View Full Version : Cutting with too few calories..

05-30-2002, 08:40 PM
Is there a problem with eating too few calories if you're cutting. I'm 6'3" and 220 pounds, and was looking at making a cutting diet to try in a few weeks with about 1833 calories per day. Is this too little. Or more specifically, what will be the effect of that diet? Will I not lose weight? It would be an approximatley 42/36/22 split, protein/carbs/fat, and I would have 190 protein, 169 carbs, and 47 fat. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Of, one more thing, at what point would you say it becomes unhealthy to lose weight in a one week period. What i mean is, is 2 pounds a week healthy? What about 3, 4? Thanks again.

05-30-2002, 09:06 PM
typically 1 - 1.5lbs a week is able to be done with very little muscle loss, im guessing your maintenance cals is something like 2700, and a drop to 1800 is 900 calories, 3500 calories per lb of body fat, you'll lose around 2lbs a week if you dont work out or do any physical activities :) how much of that is muscle, who knows, but its said your body wont burn muscle if you keep it active, so keep training and hope ur body doesn't start catabolize.

05-30-2002, 09:12 PM
It depends on where you are starting out in regards to muscle/fat/wo's

If you have been working out and gaining large amounts of mass than you will loss alot of that muscle with that much of a calorie defecit.

If you are over 20% BF than you can lose large amounts of weight per week without losing muscle, but if you are say 12% or under I believe that anything more than 2 pounds is going to take its toll on your muscles.

I think the general rule of thumb is 500cals under maintenance so you don't lose muscel. It comes out to around a pound a week, but if you incorporate cardio with that it is going to be more. Cutting takes time and patience. Patience is the best option because than you will not be working against yourself in the gym.

Why workout so hard if you are going to throw away all of the gains with an outrageous cutting diet?

05-31-2002, 09:25 AM
The biggest problem you will find is that your Thyroid will decide to shut your body down so you don't lose too much fat. You will end up losing less weight if you cut out too many calories. It's kind of bizarre but it happens to me.

05-31-2002, 09:35 AM
I agree with Bobarell that it depends on how much body fat you have. It's tough to cut 4lbs of fat a week if you only have 20lbs of fat to work with but if you have 80lbs of extra fat, 4lbs a week is much easier.

Pay attention to what the diet is doing to you. If you are losing muscle, change the diet. If you are losing fat, keep the diet until it stops working. 1 week on any given diet is not going to hurt you too much, as long as it's not ridiculous. Good luck!

05-31-2002, 09:37 AM
how do you find out your maintenance calories?

05-31-2002, 10:12 AM
how do you find out your maintenance calories?

12 * BW is a good baseline number

The biggest problem you will find is that your Thyroid will decide to shut your body down so you don't lose too much fat. You will end up losing less weight if you cut out too many calories.

Try something like an ECA stack. It will keep your metabolism up throughout the day.

05-31-2002, 10:42 AM
I was taking an ECA stack but I just recently quit becasue it had really lost its effectivness. What I will most likely do is add about 200 calories so I am just at 2000, then after a few weeks of that diet go back on the ECA stack for a week. That was I can see if it kicks in or if it is still uneffective.

05-31-2002, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by WannaBeStrong

12 * BW is a good baseline number

I don't even think that's close. 12 * BW is decent for a cutting diet, maybe. That is, if you have a very slow metabolism. A person with a normal metabolism can diet at about 16 * BW. Of course, these numbers are completley generalized anyway. There are more specific formulas, but who knows how accurate these are either. The point is you don't have to cut cals as much as you think to lose fat.

05-31-2002, 11:00 AM
Baseline w/o activity, I meant. Sorry for not being clear. It is closer to 16*BW, as you said. I've seen from 14-16. :D

05-31-2002, 11:04 AM
Crussow I think the cals are too low and I don't like the macros. You should get at least 1 g of protein per lb of bodyweight. That is a bare minimum. I'd say 1 g when mass building and 1.5 g when cutting, but that's me. Also, the number of carbs might be okay once you up the cals (to at least 2600), but the percentage will then change obviously. If possible eat all those carbs in the morning and immediately post-workout. The fat should be increased as well. A better diet would actually drop the number of carbs and significantly increase fat. IMO high protein, moderate-high fat, low carb diets are the best for cutting and easiest to stick with because of the satiety effects of the fat.

05-31-2002, 06:03 PM
I'm on the finishing end of a cutting diet and I had similar numbers to yourself prior to dieting. (6'4", 220)

Prior to dieting I was consuming 3900 cal. p/day on a 40/20/40 split via 6 - 8 meals. (p/f/c)

I was therefore maintaining at 3900.

The first week I cut the daily cals. by 250 p/day, Second week a 100, p/day - p/week, etc., etc.

At one point my body wacked-out (lethargic, shakes, etc.) and I upped the cals. for a couple of weeks to settle my system, then got back to decreasing 100 cal. p/day p/week.

Over the next 16 weeks my system adjusted to the SLIGHT decrease in daily/weekly calories and I've had nothing but results thus far.

Today I'm at 195 and feeling great, another 5 lbs. and my goal will have been achieved. I'm told I look great, which is what it's all about. Incidentally, my lifts have not suffered a bit although endurance has been decreased somewhat due to the lowered carb. intake I'm sensing.

In addition to the diet I did cardio (same as bulking stage) to the tune of 2 x weekly runs of 2 - 3 miles, 2 x weekly treadmill, bike or eliptical trainer for 45 minutes and 1 x weekly Mt. Bike rides of 10 - 15 miles. I'd throw-in some tennis, racquet ball or whatever when the opportunit presented itself.

I think the key was a gradual progression.

Hope this helps.