T Nation

Minimum Calories Needed on AD?


I am at a sticking point in my fat/weight loss and I am after some real world experiences. Chime in if you have anything good.

Background - I have been on a version of the AD for over a year. I am very good at staying at or under 30grams of carbs per day and am very content on this diet. At first the weight loss was easy, the first 40lbs dropped like crazy, the next 20 at about 2 lbs. per week, then the next 20 at about 1 lb. per week. Then came the stall.

It was months, at the same weight. I didn't let it bother me, as long as people were noticing changes and I was seeing it in my clothing, I didn't worry thinking maybe muscle was added here or there. Then I cheated over the holidays and gained 15 - 20 lbs. I jumped right back in and the weight started coming off at about a lb. or two per week until I hit 273.4 lbs(old sticking point). I have been stuck there for months, and I mean right there, never more than .1 lb. different weighed same time same day once per week. WTF???

I have used Fitday to track calories and have verified that I am averaging 2200 cal. 6 days per week and 3500 on my refeed day. That is a net average of 2385. Have i killed my metabolism with this low calories? Is that even possible at this high of a calorie total? I have read 100s of articles here over the years, but anytime I tried eating at maintenance for my weight(12 - 14 cal per lb.) I gained fast! Is there any way to tell if my metabolism is shot?

Training - Cosgrove circuits 3x per week, 1 sledgehammer interval day, 1 day off, 2 full days yardwork(gardens, landscaping, mowing, etc.) Computer/desk job!


Could you please write out a typical days diet out with macronutrients?


Aaron - here is a page out of my fitday log - totals at bottom Cal Fat Carb Pro

Broccoli, raw Quantity not specifiedcup, NFScup, choppedcup, floweretsbunchfloweretspear (about 5" long)gramskglboz 31 0.4 5.8 3.3
Cauliflower, raw Quantity not specifiedcupoz, raw, yieldsfloweretlarge head (6-7" dia)medium head (5-6" dia)small head (4" dia)gramskglboz 12 0.1 2.6 1.0
Cheese, cottage, lowfat (1-2% fat) Quantity not specifiedcupgramskglboz 164 2.3 6.1 28.0
Coffee, espresso Quantity not specifiedfl ozcoffee cup (6 fl oz)espresso cup (2 fl oz)mug (8 fl oz)gramskglboz 5 0.1 0.9 0.0
Cream, heavy, fluid Quantity not specifiedcupfl ozGuideline amount per fl oz of beveragegramskglboz 103 11.0 0.8 0.6
Egg, whole, raw Quantity not specifiedcup (4.86 eggs)extra largejumbolargemediumsmallgramskglboz 298 20.0 2.4 25.0
Fish oil, cod liver cuptablespoongramskglboz 25 2.7 0.0 0.0
Ground beef, regular, cooked Quantity not specifiedcup, cookedcup, raw, yield cookedoz, cookedoz, raw (yield after cooking)cubic inch, cookedcubic inch, raw (yield after cooking)cocktail meatballlarge meatballlarge patty (5.3 oz, raw, 3 patties per lb) (yield after cooking)medium meatballmedium patty (4 oz, raw, 4 patties per lb) (yield after cooking)small meatballsmall patty (3.33 oz, raw, 5 patties per lb) (yield after cooking)gramskglboz 361 25.9 0.0 30.1
Oats, raw cupgramskglboz 16 0.3 2.7 0.6
Olive oil Quantity not specifiedcuptablespoongramskglboz 298 33.8 0.0 0.0
Protein supplement, powdered Shaklee packettablespoons (1 oz)gramskglboz 243 1.2 0.0 57.5
Strawberries, raw Quantity not specifiedcup, NFScup, halvescup, pureedcup, slicedcup, wholeoz yieldsextra large (1-5/8" dia)large (1-3/8" dia)medium (1-1/4" dia)pint, as purchased, yieldssmall (1" dia)gramskglboz 11 0.1 2.5 0.2
Tomato catsup Quantity not specifiedcuptablespoonpacketgramskglboz 8 0.0 2.0 0.1
Berries, raw, NFS Quantity not specifiedcupoz yieldsgramskglboz 11 0.1 2.6 0.2
Beef steak, braised, lean and fat eaten Quantity not specifiedcup, cooked, dicedoz, boneless, cookedoz, boneless, raw (yield after cooking)oz, with bone, cooked (yield after bone removed)oz, with bone, raw (yield after cooking, bone removed)cubic inch, boneless, cookedlarge steak (yield after cooking, bone removed)medium steak (yield after cooking, bone removed)slice of London Broilsmall steak (yield after cooking, bone removed)gramskglboz 313 19.4 0.0 32.2
Spinach, raw Quantity not specifiedcupbunchleafgramskglboz 7 0.1 1.1 0.9
Endive, chicory, escarole, or romaine lettuce, raw Quantity not specifiedcup, chicorycup, endivecup, escarolecup, mixed greenscup, romainelarge head, endivelarge head, romaineleaf, endiveleaf, escaroleleaf, romainemedium head, endivemedium head, romainesmall head, endivesmall head, romainegramskglboz 5 0.1 1.0 0.4
Mushrooms, raw Quantity not specifiedcup, NFScup, pieces or slicescup, wholeoz, raw, yieldslargemediumslicesmallgramskglboz 36 0.5 5.9 4.2
Butter, NFS Quantity not specifiedcuptablespoonpatGuideline amount per slice of bread/rollgramskglboz 108 12.2 0.0 0.1
Total 2,053 130.3 36.6 184.5


