Post Reply 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
balancing calories
03-04-2015, 12:45 AM
Post: #1
balancing calories
I need help balancing my calories each day. Since last August, I have lost about 25 lbs by cutting portions and limiting my starchy carbs. I really thought I was eating well and was happy not to have to count calories. Then about 2-3 weeks ago, I started to notice that I was losing energy...I didn't feel like my normal workouts. I was having trouble sleeping too.

Somehow I found EM2WL and these forums. I also started tracking my calories and realized that my intake was kind of low...probably between 1400-1700 per day. So I have been trying to up my calories a bit, sticking around 1800-2000. I feel more energetic, so that is good...

But I could totally eat more calories if I wasn't watching it. And, in order to stick in that range I find I eat low calorie breakfast and lunches (400-500 calories/meal) and then end up eating a ton in the evening to get up to the right number of calories. I end up tired/grumpy by late afternoon and have less energy for my activities. Then today I relaxed a bit and now I'm at 2150-ish. Counting calories kind of makes me crazy. I mean I like the idea of losing weight while eating a lot of calories, but sometimes I feel like counting every little bit of food takes a lot of time and effort and increases the likelihood that I will get tired and give up on eating right. As if chopping vegetables and cooking all my meals at home wasn't tough enough!

Any suggestions for how to handle the tracking?

Here are my basic stats:
Current weight: 196
Height: 5'2"
Age: 41
Activity: dumbell/body weight strength training workout 3x a week, 25 minute walk/jog intervals 2-3 x a week

I haven't been dieting or limiting my calories for the last couple of years except during the last 6 months, during which I lost 25 pounds (starting weight 222). I guess I am resisting doing a full reset because I feel like my metabolism should be pretty good. I wanted to see if I would feel better and continue to lose weight just by upping my calories to about a 15% cut.

Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-04-2015, 05:49 AM
Post: #2
RE: balancing calories

First of all, even though I realise that 6 months isn't incredibly much to damage your metabolism in a serious bad way, if you read most reliable websites about weight loss etc, you'll see that most of them advise a 2 week diet break every few months. Every time you diet your body will start fighting against it, it's normal and healthy for it. And it will happen, whether it's a big or a small cut. If it's small... it just takes longer to get to you, but it will get you eventually. Now 6 months of dieting, specially with a big big cut in the beginning certainly seem to ask for a little break just for the body to "reset" a little bit. You will be still exercising, so it's not that you will gain weight or anything. Also it will help figure out your true TDEE. And this will definitely help you feel more energised for the future.

So that's really it. It's your choice to do it or not, but at least for me that seems a good idea. Give your body a little rest and it should respond better in the future.

Also.. myfitnesspal is actually pretty nice on tracking as it "memorizes" your frequent foods, it's possible to put recipes in there and all. Yeah, it's a little time consuming, but there isn't any device that monitors (reliably) your calorie intake yet xD And you get used to it. For me it's actually helpful as I hate to cook without precise measurements anyway.

The timing and all that though.. I think it's really up to the way you organise yourself. I make myself big casseroles and they last for a week or so frozen or in the fridge. I usually like just steaks/hamburgers for most meals anyway., it's mainly to take to work that I'm concerned with.
Desserts and all that I usually have to cook more often, but still try to make it the easy way for me (french toasts in the oven, like 8x a time. Super good and high in protein and it only takes 5min prep and 15min in the oven! Or "easy" tiramisu/chocolate and fruit mousses that mainly consist of getting double cream thick and then mixing everything together), unless special occasions.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-04-2015, 12:46 PM
Post: #3
RE: balancing calories
The other good thing on MFP is that if you have a smart phone you can use the barcode so it's really quick. I've been doing this for over a year and it becomes easier as you do it - as Nadoriel said, you can keep the recipes you use a lot and the foods you eat regularly on there (I put my morning's cereal & coffee as a 'meal' because I eat the same thing every day just about).
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-04-2015, 01:03 PM
Post: #4
RE: balancing calories
Thanks for the replies! I really thought I was losing in a healthy way, about 4 pounds a wasn't until I started feeling tired and checked my calories that I realized I had been cutting my calories a bit too much. I think I got over enthusiastic and started not being hungry. I don't eat a lot of packaged food because I'm gluten and dairy intolerant. On most days I eat a lot of protein, vegetables, and fruit, with some rice or corn tortillas thrown in there. Maybe that's part of my problem with tracking, food already feels like a lot of effort. I just find counting makes me worry about going over my calories for the day and triggers unhealthy dieting/binging feelings. When I do eat out, it isn't a chain restaurants, so I have to try to estimate the calories based on ingredients/estimated portion sizes. I have been using which seems good, but maybe I should try MFP since everyone from these forums is probably on there.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-04-2015, 02:08 PM
Post: #5
RE: balancing calories
Here's a little hint - it's okay to go over when calorie counting. I don't even worry about it unless I go over by more than 200. Ya wanna know why? Cause I tend to go under almost every other day and it adds up to a decent the one or two days I go over are no big deal. It's all about balance and not taking this too seriously. And taking breaks. Definitely taking breaks.

