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Old 08-25-2011, 04:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need help cutting calories

I'm 5'5 160, my goal is 140. I eat on average about 3500 calories a day. I started running but I am only doing 2.5 to 3 miles 3 days a week. Now it is time to improve on the eating but I'm always starved when I cut calories to 1500 and then I totally trash my diet a few days later. Any advice?
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't cut your calories by that much straight away. Even cutting 500 calories per day should give you a 1lb per week loss. You are cutting like 2000 per day. Your body will not tolerate that very long. If you haven't yet, start logging all your food to make sure how much you really are eating then go from there. Take out the things you don't really need and just maybe 500-1000 less per day to begin with. Otherwise you are going to be constantly hungry and destined for failure.

I just re-read that and I hope it doesn't come across wrong.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Do you know how many calories you're burning a day? Cutting 500 a day assumes you will lose a pound a week only if you're eating at a level that's maintaining your current weight. 3500 calories a day sounds like a lot to be maintaining a weight of 160, with three times a week exercise.

Said differently, if you cut back to, say 3000 or 2500 calories a day, and you're only burning 2200 a day, you are still going to be gaining weight, not losing it. High fiber foods will fill you up, and protein and healthy fat will keep you satisfied longer.

Cutting back gradually is definitely the way to go if you're worried about giving up and trashing your diet, but run the numbers first. FitDay does it, but I also like this calories burned in a day calculator for a "second opinion." http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm guessing you know how many calories you eat daily because you measure your food and you also put the results in your food log. The entry of the data is important, sure, but the measurement of the food is more important. The information is only as good as its accuracy!

I think I could EASILY eat 3500 calories daily without blinking. Right now, I'm aiming for around 2000 and it's hard not to go a little above that (200 calories, for example). I am losing weight a pound or so a week. Slow but steady. 2000 calories is not even that much food - given my food choices. There are ways to make 2000 calories a humongous amount of food - eating a lot of vegetables without fats, for example, and just boiled, baked or steamed.

Meat tends to pack high-calorie fat so that you don't see it in the meat but it's there. So, more steamed veggies with lean meat or fish more as a condiment than the centerpiece of a meal will make you feel full. Eat more fibrous vegetables and you'll be surprised how it quells your appetite.

Put it all on top of some brown rice (no oil) and eat the bowl full - you're eating like an Asian, then. Doesn't have to be an Asian-flavored dish... that's just the way most of the world eats!
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks, I have always eaten alot of food. I have to learn to like vegetables with out sauces or butter and learn portion control. When you cut back on calories do you guys feel hungry? Water doesn't seem to cut it. I'm thinking I should learn to like raw veggies too?
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What you might want to do is take a look at your diet and see if you can replace a high calorie food with a lower calorie option. For example like my coffee with cream or creamer. Both of which add about 80 calories per cup of coffee (I use a rather large coffee mug). So I switched out the cream/creamer for almond milk which only adds about 9 calories/mug. I don't miss anything that way, but I've dropped my calorie intake by 140 calories with just that one change. Another thing you might try is a low calorie bread, we use 35 calorie/slice bread around here, which drops the calories in a sandwich by 130-150 depending on the brand. I also limit myself to 1 egg yolk/day. Mind you I'm allergic to them, but if I make an omelet I'll use 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites. Generally if I bake anything I'll use just the egg whites to cut down on the fat and calories. I think with a little study you can probably drop your calories by 500-1000/day and not be missing anything.

Another bit of advice I can offer is that the "STARVING" feeling for me is closely related to the consumption of grains. I'm a carboholic and have hard carb crashes somewhere between 2-5 hours after I've consumed a lot of carbs, especially if they are grain based. So watch what you eat and see if you can find a correlation between what you've eaten and when you feel like you're "STARVING" to death. You might be a carboholic too.

We all trash our diets from time to time. I trash mine all the time, but I generally manage to get myself picked up and back on the wagon with the next meal, and if not then - the next day for sure.

On the veggies, you might try spray butter, no calories and it actually tastes like melted butter.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is what I do for the veggies......I use fresh or frozen (green beans, squash, zucchini, asparagus and once in a great while a potato or sweet potato). I spray a cookie sheet with olive oil-flavored Pam, put the veggies on the cookie sheet, spray them with Pam and sprinkle with whatever no-salt flavoring I have and roast them in the oven. They are very good!
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Smile Cutting Calories

We all think calories are evil. But honestly not all calories are made the same. Take in good food to a limit and you will have a healthy life. Try starting off a day with healthy Carbs such as wheat bread or wheat cereal and non-fat milk. You will cut around 100-200 calories right there. Instead of indulging yourself with Carmel latte, try to drink Coffee black with non-fat milk and brown sugar. For lunch, try to keep it lean with little bit of fat. Go for a walk after lunch. Dinner, keep it as lean as possible. Don’t go to sleep right after eating. Also, hit the gym. One day in a week try to eat junk to keep your body from starving off junk. Balance everything out and you will lose weight.

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Old 11-11-2011, 02:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Taking in 3500 calories per day I would guess that some of it must come from beverages. Change to diet or cut out alcohol if that is contributing.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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One way of thinking that really helps me is focusing on the amount of food you get for your calories (kinda like a volume/calorie metric). For example, a container of sugar-free jello is only 10 calories. Add a tiny bit of light/no-fat whipped cream to that for 15 calories, and you have a pretty decently sized dessert for 25 calories. A lean meat turkey hot dog? 45 calories. An original boca burger? 90 calories. A serving of unsweetened apple sauce? 50 calories.

Finding these sorts of food that provide voluminous bulk without massive calories will really help to fill you up. If you eat 2k calories a day, imagine how many smaller items you can eat throughout the day! Studies show that most people tend to eat constant amounts of volume to feel full, regardless of how caloric that volume is. So, when I start watching my calories, I focus on maximizing the amount of food for the number of calories I have for that meal.

For example, if breakfast is 300 cal: you could do a piece of sprouted grain bread (90 cal) with an egg on top (65-75 cal), 17 mini saltines (70 cal), 2 cups of water with lemon in it (<5 cal) and 2 slices turkey bacon (70 cal). That's a lot of food for about 305 calories, and there's no reason that won't fill you up until your late morning snack. :-)

Also, water doesn't really fill me up unless I add some flavor- I like to make some lemon or cucumber water (just cut some up and throw it in a pitcher with water, let it sit overnight), and that really helps me fill up.
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