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Starting again
06-30-2015, 08:18 AM
Post: #1
Starting again
So I posted about a month ago about how I had done a mini reset and had starting to lose but then thought I'd but too much and had gained/stayed!

I was going away with friends and couldn't get my head around eating more!
So I cut more (crazy I know but I wanted to lose before holiday)
So I'm back and I'm really ready to play the long game in this!

So basically for a few weeks I've been eating only around 600-700 cal a day (mainly fruit/veg)
This is the only amount I can lose weight on. Anymore and I gain!

I also stopped going to the gym as I didn't have energy to go!

So where do I start?
Do I calculate tdee as I am now? Or up the gym first?
What shall I do at the gym?

I'm starting on a clean state and am in fir the long haul so want to do it properly!
I've read the guide but just need to know how best to combine exercise/diet!
And how fast to increase cals
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07-01-2015, 12:39 AM
Post: #2
RE: Starting again
Wow. That is a low daily calorie number.

IMHO, I would first use Scooby Calc and find your BMR... i.e. the basic amount of calories your body needs to just breathe. Do not go below this amount. Ever.

I would focus first on eating a good amount of calories. Do not worry about the exercise part. Maybe go for a walk a few days a week. I think you need to focus on your food. So when using the calculator and, maybe, you are consider doing some walking, I would put the activity level to 1-3 hr / wk. If you are doing more exercise, again, not knowing here, then put it higher.

For the goal in the calculator, don't worry about it as you are going to focus on the estimated TDEE number in the daily requirements section.

Since I don't know your back story on what you've eaten before, start with something you are comfortable with. At least 200-300 calories more than your BMR, but if you feel comfortable going closer to estimated TDEE, feel free to pick higher.

The main focal point I'd like you to get from my ranting is focusing on feeding your body. Eating under your BMR is dangerous.

However, understand that part of this journey is mental. So do what feels comfortable to you. If you feel like taking on the estimated TDEE out of the gate, feel free. If you want to slowly add 100 calories at a time, feel free. Only you know what is best for you in terms of how to refeed your body.

Take it a week at a time. Pick a number higher than your BMR today and work on that number for a week. If you feel like your body needs more, than eat more. Your body will help you understand what you need to do. You just need to listen to it.

If after a week and you feel comfortable to go closer to the estimated TDEE, then go up.

Once you start getting the hang of eating more, then start thinking of the next step, adding some strength training.

It took me a few weeks to get into counting calories and the idea of eating more. After that, the idea clicked for me. So start with a small step, eating a bit more.

I hope this helps. Seems like a big rant to me, but I do wish the best for you and that you deserve to have energy and enjoying the wonderful food in the world. You are worth it.
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07-01-2015, 05:01 AM
Post: #3
RE: Starting again
Thanks for that.
So my bmr based on been 40 and 142lb is 1502!
So I shall start there!

It's been scary. Seriously if I ate 1200 calories I'd put lose weight on. If I ate 1000 is stay the same so eating 700 was the only way to lose. But I knew how bad it was.
I got back off holiday on Sunday and haven't counted anything or starved at all! Just ate what and when to try and bring control back!

Last time I didn't stick with it long enough.
I started eating 1800 for a few weeks and then cut to 1700 and then 1600! Was losing weight. But cut to 1500 and when I didn't lose instead of increasing again I ate less and less!!

I joined the gym at Xmas and was doing weights, body pump classes, spin and cardio 4-5 x a week and it has made no difference to my body at all!

It's just all so hard and confusing
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07-01-2015, 05:20 AM
Post: #4
RE: Starting again
Sorry I was calculating a male!! Changed it now. My bmr is 1383
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07-01-2015, 08:11 AM
Post: #5
RE: Starting again
Wow, 600 - 700 calories is way too low for anybody to eat and be able to exist and live a happy life. The good thing is that you have discovered that eating at that level is not maintainable, or pleasant. Having no energy to go to the gym is totally to be expected, as your BMR is what your body needs to exist and maintain while you are on complete bed rest... Dropping your intake lower and lower just leads to a vicious cycle which is unmaintainable.

You can tell by the fact that if you eat any more than 600 - 700 calories that you now gain weight, that your metabolism has adjusted and down-regulated to this lower level. What you need to do now is to work slowly to get it back up and running where it should be. I know you said you read the guide, but I just wanted to make sure it was the Metabolism Reset Guide:

So you have calculated your BMR to be 1383. What do you get for your TDEE? Remember, your ultimate calorie goal is going to be your TDEE, not your BMR.. I would calculate your TDEE using whatever activity level you are at right now. That TDEE can be re-calculated as you change your activity level or gain/lose weight. Some weight gain during this process is most likely inevitable, but by taking it slow and making your increases gradual, you may be able to minimize some of those gains... I would start at whatever level you have been eating at and add 100 - 200 calories on to your daily goal and stay at that level for a week or so before increasing again. It's going to take quite a bit of time to actually get anywhere close to your TDEE, but it's a process you will need to go through. And remember, your reset won't actually even start until you reach your TDEE and start eating at that level.

Eating as little as you are, I would put more emphasis on eating right now rather than the exercise. Stick to walking and maybe some body weight exercises. As you increase your calories and have more energy, start adding back in some exercise, concentrating on strength training, rather than cardio. When you eat at very low levels as you have been doing, a lot of that weight loss is most likely muscle loss, and not just fat. You are going to want to work to build back some of that muscle. As you eat more and start adding back in exercise, just adjust your TDEE goal as you go.

So glad you have decided to give your body the fuel that it needs and stay away from that unsustainable lifestyle. It's going to take a while to get there, but you will be so happy you did!

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

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07-01-2015, 09:42 AM
Post: #6
RE: Starting again
Yes I've worked out how scary it is as eatimg just a small amount will put weight on!

I was always fine. I had 7 children and lost weight sensibly between each pregnancy! But from about a year ago the cut point has got less and less to the point that a weight watcher diet which I've always followed before wasn't working!
I joined the gym thinking it would help but my weight or body didn't change at all!
In the last 6 months I've not lost a pound and have eaten so restricted!!

So my tdee is 1900 based on 1-3 hours of exercise (from looking after 7 kids, walking to school etc)
My fitness pal is set on 1500 so I'll see if I can get to there for a few weeks!

When you say body weight exercises what are they exactly??
I'm going to florida at Xmas time so definitely need to get out of this cycle as don't want to be worried about what I'm eating there (I'm sure 1 meal will be more than my 600 cals)
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07-01-2015, 10:26 AM
Post: #7
RE: Starting again
Sounds like a great plan! You can see how the body has adapted to under eating and over exercising --- now you need to get it to adapt in the other direction!

The calorie reduction thing only works for so long before homeostasis takes over and the body responds by decreasing the metabolism. At some point, when you hit rock bottom, eating more is really the only answer. Some people do that by totally falling off the wagon and binging (which can result in huge rebound weight gains), or the slower, more methodical plan which can minimize some of those gains as the body is allowed time to adjust and adapt (upwards) along the way...

As far as the exercise, since your intake is so low right now, I wouldn't push the exercise too much. Gradually just increase the exercise as you have more energy and are eating more... For now, I would stick to walking and by body weight exercises I am referring to things like body weight squats and lunges, push-ups, sit-ups... Then as you feel stronger you can start to add weights and more variety...

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

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