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Are 2000 calories a day sustainable?
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I’m trying to drop a few pounds and stumbled across some literature saying that the ideal weight for my height relative to top triathlon AG’ers is 0.38 to 0.41 multiplied by height in cm. I converted the kgs to lbs and at my height it has my ideal weight between 146 to 158lbs. I’m currently at 166lbs. I did get as low as 158lbs back in May.

I’ve read that male average caloric intake to maintain weight is 2,500 calories per day. In order to lose 1lb per week you have to reduce intake to 2,000 calories a day. Is this amount of calories sustainable for 8-10 weeks? I suppose you can factor in training with caloric needs, but I’ve been doing this for a few days and can’t believe how restrictive you have to be with diet.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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How are you eating? Some of us gain weight on 2000 KCals/day.

Rugby Media Dude-earfulofdirt.com

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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A 500 cal/day deficit is very sustainable for 2-3 months and longer. I averaged a deficit of 850 cal/day for 8 months to lose 55 lbs. Don't expect to be able to do much intensity, though. Z2 stuff is fine. But, you may be pretty flat for anything near or above threshold...and recovery from long/hard stuff will be extended.

So, keep those things in mind...and prioritize your goals (weight loss, intensity, FTP, etc).

IIRC run pace improves by about 2s / pound.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [TheStroBro] [ In reply to ]
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1. Breakfast-Steel cut oats with banana, cinnamon or two eggs in coffee cup and banana and a cup of guatamalean coffee
2. Lunch-salad (spinach, carrot, Roma tomato, avocado 1/2, 30 cal light raspberry vinaigrette dressing) and protein shake (banana, frozen berries, whey, soy milk)
3. Dinner-Lean meat with potato (baked or sweet) and vegetables or something like black beans
4. Snack-Bowl of granola, peanut butter sandwich, oatmeal with fruit

TheStroBro wrote:
How are you eating? Some of us gain weight on 2000 KCals/day.
Last edited by: mwanner13: Dec 11, 18 9:34
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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This is all way more complicated then this; 2000 vs 2500 calorie conversation and average intake. I'm not suggesting you do Macros, but this tool and the article was really helpful for me to understand what was going on with food in my body. If you eat a ton of nuts and so called healthy fats, then 2000 calories is impossible for most, if however you eat a ton of veggies, protein, healthy carbs, and limit fat, then 2000 calories goes along way.

https://www.bodybuilding.com/...ients_calculator.htm
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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That must have taken serious will power. As you said, there may be a power sacrifice. The offseason seems like a good time to tackle this goal.

Tom_hampton wrote:
A 500 cal/day deficit is very sustainable for 2-3 months and longer. I averaged a deficit of 850 cal/day for 8 months to lose 55 lbs. Don't expect to be able to do much intensity, though. Z2 stuff is fine. But, you may be pretty flat for anything near or above threshold...and recovery from long/hard stuff will be extended.

So, keep those things in mind...and prioritize your goals (weight loss, intensity, FTP, etc).

IIRC run pace improves by about 2s / pound.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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mwanner13 wrote:
That must have taken serious will power. As you said, there may be a power sacrifice. The offseason seems like a good time to tackle this goal.

No, not really. It took a couple of weeks to get into a routine. After that, it was pretty simple to just stay with the plan.

Yes, the off-season is a good time for it. But, the Holiday season is tricky. I started in November 2015, and lost about 8 lbs or before Thanksgiving that year. Then I pretty much just "maintained" from Thanksgiving through New Years. I think I gained a couple over T-giving, and lost a few up til xmas...then gained a couple and ended up net-zero by 3 January. Then it was "back onto the plan" through July 2016 until I got down to final weight.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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I think you may find the hard '2000 kcal/day' rule not effective, mainly because it's oversimplified and doesn't take into account the large calorie variation you burn based on different workout loads.

It's better and more sustainable to shoot for a -500kcal/day deficit AFTER your basal calories + activity calories are added back.

One easy way to roughly approximate this is to use

11 kcal x (body weight in lbs) as a BASE (you need to add exercise cals on top of this)

So, a 150lbs guy would shoot for a non-exercise caloric intake base of 1600 kcal.

You then have to add your exercise calories ON TOP of this 1600.

So if you burn 800 cals exercising, your total daily calorie intake will be 1600+800 = 2400 total. You should be close enough to -500kcal/day at this range, and it's very sustainable. I do it with no loss of performance or fatigue during training.

I'd avoid any big-calorie drop diets unless you're really overweight - they are simply unsustainable for the 3-6 month period you really need to be shooting for to get meaningful weight losses.


If you do a fixed '2000kcal/day', you'll have big mismatches with intake and calorie burning when on off/light days vs big-load days (like a 3hr bike) where you might burn 2000 kcal alone exercising.
Last edited by: lightheir: Dec 11, 18 9:41
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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mwanner13 wrote:
I’m trying to drop a few pounds and stumbled across some literature saying that the ideal weight for my height relative to top triathlon AG’ers is 0.38 to 0.41 multiplied by height in cm. I converted the kgs to lbs and at my height it has my ideal weight between 146 to 158lbs. I’m currently at 166lbs. I did get as low as 158lbs back in May.