What I mean is, could you break it down for me...for example:

Meal 1: 6 egg whites, 1/2 tin tuna, 1/2 onion, spinach

Meal 2: 1 scoop of whey protein in water with a handful of nuts

Meal 3: 1 chicken breast with Brocolli...


p.s. Do not worry about the macronutrients for vegetables


Aaron - here is a modified version of above
meal 1 - 4 eggs, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, coffee with 1oz cream, 3 fish oil tabs
meal 2 - 1 1/2 scoops whey, 1/4 cup mixed berries
meal 3 - 6oz meatloaf(ground beef, hint oats, hint ketsup) 1 cup broccolli
meal 4 - 1 scoop whey, 1/2 cup cauliflower
meal 5 - 6oz steak, mushrooms onion with 1 pat butter, spinach & romaine salad with 2.5 tbs olive oil
meal 6 - 1/2 cup cottage cheese
2053 cal 130g fat 36.6 g carb 184g protein

This was a light day even for me, usually not two beef in one day, usually chicken in olive oil on at least one of the two heavy meals.


Ok, first thing, what weight are you at the moment? and what weight do you want to be at?
How far are you willing to go to get rid of excess body fat? I am only asking so that I can write something up for you....


First, great job at losing 80 lbs so far. As for your training, I don't see any weight training. I believe if this is the case, that if you start weight training in addition to what you are doing, you should see better results.

As for you metabolism, I think Thibs wrote about morning body temperature measurement: "Body temperature: Oral temperature taken in the morning can clue us in on the metabolic state of the body. Each decrease in temperature of one degree indicates a reduction of 5-10% of the metabolic rate. If that occurs, it's time for a few days of increased caloric consumption until the value returns to normal (established baseline)." http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_article/the_thib_system_training_frequency_and_rest_periods_1

Also, I think your calories are too low for a person who is 270+lbs even when dieting.


273.4 lbs currently
248 lbs. next goal (college ball healthiest weight)
238 lbs. final goal

How far would I go - nothing crazy time wise(3 small children, long hours at work) diet wise I am relentless


I am doing circuit training(Cosgrove workout) for my weight training, are you saying to add some standard "heavy" lifting as well?

I forgot about the THIBS morning temp trick, thanks. I will eat a few days of high calories then check it for a baseline. I always have a very low body temp, I'm sure the weight I was carrying for all those years did nothing for my metabolism or any other bodily function for that matter.

Yes everyone says that I don't eat enough, but I have some incredible fear of gaining weight back. Even when I let myself go over the holidays, as soon as I noticed any change in the way my clothes fit, I was back on the diet!
Any FFB's out there that can tell me what kind of calories per lb. of bodyweight they needed as they lost more?