T Nation

Enough Calories?


I've cleaned up my diet a great deal, although I am far from hitting it just right. No more soda no more chips. If somebody orders a pizza I will have 1-2 slices and not a whole pie for myself. A typical day consists of cottage cheese & wheat toast (or whole grain waffles) for breakfast, a turkey sandwich on wheat with spinach on it with some beef jerkey for lunch, and either chicken, steak, or salmon with veggies for dinner. I snack on cottage cheese & a pear or banana between meals. I drink a protein shake spiked with maltodextin after a workout. Still, on average I am eating 1,500-1,700 calories. For my size, age, and level of activity, I should be eating 2,000 at least. I need to lose a bunch of fat (50lbs) and am losing it slowly, but am concerned my caloric intake is too low and negatively affecting my metabolism.

I do have some dietary restrictions (nuts, legumes, corn, peas, high fiber are a no go for me). Any suggestions on how to better balance/round-out my diet?



Just keep at it. Dieting in the end will make your metabolism crash. The larger the deficiet, the quicker the crash, but that's also partly because the quicker the weight comes off. Just take your time and try to hit just some general guidlines.

Eat 1g/lb protein.
Get efas
Eat at deficiet
Keep moving.

Keep that up in as sustainable a manner as possible. Good luck with the weight loss.


I would say you are eating a tad bit too little, You don't mention your height or your weight, so i cant be sure. It is always a better idea to eat at slightly below maintenence and burn the rest off through cardio than to eat at a huge deficit.


Make breakfast the biggest meal of the day, and after that they get progressivly smaller. Your last meal of the day should be your smallest.

Here are some links that will help you a TON:

The FFB Handbook(though you aren't there yet)

Temporal Nutrition

Lean Eatin'

Foods that Make You Look Good Nekid


Thanks to all. I know I have a way to go. For the record, I am 5'8", 216lbs, ~34% body fat (according to my Tanita scale) and 39 y.o. I have been at the gym and eating better for about 5 weeks. I have lost about 10lbs in that time, but have definately put on muscle. I work out 3 x Week with Waterbury's Total Body Training (I'm on week 4), although I substitute most shoulder work with 8 Weeks to Monster Shoulders (I'm on week 5). I know I need to up my cardio.

I get at least 10 minutes in before each work out and I come back 2 x week on off days for 20-30 walks at 4mph and 2.5 incline. I have been reading about the Tabata Method as well as variants of HIIT. I think that will be my next endevour.


BTW: The graphic on my first post is a fat molecule.


If the scale is even in the ballpark, I'd say around 1700 would be about right assuming no clinical metabolic issues. You may want to reduce the post-workout maltodextrin in the shake since your goal is fat loss though.

A few main thing to look at while losing weight is "Do I feel extremely hungry all the time? Do I feel tired a lot? Am I getting weaker in the gym?" If the answer to any of those is yes, you're eating too little. If you feel fine and are getting stronger while losing fat slowly, though, you're hitting the mark perfectly.

Just curious, why the restrictions? I imagine you're allergic to nuts, but why the fiber restriction?

Have a good one,



I've got Crohn's Disease. Luckily, I am not prone to wasting away, but I seem to get partial bowel obstructions once every 12-16 months. It is hard to tie it directly to specific foods, stress, etc., but I do have trouble digesting some things. Too much fiber tears me up inside. I can eat 1 small salad per day, but more than that and I am hurting. I can tolerate nuts in very small doses.

So, on occassion I will eat 5-6 whole raw cashews, but much more than that and it is not much fun. I have found I am ok eating 2 whole grain waffles from Kashi per day, but oatmeal tears the living daylights out of me. I haven't eaten corn on the cob since 1987. There are plenty of other good foods I can tolerate and actually like, so I am not complaining (too much, anyway).



Firstly, I am hardly any kind of expert on nutrition. However, I have a read a bit and taken a class on it at my university.

From what I understand, you should be consuming 2-300 calories less than your daily requirement. Every three days you can conscume 500 calories less.

For example, if you weight 220 lbs, you would need 1900-2000 calories per day. Every three days you can eat only 1700 calories (if you desire to speed things up).

Make sure are eating healthy -- and that you know which foods are good and bad.

I would not recommend eating more than 80 fat calories per day.

If you stay at it, you WILL lose weight.

Good luck