Weight Loss
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6'2 male, ~215 lbs, eating too few calories?

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I'm really just trying to shed a few pounds and tighten up my midsection, but I'm worried I'm not eating enough.  For the past few days, my eating schedule has been:

Breakfast - 2 servings whole grain cereal + 1 cup almond milk + apple

Snack - banana

Lunch - 6 oz chicken breast, half of a cucumber, ~20 grape tomatoes

Snack - 1 serving pistachios + a couple of handfuls of blueberries/strawberries

Dinner - 6oz chicken breast, 1-2 cup spinach + additional veggie

It comes out to only like 1200-1300 calories, but I'm usually pretty satiated throughout the day because I drink tons of water and get proper nutrition I think.  How can I increase my calories so I don't put my body into starvation mode?  Or is this enough?  I know I could just add a candy bar or something after dinner but is that counterproductive? Thanks!

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You are really, really, really undereating. At your weight you need triple that if you are active and maintaining, probably 500 fewer than triple if you aren't active, and probably about 800 fewer if you are trying to lose.


Also, where the heck is the fat in your diet? You aren't eating any. Not to mention you are barely getting enough protein/carbs

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I cook my chicken in olive oil, and then get some fat from nuts.  I was thinking of adding a protein shake to my breakfast to add some fat/protein and then on days I lift I'll have a second shake. 

How about just adding some more meat to your diet!  Put some nuts with your banana, add a couple of eggs to your breakfast.  Put some avocado and olive oil on a salad to go with your lunch.  Have a couple tablespoons of nut butter on an apple for a snack, eat a vegetable at dinner that has more cals then spinach, such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc.

I'd say snack on nuts (high in good fats and calories) and then protein shakes. You really need to be eating well over 2,000 calories.

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Thanks guys, I figured I was under eating (I've only been strict about this plan for a couple of days though.)  I think I'll add in some more nut products and protein shakes.  If I'm working out 3 or 4 times/week, should I be NETTING ~2000 calories or just try to eat 2000 - whatever I burn working out. 

Use an online BMR calculator and calculate your BMR. Whatever number that is, NEVER eat below it. BMR is the absolute lowest number of calories your body needs to keep you alive. You burn a lot more than that during a day, especially if you exercise. So if your BMR is something like 2,500 (I'm just guessing), then I would add about 500 calories to that to get 3,000. If you burn another 500 working out, then you know that in a given day you burn 3,500 calories. So if you want to lose weight I'd eat 3,000 a day or so. On days you DON'T exercise, I'd eat 2,500.

Adjust based on what your actual BMR is and how many calories you burn in exercise.

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Haha what a problem to have - it is REALLY hard to eat 3000 calories from only lean protein, fruits, veggies, and nuts. 

Understandable. A protein shake will give you a good amt. of calories from protein/carbs and ONE cup of mixed nuts will give you 1,000 calories (yep, that's a lot!)

Same boat, 6'1 and 217, and honestly I often don't make it to 2000. To counter it one day a week I try to eat as much as I can using oils to cook and in salads and adding things like avocado to a meal. Ok truth, I toss some beer and wine into the mix a few days as well, that sparks the appetite.

A trip to GNC wouldn't hurt. I don't eat the candy bar type of supplements but I do use the 50 Gram Slam, Isopure soft drinks and a few other somewhat high cal supplements. Perky Jerky is always in my snacks. A double serving adds calories and it's not real bulky.

I also have my 1200-1300 days and again I simply try to make up lost ground the next day. Some days I simply can't eat any more. Last night I had to add FF Fro-Yo to a protein smoothie and down half a peanut butter sandwich to get to 1800. That was after I ate a 6 oz steak and 1.5 avocados for dinner.

People around here get a little testy about the huge deficits. But I'd have to go back to eating Whoppers to get close to maintenance with the amount of exercise I do if I was at goal weight now.

GNC is a waste of money and will hurt your wallet.  There are cheaper stores/the internet.

Also, to boost your fat-fish, fatty fish, avocado, grass-fed beef, chicken thighs, roast a cornish hen, pork chops,

I eat more than you do and lose weight, and I'm a 5'6 female.  


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@reissue, I'm glad you can relate.  I've been trying to stuff my face all day and am still only up to 1100 calories, and have to work out after work.  But I think I'm going to grab some almond butter after work, and I just ordered some protein powder online. 

Also, I haven't had a "real" Saturday night on this eating plan, so I think that'll be the night where I throw back about 1000 calories on booze and then let myself have an unhealthy late night snack. 

@smashley23, I like the avocado idea - one a day would greatly add to my deficits.  And I'll definitely eat beef 1-2 nights a week in the future.  Unfortunately there's not a great place to buy fish near my apartment (I mean, there's a whole foods but I'm not trying to pay $18/lb for salmon) and I don't have a car.  What do you guys think of frozen fish from like Trader Joes?

GNC a waste, nah. I can't find anything I use cheaper anywhere else. My protein powder is $34.99 and if I buy two one is half price. The lowest inet price I found $39.99 plus shipping with no discount for buying more than one. The jerky I eat is $1.00 more a bag direct from the manufacturer and they're located in my state. At other local stores it's $2.00 more per bag. I suppose it depends on what a person buys but I never overspend there. My local store is Gold Card prices month in month out.

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I actually order protein powder (a lot of times GNC brand) on drugstore.com.  They have sales all the time, too.  Mine was $31.99 today and if you spend over $25 total, you get free shipping.  Just FYI!  (Although that's for a 2lb size, if you're getting 5lb for $34.99 that's just insane.)

Original Post by ssims10: What do you guys think of frozen fish from like Trader Joes?

Good, and you can get some good deals there. But chicken thighs are the bomb for cheap protein. Usually can be had for $1-$2/lb in a normal supermarket, pull the skin off if that's your thing (but don't fear the skin at all). Brown rice is nice if you can figure out how to cook it; I never could until I got a rice cooker.

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