Struggling to eat more necessary calories. Also, what is 'good' progress?

previous topic · next topic
Beatrixie

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 59

      quote  
Posted: 04 Feb 2012, 17:06
I've done a bit of reading about suggested caloric intake for someone my age and gender [25 y/o female], and the magic number seems to be 2000 calories per day. Since beginning my 'path to a healthy lifestyle,' I have trimmed down my calories to between 1300 and 1700 per day, with a goal of 1500 calories per day. This seems to be too few calories, based on what I've been seeing.

I am wondering.. how do I bolster my calorie intake without eating needlessly? I am eating until I am full, and when I am hungry between meals, I have an apple or rice cake. I actually enjoy everything I'm eating, and I feel good about the things I'm putting into my body. I don't feel as though I am restricting myself, really, so I am having trouble figuring out where I can add more calories.

Or: Do I even NEED to add more calories? It's hard to know, because my weight loss progress has been slower than I expected, for the amount that I currently weigh. The scale isn't budging much, and I am wondering if I am inadvertently hurting my progress by under-nourishing myself. Honestly, this is all so new and foreign to me. When I started changing the way I eat, I literally had to start from square one ("How many servings of fruit and veggies per day?" "How much fiber is recommended?" "How much sodium is too much?" etc.)

What is "good progress" for weight loss? I think my perception about weight loss speed has been warped by occasionally catching The Biggest Loser and seeing huge double-digit weight losses within a small amount of time. I get discouraged when the scale barely moves.

Thanks for any insight you can offer. Also, if anyone ends up taking a peek at my diet journal, if the calorie count is under 1000, or if there's a missing meal, it's typically because I went to a restaurant and was unsure about how to record that particular intake. I don't ever skip meals.
Beatrixie

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 59

      quote  
Posted: 07 Feb 2012, 22:49
I don't mean to harp, but I'd really love a reply from you helpful people. This is all I can think about Smile.
Ingria

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 542

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 00:59
Hi Beatrixie, you are making great progress. It is actually recommended to lose 1-2 lb a week. For people who have a lot of weight to lose it is OK to start with more weight loss per week, but there are many disadvantages too. You are still young and have a very good chance that you will not end up with any extra skin, if you do it slowly and let your body adjust. Also you really want to keep the weight off, once you lose it. Losing weight slowly will allow your body reset your "normal weight". Yes, we all want immediate reward, but Biggest Loser is a show, it is about entertainment, not about health.

You do not need to eat any certain amount of calories, unless you go too low, like under 1200 per day. That is generally considered not advisable. You have to eat balanced diet, with a lot of vegetables and protein and minimum of processed food. Different diets recommend different percentage of protein/fat/carbs. Some people do better on low carb diet, some prefer higher carb and low fat. It is up to you to listen to your body and decide what is better for you.

In general you need to create about 500-700 calorie deficit per day to lose 1-1.5 lb per week. But as many people here will tell you, it does not work exactly this way, and there will be weeks, when you will lose more, and weeks when your weight loss will stall.

