Weight Loss Support - Higher calorie allowance around TOM?




GlamourGirl827
06-11-2011, 06:29 PM
So I did not want to start counting calories again because ultimately it leads to over restricting then a binge.

I start out fine then start "over estimating" calories. (like I count all bananas as 135 calories which would be a large banana 9inches and over, even though I'm eating the smallest bananas I can find, like 5 inches, and I know they are less calories)
This snowballs, then I binge, but I saw a weightloss stall and I started counting cals. Now yesterday, but really today I'm feeling the full on TOM binge feeling. I have eaten 1700 cals today, though its likely they are over estimated by 50 cals give or take. I'm still craving carbs, food, anything. I know that its because of TOM. I was thinking of, on days like this giving myself a free pass to eat like 2200 cals. Too much for a daily intake, I know, but I also know I can't go the rest of my life eating 1500 cals daily (my daily allowance) and never go over.

Plus if I allow myself to eat a bit more around TOM, but still COUNT the cals, I think I might avoid a down and dirty "screw it and inhale everything" binge...which is where I'm heading if I don't cut myself some slack.

I start getting scared that I'm going to gain it all back from one day of eating too many cals...and this is why I dont like counting to begin with!!!


envelope
06-11-2011, 07:15 PM
I CC and I try to eat within a calorie range. Originally it was 1400 - 1600, but lately it has been 1200 - 1800. There are days when I am completely satisfied at 1200 and others that I am hungrier and I eat up to 1800. I really try to eat something whenever I am hungry, this way it staves off the crazy evening desire to eat everything in site.

MzJuicyD
06-11-2011, 07:36 PM
I always end up binging during TOM! I crave sweets and other carbs and I always give in! It's ridiculous!


zoodoo613
06-11-2011, 08:33 PM
I just eat. I track the calories when it's all said and done. I don't exactly have a limit, although I'm pround of myself when it's under 1300 or 1400, and feel a little bad when it's above around 1600. I think it's best to do what you need to do to make what you're doing doable, if that makes sense. :) If you eat higher calories, you're going to lose more slowly. I'm OK with that. You just have to decide if you are.

Chubbykins
06-12-2011, 05:45 AM
We do NOT need more calories around TOM.
Our hormones are just out of place and make us crave more food (or less for some women). So do NOT give in.

You do not need it really. :)

Lovely
06-12-2011, 06:16 AM
It's not necessary for everyone to be perfectly rigid with their calories. I'm positive that some people can stay within a range all the time, even on celebratory days and still be content.

I could not. I need a couple days here or there where I allow myself to go over my daily calories -as long as I write it down-. Sure. It means some weeks I lose a little less, but that's something I'm willing to accept if it means I won't say "to heck with it" and then stop counting entirely and end up binging and not counting any of it.

You will not gain the weight back from one day over your normal daily calories. Especially not if it's one monitored day over in a month. Besides, whether or not you're watching the calories... they're there. They're being consumed.

Everyone is different, but for me I know that I'd at least rather be vigilant about the days I do go over than not.

Just like everything else, this is trial and error. So. Try it if you'd like. Add a couple hundred calories to a day and then monitor as normal. If you're satisfied with that... and the results from a day, then maybe next month you can do the same thing. Even if the scale is a little strange during the "over" week, if it prevents a deprivation binge it might end up being worth it -to you-. And that's the most important thing.

Beach Patrol
06-12-2011, 09:30 AM
I CC as well and during TOM (I am on TOM right now) I just don't worry about it so much. I cramp & b**** and moan & complain, & sometimes just cry my head off & all because my hormones are so whack that I cannot be normal. So while I STILL count my calories during TOM, I don't get crazy over a chocolate bar or some white cheddar popcorn.

I still count my calories, but I substitute "this" for "that". For instance, instead of regular lunch yesterday, I had white cheddar popcorn. Healthy? Probably not! But at least I didn't have calories on top of calories by eating regular lunch & then giving in & having the WC Popcorn, yo!

