T Nation

Calorie Q


Ok, I have a couple of newbie questions. First, is it possible to gain strength and lose weight at the same time? Second, I weigh 185 pounds, is 1800 calories a day too few if my bodyfat percent is around 16 percent? I train four times a week, cardio and lifting. Third, how can you supply your body with enough proteins without it shutting down while maintaining or losing weight?


Possible yes optimal no hard yes, your BF% very hard.

Cant say for sure as everyone is different but I say HELL YES!!!! I dont think many ppl at all should go below 2000 a day to diet down and then olny to get RIPPED. Of course there are extreme cases but any one who is active lifts etc. needs FOOD.

Shutting down What???


If I where you I'd focus on one thing at a time.I don't think you can gain much strength when dieting.You said you where a newbie,so start by cleaning up your diet,eating enough protein,good carbs,enough fiber,good fats,and working out hard ,but not over doing it,you should be able to gain some muscle and lose some fat.However,you should still focus on either cutting or bulking. Try adding some muscle,then go on a clean cutting diet,or just cut now and go into a clean bulk.
Good luck,Poe.


I'm a newbie at the diet thing I've been lifting for a long time.


There is your answer fix whats broke and you will make GREAT progress diet is HUGE!!!


I have to disagree big time here. I almost always agree with Phil, but...

in my personal experience, it is w/o a doubt possible to gain strength while dieting. In fact, I think some of my best strength gains come while dieting.

Now, you won't gain much of anything at 1800cals...I'm talking about normal dieting...now crazy extreme all grapefruit diet.

You don't sound like you are obese...so just eating well and lifting hard should help you lose bf anyway.


What about protein shakes. I've heard that you should consume 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh, but I'm not looking to put on mass, I am going to use it just to make sure I'm getting enough protein in my diet. How much should I consume? Yes, I am in pretty good shape, I can run a sub 6 mile and easily back squat double bodyweight.


You know,it's funny that you said this because last night I was working my biceps and I was able to lift five pounds heavier than I usually lift.I'm cutting right now.


Goals, Goals, Goals. What are YOUR goals? No one on THIS website will be caught dead eating 1800 calories a day unless they are in a final phase of cutting or something like that.

You can gain "strength" while losing weight RELATIVELY. If you weigh 200 and can bench 200 thats a body weight benchpress. If you decide to diet and get down to 180 all the while maintaining that 200 BP, you have now increased your relative strength.

It is possible for the numbers to go up, but its rare unless the plantes are in allignment.


For sure It can be done. I have done it as well hope to again as well

I agree But I question you making the best strength gains while hypocaloric then when taking in maint. or excess. Thats WRONG and I would look at changing something. Maybe do what you do as far as cutting training when eating??