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Journey On!
01-24-2015, 07:15 PM
Post: #1
Journey On!
1. History: have bought into the decades long advice of eating low calories, low carbs (too low) for weight loss. Like so many others, I have had bouts of success, all which have ended in regaining the weight despite significant and diligent measures around nutrition and strength/cardio.

2. After very low calories for last 5 years, about two years ago I began clean eating with higher (1300-1500 cals) calories per day and have successfully put on 20 pounds. However, once I began tracking with MFP just recently I realized most days I was eating below 1300. I have been in the gym most of my life and am no stranger to strength training and cardio (runner, cyclist). In April of 2014, I joined a gym with metcon, spinning and strength training classes. Despite my efforts, weight has only increased and all my clothing has been boxed up and stored away for now.

3. After finding EM2WL over the holidays, I decided to give it a try. Like others have stated, "what do I have to lose?" I gain weight with lower calories so why not try the higher calorie route for the first time in my life. So, about a month ago I began this journey.

4. As directed, I had Scooby calculate my numbers: TDEE with 20% cut (I learned afterward not to go higher than 15%). I am 51, female, 150 pounds, 33% BF, BMR ~1365, set at 3-5 days of moderate activity. I began a little choppy because I miscalculated BF% at first so I started at 20% cut eating 1737; then went to correct numbers and switched to 1682; and now I am settled correctly at the 15% cut and eating 1787 beginning today.

5. Over the month of doing this and even with the mistakes, my weight has been maintained. Generally, I work out 5 times a week using a Myzone HRM. Calories expended with 3 strength training classes a week is: ~180-200 per session. Calories expended with 3/45 minute spin classes each week is: ~300-360 per session. If I go under BMR I eat back the calories.

6. Like so many others, I have learned so much in this short time:

A. I actually have hunger pangs.
B. I am enjoying food for perhaps the first time in my life.
C. I, too, feel concerned about what I'll do if it doesn't work; not only due to the weight gain or inability to lose it, but what on earth would I do next if it doesn't work concerns me more.
D. My hair and nails have never looked better.
E. I am stronger in the gym, as well as in cardio.
F. Eating clean is more enjoyable when I can eat more.

7. It's only been a few weeks, but every time I look back on MFP I am seeing where I have fallen short of the goal or where I have made gains as I put notes in every day around: stress level, energy level, sleep quality, kcal burned from HRM, how many cals to eat back, etc.

8. Because of this site I know not to put much stock in the scale reading, which I only do once a week, not to expect much change for weeks, and to maintain a positive attitude. Because I do not have a measuring tape I have yet to take measurements and am not ready to do the picture thing.

9. Lastly, there are still many days when I don't feel like eating as much as I am supposed to, but then I recall how poorly I have felt in the past when I don't. Any advice, suggestions or encouragement is soooooo appreciated.

This is my new journal!!!!
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01-24-2015, 07:28 PM
Post: #2
RE: Journey On!
Welcome!
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01-25-2015, 08:11 AM
Post: #3
RE: Journey On!
Welcome. While it's great you are eating more, we do suggest that you eat AT TDEE and not at a deficit so you can fully repair your supressed metabolism - otherwise you'll have to take a further deficit to lose weight and be back to step one. You want to slowly work up to your TDEE 100 calories at a time and then stay there for probably 12 weeks, since you have been under-eating for years and years.

To get the food you need (calories) don't be afraid of eating treats and DO NOT EAT LOW FAT FOODS. Full fat everything. Nuts, peanut butter, steak!!! If you are MFP, you can friend me - I'm mymodernbabylon (I'm also in the EM2WL group on there) .I

'm 46, 5'6", 148 lb and my TDEE is 2350. I ate that for four months and am now doing a 10% deficit. We suggest once you are ready to go for a deficit that you never go more than 15%. It's tough but it's worth doing!
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01-25-2015, 09:02 AM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2015 03:05 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #4
RE: Journey On!
Welcome ... so glad you found us, and glad you are already seeing the benefits of eating more and giving your body the fuel it needs!

As suggested by mrsukyankee, you should probably consider doing a full metabolism reset in which you gradually increase to full TDEE and stay there for a minimum of 8 - 12 weeks (probably longer due to your long history of under-eating...) If you increased to this intake slowly, you should be able to get there with only minimal if any weight gain. Eating at full TDEE will get your metabolism revved back up where it should be, so that *when* you take that 15% cut, your body will respond appropriately.

The only thing that struck me in your comments is:

"Generally, I work out 5 times a week using a Myzone HRM. Calories expended with 3 strength training classes a week is: ~180-200 per session. Calories expended with 3/45 minute spin classes each week is: ~300-360 per session. If I go under BMR I eat back the calories."

