Should I increase my caloric intake if I am lifting weights?

Options
I am 51 and I am walking everyday and I am able to log my walks and increase my calories as needed for that, but if I do find a strength exercise in the database, it doesn't change the calories I need to consume. I feel like im holding onto fat around my midsection as I have in the past when I dont have enough calories ("starvation mode"?). I want to make sure im doing everything right to lose the midsection fat. I could be just stubborn 50 year old belly fat.

Answers

  • COGypsy
    COGypsy Posts: 1,247 Member
    Options
    To get calorie “credit” you enter strength training in the cardio section. Weird, I know.

    Don’t waste a single second worrying about “starvation mode”. If the body’s response to reduced calories was to keep its fat, no one would ever starve to death, right? Yet probably hundreds of thousands of people all over the world die from hunger every day.
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,574 Member
    Options
    In the Cardio section there's an option for Strength Training. Enter total session time. It isn't a lot of calories though. For example I'm over 200 pounds and I enter 250 calories for a 60-min session. So if your goal is weight loss, no don't go eating many hundreds more calories. What you should do is time your meals to ensure some of the carbs are before the workout, e.g. a banana if it's just a snack.

    At 51, my suggestion is absolutely focus on the lifting. Probably not in the 1-3 rep range though, for safety.
  • nossmf
    nossmf Posts: 9,744 Member
    Options
    Tagging onto @Retroguy2000's post where he says to avoid the 1-3 rep range: A good, safe range to stick to is 8-12 reps. A "rep" is short for repetition, or simply how times do you move the weight before resting. Select a weight you can lift 8 times with good form. The first time may require some experimentation to figure it out, sometimes the entire first workout is nothing but testing what weight to use, and that's ok. Even die-hard lifters who have been lifting for decades have to do some experimenting the first time we try a lift we've never done before.

    Once you have the weight figured out, record it somewhere so the next time you do this workout you know where to begin. Lift it 8 times, and if you feel motivated, rest 1-2 minutes and then lift the same weight 8 times again.

    The next time you do this workout, try for 9 reps, and when you can do that do 10 reps, working your way up until you can do 12 reps. Once you can do that, increase the weight used by the smallest amount possible (sometimes 5lbs, sometimes 2.5lbs, varies by exercise) and drop the reps back to 8, then begin working your way back up the rep count again.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,487 Member
    Options
    nossmf wrote: »
    Tagging onto @Retroguy2000's post where he says to avoid the 1-3 rep range: A good, safe range to stick to is 8-12 reps. A "rep" is short for repetition, or simply how times do you move the weight before resting. Select a weight you can lift 8 times with good form. The first time may require some experimentation to figure it out, sometimes the entire first workout is nothing but testing what weight to use, and that's ok. Even die-hard lifters who have been lifting for decades have to do some experimenting the first time we try a lift we've never done before.

    Once you have the weight figured out, record it somewhere so the next time you do this workout you know where to begin. Lift it 8 times, and if you feel motivated, rest 1-2 minutes and then lift the same weight 8 times again.

    The next time you do this workout, try for 9 reps, and when you can do that do 10 reps, working your way up until you can do 12 reps. Once you can do that, increase the weight used by the smallest amount possible (sometimes 5lbs, sometimes 2.5lbs, varies by exercise) and drop the reps back to 8, then begin working your way back up the rep count again.

    To tag onto tagging on.

    Have a read of the AllPro programme it sets up and explains reps, sets, and progressions and deloads for a programme using 8-12 lift sets.

    The first set up may sound like a bit of hard work but I just started with a reasonable weight I knew I could move for the 8 and worked from there.

    I will admit I am an older woman who only lifts recreationally, not looking for big results just progression over time.

    What I like about this programme is that I don’t have the same worry about over exertion or injury I would have on a linear progression. I can take a week on light weighs if I’m tired, or switch to machines/dumbbells if I’m travelling.

    I think I was about 63 when I started, took a break over covid, then picked it up again (back to lower weight and light barbell) after covid at 70.

    As far as calories for lifting. I use the ones given in MFP’s cardio section. Counting the total time including rest periods for the calorie burn has worked for me over the years. You may have to adjust but don’t sell yourself short as it will affect your energy levels. (Lots of oh I can’t be bothered, little naps, and a bit of a snippy temperament)

    Saying this as I took heed of the MFP philosophy at the time which was the cals are too few to worry about (mostly said by guys who were twice my weight) and burnt out rather fast.

    Cheers, h.
    AllPro
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=4195843

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,824 Member
    Options
    Yes you should definitely up your calorie intake, as a athlete or weight lifter you are constantly tearing down muscle and being in a caloric surplus helps your muscles repair, you cannot gain muscle on a 2000 calorie diet maybe strength but not too much muscle focus on eating high carbs and high protein you should at least eat 3000 calories a day and that should be the bare minimum.

