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  • Calorie Question

    I want to preface this by saying Weight Loss is not a concern here.

    ----

    I've begun working out again, following a break from an injury , and I've been seeing some crazy fast progress.

    My question is..

    Is "Calorie in < Calorie Out = Weight Loss the whole equation, or is there a larger dynamic at work?

    I'm interested because I had a spark of curiosity today about my calorie intake which ended up totaling about ~1000.

    I'm wondering if I should eat more for the sake of muscle gain (I'm already lean as shit, weighing about 135-140 at 6' 1'') or if there are any negative consequences of low calorie intake.

    I never eat before a work out, which I follow with the biggest meal of my day, and then I just continue to eat if I'm hungry (I am aware of "hunger" vs. "craving" and I try my best to not eat for the latter).

    From a personal stand-point I feel fine, so I'll continue to just listen to my body -- but I am curious as to the consequences of marginally lower calorie intake than output.

    ---

    Bonus question: How can I calculate my calorie output?

  • #2
    CICO is bullshit. Ignore it. Follow whether you are hungry or not and stop trying to calculate stuff. The human body is not a machine; it is a mistake to treat it as one.
    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

    Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


    Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

    My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

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    • #3
      Exactly the reply I was looking for.

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      • #4
        I've been calculating for three weeks combined with 16 hour IFs. Eating when hungry is fine and works for some, but to reach certain goals I believe it's helpful to dial everything in. I go ahead and eat at the end of the 16 hours, because I want to get in a certain number of calories each day to prevent losing weight too quickly and preserving lean mass.

        My situation is unusual, because I generally eat the same staples each day. On workout days, I add heavy cream, coconut milk, or a sweet potato to up the calories.

        I firmly believe if you eat less you lose weight. Problem is most people don't bother with counting so they have no clue how much/little they are eating. The Twinkie guy lost plenty of weight at 1800 calories a day for a 250+ lb man.

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        • #5
          It think that realistic calorie counting is nigh impossible and is prone to gross over or under estimation. I'm also a daily IFer and not so much a subscriber to the "eat when you're hungry" theory. If you're wanting to gain muscle then two things need to happen in tandem. You'll need to lift heavy and have plenty of protein in your system. I'd recommend getting at least 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass if you are working out. A calorie excess is not needed to build muscle, but a large calorie deficit tends make working out harder and muscle growth to go slower. Your mileage may vary of course.
          http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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          • #6
            To get to a healthy weight, CICO may be garbage (may be, I said, since calorie restriction does cause weight loss, whether it's sustainable or not is a separate question.)

            To get ripped, unless you are genetically gifted, you need to do more, which may include creating a slight caloric deficit. A Leangains approach follows that theory.

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            • #7
              My 2 cents: A fit young person probably doesn't need to count calories; especially if you are eating well, meaning primal. However, I think it is a good exercise in self-knowledge to track your intake for a couple days or a week, just to see what your eating pattern is, and to avoid any mindless eating.
              This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

              Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
              Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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              • #8
                (may be, I said, since calorie restriction does cause weight loss, whether it's sustainable or not is a separate question.)

                But if you restrict calories, the body will respond by reducing energy expenditure. That's why starving people feel cold. And Taubes pointed out numerous studies that force fed people 1,000 and 2,000 calories per day above their maintenance levels. They were all kept sedantary but many of them failed to gain weight or very much weight. Nobody could explain where the "extra" calories went. When they went back to normal they easily returned to their former weight. So there are biologic and hormonal factors involved, it's not all about calories. If weight loss was a simple as creating a calorie deficit, there would be a lot more skinny people.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bwhit View Post
                  But if you restrict calories, the body will respond by reducing energy expenditure. That's why starving people feel cold.
                  The reason that people feel cold when they are running a calorie deficit or in a fasted state in general is that more blood is being sent to the fat cells to mobilize stored fat. Less blood is flowing to the extremities so a person might report being cold.
                  http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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                  • #10
                    1000 calories is pretty low for someone your size, especially if you are active. If you're feeling good and following appetite, it should be ok though. I bet you are super lean at your height/weight! Personally, if I were that size, I would want to add a good bit of weight (muscle of course). I'm 5'11" and ~170 and think I could use a few more pounds of muscle.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Docter View Post
                      I want to preface this by saying Weight Loss is not a concern here.

                      ----
                      I'm wondering if I should eat more for the sake of muscle gain (I'm already lean as shit, weighing about 135-140 at 6' 1'') or if there are any negative consequences of low calorie intake.

                      output?
                      Uh, what are your goals? What is your question? And do you actually eat 1000 calories a day on a regular basis or is that just a one day estimate? Caloric intakes vary from day to day, so one day is not indicative.

                      There are a number of methods (that can be found through google) for estimating daily caloric requirements. And yes, eating below maintenance = weight loss.

                      1000 calories a day would be below the number of calories eaten by members of the Caloric Restriction movement, so . . . ?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Daemonized View Post
                        The reason that people feel cold when they are running a calorie deficit or in a fasted state in general is that more blood is being sent to the fat cells to mobilize stored fat. Less blood is flowing to the extremities so a person might report being cold.
                        Maybe so, but it seems to me to be part of the process of re-allocating more limited resources.

                        "As starvation progressed, fewer and fewer things could stimulate the men to overt action. They described their increasing weakness, loss of ambition, narrowing of interests, depression, irritability, and the loss of libido as pattern characteristics of ' growing old'". And, like Benedict's subjects, the young men of the Minnesota Experiment complained persistently of being cold. Key's conscientious objectors reduced their total energy expenditure by over half in response to a diet that gave them only half as many calories as they would have preferred. This was a reasonable response to calorie deprevation, as Keys and his colleagues explained, "in the sense that a wise man reduces his expenditure when his income is cut."

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                        • #13
                          The best way to see if you're eating enough is to weigh yourself over a period of time. If you're not eating enough, you'll be losing weight. Then increase how much you're eating, and keep checking to see if you're gaining weight. Muscle weighs a lot, you usually can see how much you've gained on the scale.
                          "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Griff View Post
                            CICO is bullshit. Ignore it. Follow whether you are hungry or not and stop trying to calculate stuff. The human body is not a machine; it is a mistake to treat it as one.
                            *Like-button* clicked!

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                            • #15
                              Taubes oversimplifies things. I've lost weight in the past using the old weightwatchers approach (not the new one which emphasizes whole foods). I was eating a ton of carbs, including processed carbs, but was low fat, and a caloric deficit. And I call BS on the "but you were eating fewer carbs than you might ordinarily do." Uh, no, I tracked it, and I ate a ton of carbs. If you create a caloric deficit (albeit not a starvation one), and are active, you will lose weight. The question is, can you sustain it long enough to lose sufficient weight or keep it off. i think the answer to that is no.

                              But CICO oversimplifies it. It's all about the carbs oversimplifies it (look at the kitavans). Setpoint theory oversimplifies it. I'll take Griff at his word that the human body is not a machine, and throw it back that nobody knows precisely what works and what doesn't. Primal living is easy, sustainable, and fairly effortless, so great. Is it the only approach? Absolutely not. I'd say to not drink the kool-aid, but we're all primal here, so no kool-aid to be had for fear of the carbs.

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