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eating to LOSE FAT and maintain LEAN BODY MASS


milochka
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dear vegan bodybuilders:

i have a question:

how much calorie-wise i should be eating *a range would be good, since i'm shooting for an average* if i am a moderately active female *weights: 5 times a week, out of those 4 are hardcore-40-minute-can't walk afterwards sessions*, *cardio anywhere between 1-4 times a week, exclusively all-out sprints, for a max of 17 minutes+ warm up*, 20 years of age, currently standing at 52 kilograms and 5 feet 2 inches. my goal is to drop down to about 16 percent body fat, while maintaining my lean body mass/general health/menstruation.

thanks so much! definetly looking forward to some quality vegan responses

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I don't think it really matters so long as you are losing fat at a nice slow rate. You aren't gonna lose any significant muscle with fat if you do it slow and are lifting at the same time. I say eat what you feel you need to and don't restrict...unless of course you are failing at losing fat with your present training and diet.

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VEGANPOTTER

What would you recommend in terms of diet ? Im in the same position, im female, lift, do cardio and stick to a vegan diet, i have been on ohter forums and everybody punts so much protein, i dont want to look like a bodybuild, im a model so that look isnt what i want.

At the moment im eating:

 

fruit with almonds

2x pure protein capsules(by enzyme process) (green marine algae)

Raw salads with olive oil

seeds (1/4) cup a day

Steamed veggies and raw salad for dinner with almonds (2xpure protein capsules)

 

 

Not sure if im having too much fat?

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You definitely don't need extra protein. I don't lose muscle even when I eat 30g while riding my bike 25hrs a week. I also don't think your eating too much fat. You aren't eating too little but I don't think it would hurt to eat a bit more or a bit less. Just make sure that you feel satisfied when you eat and if you don't feel weak training you've been eating enough. If you feel really drained while doing workouts that aren't so intense you probably need to eat more. But really from what it seems from your diet you need a lot more simple carbs. Throw down some fruits throughout the day...it'll give you a good energy spike and allow you to train much harder.

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I don't think thats a completely answerable question since there are people like myself who can eat 1500 calories a day while burning 3000(just training...not for the rest of the day) and not losing weight...while others eat 4000 a day and don't gain an ounce. That is why this question needs to be answered by you in some ways. People absorb things differently and burn calories differently as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I don't think thats a completely answerable question since there are people like myself who can eat 1500 calories a day while burning 3000(just training...not for the rest of the day) and not losing weight...while others eat 4000 a day and don't gain an ounce. That is why this question needs to be answered by you in some ways. People absorb things differently and burn calories differently as well.

 

that's true, veganpotter. but at the same time, there are certain laws of physics that apply to all human beings . sometimes i feel as though i have some weird immune/endocrine system bullshit that keeps me depressed and overeating at times *after nearly 3 months of completely clean and at least 50% raw vegan eating, i've been on a major dairy binge ... sigh* i suspect that i reach for dairy when i need comfort *because caseine acts like an opiate* but i would love to get rid of this nasty "dairy" habit *which is literally an addiction for me* any thoughts/comments?

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These opiates are like drugs. There are different type of foods that trigger binge eating for different people. Some can't eat bread, some can't eat dried fruits etc. You just have to figure out what you can't eat and then not eat it. Prepare for a rough ride though, quitting the foods that are comforting is similar to quitting smoking.

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Milochka,

 

In order to answer your original question, we need to know what your body fat percentage is right now. We need to know your current caloric maintenance range and your body fat ratio in order to tell you how many calories to cut from your diet. Then, you need to track your weight/body fat ratio every two to three weeks in order to see if your new routine is working.

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Actually I think a lot of people can function on a lot less calories. They may not be able to gain muscle but I think if you get over being hungry your body adjusts to it which is how so many people on the forum get away with not eating what science says they burn in training. Its not a rare thing. Sure you may lose at the start but you adjust. As for the dairy I suggest finding something else. Everyone gets that good feeling from something not so great for you. When I feel lousy I just train harder....sure its not good for me but it'd be better than dealing with stress in an even more harmful manner.

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dearest DV:

here are my parameters:

53 kg at 158 cm, which puts me at roughly 22% body fat

my ultimate goal: 14% body fat, if my body permits, however, i would settle for 16-17% as "maintenance" *i.e. during the school year, when i don't sleep a lot, eat LaraBar on daily basis , etc.*, provided that i maintain my muscle mass and menstruation, which would put me at roughly around 45 kg's i believe *feel free to double check the math*

offense74:

you are absolutely right! i think the best things i've done was cutting out sugar and dairy from my diet - those are my biggest binge triggers. but then i was at a wedding and the pastries looked too good to miss, that was on friday, and i haven't been able to stop eating crap ever since. my mood went down the drain, i stopped working out, etc. but i guess this is a good lesson in a way that now i know just how much impact nutrition has on my daily life.

veganpotter:

i disagree about being able to function on below what is considered scientifically normal maintenance calories. while as a vegan, one does not have to follow the USDA food guide pyramid, one still has to receive the proper micro and macronutrients the human body requires to optimally function, in my opinion. i personally don't think its healthy to have one's basal metabolic rate slow down due to a conscious decrease in calorie intake because it seems as though in the long run, it would have a very negative effect on the body and/or lead to an eating disorder.

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I don't mean you don't need vitamins and minerals or anything like that...but you don't need the bulk of food that people eat. Why in the world am I not losing pounds a week eating what I'm eating and training so hard??? I should be losing about 2.3lbs per week with my diet but I don't...if I'm lucky I lose a few ounces but I doubt it because I weight in heavier sometime eating like this. Lots of people train like this...I'm no rarity and none of us are defying science...its the science that was never correct to begin with.