    Um . . . the OP, hcaloric918, is a 51 year old female. We don't know her current height and weight, among other relevant variables.

    There are a few 51 year old women who might need to eat 3000 calories (or more) to gain muscle . . . but for most in that demographic, 3000 calories would be a whackin' big calorie surplus. For some, even 2000 would be a surplus.

    I have higher calorie needs than the average woman my age (a bit older than she is), and am of average height. 3000 calories would have me gaining over a pound and a half a week. Not a good plan. If I wanted to add muscle mass, bulking might be the most efficient strategy (because I'm fairly slim), but there's no way a surplus that big would be necessary or beneficial.

    It's pretty common for younger males to have distorted ideas about calorie needs of older women, no worries.
  • ecowperthwaite
    ecowperthwaite Posts: 5 Member
    edited May 11
    Options
    While the MFP calorie calculator is ok, your best bet is to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and your Total Daiky Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This tells you half of your equation, the Calories Out. If your Calories In is less, then you will lose weight. Simple and straightforward.

    However, that doesn’t mean it will be fat, necessarily. If you are cutting weight, even if you’re lifting weights, you may be losing muscle and fat. This is going to depend on macros, not just calories, and on meal timing.

    As a general rule, you cannot gain muscle on a calorie deficit. But you can prevent muscle loss and focus most of your weight loss at fat. If you set your protein intake to somewhere in the range of .8g per pound of body weight and then divide it up evenly between your 4 or so meals per day, this will enable your body to recover and adapt your muscles to the resistance training and prevent muscle loss.

    You also need carbs to provide energy, including glycogen in your muscles for the weight lifting. And you need a minimal amount of fat (about .3g per pound) to maintain hormone levels properly (estrogen and testosterone production is critical).

    In the body composition pyramid, about 50% is calories in/calories out, 30% is nutrient macros (protein/fat/carbs), and 20% is food composition, meal timing, and supplements. Get calories and macros right and you’ll be successful :-)

    I highly recommend reading Dr. Mike Israerel’s “Renaissance Diet” to really get a solid grasp on all these factors.

    My two cents worth. Hope it is helpful

  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,842 Member
    Options
    Should you up your calories if you weightlift? Maybe and maybe not.

    There is a lot of context that you would need to provide.

    -frequency
    -intensity
    -weekly volume

    If those points are on the lower end and fatloss is your goal I wouldn’t add calories especially since you’re having trouble losing. A lifting session doesn’t really burn many calories unless it’s very intense and you’re working out for a decent length of time.

    For energy just have some food intake an hour or 2 before hitting the gym.

    And yes, starvation mode is a myth

  • hcaloric918
    hcaloric918 Posts: 4 Member
    Options
    thank you everyone. I will keep doing what I am doing!! I am 128 pounds and would like to fit back into my clothes. my ideal weight is about 120. I lift for about 40 min 3 to 4 days a week. I try to lift heavy to build muscle and lose fat. for those that said that there is no such thing a starvation mode.....I have had issues with it in the past. I would start a workout routine and I put on 5 pounds of belly fat. as soon as I stopped working out I lost the 5 pounds of belly fat. also to the person that said that I should consume 3000 calories a day - I would weigh 300 pounds!!!!!! without logging my walks, my goal for weightloss is 1400. thank you all for your posts!!!
  • claireychn074
    claireychn074 Posts: 1,436 Member
    Options
    thank you everyone. I will keep doing what I am doing!! I am 128 pounds and would like to fit back into my clothes. my ideal weight is about 120. I lift for about 40 min 3 to 4 days a week. I try to lift heavy to build muscle and lose fat. for those that said that there is no such thing a starvation mode.....I have had issues with it in the past. I would start a workout routine and I put on 5 pounds of belly fat. as soon as I stopped working out I lost the 5 pounds of belly fat. also to the person that said that I should consume 3000 calories a day - I would weigh 300 pounds!!!!!! without logging my walks, my goal for weightloss is 1400. thank you all for your posts!!!

    It wasn’t belly fat. When you lift weights your body will hold water as it repairs the muscle, hence the weight increase many people see when they add a new exercise regime. If you have a uterus then it’s common to hold water there.

    I always have a rounded lower tummy but if I have to reduce or stop lifting for a while I can see the results quickly as I pee out all the water and drop a couple of pounds. Which goes right back on when I start lifting heavy again.

    I understand the correlation you see between lifting and what the internet says is starvation mode, but if that was the case no one would starve to death. There would be no starvation eating disorders.

    Let me try to explain what starvation mode actually means (I have a cold so my head is a bit foggy- others will come along and correct me if I’m wrong or incoherent 😀).
    Say I eat well and feel good: I eat 2000 calories and I have plenty of energy so I run around and burn 2400 calories - that’s a deficit of 400 calories. Say I eat 1200 calories. I personally won’t have enough energy to run around or exercise so I will slow down and burn less calories - maybe only 1500. That means my deficit is less even though I ate a lot less.

