Calorie intake variation

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    Calorie intake variation

    So while doing a workout plan like 30 Days of Strength, I would want to trigger protein synthesis in my body 5 times a day (5 meals, at least 3 hours apart, each of which have between 22-30g protein). I already have a surplus of weight and don't want to take in too many calories and have been looking over meals from this site among others. Would it be okay to: Wake up, eat breakfast (260 calories), wait 3 hours, workout followed by whey protein (126 calories), wait 3 hours, eat third meal (310 calories), wait 3 hours, supper (600 Calories), wait 3 hours, Whey Protein before bed (126 Calories) [Total: 1,372 Calories]. So I am at a deficit, but not below 1000 Calories a day (which I am told is very very bad, so I added a calorie heavy supper instead of something light) and I am still getting enough protein and nutrients from various sources and different vegetables each day?

    #2
    spoonroot you cannot "trigger" protein synthesis in the body the way you suggest. The body uses what protein it can synthesize from your total food intake throughout the day to meet its muscle-building and tissue repair needs. When you take in protein is not also as important as we once believed (i.e. timing it before or after workouts). It is more important that in its totality you have sufficient protein for what your body needs to do. We covered some of this in our article on protein intake and building muscle. What you propose to do, on the whole, sounds OK. All things being equal you will see begin to see a change in your body with loss of fat and an increase in muscle. What I will say is that everyone is different in many ways, from the way your body will respond to exercise (some of it is defined by genetics) to your metabolic system and your past history with nutrition and exercise. It is important to be patient, methodical and really take it one step at a time. Let us know how you're doing and any more questions that come up just ask here. Your journey helps many others who are on their own. I hope this helps.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Damer View Post
      spoonroot you cannot "trigger" protein synthesis in the body the way you suggest. The body uses what protein it can synthesize from your total food intake throughout the day to meet its muscle-building and tissue repair needs. When you take in protein is not also as important as we once believed (i.e. timing it before or after workouts). It is more important that in its totality you have sufficient protein for what your body needs to do. We covered some of this in our article on protein intake and building muscle. What you propose to do, on the whole, sounds OK. All things being equal you will see begin to see a change in your body with loss of fat and an increase in muscle. What I will say is that everyone is different in many ways, from the way your body will respond to exercise (some of it is defined by genetics) to your metabolic system and your past history with nutrition and exercise. It is important to be patient, methodical and really take it one step at a time. Let us know how you're doing and any more questions that come up just ask here. Your journey helps many others who are on their own. I hope this helps.
      So according to the article you suggested (Thank you btw) it says 2.2g per KG is a bad thing. I weigh 92 KGs and am still doing Stage 1 of "30 days of strength". Should I consume 1.6g of protein per KG I weigh to build muscle while keeping my Calorie intake as a whole +-2000 Calories a day (regaurdless of how protein is spaces out within each day)? Thank you very much for taking the time to educate me, I do appreciate it.

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        #4
        spoonroot you're most welcome. The 2.2g limit is the upper end of the scale. Olympic athletes would probably need that because of the high-intensity, consecutive workouts they have to subject themselves to. For the rest of us the 1.6g/kg body weight is the best range to work with and indeed, as long as you're getting all the protein you need each day you don't need to worry about how much protein is in each meal. The body looks to optimize the process of tissue repair and muscle building and it looks at the total amount of resources available to it in order to do it. Keep us informed of how you're getting on.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Damer View Post
          spoonroot you're most welcome. The 2.2g limit is the upper end of the scale. Olympic athletes would probably need that because of the high-intensity, consecutive workouts they have to subject themselves to. For the rest of us the 1.6g/kg body weight is the best range to work with and indeed, as long as you're getting all the protein you need each day you don't need to worry about how much protein is in each meal. The body looks to optimize the process of tissue repair and muscle building and it looks at the total amount of resources available to it in order to do it. Keep us informed of how you're getting on.
          This means it doesn't matter if I do intermittent fasting, so long as I get +-148g protein a day in the window as well enough macro nutrients for Fat and Carbohydrates without exceeding 2000 Calories. I'll put all of that into motion and see how I fare. Thank you very much for the help and info.

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            #6
            One thing that I think is worth mentioning, aside from the questions about proteins, is that you should take absolute calorie figures with a major grain of salt. For instance, the base number of 2000 calories a day you see fairly often is an average for males; some people need more and some need less. If you have a fair bit of activity (e.g. training) going on, you're quite likely to need more than 2000.
            There are calculators where you enter a bunch of details about your body and your daily activity levels and you get an estimate of how many calories you'll probably need (some of them even let you choose between gaining/holding/losing weight and recommendations for muscle building). Obviously those numbers still won't be perfectly accurate but they're bound to be better than just going with a global average.

