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  1. #1
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    Will a calorie deficit affect your sleep?

    After being plateaued at 240 lbs for over a year, I Finally decided to change my eating habits. Read a lot of info and figured out my BMR, then multiplied it by 1.55 based on my activity level to come up with a calorie required of 3303 calories per day. I then decided to try and lose 2 lbs per week and thus cut my daily caloric intake to 2300 calories per day. At the same time, I decided to change "what" I am eating as well and am now eating healthier foods, basically a protein sourch such as chicken breast or tuna with a vegetabe source for my meals, along with snacks of fruits and nuts, etc.... I have found that it is actually difficult to achieve my 2300 calories (A huge plate full of lettuce topped with veggies and chicken breast doesn't come close to the fried chicken, potatoes and gravy that I am used to!!). Been feeling pretty good in the gym and on the bike, however, since changing my diet I can't sleep and around 12:30am every night my stomach is growling.

    1. Does anyone know if having a calorie deficit can affect your sleep? If so, how to correct?

    2. Is it best to just will power through these middle of the night hunger pains, or actually get up and eat something?

    Thanks for any input, I did a search on johnstonefitness and came up with nothing, but I will try searching that sight and others again.

  2. #2
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    You know, I remember reading something about eating a slower burning carb at night is better for that type of situation. Then you body has a slower burning fuel though the night and you can kick start it in the morning with a breakfast.

    This was years ago though and don't remember it perfectly.

  3. #3
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    I read the same thing, the author recommend cottage cheese at around 8pm. However, my issue is actually sleep or actually not being able to fall asleep and then when I do, waking up several hours later with hunger pains and not being able to go back to sleep.

    After generating my thread last night, I did go and eat about 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and a handful of almonds and then was able to go back to sleep. This morning, when I was filling out my diet journal, I realized that I was focusing on the 2300 calories and not the actual daily calorie deficit which may be a mistake. Yesterday, I did cardio in the morning, sat at my desk all day and then did a 2 hour mt bike ride, per my estimates that used approx 4000 calories, only eating 2300 calories was an actual deficit of 1700 calories which may be why I was so hungry in the middle of the night?

    More research!! Any input would be appreciated.

  4. #4
    I need a new name
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    One thing that might help as well, space out your eating. Skip the old "3 meals a day" and got for more like 6. Taking in 2300 calories a day should be enough so just pace yourself. I always try not to eat late in the evening but losing sleep because your hungry causes other problems. Mainly you are more tired, don't feel like working out, and end up not losing anything. Spreading meals out also teaches the body to efficiently use your food. Rather than storing part of the calories as fat for use later, it will use the calories for energy now once it knows it will be getting fed again soon. I went from 265lbs to 180lbs and now back to 195lbs due to poor eating habbits.
    i ride bikes

  5. #5
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    Alot of underfed roadies use psyllium husk at bed time....is very healthy and gives a "Full" feeling. Be careful, it can clog the pipes up a bit though for some people..

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cant Climb
    Alot of underfed roadies use psyllium husk at bed time....is very healthy and gives a "Full" feeling. Be careful, it can clog the pipes up a bit though for some people..
    I use psyllium for the exact opposite reason... It makes me poop like a race horse! Careful with that stuff; it's clensing, but could be a formula for disaster...

  7. #7
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    Couple of questions:

    What time is your last meal of the day?
    What time do you go to sleep?
    Do you snack between these two events?
    Durring the day do you eat 3 big meals or do you split them up into 5 or 6 smaller ones?
    Do you exercise daily?
    If so, when in the day?

    Be careful on what you eat right before you go to bed as this is what your body will digest and use to recover durring the 8 hours of sleep/starvation.
    Retribution Fitness: Strength, Power, and Purpose
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  8. #8
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    I go to bed around 9:30-10pm
    My last meal of the day was around 6:00pm, however, I have just started eating dinner around 5pm and then something small around 8pm which seems to be helping my hunger at night.
    My typical day is:
    5:30am - gym (cario 3 days, weights 2 days)
    Bkfst - 7:30
    9:00 - piece of fruit
    11:00 - lunch
    2:00 - snack
    5:00 - dinner
    8:00 - snack (I just changed it from dinner only at 6:30 to eating dinner earlier and then snacking later)

    I excercise daily in the morning before work and before bkfst. If I can, I will ride once or twice a week right after work (approx 5pm - 7pm) and will snack before the ride and then eat dinner after.