Remember, when you figure out your TDEE, all exercise calories are already factored into this number, so there is really no need to track calories burned or "eat back exercise calories", unless you have a really big burn. If you have this happening consistently, then you should move up another level. All you really have to do is calculate your TDEE and then use that as your target (working up gradually)... It really helps to keep things simple - no more stress of tracking calories burned. One note that might make it easier in MFP: When you exercise, you can track it in MFP (so that you have a record of what you did), but then change the "calories burned" to "1". That way MFP will not mess with your daily calorie (or macro) goals.

Again, welcome! Can't wait to hear more about your progress!

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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01-25-2015, 07:16 PM
Post: #5
RE: Journey On!
(01-25-2015 08:11 AM)mrsukyankee Wrote:  Welcome. While it's great you are eating more, we do suggest that you eat AT TDEE and not at a deficit so you can fully repair your supressed metabolism - otherwise you'll have to take a further deficit to lose weight and be back to step one. You want to slowly work up to your TDEE 100 calories at a time and then stay there for probably 12 weeks, since you have been under-eating for years and years.

To get the food you need (calories) don't be afraid of eating treats and DO NOT EAT LOW FAT FOODS. Full fat everything. Nuts, peanut butter, steak!!! If you are MFP, you can friend me - I'm mymodernbabylon (I'm also in the EM2WL group on there) .I

'm 46, 5'6", 148 lb and my TDEE is 2350. I ate that for four months and am now doing a 10% deficit. We suggest once you are ready to go for a deficit that you never go more than 15%. It's tough but it's worth doing!

Thank you for your suggestions. I will begin adding 100 calories per week till I reach TDEE and then stay there for 8-12 weeks. Question: what do I select on the Scooby calculator for "select your goal"? This is the area where the %'s are selected for cut or bulk, etc.

Thank you. I'm curious, how long have you been in a 10% deficit and have you experienced positive results thus far?

Thanks so much.
Louise
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01-25-2015, 07:58 PM
Post: #6
RE: Journey On!
(01-25-2015 09:02 AM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  Welcome ... so glad you found us, and glad you are already seeing the benefits of eating more and giving your body the fuel it needs!

As suggested by mrsukyankee, you should probably consider doing a full metabolism reset in which you gradually increase to full TDEE and stay there for a minimum of 8 - 12 weeks (probably longer due to your long history of under-eating...) If you increased to this intake slowly, you should be able to get there with only minimal if any weight gain. Eating at full TDEE will get your metabolism revved back up where it should be, so that *when* you take that 15% cut, your body will respond appropriately.

The only thing that struck me in your comments is:

"Generally, I work out 5 times a week using a Myzone HRM. Calories expended with 3 strength training classes a week is: ~180-200 per session. Calories expended with 3/45 minute spin classes each week is: ~300-360 per session. If I go under BMR I eat back the calories."

Remember, when you figure out your TDEE, all exercise calories are already factored into this number, so there is really no need to track calories burned or "eat back exercise calories", unless you have a really big burn. If you have this happening consistently, then you should move up another level. All you really have to do is calculate your TDEE and then use that as your target (working up gradually)... It really helps to keep things simple - no more stress of tracking calories burned. One note that might make it easier in MFP: When you exercise, you can track it in MFP (so that you have a record of what you did), but then change the "calories burned" to "1". That way MFP will not mess with your daily calorie (or macro) goals.

Again, welcome! Can't wait to hear more about your progress!

Thank you for your help and response. From reading the site, it was my understanding that caution should be taken if workout calories bring you below BMR. Realizing that Scooby accounts for 3-5 days of moderate workout I figured I would be defeating the purpose if I burned cals that went below BMR. So, in example, if the cut I was on asked me to eat 1682 calories on a 3-5 day moderate workout then I burn, say, 450. That would bring me below. Perhaps I misunderstood. Are you saying to ignore workout calories altogether?

Again, I thank you very much.
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01-26-2015, 04:34 AM
Post: #7
RE: Journey On!
With Scooby, you are figuring out your TDEE which is your Total Daily Energy Expenditure - or what you do regularly to be active. So that's why you input your exercise level and include any activity outside of exercise. For your TDEE, you set the goal as 'gain muscle, lose fat' (people who just want to do a body recomp eat at TDEE while lifting heavy - slow but works). You then eat that amount of calories (your TDEE) every single day and don't add any extra calories for exercise. You try to hit it as well as your protein macros (.8 grams per lb of lean body mass is a good amount). Eat full fat stuff, calorie dense foods, etc.

