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Calories, energy, and weight loss

8/17 9:03:02

Question
Hey, I am a 22 year old male, and I weigh about 190 pounds, about 14% body
fat. I have been working out hard for the last 2 years and have gained a lot of
muscle mass, but haven't reached my full potential yet. However, it's time to
lose this body fat because all I ever eat is fast food and garbage. Last week I
started to buy all my own food, i.e. lean beef, lean ham, veggies, fish, oats,
etc. Since I've started eating this way I have noticed that although I am full
my calorie consumption is way down. I eat about 5-6 meals a day and
probably consume anywhere between 1400 to 1800 cals a day. I read on
websites that for my age and weight, I should be consuming into the 2600
range or more. But my energy is fine, I'm never starving (although I get fast
food cravings) and I'm eating mostly protein with moderate carbs and very
little saturated fat. I am starting to think that all calories are not created
equal, am I right? I could easily stuff down 3 double cheeseburgers and a
large fry from Mcdonalds, but if I had boneless chicken in the same calorie
range, I wouldn't come close to eating it all in one sitting. My questions are, if
I stay on this path, will I successfully cut body fat, while preserving most of
my muscle? Is the amount of calories I'm eating good enough? Also, are there
any supplements that will help me on this cutting path, given that my diet
and workout regimen are top notch?

Any information would be greatly appreciated, thank you,  

Answer
Hi EJ,

Here are my quick answers, see suggested reading for details and explanations:

1) You are right, calorie counting is a tricky business, listening to your body is a better way to deal with weight loss. But I would not go below your current calorie intake.

2) You can continue losing fat but more probably you'll hit your plateau. You may then add more "good fats" and remove some of your protein allowance.

3) To be on the safe side, take a 1-a-day vitamin/mineral supplement. If or when you hit the plateau, read more about supplements and weight loss.

Reading

A calorie is a calorie... right?
http://atkinszone.com/2008/03/calorie-controversies.html

Aren't All Calories Equal?
http://atkinszone.com/2008/03/calorie-calorie-calorie.html


Cutting 3500 Calories To Lose A Pound
http://atkinszone.com/2008/03/3500-calories-to-lose-pound.html

Below 1200 Calories...
http://atkinszone.com/advice_support/2006/09/why-you-should-never-drop-below-120...

Weight loss plateau
http://atkinszone.com/2008/05/set-point-to-blame-for-weight-loss.html

The plateau checklist
http://atkinszone.com/2008/10/weight-loss-plateau-checklist.html


Tanya Zilberter  
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