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Needing more calories at a lower weight?

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Old 04-15-2010, 10:47 PM   #1
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Default Needing more calories at a lower weight?

I wasn't sure if I should post this here or maybe in the maintainers or featherweights but I just went with here.

I'm oh so very close to where I want to be, the number on my scale is a number I like and I'm not all that worried if it goes down much anymore, I'm more concerned with fitting better into my clothes and tightening up. Don't get me wrong, I still have fat I'd like to lose just not as much. But lately I have been dragging, I've been tired, fatigued, even dizzy sometimes. I haven't changed my diet or really even my exercise so I'm wondering if now that I have less actually fat on my body maybe I need to start adding more calories in to make up for how much I'm burning though exercise to sort of balance things back out.

Right now and all though out my entire weight loss journey I've eaten at about 1200 calories, often less. I know I know, bad bad but I was never hungry or dizzy or any of the signs I knew came with eating too little. I figured my body had plenty of fat to pull off of and it was doing just that. I always had tons of energy and felt wonderful but lately that's changed.

I'm scared to death to add calories but I'm starting to worry. I feel awful most of the time, I'm having a harder time getting up in the mornings, I feel nauseous and dizzy a lot, grumpy and HUNGRY. So so hungry. Since I'm a smaller person I would think I'd need less calories not more but I'm wondering if because I don't have as much body fat for my body to pull from that might be the problem.

I do a lot of cardio, yoga, some weights and often burn anywhere from 500 to 900 (according to my elliptical machine, how accurate that is I don't know) calories a day 5 days a week and I've never subtracted any of that from my daily calories allowances. I'd rather not cut back on exercise so I'm wondering how many calories I should add in? Any ideas? 200 maybe? Or an extra 100 with meals for an extra 300 a day. I never thought I'd be so afraid of eating!

Anyways, sorry for such a long post. I've just hit a point in my journey where I just don't know where to go now. Thank you in advance for the help!
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:54 PM   #2
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Hey Meow! I'm in the exact situation. Pretty much reached the weight I've wanted to and now toning up well.

So I started at 1200 average too and moved to about 1400 after a few months. I really started training hard about a month ago and am now on about 3 hours a day 5 days a week (cardio, Hiit, weight training, stretch class, dance class). And I was ravenous. Weak, dizzy, exhausted in the mornings and losing too much weight. I knew I had to up my calories and did so slowly. So I upped to a 1500 average, still lost, up to 1600, was still losing and suffering and am now up to 1700 average.

Feeling loads better and really energetic these days. I'm still losing but slower and hey, it's all about trial and error. Just add in slowly and take it from there. You'll never know until you try and I'm sure you don't want to continue feeling as awful as you have. I know - it's not a fun feeling! I realized i was eating much too little for my level of activity. So give it a try and good luck!
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:18 AM   #3
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Tagan47, thank you! It's so encouraging to hear someone else has been though this. I've been so focused on losing pounds and the whole less is more thing that adding more just seemed crazy! Like I said, there is less of me so I should need less!

I'm really nervous about this whole eating more thing and I'm not sure how to go about it. I've gotten really good at keeping my calories at this level so I'll have to go back to watching more carefully and tracking again. Also I've gotten good at eating high volume low calorie foods so my meals make me feel full but they aren't lasting until my next meal like they used too. Snacks scare me because snacking is what got me into this mess in the first place. I know I know, get over it already!

How did you add more in? Bigger meals? More snacks? I'm thinking about starting with a pre and maybe even post workout snack, like a hard boiled egg or some sort of protein.

Again thank you, just knowing someone else has been here, added more and is still getting to where they want to be is super encouraging.
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:31 AM   #4
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You're welcome Glad to see I'm not alone in it either. I agree snacking can be problematic but keep it healthy and you'll be fine. I was doing pretty low carb (avoiding rice, bread and pasta with meals). But slowly adding them in to up my calories and for a much needed energy boost. Rice I do, bread I still save for only weekends because it's a trigger for me. Then just bigger portions of chicken or fish at mealtimes, more fruit and vegetables, adding nuts to fruit salads, an energy bar now and then to fuel my workouts.

