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In the last month I started a diet. I ate about 1500 calories daily and every second day I used to workout for about 45 minutes. My daily work is in front of computers, so I barely move at work. However, I was walking to work every day (30 mints) and returning home walking as well (30 mints). However, by the end of the month I only lost about 1 KGs and that was too frustrating. I need to note that on the weekend I wasn't exercising. So now I decided to make my diet stricter, but I have no idea why the previous plan didn't work well.

I just want to recap on my previous diet:

1- workout 3 times a week: Monday, Wed, Friday. I used to warm up using this workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0mMyV5OtcM I used to do this twice to warm up. After the warm up: I do push ups 3 sets, each 12 reps. Then crunches also 3 sets 12 reps. Then Squats 3 sets 12 reps, and finally dumbbells lat-pulldown. I used to do two exercises at the same time, but different muscles, eg. Crunches and lat-pulldown. The entire workout took about 45 minutes. Also I walk 1 hour everyday as my daily trip to work.

2- I used to eat around 1500 calories daily. Breakfast: 2 pieces of toasts with some cheese + protein shake (one scoop). Lunch: around 900 calories. Dinner: 2 pieces of toasts with some cheese + protein shake (one scoop). I also ate a banana at work.

3- Results: lost only 1 KG.

Thus now I decided to make it stricter as the following:

1- Workout 6 times a week: one day my weight lifting workout, the second day walking and burn 500 calories. I will have only Sunday as a rest day.

2- I will eat similar to above, but I will skip toasts at the dinner and only have the protein shake.

My questions are the following:

1- is my new strict diet healthy?

2- If I stick to only eating 1500 calories a day and then burn 500 calories everyday, is that also healthy and ok?

3- can you estimate how much calories does my workout that I described burn? Because I feel that I don't burn much. I don't end up sweating as I do when I walk for 2 hours for example. I feel like I only burn 100 calories with it.

  • What does "healthy" mean? What's your goal? – Mert Mumtaz Aug 29 '16 at 20:08
  • @Brofessor lose weight and gain muscle ... my height is 173 cm, 79 kgs weight. I wanna reach 10% body fat. By healthy I mean I'm not hurting/damaging my body or risks of injuries. – Jack Twain Aug 29 '16 at 20:47
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Things work differently on different people. We belong to the same species, but the way our bodies work, and respond to different inputs differ. So, expecting quick results, just because it worked for someone, wouldn't do any justice to you. Relax, frustration is not getting you to your goal. Neither does motivation. Motivation gives you a start, but habits and grounded efforts help you reach your goal. It has been just one month, and loss is 1 kilogram, so what's next? Go extreme? Extreme to what levels? Let's break it down.

You said you are 79kgs, that's roughly around 175lbs. 173 cm, means 5'8". Your goal is 10% body fat. You know what it looks like? Have a look at the below http://healthiack.com/images/body-fat-percentage-chart-men-women.jpg

Though it may not be accurate, it's close enough to what people look, with the % body fat mentioned.

I'm not saying 10% is not achievable, but with that, you need to re-evaluate your workout regime, an diet plan. If you are looking for those results, just stick to no cheat days, till you get what you want. Weight exercises are fine, but cardio is a must. You haven't mentioned anything other than 1 hour of walk to your work. Walking is good, but for the results you expect, you need to do more than walking: Running, jumping roles, climbing stairs, doing the elliptical, etc.

Do weights training in-between cardio, something like cross-fit would be beneficial. 10% is a great goal, but it can't be achieved in a month. To see any kinda transformation in your body you need a year at least. Don't go too extreme on day 1. Reach your goals gradually, but yes, you need to build up more on cardio, and do higher reps (10-15), lower weights (60-80% 1RM) if you want to drop body-fat.

Note: Before doing anything extreme, consult your doctor.

Do not cut down calories drastically. You are not 500lbs. You need them to feed your muscles. Without enough nourishment your muscles would starve and give up, you would notice this by feeling fatigued.

Drink plenty of water and have adequate rest. I know stress is an integral part of today's lifestyle, but it kills us from with in. Keep it under control.

Remember to get plenty of rest, you need 6-8 hours of good sleep every night.

Don't be too harsh on yourself. Everything is achievable, just give yourself time, and stay positive. You may have to push harder that others, but your goal is not to beat them in want they are doing, but to get better than what you were yesterday.

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  • I'm planning to stick to this plan for one year. – Jack Twain Aug 30 '16 at 6:30
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    and I lost 20 KGs before using the same diet but only walking 2 hours daily, but without weight lifting. I reached 70 Kgs, but my body didn't look in shape. I looked like someone without any muscles! – Jack Twain Aug 30 '16 at 6:32
  • but i just wanted to know if my diet itself is healthy or not – Jack Twain Aug 30 '16 at 6:32
  • Well, try it for yourself. If you are not falling sick, or feel tired and exhausted, it's all good. I'd say 2,000 calories would be more suitable, 1500 would be too less, especially when you are working on building muscles. Muscles need calories along with protein to survive. – xCodeZone Aug 30 '16 at 6:45
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Your main issue at this level isn't going to be the amount of calories you take in but the macro-nutritional breakdown of those calories. To achieve a very low bodyfat percentage while expecting muscle growth you need to be ensuring that you get sufficient protein for muscle repair/growth and sufficient carbohydrates for energy (assuming you don't want to do keto).

Plugging your details (assuming age of 25) into a TDEE calculator I can get an idea about your Basal Metabolic Rate and it indicated that you should be aiming for 1600 calories on a cut.

Traditional cutting means that most advice would be to avoid carbs but in your case, with working out on both cardio and weights, you are going to need all the energy you can get to avoid becoming fatigued and giving up. Id recommend a 35/35/30 split of Protein/Carbs/Fat so you would be looking at 140g protein, 140g carbs and 60g fat.

All off this advice should get you started but you need to listen to your body closely, if you are still fatigued then trade some fat for carbs and go for 35/40/25 or 30/50/20 as long as you are hitting around 1600 calories per day you should continue to lose weight and gain muscle.

How ripped could you get? According to Martin Berkhan's formula, your maximum muscular potential is 160 lbs at 5% body fat. Most people have no desire to be 5% body fat though, so you'd be 168 lbs at 10% body fat & 176 lbs at 15% body fat. FYI, you will not maximise your muscular potential using your current workout.

Where do you stop? At some point you are going to hit a wall with weight loss and muscle gain. You will eventually only be able to do one or the other, not both. Keep this in mind.

Summary:

  1. No its not unhealthy, you will be fine at 1500.
  2. Don't bother trying to offset exercise. Focus on getting enough sleep and eating the right macro-nutritional breakdown, you should have energy to complete workouts.
  3. You probably burn a lot less than you think, it's highly individual and the only way would be to use a chest-strap heart rate monitor to work it out. Your strength workout is probably not breaking the 300 calorie mark.
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