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Eating More (calories/volume)

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Old 01-10-2008, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default Eating More (calories/volume)

I just had lunch with a coworker and was trying to explain to her my approach with weight loss and weight lifting.

I'm curious if it jives with your own experience and if you agree with the approach. I'm also curious if you have had to explain to people "how to lose weight". (Obviously, it's working for me, so I'm not going to change it )

The way my trainer describes it, and I remember or interpret it:
You bulk up first, ie build muscle, then work your way down from there, this helps the body manage weight loss without it simply being all about restriction and resulting in a full body sag. (My trainer lost 180lbs and doesn't have an ounce of loose skin on him!)

To do this nutritionally, you have to fuel your weight loss. You take your BMR, add your calories burned from exercise (I'm conservative with that number), subtract 300 to no more than 500 calories, and that's how many calories you need to take in). This way the food builds the muscle and the calories don't put you into restriction, resulting in a yo yo effect that dieters experience. You lose weight slowly (2lbs/week) but it's sustainable loss.

I find this puts me at 800 calories more than most diets would put me on. And yes, I yo-yo'd like crazy before this.

Anyway, thoughts?

It seems this shocks most people who just believe "eat less" and move more to lose weight. I tried explaining to her that it works and is better, and I just got looked at like I'm from Mars. However, my body is living proof.... Yet people are married to our rarely successful diet culture, aren't they...?

Last edited by JerseyGirl69 : 01-10-2008 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:04 PM   #2
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Well, this certainly isn't how I did it, and it doesn't make sense given my experience.

3500 calories equals, approximately, a lb. If you subtract 500 calories a day from what you're burning, you'll lose, approximately, 1 lb per week. I don't see how a difference of 3500 calories, maximum, a week would result in a loss of 2 lbs a week.

To lose 2 lbs a week, I had to reduce my consumption to 1000 calories per day below what I was burning. That is what worked for me, and so far it has been successful. Of course, there are lower bounds (I never went below 1200 calories a day unless I was sick), and nutritional considerations as well.

I can see how building/fueling muscle would increase your BMR to a small extent, but that'd change the amount you'd have to eat under this plan, right? So it still wouldn't account for the 3500 cal a week discrepancy.

we all find something that works for us. Glad you and your trainer have a way that works for you!

I spend a lot of time telling people that there is no one thing that works to lose weight for everyone...everyone's body is different. While it is true that regular exercise and a reduction in calories will result in some loss for everyone, maintaining that level of exercise and eating works better for different people on different plans. I try not to tell people "how to do it" at all, since I know we are all so individual that what works for me might not work for them.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:40 PM   #3
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My BMR is 2100. If I took 1000 calories off, I'd be at 1100 calories. I was before I trained and was dieting on Medifast, I could not lose weight.

Perhaps I stated the math incorrectly. Hmm. I suck at math, dontcha know.

If I add the anticipated 800-1400 calories I burn from activity, that's 2100+ 800min=2900. Minus 1000 and I'm at 1900. Well, I eat a range of calories, mostly hovering at the 2000 mark, so that makes sense.

Ok. I'm officially number-discombobulated.

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Old 01-10-2008, 02:42 PM   #4
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maybe half the weight comes from the caloric reduction and the other half from a sped up metabolism?

All I know is how it was emphasized to never take off more than 500 calories or you'd throw the process out weight loss out of whack.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:46 PM   #5
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JerseyGirl - that may be, but that increase in your metabolism increases your BMR - so under what you said you'd eat more to compensate. I took off 1000 calories a day and it never gave me a problem. It may throw things out of whack for some people?

I don't know. I also strength train, which boosts my metabolism, so it all works out.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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When I first came to my gym, they ran a nutritional assessment that recommended 2900 calories (I weighed 320). I gained on that.

My Tanita scale suggests my BMR is 2100. That's what I use as a number, but maybe it is higher and the only way it works is when I'm low carb/high calories?
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:05 PM   #7
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Hm, eating less and moving more is what worked for me.

