It’s not that simple.

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.

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2 responses to “It’s not that simple.

  1. I feel your frustration…

    How much water are you drinking? Have you tried cutting out bread? There are alternatives. For my hubby and I, we increased the water(2l or more), cut out all white flour, white sugar, and butter(olive oil works well). One things for sure…portion control is important. We think we need more on our plate than we really do. Use smaller plates, take less, and don’t ever leave uncomfortably stuffed! I Quit baking (accept For Friday night dessert night), we leave the red meat at the store, and no more bread. We have both lost a significant amount of fat. We allow ourselves a junky meal on Friday nights with dessert and a beer or glass of wine. Sometimes we even go out for lunch on the weekend or have smores by the fire. Can’t deny yourself of treats all the time. We must of done something right because of the weight we lost, we feel great and the healthier habits are now a way of life even when we go camping. ( our teenager shakes his head-lol)
    Don’t give up. Look how far you’ve come. You are giving yourself a gift.

  2. I’ve been at that stalled place and with help, figured out I needed more protein. My body was holding on to the weight because I was exercising so much and not giving myself enough energy to burn. I started keeping hard-boiled eggs and baked chicken legs in the fridge for a quick and easy protein fix. And it worked! Back to dropping slowly but surely. Best Wishes on your journey:)
    ~Dana~

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