My example...I play field hockey as a goalie, so I train for 1-1/2 hr 1x/wk, play 70-90 min 1x/wk (most weeks), I lift for 40 minutes 2-3x/wk and I'm active outside of that with walking the dog, walking around in general, etc. So, my activity level is in the 5-6 hrs. I'm 5'6", 46 yr old and 148 lb, so my TDEE is 2391. I tested this for a few months and it's almost spot on (I think it worked out at about 1350).

How tall are you so I can look at your numbers? I see you are 51, 150 lb, you are at least in the 3-4 hr category though I'm guessing you probably would go up to the 5-6 if you do anything active outside of your gym sessions (and didn't know how long the lifting class takes). I put in a few heights to see...and figured you would be between the two categories and got these approximate numbers:

5 ft - 2150
5' 1" - 2175
5'2" - 2200
5'3" - 2225
5'4" - 2231
5'5" - 2240
etc, etc. So, you have a lot of calories to play with!
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01-27-2015, 07:39 PM
Post: #8
RE: Journey On!
Increased calories to 1800 beginning yesterday. I will continue to increase by ~100 calories per day until reaching 2100 (TDEE), which should take about 4 weeks. Then, I will stay at TDEE for 8-12 weeks or more before beginning a 15% cut.

Have been feeling "heavy" and clothes are tight. I maintain my focus by reminding myself why I am doing this, success stories and that old patterns/efforts have failed. Because past efforts have led to poor health, low energy and little gains in the gym, I persevere.

Have been struggling with physical effects of a double ear infection (which I haven't had in years) and a sinus infection, which combined cause a maddening headache. The blizzard of 2015 is keeping us all indoors, so I just keep eating at intervals and remembering goals. I will get back to the gym later this week, health willing, or latest this weekend.

I will keep doing my best to enjoy eating as clean as possible, nutrient dense foods and tracking on MFP.
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01-27-2015, 08:13 PM
Post: #9
RE: Journey On!
(01-26-2015 04:34 AM)mrsukyankee Wrote:  With Scooby, you are figuring out your TDEE which is your Total Daily Energy Expenditure - or what you do regularly to be active. So that's why you input your exercise level and include any activity outside of exercise. For your TDEE, you set the goal as 'gain muscle, lose fat' (people who just want to do a body recomp eat at TDEE while lifting heavy - slow but works). You then eat that amount of calories (your TDEE) every single day and don't add any extra calories for exercise. You try to hit it as well as your protein macros (.8 grams per lb of lean body mass is a good amount). Eat full fat stuff, calorie dense foods, etc.

My example...I play field hockey as a goalie, so I train for 1-1/2 hr 1x/wk, play 70-90 min 1x/wk (most weeks), I lift for 40 minutes 2-3x/wk and I'm active outside of that with walking the dog, walking around in general, etc. So, my activity level is in the 5-6 hrs. I'm 5'6", 46 yr old and 148 lb, so my TDEE is 2391. I tested this for a few months and it's almost spot on (I think it worked out at about 1350).

How tall are you so I can look at your numbers? I see you are 51, 150 lb, you are at least in the 3-4 hr category though I'm guessing you probably would go up to the 5-6 if you do anything active outside of your gym sessions (and didn't know how long the lifting class takes). I put in a few heights to see...and figured you would be between the two categories and got these approximate numbers:

5 ft - 2150
5' 1" - 2175
5'2" - 2200
5'3" - 2225
5'4" - 2231
5'5" - 2240
etc, etc. So, you have a lot of calories to play with!

I have not worked out since last week due to a double ear infection/sinus infection and the blizzard of 2015! But generally, strength training (heavy) 3xweek @ 30-40 minutes, 3 spin classes @ 45 minutes per week, and yoga 1-2 x week @ 90 minutes. Outside of that, I am a student who does a lot of studying, but also moves around a lot cleaning, etc. So, I set the Scooby calculator to 5-6 hours per week of moderate activity. I am 5'3". I came up with 2100 TDEE.

Hope I'm on the right track now. Thanks!
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01-27-2015, 08:35 PM
Post: #10
RE: Journey On!
Good luck with that blizzard happy If you do the best you can, that can only be enough! So keep positive ^^

Also, don't worry with how you feel now. This method works, plain and simple. Losing/gaining weight is plain and simple happy And now, you are in control of it. So now, you might increase your weight and even body a bit, but it's in your control. It has a purpose, which is to make your body start working as it should. Since gaining mass is under your control, losing it is also under your control. Yeah.. it takes time. But it's not just a bet like every other diet.
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