while doing heavy weight lifting and eating 1,800 calories per day. It's not been working. While my strength is good I'm getting flabby. So, I'm thinking that I'm cannibalizing my muscle and holding onto body fat as a survival mechanism. A fellow I've hired to coach me in athleticism saw a video of me doing my 300 pound back squat and told me that I'm skinny-fat. He's right.

The experiment is to consume 2,400 calories per day. If it works for me I'll keep doing it, if not I'll raise or lower the calories. At first I thought that 2,400 was a lot of calories but then realized that I don't have a clear perspective on what a normal level of calorie consumption is. And, I certainly don't want to eat fewer calories than I have been eating.

Here's my question. If you count calories can you give me a reality check on what a reasonable number is? (No need to tell me that calorie counting is evil and anti-paleo. I know the argument well.) I'm male, I turn 49 next month, I weigh 165 pounds, I'm 5'5", and my primary exercise is heavy weight-lifting three times a week.

And, if you're a calorie counter and willing to post your data, I'd love to know your gender, age, weight, height, how much you exercise, and your daily calorie consumption.

Thanks.

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on November 10, 2012
at 06:01 PM

You may benefit by timing intake of both carbohydrate and fat so that you're using those as energy sources before a workout. What about 3 doing ANY training, maybe 3 times a week, and tracking fat and carb intake on those days? As for protein, I'd both increase it and make sure it consistent in every meal. You may not have to change your macro ratios at all and by just paying attention to timing of them may see some re-comp benefits.

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on November 10, 2012
at 04:07 PM

and remember, the more muscle you build, the the less skinny fat you will be ;)

D4d0165711da841beafe7292b710a532

(189)

on November 10, 2012
at 03:28 PM

im 5'5, 30, 143lbs and a woman. i eat 1900-2000 daily. i do crossfit 4-5 times a week and am a special ed teacher who is ALWAYS on my feet. i try to keep my carbs around 100g and refeed each weekend. i am slowly and consistently gaining strength and losing inches.

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4 Answers

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 10, 2012
at 05:22 PM

M, 30, 155, 5'8.

Diet: 80/20 paleo, around 2400 calories daily. Macros around 55F, 25C, 20P.

Activity: Nothing significant or structured. I run when I feel like it. I do bodyweight calisthenics when I feel like it.

I'd also consider myself to have some degree of skinny fat going on. Mostly because I'm simply don't train actively. I was a few BF % lower back when I was a more regular runner, probably also a couple pounds lighter in lean mass as well.

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on November 10, 2012
at 06:01 PM

You may benefit by timing intake of both carbohydrate and fat so that you're using those as energy sources before a workout. What about 3 doing ANY training, maybe 3 times a week, and tracking fat and carb intake on those days? As for protein, I'd both increase it and make sure it consistent in every meal. You may not have to change your macro ratios at all and by just paying attention to timing of them may see some re-comp benefits.

2
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on November 10, 2012
at 04:15 PM

This is sort of a chicken and egg topic here. We're talking minutia here with "1800" vs "2400" when you consider the error percentage in measurement, breakdown and use. You also can't accurately your metabolism from a day to day basis.

Instead of this approach, what about trying to "eat to fuel" your lifting. I've found that some pretty heavy eating can lead to some great lifting, which in-turn adds strength and muscle. This allows you to then eat even more to maintain this muscle and will actually inhibit only normal plateaus from happening.

The worst place to be, and I've been there, is having a great training session and not following it up with proper nutrition and rest. This not only hurts the work you just put in, but will spill over into the quality and progression of your future sessions.

It's called "spinning your wheels", and to be quite honest, it's the WORST PLACE you can be.

1
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on November 11, 2012
at 02:08 AM

I'm female, 47, 5'3", 133lbs. I lift 3x per week. I also run and hike a couple times a week. Lifting makes me very hungry. This is a typical day of eating after lifting. I don't count calories, but my guess is it's more than 2500 calories. I have not gained inches eating this way but I'm gaining strength.

Breakfast

  • 10oz steak (a guess, but it's way bigger than the 8oz one I got in a restaurant)
  • Big baked potato

Lunch

  • 7.5 oz salmon
  • Big huge Greek salad with oil and vinegar
  • Maybe another potato

Snack

  • 1 or 2 big handfuls of raw nuts

Dinner

  • Big hunk of meat
  • Veggies
  • Maybe another potato

I'm usually still pretty hungry breakfast the next day, so I'll make sure it's got plenty of meat in it. I'm not a big egg eater, so I eat meat and veggies for breakfast instead.

On my recovery days my appetite goes down. I don't eat so many potatoes or so much quantity.

1
2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on November 10, 2012
at 04:02 PM

  1. an avrage male would comsume about 2500 calories a day.

2.if you want to count calories, use my fitnesspal, but you might want to buy a scale to mesure out stuff like meat ect..

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on November 10, 2012
at 04:07 PM

and remember, the more muscle you build, the the less skinny fat you will be ;)

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