            If I enter my details into a calculator like that, I get a base metabolic rate (calorie burn without doing anything at all, not even walking around) just below 2000, and for high levels of activity it gives me a figure of needing about 2700 calories per day if I wanted to lose weight at a sustainable 0.5 kg/week.

            I'm not exactly an expert, but I've seen multiple people point out that you don't want to go too far below your calorie needs. It seems like 500 below is already pushing it a little and might not be something to do long-term. From what I've read, healthy, sustainable weight loss seems to work better at a deficit of around 200-300 calories.

            If you go too far below your calorie requirements, several undesirable things are likely to happen: fatigue, headaches and the works, also reducing the body's efficiency at burning calories; the body will try to conserve and accumulate fat (because it "thinks" it needs to ration energy), even after you stop the extreme restrictions; if there isn't enough fat, the body will actually consume muscle to get more energy; higher risk for a number of health issues.

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              #7
              Originally posted by jast View Post
              One thing that I think is worth mentioning, aside from the questions about proteins, is that you should take absolute calorie figures with a major grain of salt. For instance, the base number of 2000 calories a day you see fairly often is an average for males; some people need more and some need less. If you have a fair bit of activity (e.g. training) going on, you're quite likely to need more than 2000.
              There are calculators where you enter a bunch of details about your body and your daily activity levels and you get an estimate of how many calories you'll probably need (some of them even let you choose between gaining/holding/losing weight and recommendations for muscle building). Obviously those numbers still won't be perfectly accurate but they're bound to be better than just going with a global average.

              If I enter my details into a calculator like that, I get a base metabolic rate (calorie burn without doing anything at all, not even walking around) just below 2000, and for high levels of activity it gives me a figure of needing about 2700 calories per day if I wanted to lose weight at a sustainable 0.5 kg/week.

              I'm not exactly an expert, but I've seen multiple people point out that you don't want to go too far below your calorie needs. It seems like 500 below is already pushing it a little and might not be something to do long-term. From what I've read, healthy, sustainable weight loss seems to work better at a deficit of around 200-300 calories.

              If you go too far below your calorie requirements, several undesirable things are likely to happen: fatigue, headaches and the works, also reducing the body's efficiency at burning calories; the body will try to conserve and accumulate fat (because it "thinks" it needs to ration energy), even after you stop the extreme restrictions; if there isn't enough fat, the body will actually consume muscle to get more energy; higher risk for a number of health issues.
              What if someone eats something like 900 Calories on Day 1, 2500 Calories on Day 2, 1000 Calories on Day, etc. Keeping odd days very low and even days high, while each combination of odd and even days is around +-2000? Would the body be getting enough to not get fatigue and headaches from the even number days while the odd number days help reduce the total monthly caloric intake?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Tinktank View Post
                What if someone eats something like 900 Calories on Day 1, 2500 Calories on Day 2, 1000 Calories on Day, etc. Keeping odd days very low and even days high, while each combination of odd and even days is around +-2000?
                I can't tell you for certain but I have certain misgivings. On the plus side, potentially, varying calorie intake a little might prevent the body getting a little too used to a specific level of intake and "optimizing" for that... but your example might be a bit extreme.

                Keep in mind that some of your daily calories need to be available quickly - for instance, the brain can't use fat, it can only use carbohydrates (ideally a fair amount of complex carbohydrates like those from whole grain, which is easier for your body to burn consistently over longer periods of time, as opposed to e.g. refined sugar which burns away quite fast) and ketones. Ketones are something your metabolism can generate from fats, but under normal circumstances this happens fairly slowly. If you consistently restrict carbohydrate uptake, your body will gradually step up ketosis (a metabolic state that builds up slowly in response to a lack of usable carbohydrates), speeding up the conversion of fats into ketones, so it can draw more energy from fats.

                Some numbers taken from Wikipedia: after fasting overnight you might be able to get 2-6% of your energy from ketones, after three days of fasting it's around 30-40%. If you don't consistently keep carbohydrates low (which comes with its own nutritional challenges), you probably won't be able to establish (or maintain) a state in which enough energy is available via ketosis - I would expect the kind of diet you had in mind to quite effectively prevent significant ketosis, so you'd probably end up having a mixture of feel-bad days (not enough calories, energy not available to the body fast enough) and feel-good days (enough calories or ketosis has ramped up sufficiently). That's not even counting other health issues which I can only guess about.

                It's maybe not an issue to have something like 20% deviation - in fact this kind of diet plan appears a lot on the web and is usually called "zig-zag diet". I don't have any experience with that, so don't take this as a recommendation.

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