I’ve read that male average caloric intake to maintain weight is 2,500 calories per day. In order to lose 1lb per week you have to reduce intake to 2,000 calories a day. Is this amount of calories sustainable for 8-10 weeks? I suppose you can factor in training with caloric needs, but I’ve been doing this for a few days and can’t believe how restrictive you have to be with diet.

2,000 calories a day

+

4-10 alcoholic beverages a night should do the trick.

___________________________________________
2019 Race Schedule: Ironman Lake Placid
North East Regional Long Course Championship
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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It's obviously not as simple as you've laid it out - both in terms of your ideal weight and the calories you need to consume to get there.

The trick is finding your baseline calories to eat each day coupled with your typical calorie expenditure. To get this you'll need a more scientific approach where you actually track all your eating for a couple of weeks to know how much you are consuming each day. Knowing how much you consume and knowing how many calories you burn through exercise is the magic. Then all you have to do is weigh yourself each day and you'll see a trend over weeks where you will gain weight, lose weight or stay even. Depending on that number, you just have to fine tune how much you eat and burn calories. Most people recommend a 500cal/day deficit because is considered the quickest way to lose weight while keeping your mental game going.

_______________________________________________
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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I would go get a Dexa Scan and Metabolic testing if you want it broken down to a science to know what you need exactly. I know that at certain points running a supposed 500 KCal deficit wasn't enough for me and I needed to do much more, like an 800 KCal deficit.

High deficits are made simpler when you eat for volume...at one point I ate 600g of Broccoli a day when I was at peak weightloss. Life was a little different and I'm 25lbs heavier than then...maybe 6 months of healthy training and no broken bones will allow me to drop those.

Rugby Media Dude-earfulofdirt.com

Hooker training for the Sport of Scrum-Halves [Triathlon]
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [Bonesbrigade] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the guidance. I figured that calories burned would come into play as well. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see the results and still enjoy eating. I’ve been working on the diet for a while, but would like to be at a weight that optimizes performance.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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I'm 142 lbs and 2000 cals would leave me unable to do much during the day.

2500 is much better but I normally try to net less than 1500 when trying to lose weight.

Net=eaten-burned
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
One easy way to roughly approximate this is to use

11 kcal x (body weight in lbs) as a BASE (you need to add exercise cals on top of this)

So, a 150lbs guy would shoot for a non-exercise caloric intake base of 1600 kcal.

This is a tough one for me, as it results in a base, non-exercise rate that is ~700kcal off (mine is ~2700kcal at 188#, determined a few years ago during a 30-day period of no training, 100% food logging, and no weight change during the 30 days). The real trick is figuring out this PLUS your exercise calories, the calculation of which is also a bit squishy (less so for cycling, but moreso for running and swimming). Luckily the precise calorie counts of foods are also squishy. The scale is going to be what doesn't lie as you work along.

-Eric
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [EricTheBiking] [ In reply to ]
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EricTheBiking wrote:
lightheir wrote:
One easy way to roughly approximate this is to use

11 kcal x (body weight in lbs) as a BASE (you need to add exercise cals on top of this)

So, a 150lbs guy would shoot for a non-exercise caloric intake base of 1600 kcal.


This is a tough one for me, as it results in a base, non-exercise rate that is ~700kcal off (mine is ~2700kcal at 188#, determined a few years ago during a 30-day period of no training, 100% food logging, and no weight change during the 30 days). The real trick is figuring out this PLUS your exercise calories, the calculation of which is also a bit squishy (less so for cycling, but moreso for running and swimming). Luckily the precise calorie counts of foods are also squishy. The scale is going to be what doesn't lie as you work along.

-Eric

-700 is close enough to -500/kcal per day that you'll probably be close enough given variation in recorded caloric intake. But of course, feel free to use -10 or -9kcal/lbs if it works better for you.

I've found that after about 3 weeks of logging and estimating workout calories, you can get definitely close enough without weighing and looking up every piece of food that you eat, or using a powermeter for every workout to get calories. It's more important during that weight loss phase to stick with your program 'close enough' rather than give up and/or (especially) binge eat because you're frustrated that you can't get super precise numbers on food/exercise.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [EricTheBiking] [ In reply to ]
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EricTheBiking wrote:
The scale is going to be what doesn't lie as you work along.
-Eric

THIS.

If you aren't losing weight, you *are* eating what you burn. In which case, you make an adjustment after a couple weeks.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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500 is easy to do

but yea - you will notice a lack of power/speed and probably wont be setting any PRs in that time. Recovery if you do track speed work will take a few days more too. This is all in my experience. Then I got injured, said F it, and gained all the weight back lol

As I just finished my spinach salad at work because now I have to lose it all again. SMH
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [Bonesbrigade] [ In reply to ]
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Download the MyFitnessPal app and start tracking everything you eat and all your activities. You can even link to Strava so logging activities is automated. They make it very easy to set goals and keep your Daily deficit in check and also tracks your macros. -500 a day is very doable and I’ve been able to build power while doing it.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [bluto] [ In reply to ]
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how tall are you?
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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mwanner13 wrote:
1. Breakfast-Steel cut oats with banana, cinnamon or two eggs in coffee cup and banana and a cup of guatamalean coffee
2. Lunch-salad (spinach, carrot, Roma tomato, avocado 1/2, 30 cal light raspberry vinaigrette dressing) and protein shake (banana, frozen berries, whey, soy milk)
3. Dinner-Lean meat with potato (baked or sweet) and vegetables or something like black beans
4. Snack-Bowl of granola, peanut butter sandwich, oatmeal with fruit

TheStroBro wrote:
How are you eating? Some of us gain weight on 2000 KCals/day.

