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Exercise Question....

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Old 07-17-2012, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default Exercise Question....

I know you burn calories naturally at rest. I read that in order for you to lose weight, you have to burn more than you take in. Is that including the amount you burn while at rest, or is that only counting calories you burn by exercising?

I am eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. Does that mean in order for me to lose weight I should be burning over those amount of calories during my daily exercise?

I have been exercising like crazy, but the numbers on the scale aren't moving much, and my body fat % is not budging either. UGHHH!!!!
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:56 PM   #2
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Ok, I'm not a nutritionist so I can't 100% say anything here, but in my opinion only, you are a. not eating enough calories at your current weight. ESPECIALLY if you are working out as hard as you say you are.

Personally, I do 1 hour of intense workouts [running, kickboxing, or heavy weight training] once a day/6 days a week and walk about 2 -4 miles daily. I eat 1800-2000 calories and weigh around 165 [this calorie number is where my certified nutritionist and trainer both have me]. I am steadily losing fat% and weight on the scale way better than when I was trying to be at 1450 cals.

I think you should a. see a nutritionist or b. if that is not possible, try one of these sites to get a calorie estimate for where you should be at:

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

http://www.healthyweightforum.org/en...ries-required/

If your body thinks you are starving it, it will work hard to hold on the lb's you are trying to shed.

Also, there is no way you are going to burn more calories than you are eating through exercise unless you are working out for HOURS. Your body burns calories throughout the day - so ALL of these calories PLUS what you burn additional exercising is what they are talking about. There are other calculators where you can find your daily caloric expenditure rate - I would google it.

A few questions - are you writing down/measuring EVERYTHING you eat?

Where did you get the 1200-1500 calorie number to begin with?

What type of exercising are you doing and how frequently?

Let me know if this helps and if you have any other questions. I know it's really really hard to start - I had NO idea what I was doing when I started a year ago but there is A LOT of good info on the internet & these forums - GOOD LUCK!
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
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#1 piece of advice: you lose weight with diet, you get fit with exercise. You have to focus on your nutrition and caloric intake first, to lose weight.

That said, all calories you burn counts, whether it's while sleeping or exercising.

You need to determine how many calories your body burns at rest (Resting Metabolic Rate), add the calories you are burning with exercise, and then if you want to lose 1 lb a week eat 500 calories less per day than what you are burning through RMR + exercise. There are online tools that can help you determine that- do a search on RMR calculator.

Bear in mind that exercise can stimulate appetite, and you can outeat any amount of exercise- you have to mindfully eat so that you don't consume too many calories.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatklr View Post
I know you burn calories naturally at rest. I read that in order for you to lose weight, you have to burn more than you take in. Is that including the amount you burn while at rest, or is that only counting calories you burn by exercising?
That's including EVERYTHING. Think of it this way. If it were only exercise calories and not "all" calories burned that counted, folks in comas wouldn't have to be fed intravenously. If only exercise calories counted, there'd be no reason for sedentary people to eat at all to maintain their weight.



Quote:
I am eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. Does that mean in order for me to lose weight I should be burning over those amount of calories during my daily exercise?

Nope. In fact, many of the experts in the field of nutrition and exercise physiology recommend not eating less than your BMR (basal metabolic rate - the "at rest" calories required to keep you alive if you were immobile - such as in a coma).

Problem is, it's hard to determine what your BMR actually is, and BMR can change (what you're eating may even change BMR).

That being said 1200-1300 calories is pretty low for a BMR and extremely low for an active person. It's very likely that your BMR at least this high (Again in theory suggesting that you can and possibly should be eating more).

Quote:
I have been exercising like crazy, but the numbers on the scale aren't moving much, and my body fat % is not budging either. UGHHH!!!!
There are several reasons this might be occuring

1. You burn fewer than 1200 calories per day (total). This isn't very likely, but it's possible. You might try reducing carbs and see what happens. Many people (myself included) burn more calories when eating low-carb. This means we can eat more calories on low-carb to lose the same amount of weight as on much fewer calories of high-carb.

