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My ups and downs...
What a great story! I'm a long-distance runner, too (I just finished my fifth marathon this month!), and while the long miles come with their own challenges, they are great for burning calories, holding fast to a goal, and marking progress. Enjoy your new hobby, your new health, and your new life!
by relz (submitted 5 years ago)
Most recent nutritional science points to calories being calories....Excess calories equals excess weight. You can do that the hard way--by eating lots of carbs and sugar and being hungry and exhausted all day--or the easy way--by eating fewer and higher quality carbs, more vegetables, high-quality protein, good fats and fewer sugars, which will make you less hungry and more energetic over the course of the day. It's up to you.
by relz (submitted 5 years ago)
Excercise Calculator Does Not Make Sense
They should match....If you weren't trying to lose weight. The whole idea is that you eat fewer calories than you put out, and thereby lose weight. Your RDI for FatSecret (which is slightly different from the general use of the term) tells you how much you should consume each day given your current weight, your settings for activity level, and your desired rate of weight loss.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
What was your turning point?
I ran a marathon--and gained 5 pounds! I wanted to keep running, and run faster, so I set out to "lose a few" in hopes of improving my time. This sent me on the journey of real weight loss, and I discovered just how overweight I was, and what it takes to really lose it. When I finally understood that any amount of exercising--even marathon training!--wasn't going to solve the food problem I had had since I was a kid, that was when change was finally possible.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
Late night hunger
Hot tea, herbal or decaf. You can add a little honey or sugar if you need to sweeten it up. The tea is hydrating, stomach settling, and filling. Worked for me when I was losing aggressively, and it continues to be my go-to late night food alternative. If you absolutely must eat food, try plain yogurt with honey or berries.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
Forget RDI: Look at your exercise calendar instead
I think the confusion comes from the use of the term RDI. We see this term on nutrition fact labels on food and in other contexts, where it is used to mean the recommended intake for a person to maintain weight and survive, not lose weight. Then there is the term BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which is the number of calories your body burns just existing. This is the number we see in the exercise diary even before we add exercise. Somewhat unfortunately, FatSecret has chosen RDI to mean the recommended intake for weight loss, and not just generic weight loss but based on the activity level and rate of loss set by the user. They hide this calculation, however, so many people get very confused about what the RDI means, often thinking that they still have to subtract calories from it to reflect the deficit they need to carry to lose weight. In its RDI, FatSecret has *already* subtracted your deficit calories for the activity level and rate of loss you set when you calculated your RDI. (You can test this by changing your activity level and goal loss rate settings. Change those, and your RDI changes.) This is where I disagree with what you say about the Net calories. Their RDI for you means "eat this much to run the deficit required to lose weight at the rate you set." Even a Net of 0, then, should create weight loss, unless your setting for a goal loss rate was to "maintain my current weight." If you set a weight loss goal, however, and you run a Net of -500, you are really running a Net of the 500 plus whatever deficit FatSecret calculated for you. Because FatSecret is so conservative in the rate of loss it allows (no more than 1 pound per week), this usually isn't a problem for most people. Folks who set a the highest goal rate in their RDI and then try to undercut it by another 1000 calories in their Net, however, sometimes end up exhausted, starving, stalling, and not really understanding why. I was one of those people once. Someone actually explained FatSecret's RDI to me, and I was successful again. I've since explained it better in other places on FatSecret than I have here. It is an important concept to understand. I highly recommend doing BMR and RDI calculations on other websites like Fat2FitRadio where explanations accompany the calculations.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
Change my goal weight
It's under "my diet" in the right side toolbox when you are in the MyFatSecret page.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
Recommended RDI seems so high
FatSecret calculates your RDI based on what you input. You can choose 1 pound loss per week, 1/2 pound loss per week, maintenance, or 1/2 or 1 pound of gain. If you are unsure what you entered, click the box with the RDI and it will let you reset it. Sometimes the RDI is off because people accidentally put in "gain" instead of loss. In other cases, it is higher than other calculators because it doesn't give you a choice for more rapid loss--other calculators (and Weight Watchers, I imagine) will often include 2 pounds per week as a loss option. Also, don't forget that FatSecret adds back calories for your exercise, so if you put in an fairly high activity level, it will add back calories to compensate for that activity.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
Interesting article I found --> TIME: Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin
Great response gnat824. I agree that the psychological factor is huge when it comes to exercise hunger! I gained 5 pounds when I trained for my first marathon (that on top of 35 I had hoped to lose!). People used to say, "It's muscle mass!" It wasn't muscle mass. It was pasta. I've now run three marathons, and hands down the hardest time to lose weight is when I am in intense training. Exercise can create a 600 calorie hunger from a 300 calorie workout. That is a huge problem. I lost the majority of my weight between marathons, when I was injured and couldn't really work out at all. Exercise is really important for a number of reasons--heart health, energy, mood, strength, stamina for life. As a weight loss tool, it needs to be approached with caution.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
Does It Really Matter... Calorie Intake
Whenever I think I understand weight loss, I remember this article, about a nutrition professor who lost 27 pounds in 2 months eating primarily snack cakes and other vending machine foods. Not only did he lose weight, his cholesterol improved, too! Mind you, this is opposed to everything I learned about weight loss in my own journey, which supports most of what has been said here. It just helps me remember that there are no easy answers.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
Net calories
Your understanding of the numbers is correct. Your net calories reflects the amount you take in minus your body's basic caloric needs as well as any exercise calories you burned. Typically, no diet under 1200 calories per day is considered healthy. This is just for basic functioning. Over time, you'll probably start feeling tired, light-headed, or foggy, if you don't already. A 1000 calorie deficit may be okay for a larger person, but for someone as small as you are it is probably too much. I'd recommend a loss goal of closer to 1-2 pounds per week--unless you want to get them back! Your body will resist excessive loss, one way or another.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
wt loss 'ticker'
On the MyFatSecret page, click on "my signature" under the Toolbox.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
Confused with food and exercise diary
Mathematically, 3500 calories equals one pound of fat, so a 3500 calorie deficit (say, one week of -500 calories per day) should mean one pound of loss. Sadly, it is isn't that simple. The numbers we use to get the math are imperfect--calorie counts and exercise calorie burns are all approximations, so don't be too surprised when the math doesn't work. Analyze the math against your actual loss and it can really help you make progress.
