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Is RDI 3000cal accurate?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 08, 2013 at 7:36 AM

I decided to run a food diary with MyFitnessPal for a few days to see how I came up. I've been eating paleo for about a year now. I eat roughly similar amounts of food each day, obviously workout days I consume a bit more, but not drastically. Anyway, one thing that really surprised me was my calorie intake and how low it is! From memory the conventional RDI for men is around 3000cal / day. Below is a snapshot of today's total (today is a rest day, however I was working, doing manual labor, so technically I was slow moving and lifting moderately heavy things for 6 hours).
Less than half of the RDI. This is roughly the amount I eat every day, on a WO day, maybe add on an extra 100-150cal at a stretch. Either way, I don't reckon I could possibly reach 3000cal, maybe I could squeeze in an extra meal and hit 1,800, but I'd feel like I've eaten way too much.

Total calories: 1,417 Total Fat: 90g Total Protein: 69g Total Carbs: 82g

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:40 PM

...(Cont) Perhaps I should do my workouts earlier in the day, as in first thing in the morning, then hit breakfast straight after, making my fast shorter, so I can fit in adequate meals throughout the day. I do think eating my first meal at midday certainly contributes to my calorie deficit, because there is simply not enough time between 12 and 8pm to fit in 3 substantial meals without feeling overfed.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:37 PM

Thanks for your input man. Since eating paleo (about a year), I've always followed the 'when hunger ensues naturally' philosophy. Throughout, I have sporadically skipped meals here and there just from lack of hunger. I've found the since being more regimented about IFing (as per Leangains), I am even LESS hungry. That said, Leangains has pushed me past my plateau, I can see my abs now, which was my main goal. So my n=1 experiment says that IF and more specifically fasted workouts is helping me shed body fat and gain lean muscle (I haven't quantified these, purely visible results here)...

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:30 PM

IF'ing for the various hormonal/health benefits. Since doing Leangains (about 2 weeks ago), visually speaking, I've shed body fat and increased muscle tone especially rectus abdominus and obliques. I'm keeping a high protein intake (roughly 130-160g/day). Leangains specifies that, for men especially, fasted workouts increase the potential for lean muscle growth. I'm just wondering if I'm going to be dipping into malnutrition on such few calories?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 18, 2013
at 12:39 PM

You are going to die, not literally, but you're going to hit the wall... hard. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow... eventually though.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:56 AM

Why are you IFing? You're not going to gain lean muscle by running a huge calorie deficit every day.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 09, 2013
at 05:32 AM

Weight loss was never a strong priority, it was overall health, that said I did lose weight but it has plateaued for a long time. I'm now doing leangains, implementing fasted workouts and higher focus on protein intake, and I've shed a little bit more weight. Like I said, if I ate any more, I'd feel over fed. So I'm just curious how other people fare with their caloric intake, or if I should be trying to get a bit more food?

874ff271ca3379984344d5f9f760fec3

(471)

on January 08, 2013
at 12:09 PM

Are you losing weight ? How do you feel?

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2 Answers

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B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:52 AM

You need to eat more food...

If you were 5ft7 and weighed 120lbs (ie small and slim) your Basal Metabolic Rate would be about 14000kcal, so you'd expend that much by lying in bed and breathing.

You can calculate your BMR using your height and weight here.

Once you've got your BMR you need to adjust it based on your activity levels:

  • sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  • lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  • moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  • very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  • extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

So even the little dude we described above would be burning ~2500kcal a day lugging boxes all day. If you are a big strapping lad, I'm sure you'll burn much more.

Obviously these are only estimates (although calorimeter studies show that they vary little from person to person), but they show you that 1400kcal is completely unsustainable (unless you are extremely obese).

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:40 PM

...(Cont) Perhaps I should do my workouts earlier in the day, as in first thing in the morning, then hit breakfast straight after, making my fast shorter, so I can fit in adequate meals throughout the day. I do think eating my first meal at midday certainly contributes to my calorie deficit, because there is simply not enough time between 12 and 8pm to fit in 3 substantial meals without feeling overfed.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:37 PM

Thanks for your input man. Since eating paleo (about a year), I've always followed the 'when hunger ensues naturally' philosophy. Throughout, I have sporadically skipped meals here and there just from lack of hunger. I've found the since being more regimented about IFing (as per Leangains), I am even LESS hungry. That said, Leangains has pushed me past my plateau, I can see my abs now, which was my main goal. So my n=1 experiment says that IF and more specifically fasted workouts is helping me shed body fat and gain lean muscle (I haven't quantified these, purely visible results here)...

0
81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:20 AM

Ok I'm actually getting a bit concerned now. I've started consistently IF'ing, delaying my first meal til between 11-1:00pm. I'm doing fine, most days I don't get hungry and could even go longer without food but I eat breakfast anyway.

Today was a workout day. I woke up, felt no hunger, had a coffee and a serving of BCAAs (I'm doing leangains) went for a short, low intensity bike ride. When I got home I had another serve of BCAA, then did a high intensity workout (abs/obliques), still wasn't particularly hungry, but had a protein shake with coconut milk and ate a hearty bacon, eggs and veggies breakfast.

Later that day I went for a longer, but still low intensity bike ride, maybe 10km.

Got home and ate a tin of sardines, and an apple, and a few hours later had some pan fried fish, pumpkin and carrots steamed.

I've just tipped over 1100 calories for the day and I'm completely satiated. I decided to have another coconut milk/protein shake just to boost my protein and calories.

How after such an active day am I not more hungry? Is this something to be concerned about?

I'm in quite lean shape and working out about 3-4 times a week (different muscle groups + a day of sprinting, and a variety of low intensity stuff, such as bike riding). I'm trying to gain lean muscle.

81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:30 PM

IF'ing for the various hormonal/health benefits. Since doing Leangains (about 2 weeks ago), visually speaking, I've shed body fat and increased muscle tone especially rectus abdominus and obliques. I'm keeping a high protein intake (roughly 130-160g/day). Leangains specifies that, for men especially, fasted workouts increase the potential for lean muscle growth. I'm just wondering if I'm going to be dipping into malnutrition on such few calories?

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:56 AM

Why are you IFing? You're not going to gain lean muscle by running a huge calorie deficit every day.

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