I simply picked a reasonable calorie level (1600 to start and gradually dropped down to 1200 calories as I lost pounds) and focused on lean protein, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. That's the "eating less" part.

I lifted weights five days a week and did an hour on the elliptical every day. That's the "moving more" part.

I lost 122 pounds in a little less than a year and have maintained that loss for 5 1/2 years. My BF dropped from 57% to 14.5% and I added eight pounds of muscle at the same time that I lost 130 pounds of fat.

My goodness, it must seem awfully simplistic, but it's what worked for me.
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Meg View Post
Hm, eating less and moving more is what worked for me.

I simply picked a reasonable calorie level (1600 to start and gradually dropped down to 1200 calories as I lost pounds) and focused on lean protein, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. That's the "eating less" part.

I lifted weights five days a week and did an hour on the elliptical every day. That's the "moving more" part.

I lost 122 pounds in a little less than a year and have maintained that loss for 5 1/2 years. My BF dropped from 57% to 14.5% and I added eight pounds of muscle at the same time that I lost 130 pounds of fat.

My goodness, it must seem awfully simplistic, but it's what worked for me.
You never cease to knock me off my chair, Meg. Unbelievable.

And I agree. I'm a less/more/more though- less of the bad stuff, more of the good stuff (which sort of knocked me out of the calorie counters because I didn't count veggies), and more moving. I never created a science out of it or even thought too much about the process (thinking about the food though is QUITE another story). In retrospect, I think it was just what I thought and felt I should be doing.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:16 PM   #9
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Meg, I had tried all sorts of calorie levels--1000-1200-1500-1800-2000-2400 and on carb focused diets, couldn't lose more than 10lbs on them over 6mo to 1 yr.

THe training staff emphasized for me that I needed to eat to fuel my work outs and build the muscle and that to just go from the BMR and down from there would be **** on the body, result in flab and likely unsustainable weight loss. FYI, they've helped quite a few people lose 100lbs+. so....

I just looked at my fitday logs and it seems last week when I ate 2100-2900 I lost more, this week (1600-2100) I'm stalling slightly.... Problem is 1600 is easier to tolerate than eating more....
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:16 PM   #10
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I'm also an eat less and BETTER and move more person.
From my own experience and my experience with working with other obese people, they seem to fall into two categories. There are the obese who eat one or two huge meals a day and under-estimate what they are eating because they get so hungry that they are eating way more at those few meals than their bodies can utilize within the digestive time frame. These people are baffled why they are fat because they insist they don't eat much. Sometimes that's true. The other category are people who just eat way too much, snack and nibble without paying attention to what, how much and when they are eating, and eat all the "wrong" foods in the wrong portions.

JerseyGirl, cutting to 1000 or 1200 calories would have been close to starvation for you at the time. Did you exercise then? I doubt that you could have kept it up for very long on a strict medifast diet. Starvation is a good way to end up skinny flabby, I couldn't agree more.

If what you are doing is working for you, congratulations! But it runs counter to most people's experience who've successfully lost weight and kept it off. I agree totally with your trainer's advice to eat to fuel your body- but I doubt that you are eating more and moving less that you did originally. As you lose more weight, you will have to cut calories. The "golden time" of boundless muscle building only lasts about 3-6 months for most women.

Before you started dieting, did you seriously track what you ate so that you can absolutely say that you are eating MORE now? Most people who are not dieting or extremely health conscious have no idea what they eat. I suspect that you are making better food choices now and it feels like you're eating more (forget about the medifast days) although you are in fact eating less calories than you were to get to 320 pounds.

I had to eat less, better and move a lot more to lose weight. I have to do the same thing to maintain my weight.

And personally, I'd question whether your trainer really has no skin issues. I find that really hard to believe.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:29 PM   #11
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There isn't a one of us who can defy the laws of physics and lose fat without creating a calorie deficit. I'm sure we all can agree on that, right?

