Calories - too much or too little?

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    Calories - too much or too little?

    Heya 'bees!

    So I started my fitness journey six weeks ago: I went from 0 hours of exercise a week to my goal of 14 hours a week (2 hours of moderate to intense working out including HIIT/Cardio/Weights/Yoga per day).

    To give a bit of a breakdown of how I built up to that:

    Week 1: 5.5 Hours/week
    Week 2: 7.5 Hours/week
    Week 3: 10.75 Hours/week
    Week 4: 11.5 Hours/week
    Week 5: 13 Hours/week
    Week 6: 14.5 Hours/week

    I'm loving working out this much and feeling great (no burnout at all!), but while I'm extremely proud of my work ethic (and feel very lucky that I have so much time spare time to workout), I still consider myself to be a bit of a fitness noob, so I wanted to ask a couple questions:

    1) I'm currently eating around 2000cal of a fairly balanced diet per day. Is this too much? Too little? I'm 30y/o, 5'6 (167cm), and currently 196lbs (88.5kg)... which brings me to my next question...

    2) Is it normal to STILL not have lost any weight? I've lost a ton of inches all over (and am slowly-but-surely getting happier with what I see in the mirror), but I was actually 190lbs (86.2kg) when I started.

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks! <3

    Additional info:

    - Prior to getting into fitness I lost 75lbs (34kg) through diet alone (1300cal/day with no real attention to macros at all) over the last 3 years, so I know to avoid all the usual pitfalls like drinking calories, not measuring food, ect.
    - Current diet as stated, is 2000cal/day. It's not the PERFECT diet, but I do pay a lot of mind to always load up on vegetables and protein, while keeping salt, sugar, and carbs on the lower end.
    - I take multi vitamins, omega-3s, and magnesium tablets daily.
    - I drink 3500 - 4000ml of water per day
    - I get 7-9 hours of sleep a night
    - My goal is body recomp

    Sounds like you are doing everything right:

    1. You know your nutrition.
    2. You have focus on protein intake.
    3. You are working out...
    4. You are seeing "mirror-progress".

    You train a lot, so as a beginner you have been building a good amount of muscle (beginner gainz)... muscle tissue is more dense than fat, so you loose inches, but not necessarily lbs.

    At one pount that might change... but for now it sounds like the perfect fat-to-muscle-transformation setup.

    Have fun...


      Your basal metabolic rate is 1,618 kcal a day.
      This means that if you would do nothing all day but lie completely still in your bed you would burn 1,618 kcal.
      Exercising can raise this but it is really dependend on your workout how much you would burn. Breaks in between sets for example don't count.

      The average woman can gain about 1 pound of muscle in a month, so I don't think that your weight gain is solely due to muscle. But losing inches does indicate that you are losing fat.

      On your diet, someone who has a balanced diet shouldn't need multi vitamins etc. It can even cause an overdose of some types of vitamines which can be dangerous.
      You drink way too much water, you should need around 1.5-2 liters a day. Drinking too much water in combination with limiting your salt intake can cause water poisoning (I'm not kidding, this exists. Your brain will swell up due to too much water and too little salt). Drinking a lot of water won't make someone lose weight though it can limit hunger feelings but that's mostly if you don't drink those 1.5 liters.

      So my advice would be, you're probably doing alright with the 2000 kcal, skip the supplements unless your doctor recommends it and drink less water


        It's actually pretty easy to find out whether that's a good amount of calories for you (and my suspicion before I do any of the math is that it's too much since you're a smidge short and don't do much strenuous exercise).

        The first thing that can clue us in is that you've been at it for a while and are still at an obese BMI. If 2000 kcal were a healthy amount of food for you then you would have started moving towards a healthy weight already.

        I'm using the Miffling St. Jeor formula and work backwards from what we know.
        You're maintaining 88 kg on 2000 kcal so that would suggest a PAL of 1.3 (sounds low, but mild cardio and yoga don't burn many calories and there's always a >10% error bar on these things anyway).

        So for a BMI of 22 (most women have their healthiest weight below this) you'd need maintenance calories of about 1740 kcal. (Or if you didn't want to wait two years for the last two kilos and prefer to speed things up with a tad bit of dieting you could go for 1300 - 1500 kcal with at least 68 g of protein per day.).


          While I agree with Noen as far as the weight loss part is concerned I would actually throw my hat into the make the noobie gainz while you can. If you are feeling good and can maintain the schedule (that is a ton of working out, got tired just reading it) then you should push on. Once the mirror sets start to look the same and the weight starts to either flatline or make a steady trend then you can aim for the weight loss.

          With the huge increases in exercise you are probably holding on to a lot of stress water and like HellYeah stated you are getting the gainz. Push that while they are there and easy to get. Do strength before weight loss, the more muscle you have the more expensive your body becomes and the easier weight loss tends to become.