Originally Posted by george nesrallah
Makes complete sense however I am worried about going even lower than 1600 calories per day. Training is Starr's 5x5 (3x weekly), CF 2x weekly, and BJJ 1x weekly. Would going under 1600 calories a day not be harmful?
Short answer: Yes, it would be harmful.
I don't think you need to worry about that too much though because in your earlier post you said that you've been on "16-1800 calories for a very long time", yet you aren't losing weight. I don't know how big you are or how much you weigh but I suspect that's close to or less than your BMR so if you aren't losing weight you're probably eating more than you think. That's the problem with calorie counting, it's impossible to do it accurately unless you're prepared to weigh and measure absolutely everything or hire a dietitian to prepare all your meals for you.
How should you go about losing weight then? Well a daily caloric deficit of ~500kcal per day is required to lose ~1 lb of fat per week* and there's three ways you can go about creating that deficit -
1: Eat 500kcal less per day than normal.
Pros: It's a no brainer; eat less and you'll lose weight.
Cons: Feeling hungry all the time. Requires willpower. Reduced metabolic rate. Lethargy. Loss of lean body mass.
2: Expend 500kcals more per day than normal.
Pros: It's a no brainer; exercise more and you'll lose weight. Maintains lean body mass.
Cons: Finding the time to train. Requires willpower. Overtraining. Increased risk of injuries.
3: Eat 250kcal less per day and expend 250kcal more per day than normal.
Pros: It's a no brainer; eat less exercise more and you'll lose weight. Maintains lean body mass. Maintains or increases metabolic rate.
Cons: Can't think of any.
Which option is best? Up to you to decide what fits in with your lifestyle but personally I'd go with #3.
If that's how you lose weight but calorie counting doesn't work the next logical question is what are you supposed to eat? Simple, you follow a regular healthy diet that includes a good variety of natural foods and you eat less of it or
(and this is the smart option IMO) you change your diet so that you're eating more low calorie density foods ie. fruit and vegetables and less high calorie density foods ie. junk food, fatty meats, added fats etc then as long as you're sensible with portion sizes you'll lose weight.
It really is that simple; eat a little less, make smarter food choices, do a little more exercise and in a years time you could be 52 lbs lighter than you are today assuming you've got that much to lose of course.
You can find some good information on healthy eating along with some recipes you might want to try at www.mediterrasian.com
* Note: If you're losing more than 1 or 2 pounds per week you're losing more than fat.