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Old 01-20-2011, 06:54 PM   1 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1 (permalink)
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Default Constipation, Calorie deficit & Exercise

How many calories do I need to lose 1-2 pounds per week?

Female
26 years old
5'4"
weight 158pounds

I get confused when you add exercise into the equation. Do I need to take into account my daily exercise when determing my minimum calories needed in order to lose weight.

I have been going down to 1,288 calories but then I get constipated. Am I not taking in enough and going into starvation mode? I am not super hungry. I eat small meals every 3-4 hours to keep me from getting hungry while carefully writing down every item put in my mouth.

I am training for a 10K. I just ran a 5k at 32 minutes. My running schedule has me running 3 times a week. This week Monday (3 miles) Wednesday (3 miles) and Friday (5miles). Do I need to eat more those days? Or just stick to 1288 calories no matter what?

I hate those drop down boxes on calorie calculators. My exercise activity varies daily, how am I supposed to figure it out?
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A pound of body weight is roughly equivalent to 3500 calories. You will need a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day for a 1 pound loss per week (500cal X 7days = 3500cal) or 1000 calories per day for a 2 pound per week loss (1000cal X 7days = 7000cal).

Base Metabolism Rate (BMR) PLUS Physical Activities MINUS Calorie Deficit Goal EQUALS Calories to EAT (BMR + Physical Activities - Cal. Deficit Goal = Calories to Eat)
Use the FITDAY tools to find your BMR, add your activites for the day using the Activities tab, Subtract your Deficit goal. This tells you how many calories you can eat for the day. Several here add calories on the days they workout and cut back on the days they don't. Others just aim for an average for the week. So some days they are over their deficit goal and other days they are under. Whatever works for you. (I like eating more when I exercise.)

I hadn't heard of constipation from limiting calories, are you drinking enough water? Your water consumption should actually go up while you diet. I don't believe this has anything to do with starvation mode.

If you use the Fitday tools and set up a weight loss goal it will tell you what your deficit needs to be per day.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ron's just about covered it in a nutshell; the only thing I can add would be to make sure you have an adequate intake of fiber. The recommended amount is 25 g or more per day.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Also you didn't mention and this relates to what Cassie said, if you are keeping low carb, which has little fiber, that can constipate you.

And seconding Ron drink drink drink that H2O!!!! For a quick fix try stool softeners and if you are really desperate, and do not use these all the time, laxatives like Senna,can help.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canary52 View Post
Also you didn't mention and this relates to what Cassie said, if you are keeping low carb, which has little fiber, that can constipate you.

And seconding Ron drink drink drink that H2O!!!! For a quick fix try stool softeners and if you are really desperate, and do not use these all the time, laxatives like Senna,can help.
Yep and also pay attention to what carbs you are eating. Some "carb foods" are much higher in fiber than others. Most fruits/vegetables have a a lot of fiber, and are also low in calories. They are really the easiest way to get fiber with a low calorie intake (not to mention all the other important nutrients/etc they have).
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Jennifer, I had the constipation problem too. Darn uncomfortable when that system isn't working right, and quite unhealthy if chronic. Only 5'1" so have to go down to 1000-1200 to lose. I don't like my carbs to go much over 100g so that meant fiber was tough to fit in there. In addition to making myself drink a huge glass of water when I wake up, I found 3 superfiber foods which are low enough in calories for me to include in my diet. If fiber is low for the day one of these will always kick it past my goal. Kirkland Berry Blend, a Costco frozen bag of mixed berries, has 90 cal per cup and 9.3g fiber. If you don't have a Costco, Sam's has their version as do regular grocery stores. Jolly Time Healthy Pop Butter 100-cal bags have 9g fiber. Cooked lentils are 228 cal per 1/4 cup and have 10.2g fiber and a decent kick of protein too. As long as I'm drinking water in the morning and during/after workouts and keep my fiber at at least 24g per day, the elimination process seems to run as it should. What a relief. Hope you find something that works for you.
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