Looking for opinion on calorie intake
Hi all. I'm a 34 year old guy who's started atkins recently. Started at 180lb, and I'm a relatively thin guy who has developed a massively out of proportion belly due to a love of the sweets and booze. I've decided to get my act together and get rid of the gut.
I've just about finished the two week induction now, and so far enjoying the diet. I eat 5 times a day and enjoy everything I eat. Most meals are things I ate before, but modified to remove any high carbs and bad foods. I don't think I've been eating the right ratio for protein to fats, as I wasn't aware of that at the start, but I've tweaked my plan for the future weeks now. Lost about half a stone so far, but looking in the mirror I'm not entirely sure where from :)
Anyway, I worked out that for my lean muscle mass I should be eating about 110g of protein a day, and I've now sorted my eating plan to cover this, and only go over slightly on some days. I've sorted the fat to protein ratio so that on most days I'm doing about 60/35/5, but some days only 55/40/5. I find this works for me as it is, as I'm never hungry between my meals, especially after my dinner at 6pm, where I can go all the way till 11pm or midnight without needing anything else. I've ooked at where I can increase fat intake, but short of swallowing butter by the spoonful, I don't see many more options, and I don't want to start hating this diet by forcing it in.
Now, my question is about calorie and fat intake. I've read quite about about this diet, and some folk seem to be preaching about always eating up your rda of calories (2400 for me), and always eating up to 65% fats for Atkins to be truly effective, otherwise you are risking your body storing fat from not getting enough calories, or using protein for fuel instead of the fats you are eating. I generally average about 2000 calories, and like I said , I would probably be forcing more down my throat if I had to eat more. I also go running every second day, which will be burning up an extra 500 calories or so on those days.
Should I pay much concern to not getting enough calories and fat, or does what I'm doing sound fine as it is just now? I don't want to be slowing down the weight loss unnecessarily.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
Well... how do you feel the diet is working for you? Are you losing... is it too fast, too slow, just right? How do you feel? Are you hungry? Do you feel satisfied and in a good mood?
Really... if it isn't broke, don't fix it. LOL Save your "tweaks" for when you need them.
It's going well so far I think. I'm enjoying it, and I suppose that's the main thing.
My biggest concern is about losing weight through lean muscle being burned instead of fat, hence why I'm concerned about the caloric and fat intake being a little short on my current plan.
There's quite a lot of conflicting advice about this diet on the internet, and tbh, I'm often left wondering what I should listen to. Sometimes anecdotal advice is best.
Thanks for your reply.
"My biggest concern is about losing weight through lean muscle being burned instead of fat..."
The best thing you can do to protect your muscle is exercise, especially resistance work. Equally important is being sure you're eating enough COMPLETE protein (with all of the essential amino acids) necessary to build and repair muscle. Also... slower weight loss is better. It's inevitable that some of your weight loss will be lean tissue. We can't stop that... but we CAN reduce the loss and then rebuild it. I can't see how more fat in your diet (unless that's how you want to add more calories) would help.
I honestly believe that all diets work... but not for all people. Everyone's needs are different because WE are different. My dietary needs are quite different from yours... 53 yo woman in menopause vs a 34 yo man. In the end, you have to find what works for YOUR body at this time. It will change, so be open to that. If you're following a low carb diet and you feel GOOD, you're losing weight, exercising and you're getting healthier... then how can that be bad? If you need proof, go get a blood test, see a doctor... then, 6 months from now... go again and compare. You know your body best... trust your instincts. Read everything with skepticism. Know something about the author. A cardiologist is probably a better source for nutrition info than a washed up actress selling supplements on late night tv. Common sense goes a long, long way. LOL
Thanks for the wisdom. Appreciated :up:
I have no advice for you regarding what works bets as far as how many calories is enough, or ratios, but I can tell you how I add healthy fats to my day.
Cook in butter or coconut oil
Bulletproof coffee (coconut oil, butter, and cream blended in coffee)
Fatbombs (coconut oil, peanut butter, cocoa powder, sweetener make an awesome Reeses Peanut Butter Cup)
Add butter to everything (veggies, steak, etc)
Heavy cream in coffee/tea
Snacks of cheese, greek yogurt, nuts
Add high fat dressings to salads, or sour cream
Fattier cuts of meat
Add avocados to salads, make a dip with them for veggies
Lots of mayo in tuna or chicken salads
I'm sure there's lots more, but those are all common things I do when I want to add more fat and keep my protein moderate. :) Also, read read read... I have the Atkins 2002 version of the book, and I re-read on occasion.
The entire Atkins program is on their website as well... free.
Phinney (The Art and Science of Low Carb) says that protein values should be absolute, meaning that you need to do the correct quantity in grams, not percentage or ratio. Yours is 110. Eating that amount is what preserves your muscle mass. Under-eating protein causes muscle loss, over-eating protein causes weight gain; interestingly the manner is quite similar to the effect of an excess of carbs.
Now pick your carb ceiling. For me, it's 25-30 g, but I started at 20 for several weeks.
Now eat enough fat to feel satisfied.
warning-- some NK folks might not agree with the following:
Some people say you should shoot for 65% fat or whatever number.
But Phinney says we have to take into account the body fat we are burning. So DIETARY fat can be lower, giving the appearance of a high-protein macros which may show 40% protein intake.
If you're at a 500 cal deficit, add your dietary fat plus 500 cal fat from body fat. Then plug in your protein and carb intake. That macros should be along the lines of nutritional ketosis guidelines (65% fat or higher, 15-30% pro, 5-10% carb or thereabouts)
One more thing to consider--- get lots of sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Potassium deficiency can trigger pirating of lean muscle mass to get potassium to the rest of the body, and that would be bad.
Two cups of full-salt broth a day, 4 99 mg tablets of potassium, 250-500 mg magnesium, and a food plan carefully crafted to maximize nutrients, micronutrients, and complete proteins should do the trick.
Wow LC got complicated while i was away!. Still sticking to my old mantra...no sugar' no flour' no starchy veges/grains' or hi sugar fruits.....everything else is fair game!
I'm 29, and probably quite a bit bigger than you, but I use around 65/30/5 also. I found it hard in the beginning, but now I usually have higher fat g and need to play catch up. In my phone app I use my calculated "rda" is like 3400. It's hard to eat that much but I have and still lost a lb or two multiple times eating 2700-3200 cal per day. I still eat 95% induction foods besides 1/4 cup almonds and a couple things here and there but still low low carb.
I also lift heavy 5x per week and do 30+min of 20+mph of random hills on exercise bike.
What do you weight, how much you need to lose, and what's a normal menu for you?
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