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Old 10-26-07, 07:30 PM   #1
EJ123
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I think I am gaining fat

I don't have any idea of how many calories I need to lose weight. I've lost 45 pounds since June 06 and can't seem to get any lower for the past 3-4 weeks. In fact, after a meal, I scaled in at 214, but when I wake up I am roughly 208. Ug, I try to aim for 2000 calories, but should I perhaps go down to 1800 if I don't exericse for that day? I want to be around 175, but oh well.
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Old 10-26-07, 07:32 PM   #2
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weighing your self at two different times of the day is not going to tell you that much, it could all be water weight, weigh yourself at the same time every day
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Old 10-26-07, 07:45 PM   #3
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1 pound = 3500 calories.

If you are counting the calories you are taking in, and the amount you are burning, aim for a deficit of about 500 calories per day. That way, eventually, you'll loose about 1 pound per week. However, note that it rarely happens exactly like that. You'll likely not lose anything for the first few weeks, then suddenly drop 2 or 3 pounds, then nothing for a week or so, etc.

Are you familiar with the following sites? They might be able to help you.

http://www.nutritiondata.com/
http://www.healthstatus.com/
http://www.healthstatus.com/calculators.html
http://www.caloriesperhour.com/
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Old 10-26-07, 07:46 PM   #4
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weighing your self at two different times of the day is not going to tell you that much, it could all be water weight, weigh yourself at the same time every day
yeah I know. I usually weigh in a few hours before bed every 3 days or so.
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Old 10-26-07, 07:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
1 pound = 3500 calories.

If you are counting the calories you are taking in, and the amount you are burning, aim for a deficit of about 500 calories per day. That way, eventually, you'll loose about 1 pound per week. However, note that it rarely happens exactly like that. You'll likely not lose anything for the first few weeks, then suddenly drop 2 or 3 pounds, then nothing for a week or so, etc.

Are you familiar with the following sites? They might be able to help you.

http://www.nutritiondata.com/
http://www.healthstatus.com/
http://www.healthstatus.com/calculators.html
http://www.caloriesperhour.com/
I am starting to think most sites that estimate your basal metabolic rate don't give me the real accuracy. One sit told me I needed 4000 calories a day to sustain my weight, and so 3500 would count as a pound a week? Hm.
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Old 10-26-07, 08:02 PM   #6
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4000 calories a day is VERY high. What site told you that?

You Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories you burn if you were to lie in bed all day. To that number, you need to add any activity you do. A "normal" BMR is probably somewhere between about 1500 and about 1900 (depending on a number of factors).

A little tip ... if you want to be 175 lbs, use that as the number you enter into the calculators NOT your current weight.

And yes, a DEFICIT of 3500 calories per week would equal a loss of 1 pound a week.
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Old 10-27-07, 07:51 AM   #7
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And yes, a DEFICIT of 3500 calories per week would equal a loss of 1 pound a week.
How many calories are in a pound of muscle?
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Old 10-27-07, 08:55 AM   #8
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How many calories are in a pound of muscle?
I know to add pure muscle tissure, 1-2 pounds a month is the max.
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Old 10-27-07, 09:15 AM   #9
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yeah I know. I usually weigh in a few hours before bed every 3 days or so.
I weigh first thing in the morning, after my shower. My weight is low (and more consistent) at that time of the day for me. But it does go up and down a few pounds. Sometimes I know I ate less than I burned over the past few day, and gain weight. I gain a few pounds after a long ride, as my body kicks in and wants to re-hydrate after some strenuous activity. But over time, I see about 1 lb weight loss for every 3500 calories I burn more than I eat.
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Old 10-27-07, 11:34 AM   #10
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How many calories are in a pound of muscle?
I'm not sure I understand your question.

This article (and maybe some of the related articles) might help explain what I'm saying:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/calories/WT00011
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Old 10-27-07, 12:08 PM   #11
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If you're going to weigh yourself frequently, do it consistently. I do it first thing in the morning, before I've had breakfast. You can expect your weight to fluctuate from 1 to 5 pounds, depending on how much water you retain. Remember, your body is around 70% water, and every cell in your body has some amount of water, including your muscle cells. In fact, as muscle cells get in "better shape" they actually retain more water.

You should not expect to gain muscle mass while you are in a caloric deficit. The process of building muscle mass is very expensive, calorically speaking, and thousands of years of evolution have programmed our bodies to resist that. However, if you do weight training while in a deficit, especially whole body complex joint/muscle exercises, you can initiate a muscle repair process that will preserve the muscle mass that you do have.

Finally, plateaus are normal. If you reach a plateau, and you're sure you're in a caloric deficit, then try changing things up a bit. Change your exercise schedule, vary your carb intake, etc.
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Old 10-27-07, 12:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I'm not sure I understand your question.

This article (and maybe some of the related articles) might help explain what I'm saying:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/calories/WT00011
I am not sure what I am saying either so that is why I asked the question.

