T Nation

Lower Calories to Maintain Weight?


My ideal weight is 220lbs, and I'm not all that close. I'm at about 212lbs.

However I'm taking in about 4000-4200 kcal a day to barely gain weight. I have a friend that is able to maintain 230lbs at about 2700 calories.

Now, let me preface by saying that I know it all depends on the person, their metabolism, and a handful of other things that go into how one deals with calories.

But my question to the T-Nation Community is, how can one work on lowering calories whilst maintaining a weight?

  • Lower activity levels
  • Make sure each calorie is clean and dense

What else is out there? I know I could change food up but I don't think my activity levels are that high.



It is much easier to maintain a solid weight set point than it is to gain and change it. You won't be maintaining a new weight on lesser calories unless it is a weight your body is very comfortable maintaining. That means if you JUST hit 212, you will lose that weight quickly if you drop calories now. If going one or two days casually eating less or missing a meal here and there causes you to lose 5lbs or more even though your activity level didn't increase at all, then that is not your body's weight set point.


Why do you want to maintain if you're not yet at your ideal weight of 220 pounds?


Oh, silly, this is a new era of people making no progress but thinking that equals progress.

Thus I did not ask a question so ludicrous.


Sorry if I didn't explain it all too well.

WHEN I reach 220lbs, I plan to eat whatever amount I need to in order to maintain that weight. I know I will have to do this for a while (3-6mo) in order for my body to create a set point and be used to this weight.

My question comes into play after that when I'd like to find a way to reduce my caloric intake. Because as much as I like to, eating 4200 calories right now at 212 can be a pain (on busy work days, weekends when I'm doing a lot) and I can't even figure out what I'll be taking in to stay at 220lbs.


Let's not group ME in with this 'new era' b/c I know that my progress has been pretty dam good.


Lighten up, rock.




I took me a little over 4000 calories to get to 220 lbs from 190. I'm 6ft and the only cardio I did was baskebtall once a week on monday nights. Once I got to 220 and stayed at that weight for a few weeks, I cut back on carbs and was able to maintain on about 3500 calories.

I recently went back to 4000 calories and got up to 225. Mind you, I couldn't break past 220 on 4000 calories until my body got used to being heavier. So that just goes to show that once your body gets used to a certain weight, it'll take less calories to maintain that weight all else being equal.


By the way, I only had to maintain 220 for about a month before 4000 calories became enough to gain again. And those calorie #'s aren't rough estimates off the top of my head. I used fitday to track them.


It's good to know there is hope for me. Thanks for checking in sam.