Physiqonomics Weekly #12: Why You Should Eat as Much as You Can When Dieting

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06 August 2020 | by Aadam


After a short break last week, I’m back with another instalment of Physiqonomics Weekly.

Before we begin–I’m hiring: I’m looking to hire someone who can create macro-friendly recipes on a consistent basis. If this is you, or you know someone who’s a whiz in the kitchen, check out this page for all the details and how to apply. I’m looking to fill this role as soon as possible.

Alright, let’s get to this week’s content.


1) I just started lifting 2 weeks ago and I’m kinda skinny in some places of my body but have an overall high body fat percentage I think if I look at my belly. Do I have to be in a calorie surplus or deficit? Because I’m already skinny on some body parts and don’t want to lose many more volume.

Neither. You should be doing a body recomposition.

2) What, if any, are the short term and long term negative effects of eating a max of 1100-1200 calories if you’re short (63 inches) and not young (55). I feel satiated, don’t eat exercise calories from strength training, losing about .5 lbs a week (goal is 121) but I hear so many horror stories about loss of hair, muscle, slowed metabolism etc. I started at about 145 in Sep now 123.

Ah yes, the classic “don’t-eat-below-1200-calories-or-you’ll-die” nonsense spouted by people who love making blanket statements on the internet.

*Sighs heavily*

Well, let’s see.

At your current height, weight, and age your maintenance is about ~1400kcal (this is based on the assumption you work a sedentary job and exercise 3-6 days per week).

For you to lose 0.5 lbs per week, you need to create a deficit of ~300kcal which would be an intake of between 1100-1300kcal/day. So you’re eating the correct amount for your body hence why you haven’t experienced any negative side effects.

When you hear the “1200-calorie horror stories”, it’s almost always because the diet was all kinds of screwed up.

Typically, these people arbitrarily cut calories, undereat protein, and either don’t exercise or don’t perform the right type of exercise. Like, yeah, no shit your hair fell out and you lost muscle you dweeb, you did everything wrong.

This is why calorie intake is based on your individual stats and activity level. And some people–notably small females–will require intakes that are around that 1200 mark. As long as you feel ok, you don’t need to worry.


– 5 reasons to eat as much as you can when dieting

If you’re starting a fat loss diet, it’s a smart idea to eat as much as you can. Here are five reasons why.

1. It increases adherence. Pretty obvious. If you set your calories too low at the beginning, you’re going to have a hard time sticking to it long enough to see results. Or you’ll stick to it for a short period, but when it becomes unsustainable, you’ll quit and end up yo-yo dieting. Not what you want for sustainable results. Note: this isn’t to say aggressive dieting doesn’t work, it can if you do it properly, which most people don’t.

2. Less hunger. Some level of hunger is inevitable during a fat loss diet. But there’s a difference between manageable hunger and uncontrollable hunger that consumes you and has you thinking about food all day long. A reasonable deficit means manageable hunger.

3. Better gym performance = muscle retention. You don’t just want to lose fat you also want to retain (and build) muscle as you lean out. Not only will this help you look better, but it’ll also help preserve your metabolism. A crucial factor in all this is, yep you guessed it, your calorie intake. If you start your diet eating too little, this will negatively affect your strength training which can result in muscle and strength loss.

4. More energy + better mood. Because you don’t want to be walking around like a zombie snapping at people all day, I mean, unless you’re into that kinda stuff.

5. Lifestyle friendly. I mean sure, you can lose fat by becoming a social recluse and eating leaves all day, but how long are you going to stick to this hermit-leaf diet? Unless you have the unbreakable will of a monk, not long. So isn’t it better to eat a bit more so you can be more flexible with your diet? That’s rhetorical; the answer is yes.

And if you’re trying to build muscle, you do the exact opposite–eat as little as you can while gaining as this will prevent excess fat gain.


– The Best Fat Loss Article on the Motherfuckin’ Internet

This bad boy is almost three years old (*wipes away tear*) and so, just before it’s three year anniversary, I share with you the last fat loss article you’ll ever need to read. You’re welcome.

Fun fact: I wrote this entire article in like 20 mins as a response to a question on Quora, never intending to publish it to the website. It was only after my girlfriend forced me that I rewrote the entire thing, added the illustrations, and well–the rest, as they say, is history. It went super-viral, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say it changed my life. So if this article ever helped you, you can thank my girlfriend.

Also, if any publishers are reading this––I’m still waiting on my book deal.

Read Article

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Speak to you next Thursday.