T Nation

Transition to Double Calorie Intake

Soon to be coming off a very low calorie protein sparing diet. Current calories are at about 1500 with about 190g protein, 70g fat and about 25g carbs.

I have also just recalculated a rough new maintenance calorific intake - will be just over 3000 calories.

Over the next 4-5 weeks I will be gradually upping my calories from 1500 at 190/70/25 to something closer to 3000 calories at 220/215/55.

Current: 1500
Week 1: 1800
Week 2: 2100
Week 3: 2400
Week 4: 2700
Week 5: 3000

The macros will be going up in proportion… and if possible I will split a small amount of the 300 calories (say 100 calories) and up my calories once on monday (200) and then once again on wednesday (another 100).

Food choices will be clean as hell of course…

But its the training thats been bothering me a little.

My current plan uses two full body strength sessions in the gym and one full body strongman inspired workout (lots of heavy sandbag carries, push presses, etc.). I also do weighted fasted morning walks every day.

I was thinking for the sake of insulin sensitivity (I plan on implementing a Surge like product around my workout instead of my current low carb approach) I should add in say 3 medium intensity cardio sessions for 30 mins as per Berardi’s reccomendations.

For this reason I will also be taking all of my fasted weighted morning walks and making them more relaxed evening walks… very slowly upping intensity.

My strength sessions will now be performed earlier in the day and fresher - I will also be adding in some additional standing core work at the end of each session to increase training volume and to train something I havent included directly for the last 4 weeks.

Just curious as to what everyone thinks of this approach for the transition phase. Normally I wouldnt have any questions but 300 cals a week for 4 weeks running has had me a little worried about fat gain!

Hi Ben,
Transitioning from PSMF to a more normal intake takes a lot of discipline, restraint and a plan. I feel that the most important thing though during this phase is OBJECTIVITY. You have to assess how the increase in Calories, carbs, sodium affects you and maybe make adjustments as necessary.

Your plan looks pretty solid to me. Now considering that your current carb intake is only 25g, then at first expect oedema. However after a period of time, your fluid balance will normalise and this will improve. Try not to confuse noticeable increases bodywater with gaining fat -easier said than done.

Increasing energy expenditure while increasing energy intake is a great idea, the net result will be greater nutrient partitioning and elevated metabolsim, plus this could help with the fluid retention.

Now the one of the problems with VLCKD is that they may cause exagerated insulin responses with some individuals, once you resume eating carbs. You could try supplementing with some fenugreek, cinnamon, and a little K R-ALA while you add the carbs in - and then slowly titrate off the supplements.

Additionally, I would recommned increasing your high intensity exercise also. High intensity training, such as resistance training and HIIT, will also improve nutrient partitioning and may elevate metabolism, coupled with the increased levels of analbolic hormones, and improved conversion of T4 to T3 that you will likely experience, you may improve your body composition while you transition!

[quote]Dave Rogerson wrote:
Hi Ben,
Transitioning from PSMF to a more normal intake takes a lot of discipline, restraint and a plan. I feel that the most important thing though during this phase is OBJECTIVITY. You have to assess how the increase in Calories, carbs, sodium affects you and maybe make adjustments as necessary.

Your plan looks pretty solid to me. Now considering that your current carb intake is only 25g, then at first expect oedema. However after a period of time, your fluid balance will normalise and this will improve. Try not to confuse noticeable increases bodywater with gaining fat -easier said than done.

Increasing energy expenditure while increasing energy intake is a great idea, the net result will be greater nutrient partitioning and elevated metabolsim, plus this could help with the fluid retention.

Now the one of the problems with VLCKD is that they may cause exagerated insulin responses with some individuals, once you resume eating carbs. You could try supplementing with some fenugreek, cinnamon, and a little K R-ALA while you add the carbs in - and then slowly titrate off the supplements.

Additionally, I would recommned increasing your high intensity exercise also. High intensity training, such as resistance training and HIIT, will also improve nutrient partitioning and may elevate metabolism, coupled with the increased levels of analbolic hormones, and improved conversion of T4 to T3 that you will likely experience, you may improve your body composition while you transition! [/quote]

Well after reading that for the period during the transition I’ll stay on the low carb workout nutrition (a lot of bcaa’s, whey isolate, leucine and glutamine). Carb intake will only be increasing by 30g then - helping to reduce oedema.

I have kept myself on creatine the whole way throughout the past 4 weeks - 6g day in, day out to try and minimise fluctuations in fluid - perhaps this will also keep things relatively smooth as I move to higher calorie intake.

HIIT was something I was going to avoid till Im back at maintenance as I am fully aware of how catabolic it can be when so calorie restricted. You really dont think this will be a problem when Im still hundreds of calories under my maintenance?

EDIT:
It may not be necessary to do so straight away and not necessarily hiit per se - just high intensity exercise, such as another weight training session, or even another strongman circuit session.

