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I(F22, BMI 22.1) recently swapped my fitness routine from mainly cardio and light resistance to more weight and strength training. Although Im taking it gradually my appetite has gone awol. I use to eat roughly around 1400-1500 cals a day now ive readjusted my intake for 1600-1700 cals. I told myself I'd increase the calorie intake gradually as I increased intensity in my new workout routine (at least 50 per week). Yet within the the second week of training Im eating roughly around 1800-2000+ cals a day, way beyond my recommended macros.

Im usually an intuitive eater and don't like to mentally restrict myself. My intuitive eating has proven to be on par with my previous macros recommends.

Yet now Im finding it difficult to control myself within the recommended macros level. If I do, I tend to feel particularly weak. Im also craving calorie dense food which I don't usually crave, like cake and chocolate, which means my body is asking for fuel.

Im only a week and a half into my new routine and i'm not even doing any hardcore work yet, just lifting dumbbells and practising form. I know I need to fuel my body accordingly to my workouts but I have a very sedentary work life and I am quite petite (5" tall).

My energy levels are rollercoasting as well, and have been feeling exhausted around 9pm when I usually can stay up til 12 even after an intense gym session. I'm scared if I keep eating beyond my macros levels, im gonna start accumulating more fat instead of muscle. Yet I've got a load of stuff to do during the day and don't want to feel constantly tired. My workouts are roughly around 30-40 mins per day (exc warm up and cool down stretches.) I work with weights for barely 10-15 mins.

What to do? Listen to my body? Or keep within my recommended macros?

Edit:Extra info:

Height: 5 ft (152 cm) Weight: 52.2Kgs

Measurements

  • Dominant arm: 27.1 cm

  • Chest:93.2cm

  • Waist: 70.6cm

  • Stmach (Belly button) :74.1cm

  • Hip:93.5cm

  • Dominant Thigh:53 cm

    Goal: Right now, I really want to up my metabolism, lose some fat and get a bit more lean and toned. Wanna build some strength as well I've been trying to build some abbs too and pump the glutes. I was planning on starting to weightlift at some point but I have to get used to the weights first and learn correct form.

Goal Measurements:...is it bad to say i'm not really bothered? Maybe cinch the waist?

Routine: I usually start with 20-15 mins HIIT or Functional Workouts then I focus on body parts for another 15-10 mins

(Mon, Wed-Friday): Upper body, Core (abs and waist),Legs & Butt, Core. (What i've changed is just adding 2-3 Kg dumbells and kettlebells in my workout. Or doing HIIT specifically just with weights. Nothing drastic)

I have swim training on tuesdays and saturdays. (Usually hit the waves on sat as well. Not sure if that counts)

Sunday : Yoga/ Pilates / Rest

  • Can you edit the question to include what your training looks like (which exercises, including sets and reps)? It would go a long way towards helping us understand the problem. Also a paragraph on your current measurements, as well as your goal measurements if applicable. Normally I'd say "listen to your body and eat more to scale with your new training regimen" but that depends entirely on your goals. – Alec Sep 22 at 18:08
  • What are your training goals? Are you watching your macros to lose fat, or for some other reason? – Dave Liepmann Sep 22 at 18:37
  • I feel a bit awkward because im not really aiming towards any kind of measurements just changing my physique to be bit more lean. I've updated the paragraph with my main measurements, although am afraid I have no clue about body fat % etc... Many Thanks for trying to help out! – ceci cela Sep 22 at 20:38
  • No worries. It's not required to have specific measurements as a goal. "Getting more lean" is a perfectly valid goal. – Alec Sep 22 at 21:00
  • How much protein are you getting? What do your food choices typically look like? – JustSnilloc Sep 23 at 0:03
2

A Zen parable:

A student once asked his teacher, "Master, what is enlightenment?"

The master replied, "When hungry, eat. When tired, sleep."

Going to bed at 10 at night seems fine. Sleep is when you recover -- getting enough sleep is critical for fat loss, building strength, and performing well mentally and physically. Nothing wrong with getting plenty of sleep.

I wouldn't appease sweet cravings beyond a small morsel of dark chocolate. But if you're not on an intentional cut there's nothing wrong with eating high-value foods that build muscle (meat, fish, eggs) as well as dairy, vegetables, and starches. If you don't feed the strength training hunger then you will 1. not get the benefits of the workout, because you don't have the raw materials to make new flesh, and 2. run into a wall because you're under-nourished.

If my training goal were nonspecific leanness and I was training five days a week, then I'd allow myself to eat as much protein as I want — eggs, fish, and meat without limitation — but totally reject all juices and sweets and somewhat limit my intake of starches and high-fat items. One strategy I've used when cutting weight for competition was to stop my normal practice of eating yogurt for dessert and topping off meals with milk, and to eat only a small portion of whatever my meal's carb was (rice/potato/etc.). That's probably too extreme a system for your goal of moderate leanness.

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  • My schedule is a bit overwhelmed rn and sleep is quite scarce ngl. I'll follow through with what you said however and fuel my body on demand. I can't afford to fall asleep in a meeting but I don't want to lose my progress. Im not doing the competitive cut and bulk phase but a meso cycle one (eat 15% in excess on workout days and 10% less on rest days). Ive tried my best to educate myself how to properly recomp. Although im scared i might be doing it wrong. Would you have any advice or beginner tips about that? – ceci cela Sep 23 at 13:01
  • Recomps have come easily to me by just working out a lot and the diet changes I mention (a little less everything, a lot less carbs, & going from lots of dairy to zero). I also have never tried tracking my macros with any more precision than eyeballing. Sleepiness during the day may get better if you can manage to get to sleep earlier at night? Give yourself some time to get used to this new program — a week or two is still very very early. – Dave Liepmann Sep 23 at 13:26

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