You will learn a lot about food and your body on the way. Try to enjoy the road, don't just look at this time as wasted, and don't delay anything in your life until the day you reach your goal. Good luck with your journey, and you can be very proud of what you have accomplished so far.
~~~~~~~~~~
The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto
Erie32

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 59

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 08:21
I have lost 70 pounds and would be happy to offer some advice. I looked at your diet calendar and it looks like you are exercising 3 times per week and doing about 20-40 minutes of walking and some yoga. I think the biggest change you can make is to increase your exercise each week and add in strength training. High intensity cardio and strength training will really speed up your metabolism and help you burn fat and calories. Also, a high intensity 45 minute work out will leave your metabolism roaring for 17 hours after you finish your workout. You don't need a lot of time, or a gym, or expensive equipment either. All you need is a pair of sneakers and your own body weight. My favorite workout is 1/4 mile sprints with sit ups, push ups, squats and lunges mixed in between. Start slow. Start by walking, then walk/jog, then jog, then run, then sprint. Rome wasn't built in a day but you will see yourself steadily making progress. So you do the 1/4 mile and then 25 sit ups, 1/4 mile and then 25 push ups (start on your knees), 1/4 mile and then 25 squats, 1/4 mile and 25 lunges. Start with just that and then you want to work up so you can complete that 3 times, so you do a total of 3 miles of sprints and 75 reps of each exercise. Try to get in five, 1 hour, sweat sessions per week. The endorphins from exercise will help you in a variety of ways.

On the food … it’s not just about calories. It’s about what you are eating and the mix of carbs, fat and protein. I looked at your food journal and you don’t have carbs selected as one of your tracking points. I would swap out the cholesterol tracking for carb tracking. You are eating a lot of refined carbs and a lot of packaged and processed foods. Lean pockets, weight loss shakes, cheerios, triscuits, tortillas, juices, activia light, light and fit yogurt, rice cakes, canned soups, ice cream sandwiches …. These foods are loaded with sodium, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. I would swap all of them out for foods that are more natural and whole and also lower in carbs, naturally. Watch out for anything that is ‘low fat’, ‘low carb’ or ‘fat free’ because it has probably gone through some form of processing to get that way. You are making good choices with bananas, flax seeds, high fiber English muffins, almonds, eggs, apples, hummus and fresh veggies. Add in salads with lots of veggies and grilled chicken or shrimp, stir frys with veggies, quinoa and a protein, greek or Icelandic yogurt, Siggi Icelandic is my favorite. It’s organic, sweetened with agave and has a ton of protein. Mom’s best multi grain hot cereal is a good choice. Brown rice. Beans. Smoothies – almond milk, a banana, ½ tbsp of natural peanut butter. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day and 1-2 cups of green tea. Snack on berries. They are very low in calories and high in fiber. The more whole and natural a food is the more your body has to work to digest it which will help you lose more weight. Processed foods are just that, processed and your body has to do very little work to digest them. The more it works, the more calories you burn, the more weight you lose. Also, if you can add in 5-10 minutes of meditation per day it will make you more mindful about your body and your eating. Also, on canned foods, the can liners contain BPA, so it is recommended that you eat 2-3 canned foods per week and that you rinse the food very well. Canned beans you can rinse, canned tuna, not so much, but whatever you can rinse, rinse. I know it’s difficult to make huge changes all at once and packaged foods are very convenient. Kashi and Amy’s Organic both make frozen meals that are okay, if you are in a pinch. I have them in my freezer for days when you just don’t have the time or energy or whatever but they shouldn’t be your go to on a daily basis. When you go to the grocery store most of your purchases should come from the perimeter of the store, not the isles.
Not all carbs are created evil. Carbs from whole fruit, rice, quinoa and dairy are different than carbs from cake, candy, bread and pasta. Your body needs carbs, especially if you are exercising, but they need to be the good kind.
Read – go to the library and check out books and magazines on exercise, health and nutrition. Some of my favorites – Women Food and God, Food Rules and Clean. Talk to your doctor. Tell him or her that you are trying to lose weight and get healthy and ask them for recommendations. If you have a friend or family member that is healthy talk to them and ask for advice. Also, stay away from fad diets and gimmicks. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Your goal should be to become healthy and improve your quality of life and to sustain it. It’s going to take time, effort, sweat and good food choices but you can do it.
On your specific questions …. 2 pounds per week is good progress and if you add in more exercise then 1,500 – 1,700 calories, from whole and natural foods, is a good goal.

Mrs. H

Joined: Dec 06
Posts: 30

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 09:21
A site that has been really helping me also is the mypyramid.gov and then go to myplate. When you start plugging in foods, it will tell you if you are over or under in each category. Some foods are hard to find is the only downside to it. It will also help calculate your total calorie intake that you need for losing weight and if you go to the exercise part, it will tell you how much exercise you need for the week to maitain or lose. I use that site and this site. I was actually amazed what I COULD eat!! I know I've only been doing the calorie counter now for just over a week now, but I will say, I have more energy, I sleep better, and I'm in a better mood. What was the big shocker was I don't crave sweets anymore, they actually sound disgusting. Erie32 has given great advice also and I agree w/what she has said. The above things are what I have learned over the course of all my failures and trying to learn more each day.
umdterpsgirl

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 234

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 13:15