    Thanks, I would apprecicate your input on what I should change or if I shoud just stick it out.

  9. #9
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    Eat a chicken breast or a can of tune an hour or so before bedtime. That'll give your body a nice piece of lean protein to chew on all night. I think going to bed hungry sends the metabolism all the wrong signals...no?

  10. #10
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    Chicken Breast, Protein Powder, or something of the like right before you go to bed should give your body something to digest and process during the 8 or so hours that you are fasting while sleeping. Also be sure that your body is taking in enough protein to recovery from your days exercises.
    Retribution Fitness: Strength, Power, and Purpose
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

    Another question - will a calorie defecit or a change in eating habits make you light headed when going from a seated position to a standing position? I have been experiencing this since I started my diet and don't know if it's related or just my dang allergies affecting my sinuses.

  12. #12
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    It's very likely that it has to do with both nutrition and breathing...

    Make sure you're fueling yourself for rides.

  13. #13
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    Sorry, should have been more specific. the light headed feeling is not while I'm excercising, actually I feel my best during excercise lately. The light headed feeling is hitting me mostly in the afternoon while at work and when I go from a seated position at my desk to a standing position. I have been reading and it may be that my body hasn't adapted to the lean protein and veggie/fruit diet I have adapted, and therefore my blood sugar levels are lower. From what I have read, if this is the case, my body should adjust over time. Also, my seasonal allergies are starting to kick in which may be the problem.

  14. #14
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    AH, I see. Yeah, seems like what you've read is probably correct. I would suggest eat even more frequently perhaps, albeit it may be more difficult to stick to your calorie limits... You just want to me sure you never feel (overly) hungry.

  15. #15
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    Be sure to take into account the exercise you do during the day and don't go into too much of a calorie deficit or your metabolism will slow down and you won't lose anything. Try to take in at least 10 calories per pound of body weight per day and if you do exercise be sure to add calories to make up for what your burned. Keep the deficit the same everyday.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by agnt004
    Be sure to take into account the exercise you do during the day and don't go into too much of a calorie deficit or your metabolism will slow down and you won't lose anything. Try to take in at least 10 calories per pound of body weight per day and if you do exercise be sure to add calories to make up for what your burned. Keep the deficit the same everyday.
    Right on!!!!

    You are dropping way too many cals. You shouldn't drop more then 400 a day..3500 cals = 1 lb. If you if you're calorie deficit is too low you will loose too much lean muscle.

    I have lost over 60lbs since September of last year. I follow the same BMR x multiplier and have had outstanding results. I dropped my BF% from 29% to under 18%. I never expereince the hunger pains you describe. I have always kept my caloric intake near 90% of my BMR and let my workouts/rides/cardio eat up the remaining calories to bring me to my 400 - 600 under BMR.

    You need to watch you're macros also 40% protiens 40% Carbs and 20% fats. If you stray to far from any of these you can experience energy loss and fatigue.

    Also fill eating more complex carbs and keep you're fiber intake up will serverly curtail any hunger "pains".

    The right diet plan should never leave you feeling hungry. Your body is pretty smart and by paying close attention to it's signs like not over eating during any one meal, and what is really hunger or boredom hunger. Plus drink lots of water and I do mean lots.....

    You can use website like Fitday.com or Headsupeating.com to assist you in counting and watching you're macros

  17. #17
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    Agree with all these guys.
    You aren't eating enough food nor frequently enough. Also sounds like you might be a wee bit under-rested but not sure......just make sure you're not running yourself thru the grinder everyday week after week trying to burn a ton of calories......weight loss/fat loss is more about diet than exercise really......you can eat far more cals in a day than you can burn, just keep that in mind.
    I find I loose weight on my recovery weeks more so than my "training weeks" and I think it might have something to do with too big of a calorie deficit on the traning weeks but it could be something more complex or in my head.
    Also - a bit OT but lack of sleep impedes weight loss. For me, I need 9 solid hours at least.

