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Old 03-23-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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Default Too little calories for lifting?

Hi Everyone!

I'm not really sure if I'm eating enough calories to be weight lifting. I'm eating between 1300-1400 calories a day. Yesterday was my 2nd day lifting but I actually plan to do it quite often.

I barely started my diet this past Monday, 3-19.

I weight 239.6 and am 5'6".
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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I don't know if that's too low for weight lifting but I think its too low in general. I am 5'5 and 135 and I eat around 1400 on my LOW days. Also, slashing your calories too much for a sustained time will slow your metabolism; exactly what you are trying NOT to do. But it's all about how you feel. Do you feel like you have enough energy on that amount of calories? Listen to your body, it's your best coach
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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If you feel like you're too weak and tired to do a good job lifting and doing it with good form, then you should up to your caloric intake. Listen to your body

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Old 03-23-2012, 05:48 PM   #4
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Personally, I think you are eating far to low, even without exercise. According to the calorie calculator below (and most I've used tend to give similar results, give/take a few calories) you should be eating 2000 calories per day for weight loss if you exercise 3 times a week. I also used the age of 28 since I am unsure of how old you are.


139:February 27th, 2013
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:03 PM   #5
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I don't think 1400 is too low. That is exactly what I have been eating a day, plus 1-2 off days a week (2000 or so calories), to keep me mentally sane, to go out with friends, and to keep my metabolism up. I lost 35 lbs in 3 months, without muscle loss... I have actually gained some muscle. I also work out about 5 times a week, an hour on the elliptical.

I think if you are eatting 2000 calories a day, you won't lose weight fast at all, and maybe even not at all, because its inevitable that you will have some unaccounted for calories that slip in and mess you up.

I say stay on your diet for a while, and as long as you feel good, keep doing it.

That's my opinion though. I just know it has worked for me. I might lose 1-2 lbs a week by eatting 2000 calories, but that's not good enough for me... I wanna get 'er done!
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
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Don't know if this helps but I am 5'6 and weigh 124. I eat 1800 on my maintenance days and 2100 on my training days and I'm as lean as ever. You've got to fuel your body to get through the workouts.
40-ish and feeling fine.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:35 PM   #7
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Hmm. Well I am a midget and I can eat 1300 calories a day with lifting and lose. So, I would think you could eat a bit more? Why not just try it and see how it goes? If you don't like it you can always adjust.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:28 PM   #8
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Congratulations on starting weight lifting now instead of waiting until you've lost weight! Those muscles you're developing will look awesome when you hit your goal weight.

If your calorie intake is too low at the beginning of weight loss, there's not much room to reduce the number of calories if you plateau. Plus once you start maintaining, you could gain weight back eating just a few more calories. Maintenance looks just like losing weight with a few more calories. Someone compared it to yo-yo dieting on a very short leash. I like to maintain on as many calories as possible because, well, I like to eat.

IMHO, it's not a race. Often people who try to lose as quickly as possible then start eating the same way again and the pounds pack on. Been there, done that. It really is all about changing your lifestyle.

The grand essentials of happiness are something to do, something to love and something to hope for - A. K. Chalmers.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:06 PM   #9
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hedge your bets: have a protein shake immediately after your lifting. that way, your muscles will get the aminos they need to do the necessary repairs and upgrades and it won't torch your diet.

if, after 3wks, you're not seeing any improvements in your workouts, add another protein shake a half-hour before your workouts.

the fact is, if you don't have enough protein in your diet, you won't see the results you should.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:45 PM   #10
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I want to echo a little of what everyone else said. You are not leaving yourself anywhere to go. You have to consider what you could be burning when you work out. For instance, when you burn say, 300 calories working out, then eat 1400 then you really are only eating 1100 calories day. What is going to happen when you lose 30 pounds or so, go lower? You will be down to eating NOTHING after some good weight loss. I am 5' 7" and extreme fat loss for me is 1700, (I weigh 215)

Just my 1 1/2 cents, for what it is worth...
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:45 PM   #11
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This post has got me thinking I am not eating enough, researching proved it ugh adding 200 to start
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:33 AM   #12
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Experiment, experiment!

If you cannot lift more weight the next week, and you feel sluggish/hungry all day, you are either not eating enough, or you're not eating often enough.

Everyone is different, however... research suggests that this is not enough energy in order to build muscle. I would focus on your macronutrients though for weight lifting.

EAT CLEAN (avoid getting your calories from protein bars, sugar, and processed foods), and plan your days as 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat.
It's never too late to become what you might have been. -George Elliot
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:12 PM   #13
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I don't think you need to be a slave to macronutrients as if you eat 1200 calories day (lower range), you could eat 20% protein and 10% fat and get your daily needs even for heavy lifting. I think it is good to track it just to see where you are at and make sure something isn't grossly out of whack. Also play around with your food and when you eat as well.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:28 AM   #14
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yeah its too low if you wana lift it needs to be calculated properly but on average id say no less than 2000.
I was on 1200 and was totally defeating the object.
Eating more stimulates your metabolism which promotes weightloss , eating less slows metabolism down whilst you will lose weight you will also lose muscle as the are nit being fed.
Try out the New rules For lifting for woman , explains it all in there very interseting but makes so much sense xx
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