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Getting it together...
04-23-2016, 12:10 AM
Post: #1
Getting it together...
Hi, Everyone!

I've been reading the forum for a little while, and I've decided to join up and starting eating more to weigh less.

A little history: I've been on this weight-loss journey for five-ish years, and I'm ready to see some actual losses. Looking at my Myfitnesspal data, it looks like I've been doing a lot of zigzagging with my calories, eating too much or too little just about every other day. No wonder the weight won't budge! I tried to stick to netting about 1800 per day (after a personal trainer told me I should be eating at 1800 about 3 years ago).

At the end of last summer I took an incredibly stressful job that was so anxiety-provoking that I couldn't eat or sleep. I was also having major digestion issues - meaning that anything I put in my body came back out without being able to absorb many of the calories. (Sorry, TMI! blushing) I ended up losing about 10-12 pounds in about two-three weeks. Since I quit that awful job, I have gained all of that weight back and then some. *sigh*

I'm currently about 6 weeks into moving my calories up to TDEE, and as of today I have moved from 2200 to 2300. I have read the metabolism reset guide, FAQs and member questions on the forum, but I still have a question. I'm female, 34, 5'7.5" and 198.4 lbs, and according to Scooby, at a moderate level of exercise, my TDEE is 2587, and my BMR is 1669. However, my Fitbit HR has me at an average of 3000 burned on average per day! thinking I get in 10,000 steps per day on average (I took the average over a month's period). I move around a fair bit at work; I am a barista in a busy coffee shop. I also do power/vinyasa yoga 2-3 per week (sometimes I will sub in a 30-40 minute lifting workout - think Jillian Michaels Body Revolution). Some days I get way more than 10,000 steps because I'll go for a 50-60 minute walk on top of my normal movement throughout the day.

I would like to just "rip off the band-aid," but I'm unsure whether I should move up to 2587 or to 3000 (which seems incredibly high to me, but I want to do it right!). What do you all think?
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04-23-2016, 10:10 AM
Post: #2
RE: Getting it together...
Hi, welcome! I sort of ripped off the bandaid when I reset and it was a bit uncomfortable in terms of bloating and just feeling squishy. If I had to do it again I would gradually increase. Have you considered adding weight training to your routine? Aside from the benefits of just a healthier, stronger body, that is the single best type of exercise you can do for body composition. My opinion is that it is also really crucial to strength train during your reset, just based on my experience: it helps mentally to know that there is muscle taking shape amidst the bloating, lol, and between "newb gains (strength gains" and the extra calories, the body really responds to strength training. Then, when you do get to a point where you can cut, you have some muscle under there so you look better even at a higher scale weight.

So my advice is to increase your TDEE around 200 calories every couple of weeks - increase and let your body stabilize at that rate, and that stabilization might be short or it might be longer - and add in a strength training program. If you want more details/specifics, let me know.
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04-23-2016, 12:12 PM
Post: #3
RE: Getting it together...
Emma,

Thanks for your reply! I am currently doing one day of weight training, but I'm also doing power yoga with this amazing yoga teacher, and she works a lot on strength building. I definitely feel like I'm getting stronger, and I for sure have DOMS the day after practicing. I have so much more energy to get through my workouts since I've upped my calories. Do you think I should do more weight training in addition to the yoga?

As for finding my true TDEE, I mentioned in my previous post that I was unsure if I should build up to 2500 (Scooby) or 3000 (Fitbit); are you saying that I should increase calories by 200 until the gains level off whether that is 2500 or 3000?

Thank you so much!
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04-23-2016, 12:54 PM
Post: #4
RE: Getting it together...
I do yoga too and I definitely got stronger in my upper body after I started dabbling in power flow. So I hear you on post-yoga DOMS. People would be surprised. That said I do think its a good idea to incorporate some compound lifts (bench, deadlifts, squats, rows) into your schedule - it'll also help with the yoga. You don't have to do a full 4 days or whatever the program calls for because you don't want to overdo it on top of the yoga. my weekly routine is a hodgepodge of different things, so my strength program is always slightly bastardized, haha. Do you need suggestions on programs?

