Caloric requirements and meals

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by someshw, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. someshw

    someshw New Member

    An observations:
    For the past two years I have not had a clean diet. Infact my daily caloric intake has varied like crazy. Somedays I had eaten 2 meals and some days 5 meals. However, during this period my weight has been around 155lbs(+/- a few lbs). This raises a few questions.
    a. Does the number of meals a day matter as long as you get the required calories. I understand that eating before and after a workout will make the workout more effective, but on off days does it matter?
    b. Is body weight * 11 too many calories? Based on the the eating for size article that seems a like a lot of food for me to eat in a single day.
    c. Any suggestions on quick and easy meals.
  2. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    155x11 = 1705.

    That's a lot of food? That's practically starvation.
  3. someshw

    someshw New Member

    BoSox, Thanks for the reply. To start off, I have a lot of questions and few answers. Please be patient with me.
    Starvation? Maybe/maybe not. I asked the question because from what I have seen it may be too much. For example, my parents have been following a light Lunch, snack, dinner diet for years and they are doing fine. I am sure that there are some studies( and facts like BMR) that supports this calculation, but it does makes me wonder. Maybe their bodies have adapted to working on fewer calories. And if that is the case is there a need to increase caloric intake to the BW * 11 level?
    Granted this may not be as simple as that. Maybe their lack of calories is causing muscle loss, and therefore their BMR has dropped. Now lets assume that is true.
    If that is true then I should be losing muscle too due to my calorie deficient diet. However, I have increased my strenght and I have not gained/lost a lot of weight( +/- a few pounds). Must mean that I have atleast maintained my muscle. Is there a piece of the puzzle I am missing?
    The more I read about this the more confusing contradictory information I come accross. For example, Mike Mentzer's Heavy Duty nutrition states that you need only 16 extra calories(as opposed to 500) a day to support a gain of upto 10 lbs of muscle a year.
    Just curious and looking for answers. I am seriously considering a masters in nutrition :)
  4. Tom Treutlein

    Tom Treutlein New Member

    10 lbs. a year isn't ####. Even if you only needed 16 extra calories, you're better off getting more. You can certainly add muscle quicker than that.

    As for maintaining your muscle, this can usually be done simply by eating adequate protein, training heavy 1x/week, and not starving.

    The body can and will adapt to using less calories, therefore lowering your BMR. You probably aren't operating at full capacity, but it's more than possible to sustain yourself and even maintain weight once your BMR is lowered. Just remember, the body isn't fulfilling all of its processes completely (my guess, anyway) and thus my statement that you're operating below optimal levels.

    Are you physically active? Are your parents? If the answers don't coincide, then why are you using them as examples?

    A master's in nutrition would be awesome but make sure you weed out all the bunk you'll find out there. This place is great for info. I'd check out also.

    Some of John Berardi's stuff is good to look at, but don't listen to his caloric requirements.
  5. 1. You are correct in your assumption about calories per day it is the daily calories that dictate, not how many meals you eat, unless of course that changes the calories/day.
    2. 11 to 12X body is a good practice for maintenance, and some can even grow on this level of intake albeit slow but growth can ocur depending on their daily energy needs.
    3. Strength gains without weight or size gain is predictive of not enough fuel for growth. Strength gains can come from several adaptations, Neural, Leverage, and CSA increase. It is the last, CSA, that a person wishing hypertrophy of the muscle is interested in mostly, IE adding muscle. Generally this means eating more.
    Based on some fuzzy math, IMHO. Basically a pound of muscle has about 400 to 600 Kcal of energy reserve in it's protein content. So some feel that to add 10 lbs of muscle you simply need this amount times 10 or 4000 to 6000 extra kcals per year or 10 to 16 kcals per day extra. I feel this is misunderstood as this 400 to 600 Kcal/Lb. ratio is an energy reserve calculation, in other words if you were starving you could get 400 to 600 Kcals/Lb of muscle in energy to survive. I personally do not feel this is applicable to building the tissue, but I have been wrong before [​IMG]
    See the new Recipe thread started by Yshemesh
    Tom, I beg to differ. 10Lbs of muscle per year isn't bad, if it's muscle and not fat. Thats about an 8.5% increase in FFM for his weight, IF he has a 15% BF range. Some pro's would die for 10 lbs in a year but there is a big difference between a Pro and a Novice. The more muscular you get the harder it is to build, so a novice gaining 10 lbs vs. a Pro adding 10 is different.
  6. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    yeah... how is 10 pounds of muscle a year nothing? If I gained at that rate for just 4 years, I'd pretty much blow away my genetic potential and I'd be gigantic.
  7. someshw

    someshw New Member

    Thanks again for the replies.
    I disagree. 10lbs of quality muscle is a lot
    This again seems very subjective to me. How do we quantify if I am working at full potential or not?
    Sadly, I think my parents are more active than me. I work in a cube all day, and my only activity is training. I drive to work, to the gym, and to the grocery store. My parents brisk walk an hr a day(in addition to walking during daily activities)
    dkm1987 :
    I would love to read some studies/references which support this claim. I know it may be true, but all this information has made me a skeptic.
    That makes sense. Once I am convinced that 11 * BW is the right amount of calories, I will up my intake.
    Rest of the stuff I agree with.
  8. Tom Treutlein

    Tom Treutlein New Member

    For a novice, 10 lbs. in a year is not much at all. If a cycle of HST is 10 weeks (8 weeks training, 2 weeks SD) then you can fit five in a year. Roughly I see people gaining a minimum of 4 lbs. in a cycle (lean mass, they normally add like 6-8, but it's obviously not all muscle). If you multiply 4 (LBM gain per cycle) x 5 (cycles in a year) you have 20 lbs. right there.

