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Help with Calorie Intake

5 weeks ago I was consuming 3800 calories a day. I wasn’t gaining weight anymore so I bumped it up to 4200 ( I now realize this was too much of a jump at a time). Anyways when I was eating 3800 I was 209, I am now 215 5 weeks later. I would like to slow down my gains cause this is obviosuly a good amount of fat. I am starting to collect fat in the hips/ lower abs but that has been happening since I was 195 (I have managed to control it a bit). Anyways I don’t want to cut, I guess I just want to recomp, so my goal is to be a leaner 215 in the next few weeks. How should I go about doing this?

Last week I ate 4200 on training days, 4000 on non training days. I gained 2 lbs. However, I was really sore after workouts. (does this mean not enough food) Oh and I slept for 8 hours a night.

Right now I am eating 4200 calories on training days and 4000 on non training days. ( I feel like this may cause me to gain a bit more weight if I continue).

I am tempted to continue to eat 4200 on training days, but lower to 3800 on non training days. Will this increase my level of DOMS and reduce recovery? Overall my main goal is to increase strength and mass

Last bits of info. Im about to start taking surge recovery and creatine this week (periworkout)

Overall I just want to lean out a bit and continue to get stronger for next few weeks so I have a solid platform to continue my bulk. Thanks in advance

Oh I’m 6/2 btw so it’s not exactly a big looking 215

IMO…your plan to reduce your calories on non-training days is fine. Find some starch to reduce and keep the protein level the same.

Thanks for the help. I’m a little confused though, and have some questions.

  1. Will a few weeks be enough to recomp and lean down a bit? I don’t necessariliy want to lose weight, ideally I would like my weight to stay the same and just lose fat but build muscle at the same time.

  2. Will I not recover as well because of less overall calories?

  3. WIll this in any way reduce my efforts to gain strength?

Thanks. I know question 1 prolly can’t be answered with an exact answer but a ballpark estimate would be greatly appreciated.

Also is 500g of carbs a day for a 4200 calorie diet enough? I have been experiencing a lot of overall fatigue, not just in the weight room, recently and I was wondering if that has anything to do with it.

500 g = 48%. It’s quite enough. Christian Thibaudeau and a lot of trainers were used to consume less than 100g a day before the releasing of Annaconda and Indigo protocols.

However, you need to increase fats in order to spare proteins in your muscles. Dehydratation also results in fatigue. Are you sure that you drink enough before, during and after training ?

A difference of 500 kcal between training and non training days is a better option, at least for me, in order to promote fat loss.

So let me get this straight…

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

I would like to slow down my gains

I don’t want to cut

I guess I just want to recomp

my goal is to be a leaner 215 in the next few weeks

Overall my main goal is to increase strength and mass

Overall I just want to lean out a bit and continue to get stronger

to continue my bulk
[/quote]

The “recomp” approach you are considering might not be the best for your goals (which, if I’m understanding correctly, are ultimately to increase strength and mass.

“Recomp” is a better approach if you are already happy where you are and don’t mind very, very gradual progress. You said you want to improve leanness within a few WEEKS.

If you are unhappy with your level of leanness, why not just lose the fat so you can get fully re-invested in your pursuit of strength and mass. It doesn’t mean you need to go on an aggressive cut and lose a bunch of mass or strength. Just turn the knob towards fat loss by adjusting your intake for a while, and ride it out until you’re happy.

Sometimes, I think “recomp” is a great strategy and I’ve locked into recomp mode myself with some nice, gradual results. But it just doesn’t seem like the right approach based on what you’ve laid out and, well…just look at the user name you’ve chosen. Do that.

I honestly may not be drinking enough water. I normally don’t drink a lot to begin with but with bulking I have found it limits my appetite which is horrible to begin with (just recovering from health issues). I guess I just have to start getting in more water.

@ Serge- thanks for the advice. The reason I said recomp is because I am not very big to begin with. If I started to cut I would look tiny. Yet I don’t want to keep gaining fat. I guess in my mind it made sense that if I just maintained my weight for a few weeks things would harden up. Seems like I was wrong though. Either way I need to slow down my bulk, 2 pounds a week is too much for my liking. In your opinion do you think that staying at 4200 kcals training days and down to 3800 kcals non training days would be a smart move?

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
your opinion do you think that staying at 4200 kcals training days and down to 3800 kcals non training days would be a smart move? [/quote]

Yes, you could keep making small adjustments like that until your rate of fat gain slows to an acceptable level, and cutting from your non-training days makes sense.

But I am sensing that you are very concerned about compromising your recovery on workout days by dropping below 4200 calories.

It sounds like you’ve actually experienced significant differences in recovery ability with slight adjustments in training-day calorie intake? I would do a few more trials with that just to make sure.

Cutting 400 calories from my training days wouldn’t make a hugely noticeable difference in my ability to recover…especially if I distributed that adjustment across all three macros.

Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut if the only adjustment tools you’ve been using are small, incremental adjustments in calorie intake. Every once in a while, it helps to bust out a sledgehammer and blast through the plateau, whether that means cranking the knob higher towards fat loss OR muscle gain.

Thanks serge I really appreciate it. I’ve been dealing with some constant pretty strong fatigue and also some soreness lately. I’m hesitant to cut down on calories for training days cause I feel like this may exacerbate the situation. Do you have any ideas of what I could attribute the fatigue to? I sleep from 10-7 every night so it can’t be lack of sleep. I even end up waking up around 6 every morning and drift in and out of sleep until 7.

Tough to make a guess on your fatigue issues without lots of info.

All I can say is that calorie intake is only one of MANY possible factors.

I’ve never really had fatigue issues, so it’s really not in my wheelhouse.

But my gut says you should look into other factors. Unless you are Training with Michael Phelps or something, 4,000 calories should be enough to support your training.