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changed to "maintenance" calories and Im STARVING.. please help me :(

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Old 08-08-2011, 12:21 AM   #1
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Default changed to "maintenance" calories and Im STARVING.. please help me :(

So I have been counting calories to lose weight for about 6 months, and have decided that I feel good with the size I am now and wanted to just maintain my weight. Ever since I changed my calorie intake (from a cycle between 1300-1500 calories per day) to 1800 per day, which is still lower than a lot of calculators have said what my matinance calories should be, but I didnt want to jump it up too high. Anyways Ive been sticking to 1800 for about a week and I have been STARVING for the past 4 days or so-- I rarely felt like this when I was cutting calories-- and now I have suddenly gotten this huge appetitie. Im still eating healthy foods- but Im STARVING... has anyone else experienced this or can help me out? I am 5'8" and weigh 124lbs, I usually start the day doing a workout video (beachbody insanity or p90x) then go to work as a waitress and then run 4-6 miles at the gym and then teach dance classes for 3-5 hours... so maybe that can help someone tell me how much I really SHOULD be eating? thanks so much everyone in advance! oh- and sensing "hunger levels" doesnt really work for me. If I dont count calories carefully I freak out and end up bingeing every time.. so as of right now thats not really an option- I know I'm slightly crazy.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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Congratulations on your success in reaching your goal!

I can't think of why except that maybe you are eating more carbs and/or sugar and that is encouraging your body to crave more food. I only say that because sometimes carbs and sugars make me hungry. Do you happen to track your macronutrients (e.g., fat, carbs, etc.)? If you do, take a look at what they've been during the days you've increased your calories. Be sure that, percentage-wise, you're still eating a decent amount of good fat. If you increase your calories from just carbs or sugars and do not increase the fats, I would think that that might trigger a desire for more food.

BTW, don't feel bad about having to count calories during maintenance. I've already reconciled myself to the fact that I'll probably have to count calories for the rest of my life. I'm just not good at estimating.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:53 AM   #3
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Hello,

I noticed from your ticker that you are 5"8 and currently trying to maintain 124 lbs.

It may be that your trying to maintain a to low of a weight for your body frame? If you have a medium built frame than your maintaining BMI weight should be between 127-139lbs.. Maybe you body is telling you that it wants to maintain a slightly higher weight? This maybe why you are still hungry as your body is trying to balance itself at an ideal weight slightly higher than you are right now..

Also it looks like you have a very busy lifestyle and may need more calorie dense food to keep you going ( proteins, good fats)..
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:37 PM   #4
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Make sure you are eating enough protine. I find I am more hungry when I eat carb heavy meals over protine heavy ones. Other then that, I'd say increase your calories by 200 or so a week and see at what point you no longer feel hungry and maintain your weight.

1800 is quite low for someone your height who is as active as you are.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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I plugged your stats into an online calorie calculator, and you're easily burning over 2500 calories a day in all your activities. You're hungry because you need more food.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:15 PM   #6
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Could be a couple of things... so you'll have to experiment.

Could be you need a couple hundred more calories if you're doing a LOT, and burning a ton of fuel.

Could also be WHAT you're eating. For example, I have read on the boards frequently that some people are very carb or sugar sensitive. They have a little bit of white rice/pasta or they have a sweet and they just crave more food. More carbs.

That isn't exactly me, but it might be something you want to look into to check for patterns of hunger. If it happens after you eat a certain meal or food.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:23 PM   #7
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Just a thought but are you anywhere close to your time of the month. I am always hungrier the closer I get to mine.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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Slow down. Way down. Explain slowly.

Please add this up for me. Actually make a column of numbers.

You are working out for how many hours a day, on average? And how many hours a day are you on your feet at your job?

I'm not good at the calorie count stuff, but it seems to me you are not eating nearly enough. Like Wurdnerd said. High-quality protein would help. And I am not one to talk about nutritional supplements, but seems to me you'd benefit from adding a protein powder.

Go over to weight/resistance training forum and see what they think. There are some very active people over there who are in maintenance and have coped with what you're dealing with.

