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 How many calories?

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Posts : 5
Join date : 2009-08-07

PostSubject: How many calories?   Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:53 am

I would like to know how many calories I need to aim for to lose weight (i.e. fat), without losing my hard-earned muscle!
I have had a look on the internet and used a few calculators, but thier answers vary from 2700 to 3400. This is quite a significant difference!

Key facts that may be needed:
202 lbs (92kgs)
27%body fat (according to my new home calipers!)
My goal is 18%

I train 4-5 times a week and have recently been doing "transition training" which, apparently, increases my body's potential to use fat as a metabolic substrate.

I don't want any "lose weight fast" crash diets, just something that works, or at least a calcultaion I can trust!


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Posts : 1279
Join date : 2009-07-26
Age : 52
Location : UK

PostSubject: Re: How many calories?   Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:24 am

Ahhh! I wrote this once & it disappeared! How annoying...oh well 2nd time lucky!

To be honest, although we all use the cookie cutter approach to diet to some extent, it is basically a guess based on the 'average' dieter. I have got my own basic macro-nutrient intake guide as a Word Document & Acrobat pdf document that you can download. Assuming you're eating healthy food already try this method for a more accurate way to design a program (if you aren't eating healthy food read further down about Getting Started). First of all for at least 3 days do not change your eating at all & write down everything you consume that contains calories (food & drink). Something like Nutrition data is a great tool to help you work out your calorie intake. Assuming your weight is stable this is your present maintenance levels. Now take away 300 calories from your present intake & monitor the effects for several weeks. If nothing happens take away a further couple of hundred cal & wait several more weeks to see how this affects you. This would be the best way to work into a cutting phase. Note that I do like to include 1 or (at most) 2 re-feed meals a week to up the metabolism & keep the thyroid happy. You don't have to go mad on these, but you can have those things you're craving all week.

Getting started

The above assumes you are eating healthily already, but just eating too much. But for many they are eating the wrong foods. So they have sugary cereal for breakfast, fries & burger for lunch & a take away for their evening meal. They also top that off with plenty of soda during the day just to bump up their calories that bit further. For these people I tend to suggest a different approach. First off they have to learn to eat correctly, only then can they work at losing the weight.
My first advice is to eat a decent breakfast. Have an unsweetened muesli, porridge (you can add a little fruit, but not sugar), whole grain toast or similar. Dump the sweetened breakfast cereal. That is stage 1, you only need to do that. Keep at it for several weeks & while you're at it buy a decent vegan cookbook as you'll be needing it!
Stage 2 Now pick 1 night a week when you have time to cook & start trying out a recipe a week from the cookbook. Obviously go for the healthier options, & try out things like whole grain rice, quinoa, amananth etc & using tofu, tempeh, seitan as well as beans, nuts & seeds etc. Every time you find a recipe you like make it down somewhere until you've got a few recipes you like.
Stage 3 Now you can start looking around for new places to eat. If your lunch-time is usually fast food, then you're going to try out new places to eat or new food choices at the places you're eating now. It may take some time & detective work, but if you do have to eat out regularly, then it's your job to find places that make food food that is not only vegan, but healthy vegan!
Stage 4 Now you start to increase the amount of healthy evening meals from your collection of meals you've built up using the cook book. If you don't have much time in the evening, or come home too tired to cook, then pre-cooking & freezing might be an option you want to look into to or creating ultra-quick meals by using stuff like pre-packed salads from stores & pre-prepared canned beans or marinating tofu or tempeh in the morning, so when you get home in the evening it's just a matter of grilling the tofu, plonking out the salad & simmering some quinoa.
Again note I do recommend you eat 1 or (at most) 2 re-feed meals a week once you hit the healthy eating. In fact these don't have to be junk. If you are craving, then sure you can go for a bit of junk, but they should be high calorie feeds as they are designed to bump up the metabolism & stop the thyroid from slowing down & the fat from hanging around.

Once you are at the healthy eating stage most people don't even need to think about diet unless they are going for ultra-ripped 6-pack look, they naturally go to a natural, healthy weight. But, if you don't then follow the guidelines I mentioned at the beginning for losing weight when eating healthily. For a very small minority even that is not enough & you need to tinker with carbs, & nutrient timing, but you won't need that unless you are some with a metabolic issue or going for the ultra-ripped physique.

Hopefully that will get you on the way to losing the fat. If you need any other help let me know.

I'm not sure about the details of "Transition training", so I can't really comment on that. If you have any links I'll go & take a look. I'm assuming it's some form of 'metabolic training' working with little rest between sets, using mainly compound movements as espoused by Coach Dos, Alwyn Cosgrove etc? If so it's ok. I would work in a few max strength cycles during a training year (something like
Maximum Strength by Eric Cressey is a good max strength book that covers a lot of stuff like soft tissue work & warm-ups not covered in the average training book.
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