The important part of losing fat -or to some the simpler but less descriptive losing weight- is to eat few calories than you burn. About 300 calores/day is just right for most of us.
The hard part is determine how many calories you burn in a day to begin with.
Reading StrongLift this past month, they discussed how many calories do you need? and gave several formulas. Using myself as the example I came up with:
Simple formula: body weight x18 kcal= 136×18=2448 Using my ideal weight: 120 x 18 = 2160. This does NOT include the fact I normally exercise about 1.5 hours/day.
Using the linked worksheet for the Cunningham Equation, I came up with a caloric expenditure of 3625.
Two formulas, one website, two vastly different results already.
Using the Energy Calculation formulas from Lori Incledon’s Strength Training for Women (pg. 60), I come up with a calculation of 2133. This is a more complicated formula but does take into consideration the fact I exercise and my age.
To lose weight at 1#/week I need to eat about 500 fewer calories/day than I expend. Let’s agree the real number is somewhere around 2150. That means I need to eat 1650.
For the past week I have been tracking my foods and exercise and eating about 1400 calories a day. I have not lost weight. Two hundred and 50 calories is not such an extreme deficient that I would dramatically stall my metabolism and hold onto weight.
So, once again, I’m confused as hell by all this. I can-and probably should- eat a few more calories and be OK. Note, that most evenings this past week I was full and trying to force more calories down. NOT the best thing to do. Also note: the last couple months I have had very strong desires to stop at the grocery store on my way from the gym and buy candy bars, ice cream, cookies, etc. I do believe my body is telling me I need more calories before my workouts to stave off these cravings afterward.
So maybe I try a couple weeks eating a few more calories earlier in the day -including some oatmeal before my workouts, and see how this goes.