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Shoot for 1800 cals. With your level of activity you might need a few more cals with more nutrients to please your body.

 

All vegans should cut these as well:

 

*Refined sugar (soda, candy, sweets, etc)

*Hydregenated oils (synthetic trans fat)

*Salt

*Processed foods

*Foods with more chemicals than real ingredients.

 

Quality carbs are the way to go. When I got to my lowest bf% I was eating mostly fruit with a little of other things..

 

Plan out your meals a week or two at a time and count the calories before hand. Keep it roughly the same everyday. Once youve had your meal or snack then NO MORE food after that until the next meal. A lot of foods will make you want to devour a whole pantry even after eating plenty(example: Dinner. a lot of average people want dessert. stay away). If you write it down more than likely youll stick to it and thts the best way to go. If 1800 is too much and you dont see any improvement in your bf loss then take it down a couple hundred cals to 1600(wait 2-3 weeks) and continue. Hope this helps.

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I don't mean you don't need vitamins and minerals or anything like that...but you don't need the bulk of food that people eat. Why in the world am I not losing pounds a week eating what I'm eating and training so hard??? I should be losing about 2.3lbs per week with my diet but I don't...if I'm lucky I lose a few ounces but I doubt it because I weight in heavier sometime eating like this. Lots of people train like this...I'm no rarity and none of us are defying science...its the science that was never correct to begin with.

 

could you be undereating and your body is trying to conserve calories? i know i cannot do less than 1400 kkal a day without feeling like i'm unfocused/deprived of energy ... when i tried doing 1000 kkal a couple of times, i went to bed feeling that my heart rate was literally slowing down *really scary experience fyi*, but then again, everyone is really different so one never knows!

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Shoot for 1800 cals. With your level of activity you might need a few more cals with more nutrients to please your body.

 

All vegans should cut these as well:

 

*Refined sugar (soda, candy, sweets, etc)

*Hydregenated oils (synthetic trans fat)

*Salt

*Processed foods

*Foods with more chemicals than real ingredients.

 

Quality carbs are the way to go. When I got to my lowest bf% I was eating mostly fruit with a little of other things..

 

Plan out your meals a week or two at a time and count the calories before hand. Keep it roughly the same everyday. Once youve had your meal or snack then NO MORE food after that until the next meal. A lot of foods will make you want to devour a whole pantry even after eating plenty(example: Dinner. a lot of average people want dessert. stay away). If you write it down more than likely youll stick to it and thts the best way to go. If 1800 is too much and you dont see any improvement in your bf loss then take it down a couple hundred cals to 1600(wait 2-3 weeks) and continue. Hope this helps.

 

thanks a bunch!!!

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I doubt I'm undereating since I feel full of energy. Every morning I wake up I know I can ride my bike for 100 miles if I felt like it and sometimes I do that. My heart rate is slow but thats because I'm a cyclist. Actually its not even as low as I'd like. My resting HR is right around 50bpm now but I'd like to get down into the mid 40s. Thing is...my HR only jumped to 52bpm the last few weeks of vegan vacation when I was eating every single piece of food put in front of my face. Plain and simple...if you work your way down to it slowly or if you deal with the initial feeling of being run down your body will become more efficient and it will need less to do the same job.

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Milochka,

 

Again, it would be helpful to know your actual body fat percentage and your maintenance caloric intake. You cannot estimate your body fat based on height and weight. Lean body mass and other factors effect your daily caloric needs. Without all the information, it's really impossible to give you more guidance. Is there someone who can test your body fat percentage? Can you track your caloric intake for a maintenance period and let us know how much you consume?

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dear DV:

i had my BF measured using a fancy-schmancy machine thingie by the name of Tanita. My BF stayed the same while eating 1700 - 1800 kcal/day over the course of the past month. I trained hard.

Now my mind is off somewhere, so I'm trying to get back on track. Good advice is always appreciated

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You should really get a true body fat measurement done done in a tank. I've used those tanita scales and checked my body fat before and after a long workout and I'd lose anywhere from 8-12% body fat in a given workout. I thought it was maybe a bit screwy so I tried it a few times and I got the same deal.

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You should really get a true body fat measurement done done in a tank. I've used those tanita scales and checked my body fat before and after a long workout and I'd lose anywhere from 8-12% body fat in a given workout. I thought it was maybe a bit screwy so I tried it a few times and I got the same deal.

dear veganpotter,

i'd love to, unfortunately i do not have the resources at the moment. im in pittsburgh, pa right now and shall be in chicago, illinois hopefully in two weeks, so if anyone knows if either the university of pittsburgh or UofC does it, please let me know. i cannot spend any money on this *since i do not have anything extra to spend hehe*.

also, a quick question. how much damage would rowing do to my weight loss efforts?

much love and peace! <3

p.s. would you suggest taking measurements of myself instead of relying on tanita?

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Rowing will definitely help you lose fat. Its a great way to build back muscles...improve the cardiovascular system and its no impact. As for the BF thing you'll be able to tell simply by how you look and how your clothes fit you...I don't think measurements are important unless you have a measurement goal in mind.

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You should really get a true body fat measurement done done in a tank. I've used those tanita scales and checked my body fat before and after a long workout and I'd lose anywhere from 8-12% body fat in a given workout. I thought it was maybe a bit screwy so I tried it a few times and I got the same deal.

 

Potter - I got one of those BodPod http://www.bodpod.com/ BF assessments done around 6 months back - Cost me . Is that the same as the Tank assessment.

 

How do I go about searching for one of those Tank assessments in Houston / Austin or Dallas ?

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It looks like it does basically the same thing in a different manner. As for finding one near you I'd try to find a sports medicine clinic. They may have one...or a university with a strong sports science program.

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