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Figuring out how much to eat?
10-27-2014, 08:22 PM
Post: #1
Figuring out how much to eat?
Hi there,

I am new to the forum and was hoping to get some advice! I'm from Australia so I'm hoping I get the measurements right here!

Age: 25yo female
Height: 5'9/175cm
Weight: 167lbs/76kg.

My story:
I was eating approximately 900-1200 calories every day for 2.5 months recently with a strict no sugar/carbs/anything yummy type of diet, and lost 20lbs/9kg in those 2.5months.

Exactly one month ago I decided I couldn't do it anymore, I was starving, had insane cravings, was lethargic, felt weak and miserable so I jumped straight into eating more overnight, averaging around 2150 calories a day for the last month of eating more. I eat very whole, nutritious foods. I weigh everything on my scale, I never eat out. I am enjoying my treats in moderation now too.

The last month:

Daily calories: 2150 (somedays were as high at 3000 but averaged out with lower intake days)

Exercise: 4x spin classes a week, 2hour outdoor bike ride (40km/25miles) and perhaps the odd walk/hike.
I'm averaging about 5 hours of cardio a week and work very hard (I wear a HRM). I am training for a 9 day cycling event in my state in December, hence all the cardio/spin.
I have only just starting doing some weight training in the last week or so and had a session with a personal trainer today to introduce myself to deadlifts/squats etc.
Job: I am studying but also work 2-3 days a week as a nurse in a hospital.

My question is, I've maintained my weight over the last month, give or take a few pounds. I do feel more bloated, and my measurements are around the same as when I started, with a bit of extra stomach bloat.

I don't know what my TDEE is or how much I should be eating. I want to lose quite a bit more fat and gain muscle - some tdee calculators have said anywhere from 2100-2600 calories a day?!

Sorry for the longwinded post. I ordered a fitbit (to still arrive in the mail) as I'm at a loss as to how much I should be eating and really dont want to gain back the weight I have lost already.

Thanks!
Erin
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10-27-2014, 09:47 PM (This post was last modified: 10-28-2014 05:52 AM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #2
RE: Figuring out how much to eat?
Welcome! So glad you found us and started taking your life back!

Have you read the Starter Kit? That is the best place to find all the tools and info you will need in one concise place... In the kit is a link to the recommended Scooby calculator to figure out your TDEE (or you can just go here: http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/ ). Putting in your data I get a TDEE between 2452 and 2729 --- at 5 hours, you fall right between the two exercise categories (3 - 5 and 5 - 7 hours/week). Your FitBit, once you get a chance to use it for a week or so, will give you a more accurate estimate of your daily burns. But, until then, great job upping your calories to 2,150, and so happy you have maintained at that level.

You are still quite a bit below your projected TDEE, so personally, I would recommend bumping your calories up by another 100 calories a day and continue to monitor at that level. If your weight again stays consistent at that level, you can bump it up by another 100. You can continue in this fashion until you start to see slow, consistent gains that do not stabilize over time. When this happens, you have most likely surpassed your TDEE and can drop back by 100 calories. Please know some weight fluctuations are normal through this process as the body acclimates to the increased uptake, but generally those ticks up on the scale are followed by trends back downwards..

Once you have found your TDEE, you will want to stay at that level of a minimum of 8 - 12 weeks to allow your metabolism to heal and accept this as the new normal (i.e. Maintenance). Then, after this phase, your body should be ready to accept a small 15% deficit and respond by dropping some fat.

Great job starting to include some strength training --- this is where most people see the biggest improvements in their physiques. That muscle not only speeds up your metabolism, as it is more metabolically active, but it also helps you just look better and fitter. Obviously you have an event you are training for, but once that is complete, you may want to consider dropping back on all that cardio as it can tend to work against you in terms of building muscle.

Hope this helps a bit :-)

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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10-28-2014, 04:29 AM
Post: #3
RE: Figuring out how much to eat?
Note that you probably will gain a bit of weight. It's normal to gain after you start re-feeding, but it's NOT all fat - everyone gains some water weight as well as refilling the glycogen (spelling?) stores that are necessary. Don't freak out. It's okay. (This is when you want to read all the blogs and journals on here - you are NOT alone). What you are going to look for are trends over time. AND it's not going to stay with you forever. Because once you start eating in a healthy manner again and then do the slow cut (yay for more food while still losing weight), you'll lose weight again and it'll be easier to keep off because you are going to learn how to eat for life. This is a journey not a sprint - unfortunately, you began the journey at full tilt, but you can change this and be a much happier person!
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10-28-2014, 03:14 PM
Post: #4
RE: Figuring out how much to eat?
Add me on fitbit when it arrives!! As a fellow nurse we can well compete with steps at our job hihihi it's amazing to see how much we can walk a day! Good luck! :> I'm also eating at TDEE (or kinda trying to find out if Fitbit has got my TDEE right) and I'm still afraid of what may happen.. in any case what matters is you having fun in the process. And eating more, doing fun exercises just makes your life much better!

//www.fitbit.com/user/2WG4Y2
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10-28-2014, 04:53 PM
Post: #5
RE: Figuring out how much to eat?
Thanks so much for the support, it is definitely a scary process thinking the scales will most likely jump back up again but I can already feel my body shape changing slowly for the better and I feel more energized eating more, so I'm going to stick with it and go with the advice of adding in an extra 100 calories.
Is it okay if I do it a week at a time? So this week I'm aiming for 2250 calories a day, then next week I can try for 2350 a day...
Physically getting the calories in is not an issue, its changing my mindset of eating more that is the struggle!
Here goes, I will be sure to check in with my progress! happy
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10-28-2014, 09:29 PM
Post: #6
RE: Figuring out how much to eat?
Absolutely - 100 calories added a week would be perfect. You can even take it slower if you want ... whatever makes you comfortable. You are going to do great!

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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10-29-2014, 06:04 PM
Post: #7
RE: Figuring out how much to eat?
I've been adding 100-200 calories and then holding for a few weeks to see how things go. You're doing a fabulous job!
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