Look bro - if you ate like this every day, you'd be at your ideal weight. Probably be like 7% body fat too.

These "describe to me what you eat" things never work.

Truth is, you're eating a lot more. Probably 400-600 calories in 50-100 calorie chunks throughout the day. You gained 8 pounds since your low, so thats roughly a 32000 calorie surplus (i think the math is like 4k calories per pound)......
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [triczyk] [ In reply to ]
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I’ve always been health conscious with my diet. The 8 pounds occurred over 7 months. I ate somewhat healthy, but pretty much what I wanted to eat. That’s how I picked up the weight. I’ve been cracking down on snacking and extra junk lately, so we’ll see where it goes.

triczyk wrote:
mwanner13 wrote:
1. Breakfast-Steel cut oats with banana, cinnamon or two eggs in coffee cup and banana and a cup of guatamalean coffee
2. Lunch-salad (spinach, carrot, Roma tomato, avocado 1/2, 30 cal light raspberry vinaigrette dressing) and protein shake (banana, frozen berries, whey, soy milk)
3. Dinner-Lean meat with potato (baked or sweet) and vegetables or something like black beans
4. Snack-Bowl of granola, peanut butter sandwich, oatmeal with fruit

TheStroBro wrote:
How are you eating? Some of us gain weight on 2000 KCals/day.

Look bro - if you ate like this every day, you'd be at your ideal weight. Probably be like 7% body fat too.

These "describe to me what you eat" things never work.

Truth is, you're eating a lot more. Probably 400-600 calories in 50-100 calorie chunks throughout the day. You gained 8 pounds since your low, so thats roughly a 32000 calorie surplus (i think the math is like 4k calories per pound)......
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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Would recommend meeting with a nutritionist to go over this losing weight properly is harder than you may think.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [bluto] [ In reply to ]
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I downloaded the app and started using it today. I linked my Strava. It’s really nice. Thanks.

bluto wrote:
Download the MyFitnessPal app and start tracking everything you eat and all your activities. You can even link to Strava so logging activities is automated. They make it very easy to set goals and keep your Daily deficit in check and also tracks your macros. -500 a day is very doable and I’ve been able to build power while doing it.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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mwanner13 wrote:
I downloaded the app and started using it today. I linked my Strava. It’s really nice. Thanks.

bluto wrote:
Download the MyFitnessPal app and start tracking everything you eat and all your activities. You can even link to Strava so logging activities is automated. They make it very easy to set goals and keep your Daily deficit in check and also tracks your macros. -500 a day is very doable and I’ve been able to build power while doing it.


My favorite part of the app - logging in after a 3,500 kJ ride and seeing that I still have 4,000+ calories I can eat and still be "under" for the day. It's great motivation to get those long rides in.

You'll also notice the the app is constantly adjusting your target calories as your weight goes down (or up). As you get lighter, you can't just keep the same target since a 150 lb person needs a lot less calories to maintain weight vs. a 170 lb person. It's not just the weight you are carrying, fat actually creates a physiological load that doesn't do any good. My biggest surprise when dropping weight was that my FTP went up a good bit without any real training, just by getting leaner. I recommend reading "racing weight: how to get lean for peak performance". It's mostly common sense, but some good guidance.
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Re: Are 2000 calories a day sustainable? [bluto] [ In reply to ]
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It’s good to know that power doesn’t have to suffer in making such changes. I like that the caloric goal changes with fluctuation in weight as well. That makes sense. I think this app is going to be very helpful for me.

bluto wrote:
mwanner13 wrote:
I downloaded the app and started using it today. I linked my Strava. It’s really nice. Thanks.

bluto wrote:
Download the MyFitnessPal app and start tracking everything you eat and all your activities. You can even link to Strava so logging activities is automated. They make it very easy to set goals and keep your Daily deficit in check and also tracks your macros. -500 a day is very doable and I’ve been able to build power while doing it.


My favorite part of the app - logging in after a 3,500 kJ ride and seeing that I still have 4,000+ calories I can eat and still be "under" for the day. It's great motivation to get those long rides in.

You'll also notice the the app is constantly adjusting your target calories as your weight goes down (or up). As you get lighter, you can't just keep the same target since a 150 lb person needs a lot less calories to maintain weight vs. a 170 lb person. It's not just the weight you are carrying, fat actually creates a physiological load that doesn't do any good. My biggest surprise when dropping weight was that my FTP went up a good bit without any real training, just by getting leaner. I recommend reading "racing weight: how to get lean for peak performance". It's mostly common sense, but some good guidance.
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