JerseyGirl, it sounds like you've found a calorie level that's working for you. That's great! You're creating a calorie deficit sufficient to lose two pounds a week, which means you're eating about 1000 calories per day less than you're burning (your total calories burned are BMR + activities of daily life + exercise + thermic effect of food). That sounds pretty much like what the rest of us did -- admittedly, with much less analysis!
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:38 PM   #12
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JerseyGirl, in your own blog you say that the way to lose 2 pounds a week is to create a 7000 calorie deficit. Isn't this what you are doing?

Quote:
How To Lose Weight

-Consider your priorities, make sure they align with good health.

-Determine your BMR

-Determine the caloric burn of your regular or proposed plan of activities (I suggest to be conservative and consider it 10-20% less than stated).

-Strive to have a total defecit for the week of 7000 calories or more for a 2lb+ loss per week.

-Do not fret over the scale--your body will go up and down. Monitor it only to understand patterns and make changes to your program.

-Expect slow loss (1-2lbs a week) for healthy loss. In our Biggest Loser and diet culture we have come to think that's not enough. It's perfectly healthy. What isn't is a perception that it's not enough.

-Create a workout plan. Get a minimum of 5 days a week one hour exercise daily (3x a week weight lifting and 2-5x a week cardio and core). Your plan should include strength, core work, and cardio, but the first two will have the biggest change on your body and the first on your metabolism for lasting weight loss and weight management.

-Workout hard. Ask for advice from experts if you need to accomodate any specific health challenges (there are many ways), but you should not fear high intensity and hard work. it is what will make you achieve results.
Sounds like eat less/move more to me. Maybe we are just calling something different.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:42 PM   #13
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Before you started dieting, did you seriously track what you ate so that you can absolutely say that you are eating MORE now? Most people who are not dieting or extremely health conscious have no idea what they eat. I suspect that you are making better food choices now and it feels like you're eating more (forget about the medifast days) although you are in fact eating less calories than you were to get to 320 pounds.

I had to eat less, better and move a lot more to lose weight. I have to do the same thing to maintain my weight.

And personally, I'd question whether your trainer really has no skin issues. I find that really hard to believe.
I measured my food and tracked my calories for 3 years on Fitday. I was mostly eating 1200-1500 calories in those 3 years. I'm not now.

And yes, I exercised while on Medifast. No problem doing that....I could eat 900c and not feel hunger.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:47 PM   #14
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There isn't a one of us who can defy the laws of physics and lose fat without creating a calorie deficit. I'm sure we all can agree on that, right?

JerseyGirl, it sounds like you've found a calorie level that's working for you. That's great! You're creating a calorie deficit sufficient to lose two pounds a week, which means you're eating about 1000 calories per day less than you're burning (your total calories burned are BMR + activities of daily life + exercise + thermic effect of food). That sounds pretty much like what the rest of us did -- admittedly, with much less analysis!

If Fitday is close to accurate, between BMR and exercise I burn 3700 calories every day (with my activity level). Minus 1600-2100 calories, I'm at a deficit of 1600-2100. so 3.2 -4.2 lbs.

But here's the thing. When I eat 2600-2900 now on low carb, I lose those kind of numbers. When I eat 1600-2100 I slow down/stall.

Ah who knows...I'm brain dead and shouldn't have attempted to think and work my job at the same time.

SOrry for the confusion--I'm trying to define the "pattern".

Last edited by JerseyGirl69 : 01-10-2008 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:50 PM   #15
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For me what worked was creating a calorie defecit. I don't recommend this to people but any means but if I'm being honest, I did strictly reduce my calories and didn't exercise too much. I (wrongly) focused on food first and health later.

I'm working on correcting it now but I did lose and maintain a significant loss for more than a couple of years with calorie reduction.

Absolutely I think the answer is "whatever works for you", not in the quick fix sort of way, but some people swear by calorie counting, some by low carb. I think that some methods are more sound or healthy but I'm not sure if there's anything that will work across the board for everyone.

Also, people just have trouble with the message to eat more. Understandably it's so counterintuitive to what people have heard. If it works for you, keep it up. And if it continues to work for you, more people might "come over to the dark side"!
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