    For an advanced builder, of course that's golden. Any muscle they put on is great. It's hard not to backtrack by that stage.

    It may be subjective, and there's no way to determine if you're operating at optimal levels, besides how you feel.
  9. Well imagine taking 10lbs of lean steak and slapping it on your body, I would say most observers would be impressed :D

    Basal Metabolic Rate is the mimimal caloric requirement needed to sustain life in a resting individual. This is the amount of energy your body would burn if you slept all day (24 hours). Let's look at some factors that affect BMR:

    Age: In youth, the BMR is higher; age brings less lean body mass and slows the BMR.
    Height: Tall, thin people have higher BMR's.
    Growth: Children and pregnant women have higher BMR's.
    Body Composition: The more lean tissue, the higher the BMR. The more fat tissue, the lower the BMR.
    Fever: Fevers can raise the BMR.
    Stress: Stress hormones can raise the BMR.
    Environmental Temperature: Both the heat and cold raise the BMR.
    Fasting/Starvation: Fasting/starvation hormones lower the BMR.
    Malnutrition: Malnutrition lowers the BMR.
    Thyroxin: The thyroid hormone thyroxin is a key BMR regulator; the more thyroxin produced, the higher the BMR.

    Ways to measure BMR:

    1. General Calculation: BMR = your body weight in lbs x 10 kcal/lb

    Ex. Joe weighs 150 lbs

    BMR = 150 x 10 kcal/lb = 1,500 kcals

    2. The Harris-Benedict Equation:

    Males: 66 + (13.7 x W) + (5 x H) - (6.8 x A)

    Females: 655 + (9.6 x W) + (1.7 x H) - (4.7 x A)

    where W = actual weight in kg (weight in lb/2.2 lb/ kg)

    H = height in cm (height in inches x 2.54 cm/in)

    A = age in years

    Ex. Joe weighs 150 lbs, stands 5'6", and is 21 years old

    150 lbs/2.2 lb/kg = 68 kg

    5'6" = 66 inches x 2.54 cm = 168 cm

    BMR = 66 + (13.7 x 68) + (5 x 168) - (6.8 x 21)

    BMR = 66 + 932 + 840 - 143 = 1695 kcals per day

    Difference of 195Kcal or 11%

    But this doesn't take into account any activity. So lets look at this.

    Estimated Energy Requirement
    EER=662-9.53XAGE IN YEARS+PAL(PHYSICAL ACTIVITY LEVEL)X(15.91XWeight in Kg+539.6XHeight in Meters)

    1.11-Low Active
    1.48-Very Active

    So Lets do the math for me
    662-9.53X40+1 (assuming I am sedentary)X(15.91X70.4+539.6X1.7526)

    =2347 or 15 X BW(lbs)

    Now the very interesting thing to note is that the Harris and General calculation for BMR indicates that the leaner you are the higher the BMR, but with EER the lower the BMI (or leaner) the less energy expended. Meaning it takes more energy to move more mass. See basic Physics does have a place in the real world. :D

    So yes you are right the 11 to 12 is a low estimate on maintaining and I was off by a bit. Sorry for the confusion. [​IMG]
    But remeber it all is an ESTIMATE there are a lot of factors so I wouldn't say it is etched in stone but it can give you a reasonable place to start.

    But anyway to answer your question you can read a whole lot on BMR and EER at the DRI website Chapter 5
  10. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    sounds a lot more effective than lifting, dieting et cetera. Anyone seen the scotch tape?
  11. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    for what it's worth, Bryan Haycock is a pretty reliable source.
  12. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    It will NEVER be the right amount of calories.. its an ESTIMATE that depends on a ton of factors, a starting point nothing more nothing less.

    Even if you accurately measure BMR, you still can only estimate the caloric requirement.
  13. Cliner9er

    Cliner9er New Member

    Exactly. I find most folks who have a sedentary job and don't do a lot of "other" daily activity have a non-exercise maintenance around 8-9kcal # BW. About 11-12 with exercise in there. This changes with a host of factors as well.
  14. Tom Treutlein

    Tom Treutlein New Member

    That's extremely low, but actually makes sense.

    I think, in general, the recommendations for gaining mass are overrated. If the protein is there, and there is a solid amount of cals, you're fine. But I see people get more muscular by just eating what they normally would every day (which doesn't amount to more than 14-15x bodyweight in cals), with MAYBE an extra shake or something to 'add tons of mass', as the advertisments run.

    Either way, I think it's more a matter of consistency, proper training, and adequate protein intake. The whole shabang is overrated.
  15. someshw

    someshw New Member

    Very much appreciate the replies. Based on your responses and other forum posts, I have decided to follow Bryan's training and nutrition advice to the t. Will update you guys on the progress.
    Thanks again for taking the time out to respond.

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