Calling all nutrition freaks/lifters... I've broken basic physics

So, as I posted a while back I was deliberating over my diet and using more huel due to a change in circumstances, well, that change is a Divorce, not airing my laundry, but need to explain for context of my issue. So less time, more stress.

Anyway, I eat exactly the same stuff most days with a few variations in the veg I eat, everything is weighed, Ive eaten like this for years, it works, I know what’s going in so I can can track, and then from there bulk, cut, or whatever.

Until now, even though I’ve lost my appetite though stress, I’ve still manged the eat the same huge quantities of food I normally do, 3500 calories, but wait for it, I’ve lost 9lbs!


Why? How? I’m trying to BULK. Not cut.

I have no idea how that is physically possible. Just don’t.

So should I just bump my Carb intake or what? I’m totally lost. I’ve never had this issue before. To clarify my caloric intake really is exactly the same as before. The only thing is maybe due to more huel less other stuff my sodium might be a tiny bit lower, but not by much. Not enough to lose 9lbs, given salt = water anyway.

Abs looks great though, just a shame I’m wrecking my bulk, I don’t want to lose hypertrophy, my strength is still the same though, if anything, my lifts have gone up on bench, and pulling movements too.

So yeah, help. Please.

Surely stress isnt the ultimate cutting tool…?

@GTIPuG @JamesCollier

Hi Oliver

Welcome to the ‘Recently-Lost-9lbs Club’ (I’m als a ‘lifter’ and have also lost about this weight, but mine was deliberate). A few questions for better persepctive:

  • how old are you?
  • briefly, what’s your weekly workout schedule? has this changed?
  • over what duration have you lost the 9lbs
  • do you have kids?
  • how’s your physical health been?
  • with the stress, has there been some days that you have missed a meal?

If you’re 100% input has changed from a calorie and macro perspective, then we need to look at the output side of things. Stress spings to mind

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Yeah, was reading through thinking this… If you’re 100% on input, i.e going as far as weighing your foods to verify caloric count accuracy, it sounds to me like you’re burning up from stress. Bodies are strange things, not sure why stress causes higher caloric expenditure but it’d make sense. Fidgeting etc maybe?

Nice that you’re still managing to keep at it even through your situation. Takes dedication that!

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Stress hormones are stimulants so that would make sense. I thought you were the hormone guy at round here… Have you looked into it at all. Things like sleep pattern changes etc can also do weird stuff.

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Age: 24

Workout schedule: Upper/lower Split 4 times a week, MT/TF or SM/TF. Deload every 8-10 weeks. Volume about 30-35 sets per workout, hard, close to failure, but not to complete failure. Just deloaded 2 weeks ago. No major changes apart from a mild increase in strength, not much though.

I do have a child, one 6 y/o, fyi Divorce meaning 50/50 custody, nothing major there.

My physical health is OK, a little run down, but been worse surprisingly, since one less stress isn’t predominantly in my life…

Apart from that, got a few mild lower back issues I’m looking into, and I suffer from Hypogonadism, but I’ve firmly got that covered, given hormones are my “things” as John (@hunzas) pointed out, Im on TRT, so my Testosterone ISN’T ever able to drop regardless of the onslaught my body is under, since none at all is produced endogenously, this isn’t a new thing either, been this way for 2 years. Cortisol on the other hand might be high, but to be honest that normally would cause far gain and loss of lean mass, not the other way around… That’s what gotten me! Every part of this is completely backwards.

Even though I’m stressed I’ve not missed one single meal, genuinely. How, I have no idea, guess all the years of recovering from eating disorder stuff means I can still be objective about my diet without listing to my body going “F off - you have ZERO appetite”. The only single change is swapping one meal that was chicken, sweet potatos, veg, and coconut oil, which was 40/30/30 ratio macro wise, for an equal amount or slightly higher of Huel and a little bit of wheatgrass + spirulina, since I was paranoid about losing a few phytonutrients, the meal charge is the same cost calorie for calorie too.

I’m 100% confident of my Calorie input calculations. Besides, like the majority is huel, so easy the count, I can’t mess that up if I tried!

I donated/lost over a litre of blood… Just before my break up, Don’t know if that would do it? I’m aware that’s only worth 400-500 calories per pint, so not 9lbs worth. The blood letting/dontation is for elevated RBC, I messed up and didn’t keep on top of it, so playing catch up (TRT for you…) back on top of now though. Actually half way though writing an article on that subject when I get time.

So yeah, can stress simply be it?

My sleep as obviously was impacted a little, I mean diy divorce writing at 2am probably didn’t help, but for the most part, I’m still sleeping a solid 7-8 hours and the quality is fairly decent over the last week or two.

And Again even if my sleep was suspect I’d be gaining fat, not losing it, we all know those who sleep best do far better on diets/cuts etc…

So, is it simply just doing more, being less ldle? Not that I was idle beforehand. I work 2 jobs, for a total of 30 combined hours, main one within Web Development (Website Support Engineer) and the other in retail. Its not like I’m a manual worker.

Thanks by the way, and congrats on your intentional weight loss! :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the info.

I’m not one for calorie-counting, but for the purposes of illustration, let’s say with your stress, this was contributing to a difference of 250kcal deficit per day. Over 2 weeks, that equates (all things being equal) to around 1lb weight loss. So - again, stressing the theory - if you have been more stressed than usual for 18 weeks, this could be a factor. Then there could be some from water weight.

As a ‘lifter’ who’s notably older than you who has been where you are (ie struggled to gain weight and unhappy with unwanted weight loss when in early 20s), I will give you some words of wisdom: don’t get hung up on scales-weight. Physiques are about illusion - it’s what you look like. If you’re as strong, then you will not have lost muscle.

Thanks for getting back to me!

Yeah the “stress” or divorce stuff started 4 weeks ago, yes, some stress prior, but obviously not the same sort of stress.

So maybe my body just metabolically ramps up a lot during stressful periods, I have absolutely no idea, which is what’s bothering me, I can’t a logical or educated reason as to why its happened. But yeah, output must be higher somehow. :man_shrugging:

So yeah the 9lbs is over a 3-4 week period. Wired.

I’ll just have to eat more, somehow, since 3500 calories isn’t a small amount…

I’m 6.1 ft tall and have now dropped to 168-169lbs, was 178lbs before, and before that when I did a mini cut months back I was 185lbs (ish irrc). Oops…

I don’t look much smaller, just a lot leaner, no one has said “you’ve shrunk” or anything, I’ve people I know and they can’t tell overly. So must be a “shirt off” difference.


Scales yesterday for the record.

If this is only 4 weeks, then I doubt very much stress would have contributed to an 1100kcal per day deficit. There must be other factors in play.

Like I said, don’t get too hung up on this