2. You ARE losing weight, but your body is retaining water. This is the most likely. Intense exercise (and even moderate exercise) makes microscopic tears in the muscle (this is actually a good thing, because these mini-injuries actually trigger the body to add muscle). However this muscle repair, rebuilding, and recovery process requires extra water to do it's magic. So the body retains water to use in the healing.

Even without exercise, many people find that they don't lose consistently. The body while losing fat, retains enough water to keep the body weight stable, and losses appear irregularly. Therefore, you may see losses at irregular intervals, what many folks here call whooshing or losing weight in whooshes. You'll see no loss for three, four, even up to six or seven weeks and then you'll suddenly almost overnight drop several pounds (I've experienced whooshes of up to 8 pounds and have gone up to eight weeks without a loss before a sudden whoosh).

I didn't really lose 8 lbs overnight, I was probably losing about a pound a week, I just didn't get to "see it" until the water weight left me in a whoosh.


3. You're underestimating your calorie intake. This is easy to do, especially if you're eating a lot of packaged foods and/or are not weighing your food. Food labels can be inaccurate and/or misleading. I've found that when a box says it contains "about 2" servings, it can contain anywhere from 1.2 to 2.8 servings. And when it says "about a half a cup" and gives a weight measurement (usually in grams) the gram weight may actuallly make anywhere from 1/3 cup to 3/4.

The gram weight will always be the more accurate, because that's what the labs that did the calorie analysis would have used. Since it's what the labs would have used, it's what I also use.

This doesn't mean that you have to run out and buy a food scale, you can continue to guesstimate your calories, but if you're always underestimating, then cutting calories will be effective. If you're actually eating 1800 calories when you think you're eating 1200, then by reducing your guesstimated calories to 1000, you'll actually be reducing them to 1500 or thereabouts (of course that is assuming your guesstimates continue to be off by the same degree).

Personally though, I do recommend a food scale. In the long run, it's easier and less time-consuming than using measuring cups and spoons.


4. Your BMR plus your activity comes to fewer calories than you are burning. This is the least likely, but is possible. Again changing carb-ratios can help. However another possibility is a metabolic disorder such as hypothyroidism or metabolic syndrome. Again sometimes carb-reduction can help you lose weight if you do have a metabolic disorder - but I'd recommend being tested for such conditions first.

I have metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance. My doctor recommended a low-carb diet (but warning not to go too low, even though he admitted he didn't know what was too low. So I've experimented with different carb-levels. Too low and I feel horrible. Too high and I don't lose. What consitituted too high and too low though hasn't remained constant. I'm having to always adjust my carb level, depending on how I feel (on days I exercise I need more carbs than on days I don't).


The only way to find out which of these scenarios is correct, you have to experiment and be patient. If you're a whoosher, you may have to wait more than a month to see the whooshes. That's frustrating, but it is what it is.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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Your body will not go into starvation mode at 1,200-1,500cals. Make sure you're positive that's what you're eating and not more. It's easy to go over if you're not keeping a food log. You need a 500 calorie deficit to lose whether you're working out or not. Some people eat their calories back other's don't but at the end of the day you need to be within your allowance. Use Myfitnesspal.com to find out your allowance..
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:00 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the feedback. I do monitor EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth and plug it into MyFitnessPal. I also have a food scale that I use consistantly. I think you have a point, Kaplods. I may have to start reducing my carbs. I have been eating low calorie breads (70 cals per slice) and brown rice and potatoes, but I make sure I count all of those calories. If I do have days that I eat like 2000 or more calories, I make sure I hop on my elliptical for 30min to an hour to burn those excess calories. I guess all calories are not alike...and I need to revamp my food choices...grrrr.

I am aware that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise...I just want to SEE SOME RESULTS!!!
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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Oh, and my RMR currently is 2,171 calories per day.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:42 PM   #8
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Cutting carbs has helped me a lot. The science behind it, as I understand it, is that eating carbs causes your body to produce insulin, insulin is the hormone that tells your cells to store fat. Less carbs = less insulin ...and then your body releases other hormones that tell your body to burn fat. That's super simplified, but it makes a lot of sense to me and explains to me why low fat/high carb diets never work for me.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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So when you say that you cut carbs, to what extent do you cut them? I've been on Atkins before so I know how to eat at no more than 20g of carbs a day, but how many carbs should I start off by consuming now? Should I only get my carbs from veggies/fruits or should I also eat brown rice? I don't eat sugars, so that's no problem for me.