Yes, up those calories until you find whether you are 2500, 3000 or something in between. Basically as you up your weight will bounce around from water and glycogen stores but will settle back around your weight. If your weight increases steadily (very slowly but surely over several weeks) you know you have just surpassed your TDEE and so know to trim it back 100 cal/200 cal to be at your maintenance.
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04-23-2016, 09:12 PM (This post was last modified: 05-22-2016 07:33 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #5
RE: Getting it together...
Welcome! You have already gotten some great advice from Emma, and I second her opinion that it would be better to make those increases gradually. Especially as you get closer and closer to your TDEE, making those increases gradual helps to determine *where* you are. So if you are at 2300 now then I would just take it slow and add 100 or 200 calories to your daily intake and monitor your weight. Since you really don't know what your true TDEE is until you test it out, if you were to "rip the band-aid" and increase to your FitBit's TDEE chances are your weight would fluctuate wildly and it would be hard to tell if it was a temporary gain or if you had, in fact, surpassed your TDEE. If you take it slower you will have more time to make any adjustments along the way, plus it will help to avoid even more bloating and discomfort by doing it that way.

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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04-24-2016, 05:52 PM
Post: #6
RE: Getting it together...
Emma and AnitraSoto,

Thanks for your helpful replies! It's good to know that I am already on the right track.

Emma, I would like some recommendations for programs. I do have Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, and I really liked working out to those DVDs with my free weights (I have 3 lb, 5 lb, 8 lb and 12 lb weights).
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04-27-2016, 08:32 AM
Post: #7
RE: Getting it together...
I am not 100% familiar with the in's and out's of the JM program, but I know she is a big fan of metabolic training. This will have a bit more cardio than straight up strength training. If you are down for DVD's at home, Cathe STS is an EM2WL favorite. You never repeat a workout and Cathe is just a pure pro, she totally knows what she is doing.

For a less pricey investment, I always recommend The New Rules of Lifting For Women - that was my first lifting program - or even more so, Strong (same authors) because its updated from TNROLFW. They are books so check them out on Amazon. Strong by Bret Contreras is another good one. Its sort of booty focused but there are 4 different programs to choose from.

Either way, you will probably need to invest in more equipment if you don't belong to a gym. 12 lb DB ain't gonna cut it unfortunately (eventually anyway). At a minimum I would get either a few heavier ones if you can score them cheaply or if you are just going to buy new, get an adjustable set so you can adjust them from 10-50 lb each.
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05-22-2016, 06:03 PM
Post: #8
RE: Getting it together...
(04-23-2016 12:54 PM)emma Wrote:  Yes, up those calories until you find whether you are 2500, 3000 or something in between. Basically as you up your weight will bounce around from water and glycogen stores but will settle back around your weight. If your weight increases steadily (very slowly but surely over several weeks) you know you have just surpassed your TDEE and so know to trim it back 100 cal/200 cal to be at your maintenance.

It has been a month since I started increasing calories to search for the evasive TDEE. Here's what happened.

Start: 198.4 lbs, 2200 avg. cals eaten, 3063 avg. burned

Week 1: 200.3 lbs., 2500 avg. eaten, 2851 avg. burned

Week 2: 200.7 lbs., 2700 avg. eaten, 3358 avg. burned

Week 3: 200.8 lbs., 2650 avg. eaten, 2700 avg. burned

Start of this week: 201 lbs.

Should I keep pushing upward? I feel like I'm almost there (to TDEE), but I'm not sure which way to go with my calories. I'm seeing the scale weight tick upward slowly after that initial two pound-ish gain from increasing to an average of 1900-2200 calories per day to 2500-2700, which makes me think I gained a little fat along with restored glycogen/water. The worst part is that it totally shows in my midsection, so I've been wearing lots of loose-fitting clothing. wink

One positive so far - I have increased energy and stamina to get through workouts. So, I agree with others when they comment about feeling like they are finally getting the fuel they need.
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05-22-2016, 07:39 PM
Post: #9
RE: Getting it together...
Personally, I would hang at 2600 for a couple of weeks just to see what happens. If your weight stabilizes you can always push it to 2700, but at this point the only way you are really going to know is to try to stay fairly consistent. There are already so many variables (TOM, DOMS, stress, sodium, hormones...etc) that it can be hard to see what is causing the fluctuations. By keeping the intake consistent for a couple of weeks at least you remove that variable...

Can't wait to hear how you do!

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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05-22-2016, 09:47 PM
Post: #10
RE: Getting it together...
(05-22-2016 07:39 PM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  Personally, I would hang at 2600 for a couple of weeks just to see what happens. If your weight stabilizes you can always push it to 2700, but at this point the only way you are really going to know is to try to stay fairly consistent. There are already so many variables (TOM, DOMS, stress, sodium, hormones...etc) that it can be hard to see what is causing the fluctuations. By keeping the intake consistent for a couple of weeks at least you remove that variable...

Can't wait to hear how you do!

Thanks for your reply, Anitra! I'll take your advice for the next couple of weeks and see what happens. :-)
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