Hi Beatrixie. Great job so far! Looking at your weight loss, it appears you have averaged about a 3 pound weight loss per week. This is a fantastic pace! Losing weight too fast generally results in loose skin (bleh), muscle loss (which is hard to get back) and weight regain. Slower weight loss is usually easier to maintain and keep the weight off! Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint! This is something you want to change for life so slow and steady will win this race.

As for number of calories, taking a quick look at your diet calendar I don't think you are going too low. However you might want to experiment and see if adding some calories may result in greater weightloss. I know it's counter intuitive but your body has got to know you are not starving it or else it will hold on to every ounce of fat it can. To increase your calorie intake I would suggest incorporating more fats in your diet (eat regular yogurt and cheeses instead of non-fat or light, use more oils or even butter when you cook, eat more nuts, incorporate avocados, have a piece or two of dark chocolate, etc.)

Also, now that you've been doing this for a bit and seem to have the eating side of things down, try to incorporate more exercise into your routines. Sign up for a class, buy some DVD's, use on demand, join a running group, whatever seems interesting and will get you moving. Increasing your activity level and heart rate should really kick your weightloss into high(er) gear.

Overall though, great job so far! Keep at it!
umdterpsgirl

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 234

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 13:19
Erie32 wrote:
My favorite workout is 1/4 mile sprints with sit ups, push ups, squats and lunges mixed in between. Start slow. Start by walking, then walk/jog, then jog, then run, then sprint. Rome wasn't built in a day but you will see yourself steadily making progress. So you do the 1/4 mile and then 25 sit ups, 1/4 mile and then 25 push ups (start on your knees), 1/4 mile and then 25 squats, 1/4 mile and 25 lunges. Start with just that and then you want to work up so you can complete that 3 times, so you do a total of 3 miles of sprints and 75 reps of each exercise.


Love it! Thanks for the training idea!
fatoldlady

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 296

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 14:16
Well you asked for it and got a lot of good information. The old folks on this site who have been battling their weight all their lives can tell you that losing slow and steady is the best because what you have to do is change the way you eat and exercise for the rest of your life and the longer it takes the more likely these will be permanent changes. I think I have lost twice my body weight over the years and gained back each lose with interest because I saw it as a temporary change.
Beatrixie

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 59

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 15:14
@Erie32, thanks for such a great response. I have been doing brisk 2 to 2.5 mile walks since the beginning of the year. About a week ago, I started adding in some jogging. Today, I did 2.6 miles with over half jogging. What I'm finding, though, is that this is SO hard on my knees. The reason I have been taking days off is because my knees (especially my right one) are killing me, and I am worried about damaging them. I have been using the Wii Fit to add in exercise, such as yoga, which is my "warm up" before heading out for my walk. I also do some step and marching... Smile. It's just a little fun thing to warm me up a little and get my heartrate up a tiny bit.
Thanks also for the diet tips. I have definitely been trying to ween myself off of processed foods (like my beloved Lean Pockets.. damn, so good). I've also been switching to more fruits and veggies--for instance, you noticed my Triscuit intake; I now eat carrots with my hummus instead of the Triscuits. I've also been eating at least 1 salad a day (that's the 50/50 mix that pops up every day) with this peach vinegar I love.
Again, thanks for the input. It was really helpful!

*ETA: I do have Carbs tracked... I'm not sure what you see, but I'm tracking: Carbs, Protein, Calories, Fiber, Sodium and Fat.
Beatrixie

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 59

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 15:16
Thank you also to Ingria and MsH. I am really trying to make a permanent change, so I am absolutely shying away from 'fad diets.' I am finding more and more that I can't IMAGINE eating the way I was eating only a few months ago. I feel full most of the day now, whereas 2 months ago, I had forgotten what full even felt like.
Beatrixie

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 59

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 15:21
@umdterpsgirl Hi, and thanks a lot. That's interesting, regarding upping my fat intake. It seems so counter-intuitive! I have, however, been indulging in a square (1x1"Wink of Cadbury's dark chocolate on a couple days a week, after dinner. I was toying with snacking on raw almonds, but I got carried away one day and ate WAY too many, and then scared the crap out of myself when I saw the caloric content of what I'd eaten haha.
Regarding the exercise, I like your "onDemand" idea.. I hadn't thought of that. Anyway, thanks again, and thanks for the encouragement.
gnat824

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 15:26
Sounds like you're doing great, Beatrixie! Making changes slowly over time is really the best way to make them stick and it makes the change seem so much more manageable if you take it one bite at a time (ok, bad pun!) I'd suggest portioning the raw almonds in advance, along with any similar items. I buy a larger bag of nuts/trail mix, etc, and then weigh out an ounce at a time to talk to work. Don't necessarily worry about taking out all the processed foods overnight- continue as you're going and you'll get there eventually. Smile
- Natalie
Ingria

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 542

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 15:28
If your knees hurt when you jog, don't do it until you lose more weight no matter what other people might advise you. There are other ways to exercise and bring your heart rate up. Rule number one, don't hurt yourself. You will need your knees for the rest of your life to carry your beatiful fit body.
~~~~~~~~~~
The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto
mikefarinha

