Tips for finding maintenance?
I've never been good at eating right and finding maintenance.
Quick history.. about 5 years ago I was at my heaviest, 265lbs.. 6'1".. 23 at the time. Decided to lose weight, got down to 170 @ 11%, but problem was that by that time I was eating like 1400cals, doing a carb cycling variation of one of Lyle's programs just to maintain that weight. Obviously the second I stepped off, I escalated. Within a few weeks i leveled off around 190-200 depending on what I was eating. I sat at 200 since.
About 10 months ago, signed up for a new gym and started eating it hard. Was sick of being skinny fat, since I had lost so much weight with little muscle mass, i wasn't extremely pleased. I wanted size, not to be real skinny. So for the last 10 months, I never really watched what I ate. Ate whatever I wanted.. didn't really time my meals or intake, didnt really count cals or macros, and just tried to mentally get as much lean meats as I could and got my PWO shake as well as creatine mono.. That's about it. Now i'm at 235, and happy with some of my growth, but obviously bunches of fat too.
I like the way I look and somewhat happy with my gains and strength, but it's not enough, and i've been going to the gym now for 4-5 years, and don't feel l look the part nor have the strength a 5 year "veteran" should have.
I want to put together a plan to cut now.. so that I can start again and hopefully make even more progress the next time.
Obviously to do so, I need to find my maint calories, but without actually using or following any diet or plan like I used to, i dont want to find myself in the position i was in before and eating 1400cals a day in 6 or 7 meals and no mass and a burnt metabolism..
..so what are all of your suggestions on where I should go from here? My theory was to put together a plan with 3000cals, 6 meals.. 45P/20F/35C.. and see where I go after 2-3 weeks. Weight gain, changes in strength in the gym.. then adjust from there. If i'm losing in either category, add 200cals, try again. If i'm gaining, then drop 200cals and see what happens. Think this will do it? Downside is the time it'll take to find the right # if I'm too far off.
Looking forward to your input.. Thanks!
I think your plan sounds OK. It just takes time sometimes to find your sweet spot. Plus you end up having to adjust things as you gain or lose anyway.
Thank you.. I guess I'll put a diet plan together and give it a shot..
Bump to get more thoughts..
It sounds like you've made some good overall progess in terms of time spent in the gym and learning about nutirition. I'd much rather see someone get big first and then get cut.
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The only way to properly find your maintenance rate is via trial and error as you suggested. The calculations you find online simply cannot take into account all of the factors unique to every person. By all means use them to get your starting point, but you'll need to monitor and adjust as you see your weightgo up or down.
The calculations in the HCT-12 Nutrition guide are pretty good.
The key is to be 100% consistent with your eating for 2 weeks and then see where things are at. I would then adjust 250 either way depending on whether you are gaining or losing weight. Once you have managed to stay at the same weight for a couple of weeks, you have it nailed and you can then plan from there.
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Great input guys.. really appreciate it. I'll compile a fairly clean 3K diet and see what happens. In my past it always felt like my maint was well below 2000.. (1600ish?) but I think I had just fried my metabolism. Hopefully i'm no where near that and I can safely cut a little and restart.