Last night I had a rare-occasion craving for fried seafood (rare for me to crave anything fried but it does happen!) so I had some fried shrimp with a double helping of green beans. It satisfied my craving & I got some good protein and veggies with my "fried goodness".

I think the point (for me anyway) is NOT binging. To give in or not to give in? - that seems to be the issue with me. Goddess knows if I give in to a craving and what I want is RIGHT THERE, I'll go overboard & binge it til it's gone!! Can I give in just a little? And NOT binge?? I can seemingly control it better if I only have a little to begin with, and it's easier to control it if what I'm craving is "not in the house". Such as, if I want a donut, I should go to Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts & buy ONE donut as opposed to going to the grocery store & buying a box or a dozen or whatever. And more times than not, I find myself thinking "it ain't worth a trip to the store for JUST that" so often I go without my craving.

So yeah, I still count. But I "pick & choose" my counting efforts. If that makes any sense. :^:

Ms Marvel
06-12-2011, 09:48 AM
I think it's important to try and keep as accurate a track as possible of your calories - that way you can identify patterns and habits, and it's easier to accurately tweak your intake.

Putting up your calories a bit during TOM doesn't seem unreasonable - sure, you don't <em>need</em> it, but if you're sure you won't be able to stick to lower calories, I think it's better to increase your limit a bit, as you're more likely to stick to the new limit.

Would it help to plan your TOM menus in advance, maybe, including portions of what you know you'll crave?

I used to have the most awful cramps, and the only thing that would soothe them was chocolate - I don't know if it was psychosomatic or some ingredient in the chocolate, but a bar of chocolate would make them ease off. I haven't had them in a while, but if they return, I will definitely be turning to the chocolate, and while I'll try to allow for them within my numbers, if it's a choice between pain and going over my limit, the diet can go hang for a day.

cestlavie22
06-12-2011, 01:09 PM
One of the reasons that we feel so hungry during TOM is that you do burn a few more calories ovulating, etc. ( i think it is 300-500 calories extra over the period of 3-4 days but can't quite remember). This is one of the reasons that women gain weight around menopause if they don't change the way they eat as they are no longer burning a few extra calories related to fertility.

I think you could make an allowance that fits into your plan to deal with this crazy hormonal urge to eat - within reason

AZ Sunrises
06-12-2011, 01:26 PM
We do NOT need more calories around TOM.
Our hormones are just out of place and make us crave more food (or less for some women). So do NOT give in.

You do not need it really. :)

We may not *need* more food around TOM, but I've always been curious as to the biological reason about why we think we do. If it were just a few of us, then it would be easy to discount. However, it seems that it's the majority.

What sort of evolutionary/scientific reason is there for it? Obviously, hormones cause it. Wondering why we're wired that way is what has always been a question mark.

chubbypanda
06-12-2011, 02:15 PM
During TOM I tend to zig-zag my calories "harder" than usual. There are some days where I am just FAMISHED, and other days where I do not even want to think about food, let alone look at it. So one day I may eat 1700 calories, and the day after I may eat just 1000, then 1200 etc.

Logically, speaking I know I get hungrier some days because of the progesterone (the hormone that actually kicks up your metabolism during TOM). Simply put, there are more chemical reactions going on in your body right around TOM and the progesterone facilitates all the action. Your brain reacts to the release of the hormone by demanding more fuel. Hence, the cravings.

The above is a very simplified explanation, but hopefully it sheds some light on the craving phenomenon. :)

Esofia
06-12-2011, 02:16 PM
One of the reasons that we feel so hungry during TOM is that you do burn a few more calories ovulating, etc. ( i think it is 300-500 calories extra over the period of 3-4 days but can't quite remember).

Why would burning a few more calories during ovulation (and I have no idea why we would, our bodies do all sorts of things every day) lead to increased cravings approximately two weeks later during menstruation? Do you mean that women burn more calories when menstruating? I have no idea whether that's the case. I know that iron deficiency is a common problem due to blood loss, which can cause fatigue, and it's easy to interpret fatigue as a sign that the body needs more food (welcome to the way I put on weight without realising, I have a condition which causes chronic fatigue).