It is posited that a pound fat contains 3500 calories. So if in a week there is a 3500 calorie deficit, exclusively from fat, there should be a 1 pound loss of fat. Muscle can also be broken down for an energy source. So how many calories does one pound of muscle provide?

What I am thinking is, that when there is a caloric deficit creating a weight loss, calories are being used from sources other than fat. If muscle provides less calories per unit weight then it is possible to loose more then one pound a week with a 3500 calorie deficit. Reason being, is that pound for pound muscle provides fewer calories.

So if one was to burn through 3500 calories a week of muscle would there be a greater weight loss?

The following quote is from the link you posted.

Quote:
Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you'd lose approximately 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).
IMO This explanation suggests that weight loss is strictly fat, and that a calorie deficit will only result in fat being lost. What would be the weight 3500 calories of muscle?
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Old 10-27-07, 12:31 PM   #13
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Riding too many miles at a slow pace can actually keep some men from losing weight. This is because endurance events tend to suppress testosterone production. You may find better weight loss possible if you do shorter more intense workouts. Try riding only 60-90 minutes at a much faster pace. ALso, cross training where you ride three days a week and run/lift weights three days a week will work better for losing weight than only riding the bike.
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Old 10-27-07, 06:39 PM   #14
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I am not sure what I am saying either so that is why I asked the question.

It is posited that a pound fat contains 3500 calories. So if in a week there is a 3500 calorie deficit, exclusively from fat, there should be a 1 pound loss of fat. Muscle can also be broken down for an energy source. So how many calories does one pound of muscle provide?

What I am thinking is, that when there is a caloric deficit creating a weight loss, calories are being used from sources other than fat. If muscle provides less calories per unit weight then it is possible to loose more then one pound a week with a 3500 calorie deficit. Reason being, is that pound for pound muscle provides fewer calories.

So if one was to burn through 3500 calories a week of muscle would there be a greater weight loss?

The following quote is from the link you posted.



IMO This explanation suggests that weight loss is strictly fat, and that a calorie deficit will only result in fat being lost. What would be the weight 3500 calories of muscle?
First of all, you don't have a choice to burn fat or burn muscle ... that's your body's decision.

Secondly, when you go into a deficit situation, your body looks first at any stored carbohydrates in your liver. If you've been eating well, you should have about 2000 calories stored there. So your body uses that up. If the deficit situation continues (think starvation diet) then your body looks for any stored fats, and most of us have some of that around in various locations on our body. So then your body converts your fat to calories and uses that up. Finally, if the deficit continues (still starving - no, or next to no food) the body looks for what else it can use and starts taking from the muscle.

If you operate on a deficit of 500 calories per day, over the first few days your body will use up what is in your liver. This could be why sometimes your weight remains the same for the first week or two when you start an exercise/diet program. Then your body will start converting stored fat to calories and using it. But because a deficit of 500 calories per day isn't excessive, and most of us have more than 1/7 of a pound of fat on us, your body will not touch your muscle.

If, however, you were to go on a starvation diet, or less drastic, if you were to stay with the 500 calorie a day deficit, until you reached your ideal weight, and then until you were underweight, and still continued to operate on a 500 calorie a day deficit after that, then your body might have to start using muscle because there's nothing else left.

Did that help explain it all a bit more?
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Old 10-27-07, 08:03 PM   #15
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I know I may be splitting hairs, but you are knowledgeable so this is why I wish to discuss this subject with you. I am not claiming that you are wrong either, but what I have learned diverges from what you are telling me, so I am just trying to get a better understanding.

Thank you for bearing with me.


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First of all, you don't have a choice to burn fat or burn muscle ... that's your body's decision.

Secondly, when you go into a deficit situation, your body looks first at any stored carbohydrates in your liver. If you've been eating well, you should have about 2000 calories stored there. So your body uses that up. If the deficit situation continues (think starvation diet) then your body looks for any stored fats, and most of us have some of that around in various locations on our body. So then your body converts your fat to calories and uses that up. Finally, if the deficit continues (still starving - no, or next to no food) the body looks for what else it can use and starts taking from the muscle.
This is where you loose me. Accoriding to Kadowaki, Kamata, (1996), during fasting states when insulin is decreased, and the catacholamines and glucocorticoids are increased, there is going to be increased proteolysis. Additionally, one day without eating has been shown to be a degradation of about 75 grams of muscle (Cahill GF (1970). It has also been found that after a few days without food, protein degradation slows down because of increased lipolytic activation Argiles, JM Lopez-Soriano J, Almendro V, Busquets S, Lopez-Soriano FJ. (2005).

So in a week where there is constant shifting between fasting and fed states, would not you burn a considerable amount of muscle? And, if one pound of muscle provides fewer calories than one pound of fat then it seems it would be possible to lose more than one pound with a 3500-calorie deficit, because as you indicated above, one does not have a choice of what one wants to burn.