If you come over to MFP, you can join our group there:
We're not as active but we try to answer questions.
I'm mymodernbabylon - feel free to friend me!

You might also want to start a journal (find down below). It's been great to go back and re-read my own journey and to read about other journeys.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-04-2015, 08:00 PM
Post: #6
RE: balancing calories
You should see me in Portugal estimating the steak sizes when I eat out happy and I eat out a lot, cause sirloin beef steak/medallion on the rock is just that yummi. Super tender yummi goodness meat! *.*

In any case, I'm Nadoriel on MFP. The thing about calories is not worrying if you go above the limit or not. It's just knowing how much you are really eating. It still amazes me how calorie dense some foods are.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-04-2015, 09:14 PM (This post was last modified: 03-04-2015 09:14 PM by attackfatcat.)
Post: #7
RE: balancing calories
Planning your day in advance helps take some of the stress out of it too. I cook a lot at home, and when I cook, I cook to have leftovers. So once I plug in the recipe and get the numbers, I can copy it over on the days I know I'm going to eat it for lunch.

It's not foolproof. Like today I thought I would eat a tuna wrap for a post-workout snack. Instead, I was starving at 4pm and I wanted eggs and bacon. I just made sure that all 3 macros were covered - there were carbs, fat, and protein - and I went ahead an ate it. I shifted around stuff for later tonight. If you eat a lot of the same foods, having a program that allows you to access those quickly or copy meals from day to day really speeds up the process.

And sometimes something spur of the moment comes up. But you can't always plan for that, so as long as you have a ballpark idea of what you need to focus most on (like more protein than carbs), then I would just work with that and not stress too much if you go over or under calories for the day.

I'm trying to be pretty precise on calories right now simply because I want to find my true TDEE. But once I have that and eat at maintenance for a bit, I'm not going to stress if I'm a few hundred calories over or under. Probably the same thing when I do my cut. It might make the weight/fat loss go a little slower, but the point of this is to stress less about the process. We'll both get there happy
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
03-04-2015, 10:26 PM
Post: #8
RE: balancing calories
I guess I'm just stressing more than I need to. I feel like have only a small deficit each day makes it more important to count it right if you want to keep losing body fat but also not starve your body too much. I think that is why so many people go for quick fix solutions....losing a couple of pounds a month is almost imperceptible in the short term. I will try to be patient and calm. LOL.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  How much should I up my calories? skbarton 19 19,608 04-04-2017 08:27 AM
Last Post: Tereza Toledo
  Trouble getting in the calories! wookiemouse 5 6,373 03-29-2017 10:08 AM
Last Post: sheilawrites
  Upping those calories.... WL44 55 56,881 10-14-2016 02:33 PM
Last Post: WL44
  Adjusting calories Giedre 12 13,305 11-16-2015 09:43 AM
Last Post: AnitraSoto
  I have too many calories to eat at night! MaryGold 3 5,185 04-15-2015 03:54 AM
Last Post: mrsukyankee
  Should my calories vary day by day? jenndaww 4 7,061 09-27-2013 03:47 PM
Last Post: decblessings
  does anyone here eat 1500 calories sweet_gurl_next_door 6 12,029 03-20-2013 02:52 PM
Last Post: CrystalFueled

Forum Jump:

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)