Again, titrate the volume and duration of each as your Calories increase also. But like anything it would be wise to base this on your responses to your plan, you may find that you dont need to, or that you are too fatigued to do it. I suppose this is where the objectivity thing comes in.

Give it a couple of weeks on your current plan then if you feel you need to adjust then adjust as necessary.

With regards to carbs, no need to fear them, add them in. Carbs get demonized regularly, the addition of small amounts of carbs here and there will not magically make you fat Ben. What you may find though is that once you add them in, you will likely want to eat more of them (thats where restraint comes in).

A lot of research indicates that, amoungst other factors of course, one of the reasons why people have problem with carbs is that are prone to overeating them. So, make sure that your carbs are as fibrous as possible and that the carb meals also contain plenty of protein (protein is very satiating). Beans are great by the way!

[quote]Dave Rogerson wrote:
EDIT:
It may not be necessary to do so straight away and not necessarily hiit per se - just high intensity exercise, such as another weight training session, or even another strongman circuit session.

Again, titrate the volume and duration of each as your Calories increase also. But like anything it would be wise to base this on your responses to your plan, you may find that you dont need to, or that you are too fatigued to do it. I suppose this is where the objectivity thing comes in.

Give it a couple of weeks on your current plan then if you feel you need to adjust then adjust as necessary.

With regards to carbs, no need to fear them, add them in. Carbs get demonized regularly, the addition of small amounts of carbs here and there will not magically make you fat Ben. What you may find though is that once you add them in, you will likely want to eat more of them (thats where restraint comes in).

A lot of research indicates that, amoungst other factors of course, one of the reasons why people have problem with carbs is that are prone to overeating them. So, make sure that your carbs are as fibrous as possible and that the carb meals also contain plenty of protein (protein is very satiating). Beans are great by the way![/quote]

Oh aye for the first week the increase in carbs - only about 5-10g is coming from an increase in nuts and brocolli. Fat increases will be coming from olive oil and fish oil. The quality of the carbohydrate is not a problem.

A similar pattern will continue throughout these four weeks as I continue to diversify my food choices and increase the number of “real foods”.

The next big increase in carbs will be switching over to P+C workout nutrition once Im at maintenance. My reasoning being that carbohydrates consumed around this period are unlikely to result in fatty tissue gain. Current thinking for this is get a tub of Surge and a tub of whey isolate and gradually shift from whey isolate dominant to Surge dominant (or an equivilant).

After a 4 week period or so of eating like this then I will be switching my breakfast to a P+C also.

I will see what happens after a couple of weeks into this transition phase… if my body isn’t getting too fatigued I might switch to something like:

Monday - AM Full body gym, PM NEPA walk
Tuesday - AM Sandbag sprint HIIT, PM NEPA walk
Wednesday - Morning and afternoon NEPA walks.
Thursday - AM Full body gym, PM NEPA walk
Friday - AM Sandbag sprint HIIT, PM NEPA walk
Saturday - Morning and afternoon NEPA walks.
Sunday - Morning and afternoon NEPA walks.

EDIT: Dont worry about self-restraint… Im obsessed over numbers =]

I was a tubby kid :frowning:

Cool, sounds like a decent plan. If you like keep me updated and see how things go.

Dave

P.S. I was tubby too :frowning:

You don’t have to up the calories every week. During my last transition, I upped calories every 2 weeks, 1700, 1700, 2000, 2000, 2300. It stretches it out of course, but that’s for the better imo.

Also, I didn’t do it last time, but someone mentioned(Thib?) first adding adding calories to post workout, then breakfast, then the meal after workout in that order. It makes a lot of sense to me, so I think I’ll be doing this next time around.

[quote]Evilmage wrote:
You don’t have to up the calories every week. During my last transition, I upped calories every 2 weeks, 1700, 1700, 2000, 2000, 2300. It stretches it out of course, but that’s for the better imo.

Also, I didn’t do it last time, but someone mentioned(Thib?) first adding adding calories to post workout, then breakfast, then the meal after workout in that order. It makes a lot of sense to me, so I think I’ll be doing this next time around.[/quote]

Aye calories have been upped in breakfast and my workout is shifting to post breakfast - so its all good.

I just want to get back to maintenance as soon as possible -I have university starting soon and I hope to be hitting the judo and weights HARD.

Sorry for the double post - just wanted to update people on a revised protocol… not quite ideal because I would like to be at maintenance by the time Im at uni (due to judo club)… however I suspect that thinsg wont start for a couple of weeks due to freshers week(s).

Week 0: 1500 cals
Week 1: 1750 cals
Week 2: 2000 cals
Week 3: 2250 cals
Week 4: 2500 cals
Week 5: 2750 cals
Week 6: 3000 cals

Just really taking into consideration everything posted in this thread. Although I wont have the luxury of spending masses of time stepping things up and only upping every couple of weeks… Ive dropped the calories down to 250 increase and extended the whole transition phase by another week.

I will still be splitting up the increases over the course of the week - 150 cals roughly on monday and another 100 cals on wednesday.