Weight Loss Support - Upped my calories, and I am losing weight again!

07-08-2011, 03:34 AM
Hi, all. When I started my journey in March, I arbitrarily picked 1400 calories as my limit for the day, and 1600 if I was really going crazy. The problem is, that this did not take into account the exercise I was doing. I am working up to a marathon in January, and I run every other day with kettlebells on the days I don't run. On kettlbell days, I might burn 200-400 calories, which is pretty reasonable, but since I can now run 7 miles that burns an insane amount of calories. I burned from 1200- 1500 calories alone on my last run! Needless to say, I wasn't losing much weight at all, almost none per week, and perhaps two pounds a month for the last two months. Though that is still great success, I felt as though I was eating too little and doing too much exercise to not be losing! Well, I do think I was eating too little, because I decided to try following a calorie counting regimine that was quite a bit higher than my usual daily allowance at 1800-2000 calorie zig-zag. Anyway, I feel a lot better than I did and no longer feel like I am running on empty, and am really excited about losing weight again. I just wanted to share!

07-08-2011, 05:39 AM
I appreciate where you're coming from fff.

I worked out 4 times this week, and as well as having an insatiable appetite, I found that when I weighed myself for the first time in 3 weeks, I've barely lost 2lbs.

I'vd changed my exercise routine recently so I think I need to eat more to try and balance it out.

Congrats on your running... that's an awesome achievement!

07-08-2011, 09:12 AM
Yes, I think if you are doing a good amount of exercise, and you still have very low calories your body seems to not be OK with it. I mean, I lost a lot the first two months, but I also worked up to a lot more exercise in the last two months as well. It is easier for me to do the work, but I just burn more because I can do more. It really might be a good idea to up your cals. Thanks a ton, I am really proud of being able to run so far.

07-08-2011, 09:19 AM
7 miles!! Last I saw on the Exercise forum it was 5! Big kudos to you!!!!

07-08-2011, 10:09 AM
I can't even run 7 blocks and you can do 7 miles?!? I am in awe. Seriously!! That's awesome! :D

And I am glad upping your calories is paying off for you. I admit to being shocked that all that running and exercise w/1600 calories only resulted in a couple pounds lost a month but hey....whatever works!! :)

07-08-2011, 10:16 AM
:bow: 7 miles!? Wow. I'm having a hard time making my 2.75 mile run today - Week 8 day 2 of C25K. Congrats on the fitness AND the weight loss!

07-08-2011, 10:52 AM
Nice job! :D Glad you found out what you needed to kick up the weight loss while still working out diligently!

07-08-2011, 10:58 AM
Awesome work!! It is all about playing around and figuring out what our body's need.
If you think about it, a sedentary person eating 1200-1300 calories is fine. But if they add exercise they get tired, sluggish and their body kicks it into starvation mode.
With the amount of working out you have been doing, you were basically doing the same thing.
Keep movin'!! :carrot:

07-08-2011, 11:06 AM
Thanks, all. Yes, my last big accomplishment was five miles, indiblue and then I went up to six, and then I was only going to do six and a half, but I just went ahead and did seven instead and I was sooo happy! I can't believe I've progressed so quickly! Yes, I really do think I was maybe making my body stall big time. I was getting really frustrated, and kept thinking that maybe I should be exercising MORE. I was really scared by the idea of upping my calories, but I knew I wouldn't gain weight and I was right. I am really glad I found what works. I know I'll have to adjust my calories now and again, but it's a lot nicer feeling like I am eating enough to sustain all of this work.

07-08-2011, 07:04 PM
But if they add exercise they get tired, sluggish and their body kicks it into starvation mode.

As long as you have fat reserves on your body, you won't go into starvation mode. Our bodies have fat stores designed to get us through a famine (i.e., a diet) and when we have a famine (i.e., a diet), those fat stores get used. The drastic slowdown of the metabolism doesn't happen until those fat stores are largely gone -- which takes a lot longer for the obese than for those who only have to lose 10-25 pounds.

07-08-2011, 07:12 PM
Well, whatever the case, I surely needed more and I really think my body was telling me that. I am still very obese, but doing all of this work with not enough calories clearly hasn't worked for me.

