3/16/15

How I Lost Weight By Eating 4000 Calories Per Day!

Let me preface this by saying losing weight is easy: Calories in must be less than calories out. Let me post-face that by mentioning that not all calories are created equal. Good, now that you’re confused we can begin this post.
 
This picture is unrelated, but on of my athletes Levi was a little uncomfortable with how I pinned his legs down, so now I'm posting the picture on the internet for everyone to see.
It all started when I had gained 45 pounds in a mere 6 months after a long powerlifting season. It was time to don my singlet again, and I decided to drop a few pounds to get into a more competitive weight class. To gain all of that weight I would consume about -

4 cups cooked rice (872 Kc, 8 g Fat, 184 g Carb.)
2 lbs potato (832 Kc, 0 g Fat, 192 g Carb)
1 lb Hamburger Beef (721 Kc, 47 g Fat, 0 g Carb)
4 scoops Whey Protein (480 Kc, 4 g Fat, 4 g Carb)
6 Eggs (540 Kc, 28 g Fat, 0 g Carb)
4 Slices of Ezekiel Bread (320 Kc, 4 g Fat, 56 g Carb)
1 serving Ice Cream (229 Kc, 14 g Fat, 23 g Carb)


-every single day. Of course there was always daily variety, but you catch the drift. I ate about 4,000 Calories and between 400 and 500 grams of Carbs per day. Big boy food. 

My biggest size at 245 for the highlanders games (post cut for the 105 kg class)

To lose weight I decided to do what I normally do – a ketogenic diet – were I restrict all carbohydrates to less than 50 g per day and consume a ratio of at least 2 fat calories to 1 calorie of all other foods (2/3 total calories were fat). The tough part about this diet is the initial carbohydrate cravings, the great part was that I love red meat which is high in fat. So, I planned out my daily macro consumption with the goal to eat just as much food as normal, but to ixnay the carbohydrates-

Bullet Proof Coffee (250 Kc, 36 g Fat, 0 g Carb)
2 lb Hamburger Beef (1442 Kc, 94 g Fat, 0 g Carb)
12 eggs (1080 Kc, 56 g Fat, 0 g Carb)
4 scoops Whey Protein (480 Kc, 4 g Fat, 4 g Carb)
8 Tbsp Peanut Butter (752 Kc, 64 g Fat, 24 g Carb)

-which put me at about 4000 calories per day, with 28 gram carbohydrate and 198 grams of fat. Sometimes I would replace the hamburger with steak or bacon; it just depended on my mood that day. Either way I didn’t drop any calories and I lost weight. A lot of it.
 
Me getting down and leaned out for out A&M competition

In a mere 2 months I lost 18 pounds and 6% body fat. Now, how can that be? Common sense (and a few notorious dieticians) claim that losing weight is strictly calories in versus calories out. If that's true then I should have continued to gain weight like I was before. Someone might assume that I simply started burning more calories, or that I started working out more. Well, they’d be wrong. I did the exact opposite actually. To peak for competition I went from lifting 5 times a week to only 3, and from doing roughly 60 total reps per workout, to less than 30. Scratch your head. Are you curious as to how I lost weight, worked out less, and still ate the same amount of calories?

Let me explain.

A lot of people believe that steroids or HGH are the most influential growing hormones around, but that’s not always the case. Let me introduce you to Insulin. Insulin is a storage and transport hormone. Its created by the pancreas and is used to transport nutrients to receptor sites at various tissues within the body. If you eat a McBurger and slam it with a McMilkShake your body will respond in many various ways. One response to the calories will be insulin secretion. This response will be compounded when the super-maltose laden milkshake is processed. Insulin will take the macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) to certain tissues depending on the body’s homeostatic state.  If you’ve done nothing all day but enjoy some Netflix binging, then a lot of these macronutrients will be converted and stored as adipose tissue (aka love handles)


A large stimulator of insulin is refined sugars and high glycemic carbohydrates. When someone consumes few carbohydrates fluxes of insulin are less likely to occur, but that doesn’t explain everything. The low carbohydrate diet in conjunction with high amounts of fat stimulate another process called ketosis. Ketosis occurs when very few carbohydrates are consumed causing energy levels to be dependent on ketone bodies. The liver creates ketones using fatty acids which are pulled from adipose tissue. Instead of running on high levels of blood sugar which are dependent on refeeding with carbohydrates, the body runs on ketones which are formed by the breakdown of body fat. So your energy levels are no longer dependent on consuming carbohydrate rich foods, but rather run on any bad fat you might have lying around. This also causes a wonderful phenomenon - you stop feeling hungry. Restricted carbohydrates induce a hormonal response that is similar to fasting, and after a period of time hunger spikes and cravings decrease. Say goodbye to being Hangry. I'm sure your family would appreciate that.

By now you probably understand why this diet works so well – a lack of high fluxes of insulin combined with fat used as fuel results in body fat reduction. However, this creates a conundrum: what really causes us to lose weight?

HORMONES play a huge role in weight loss. You already know how a lack of carbohydrates can alter hormones in the body – at least to a degree. When a person eats a calorie deficient diet, they also induce a hormonal cascade which causes their body to break down fat for fuel. That’s how a ketogenic diet can work without a decrease in calories – HORMONES!


Unfortunately cutting calories is the easy way to stimulate these hormones; which is why most people just recommend that to lose weight. Not all calories are created equal though. Different ones affect hormones in different ways. If you cut calories but spoonfeed yourself sugar eventually you will plateau or worse, gain weight. Of course, if you do the ketogenic diet there will be a point where you have to cut calories. It's awful. That being said, you should see a tremendous amount of weight loss without altering you intake at all.


So, if you want to eat steak and lose weight, be my guest. That’s what I did too. I understand that this is simply a case study, and that you and I are different people, but if it makes sense, why not try it?

37 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for detailed article. This method should work for everyone! I tried some things from http://customerhealthguide.info and result isn't great. I also tried diet+exercises, it works better but not perfect. I'll try your method, because i like to eat something tasty, like all men i think.

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    1. I think most guys want a big steak and this diet helps fit that in without killing the waist line.

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    1. Thank you! I maintained this particular diet for about 6 months (the entire competitive season). The longest maintained ketogenic diet that I had kept was an entire year but to maintain weight loss/fat loss I had to reduce calories for that time.

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About Me

My photo
BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.