T Nation

Still starving the day after unplanned cheating

Ok, I’ve been looking on the forums and can’t find anything specifically addressing what should I do the day after an unplanned cheat day? (I am trying to lose about 20 lbs of fat via Meltdown training which I started last week, I wanted to do it by Feb 15.)

I have two questions:

After an unplanned cheat day, should I go down an extra few hundred calories? Or should I go right back to my planned calories?

Secondly, yesterday when I ate too much, I was starving all day. Today I still feel like I am starving. Is that some sort of signal that I miscalculated my maintenance too low? Or is this just part of discipline?

Here are my numbers: I am currently 210 lbs, with 170 LBM, and I calculated my maintenance at about 2700 cal/day (sit on my butt non workout days, add 600 4/week, and 300 2/week for workouts). I eat average 2080 cal/day, broken down to 80g fat, 139g carb, and 197g protein on average.

So I guess, either 2700 cal/day is too low, or else I should eat more than 2100 cal. But I want to try for 2 lbs/week. Since I have a good 40 lbs of fat on me, I hope I can still lose at that rate for awhile.

I did manage to do this once before: I lost 35lbs in 8 weeks this fall on BFL eating only 1900 cal/day, though my workouts were less (300cal 6/week). And I didn’t feel like I was starving and didn’t lose muscle either. It just seems a lot harder this time.

Chris B

I believe in the essential Berardi readings, there’s something to the effect of “if you cheat, don’t skip meals to try to make up for it- just get back on the program”. Your calories look right to me, but your training and supplementation strategy in addition to your diet will ultimately affect whether or not you reach your goals. Keep measuring your fat levels, if you’re losing too much LBM, adjust calories upwards.

When you fall off the wagon, get right back on… Don’t change your diet to compensate for your cheating, just start right back up again.

Hi, Chris. My quick thoughts. . .

With LBM at 170, I’d recommend that you take in 1.5g of protein per pound of LBM. So I’d like to see you up your protein from 197g per day to 255g per day. What would be ideal and will help with your cravings is to take in protein every meal, AT LEAST 6 meals. Shoot for 40g or so each meal. 7 meals at a lower number would be better. Use MRPs in a pinch, but the thermic effect of food is higher with protein you chew versus the protein you drink.

Next, drop your carbs to less than 100g per day. And, too, on this subject, I want to say the type of carbs you take in will affect whether you have cravings or not. Anything with fructose, honey, sugar or milk (and even fruit, to a lesser degree) in it has a type of sugar that preferentially refills LIVER glycogen, not MUSCLE glycogen. What’s the big deal about my wanting to NOT fill liver glycogen? The liver is responsible for maintaining even, steady blood sugar levels but liver glycogen also is responsible for cravings. The ideal type of carbohydrate to take in are your low-calorie, low-carb, high-fiber, green veggies; i.e., green peas, green beans, broccoli, kale, collards, salads, spinach, mushrooms, swiss chard, asparagus. The list goes on and on, but I think you’ve got the idea.

Running the numbers, 250g of protein x 4 kCal = 1000. 100g of carbs x 4 kCal = 400. That leaves 680 kCal for fat. Divide that by 9, and you get 75g of fat.

Chris, can I please say that sucumbing to cravings is not a lack of discipline. Hormonal cravings are EXTREMELY powerful. Raising the amount of protein you take in, cutting back on your carbs and changing the type of carbs you eat will reduce cravings. If you’ve been eating an unrestricted diet, it takes about a week to make the metabolic shift, at which point you won’t be fighting cravings the way you are now.

And after you HAVE made that metabolic shift, you’ll recognize when you’re REALLY hungry and when you’re craving something. If you are hungry, you should eat. Take in some more protein and/or fat. And don’t be afraid of fat. I’ve been making good progress on low carbs (lower than what I’m recommending to you) and high fat, about 40%.

If for some reason you just don’t want to take in the calories, but you’re hungry, one of my tricks is to take a heaping teaspoon or two of guar gum in Crystal Light. It’s a trick of Dan Duchaine’s of Body Opus fame. Guar gum is a type of fiber. That and the liquid will fill you right up.

My one question for you, Chris. Are you keeping a daily food log?

Okay. I guess those are my (not so) quick thoughts. I wish you all the best. Any questions, just ask.