Afraid to increase calories

Discussion in 'Female Misc' started by Sherriperoni, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. Sherriperoni

    Sherriperoni TID Lady Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    First of all, I'm new and thanking my lucky stars that I found this forum!

    I recently lost 70lbs after baby number 2 (born 8 months ago) and have been tracking my food, calories and macros since end of January.

    Currently I'm at 1400 calories. 40% protein, 35% carbs, 25% fat. I really make an effort to hit my protein goal daily. It's tough! I'm used to having a great metabolism when not pregnant and sometimes worry cutting my calories now will ruin that but scientifically I have to be in a deficit to lose fat. Right?

    I do HIIT 2x per week and just started lifting weights (following Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength routine) a couple of weeks ago.

    I fear that I may not be eating enough calories to gain some serious muscle but I fear that if I eat more calories then I'll gain fat. I'm at 27% body fat now and it's all in my stomach. Ugh. I want it gone so shouldn't I still be cutting?
    Perhaps calorie/carb cycling is the way to go? Eat more on the days I lift?

    I'm also afraid I may not be losing fat anymore at 1400 calories but I know cutting more calories isn't the answer. Or is it? I tried a refeed the other day to the best of my abilities but I just don't know if it worked yet (since I'm really not sure if I needed to do it in the first place). But it can't hurt, right? Maybe do it every week or two?

    Does it seem like I'm doing anything wrong here? Any tips to help make sure I lose all the body fat but still make gains? I know protein is such an important factor but is 140g even enough?
  2. shortz

    shortz Beard of Knowledge VIP

    May 6, 2013
    Yes, you have to be in a deficit to lose fat. However, "deficit" is a tricky concept. FOr instance, if you are too low, you can start creating metabolic "damage" that will have a large, negative impact on your progress that gets more and more difficult to fix the longer you go. This is actually more common in women, because women are a little more sensitive to calorie/macro changes than men, and I have seen women that were working with other trainers or otherwise, and were down to insanely low counts, like 900 calories. The longest it took for me to recover a client in a situation like that was 9 months.

    Refeeds should be calculated. They should be done so that you are still in a deficit. For instance, let's say you are in a 250 calorie deficit each day. I have known folks to eat an extra 1500 calories on their refeed day, which, if you do the math, means they are no longer in enough of a deficit for the week's total and that can have a bad impact on total progress. Refeeds should be closer to +500 in a situation like that.

    Your macro break down actually looks better than most when they start. In fact, that's a damn good starting point. I typically recommend to be around 40/40/20 to start, then adjust from there. Everyone will be different. My best results were bumping to 50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fats.

    So, IMO, I would wait a couple weeks to see what happens, and the first adjustment I would make is to bump protein a bit before dropping calories. In fact, in a few months, you might actually find yourelf needing to increase calories. If you under eat, especially while weight lifting, you will start burning muscle and retaining fat.

    Start with that, and in a month or two, post up your results and we can reassess and go from there.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  3. Want2lift

    Want2lift Member

    Jun 12, 2012
    add in 50 cals a day from either healthy fats or proteins. Check the mirror/scale in two weeks and see what's up. Continue to add 50 cals a day every two weeks until you find the sweet spot for your body where you achieve the desired effect. Sounds to me like you want to recomp, possibly maintain current weight but still put on some muscle ( which means your burning fat also) I recomend 40% protein, 30% fats, 30% carbs. If you take it slowly you will get there. Don't rush anything. Recouping takes time. You should be able to eat more then 1400 cals a day without gaining weight.
  4. GiantSlayer

    GiantSlayer VIP Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Yes. 140 grams of protein is plenty. General rule of thumb is 1 gram per lb of body weight but that is even overkill. You have lost 70 lbs so you must have been cutting for some time. I would take 6 to 10 weeks and increase the calories slightly and attempt to put on a bit of muscle. This will also speed up your metabolism. Then go back to cutting. Try cutting for 12 weeks after, then back to adding muscle again for 6-10 weeks, keeping the priority getting lean.
  5. Sherriperoni

    Sherriperoni TID Lady Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    Thank you all. I am going to try and add calories slowly and check back in a few weeks. I feel tired lately (I didn't feel like that until I actually started cutting calories at 1400) so perhaps this is my body's way of saying I need more? I tell you, there is so much more that goes into this than I ever would have imagined before I started! Thanks for the tips.

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