I'm 21, 5'11, 205 lbs and male. I'm lucky if I get 1800-2000 calories a day. And this has wreaked havoc on my body. I've had hypothyroid and testosterone issues since June, and I've posted about it before (Trying to find the link). I'm having mental health issues, depression, low energy, etc. Some of this has been alleviated by increasing carbs (used to eat around 40-60, now up around 140-160.)
I'm a week into starting strength and really want to be successful. The Harris-Benedict calculator has me at 3258 calories for maintenance (moderately active). Can someone please convince me that this is right? I think I have an eating disorder that prevents me from crossing that 2000 calorie line, even though I know objective that that deficit is too large, and I've been eating too little for too long, to get stronger/loss fat.
asked byCoS (60)
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on March 25, 2012
at 07:54 PM
3258 can't be right unless you work in construction or are an athlete.
I highly doubt you are "moderately" active by the standards set in calorie calculators - people typically over-estimate their activity level - I sure did. What do you do for living? If you have an office job and lift three days a week, you are "sedentary" (yes, the term pissed me off, too). This is a multiplier of 1.2 to get from BMR to TDEE.
Plugging in your numbers to Andy Morgan's calorie formulas I get a BMR of 2100 and TDEE of 2500. You do need higher calories than maintenance to gain in strength, but 700 cals is most likely way overkill as maintenance, causing you to gain fat.
If you truly are serious about getting stronger while losing fat, note that you need a lot of discipline to accomplish that. LeanGains is a proven method, it has worked well for me.
I don't know what kind of issue you have with eating enough calories, but liquid cals (maltodextrin and protein powders) were a great help for me. I went cold turkey on powders at beginning of this year, and haven't seen the need for them. If the issue is appetite (it was for me), lifting heavy will fix that.
FWIW I'm an inch taller than you, and started at two pounds heavier a year ago than you are now. I'm now 72kg, same height. I've used a TDEE of 2000-2500 during my cut, depending on my weight, and saw gains in my lifts throughout the year. I do (home) office job, lift heavy three days a week.