This is so confusing. I’m 5 feet tall and 120 pounds (age 42). Everytime I calcuate my TDEE with light activity (I work out 3 times a week and stay active on the weekends just doing stuff) I come up with 1317. That’s pretty low. And if I try to make a calorie deficit of 20 percent, that leaves me with only eating barely 1,000 calories a day. That’s hardly eating. And I keep hearing everywhere not to eat less than your TDEE to lose weight. I’m totally baffled. Here’s my situation. I was eating 1200 calories a day and lost 40 pounds total. I did most of my exercise through 40 minutes to 1 hour on an exercise bike 4-5 days a week. I know how to keep a diary and track everything I eat (and I eat healthy…not junk). I am now trying to lose the last 10 pounds to get me to the 110 range. I have not been able to do it at all over the past year. The biking for 30 minutes 3-4 days a week wasn’t working (my schedule too busy to do more than that now). I’ve been doing HIIT for 25-30 minutes the last 2 months…no weight loss either. I’ve checked and rechecked diet. I’ve tried eating more than 1200 after learning to not eat lower than my TDEE. No response. It’s been a year of this battle. I’m totally confused and eating 1000 calories a day doesn’t seem healthy at all. Help!!!
The last, but certainly not the least, macronutrient to be concerned about is fat. You’ll want to get about 30% of your total calories from fat, but don’t overload on polyunsaturated fats like those found in salmon, other fatty fish and vegetable oils. Instead, concentrate on choosing monounsaturated fats found in nuts, olives, olive oil and avocados, and saturated fats from red meat and egg yolks. Unorthodox as this advice may be, research suggests that polyunsaturated fats lower testosterone levels, while monounsaturated and even saturated fats raise T levels.
Several studies concluded that diets low in fat (under 15% of total calories) significantly decreased testosterone levels while diets higher in fat (above 30% of total calories) increased serum testosterone levels. Rather than continuing with this discussion I will provide a link to an article which covers the subject quite nicely. To simplify everything that I have said, it seems that one should not lower fat below 15% of daily calories unless they would like to face extreme testosterone deficiencies. Likewise, one should not increase fat to say 40% in order to increase testosterone. Although fat increases testosterone to a degree, it is important to remember that testosterone is only a small piece of the larger puzzle. There are many other hormones and factors involved in building muscle other than just testosterone. By increasing fat to extremely high levels, there will be less “space” for carbohydrates and protein, both of which are very important for aforementioned reasons.