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Thread: Is low cal ok with high protein & fat? page

  1. #1
    PaleoMom's Avatar
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    Is low cal ok with high protein & fat?

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    I'm trying to gain muscle and lose maybe 5-10 pounds of fat. I am doing daily IF with a 4-6 hour eating window. I'm really feeling great from the IF and also from starting to go very low carb (about 20-30g a day). I'm aiming to get my protein around 100-120g daily (I have a lean mass of around 105 lbs.) I do sprints 1x a week and weights in a A/B routine 2x a week (1 set to failure in 45-90 seconds).

    So, if my protein and fat are where they should be and I'm doing IF which should spare protein and make me overall more efficient with food.... is it okay to eat less calories? I don't want to slow muscle growth, but eating more protein and fat feels physically impossible. I already feel like I'm force feeding myself. I have tried eating a bit more carbs and I either gain or maintain my fat and don't feel as good.

    Right now my calories fall between 1500-1800 cals. My maintenance should be 1800-2200 depending on the site I check in on. I know I could just do this for awhile and find out, but I was hoping someone might have some personal experience to add, so I don't waste a few months of work going backwards.

    Diet is:
    Grass-fed beef
    Pasture Eggs
    Coconut Oil
    Homemade veggie soup with homemade bone broth
    cod-liver oil
    raw grass-fed liver (only 1-2 T. daily)
    pumpkin seeds (1 T. daily for hormonal reasons)
    Pastured Chicken
    Homemade Kombucha

    I'm usually about 70% fat, 25% protein, 5% carb average

    Thanks in advance everyone!

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    Well I eat & IF similarly (and similar lean mass) and while I'm not gaining huge amounts of muscle, I have gained strength and am definitely losing fat this way.

    Make sure your Vitamin D and magnesium/potassium levels are sufficient. And maybe rotate the coconut oil with some pastured butter for Vitamin K, if you do dairy. And up your carbs a bit if you start losing energy--everyone is different!

    Every other week or so you might want to have a high calorie day, just to reset leptin levels.
    Last edited by Dragonfly; 05-09-2011 at 09:10 PM.

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    Not if you're deficient in nutrients, hungry or tired. If you are sufficient in nutrients, can go long periods without feeling hungry and have good energy then I don't see a problem. Low carb, low calories diets deficient in various nutrients coupled with exercise is usually a prescription for high cortisol, and misery. Make a subjective assessment of your stress levels a few times a day if you do decide to do it.
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    You're not going to have much luck gaining muscle on a low-carb diet. Low carb is terrible for muscle growth, almost as bad as low protein. However, all the fat and protein will help you feel satiated and may promote weight loss through naturally curbing your calorie intake. There's nothing intrinsic in carbs that make you fat. Calories make you fat.

    Generally people either focus on dropping bodyfat or gaining muscle, not both. This is just due to ease and convenience. Fat loss requires a calorie deficit, and muscle growth is difficult without a calorie surplus, so they're kind of competing goals.

    The best way to do it is to eat a moderately-high calorie diet, high in protein with moderate fats and moderate carbs and burn it into a calorie-deficit with hard weights and cardio training. It's hard work but you get to eat more food. If you do it right, it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. But I wouldn't recommend trying it unless you're a pretty serious trainer/athlete and meticulous in counting calories, macro-nutrients and weighing your food.

    You're not going to have much luck gaining muscle on a small calorie intake and you're definitely going to have zero luck losing fat on a calorie surplus (despite what some people might claim).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    Make sure your Vitamin D and magnesium/potassium levels are sufficient. And maybe rotate the coconut oil with some pastured butter for Vitamin K, if you do dairy.

    Every other week or so you might want to have a high calorie day, just to reset leptin levels.
    Are you talking of a carb refeed or with fat? I could do higher fat if I had to, although I might have to eat less protein that day to feel like I could get it down. I just feel so full!

    I take Vit. D (and on sunny days try to get it from outside) and magnesium everynight (Natural Calm). I'll have to look into my potassium. Pasture butter is actually usually my fat for cooking eggs etc., but I just recently stopped to check and see if even that was a problem for me (I don't think it is, but it might be for my daughter, so we'll do it together)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stabby View Post
    Not if you're deficient in nutrients, hungry or tired. If you are sufficient in nutrients, can go long periods without feeling hungry and have good energy then I don't see a problem. Low carb, low calories diets deficient in various nutrients coupled with exercise is usually a prescription for high cortisol, and misery. Make a subjective assessment of your stress levels a few times a day if you do decide to do it.
    I feel great and exercise/recovery seems better so far. I'm a recovered severe adrenal fatigue gal, so I'm pretty sensitive to things that make me better or worse. So far this is much better. I never get hungry, have never had as much energy (although, for me that means I'm probably feeling about how the average person feels).

    Quote Originally Posted by captaineight View Post
    There's nothing intrinsic in carbs that make you fat.

    The best way to do it is to eat a moderately-high calorie diet, high in protein with moderate fats and moderate carbs and burn it into a calorie-deficit with hard weights and cardio training. It's hard work but you get to eat more food.
    I would argue this. My body fat seems 100% tied to my carb intake. Up the carbs, up the bodyfat and vice versa, even when calories are the same. I'm very careful about weighing and logging in my food too.

    The "moderately-high calorie diet, high in protein with moderate fats and moderate carbs" diet just puts on fat for me. Some muscle too, but about 5:1 fat to muscle gain. I lift hard and I sprint hard. I don't think my routine is lacking in the stimulation of the muscle factor to support growth. I do think carbs make me fat and that protein and calories being the same, the the diet with the carbs instead of more fat, makes me fat not more muscular.
    Last edited by PaleoMom; 05-10-2011 at 07:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaleoMom View Post
    ...I would argue this. My body fat seems 100% tied to my carb intake. Up the carbs, up the bodyfat and vice versa, even when calories are the same. I'm very careful about weighing and logging in my food too.

    The "moderately-high calorie diet, high in protein with moderate fats and moderate carbs" diet just puts on fat for me. Some muscle too, but about 5:1 fat to muscle gain. I lift hard and I sprint hard. I don't think my routine is lacking in the stimulation of the muscle factor to support growth. I do think carbs make me fat and that protein and calories being the same, the the diet with the carbs instead of more fat, makes me fat not more muscular.
    Yeah, I think you have to go by your experience in this case. A metabolically healthy person is very different from one who is dealing with insulin resistance.
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    Yeah, I think my vegan and vegetarian days really messed me up! I've never been more that about 15 pounds overweight though, I got lucky there.

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    Re: a higher calorie day. I don't think the macros matter as much, from my personal experience, though I tend to use those days as carb refeeds. Listen to your body, for sure. If you are feeling great eating your macros and maintaining that small deficit, then that's your answer!

    Oh, and my experience is that I need fewer calories eating Primal than I thought, looking at the online calculators. And of course some of us need fewer calories as our weight drops. So if your fat isn't budging after 6 weeks of this, you may want to try slightly dropping your calories for a week and see what happens.

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    Thanks Dragonfly!

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