2

votes

Up-up the calories and away, to longevity and beyond?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 06, 2011 at 7:22 PM

My goals are strength and fitness, and I am currently working with some DIY WODs in preparation for joining a CrossFit gym next year.

Weight..: 186lbs (84Kg)
Body-fat: 13%
Height..: 198cm (6'5)

Been low-carb paleo for 2 months now, and I appear to be stabilising at these numbers. I can though drop 2lbs (1Kg) over a weekend if I get busy, skip lunch and workouts. I put on muscle as quickly as I lose it: Bruce Lee on Monday, Ghandi on Saturday.

Out of interest I just did a total calorie count of my average weekday.

Calories/Breakdown:

Calories: 2342
Fat.....: 55.29% (144.0g)
Protein.: 38.87% (227.7g)
Carbs...: 5.84% (34.2g)

My question is if this is a sustainable amount of calories?

I am trying to understand how I should increase the calorie intake and I must admit I am confused whether my low-carb is the right thing to do long-term or should I rather be adding more?

2 x large sweet potato = Calories: 330, Protein: 7g, Carbs: 70g.

I want to keep my insulin low, hence low-carb, so should I carry on as is but rather increase my fat and protein content for calorific load?

Everyone's help is always appreciated, many thanks.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 08, 2011
at 04:28 PM

OK great, thanks for your input on this.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 07, 2011
at 10:18 AM

That's what I'd expect Mash, it'd be gradual but workouts will become harder, motivation may drop, and you'll likely feel fatigued the rest of the time. If you start going backwards then you definitely want to take a break. But the only real risks are injury from poor form if you try to push through it, and stress and sleep loss which can affect your mood and make it hard to spot the cause. It's pretty difficult to get the balance exactly right though so just don't feel you can't change things or skip a workout if you feel like it - same as the food.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 06, 2011
at 11:47 PM

Good answer by Andy - it sounds like you're in good nick, so an increase in activity should increase your appetite - so just go with the flow. Eating more dense carbs post workout works well for me, it's when the body is most insulin sensitive.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 06, 2011
at 09:51 PM

Andy, I think you have covered everything here well. Thanks. Just one further question, if I was to continue increasing the workout load without upping the calories, would it simply be a case of feeling that I am performing badly, recovering slowly, and that my gains have plateaued? What I am thinking is to continue at the current calorie level, see how I go and then tailor if I notice issues. I don't see any real reason to "bulk up" just for the sake of it.

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Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 06, 2011
at 08:55 PM

If your concern is needing more calories to sustain increasing workouts, then adding those sweet sweet potatoes before and after a workout is a good move. Insulin is there for a reason, and there are times when it should be put to work. It's the chronically elevated levels and continuous spike/crash pattern associated with eating isolated (and poor quality) carbs that are the problem.

Away from workouts, keep eating as you are more or less. If you're struggling to recover or lacking for energy then feel free to increase across the board, get more carbs in in the hours after a heavy workout, get more fat in the rest of the time, get more protein with either of these. But if you're not wanting to gain weight, then dial back the workouts and take more time to recover instead.

The best balance really depends on the details of your activity. You'll only substantially use up your glycogen stores at high intensity. And if you take it easy the rest of the week then they will rebuild gradually anyway (though you may want more like 50-100g). If you're wanting to go again hard after a day or two, then concentrate those extra carbs into your post-workout meal, and have a few before your next workout to make sure you're not running on empty. If you're only doing gentle workouts then bask in the glory of fat metabolism and don't change a thing.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 06, 2011
at 11:47 PM

Good answer by Andy - it sounds like you're in good nick, so an increase in activity should increase your appetite - so just go with the flow. Eating more dense carbs post workout works well for me, it's when the body is most insulin sensitive.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 07, 2011
at 10:18 AM

That's what I'd expect Mash, it'd be gradual but workouts will become harder, motivation may drop, and you'll likely feel fatigued the rest of the time. If you start going backwards then you definitely want to take a break. But the only real risks are injury from poor form if you try to push through it, and stress and sleep loss which can affect your mood and make it hard to spot the cause. It's pretty difficult to get the balance exactly right though so just don't feel you can't change things or skip a workout if you feel like it - same as the food.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 06, 2011
at 09:51 PM

Andy, I think you have covered everything here well. Thanks. Just one further question, if I was to continue increasing the workout load without upping the calories, would it simply be a case of feeling that I am performing badly, recovering slowly, and that my gains have plateaued? What I am thinking is to continue at the current calorie level, see how I go and then tailor if I notice issues. I don't see any real reason to "bulk up" just for the sake of it.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 08, 2011
at 04:28 PM

OK great, thanks for your input on this.

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