by relz (submitted 6 years ago)
How to enter a food item that's not in the system
When you search for a food item, it will give you the option of clicking search or new item. You have to put a name in to get the input screen. Once you are there, you can edit that name and add all nutritional data. Hope that helps.
by relz (submitted 7 years ago)
How do you delete an exercise
The time will always have to add up to 24 hours, so to eliminate a workout, you have to replace it with something. If you want to reset it back to Resting, then open the pull-down menu for that activity, say "reduce" by the same amount of time you put in, and fill in "replace with" Resting. To just change the time from one hour to two, put "reduce" by "1 hour," "replace" with "resting," and it should leave just one hour of the activity. I understand the desire for more categories. As long as you can approximate your calorie burn, just find the closest activity that gives the same burn rate and use that. (It's understandable, given the difficulty of collecting enough data to determine a burn rate for every possible gym class!) It's actually surprising how similar most activities are in terms of what they burn. Alternately, if you want accuracy for your own records, you can use the "Other" selection and fill in your own activity names and the calorie burn for each.
by relz (submitted 7 years ago)
Help me train for a half marathon!
Running groups really help. Join if you can. If not, just take a week or two to build up to 4-5 miles, and then start with the training programs. Look for one that is for beginners--there is a difference! Bart Yasso has some schedules in the back of his book, My Life on the Run. Also check the Runner's World website. You might be able to get them for free there. I've just completed my third marathon, and I run 10 minute miles, too. A 10 minute mile gets a finish time well within average, even for marathoners. As the saying goes, "The only difference between a jogger and a runner is a race entry." You ARE a runner. Enjoy!
by relz (submitted 7 years ago)
Getting Ready for Full Marathon
I just finished my third marathon at the end of April, and I'm signed up for my fourth in December. I've run half-marathons and 10Ks and 5Ks for training, and I'm doing my first relay (78 miles, 7 people) in June. The first full is a huge commitment and a great experience. I'm on and off FS but happy to buddy. Enjoy!
by relz (submitted 7 years ago)
If your diet calendar is correct, the problem is simple. You are low on energy because you are not eating enough! Under 1200 calories per day is too low even for someone who does nothing all day....At the activity level you are talking about, you aren't even consuming enough to cover your exercise, much less your body's basic functioning. A net negative of 2000 calories per day is crazy. Even if you put yourself as sedentary to calculate your RDI, you still wouldn't want your net to be lower than 500, 1000 at the very, very most. That amount of exercise takes a lot out of you. You must put it back in. I speak from experience. Eat. You will feel better.
by relz (submitted 7 years ago)
Want to start running, but can't???
Any of the above programs would work. There are plenty of others. Entering a race, either as part of a fundraising team like Team in Training or on your own, is a great motivator. If you have been working on an elliptical, it may not be the cardio that is tiring you out. The body has to get used to the pounding that comes with jogging and running, and for a while it hurts regardless of your size and general fitness! Your joints will scream, your ligaments will tighten up. I started running at 35, having never done so consistently in my life. After a few months of consistent running, it does get better! Even now, three marathons and a few half marathons, 10K's, and 5K's later, my body will often resist the first mile or so. Your body will fight you. If you don't give up, it will. And then you win. The greatest challenges of running are the mental races, not the physical ones. Good luck.
by relz (submitted 7 years ago)
HELP with maintenance
I've been on maintenance for a few months now, and while it is hard to compare body types, I can tell you what has worked for me. I'm 5'8' and weighing around 131-134 pounds. Maintenance intake for me is about 1500 calories if I am not active, and about 1800 if I am. What seems to work best is to just vary my intake depending on the day....If I do little, I eat less, if I do more, I eat more. Since I know the calories burned of all the exercising I do now, I can gauge pretty well how much to add to an exercise day. This is easier said than done, and it doesn't always work out that way. For example, I run long distances, and sometimes I have no appetite the day of a long run, but my appetite kicks in the next day. So flexibility is the key. At first, the intake felt like A LOT compared to when I was trying to lose....500-1000 calories per day is a lot to add back into a diet! I'm still adjusting.
by relz (submitted 7 years ago)
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