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Hey all,

 

 Need a little help understanding TDEE and how much I should be eating please. Now, I understand that TDEE is the total amount of calories I need if I were to maintain my weight and current exercise levels, but I am a little confused when it comes to what I should be eating to lose fat. I'm not overly concerned with the number on the scale, but I know that my hips and thighs could stand to be a little smaller, and I need to lose the excess around my middle. Eat to Perform has the option to calculate my TDEE -10%, but does that mean I can lose weight - or rather, lose fat, eating this amount of calories and eating the right balance of macros? I currently do 2 - 3 cardio workouts (running, incline work on the treadmill or rucking usually) and 3 lifting workouts. Currently they are based around Stronglifts, though next month or the end of this one I'd like to move to juggernauts programme. So, I don't want not feeling energised for my workouts to start being an issue.

 

Thanks in advance :) 

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: The Adventures of Rhovaniel: Vol I

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25

 

2021 Quests:

Run 3 Laps of Oblivion| Run and Complete Man vs Lakes | Achieve a full pull up| Achieve 10+ unbroken push ups| Write 90,000+ words of a novel (0/90,000)| Read at least 20 books (4/20)

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Is your weight reasonably stable right now? And your workouts are productive? If so, I'd suggest throwing out any TDEE calculations and trying this instead (bear in mind I'm not a dietitian, health professional, or expert - I just read too much):

 

Keep a food journal for a week, tracking all your calories and macros (don't forget liquid calories). This will tell you your approximate maintenance numbers; I think this is a better way to go because TDEE can vary quite a bit between individuals. It's easier to find your own baseline and go from there, rather than worry about what a calculator says. 

 

Next, take a look at your macros: if you're eating less than 1g per lb of total bodyweight, that'd be the first thing I'd change. Keep your calories the same, but sub out some carbs & fats in order to bump up your protein kcal to that number. Two advantages to this strategy: it shouldn't affect your workouts (it should actually improve recovery), and you can actually lose fat this way (albeit slower). Monitor your weight, and if you're losing as much as 1/2lb a week, just keep doing that until your loss slows. 

 

After 2-3 weeks of consistently eating the new protein amount, and you are no longer (or never did) losing weight consistently, knock down your total kcal for the day by 200-250kcal. This is a nice gradual way to lose fat (about 1/2lb a week) for someone who's already active - you want to slim down, but not let your workouts suffer. The moderate restriction will be enough to get you there over time. 

 

Eventually, you body will balance out and no longer lose weight with a 250kcal daily restriction - then, congratulations, you've found your NEW TDEE. :) If you'd like to continue to lose once you've stabilised, you can cut again by ~100-200kcal. If at any point you begin to feel sluggish, you'll want to either tweak your macros again, or build in some refeed days (don't go crazy with these, only 500kcal max above your baseline). 

 

Make sure to eat carbs before your workouts to ensure energy stores are ready to fuel you. And some folks actually enjoy using a 5:2 method instead, where you eat your normal intake on 5 days of the week, but on the other 2 (non workout days) you only eat ~500kcal. This works really well for those who don't enjoy daily restrictions, or if your personal lifestyle works better with a bit more flexibility. Another strategy for you to consider, anyway. 

 

Hope this helps, remember to be safe, go slow, and have fun. :)

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10 minutes ago, Defining said:

Is your weight reasonably stable right now? And your workouts are productive? If so, I'd suggest throwing out any TDEE calculations and trying this instead

My problem (that led me to TDEE in the first place) is that my weight is not stable right now. In fact, it seems to be rising. I understand the gain, I find my nutrition by far the hardest thing to get right which leads me to need to at least have a ball park figure of where I'm aiming for. At the moment, I seem to fluctuate between 72 kilos and 73.5, which is where I am now :( (72kg is roughly 158.7 pounds, 73.5 is around 162...) 

 

 Thanks for the advice about the protein and cutting calories by 200 or so cals/day. I think for now, I'll aim for 10% below what TDEE says and make protein the priority. 

 

Thanks again!

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: The Adventures of Rhovaniel: Vol I

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25

 

2021 Quests:

Run 3 Laps of Oblivion| Run and Complete Man vs Lakes | Achieve a full pull up| Achieve 10+ unbroken push ups| Write 90,000+ words of a novel (0/90,000)| Read at least 20 books (4/20)

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6 minutes ago, Rhovaniel said:

At the moment, I seem to fluctuate between 72 kilos and 73.5, which is where I am now :( (72kg is roughly 158.7 pounds, 73.5 is around 162...) 

Bear in mind that weight naturally fluctuates a bit, even by a kilo or two. Women especially can swing up to 4kg depending on the time of the month. Maybe try to weigh in only once a week on the same day at the same time. Or just use your weekly averages if you prefer to weigh daily. This is more of a ballpark game, rather than an exercise in precision. At any rate, best wishes! 

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Your TDEE is easy to find if you have the right data. The issue with finding it, as Defining alluded to, is that most people don't start out with the data they need.

 

To get an accurate TDEE, you need good data on how many calories you burn on average, and how much weight you gain or lose during that time.

 

That's why the formulae and calculators out there are sketchy at best. They mostly work based on plugging in your weight, age, and your best guesses about your activity level. All the guesswork going in translates to an answer that is not reliable.

 

By contrast, you'll get a much better answer if you simply track all your calories and weight fluctuations for a week or two and average it all out:

 

( Total calories eaten +/- ( Lbs lost or gained * 3500 ) ) / # of days tracked

= Daily TDEE

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