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New and where to start?
10-21-2014, 03:45 PM
Post: #1
New and where to start?
Hello All,
I just joined the group and have been reading the website and forums for a few days. I understand BMR and TDEE and cutting 15% of TDEE but I am still not sure where I should start.

I am a long time calorie restrictor. My dad and stepmom wanted to put me on a diet when I was 5. Looking back at pictures I was pretty normal for a slightly chubby kid, basically not a kid I would look at and think they are overweight. Fast forward to college I dropped down to 126 lbs at 5'8" by working and going to school, eating out of the vending machine and running. Once I was married my weight fluctuated but stayed in the 130's. I ran and periodically dieted, did Body for Life, then met with a nutritionist for minor health issues. She put me on a candida diet. I ended up doing candida, dairy free, gluten free and eventually low carb on and off for the next 10 years. Some of these times I was probably significantly restricting calories though I never counted calories. I obsessed about food and read recipes for fun.

At this point I was about 36 years old and had 3 kids and discovered Matt Stone. I started taking a more rational approach to eating and allowed myself more freedom. I had been trying to get pregnant so after getting up to 145 conceived our 4th child. During this pregnancy we moved twice (very stressful time) and I ate whatever I wanted. When he was born at 10lb 7 oz I was almost 200 lb. AFter he was born I looked like I has lost almost all muscle in my thighs. I dropped down to 160 and decided to start Matt's RRARF (Rehabilitative Rest and Refeeding) to help me feel more energetic. I started RRARF in 2013. I now eat whatever to appetite unless I'm too busy. I have 4 kids and homeschool my 2 oldest (one is remediated dyslexic and the other is dyslexic, dysgraphic and dyscalculiac so schooling is stressful and takes all day plus 2 little kids).

The good part is I no longer obsess over food or have insatiable cravings. Sometimes I get so busy I don't eat enough and other times I'll eat too many calories because I inadvertently restricted again. Other times I eat too many calories b'c we eat out. I have intentions of making homemade meals but sometime s life gets crazy, kids get sick, and meal prep falls by the wayside.

I now weigh about 190lbs and am 5'8" and 41 yrs old. I have never been big (though I used to think I was!) but now my thighs rub together and none of my clothes fit. I have been doing MuTu for 5 weeks (just started week 6) which is a program to help with diastasis recti and includes intensives which are low impact circuits 4 times a week (I usually get 3 in) along with core exercises.

I have gained a lot of weight in my belly so I look pregnant. Some of that may be my DR but it feels like it has come back together most of the way.

Sooo, my question is, where should I start? Do I start with cutting 15% or TDEE? I'm not quite ready to do heavy lifting as I want to make sure my DR is better and my core is strong enough to handle it. I am also not a fan of counting calories. I've never done it but it seems tedious weighing everything and figuring out calories for recipes etc.

If you've managed to read this far I would appreciate any advice on where to start and how to make this as simple as possible.
Jamie

[/font][/font]Jamie
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10-22-2014, 05:00 AM
Post: #2
RE: New and where to start?
First of all, welcome, and thank you for sharing your story!

I certainly understand what you mean about calorie counting being tedious, but unfortunately, at this point it is probably a necessary evil. Since you have just been eating intuitively recently, I would start with just logging your 'normal" daily intake to see where you fall. Log all of your food and exercise for a couple of weeks to get a good average of where you are right now. Give yourself a baseline.

If you have been consistently eating *over* your calculated TDEE, then you could certainly go right to that 15% cut. If you have been under-eating, or eating very sporadically (i.e binge/restrict), then doing a re-set may be the best option.

Do you have any idea how much you have been eating recently compared to your calculated TDEE?

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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10-22-2014, 09:08 AM
Post: #3
RE: New and where to start?
Hi there,and welcome ToThe family! Wow, you have a busy schedule!
Not obessessing over food is great, but it's important to make sure you aren't skipping meals because you over ate and then binge because you have restricted meals. Its a viscous cycle, that just keeps you going in circles.
As Anitra stated, logging food is a great tool to really see what you have been eating, then make necessary adjustments. But if you don't want to do that, I would say eat at your TDEE according to the Scooby website, for about 4 weeks and see how your body reacts.
Either way, logging your food will e necessary!
Looking forward to wtaching you reach your goal!

Joan
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken! kiss

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/jaeone
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10-23-2014, 04:24 AM
Post: #4
RE: New and where to start?
I've actually gotten to liking the logging process on MFP. It's really helped me understand portion sizes a lot more and now I tend to make better decisions.
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10-23-2014, 08:51 PM
Post: #5
RE: New and where to start?
Thanks for the feedback. I realized I should have posted in the getting started part of the forum.

I am going to track my calories for a while. Here is how I've done the past few days.

Monday ate 2334 got 263 exercise calories
Tuesday ate 1903 got 263 exercise calories
Wednesday ate 2278 got 172 exercise calories

Wed was only 12% protein. If I don't pay attention I don't get much protein.