Joined: Jun 11
Posts: 443

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 15:34
I've read that a lot of people have gotten rid of joint pain by removing, or significantly reducing, wheat and sugar from their diet. Something to think about.

-Mike
"Eat as if your life depends on it!"
Cthulhu

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 167

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 15:39
This short video could help with Lean Pockets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-i9GXbptog Wink

“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” ~Victor E. Frankl
umdterpsgirl

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 234

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 16:11
Ingria wrote:
If your knees hurt when you jog, don't do it until you lose more weight no matter what other people might advise you.


Agreed. Stick to walking, just try to keep the pace up. Other low impact options include swimming, water aerobics (so much fun - it's not just for old ladies!) and if you can get to a gym, stationary bike and the elliptical are pretty easy on the knees. Look into joining a YMCA, going to a county or city run pool (the indoor pools in my area have small workout rooms too), or a local community center (often have aerobics classes and workout rooms).
asagohan

Joined: Jun 11
Posts: 229

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 20:30
and for the times your friends drag you out to go to ihop or dennys, use this website. It has helped me tons!
http://eatthis.menshealth.com/home

but man, that was some really really awesome advice from erie32. You need to look at that closely and follow what she says. I'm doing some of that and i've lost weight already, 17 awesome pounds GONE. (i'm terrible at exercising but really good at watching my food intake. One time I got dragged to Ihop and i actually had a printout of the nutritional facts on me, with everything I could not have crossed out. which was about 95-98 percent crossed out.)
Beatrixie

Joined: Dec 11
Posts: 59

      quote  
Posted: 08 Feb 2012, 22:23
asagohan wrote:
and for the times your friends drag you out to go to ihop or dennys, use this website. It has helped me tons!
http://eatthis.menshealth.com/home


Hehe, yes I love that series. I own three of the books! (Eat This, Not That; Cook This, Not That; and Eat This, Not That: The Supermarket Survival Guide). My boyfriend and I bring various ones to the grocery store when we go shopping. The series has been immensely helpful in changing the way I eat, and understanding the nutritional impact of foods I currently, and used to, eat.
Fortunately, our closest friends (including my boyfriend, whose weight loss has outpaced my own--He's lost about 40 lbs in the time I've lost 27) are big into healthy eating, so we are really good about avoiding 'greasy spoon'-type places.
Erie32

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 59

      quote  
Posted: 09 Feb 2012, 09:36
I agree with the other posts that you shouldn’t run if your knees hurt. I began my weightloss journey at 5’10, 242.6 pounds. At that point all I did was walk for 60-75 minutes at a time, 4 or 5 times per week. When I got down to 215 I started jogging. At 200 I started doing the interval workouts and strength training. I wasn’t really able to comfortably run until I got down to 183. Now my weight is between 170 and 175 and I enjoy running. Swimming is a wonderful, low impact, exercise. I did my first triathlon this past summer so I took 8 weeks of swim lessons in a pool. I practiced in the pool and in a lake and it is a great form of exercise.

Thanks to everyone for the compliments on my post. I am fortunate enough to have been able to work with a trainer for the past two years and I have learned so much from her in addition to reading on my own and experimenting on myself and I am very happy to be able to pass the knowledge on to others. I grew up with a single Mom who worked 3 jobs and fed us a lot of fast and easy meals so as an adult I really had to learn from square one how to live a healthy lifestyle.



Forum Search
Advanced forum search



Latest Posts

Feeling awful in Atkins. Day 10 Getting low blood sugar :(
Full fat yogurt with good quality flavoring added has been a boon for me on keto. Also throwing in some stevia treats - there are a few good organic candies made with stevia, which have a low carb count. ...
by saintsithney on 19 Dec 14 06:26 PM
too upset with my weight
Green vegetables are carbs! Why not eat a balanced diet including every food group? Eat less move more
by Volleyjen on 19 Dec 14 05:12 PM
bad day
thank u char60 my mother inlaw is a hood woman just a little hard to dwal with sometimes
by heavymama on 19 Dec 14 04:24 PM
Quinoa???
You are all right, Quinoa is a superfood but I don't consider it expensive for this reason. I eat so much less because it is so nutrient dense it fills you up. I do find the price of a lot of ...
by mummydee on 19 Dec 14 03:07 PM
Hi Friends :)
indeed, no excuse, just set up a plan and then execute without asking yourself
by Marcela_Olega on 19 Dec 14 02:10 PM