I’ve read to lose weight to do calorie deficit of 500 cal so currently I’m eating 1350 cal (+taking multi vit). I feel full enough on this and don’t feel hungry but also read this is too low.
Meals consist of 2 x 400 cal huel +550 solid clean meal (grilled chicken/fish brown rice veg). Drinking diet soda or tea (cal counted)
I’ve lost 1 stone in first 3 weeks, I’m aware that’s probably mostly water,but feel like I’m doing well.
I’m also really scared that I’m losing muscle mass though.
I just need some guidance or some reassurance I’m doing the right thing.
Thanks in advance
It’s quite likely you will lose some muscle mass. There are things you can do to minimise this although it’s very hard to prevent it entirely.
The best way to maintain as much of your muscle mass as you can basically comes down to “use it or lose it”. Meaning that unless your body needs to utilise that muscle on a regular basis it will unfortunately quite happily sacrifice it to plug the gap in an energy deficit.
The single most effective way to prevent this is weight training. You don’t need hours in the gym, but you do need to be regularly challenging the muscles you do have so your body sees a need to keep them around. This means reasonably heavy weights for low numbers of reps, ideally using big muscle groups in compound exercises. Banging out lots of bicep curls with a low weight won’t cut it. The good news is that if you haven’t exercised much before you can get pretty good results by starting to do so basic body weight exercises at home (squats, lunges, press ups, planks, etc.)
Making sure you have sufficient protein in your diet also helps with muscle maintenance.
It looks like you have maybe confused BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate - what you would burn just existing, in a coma) and TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure - your BMR plus actually doing stuff, moving about, etc.).
Assuming you are fairly sedentary which you said you are then your maintenance level should be around 2166 calories. Losing a stone in 3 weeks would seem to support that you could up your calories closer to 1600 and still be losing a pound a week. Really it’s up to you though. If it’s working and you think you can sustain that kind of deficit without feeling hungry then go for it. Bear in mind though if you want to maintain your muscle and you intend to exercise more then the extra calories, especially if they come from protein will help with that.
Ah right, thanks for the help. It’s quite confusing at first. I think I will up to 1600 so I can get more protein.
I’m in no rush to lose weight, I’ve abused my body for years and don’t expect to reverse that suddenly lol.
Sound like the best plan is to add weight training in too so I’ll gradually start to do that.
Much appreciated for all your help, all that have replied.
Hiya! 1350 seems pretty low for your stats I’d agree—I’m a 5’0 girl and have lost weight eating ~1300-1500kcal over the last year. If you want to take the guesswork out, i’d Recommend getting a Fitbit or something: I find that so long as I eat under what they say I burn, I consistently lose weight (~10-15kg with the help of Huel) so it’s quite straightforward.
Feel free to ask me anything!