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How many calories do I need (weight loss & lifting weights)?

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Updated about 11 hours ago
Created March 22, 2014 at 5:29 AM

Hey everyone!

I've been eating paleo/primal since July and I've lost over 70 pounds. I'm about to start lifting weights again (I haven't lifted in years). I'm going to do Rippetoe's Starting Strength program. I'm going to start real light.

I'm a guy, 5'9, 36 and 265 pounds, my goal weight is 205.

My question is, how many calories should I eat a day to fuel lifting 3 times a week and still drop weight? Currently I eat 1800 calories a day (15% carbs, 25% protein, 60% fat).

Thank you for your help!

8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899
0 · March 22, 2014 at 10:19 PM

I agree 1800 is low. I've been eating that low just to melt the fat off quickly and get to a good weight to get back to lifting.

For me 205 is actually pretty thin. I have an extremely large frame with super broad shoulders and carry a lot of muscle naturally. When I was in good shape I had to have my clothes tailored to fit right.

I know 1800 is too low for lifting but I still want to drop bf, I was thinking maybe 2000 calories a day to start?

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3 Answers

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
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41442 · March 22, 2014 at 9:21 PM

1800 calories is undereating by quite a bit. I'm 100 pounds lighter than you and my BMR is around 1800. You could probably eat 3200 calories a day and maintain your weight. You could eat 2700 calories a day and lose a pound a week.

Also, 205 pounds is still pretty hefty weight for our height. Most guys who start well over 200 seem to have fears of weights in the 100s, just keep at it.

8c98172e3f8e78eaca36ef7b80cb6899
0 · March 22, 2014 at 10:19 PM

I agree 1800 is low. I've been eating that low just to melt the fat off quickly and get to a good weight to get back to lifting.

For me 205 is actually pretty thin. I have an extremely large frame with super broad shoulders and carry a lot of muscle naturally. When I was in good shape I had to have my clothes tailored to fit right.

I know 1800 is too low for lifting but I still want to drop bf, I was thinking maybe 2000 calories a day to start?

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc
0
690 · March 22, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Here's another useful site,... some fun calculators and discusses body shape.

Waist to height ratio is better / more meaningful than BMI, imo.

http://home.fuse.net/clymer/bmi/

When you "run your numbers" I think you'll see that 1800 is giving you a decent (maybe too large?) calorie deficit for fat loss. Addtionally, it you read the site & the USAF thesis linked to.. you might modify your goal.

Good luck & keep at it. Make sure you don't over do the exercise / strength training. you've made a ton of progress with your current "plan". @tricci

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
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17103 · March 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM

I'm not in favor of calorie counting, but, if you must, put your numbers into here:

http://paleodan.com/macronutrient-ratios/

and

http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

Then, once you know your Basal Metabolic Rate (that's not what you should eat each day, that's the absolute minimum to stay alive, unconscious and in bed 24h/day) multiply it by your activity level according to this: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/

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