Exercise! - Calories taken in v. Calories burned




MsDominatus
07-27-2005, 09:56 AM
First of all, i'm Jess and i'm new to this forum but let me tell you - it's by far the most supportive and informative I have come across. I've lurked many others, mostly body builder forums (I have this false assumption that they must know everything since they have little body fat), and have come across both abusive and arrogant people. I don't need that. I'm ignorant when it comes to all this, thats for sure, but I need support and affirmation and honest information ya know? So thanks, this site is great!

So I have been cutting calories. I don't follow any fad diets (not that there is anything wrong with them)but I eat as clean as I can. Fiber and good carbs in the morning, lots of protein w/every meal, 5 times a day, little fats - and mostly GOOD fats, not bad fats, nothing to eat after 6:30 pm other than a protein shake before bed/after exercise. On top of that I work out daily. I started by just doing 20 minutes on the elliptical and a lot of resistance training but noticed I was 'appearing' bigger because I still had fat over my muscles and they were getting bigger and stronger. So i've cut that down to just twice a week and cardio 5 times a week. Now i've worked up to an hour on the elliptical, at a level 10 hill climbing program w/ some interval training mixed in within the hour - keeping my hr above 140 most of the time when i'm in the 'low intensity mode' and up to 180 in the 'high intensity mode'. Last night I burned (according to the program) 700 calories. I know to loose weight and not muscle and to not go into 'starvation mode' you need to only cut say 300 -500 calories correct? So if i've done that but yet am burning a good chunk of them off at night. My question is - if i'm taking in enough calories to consider 'cutting calories the right way', is this exercise counter-productive? Like is the burning of so much when I work out going to throw my body into a starvation mode where it holds onto fat?!?! I apologize for this being so long but i've just recently become VERY consistant w/working out and I don't know a whole lot. Prior to joining the club I was doing kickboxing a few times a week and pilates, and eating 'better' but that wasn't enough as I only lost 15 lbs since April when I started. Any response is appreciated - and thank you

~Jess


lucky
07-27-2005, 10:32 AM
This is just my opinion, but I think the phrase "starvation mode" gets thrown around a little too liberally. By all means, it exists, but I think it is harder to get to that point than just exercising hard and cutting mainatinence calories by 500-700.

With that said, I've pushed myself out of a plateau before by increasing my calories a tad and lowering them again. But, I increased the intensity of my workouts for the same period so my overall calories consumed vs. calories burned didn't change. So, for me anyway, I think it had much more to do with a change of routine than it did keeping myself from "starving".

If you are still concerned you might consider tracking your calorie intake on a weekly basis rather than daily. In other words, don't eat the same number of calories day after day. Instead, choose your daily calorie level and aim to average that over the course of the week. Balancing higher calorie days with lower ones can keep your metabolism from becoming sluggish. Incidently, the same can be said for adding variety to your exercise routine as well.

MsDominatus
07-27-2005, 02:09 PM
This is just my opinion, but I think the phrase "starvation mode" gets thrown around a little too liberally. By all means, it exists, but I think it is harder to get to that point than just exercising hard and cutting mainatinence calories by 500-700.

With that said, I've pushed myself out of a plateau before by increasing my calories a tad and lowering them again. But, I increased the intensity of my workouts for the same period so my overall calories consumed vs. calories burned didn't change. So, for me anyway, I think it had much more to do with a change of routine than it did keeping myself from "starving".

If you are still concerned you might consider tracking your calorie intake on a weekly basis rather than daily. In other words, don't eat the same number of calories day after day. Instead, choose your daily calorie level and aim to average that over the course of the week. Balancing higher calorie days with lower ones can keep your metabolism from becoming sluggish. Incidently, the same can be said for adding variety to your exercise routine as well.


Thanks for the response! I just love this board and will try to give as much input as possible about things I DO know.

I actually just joined fit-day.com so that I could really start tracking calories accurately. So far i've got about 58 % cals from carbs 25% from protien and 17% from fat - I just love how it does the math for me! I've read that in order to lose weight you should get on a 40/40/20 routine. Meaning your calories should be40% carbs 40% protien and 20% fats. So far today i'm a little off but I always try to get the carbs in the first half of the day. And I do need more variety in my workout. Maybe i'll try to get on the stair master tonight. THanks again!


carla49
07-27-2005, 03:29 PM
If you're working out a lot, it won't hurt you to have a highish % of carbs. You need them for energy, and if you choose the good ones (whole grains etc) it won't stop weight loss. And don't let your fat % get too low if you don't want to look like a dried up old crone!

MsDominatus
07-27-2005, 05:05 PM
I make sure to load up on Omega 3's and 6's - good fats. I take a 'multi oil' supplement with all the good oils such as flax seed, fish body oil, etc. but yes, you're right and i know what you mean. Thanks :)

SOON2BE154
08-01-2005, 01:50 AM
Hello Jess,
There is such thing as a starvation mode - meaning the body will keep the fat rather than lose it due to insufficient caloric intake.

To determine your caloric requirements use the Harris-Benedict Formula. While it is not as accurate for very lean and very fat people it does help get you in the ball park.

I've used this to find my optimum caloric intake and have lost 19 inches since June 13. I'm on another support list, very supportive one which is made up of mostly body builders, and everyone keeps asking me what I'm doing. I keep saying, eating. That is what I've changed in the last two months. I am now eating between 2000 and 2400 calories. Before this change I was losing very slowly.

For me I found it wasn't just low calorie but which foods I was not eating. Mainly those were starchy carbs. I basically followed a low carb diet but didn't know it. For body building I needed more starchy carbs to get up to the correct caloric intake.

bicker
08-01-2005, 06:41 AM
What folks call starvation mode actually has more to do with lack of protein intake, not so much with lack of calorie intake. Folks on medically-supervisied VLCDs regularly eat 800 calories per day, even as low as 500 calories per day, without encountering the so-called starvation mode, because their intake is very closely regulated to ensure they're getting enough protein. Another major factor is exercise. Low protein intake, along with a high level of aerobic exercise, causes problems. To address this, dieters should be sure to be getting a wide variety of exercise, or at least a balanced mix between aerobic and anerobic (strength training) exercise.