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If you operate on a deficit of 500 calories per day, over the first few days your body will use up what is in your liver. This could be why sometimes your weight remains the same for the first week or two when you start an exercise/diet program. Then your body will start converting stored fat to calories and using it. But because a deficit of 500 calories per day isn't excessive, and most of us have more than 1/7 of a pound of fat on us, your body will not touch your muscle.
OK I understand what you are saying here, that glycogen reserves in the liver are used first, but from what the literature indicates is that fat is not the first choice of fuels in the short term, after using up glycogen. Your body will start consuming muscle because it can be made into glucose so your body can continue to burn its preferred fuel, until the lipolytic pathways can begin to convert fat at a higher rate. Hence the reason for glucocorticoids and other diabetogenic hormones. When the normal stores of glucose are used up the diabetogenic hormones act to increase blood glucose levels by breaking down muscle into monomer components to make glucose until the lipolytic pathways can be further induced.



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If, however, you were to go on a starvation diet, or less drastic, if you were to stay with the 500 calorie a day deficit, until you reached your ideal weight, and then until you were underweight, and still continued to operate on a 500 calorie a day deficit after that, then your body might have to start using muscle because there's nothing else left.

Did that help explain it all a bit more?
I understand what you are saying, you are being quite clear, I just wish I could make myself as clear. During weight loss some muscle is lost, and since there are less calories provided per unit weight of muscle would it not be possible to lose more than one pound per 3500 calorie deficit. Hence the question; how many calories does one pound of muscle provide if being used for fuel?

Now by muscle loss I am not referring to cachexia, I am only referring to a small amount of loss.
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Old 10-27-07, 11:00 PM   #16
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Well, apparently 1 pound of muscle contains about 600 calories and fat contains 3500.
http://www.fitnessatlantic.com/muscle-mass.htm

Even in the food we eat, carbs and protein contain 4 calories per gram, while fat contains 9 calories per gram.

Now according to my Bio Text (Campbell, Neil A., & Reece, Jane B. (2005). Biology (7th Edition). San Francisco: Pearson Edition, Inc.) ...

"When an animal takes in more calories than it needs to produce ATP, the excess can be used for biosynthesis. If the animal isn't growing in size or reproducing, the body tends to store the surplus in energy depots. In humans, the liver and muscle cells store energy in the form of glycogen, a polymer made up of many glucose units. Glucose is a major fuel for cells, and its metabolism, regulated by hormone action, provides an important example of homeostasis. If the body's glycogen depots are full and caloric intake still exceeds caloric expenditures, the excess is usually stored as fat.

When fewer calories are taken in than are expended - perhaps because of sustained heavy exercise or lack of food - fuel is taken out of storage depots and oxidized. This may cause an animal to lose weight. The human body generally expends liver glycogen first and then draws on muscle glycogen and fat. Most healthy people, even if they are not obese, have enough stored fat to sustain them through several weeks of starvation (an average human's energy needs can be fueled by the oxidation of only 0.3 kg of fat per day).

Severe problems occur if the energy budget remains out of balance for long periods. If the diet of a human or other animal is chronically deficient in calories, undernourishment results. In this condition, the stores of glycogen and fat are used up, the body begins breaking down its own proteins for fuel, muscles begin to decrease in size, and the brain can become protein-deficient. If energy intake remains less than energy expenditures, death will eventually result."

So ... over to the muscle chapter ...

"A typical muscle fiber at rest contains only enough ATP for a few contractions. The energy needed for repetitive contractions is stored in two other compounds: creatine phosphate and glycogen. Creatine phosphate can quickly make ATP by transferring a phosphate group to ADP. The resting supply of creatine phosphate is sufficient to sustain contractions for about 15 seconds. Glycogen is broken down to glucose which can be used to generate ATP via glycolysis or aerobic respiration. Using the glucose from a typical muscle fiber's glycogen store, glycolysis can support about 1 minute of sustained contraction, while aerobic respiration can power contractions for nearly an hour."

So it would appear that early on, the glycogen in the muscles is used up, but the fibers remain intact. It isn't until quite a bit later on in the starvation process that the muscle fibers start to be used up.
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Old 10-29-07, 04:00 PM   #17
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While it may seem to you that calories are just calories and the body is going to use them wherever it can find them...its not that way. The body doesn't want to use muscle for energy for a number of reasons, one of which you pointed out earlier....it takes a lot to break it down and doesn't really get much from it. Fat is the bodies way of storing long term energy reserves. When the glycogen (short term energy stores) is used up the bodies natural instinct is to go to fat, because that is what the fat is there for. Granted, if you are just sitting like a bump on a log, you will have some muscle atrophy, but you shouldn't think of that as the body using the muscles due to a calorie deficit. Thats just what muscle do when they don't get stimulated...they atrophy.
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