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mhibdon 07-13-2010 03:17 PM

Caloric Planning
Hey Ladies!~ So I'm posting now because I'm struggling to find the balance between exercising and consuming calories.

So here's the dilemma: I tend to have this nasty habit of only consuming 1000-1200 calories a day. Lots of childhood/teen psychological scaring later, I'm trying to wean myself away from the "diets are supposed to be painful" mindset by going to the gym everyday and however many calories I burn there, adding that number to 1000 and then consuming that number.

But my girlfriend said that this idea is unhealthy, so I figured that I would turn to you ladies for advice! Is this plan unhealthy? If it is, then what would you recommend I do instead?

almeeker 07-13-2010 04:04 PM

I too struggle with the "diet-is-supposed-to-be-painful" syndrome, but I've been trying to convince myself that I'm not dieting, instead I'm adopting "healthy habits", which has helped with my overall attitude. I don't know that what you're suggesting is unhealthy, but it could end up being too much of a pain in the butt to work well for the long haul. Do you have to exercise before you eat anything? And what happens if you don't get to the gym because you have something else going on (wedding, vacation, funeral, etc etc), do you only get 1,000 calories? What if you tear a muscle and are out of the gym for a month? For me your plan would be prone to failure just because I wouldn't get to eat dinner if I didn't get to the gym on a given day, which sooner or later would mean a swan dive off the diet wagon. But you might have a lot more willpower and self control than I do.

I base my caloric intake on what the fitday weight goal tab suggested (well sort of anyway). I shoot for a calorie intake of 1,350-1,600/day and a calorie deficit of 500-1,500. It varies everyday, but my strategy needs to be flexible in order to work for the long haul.

mhibdon 07-13-2010 07:29 PM

Almeeker: Thanks for replying! I guess my main issue is that I just have a really slow metabolism, because I have PCOS, and I just don't really know where it is since I can eat food A one day and be fine, then eat it again the next and gain weight.

Though does this sound like a good stepping-stone towards finding the balance between "Hurray food!" and "No Food"?

iceland77 07-13-2010 09:06 PM

I think almeeker pinpointed the downside to the gym&calorie consumption plan. A good general rule is to eat 9-13 cals per pound, depending upon the weight loss you want to achieve and at what rate. 9, in my opinion, is pretty drastic (I love food!). A safe bet would be between 10-11 per pound. This method also takes into consideration weight shifts. Then, all the work you do at the gym would just be gravy. :)

Also, since you're using fitday to log all your calories, try to look at it from a week's average perspective. That way you don't have to beat yourself up if you've had a bad day or have a "cheat day". All because what it comes down to is calories in and calories out. By taking it a week at a time, you lessen the stress and the OCD over daily caloric intakes.

cjohnson728 07-13-2010 09:48 PM

You might also want to try the calorie cycle (zig zag), with more active days with your highest calories and your rest days having lower calories. This is a site where you can plug in your numbers: Calorie Calculator - Daily Caloric Needs

Like Iceland77 suggests, this fits well with a weekly plan, not a daily one, allowing for some splurges with plenty of time to make up for them over the course of a week. I've had a good bit of success thinking about it this way and using this approach.

koylefam 07-14-2010 08:40 PM

Part of the reason your metabolism is struggling is because the human body is not built to function on less then 1200 calories. Consuming too little food will send your body into a panick and it will begin to store everything you eat. So if you eat too little you will not lose weight. I agree with Cassie on the calorie zig-zag. It has been working well for me. and you can chose from a average calorie defecit to a higher defecit depending on your will power.... best of luck to you

mhibdon 07-14-2010 09:38 PM

Thanks for the advice ladies! I'm going to check out the ZigZag and see how it goes!

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