General Diet Plans and Questions - Energy output varies greatly - would like more/less same calories a day!

09-25-2011, 10:08 PM
Hi there -

I have a relatively active job - I do construction cleaning in new homes. I clean top to bottom and the houses are usually very dirty and dusty. I haul my big heavy duty vacuum and ladder everywhere I go and clean just about every square inch of the houses.

Sometimes I only do "possession cleans" which means the home has been cleaned 1-2 times already so I do a basic all over clean but it's much easier.

Some days I work 3-4 hours, some days I work 9. Some days I clean show homes (model homes) so it's easier, and sometimes all I have to do is scrape chunks off of and sweep the floors of the homes. Most times I do first or second construction clean and most days are 6hrs+.

I'm a planner mcplannerson and I thrive on routine so I would prefer to have a relatively consistent caloric intake goal every day. I am 24, 5'4 and 138lb which isn't terrible by any means but I have been surely creeping upwards in weight and my ideal weight is 125-130. The weight gain though not huge is already making my job more difficult not to mention I'm sick of wearing sweatpants as my jeans are too tight :P

I am wondering if anyone has tips for calculating a relatively consistent number of calories I should aim to eat per day given my changing activity patterns. Of course I will listen to my body should I truly need more on an especially taxing day but considering I've been doing this for a month now I feel I have more or less adjusted to the activity level. That said, I am not entirely interested in additional activity (beyond dog walks and weekend hikes) as I'm already tired and sore from the day and I welcome a 3-4 hour day to recover hehe

I am thinking that my morning meal will be a smoothie with greek yogurt, uncooked oatmeal, some berries, banana, and some greens. I prefer a breakfast 500+ calories (I know, huge!) -- anything less and I'm starving only 2-3hrs into my work - and time is of the essence with my job.

If you have any way to make a ballpark figure for daily intake (eat less than required one day, more than required the next, with the idea that it should all even out in the end - doesn't matter to me. I don't/my body doesn't see eating as a 24hr cycle so much as an over all thing as in and out.

I hope this makes sense :P

Thanks for your time :)

09-25-2011, 11:48 PM
Well something that might work for you would be to try and model the Weight Watchers Points system with calorie counting (which is what I assume you're doing from your description). Basically, you get a certain amount of points each day AND a certain amount of weekly points that you can choose to eat into or not. If you go into weekly points, your weight loss will slow but not to the point that you're gaining or maintaining. You also bank movement/exercise points and as with the weekly points you choose to eat back those points or bank them unused.

I'll use my plan as an example with calories. I aim for 1800 a day, which equals out to 1 lb a week loss on average without exercise factored in. If I were to try the WW system I described above, I would probably aim for 1600 calories a day and keep a weekly 'bank' of 1400 for me to use if I had a really busy day and burned a good amount. I also work 5 days a week cashiering, around 5 hours each time which with my height and weight burns 120 calories a hour. I would further bank about 3000 calories in exercise points. Assuming I needed every single calorie from both my overflow AND exercise points, I would average out to 1800 a day and still get about a 1 lb loss a week. However, if I ate only most of my weekly 1400 and banked all of my exercise calories I would lose closer to 1.5 - 2 lbs.

Kind of a long winded explanation, but I hope you can see how having a lower base daily calories can get you through those lighter days, and when you have a harder day you have some extra padding to eat if you should need it :)

09-26-2011, 09:39 AM
Thank you! That is exactly my train of thought - now, how would I figure out a baseline for how many calories I should consume each day? Use the lowest activity day (3-4 hrs, sweeping only) calories burned + my BMR? I usually only have these kinds of days at work once or twice every 3-4 weeks, most days I'm doing full clean for 6-7 hours.

09-27-2011, 02:48 PM