07-08-2011, 07:36 PM
fatferretfanatic....I have a question about how many calories you're burning. You say you run 7 miles and burn 1200-1500 calories. Is that because you're running at an incline? Please explain this to me because I thought that we basically burn 100 calories per mile unless we're at an incline. Of course that number is for someone who weighs in at 150 lbs. and so you do burn more at a higher weight, but is it that much more? Anyway, I'm really wanting real info here because running is soooo hard for me. If I run at 5.0-6.0, after 1 mile, I can hardly continue, whereas I can do so much more on an elliptical. It's weird but running is like torture for me. ;)

07-08-2011, 09:23 PM
I think the about 100 per mile applies to a general average of people who are at normal weight. I am significantly over that-weighing 232. Plus, I do run up and down a lot of hills. Also, I take my heart rate into account and have a heart rate monitor which also takes age/weight/sex into account when calculating calories. I have also compared my results with online cals burned calculators and have found mostly the same results as it. I think that the 100/per mile is a general blanket statement that doesn't take into account other factors. Running isn't so much torture to me, but it used to be when I ran earlier in my life. I would start with too much/too fast. I am incredibly slow, but my heart rate does climb pretty high at times, often reaching the high end of 170 on hills. Seven miles took me an hour and thirty minutes to complete without stopping.

07-08-2011, 10:52 PM
Whoa, seven miles? Impressive! And congrats!!

07-09-2011, 12:10 AM
fatferritfanatic, thank you very much for explaining! I guess when I run a mile, I wish it was more than 100 calories burned because it seems like so much work for such few calories where if I exert myself a lot less, I seem to burn much more on an elliptical trainer...although that number could be wrong as well. I guess ultimately, it doesn't matter that much, as long as I'm doing my best. :)

07-09-2011, 03:26 AM
Calories burned depend largely on the fitness level of the individual. Another chick, claire, recently posted how she burned 1200 calories on a recent half-marathon (13 miles), which corresponds roughly to the 100 cal/mile ratio that luckymommy referenced.

Heart rate monitors and online calculators are found to be wildly inaccurate (http://edition.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/06/24/exercise.myths.trainers/index.html), even those with options to input weight, age, gender, etc. Of course, the 100 cal/mile is not exactly scientific either.

That said, some people like to use one method or the other to get a very, very general idea of how many calories they are burning to know how much they should "eat back" to ensure proper caloric intake. This is helpful as long as you don't depend on it to generate a precise deficit you think you are creating each day, and get disappointed when you don't lose 1 lb after each 3500 calories you think you burned.

luckymommy some studies indicate that the self-assessment of how hard you work is a much better indicator of how many calories you actually burned. (See the article linked above). I've gotten off of the elliptical with a heart rate monitor that tells me I burned 600 calories in 1 hour, which I know is untrue. Likewise, you've probably finished runs completely exhausted and burned more than 100 cals/hour.

I personally just listen to my body- like fatferretfanatic did- if I am sluggish and hungry I eat more than my usual caloric intake. As long as a loss continues whatever method is fine :)

And congrats again, ferret, on the loss and the 7 miles!!

07-09-2011, 09:07 AM
Thanks! Yes, indiblue is correct! I did mean to reiterate that HRM and online calcs aren't the most scientifically accurate things, but I use them as tools to generally get a good idea of what I have done. The reason why I said 1200 to 1500 is to account for the margin of error-my HRM said 1500, an online calc said 1400, and I decided it might be a few hundred less than that even. In any case, lucky mommy if you are working hard, that is what matters. I work hard doing kettlebell presses. If I burn 200 cals doing my presses, that's impressive but seriously, I work very hard on them and it feels like I am doing more. It really doesn't matter how many cals I burn because I am doing exercise for the fitness of it and not for the cals. I suspect that as my weight goes down, so will the cals I burn from running, and that's just fine!

07-09-2011, 09:39 AM
You mentioned zig zagging your calories between 1800-2000, is that your average calories or was that your zig zag range? Just curious. I think I may start zig zagging just because I tend to have very different appetites on different days. One day I could care less about eating and another it is all I can do to stay in my range.
You make me want to get back into running again. I burned myself out in May and ran 80 miles in the month (which was my goal) and now have only ran a handful of times since. I have still been walking and swimming laps, but it just doesn't burn like running did.
Congrats on your accomplishments and finding out what works for you! It is always nice to find out that eating more accomplishes more!

07-09-2011, 09:50 AM
Oh, 1800-2000 is my zigzag range. I planned my running to go on days that I eat 2000. Walking and swimming are both great exercize-it's really about finding what you love and what you know you can do! I honestly never thought when I started I'd be taking running this far-I am also working up to a Marathon in January and am very excited about it, but in March, I would have never agreed to such a thing. For once, I am very motivated about exercise and actually do like it quite a bit!

07-09-2011, 10:26 AM
Thats awesome, I could never run a marathon, not even sure I could run a half marathon! I agree that you have to find something you love and can stick with. I do tend to go in phases with what I enjoy at the time, so I am just going with what I feel right now. I may try upping calories on my active days and back down on the other days (I used to do that) and see how that works for me again. Thanks again for sharing your ideas and good luck with the running.