    I too can't sleep if I'm the least bit hungry. I eat some protein and a bit of "good" carbohydrates b/f bed.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the info, I think I am starting to get the hang of it. I started using fitday.com to track my calories and my calorie balance and I was coming up way short on my calories required per day because my 2300 cal wasn't taking into account for the days that I exercised in the morning and was able to get a ride in after work. I also started eating more often, my typical day is:
    5:30 am - cardio or strength
    7:00 am - bkfst (protein and good carbs)
    9:00 am - piece of fruit or protein bar
    11:00 am - lunch (protein and vegie)
    2:00 pm - piece of fruit
    3:00 pm - handful of almonds
    5:00 pm - 1st dinner (actually a snack, usually protein, or cheese and whole wheat crackers) on the days I ride I usually eat a protein bar right before riding and right after riding and then have a big glass of choco milk when I get home
    7:00 pm - 2nd dinner (protein and vegie)
    9:30 - 10 pm - bed (I honestly have not been sleeping well, but I do not have the hunger pains)

    Now, the 40/40/20 balance I have not been able to get down yet, since I really like fruit and really like oatmeal in the morning, I have been more like 30 prot /60 carb / 10 fat on a good day, sometimes my carbs will be even higher, but they are all whole grain or fruit, no simple sugar or juice.

    So far I have lost approx 10 lbs since Jan 12 (approx 1.25 lbs per week). Lost 2" from my waist and approx 3% BF so far. Thanks for all your input, it is greatly appreciated!!

  19. #19
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    Looks like a good plan.

    I personally have been on "The Paleo Diet for Athletes" since last October and have gone from 16% bodyfat to 5% (went from 255 to 225) while maintaining my strength.
    Retribution Fitness: Strength, Power, and Purpose
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  20. #20
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    Yeti, checked out the paleo diet and agree with the whole idea, however, not ready to commit just yet. I am happy just to be accomplishing what I am right now.

    I also checked out your Retribution website. How long does it take you to do your daily work-outs? If one cannot do pull-ups, what would be a good substitute, lat pull downs?

  21. #21
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    Generally half hour to an hour for the regular workout and 20 to 30 min for the light.

    Pull-up substitutions are tough because they are such a great core/upper body exercise. Assisted pull-ups with a partner should be the first choice of substitution followed by placing a bench under the bar and standing on it to take some of the weight of your arms. These choices at least give you the natural movement pattern of the pull-up. If none of these options are available give one of those assisted pull-up machines a try or lastly the lateral pull downs.
    Retribution Fitness: Strength, Power, and Purpose
    General fitness workouts posted daily.

  22. #22
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    Also try changing your cardio all the time so your body does not adapt to one thing. Does your gym have Assisted Pull-Up Exercise Machine ?? That will help with that if they have one

  23. #23
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    Unfortunately, my gym does not have an assisted pull-up machine. What I have been doing is Negative pull-ups (using a bench to get myself in the up position and then slowely lowering myself) and am trying to get to a minimum of 30 seconds to lower myself. I have also been doing heavy(wgt that will only allow me to get 4 or 5 reps) lat pull downs. I have gone from being able to do zero pull-ups to being able to do three in a row using this method. Dropping some weight I think has also helped.

    For cardio, I do a 45-60 min spin class on my work-out weeks and elliptical (maintaining a lower heart rate) during my recovery week. Since I am trying to train to be a better biker, I figured the spinning was my best choice until the weather gets better and then I will start riding to do my cardio.

    Again, thanks for all the info, it is greatly appreciated.

  24. #24
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    Try a stair master I guarantee you will sweat like you do in spin class. Doing any cardio will make you a better rider not just doing spin class. Be versatile on any cardio will make you stronger and have more stamina. If you are trying to loose weight switching it up will help a lot. Once your body adapts to what you are doing you will have to work harder to burn the same amount you first were able to burn. That is why switching it up will help you overall . In my weight loss journey I never did one cardio routine more then 2 times in a week. I hit one plateau and that was because I wasn't eating enough for my level of activity. I lost 100lbs in my journey and with the combo of weights & cardio is how I achieved it

  25. #25
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    If you wake up in the middle of the night hungry- just have an 80 calorie Apple. The fiber content will satisfy you enough to go back to sleep...and it has zero fat.

    A calorie deficit will not affect sleep patterns. I try to stop eating after 8PM so my wound-up metabolism can start slowing down...otherwise, I'll be up all night with nothing to do but...you guessed it- eat.

    One year ago I was 230 and completely miserable. Today, I am 160 and I am liking the results too much, to stop right now. Even the women keep saying, "keep it up!"
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

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