T Nation

How Low is Too Low?

the key (for me at least) when dieting down seems to be not only making solid food choices, but those that literally left me feeling full.

a large organic apple and tons of water seem to do the trick (with minimal caloric strain) or a grow shake with extra ice and water and up to a cup of frozen berries. once i drink one of those babies (which usually results in 4 - 5 cups of delisciousness) i’m set for 2- 3 hours and only use up about 300 of my daily alotted calories. and don’t forget the ol’ chicken breast over a bag of spinach trick - again, very filling with limited caloric impact.

CT’s advice regarding carb cycling has also been useful. in the midst of a diet cycle, i drop more weight per week using carb-based overfeed days than i do with an extended caloric deficit program.

Well if fat loss is the main goal… I don’t know how carb sensitive you are, but I generally only eat carbs in my post workout meal, and I eat a TON of greens (read that baby spinach) throughout the day.

Also I don’t see as many EFAs as I think you should have.

A couple bits of general info., if I may.

I agree that no one should be ravenously hungry when trying to lose fat. This path leads to eventual cheating/ guilt, all the while in a state of crushed metabolism. This = enhanced fat re-gain and lower self esteem. Eventually more body fat accumulates than what was true at baseline. (ugh!) A little discomfort/ hunger at times is indeed necessary but torture cannot be maintained indefinitely. Unfortunately, there is no good data on how long a lower energy balance (and % fat) takes to become the “new set point”. I’d guess it’s likley about 1-2 years while following reasonably maintain-able habits. (Maybe try a search for “Restriction Contradiction” here on the site.)

Based on what I’ve seen here, this may be a case of working too hard and too detailed, too fast. Let’s remember, the goal is very do-able.

Info… 6 lb. fat x 3500 = 21,000 kcal total deficit

21000 / 9 weeks = 2,333 weekly deficit

= just 333kcal deficit daily (very sane)

In a scenario where we assume about 1900 kcal to maintain, it should mostly be a matter of keeping up previous (steady weight) lifestyle + one additional workout. The dietary alternative is 350 kcal “dilution” via extra fiber (up to say 40g daily) or other dilution techniques (wrote something on that, too).

Of course, body comp is not as easy as energy balance calcs, which is where peri-workout nutrition and macronutrient tweaks come in - as we’ve seen here. And of course, there are still other tweaks. [grabs soapbox] The final ingredient must be patience - otherwise the long term consequences could outweigh temporary rewards. [off soapbox]

How awesome is this? Not one or even two, but three of the heavy hitters adding their bit o’ wisdom. Thanks to all…

Well, since the focus has stayed on the number of kcals instead of flowing to any other aspect, I’ll assume that I’m doing the food sources/ timing/ combining thing correctly and just adjust the kcals while cycling carb intake.

[quote]Lonnie Lowery wrote:
Based on what I’ve seen here, this may be a case of working too hard and too detailed, too fast. Let’s remember, the goal is very do-able.

Of course, body comp is not as easy as energy balance calcs, which is where peri-workout nutrition and macronutrient tweaks come in - as we’ve seen here. And of course, there are still other tweaks. [grabs soapbox] The final ingredient must be patience - otherwise the long term consequences could outweigh temporary rewards. [off soapbox]
[/quote]
Lonnie… It may be difficult to tell from this post but other than that hunger issue at the lower kcals, I’m not stressing on this and do feel the goal is very achievable. Once I have the requisite knowledge, the follow through is really pretty damn painless.