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Confused, need advice - trying to work out calories/exercise

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Old 02-16-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
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Default Confused, need advice - trying to work out calories/exercise

Hi everyone,

So....I basically started the middle of January 2009. I am 5'6 and weigh 170 lb.

So far I have lost 4 lb. That's 4 lb in FIVE WEEKS. I want to lose more per week. Even 1.5 lb every single week would be fabulous.

Right now I'm eating between 1600-1800 calories per day.

I exercise 6 days per week:
3x weekly: Jillian Michaels 30-day shred
5x weekly: Running on treadmill for 25 min (going up to 30 this week)
2x weekly: Speed walking for 45 minutes.

I am thinking of dropping down my calories to 1400 per day. But on the days I work two jobs, I can see that I'm going to have a problem doing it - especially seeing as I get up so early, go to bed so late and am quite hungry during the day.

So...when people say they eat X amount of calories per day, are you counting IN exercising with that? Or are you just eating X amount of calories and then exercising, not counting the calories burned from exercising?

I'm confused! Help!

~Choirgirl~
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:35 PM   #2
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I would perhaps try for 1,400 - 1,600 and see how that works for you! It's all about trial & error.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:38 PM   #3
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For me, I'm about your height and weight, I started losing quickly when I was exercising as much as you, but I was eating 1400 or 1300 calories per day.

I'm curious what types of foods you're eating, that you're having trouble with being hungry. Maybe if you try getting your calories from foods that are less calorie dense so that way you can eat more actual volume of food?

Oh, and when people say they're eating X amount of calories, it's just that - Calories In. Calories out is usually kept completely separate.

Last edited by Viatre : 02-16-2009 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Viatre View Post
For me, I'm about your height and weight, I started losing quickly when I was exercising as much as you, but I was eating 1400 or 1300 calories per day.

I'm curious what types of foods you're eating, that you're having trouble with being hungry. Maybe if you try getting your calories from foods that are less calorie dense so that way you can eat more actual volume of food?
It's not like I'm starving - it's just that I am "hungrier" on the days that I am up at 7 am and don't go to bed until 12:30 am. Those are two days a week. I don't think it's because of the types of foods (although maybe! I'm open to that idea!) but just the fact that I'm up and very active for so much of the day.

But yes, I'm trying to find some way to cut my foods on those two particular days to be able to eat, just not high-calorie stuff.

But that stuff you said about being the same height/weight and eating those calories really helps, thanks!!!

~Choirgirl~
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:51 PM   #5
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I agree. With regular exercise you should lose when your calorie intake is around 1400 - 1600. Are you eating alot of sodium? That will slow you down with loss too.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:10 PM   #6
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Hmmmm to the sodium. I have no idea.

So...let me get this straight then - Say I eat 1400 calories, and then exercise 45 min in the morning and 30 min at night. I don't eat any more calories then? I can't say, oh, I speed walked 45 minutes this morning, that burned say 200 calories (just for number's sake), I can eat 200 calories more to keep at 1400 calories?

Because then, it's like you are eating 1400, but exercising off say 200, it's like you are really taking in 1200 calories?

No?
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:13 PM   #7
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I might be going against the crowd here, but I vote a resounding NO... STAY AT 1600-1800!

Here's why: You are 5'6 and exercising about 10 times per week. Your body needs the proper amount of calories to fuel this exercise. You will begin burning muscle rather than fat if you do not eat enough calories.

You are already losing a healthy amount of weight. If you start dropping calories in order to "speed up" the process, it will hamper your long term healthy results. Just be patient and allow it to naturally take its course.

Go to the maintainers. We will ALL tell you that it takes time, effort, and patience. There is no quick solution to this. You are doing EXCELLENT and are already on the right path. You have only started mid January. This process, especially at a lower weight like yours, can take several months or up to a year.

