No announcement yet.

The 4,000 calories per week guideline

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    I'm wondering if maybe it's harder to get to the 4000 calorie mark than it seems. I actually don't know how many calories I burn. But I might ride my bike to work (18 miles round trip), run for an hour at lunch or do an exercise class, either doing one or the other or both each day of the work week, then one nice long hike, often pretty strenuous, on the weekend. And one rest day. I suppose you can toss out the bike ride and the run, since I go so very slowly on both, and therefore my exercise class and my strenuous hike are the only two activities that could be considered in the 4000 calorie equation, and maybe not the exercise class since it's all body weight stuff. So I guess I'm okay. But I'm telling you, when I hiked the PCT I hiked 14 hours a day in high summer and I knew it was a little bit too much for ideal health, but I did feel awesome being able to do it.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


    • #32
      Just registered to comment on the article:

      First off, looking over the studies that he mentions, none of them controlled for diet. In fact, one study even mentioned that the participants were encouraged not to restrict their food intake ("Additionally, they were told not to impose any dietary restrictions during study participation but to select food items without restraint." Body fat loss and compensatory mechanisms in response to different doses of aerobic exercise). Someone who does intense exercise 5x a week is going to feel much more justified in taking that extra piece of cake, rather than someone who is only actively watching their dietary intake.

      Secondly, none of the studies controlled for the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise -- they only counted aerobic exercise towards their energy expenditure. So, basically if someone who was already on a weightlifting program joined their study, they would discount the energy expenditure from the weightlifting and only count the in-lab aerobic portion. In addition, it's been shown that marathons (a popular aerobic exercise) cause heart inflammation, whereas there have been no studies regarding the effect of strength training on heart health.

      I like the website and the lifestyle it promotes, but this article really makes it seem like Mark's conflating correlation with causation without seeing that are a complete host of other factors not taken into account in these studies.


      Forgot to also mention, how does this account for our paleo ancestors, who had a very active lifestyle of hunting and gathering, and most certainly burned more than 4000 calories a week in pursuit of food?
      Last edited by keflex; 10-16-2012, 11:53 PM.


      • #33
        Originally posted by keflex View Post
        Forgot to also mention, how does this account for our paleo ancestors, who had a very active lifestyle of hunting and gathering, and most certainly burned more than 4000 calories a week in pursuit of food?
        I believe that a lot of this activity would have fallen under low-level cardio, so it would have been beneficial (of course, being fit helps in making it low-level cardio).

        It's far too easy to forget or fail to appreciate how difficult it was not to burn 4000 calories a week through daily activities that barely hit the radar as exercise just 2-3 decades ago - that was before the spoilt, lazy days of the Interweb, mobile phones, remote controls, microwave dinners, dishwashers, cheap cars, etc, etc, etc.
        F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.


        • #34
          4000 cals / week?? - why not just work it out yourself

          Newbie here,

          Just registered, I had been training up until two weeks ago for some serious distance races next year (up to 55 miles off road), and what Mark says make sense to me in that we are not meant to overdo things - at higher intensity as this eats up glycogen which on a low carb diet is mostly replaced by protein, which in turn causes us damage. At lower intensity we still burn glycogen, so if you do this long enough you still burn up your glycogen store.

          So, for me it comes down to how much an individual's body can exercise without burning up too much glycogen, and that is different for everyone, so I dont agree with the 4000 cal / week rule personally.

          I am now working to train my body to burn fat all the time (I am just one week into the Atkins induction phase though), eventually when I have reached ideal weight and determined my ideal carb allowance per day for weight maintenance, I will build up walk/jog "running" on the trails from 1hr twice a week, by 15 minutes every week until I feel I should stop because I sense I am not recovering quickly enough. Eventually I hope to get to 3-5 hr walk/jogs that my body can accommodate so I can have some nice slow runs on the hills again, and not be concerned about damaging my body.

          Anyway, I thought I would share, any comments would be welcome.

          Best regards,