Estimating caloric needs for weight loss
As part of my Eternal Cutting Saga (i.e. has been going on for a year-and-a-half) I am looking to actually get down to 75kg/165lbs for once. No, really!
Weight: 174# (171# last Saturday before weekend carb-up)
Body fat: 22-26%?
Activity: 5 days lifting, with 5 Oly lifting workouts and one Strongman. I try to do conditioning twice a week as well. My log is here.
The diet is clean and low-carb. I'm having issues with the calories. 2000 for a week resulted in too little weight loss. 1800 for a week resulted in an immediate weight drop, but now the carb-up weight is not coming off--I'm thinking going lower than 1800 is probably dumb given my level of activity, and I'm worried 1800 may be too low as from past experience I know I don't lose or even gain weight when the calories get too low. Last time I was seriously committed to losing weight I lost well on 1800, but that was a year ago and I was doing considerably less work in the weight room.
Normally I'd just keep playing with numbers until I find something that works, but I feel kind of on a time crunch right now--I need to be at 165 by April 24th or sooner.
Can anyone give me guidance on a good caloric intake to estimate? I've heard the Robb Wolf BW x 14-16 rule, but I don't know if that applies to women. 2500 calories seems awfully high to me.
14-16 x BW does apply to women.
Just split the difference and use 15 cals/lb. This is for maintenance though, not to lose. 174 lbs x 15 kcal/lb = 2610 to maintain bodyweight.
Taking in ~2000 cals will result in a weekly deficit of ~3500 + calories, at least 1 lb. Remember though, that weight/fat loss is never linear and that you may experience a "woosh" effect as Lyle has termed it.
Staying chronically low carb has its disadvantages. Usually something like 1.5 grams of CHO/lb, 1 gram of PRO and .5 grams of FAT = MAINTENANCE. At the stats you listed that's 261 grams of carbs, 174 grams of protein, 87 grams of fat which actually works out to a total of 2523 cals/day. Close enough to maintain bodyweight/bodyfat levels.
Try taking in 1 gram of carbs, 1 gram of protein, and 1/2 gram of fat per lb for a little while and see how you feel and do.
I think you'd be surprised that carbs aren't the devil nutrient they've been made out to be. Carbs and protein have a higher thermic effect than fat, fat is stored preferentially as bodyfat, carb intakes often correspond to thyroid activity (low carb for too long can suppress thyroid activity) etc. It's worth a shot.
In addition, more NEPA activity, like a long walk at night is a good idea.
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