Can someone tell me what's happening?

Can someone explain what’s going on in this situation?:

I’m eating 500 calories above maintainence with plenty of protein, well over 1g per pound bodyweight. I’m doing cardio twice per week. I’m lifting three times per week. I’m not gaining any weight, that is, the scale shows the same but I’m not gaining any fat.

So where is the 500 extra calories per day going? If the answer is increased daily energy expenditure, does that mean that if I added 400 calories per day instead of 500 I would be LOSING weight? I don’t get it. Am I gaining muscle at the same rate that I’m losing fat? Any explanations?


Brian: I hope I’m not missing something here…but there are one of three things going on here (or all three):1)If you are not gaining weight, then you are NOT above maintenace calories. If you’ve based your statement on a calculation, remember this: caloric calculations are only a STARTING point. You have to manipulate those numbers based on your bodies actual response. 2)You haven’t given it enough time 3)Both. Hope this helps!

Go find the “Massive Eating” article at T-mag. Read part one and re-figure your caloric intake. I’ll bet you just think you’re eating over maintenance. Or maybe your activity level or LBM has gone up since your did those calculations. I would also shoot for at least 2 grams of protein per pound of bw. And as Mufasa said, maybe you aren’t giving it enough time. Could also be your training. Maybe your program has stagnated or maybe you’re training like a pussy. Don’t know, just guessing, you didn’t give much info.

Whats up man, hey take your cardio out of the picture for a few weeks, or at least bring it back to one day a week and not two. Also It’s possible your calorie intake is not enough, it sounds as if you increased your calories by taking in more protien, try to get more carbs in though your diet and keep your protien high. Keep patience man, you’ll get there.

Well, TEK, if I am “training like a pussy” then I’m still wondering what’s happening to the calories? If I’m eating extra, where is it going? Are you saying I’m “training like a pussy” to the tune of 500 extra calories per week?

Mufasa, by JMB’s calculations I’m too low, that is correct. But I’m going by adding a flat 500 calories to the amount that my body takes a maintanence–personal observation, no formulas–and adding some more calories to accomodate the increased protein intake.

While the body “needs more time”, where do extra calories go? Are you suggesting that I might be gaining muscle but not enough for the scale to move? Brian

Do you mean 500 calories per week or per day? 500cal x 7 days is only approx 1lb fat anyway - easily lost in all the other variables that scientific calculations or personal observations don’t take into account. It sounds like you body has regulated itself nicely to the intake it gets. Try adding an extra couple of hundred calories per day for a week or two. If that doesn’t do it, add a couple of hundred more. Eventually something will change. Also may people feel that 1g protein is not enough for heavy training. I think in your case you can risk upping this 50% or more without worrying.

500 over? screw that bro 1500 over cut the cardio up it to at least 1.8gs of protein lift heavy!!! big 5x5s change up the routine stop any thermogenics use and last try supplements.

Adjustive thermogenesis; the “x” factor. The more you eat the more you burn… Soultion: eat more dummy. Remember, physiology is not an exact science.

This is getting interesting! I agree with everyone here, Brian. IF indeed you are consuming “extra” calories (which is merely energy), there are only three things that can happen (this is simplistic, but essentially correct): a SMALL amt is dissipated as heat, some will be stored as fat, some will be utilized to build muscle AND WEIGHT WILL GO UP (depending on how many “extra” calories above maintenance you have truly consumed). I go back to my original point: if you are not gaining weight, your body is in relative homeostasis. THEREFORE THERE ARE NO “EXTRA” CALORIES.

Another question that may help everyone: how do you “personally observe” that you are at maintenance calories? If your answer is that you don’t gain weight, then you add 500 calories and you STILL don’t gain weight, then you are STILL at maintenance calories AND THEREFORE NEED TO ADD EVEN MORE CALORIES AND/OR DECREASE YOUR ENERGY EXPENDITURE! (as has been stated). Again…hope this helps!

I don’t lose a lot or gain a significant amount between the 2400 to 3300 (that a delta of 900 kcal’s!)calorie marks. This is good because I still get stronger and need to lose ten lbs by Dec. 1 for wrestling. Likewise, I suggest it’s because of adjustive thermogenesis.

Mufasa, your addressing the issues that I’m getting at. My assessment of maitanence calories is based on the number of calories that I ate in the past and saw my weight not change. Any less, and I slimmed down a little, any more and I gained a little weight.

What I wonder is whether there is any evidence that the body senses it is in caloric excess at a certain amount over maintainence and THEN shifts into a muscle-building mode.

For instance, if you add just 200 calories per day to your daily maintainence, perhaps the body just builds a tiny bit of muscle and increases TEF with that 200? But perhaps when you add 500-700, and then the body senses that, since you’re regularly training the muscles, it can be growing with these extra calories and then shifts into an actual anabolic mode–apportioning some calories to hypertrophy and a certain portion to fat stores, the ratio that differs with current level of leanness. Anyone have any evidence for the second scenario? Brian

Brian, first of all, I thought Mufasa’s explanation was simple,
yet brilliant. Obviously for you, the past does not equal the
present! Your metabolism has definitely changed. NICE question
on your part. At what point do the added calories switch the
body into an anabolic mode? Training stress, plus a whole host
of hormonal issues would undoubtedly need to be entered into
this equation. You might think about directing this question to
JMB via e-mail. He might even turn this question into a fantastic
article! Joey Z.