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-   -   Need opinions on my diet (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3769)

Emily Mattes 01-30-2009 07:52 AM

Need opinions on my diet
So my goal is to get down to 155 by mid-May. With that in mind, for the past eight weeks I have been eating mostly low-carb Paleo, with once or twice weekly cheats. I've been eating 1800-2000 calories a day, ~180g/day protein, and 60g/day of carbs or less. Everything else is fat.

I do Olympic lifting 4-5 times a week, and add in a short, heavy metcon 2-3 times a week.

Things have been going well, but I've hit a few snags and need help.

I started at 187, was at 174 last Thursday, then went on vacation from Friday-Sunday and even after a week of returning to my diet I'm still at 179. I figured any water bloat from increasing my carbohydrate intake would have come off by now--there's no way I put on four "true" pounds, right?

Added to this frustration is that I started a squat cycle this week and it's tearing me up. I'm quite a bit hungrier, and am not sure if I should be upping the calories or carbs or both. I'm worried about stalling my fat loss, but I'm also worried about killing my performance or shutting down my metabolism from eating too little.

Could someone offer any suggestions or guidance on where to go with my diet? More carbs? More calories? Leave it here? Not worry about the four pounds?

Duke McCall 01-30-2009 08:10 AM

A few thoughts. You probably could increase your protein intake a bit (by my calculations you are between 35% and 40%). I would not increase the carbs. I also would not decrease your calorie intake. In fact, if needed to maintain energy levels, you may want to increase it a bit (without a better idea of your calorie expenditure, it is kind of hard to assess how big your calorie deficit is, but in my book persistent fatigue is a good sign you are running too low).

I would not worry about the four pounds. Body weight fluctuates significantly from week to week, day to day, and morning to night. There can be many different causes. I would maintain a long term view and continue to celebrate the progress you have made so far.

Keep up the good work!

Mike ODonnell 01-30-2009 09:03 AM

Fasted AM workouts always work for me and many other. Doing metcons+additional slower steady stuff....like walking or something. Add some coffee before and you will be fueled to go. Cycle your carbs too....like doing 2 days at 30g, 2 days at 60g and repeat....that will help.

Jay Cohen 01-30-2009 03:46 PM

Mike and Duke nailed it.
Good luck.


Dave Van Skike 01-30-2009 04:00 PM

I hang between 205 and 220, the amount of calories you're talking about is what I do to lose fat. This is works if I cut out all conditioning work except for finishers and hit the slow and low activity, mostly walking...lots of walking, with a weight vest, maybe ride the bike to work.

I'd say drop the kcal and the metcon both for about two weeks and see how you do. if you're too gassed to train at all after that, i'd slowly feed in only enough extra calories to allow you to train at a conssitent level, but don't expect to make big progress, maintain strenght and work on your skills but if you are cutting fat, keep that as the focus. chase one rabbit at a time.

but I could be full of it... I should be an even 200 but prefer strength and beer over leanness.

George Mounce 01-30-2009 04:17 PM

I second Mike, fasting AM workouts sheds the body weight for me.

Allen Yeh 01-30-2009 04:57 PM

Heck I can fluctuate up to 5+ pounds per day depending on the circumstances....

I'm leaning towards more longer slow activities like the NEPA walks advocated by the V-diet. When I went to Disney for a week in November I lost more than 5 pounds despite not having trained for a week+ and not eating the best of things on a daily basis. It was a ton of walking, I'm somewhat curious as to how many total miles I must have put in that week. FWIW I've always been someone who gained weight rather fast and easily rather than one of those people that lose weight without trying.

Patrick Yeung 01-30-2009 05:03 PM

Yeah, if you think you can hack it, maybe IFing might be for you. Doing the 12-6 eating window, if it fits your schedule, would let you work out fasted and starving. I walk into the gym and I feel like I want to rip those weights apart when im like that.

Cycling carbs like Mike said would work if IF were not youre thing.

1800-2000 calories a day seems way too low to me though. Its cool if youre trying to cut fat real quick, but how long have you been doing it for? Youve got to be so tired. I think you should cycle your carbs and increase your fat intake. Make sure everything youre already eating is whole fat, and add like say...

Coconut milk warmed up with coco powder with some fish oil caps.
That sucker is loaded with calories, and tastes damn good. Days I feel tired, I just down one of these before I go to bed and im burnin up the next day.

By the way, if you dont mind, why 155? Numbers shouldnt really be of a concern, cept maybe your 1RM squat.

Allen Yeh 01-30-2009 05:05 PM

Eric Cressey notes something about NEPA in his latest article at T-nation:


Emily Mattes 01-30-2009 06:33 PM

I've been reading a lot at Body Recomposition, and Lyle McDonald recommends protein pre- and post-workout and carbs post-workout to dieting athletes in order to preserve muscle mass. He also recommends higher carb levels (using his calculations I should be getting 80-100g) for strength/power athletes. Should I listen to that? Do the fasted workouts? Do fasted NEPA in the morning and then eat for my main workout at night?

Patrick, the calories is something I'm concerned about. I've been doing OK, right up until this week when my squat cycle started and I've been hitting a wall. That's why I posted it--I'm having trouble trying to figure out an intake and macronutrient breakdown that's going to help me keep losing weight while not scuttling my weight training.

As for the weight goal, I'll admit it's kind of arbitrary. I've been poking on-and-off at losing weight for a while, and this is the first time it's really stuck. However, I made a very unwise bet involving that number so I feel compelled to aim for it even if ultimately after reaching it I decide I'm better off at a different weight.

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