I totally understand about how hard it is. I was terrified to eat more because I love where I'm at. But I also loved my constant energy and feeling as out of it as I did for a few weeks after upping my workout intensity was just not worth it. So I took the plunge. And luckily for me, it's paid off. I actually think eating more is helping me tone up and lose inches much more effectively than I did at 1200-1400 calories!
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:24 AM   #5
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If you're so, so, hungry and all those other things you mentioned - than I would DEFINITELY start consuming more calories. I'd add them in slowly 100 - 200 calories per day to start out with. Through trial and error you can see if this makes you feel better and if you start to gain weight or not.

If I had an extra couple of hundred calories to play around with (if only), I'd add in some healthy calories - 1/4 of an avocado to my salad and/or some chopped walnut, some beans. An extra apple. Like Tagan mentioned - more chicken, more fish.

I am also wondering if you've had a check up. I think a trip to the doctor could be in order. Sounds like you're feeling pretty lousy and a complete check up just to be certain everything is in order couldn't harm.
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Old 04-16-2010, 07:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockinrobin View Post
I am also wondering if you've had a check up. I think a trip to the doctor could be in order. Sounds like you're feeling pretty lousy and a complete check up just to be certain everything is in order couldn't harm.
I just want to second this. It wouldn't have to be anything really bad, either--you could, say, be anemic, which often responds well and quickly to treatment.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the advice. I think I'm going to start by just focusing on getting my full 1200 calories a day instead of my usual more like 900-1000. You see I'm what I call myself a cushion person. I like to leave cushions, like when I'm driving I always leave a nice cushion between me and the car in front of me, who knows, that driver behind me riding my tail might slam into me! Or I like to always have a 1/4 tank a gas in the car, half a tank is even better! Etc. I'm the same way with dieting, my limit is 1200 well ok, but if I can keep it lower then I have 'cushion' in case tomorrow something comes up! Worked very well for me for awhile but I think with the exercise I do and the fact that I just don't have as much body fat for my body to use anymore I need to concentrate on getting that 1200. We'll see how that goes, I'll watch my weight and energy levels and go from there.

Again thank you all for the advice and tips on food. I feel silly for complaining about having to eat more but there it is.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:23 PM   #8
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Do you mostly just do elliptical? If so you've probably gotten to where you body is pretty awesome at it and it doesn't burn nearly as much as you think it does.

You should maybe try adding in a lot of variation to the type and intensity of your cardio. Add in some days where your cardio is much more intense for shorter bursts. That will also help work more muscle groups.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:43 PM   #9
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randomcards: Hadn't heard that one. Unsettling thought as now I have nothing to explain my feeling so cruddy lately. I do, do a lot of elliptical because it's what's available to me. I live on the second floor of an apt so anything that has me bouncing around making noise is kinda out, part of the reason we got the elliptical. And until my daughters done with pre-school (why does pre school have to cost so much?) we just don't have the extra for a gym membership as much as I'd like one.

On the other hand I still feel I get a pretty good calorie burning workout from my elliptical, I vary my intensity throughout and interval high and lower and I also add incline and more resistance from day to day. It still gets me super sweaty and I feel amazing after busting out 60 mins high intensity on it! I even still get pretty sore. So I guess until I can go full blast, full incline and full resistance without breaking a sweat I figure it's got to be doing something.

I'm always up for ideas on good sweaty but quite cardio workouts I can do at home.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:43 AM   #10
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Are you possibly pregnant?? That's the first thing that popped into my mind.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:56 AM   #11
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It could be that you're iron deficient. I"m sorry if someone has already mentioned that, since I only skimmed through the other responses. I've heard that women who lose a lot of weight or workout a lot (sorry, I don't remember) tend to be deficient in Iron. I suggest you see a doctor for a blood test just to rule it out and maybe do a comprehensive blood analysis just to rule out other things like thyroid function. The upside? The doctor won't tell you that you need to lose weight!
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:26 AM   #12
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ddc: Me too! But I've had my period so I was able to rule that one out. Thankfully!

luckymommy: Since I've started dieting and working out I have noticed that I do get dizzy if I forget to take my iron/multi but as long as I've taken it I'm fine. This has been sort of new. Unfortunately I'm a stay at home mommy and don't have medical coverage atm so I can't just pop into my doctor and money is tight. Of course if it's something serious ignoring it until it get's really bad isn't going to help much ether so I plan to add in a little more food and keep an eye on it, if it doesn't seem to get better we'll work something out for me to go see someone.

Yesterday I added a hard-boiled egg before and after my workout and I did notice an improvement in my energy during and after! I felt better throughout the day also. So maybe that was all I needed.
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