    It’s a simplistic artificial example which doesn’t take into account one’s resting BMR but starvation mode just means if you eat too little your body will expend less energy to preserve its ongoing function. Eat less than your BMR and you will lose weight - and hair, and muscle, and ultimately life.

    Starvation mode, as peddled on IG, TilTok, influencers’ vids, is not real. It won’t make you hold belly fat.
  • mtaratoot
    mtaratoot Posts: 13,598 Member
    Options
    While the MFP calorie calculator is ok, your best bet is to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and your Total Daiky Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This tells you half of your equation, the Calories Out. If your Calories In is less, then you will lose weight. Simple and straightforward.

    Using TDEE is fine if your daily activities are close to the same every day. If you have days that you do some exercises, some days you do others, and some days you do none, your TDEE will vary among those days. If you have days where you are more active outside of exercise than other days, your TDEE will also change.

    The method that MFP uses to get a calorie in goal is Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the energy expenditure of your daily life exclusive of intentional exercise. While it doesn't eliminate the difference in daily activity among different days, it does allow you to fine tune your calories in based on the exercise you do. You simply log your exercise here in My Fitness Pal and eat back your exercise.

    Be aware all of these (BMR, TDEE, NEAT, and caloric value of our food) is estimated. Each person may have different TDEE than someone else with the same gender, age, weight, and height. By using a tool like My Fitness Pal to track calories in AND calories out, a person can fine-tune their calorie goal over time. That goal will need to change as a person's weight changes because a smaller person requires less energy to move their body around.

    The name of the person behind the Renaissance Diet and Renaissance Periodization is Dr. Mike Israetel. He holds a Ph.D. in Sport Physiology and does provide some good science-based advice. His focus is body building, but a lot of what he speaks of applies to all of us. His YouTube videos are also entertaining.

  • ecowperthwaite
    ecowperthwaite Posts: 5 Member
    edited May 15
    Options
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    Using TDEE is fine if your daily activities are close to the same every day. If you have days that you do some exercises, some days you do others, and some days you do none, your TDEE will vary among those days. If you have days where you are more active outside of exercise than other days, your TDEE will also change.
    Yes, I agree. And I actually like using MFP set to light activity and a 1 lb per week weight loss. This comes out pretty close (plus or minus 10%) to my actual TDEE calculated the hard way and then adding a 500 kcal/day deficit.
    The method that MFP uses to get a calorie in goal is Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the energy expenditure of your daily life exclusive of intentional exercise. While it doesn't eliminate the difference in daily activity among different days, it does allow you to fine tune your calories in based on the exercise you do. You simply log your exercise here in My Fitness Pal and eat back your exercise.
    Yep, I understand that.
    Be aware all of these (BMR, TDEE, NEAT, and caloric value of our food) is estimated. Each person may have different TDEE than someone else with the same gender, age, weight, and height. By using a tool like My Fitness Pal to track calories in AND calories out, a person can fine-tune their calorie goal over time. That goal will need to change as a person's weight changes because a smaller person requires less energy to move their body around.
    Every person, of course, is different. The easiest/most effective way to figure out the calories out (ie TDEE) is to observe and adjust over time.
    The name of the person behind the Renaissance Diet and Renaissance Periodization is Dr. Mike Israetel. He holds a Ph.D. in Sport Physiology and does provide some good science-based advice. His focus is body building, but a lot of what he speaks of applies to all of us. His YouTube videos are also entertaining.
    Yes, Dr. Mike is one of the key people there. Not the only one, but one of them. Renaissance Diet is applicable to pretty much everyone, not just bodybuilders, and well worth taking a look at for people that want to get deeper than what MFP offers.

  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,842 Member
    Options
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    While the MFP calorie calculator is ok, your best bet is to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and your Total Daiky Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This tells you half of your equation, the Calories Out. If your Calories In is less, then you will lose weight. Simple and straightforward.


    The name of the person behind the Renaissance Diet and Renaissance Periodization is Dr. Mike Israetel. He holds a Ph.D. in Sport Physiology and does provide some good science-based advice. His focus is body building, but a lot of what he speaks of applies to all of us. His YouTube videos are also entertaining.
    LOL, Dr. Mike.
    One person that knows his *kitten* unlike 90% of the internet fitness\diet people

  • ecowperthwaite
    ecowperthwaite Posts: 5 Member
    Options
    LOL, Dr. Mike.
    One person that knows his *kitten* unlike 90% of the internet fitness\diet people
    Most internet fitness types are snake oil salesmen. Now, Dr. Mike wants to sell stuff, too. But at least he isn't selling untrue crap.