Glamourgirl827, it sounds as if the problem here is less the hormones and more the binge/restriction pattern. Would working to a monthly average help? Perhaps start the cycle just after your period, so that you can eat a bit less than the average figure during the cycle, and when you start getting the hunger cravings at the end, you can see how many extra calories you've saved up. And maybe you just need to set your monthly average a bit higher. You're better off steadily eating a slightly higher number of calories with consistency than you are trying to force yourself to keep to a smaller limit, finding it too restrictive, and bingeing.

Alternatively, how do you feel about increasing your exercise around your period, so that it can help balance out the extra calories? Bear in mind that it wouldn't give you all that many calories, of course, don't go overboard.

I'm also wondering whether more accurate dieting software would help, so that you can specify exactly which sort of banana you're eating instead of falling into problems with underestimating.

Chubbykins
06-12-2011, 05:36 PM
I think TOM is just one of those convenient, but very dangerous excuses.
Like "Today was a hard day, I deserve more food", or "I did this good thing today so I can eat some of that bad stuff"

These are all fat-mentalities. These kind of thought and rituals keep a person focused on food. Food should not be a reward for tough times and good times. Food is just sustenance. It must be enjoyable I agree, but it is not a joy-substance to be abused.

Self-medicating with junk-food or too much food is just another addiction and a way of living that simply is not healthy and "thin".

It is also like pregnancy. Of course you need A FEW more calories when pregnant, but no... you do NOT have to put on 30-70 pounds. You simply don't. It is actually MORE dangerous for the baby to overeat and not simply focus on counted and ballanced calories and nutrients.

I think it is mandatory for life long maintnance of a lighter weight to be able to stop excusing our unhealthy and harmful behavior just because it gives us a fix.

April Snow
06-12-2011, 10:29 PM
It's not the ovulation itself, but it's the changed hormones that occur after you've ovulated. Part of it is the body getting ready for a potential pregnancy.

Obviously, you don't have to eat more, but there are physiological reasons for increased hunger.

personally, I would allow a little extra food, but only foods that are generally healthy in the first place, and not use it as an excuse to eat extra calories by eating junk. But IMO any eating plan where you try to force yourself to not eat even when you are hungry is doomed for failure because no one can stick with that long term.

Beach Patrol
06-13-2011, 11:27 AM
I think TOM is just one of those convenient, but very dangerous excuses.

I disagree. Hormones are a real & crazy thing. It's not JUST the "food cravings"... it's the bloating, the headache/backache/cramps, the mood swings, etc. I don't think there's been nearly enough studies done on TOM. It's a LOT MORE than just "bleed'n & b****'n" :^:

kimicat76
06-14-2011, 12:35 AM
im on my TOM right now and ive been overeating like crazy. and its like cravings that are smacking me in the eyeball!!!

Chubbykins
06-14-2011, 07:08 AM
We may not *need* more food around TOM, but I've always been curious as to the biological reason about why we think we do. If it were just a few of us, then it would be easy to discount. However, it seems that it's the majority.

What sort of evolutionary/scientific reason is there for it? Obviously, hormones cause it. Wondering why we're wired that way is what has always been a question mark.

Whenever one wonder "why did we evolve this and not that" the answer usually is very simple: Because those who did survived and those who didnt... didn't or are fewer.

I could go into great detail as to how our hormones work and why they are fluctuating immensely during TOM, but the meaningful bottomline is that the body resets. "Well this month I failed to get pregnant, lets prepare the next chance" is what the body does. So it commands the inner uterus layer out, the new layer to grow a bit more and a new egg to start maturing.
All this needs a very sophisticated cocktail of hormones, which all have "side-effects".
To be able to have a healthy thick uterus ready for a baby other systems have to "pay for it" so to say.
Most sex hormones are being ordered to be produced by the hypothalamus, are then produced in the hypophysis in the brain and our ovaries (also from the placenta during pregnancy). So it is a whole factory line to get us fertile.
The body decides (if we aren't anorexic or very sick/anxious) that it is worth it to have side-effects, if genetic immortality is on the line.
So we get water retention, mood swings and pains not associated with the genitals.
Whenever the body feels it was stressed it immediately causes you to produce more grelin (among other non sex hormones) so that you will make sure to eat more just in case something happens again soon.
Ape-men that didn't eat more after being stressed were less likely to survive continuous threats and thus to hand down their genes.

