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Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
03-23-2016, 09:09 PM
Post: #1
Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
Hi all,

Some tl;dr background: I am 5'0, 28 years old, 115 lbs, female, and looking to do a metabolism reset because I come from a long history of over-exercising and undereating and binge-restrict cycles.

Question 1: when calculating TDEE, do I use days per week I excercise, as per the starter kit book, or the number of hours I exercise each week? Right now I do 8-10 hours a week, usually 10, with 5 hours of weight lifting (lots of Les Mills Body Pump - love it!) and 5 hours of moderate, steady state cardio, usually across 5 days.

If I use the days/week, it puts me in the moderate zone with a TDEE of 2014 for maintenance.

If I use the hours, 10, it puts me in the strenuous zone with a TDEE of 2469 for maintenance. I'm not sure which one to choose...

My other question is in re: reset process. I read in the starter kit and on the site that one should increase calories slowly, 100 per week, until one gets to TDEE, and not to increase until the scale shows decreases back to start.

Well, I am not seeing those decreases. The scale just keeps ticking up and up and up each week. 6 weeks in, I'm starting to freak out a bit.

Currently I am eating 1600-1800 calories, usually around 1600 but sometimes closer to 1800 if I binge (which sometimes I still do...peanut butter, I blame your deliciousness!) So far I have gained like 5 lbs and my body fat percentage jumped up to almost what it was a year ago. Sad

Do I need to hang out here around 1650 or so until my weight trends downward, or keep adding calories to reach my TDEE?

I recognize and accept that the process will be long vs instant, but I want to know that I am on the right track here.
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03-23-2016, 10:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
As far as the activity level, use the hours and enter them into this calculator: http://eatmore2weighless.com/weight-loss-calculator/ With all of that exercise you are absolutely well into the strenuous category and my first recommendation would be to back off a bit on the exercise.

Body Pump is an endurance-based strength training program with a good amount of cardio thrown in. Then add on your 5 hours of steady state cardio each week, your body has no time to recover. Ideally you would strength train 3 - 4 times a week (which allows time for recovery and healing between workouts) and then limit any cardio to 2 - 3 short (20 minute max) HIIT type workouts rather than the steady state stuff, which can actually end up breaking down the very muscle you are working hard to build. HIIT will give you that cardio but will also provide maximum fat burning as well. Remember, exercise is *not* one of those instances where more is better. Strategic periodized strength training with some HIIT thrown in and two days a week rest allows you to get maximum results while allowing your body time to heal and recover between workouts.

As far as increasing your calories, I would definitely take it slow. Coming from a background of very disordered eating and binge-restrict cycles it is going to take longer for your body to trust and accept this increased intake than someone who maybe just dabbled in low cal dieting for a few months... Right now, even though your *calculated* TDEE is much higher, your *actual* TDEE is most likely quite suppressed so it is seeing all of those extra calories as "surplus". If you take those increases slowly and allow your body to adapt along the way, gradually your metabolism should speed up and catch up to your intake.

Also, as you increase your intake, you will most likely see those desires to binge fade away. Did you get a chance to read this blog post about that very subject? http://eatmore2weighless.com/how-to-stop...s-forever/ Once you stop restricting, eventually (not overnight, but slowly over time) those cravings will just go away. I never would have believed it (because I was such an obsessive binger) but now I can have sweets and treats in my house and they rarely tempt me at all, and if I do ever feel the desire, I am fine with a small portion, knowing I can have more if I want to...

So just make your increases really slowly, and even though your weight may not trend down too much, I would definitely at least wait until those gains stop before making any further increases.

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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03-24-2016, 01:31 AM
Post: #3
RE: Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
Hi Anitra,

Thank yous so, so much for taking the time to reply and help me troubleshoot my exercise/calorie intake. I've honestly wanted to back off on the cardio for a while now, but have been too afraid to - in the past I relied on it to be super lean, and so my brain needs time to divorce the concept of being in shape from slaving away on an elliptical. It's great to get outside confirmation of that, especially from someone who knows so much about this stuff. happy

I do want to focus more on weight lifting and strength training. My problem is I get bored and easily fall into exercise ruts with doing the same exercises over and over. I am not quite a beginner, but I think I will check out the EM2WL shop on workout programs to see what's there. I had a personal trainer at one time but it was expensive...I loved having someone else design the workout because it kept me guessing and interested in what was going on.

Thanks for the link to the article on how to stop bingeing for good! It seems impossible for that to happen, but you are proof that it did. I think I will also send it to my sister...she also struggles with this cycle.

Again, thanks for the advice! I will most certainly be taking it. happy
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03-24-2016, 09:47 AM
Post: #4
RE: Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
I like EM2WL's periodized plans (surge, endurance, true strength, compound circuits) so definitely check them out. You rotate every 4 weeks to keep that body guessing and to avoid boredom happy

Sorry for typos- on mobile!

MFP @saranharm
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03-24-2016, 11:46 AM
Post: #5
RE: Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
Those sound awesome. I love changing things up so I don't just go through workouts on autopilot or get really, really good at a group of exercises while neglecting others.

