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Really need help with diet


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Hey guys,

I'm a fifteen year old guy with some serious dietary issues.

About five or six months ago i decided that it was time to lose some weight, at that stage i was at 78 kg and about 168cm. I cut my calories back hugely and pretty much starved my self for a few months (under 1000 calories a day while going to the gym 4 times a week)- and i'm really not pleased that i did it in this way, but it did work. I'm now 60kg, same height and 12.9% bf (tested with calipers about two weeks ago, i'm possibly a bit leaner now - maybe 12%). Anyway, recently i've been eating about 1500 calories a day trying to maintain my bf but i'm just sooo tired all the time and really have no energy at all however i really think my body has gone into the so called "starvation mode" as i am in no way losing bf atm or gaining any muscle. The other week i decided that i really needed to up my calories to give me more energy and help build muscle, so i upped them to 2000 calories a day - however, in one about ten days i gained 2kgs - and i'm pretty sure it wasn't all muscle.

I really need to know how to progress from here so i can up my calories to a reasonable level and get my energy back, and start building some serious muscle without just putting on a ton of fat. I effectively want to get my body out of this "starvation mode".

As for cardio and training, i walk 1-2 hours per day. I go to the gym five times per week (doing weights) and also do 15 minutes or intense cardio on those days. On my two days off, i have soccer which usually involves at least 90 minutes of intense running, etc.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated, especially involving how many calories i should be getting and how i should do this.

Oh, and btw - my diet is extremely clean: plenty of protein and a reasonable amount of carbs - happy to post a rough plan if needed. However, i do think i'm reasonably endomorphic as i was very overweight previously (as stated at the beginning).


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Hi There Schwassy,

I would have to say if you are undertaking that much cardio activity as you say you are then you have know worries with gaining fat with the 2000 calorie intake you are having. Hitting the age of 15 you're body starts changing a lot and you will start to grow a lot faster demanding more caliores and that could be the reason you were finding you're self a lot tired through out the day combined with the low calorie intake and high cardio activity.

My advice to you would be to up you're calorie intake to at least 2500, But in saying that I don’t know how much protein you are taking through out the day. Protein being very important for gaining muscle and the only supplement you should be thinking of taking for you're age if you are wanting assistance in muscle gains.

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Yeah I agree with upping the calorie intake to 2500, except do it gradually. Us youngins are lucky as we have a fast metabolism compared to slightly older people and we can eat a lot more without it going to fat. s for that 2kgs, a lot of it was probably just water weight but as I said above you have to make gradual changes.

If you're really that worried about getting fat again you could get a regular BF% test done (it might be worthwhile buying your own calipers) and if your BF increases just lower the calories a bit. Don't worry about putting on a bit of fat though, you can always cut it off when you're bigger.

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My concern is that having starved yourself for so long, your body will hungrily suck up any extra calories you throw at it. This could be a good thing - often after strict competition dieting, bodybuilders find they suddenly have a growth spurt of muscle when they start eating again. However, there is likely to be a fair amount of fat that comes with that.

I'm not expert enough to suggest the best way to approach this - although gut instinct says to do as Mike Zero suggests, and increase the food slowly. Perhaps someone can offer more specific advice here?

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Hello schwassy. I think the amount of calories you eat is too low. Have you ever tried eating more calories with extra meals? For example, why don't you try eating 3000 calories over 5-6 meals? This is one way to get the extra calories gradually into your system. If possible, consult a dietician and ask them of their advice. They can gauge more accurately on how many calaries you should be consuming a day based on your body makeup and everyday activities. A little fat is necessary for any body, so don't go too lean on your diet.

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