I used 3 different calorie calculators and here is what I got based on what I weighed this am- 195lbs:

Scooby: BMR 1435 TDEE 2224 15% cut 1890

Health calc: BMR 1600 TDEE 3019 15% cut 2575

Women's Health and Fitness: no BMR calc TDEE 2615 15% cut 2222.75

Should I start with TDEE at 2224? When I followed Matt Stone's advice and significantly upped calories it remedied chronic constipation(I had tried EVERYTHING). Now I can tell if I haven't had enough calories b'c things don't work properly if I don't.

[/font][/font]Jamie
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10-24-2014, 03:21 AM
Post: #6
RE: New and where to start?
I've been working on finding my true TDEE for the past two months. What I've done is consistently eat at a certain level for two weeks and see if any weight is gained - if none, I up it again. I'm still upping my calories as I haven't found it yet. Once I actually find it, I'll then do a 15% cut. It might be worth trying to eat at the Scooby TDEE for a while (or make your way up there) and eat it for a few weeks to see if it's your true TDEE.
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10-24-2014, 06:56 AM
Post: #7
RE: New and where to start?
Great job starting the logging process ... that is the only way you will get a true idea of where you stand.

Remember, when you figured your TDEE, your exercise was already factored in there, so there is no reason to really track the calories burned while working out...

I would do exactly as mrsukyankee suggested, and pick a calorie level and eat at that level consistently for a couple of weeks and monitor your weight. That is quite a discrepancy between those 3 calculators, so I would just go with the Scooby one and eat at that calculated TDEE of 2224 for a couple of weeks. You can monitor your weight, and then base your future plans on the results of those two weeks ... i.e if your lose weight or stay steady, you can try bumping your calories up by 100 and monitor again. If you increase your calories to a level where you are seeing slow, consistent gains over time that do not stop or stabilize, then you have most likely surpassed your TDEE. At that point, just back off by 100 calories and continue to monitor. Once you find that calorie level (your true TDEE), then you can eat consistently at that level prior to taking that 15% cut.

Finding your true TDEE can really be a trial and error process, and you can see that mrsukyankee has invested the past two months trying to find that number, and she continues that process even now. The good thing is that she is UPPING her calories slowly in an effort to find that number. It can be a slow process, but well worth the investment in time.

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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10-24-2014, 07:29 AM
Post: #8
RE: New and where to start?
One of my concerns about tracking calories is that a small discrepancy can be a big deal. I made a recipe this week. The recipe said a serving was 400 calories and it was by a lady who had lost half her body weight so she is aware of calories. When I put the recipe in MFP it came to 600+ for the same recipe and same serving size.

Also, if you make a recipe do you measure everything and then measure the end product to figure serving size. I cook for 6 people and try to make extra for later meals. Many times I'm not using a recipe or modifying it to suit our family so I may not follow the recipes measurements. Thats a large volume of food to have to measure the end product!

[/font][/font]Jamie
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10-24-2014, 06:00 PM
Post: #9
RE: New and where to start?
Welcome happy I'm definitely not a pro, but here's what I do for my cooking: I weigh every single ingredient of the recipe I'm making and log it on MFP, then cook it and divide the final product by the most equal portions I can make. (unless is something like peanut butter, in that case I just weigh the whole thing again and then log the grams I use). I seriously never owned a recipe book except for MFP lol, that thing consistently has gotten all of my recipes. It was really hard at the beginning but now is actually easy because they allow for easy replacements. And who doesn't replace an ingredient or two and the amounts of it every time?

Plus, calorie intake should be the closest as possible but even TDEE isn't a single number. Eating a little more one day and a little less on another shouldn't affect you that much.

Though I for now am just trying to find out whether fitbit's daily TDEE is the real one or not.
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11-04-2014, 01:02 PM
Post: #10
RE: New and where to start?
just my 2 cents for you too

we have a set number of meals - so all I had to do was add them into MFP once and then just reuse as and when needed - so for example I make a spag bol that does 28 portions!! (I then freeze etc) so I did the recipe once and did 28 portions and now just add 1 portion - whether its spag bol, lasange etc etc so once you have done it once its much easier. Annoyingly the new MFP recipe thingy is bog awful!!!

so it is worth it - as for example I used to log - but then forgot flour maybe - and it was only when I added it all in I realised how many cals flour added - just for making a sauce

now a days logging much easier as I have my staples that go from week to week and day to day (am a tad dull like that) and so now I know what I can eat to keep within my 2000 cals

Oh and re TDEE I used scooby and then bought a fitbit and it matches scooby pretty spot on! so I would go for that one - to at least start with

Good luck! and at the end of the day ythe longer you spend healing yourself the better

Its looks to me that you probably have been eating at TDEE via scooby site (do you weigh measure yourself too?) have you noticed any ups/downs?

if you have been eating there for the year that you say - then yes try a cut and see what happens?

I tracked weight day for 1 month to give me an idea and that was really interesting - now I weigh weekly - so I don't freak out big grin

Good luck!
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