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I am always ridiculously hungry & it's impacting my exercise. What am I doing wrong? Watch

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    I'm no expert when it comes to nutrition, so if I'm doing anything that's quite clearly stupid or ineffective please let me know!

    I'm trying to decrease my body fat % and my current workout routine includes weights and cardio.

    At the moment I'm eating around 1300-1500 calories a day but I am constantly hungry. I get home from work and I'm always absolutely starving, so I usually have a banana and then try to exercise. But I just have no energy and I'm usually really forcing myself to even do anything at all, it's so difficult. I don't feel like my workouts are great and they don't leave me feeling really energetic.

    A typical day looks like this:
    Breakfast: porridge, teaspoon of honey, teaspoon of ground flaxseed and a banana
    Lunch: wholemeal pita with homous or falafel and some salad
    Snack: fruit
    Dinner: something light eg lentil curry with salad or vegetables

    Do I need to eat different foods/eat more/exercise less? Or should I stop complaining and just get on with it?
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    Generally that doesn't even look like 1500 calories to me, and doesn't seem to be very high protein either - protein is generally better satietating than carbs or fats and should keep hunger away better.

    Either way though if you are eating only 1300-1500 calories and also doing weight training/cardio, you're probably getting a total of 1000 calories or so worth of energy per day which is simply too low unless you are tiny - you're going to be pretty hungry on that regardless. Cardio isn't really that necessary, skip the cardio and just stick to the weights, OR increase the amount you eat by a few hundred calories and also eat a higher proportion of protein and then you'd be in a better position to do aerobic training as well as weights.
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    (Original post by bertstare)
    Generally that doesn't even look like 1500 calories to me, and doesn't seem to be very high protein either - protein is generally better satietating than carbs or fats and should keep hunger away better.

    Either way though if you are eating only 1300-1500 calories and also doing weight training/cardio, you're probably getting a total of 1000 calories or so worth of energy per day which is simply too low unless you are tiny - you're going to be pretty hungry on that regardless. Cardio isn't really that necessary, skip the cardio and just stick to the weights, OR increase the amount you eat by a few hundred calories and also eat a higher proportion of protein and then you'd be in a better position to do aerobic training as well as weights.
    Hang on, so if I were to eat 1500 calories I should only burn 300? I thought I could do as much exercise as I wanted provided I had eaten at least 1200
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    (Original post by FelixFelicis)
    I thought I could do as much exercise as I wanted provided I had eaten at least 1200
    Well no, since exercise is simply going to burn energy - it really isn't very different to simply eating less and getting less energy in the first place (higher intensity cardio like HIIT training has other benefits but I'm assuming you aren't doing that). The whole thing is mediated by overall energy balance - If you eat low calories and then burn a lot more calories doing cardio, your total energy deficit is going to be very very large. This is pretty likely to lead to lean tissue loss as well as fat loss, which is both unhealthy and not good for the physique.

    I think 1200 calories is generally just too low, unless you are very small, which is probably why you are hungry and have low energy levels - so increase calories. Specifically, you could probably do with higher protein in the diet, which should help control hunger better and also reduce lean tissue loss. You definitely don't need to be doing cardio on a diet that low in calories, especially since you are already doing weight training.
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    (Original post by bertstare)
    Well no, since exercise is simply going to burn energy - it really isn't very different to simply eating less and getting less energy in the first place (higher intensity cardio like HIIT training has other benefits but I'm assuming you aren't doing that). The whole thing is mediated by overall energy balance - If you eat low calories and then burn a lot more calories doing cardio, your total energy deficit is going to be very very low. This is pretty likely to lead to lean tissue loss as well as fat loss, which is both unhealthy and not good for the physique.

    I think 1200 calories is generally just too low, unless you are very small, which is probably why you are hungry and have low energy levels - so increase calories. Specifically, you could probably do with higher protein in the diet, which should help control hunger better and also reduce lean tissue loss. You definitely don't need to be doing cardio on a diet that low in calories, especially since you are already doing weight training.
    Wow, ok. I've been doing it completely wrong. I am doing HIIT and I'm also 5"8 & 10st7 so not exactly small. Protein wise, I know you're completely right. I'm a vegetarian and I also don't eat egg so I have to think a little harder about where to get my protein.

    Thanks a lot for your reply, I am definitely changing my diet and exercise habits!
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    (Original post by FelixFelicis)
    Wow, ok. I've been doing it completely wrong. I am doing HIIT and I'm also 5"8 & 10st7 so not exactly small. Protein wise, I know you're completely right. I'm a vegetarian and I also don't eat egg so I have to think a little harder about where to get my protein.

    Thanks a lot for your reply, I am definitely changing my diet and exercise habits!
    Lentils and beans are your friends.

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    Too few calories and your metabolism / metabolic rate will slow down, and you'll burn less fat / calories. Also, too few calories over a protracted period of time and your body will start to go into starvation mode!
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    (Original post by FelixFelicis)
    Wow, ok. I've been doing it completely wrong. I am doing HIIT and I'm also 5"8 & 10st7 so not exactly small. Protein wise, I know you're completely right. I'm a vegetarian and I also don't eat egg so I have to think a little harder about where to get my protein.

    Thanks a lot for your reply, I am definitely changing my diet and exercise habits!
    I had veggie sausages with baked beans for lunch today - delicious and high in protein!
 
 
 
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