General Diet Plans and Questions - How do I know how many calories to eat?




skinny fast
06-21-2011, 03:22 PM
Is there a place on 3FC, or someone out there with the info, to find out how many calories, how much fat, protein, etc I need daily in order to drop the fat lbs?

(In case someone can calculate this for me, I'm a 32 yr old F, 5'2", about 128-129 #s and want to drop about 20 lbs... or at least reduce my BMI a good bit. I exercise just about daily, mostly cardio.)

TIA :D


nitenurse
06-21-2011, 03:34 PM
usually 10 X your body weight is a good place to start

lavendar
06-21-2011, 04:03 PM
I wouldn't recommend any less than 1200 calories per day and you still need to get your food groups in....milk, veggies, fruit and protein.

Its going to be a a slow process but don't let that discourage you. You are already well within a perfectly healthy weight. The closer you are to an ideal weight the harder your body makes it to lose the weight...I've read that anythingless than a 1200 calorie diet will make your body think its starving...thus your metabolism slows down.

You could try figuring out how many calories you already consume, how many calories you burn through exercise and then cut it down some.

But for safety's sake, and because you are already in a healthy weight range, I'd suggest you see your doctor and get their opinion.


mkroyer
06-21-2011, 04:27 PM
going less than 1200 = "starvation mode" is a myth

because you are so tiny, AND trying to lose those last stubborn pounds, you very well may need to go below 1200/day.... whats the amount you have been losing on so far? looks like youve already lost about 10 lbs....

if this is your first time dieting down, then you wont have to go as low.... what people commonly think of as "starvation mode" is really your body metabolically adapting to less calories. In other words, if youve been dieting a long time, or you have a history of yo-yo dieting, then your body may have very well adapted, metabolically, to being able to function off of less calories, or basically become more efficient. THIS IS A BAD THING as far as fat loss is concerned. Its means youve lowered the amount of calories your body needs in a day to function, or to maintain. Your body adapts by doing things such as slowing down hair/nail growth, lowering your basal body temperature (ever notice that people on a diet commonly complain about being cold all the time?), lower your resting heart rate, stopping your menstrual cycle, among other things. Basically, all unnecessary functions, non-vital to SURVIVING, are shut down completely, or slowed way down.

I dont know if this is the case for you, i was just pointing out, and re-iterating the "less than 1200= starvation mode" myth. Ive messed up my metabolism so badly that i cant lose fat on more than 1100 per day, persoanlly...... since that is the case (and trust me, IT SUCKS), i make sure that a large percentage of my cals come from protein (40-50% -so i can minimize any muscle loss) and fats. Carbs fill in the rest (and are technically not neccesary to support life...although not eating any carbs is not a good thing)

ANyway, there are many factors to conseder when determining how much you can eat and still lose fat...... we are all experimments of one.....

skinny fast
06-21-2011, 04:44 PM
mkroyer! I think you may have hit the nail on the head for me!?? Maybe this is the info I'm looking for? I have weighed between about 95lbs and 162 (at the end of a pregnancy) in my life- back and forth, back and forth... I also have a history with not eating at all to lose weight. I *used to* be able to lose FAST by limiting cals. I've been back and forth with exercise consistency during my life too.

I'm trying to lose weight the "right" way this time, trying to become stronger, leaner and healthier in the process. And I'm so confused with how much I should be eating and how often I should be exercising. Exercising too much & not eating enough are baffling concepts to me.

Right now I'm stuck. I'm not losing. I lost about 10, then stopped. I'm drinking an Orgain protein shake for my lunch and was wondering if it's too much protein for me. I've been a vegetarian for about 15 years. I eat nearly all natural... I just don't know what to do or what to change!!!

(thanks for all the replies!!! this is really helping!)

darius
06-21-2011, 05:56 PM
Your body adapts by doing things such as slowing down hair/nail growth, lowering your basal body temperature (ever notice that people on a diet commonly complain about being cold all the time?), lower your resting heart rate, stopping your menstrual cycle, among other things. Basically, all unnecessary functions, non-vital to SURVIVING, are shut down completely, or slowed way down.

I didn't know any of that. I learn a lot reading your posts.
I wanted to ask you, what do you eat the night before a race, and what do you eat the morning of a race? Do you do any carb loading etc?

mkroyer
06-21-2011, 06:51 PM
i dont carb load the night before (for any race, including marathons) the morning of a marathon (and ONLY a marathon) i will have my standard pre-marathonbreakfast! A bagel (SLOW CARBS) with PB, HONEY (THATS THE FAST CARBS) and almonds and banana on top

I also refule durin the race every 5 miles with a runners goo/gell/block, whatever your preference.
Thats me persnally. Ive found, thru trial and error, that if i carb - load the day/night before, not ONLY do I bloat up huge by the next morning (which makes me uncomfy AND heavier--- not things i want when racing) but i also have ...ahem.. digestive issues, during the race.

Of course, YMMV. But for anything shorter than a half marathon, there is no need to change anything about from your normal, pre-run food.... or lack of food, if you normally run fasted in the am..... only when your runs start exceeding 90 minutes (as a general rule of thumb) do you think about things like pre-race and during race fuel. For me, i only worry about it if im doing a full marathon

MariaMaria
06-21-2011, 09:11 PM
only when your runs start exceeding 90 minutes (as a general rule of thumb) do you think about things like pre-race and during race fuel.

Agreed.

For 5K, 10K, whatever-- it's all about overall decent nutrition and hydration.

Re during the race fuel, if you're trained enough to run the distance you shouldn't be hitting the wall in shorter distance races. You can read up on hitting the wall (bonking) here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitting_the_wall

darius
06-21-2011, 09:23 PM
Thank you mkroyer and MariaMaria for all of that information. Over the past 7 years or so I have hiked a lot of the local mountains here - some very steep rocky trails - and I remember one particular mountain I bonked about 3/4 of the way up and I had to eat some stuff in my pack and rest for 30 minutes and finally dragged myself to the top (Ibukisan 1377m).

Ever since then whenever I have a chance to talk to marathoners or track athletes I often ask them what they eat the night before and the morning of a race.

When I lower my weight I want to start some serious hiking again. I have a bad habit of skipping breakfast which I will never do again on any day I plan to exert myself.

GaYankee
06-23-2011, 07:30 PM
go to my fitnesspal.com
it will tell you how many calories you need based on your weight and activity. it also is food, weight and exercise journal. as your weight goes down, it adjuscts the number of calories you need to continue to lose and when you enter your exercise it also will adjust the calories needed for that day.

kaplods
06-23-2011, 08:23 PM
Using calculators to find a starting point, is good, but there really is no way to know how many calories to eat, except by experimenting and watching the scale.

You may burn significantly more or less than the calculators estimate for you. So pick a calorie level, and pay attention. Are you so hungry, it's hard to stay on plan. Are you getting headaches or light headedness. After three to five weeks on the calorie level, have you gained, lossed, stayed the same?

There is no one-size-fits all calorie level or macronutrient balance for that matter. Some people find that they do better (either phsycially or mentally) on specific typoe of diet or a specific calorie level, but it all boils down to trial and error, being scientist and lab rat.

IsobelRose22
06-24-2011, 07:22 PM
I signed up to livestrong.com, it does it all for you. You input your age, height, current weight, measurements, how much you want to lose per week and it tells you how many calories you need to eat to do that and gives you how much carbs, fat, protein, sugar, salt, etc as well. Then you enter all you food, drink and exercise into it each day. It also adjusts your calorie level as you lose weight. Its amazing, its made life so much easier for me.

skinny fast
06-24-2011, 08:06 PM
These are GREAT suggestions! Thanks!!!