Thanks!
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03-24-2016, 07:55 PM
Post: #6
RE: Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
Yep, those are a great place to start. They are really inexpensive and sort of take the brain work out of it for you. Just go in the same order they are on the screen:

http://training.eatmore2weighless.com/shop/

There is also the Beginner Strength Training Manual which is a great periodized 12 week strength training program and also a good read with tons of info!

http://training.eatmore2weighless.com/be...g-instant/

As far as the cardio, you need to get the idea out of your brain that you need to do cardio in order to stay lean. In fact, just the opposite is true - you need muscle to fuel your metabolism and to make your body tight. If you need some more convincing, here is an awesome article on that very subject:

https://www.t-nation.com/training/final-...dio-coffin

And yes, it is definitely possible to get over that binge mentality. Once your body is (literally) no longer starving, you will no longer have to white knuckle it through life... In fact, I am sitting here drinking a cup of decaf and eating two dark chocolate truffles. I am finally finishing off this box of truffles that I received as a gift before Christmas and they have actually been sitting in my house for over three months. In my "old" life, that box would have lasted until exactly 9:42pm the first night they were in the house! RIP poor truffles laughing Now, they are virtually stale, and that is a first for me. Is stale chocolate even possible?? Whooda thunk it?? laughing

Remember, if you get brave and cut back on that cardio just remember to re-run your numbers through that calculator, but don't underestimate your activity level. My guess is that you will still be well above the moderate category. If you underestimate your activity level the net result will still be under eating...

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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03-26-2016, 02:05 AM
Post: #7
RE: Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
Thanks so much, Anitra!

Retraining my brain from believing that cardio is the panacea for weight loss and body recomp is going to be tough, given my history. Even the thought of not doing an hour of cardio a day scares me, just thinking about it. It would be nice though, to do less...I'd certainly have more time to live my not-at-the-gym life, not only doing work, but doing things I love, like creative writing and crafting.

The strength programs look super fun. I must get them when my next paycheck clears! Very exciting to stir things up and not keep doing the same ol' same ol' stuff. big grin

Oh wow! I would have had that box eaten in no time...if only to get the temptation out of my house. My brain can do these crazy rationalization tricks where a binge is necessary because reasons. I look forward to getting out of that mindset for good and joining you in having a treat every once in a while without it turning into a Chocolate Episode of Madness.

I think I will slowly cut back my cardio, just so I don't freak out my poor brain. Eating more is already a new concept stretching my ability to not return to old bad habits. Slow and steady wins the race...haha.
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03-26-2016, 02:29 AM
Post: #8
RE: Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
I do want to try HIIT workouts. I am a little leery though, as I have asthma, and too high of an intensity can trigger an attack. Nothing like being unable to breathe to kill the workout mood...Inhalers help somewhat, but once I reach the point that I need my inhaler, I also just need to sit and do nothing until my lungs decide to function again.

Does anyone have any suggestions for HIIT workouts that are asthma-friendly? I want to ditch steady-state cardio for good and save myself hours of time while getting lean and toned, but I don't want to pass out either. :/
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03-26-2016, 08:10 AM (This post was last modified: 03-26-2016 02:52 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #9
RE: Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
Oh, I wasn't aware that you had asthma. Then HIIT workouts will most likely not be for you, especially if it is exercise-induced. You could certainly shorten up the steady state cardio though and just throw in brief bursts or intervals of a higher activity level, or maybe just an entirely different activity altogether (i.e if walking or jogging, stop every few minutes and do some walking lunges, squats or push-ups -- just something to mix it up...)

Here is another article for you regarding the cardio:

https://www.t-nation.com/training/death-...ate-cardio

And I completely agree ... don't try to change too many things all at once. Pick one thing to change and work on that until it becomes habit, and then tackle another thing to change. Changing too many things at once almost always results in failure, so just take it slow and enjoy every step of the process. Enjoy how good it feels to eat more. Enjoy that time not spent doing cardio doing something relaxing. Enjoy feeling your new-found muscles in your arms and shoulders as they begin to develop.

You have a great attitude and are going to rock this!!

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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03-26-2016, 10:28 AM
Post: #10
RE: Metabolism Reset and TDEE Questions - Newbie
Hi Rebekah, just wanted to pop in and say welcome. Anitra has you on the right path regarding your bingeing and cardio concerns, so I won't repeat, but I will underscore that tons of steady state cardio isn't doing you favors because I know for us former cardio bunnies that's a tough pill to swallow...Going from daily hour + cardio to 4 times per week lifting with an occasional cardio thrown in (for me, used to be 2 but now its 1 spin class, and maybe 20 min of running not very often haha) and EATING I'm finally getting some muscle and leanness and frankly finally look like i work out. I understand concern regarding HIIT and your asthma; maybe you can do a short but slighter more intense elliptical workout (Think intervals rather than all out HIIT). Just honor your body's edge. Not everyone needs to do the exact same things or types of workouts - you just need to find out what works for you.

You'll do great! Your attitude and frame of mind seem to be in the right place for this. Keep posting - maybe start a journal if you haven't already - that's where most of the forum activity is - and use this place as a support system.
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