Bottomline is that in our times of plenty and plump we have absolutely no need to heed such instincts. Once someone realises it is just the body acting up we can relax and ignore. :)

Chubbykins
06-14-2011, 07:13 AM
I disagree. Hormones are a real & crazy thing. It's not JUST the "food cravings"... it's the bloating, the headache/backache/cramps, the mood swings, etc. I don't think there's been nearly enough studies done on TOM. It's a LOT MORE than just "bleed'n & b****'n" :^:

I do not deny it that we HAVE the side-effects. Of course I too bloat, feel moody and want chocolate etc, but I also know that it's just useless instincts and hormonal side-effects. There is no room to indulge when there is no reason.
Feeling badd/stressed is no reason to eat. In the contrary, people that are overweight like me actually get more bad feelings and stress out of it.
Food is not stress medication, food is fuel.

Ms Marvel
06-14-2011, 08:42 AM
Self-medicating with junk-food or too much food is just another addiction and a way of living that simply is not healthy and "thin".


For me, I used chocolate to ease the pain when I wasn't dieting or watching my calories at all, so it certainly wasn't an excuse; I could just want chocolate and have it, no need to justify it with pain. If celery or a nice salad stopped the cramps, I'd eat them instead.

Beach Patrol
06-14-2011, 11:56 AM
For me, I used chocolate to ease the pain when I wasn't dieting or watching my calories at all, so it certainly wasn't an excuse; I could just want chocolate and have it, no need to justify it with pain. If celery or a nice salad stopped the cramps, I'd eat them instead.

I agree. Beer is not "needed" on any ordinary basis, but when I'm cramping like a b****, I drink beer and I FEEL BETTER PHYSICALLY. (Alcohol thins the blood and the reason we cramp is because the blood is thickening when the "liner" is shred.) And if I'm going craving-crazy over chocolate, I FEEL BETTER EMOTIONALLY if I just HAVE SOME instead of denying myself & continuing to go stark raving mad.

So FOR ME, it has nothing to do with "excuses". I know VERY FEW women who don't crave "something out of the ordinary" when they have TOM. For some it's salty, some it's sweets, some it's both. Same thing when a woman is pregnant (pickles & ice cream anyone?) I was pregnant a few years ago (altho I miscarried at 13 weeks) and I was craving the **** out of some salads! All I wanted was salad, salad, salad! With NO dressing! Just the salad! Lots of veggies! AND FRUITS!!! ... and Honey Nut Cheerios, for some strange reason, LOL!!!

Oh yeah, there is definitely a science behind it, it just hasn't been studied to any conclusive measures.

Lovely
06-14-2011, 12:04 PM
There is no room to indulge when there is no reason.

But for some TOM -is- a reason.

We're all going to have different occasions that it's "ok" to have something to indulge in.

Going out with friends to dinner, a birthday or celebration, or just because it's Wednesday... who knows? Those reasons are individual and we get to choose when there's room, and when there's no room.

For some there's plenty of room to allow themselves a portioned indulgence during TOM. For others, they don't see a reason. And that's fine, too.

If for a week I'm wanting a chocolate bar, not just a 20-minute craving, but something that's been on my brain for a whole week... I might decide it's time to plan in that treat for myself. And I'm allowed to say that there's room, and that's reason enough for me.