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Cutting carbs has helped me a lot. The science behind it, as I understand it, is that eating carbs causes your body to produce insulin, insulin is the hormone that tells your cells to store fat. Less carbs = less insulin ...and then your body releases other hormones that tell your body to burn fat. That's super simplified, but it makes a lot of sense to me and explains to me why low fat/high carb diets never work for me.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:24 AM   #10
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So when you say that you cut carbs, to what extent do you cut them? I've been on Atkins before so I know how to eat at no more than 20g of carbs a day, but how many carbs should I start off by consuming now? Should I only get my carbs from veggies/fruits or should I also eat brown rice? I don't eat sugars, so that's no problem for me.
The first time I did it, I just cut the simple ones: no bread, rice, pasta, or potatoes, alcohol or juice. I lost 15 lbs in 6 weeks by doing that alone.

Right now I'm doing it more mindfully and am limiting all grains, fruits, alcohol, juice, sugars, starches, etc. I've lost 6 lbs in 2 weeks so far. It's not as dramatic as I hoped, but I wasn't losing any weight prior, and I'm not limiting my intake of food per se, just the carbs.

My doctor told me that I have a metabolic type that is extremely sensitive to carbs. When I eat them, I pretty much cannot lose weight. When I cut them, losing weight is actually fairly easy. The hard part is cutting carbs, since I crave them.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:33 AM   #11
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The first time I did it, I just cut the simple ones: no bread, rice, pasta, or potatoes, alcohol or juice. I lost 15 lbs in 6 weeks by doing that alone.

Right now I'm doing it more mindfully and am limiting all grains, fruits, alcohol, juice, sugars, starches, etc. I've lost 6 lbs in 2 weeks so far. It's not as dramatic as I hoped, but I wasn't losing any weight prior, and I'm not limiting my intake of food per se, just the carbs.

My doctor told me that I have a metabolic type that is extremely sensitive to carbs. When I eat them, I pretty much cannot lose weight. When I cut them, losing weight is actually fairly easy. The hard part is cutting carbs, since I crave them.
I think I'm going to go ahead and cut carbs. The last time I tried Atkins it didn't work too well, and I think that's because I was consuming too many calories now that I think about it. If I can cut my carbs AND stay around 1,800 calories I believe I'll be able to make progress.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:26 PM   #12
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I have stalled and/or gained on many carb-restricted and carb-controlled diets including South Beach, Paleo/Primal and Atkins. I don't think I've ever gained on very-low-carb, but I have stalled because of calorie intake.

I don't succeed unless I have a portion- and calorie- control element. So whatever way of eating I want to try, I convert it into an 1800 calorie exchange plan.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:28 PM   #13
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I have stalled and/or gained on many carb-restricted and carb-controlled diets including South Beach, Paleo/Primal and Atkins. I don't think I've ever gained on very-low-carb, but I have stalled because of calorie intake.

I don't succeed unless I have a portion- and calorie- control element. So whatever way of eating I want to try, I convert it into an 1800 calorie exchange plan.
I have never counted calories on Atkins and the first time, about 10 years ago I was successful and lost over 50 pounds. The second time I wasn't successful. I probably lost a total of 11 pounds, but both times I didn't pay attention to calories because in the Atkins book it says not to worry about calories...only pay attention to carbs. I know now that no matter what kind of eating lifestyle you do, calories DO matter. I went back in myfitnesspal history to see how many calories I was averaging daily while on Atkins, and the average count was well over 2,500. No wonder I wasn't successful! So, I'm going to try to stay around 1,800 and eat low carb...maybe not under 20g, but I will not eat breads, pastas, potatoes or sugar. I'll see how I do...hopefully the combination of low carbs and low calories is the answer for me.
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