In regards to your question,

I do the same amount of exercise as you (although after a few years I am probably at higher intensity) and eat about 1800 calories per day. I do not do any math/exercise calculations. I eat 1800. Workout or no workout.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:34 PM   #8
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i agree with sacha. the goal isn't just immediate weight loss- its sustainable lifestyle changes. you are on a great plan right now with ~1600 and your current workouts. one suggestion is to increase your weight training a bit. if you enjoy the 30ds, increase your weight (ex. 2-5 lb heavier hand weights). Muscle burns more calories than fat in the long term.

I was on a similar plan to yours two years ago and I was slow to lose weight in the first 2 months (maybe 5-10 lbs total). Then I dropped another 20 lbs in the following 3 months even after my exercise fell off when school started back. The extra muscle mass helped me burn bonus calories just from my regular daily activity.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:21 PM   #9
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Good luck. I'd have to agree with all of these ladies here.
Im just trying to get through my first day of 30day shred.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
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Most of the time, calorie counting is based on calories eaten. Exercise helps you by raising your metabolism and burning calories, but with few exceptions, I'm not sure people regularly "eat back" the calories they use up with exercise.

I agree with sacha & lobon. A pound a week is great progress. What's the rush? This is the rest of your life kind of thing. There will be weeks you might not lose at all and there will be weeks you might lose more than a pound. It's not exactly scientific. I think if you are satisfied with what you are eating and exercising in a way/amount of time you can sustain longterm, then keep on keepin' on for now.

Perhaps add some weight training.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choirgirlhotel View Post
It's not like I'm starving - it's just that I am "hungrier" on the days that I am up at 7 am and don't go to bed until 12:30 am. Those are two days a week. I don't think it's because of the types of foods (although maybe! I'm open to that idea!) but just the fact that I'm up and very active for so much of the day.

But yes, I'm trying to find some way to cut my foods on those two particular days to be able to eat, just not high-calorie stuff.

But that stuff you said about being the same height/weight and eating those calories really helps, thanks!!!

~Choirgirl~
I've just got one thing maybe to add... if you're calorie counting, maybe you should try calorie cycling and just eat a little more on those days, and eat a little less on easier days. Rather than fighting your body on this, work with it.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:05 PM   #12
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Thank you all so much for the advice.

Well, I am in a little bit of a rush right now, just because I have a goal of 15 lb by May 2 when I go on holiday for 3 weeks. I know how that sounds - but I can't help but feel that way!!

I also feel sad and envious when I see other people on the site losing 5-10 pounds almost instantly!

My week will be calorie cycling already as, you are right, I just won't be able to keep to 1400 calories on those two days, and Saturday is usually a higher calorie day for me (1800).

But I'm just going to try to drop at least 4 days to 1400 and see what happens. I feel intuitively that I'm eating too many calories on some days, so I will just tweak it a bit.

Thanks for all of your advice! I know it's quite an individual thing, but i was really confused about counting the calories earned for exercise.

~Choirgirl~
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:16 PM   #13
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I never ate back calories I burned from exercise. I was never completely sure how many I was burning, so I didn't risk it.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:04 PM   #14
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Hi CGH!

Honestly, experiment with your caloric intake. You may find that you're either eating too much to lose weight or not enough

I know someone brought up the amount of sodium you're taking in your diet (maybe too high)... how's your water intake? Are you getting your 8 glasses in?

Honestly from what you've posted on your exercise level, you should be losing weight. Granted it may not always be 2 lbs per week (I'd sure like that myself!! ) but you'll lose weight.

One last tip: throw in some weight training a couple times a week... you won't bulk up, it'll help tone you, and BURN more calories to help you lose more weight as time goes by!

You're doing FAB, FAB, FABULOUS work!! Keep it up!

~ tea
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:50 AM   #15
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Not an overall solutions, but two small suggestions:

1) You can eat less on some days but not necessarily all days. Maybe leave your long days the same, and cut back a little on the easier days, and see how that goes. Kind of like a little calorie cycling.

2) Some people just start off slow. Then their body realizes, hey, good stuff going on, and start to lose more.
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