Last edited by saef : 08-08-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:16 PM   #9
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Ok- I think its a combination of things-- Ive eaten 40% of my calories from protein today and dont feel nearly as hungry as I have as of late, so that helps. Also I am thinking of eating a little more-- I just hate to undo all of my hard work! but as far as numbers go, this is my average day...
Wake up and do HITT or lift weights for about an hour on average (1)
Get ready/work (waitress, walking around) for about 5 hours on average (5)
Head to they gym and do an hour of cardio (run, elliptical, or bike) (1)
Go teach my dance classes (dance little, mostly walk) 4 hours average (4)
Head home where I make dinner and clean house but mostly sit (4)
I spend about an hour in my car each day.. (1)
and then get about 8 hours of sleep each night.. (8)
So theres my average 24 hour average day... besides sunday where I usually sit on my butt ALL day long-- maybe sometimes go on an easy "family bike ride"... but other than that I sit and veg out on Sunday. So Hopefully that breaks it down better!
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:15 AM   #10
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I'm FAR from maintenance, but it seems like if you up your calorie count for a week or two to see if that helps, the worst that could happen is that you start seeing a gain and then you tick back down again. But, really, if you go up to 2000 from 1800, that's only 200 more calories a day- not even enough to make you gain a pound (3500 calories) in a week (and that's assuming that you aren't burning AT LEAST 2000 calories a day which it definitely sounds like you are!!). Also, it sounds like you've probably developed a lot of muscle that needs to be fed and is burning calories like crazy while you're doing nothing at all! Don't think that you will "undo" all your hard work in a week or two of trying to figure out where you need to be- you will undo hard work by letting your body eat up all your good muscle by not feeding it!
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danzingurl77 View Post
but as far as numbers go, this is my average day...
Wake up and do HITT or lift weights for about an hour on average (1)
Get ready/work (waitress, walking around) for about 5 hours on average (5)
Head to they gym and do an hour of cardio (run, elliptical, or bike) (1)
Go teach my dance classes (dance little, mostly walk) 4 hours average (4)
So you are exercising hard -- cardio, HITT or lifting -- two hours daily six days a week, and you are working two separate jobs which have you on your feet for nine hours a day for either five or six days a week?

Of course you're ravenous. And you're also edging into disordered eating & exercising territory. (Says someone who's been there and has to watch herself for a lifelong tendency to return there.)

If this is the way you plan to live -- and I'd be curious to see how you got to this place, what you decided to add and when and why -- I agree with upping your calories for several days to see what happens. You want to see how high you can go and still maintain. That's the idea, rather than how low you can go and be ravenously hungry all the time.

But don't up your calories with junk. Good clean protein and the good fats are what you need.

Now that we know your activity level, can you also give us a typical day describing what and when you eat? When you write it down, you may be able to see the gaps of things you may not be getting enough of, or even the timing of the meals, that could help you.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:56 AM   #12
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I really appreciate all of the input from everyone. I would like to see the highest I can maintain at as well-- but its terrifying! I know 200 calories each day isn't that big of a jump... I guess Its just the newness of it thats a ilttle scary. anyways-- I have wondered sometimes if I'm getting a little over the top with counting calories and exercise.. It just slowly crept up on me though. I grew up dancing and was always concious of what I was eating, then about i year ago I decided that I wanted to lose about 5 pounds, and started strictly counting calories. 5lbs turned into 10, which turned to 20... the success of losing weight (and all of the compliments that came along with it) became addictive-- and Its been kind of hard for me to tell myself that I shouldnt lose anymore... but I really am happy with where I am now. As far as exercise goes- I have always been active, but discovered that exercise in the morning makes me feel great and I love it, and then in the afternoon in between jobs I live too far away from both jobs to drive all the way home and back, so the gym was just somewhere to hang out- and If Im there I might as well be working hard.. right? anyways -- shortened version of where that all came from..

Day of eating-
Breakfast after I workout (9am) (its always the same) 4 egg whites, 1/2 c. Mushrooms, 1/2 C spinach with salsa, bowl of plain oatmeal, and a coffee.
snack: Oat ban pancake (oat bran, greek yogurt and 2 egg whites) and some kind of fruit
Lunch: Usually a protein shake, sometimes a ham/turkey/PB+J sandwich
Snack: Varies from another bowl of oatmeal to a can of tuna or some other fruit/vegetable, whatever I feel like.
Dinner: I try to get some kid of protein (usually chicken or salmon) along with broccolli or cauliflower or something along those lines..
around 8:00... Hunger hits!

So maybe Ill just try going up to 2000 calories a day and see where that takes me... thanks again for all the advice and for reading my little rant-- Im happy to hear any other suggestions as well!
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:07 AM   #13
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I'm another one who is exhausted on your behalf! Who else said to add healthy fats? I agree with them! Eat some yolks with your eggs or put nut butter in your oatmeal or throw some avocado on your spinach and salsa. Eat real food for lunch. Add brown rice with chopped almonds to your dinner. Fat will make you feel full longer and is essential for a healthy body.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:57 AM   #14
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Your waitress work is your normal daily activity and doesn't count as exercise.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterInVA View Post
Your waitress work is your normal daily activity and doesn't count as exercise.

Why not? It's physical activity and burns calories.Sure sounds like exercise to me.
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