Esofia
06-15-2011, 06:35 AM
I have to be particularly careful about my blood sugar when I'm premenstrual. Not so much to avoid cravings, but it helps with PMDD and particularly migraine. I also get chocolate cravings around my period, and I learned seventeen years ago that I CANNOT give in to them. I have menstrual migraine, and chocolate is one of my migraine triggers, so the one time when I crave it is when I'm not allowed to eat it. The annoying thing about cravings is that sometimes they can be for what your body actually needs (I'm fairly sure that my sporadic yearnings for pak choi are healthy), and sometimes they can be for what will actually do you harm (used to crave cheese, then discovered that I'm actually lactose-intolerant - same happens with gluten, I hear). It's not as simple as "cravings are a sign that you need something" or "cravings should be ignored". Similarly, if I get ravenous and I'm starting to feel migrainish, I should eat, because otherwise the low blood sugar will trigger the migraine. It doesn't mean I should binge, and I should avoid sugar at all costs, but I should eat enough to keep me healthy at that moment. If I get salt cravings, I don't worry about indulging them as my blood pressure tends to be on the low side, I have problems with dizziness and such, and I naturally eat a low-salt diet. Other people may be in a position where they're craving salt because they eat too much salt already and are addicted to it, and need to wean themselves off.

Apparently the chocolate craving is about magnesium, which tends to get depleted at that time. I'm curious: has anyone ever found magnesium supplementation to help with chocolate cravings? And how do other people deal with craving more chocolate than they should really have? My current methods, apart from generally trying to ignore the craving, are to keep a bar of very dark chocolate in the cupboard and allow myself a very small piece, or else to have a cup of chocolate spice tea (http://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/products/yogi-tea/yogi-choco-tea-%2815-bags%29/). I have just finished off the first bar of chocolate, which was 85% cocoa, after a five-week run (though the last 3g piece disappeared from the cupboard, no idea how it got lost, so it should have been a day longer), and moved onto a 72% one with cranberries. It practically tastes like milk chocolate to me by now, and I find that it doesn't taste as good and is a lot more moreish, for some strange reason. I'm adjusting to it, but I think the 85% will be the way to go after this, it was much easier to stick to a 3g or occasionally 5g piece. Anyway, I am very proud of this, and have even got away with eating the aforementioned tiny pieces of chocolate during my period without triggering migraine, which is fabulous for me.

AnnaGal
06-15-2011, 06:59 PM
Maybe you don't technically 'need' anything. But constantly dealing with cravings along with the other unpleasantnesses for that time is really stressful and maybe unrealistic.
I don't count calories, but restrict my starches. Around my period, I allow myself for two days of starchs, if I want them, just for comfort's sake. It doesn't set me back much, and having that 'built in' puts a limit on it, so I don't get discouraged and binge.

Ms Marvel
06-15-2011, 09:13 PM
Apparently the chocolate craving is about magnesium, which tends to get depleted at that time. I'm curious: has anyone ever found magnesium supplementation to help with chocolate cravings? And how do other people deal with craving more chocolate than they should really have? My current methods, apart from generally trying to ignore the craving, are to keep a bar of very dark chocolate in the cupboard and allow myself a very small piece, or else to have a cup of chocolate spice tea (http://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/products/yogi-tea/yogi-choco-tea-%2815-bags%29/). I have just finished off the first bar of chocolate, which was 85% cocoa, after a five-week run (though the last 3g piece disappeared from the cupboard, no idea how it got lost, so it should have been a day longer), and moved onto a 72% one with cranberries. It practically tastes like milk chocolate to me by now, and I find that it doesn't taste as good and is a lot more moreish, for some strange reason. I'm adjusting to it, but I think the 85% will be the way to go after this, it was much easier to stick to a 3g or occasionally 5g piece. Anyway, I am very proud of this, and have even got away with eating the aforementioned tiny pieces of chocolate during my period without triggering migraine, which is fabulous for me.

Oh, that's interesting! If they come back I might try a magnesium supplement instead.

I don't really get cravings apart from that, and one bar tends to satisfy; but perhaps something like buying small snack-sized bars, and keeping them out of the way? It's a lot easier to finish a large bar than go stand on a chair and take down and open a new one.