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Old 05-20-2009, 03:55 AM   #1
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teawithsunshine's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
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S/C/G: 307/lost 140+ lbs/125

Default food & losing weight & anxiety

Hi y'all--

I've been seeing an average half-pound weight loss for several weeks now... and I tried decreasing my caloric intake for all of last week, and it didn't do anything to give me a greater weight loss.

Then I was finishing up a dessert with almond butter (I'd already calculated how much I had for today in advance as I decided to go back to my original 1,500 caloric intake) earlier tonight and I looked at the bottom of the jar and decided with my tablespoon ready, "why don't I just eat the rest of it (an additional 3-4 tablespoons of almond butter) and jack up your caloric intake just for tonight, higher than usual?"

I actually looked up my caloric intake for someone that's current 173 lbs from the Mayo Clinic Report & The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and apparently since I've worked out really hard yesterday and today, I should have eaten between 1,750 to 2,000 calories depending on my level of exercise.

with the extra three-four tablespoons, I had between 1,855 to 1,945 calories. Now, a part of me thought, "hey, this is fuel for your body and one day of eating more calories (NOT junk food or bad food at all but healthy foods) after two days of exercising HARD with an hour of cardio both days (and one hour 10 minutes of weight lifting on one day)-- that it may actually be a good thing for my body & metabolism to eat MORE.

Now, some of you guys may roll your eyes and say "good grief tea, CHILL out!"

A lot of my anxiety about food stems from the fact that I've been a lifelong compulsive overeater... I consider myself in "recovery" and still have the mentality for overeating, even though I'm on an eating lifestyle that has helped me lose this amount of weight to date.

I'm still trying to figure out how many calories I should be eating in order to drop an average 1-2 lbs a week. I'm also very aware that it can just be my body is just slowing down for the moment as I near my target weight goal and/or a small part of the weight loss slowing down is due to gaining muscle mass.

I also have been considering upping my caloric intake from 1,500 to 1,600 after next week's monday's weigh in to see if that helps at all.

I've never been as thin as I am right now (173 lbs) and at times, I get anxious over being this thin because of the uncertainty of not having a frame of reference for being this thin as a result of being overweight all my life.

Oddly enough, the more weight lifting I do, the more I realize I need food as fuel here to keep going.

On the flip side, I also struggle with the idea of "if I eat higher amounts of calories, even if its a controlled, calculated intake--- I'll start gaining weight again and get fat and I'll blow it."

It's a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde thing I work on myself and this mentality a lot and I'm better now than I was in the past about my level of "freaking out."

I just get nervous sometimes and feel more centered if I talk about it somewhere, like here

~ tea
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:31 AM   #2
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Location: A Nebraska Farm
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I hear this "fuel" our body reference a lot and it always makes me wonder a curious question....Isn't FAT stored fuel? When we consume more fuel than our body needs our bodies become like little fuel tankers and store the extra. I can see eating extra while working out if a person was of a normal weight, but when there is extra fuel just waiting to be used, why keep adding (extra) to it? It's weird how our bodies work...why does it store up all that fat if we can't use it as fuel later on down the road?
Highest weight - 333 pounds. Lost 193 pounds by calorie counting in 2008/09. Regained 73 pounds in the last 7 years and am working on getting back to a normal BMI.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:32 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chilly MN
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S/C/G: HW248;Current 198/135-139/140

Height: 5'6"


Tea, I have many of the same thoughts and feelings as you. Right now my caloric intake is around 12-1500 a day. I average 1 hr of cardio a day and weight training 3x a week. I lost 1 lb last week and have maintained this week. I feel like I'm on the edge of a loss, but the scale doesn't move...
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
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Location: Florida
Posts: 10,489

S/C/G: Lost 50 lbs, regained some

Height: 5'3"


I hear this "fuel" our body reference a lot and it always makes me wonder a curious question....Isn't FAT stored fuel?
Yeah, it is, but that's not the whole story. That's why analogies like this sometimes aren't helpful.

Every time you eat a meal, some of it gets stored as fat. Every time you exercise for longer than about 12 minutes, some fat gets used for energy for muscles. The body is also using energy even if you're sitting and doing nothing. It's a dynamic process that's going back and forth, constantly.

Proteins are being broken down and rebuilt. Carbohydrates are being used and stored. Carbs are the primary energy for the brain--and the only form it can use! The body stores some carbohydrate as well as fat, but the body will break down protein to make carbohydrate to feed the brain, once the carbohydrate stores are gone. That's the easier route. The brain must have its carbs--rule number 1.

Muscle is almost the only tissue that can burn fat for energy.

Vitamins and minerals don't get stored, and without those, things can go awry.

The reason a protein snack is recommended half an hour before exercise is so that when exercising, the body will use the protein you ate, rather than the protein in your muscles, to feed the brain. Carbs with the protein are good also, because it means the carbohydrate will last a little longer.

Excess carbs beyond the storage capacity get turned into fat.

So, if you're still following--it's not so simple as fat = fuel. We can't figure out minute by minute what the body is doing. So, we take the approach of reducing the problem to things we can manage, like total calorie target, number of minutes of exercise, and so on.

Watch out, tea. The idea of impulsively deciding it's OK to eat more because you worked out is probably not the best. You have no idea whether what you ate is getting used or is just going into storage.

A better way, I think, is to set your daily target and stick with it for two weeks at a stretch, and just not listen to the internal talk about whether you "deserve" more because you exercised more. After two weeks, you'll see what the scale says. Then if you like you can make further adjustments. But don't switch too often! You'll never know what's working and what's not that way.

Good luck!
"My religion is kindness." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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