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New here with a question
09-03-2016, 10:46 PM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2016 10:47 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #11
RE: New here with a question
I can't add anything that has not been said above. You have been given excellent advice.

As far as why people's TDEEs can vary so much, not only is exercise taken into account, but so is sex (men burn more calories than women, generally), age (we burn less and less as we age) and height and weight (the larger the person, the more calories required to maintain that mass ...) This is why we recommend that when you gain or lose more than 5 pounds that you recalculate your TDEE as your energy requirements will have changed. If you use an on-body device, make sure to update your weight there as well every five pounds lost or gained...

Anitra Soto
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09-04-2016, 01:31 AM (This post was last modified: 09-04-2016 01:33 AM by hannah77.)
Post: #12
RE: New here with a question
No worries...
Age - 46
Height - 5'5"
Starting weight (24 May 16) - 183 pounds
Starting calories - 1325
Hare or tortoise - Tortoise (for the most part, 100 calorie increases every week since end of May...stayed at 2600 for 2 weeks)
Maximum weight since starting - 186.4 (19 Aug 16)
Minimum weight since starting - 181.4 (27 Jun 16)
Current weight - 184.6 pounds
Current calories - 2700 (since 29 Aug 16)
General weekly workout schedule - H2O Aerobics (60 min) X2; Yoga (60 min) X2; Walking (avg 45 min) X3; strength training (resistance bands, not heavy - avg 35 min) X3
(that's if I successfully achieve everything...honestly, with class cancellations and a lot of doctor's appointments, in any given week I may miss an H2O Aerobics, a walk, and if my body is crying uncle, a strength training also)

When I first started, I read and reread and reread the starter guide and the reset guide. I plugged my height, weight, and age into the EM2WL calculator and calculated what my estimated calories would be for BMR, light, moderate, and strenuous. That gave me a pretty big range of 1534 - 2647. Then, I just started setting small goals. Since I wasn't even eating at BMR, hitting over that (1600) came first...took a couple weeks. Was just going off the calculators at this point as I didn't have an onbody device.

Once I hit that, I knew I was definitely lightly active and probably moderate...so my next goal was 2300/2400...took about 6-7 weeks. When I hit that, that's where I started arguing with my mind and second guessing. While I had a pretty full exercise routine, I felt I was pretty much sedentary the rest of the time and rationalized that should balance out to moderate. So when I hit 2400 and weighed the same for 5 successive days (183.6) and then bumped up a pound and didn't end my week back where I started, that was my "proof" that I had exceeded my TDEE (instead of thinking maybe I was just getting close and needed to give myself more time to see if it leveled out.)

I dropped to 2350 the next week and ended up weighing higher most of that week and plateaued at 184.0. After rereading the guides again and getting some advice, I decided to go ahead and "experiment" and went back to 2400 and lo and behold, my weight ended up the week right where it started, 184. Up to 2500 and 184.4. I thought for sure I was close, and went up to 2600. Then, I had a really stressful week going back to college, and my weight actually started dropping (as low as 182.4 at one point)..but by the end of the week was back to 184.4.

I was hesitant to increase...but that's where this post meets up with the information I already wrote...decided to go ahead and increase since I still wasn't seeing any slow, steady gain over a longer period of time.

So, to answer your question (how do I know my TDEE is that high)...trial and error, monitoring intake and weight. Up to 2350, I definitely wasn't seeing any increases at all with the exception of the bump up when I increased calories that then trended back down by the end of the week. From 2350-2600, I wasn't seeing any slow, steady, continual increases. Again, at 2700, too early to tell (this week so far is 184.4 - 184.0 - 184.4 - 184.4 - 184.8 - 184.6 and I am short all my H2O aerobics this week which I estimate to be about 100 calories/day). ...which is why I am giving myself this whole month to evaluate (need to determine what a sane workout schedule for me is going forward with college because it is NOT what I have been doing up until last week). If I stabilize quickly then I'll have to add another 100.

I really just have to tell myself to keep reading the reset guide and take it at face value, literally. And if I don't understand what it means, I post questions and read around the forum and the Crushing the Diet Mentality Facebook posts to see if I can find any advice or explanations that make sense to me. I'll read something and a lightbulb goes on... Idea I don't want to recreate the wheel!

Another issue that makes it more challenging for you is TOM. I am in a chemically induced menopause due to breast cancer treatment, so I don't experience the hormonal shifts you do...they've basically medicated my estrogen to non-existence!

And, I am a Type AAAA control freak, super planner as well, so I know where you're coming from. I think you have so much strength of will to just increase your calories like that. I just couldn't do it.

If you think it might help you to read my entire journal, you can find it here. It's full of doubt, questions, efforts to bend my body to my will (ha, ha!), other's encouragement/good information...so you can see that I struggle just like you do.Undecided
http://forums.eatmore2weighless.com/show...?tid=13116

Another suggestion, again not anything that I have to worry about as I am retired and usually bebop to class in shorts, jeans, or capris, but if you have thrift shops in your area, you could probably find a couple neutral/basic slacks or skirts that would not be too expensive that could help you through this period. I don't know how my mom did it, but she would find the MOST amazing things at Goodwill and Savers, etc...like new a lot of times...and it is just temporary.

Hope that helps and it wasn't too much information....
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09-18-2016, 05:36 PM
Post: #13
RE: New here with a question
Hi again....so I have hit the 12 week mark today of eating at my TDEE! Yay! I started at 160 lbs and today I am 171. (Still not super thrilled about the extra weight gain, but since I jumped right up to my TDEE, I know it's to be expected.) I am still loving the lifting workouts and am about to start stage 3, phase one of Strong by Schuler and Cosgrove. I love seeing my strength increase.

I looked back at MFP to see how I had done and I didn't realize it at the time, but I was eating 2300-2500 cals since June, sometimes a bit more. There have been days I have eaten 2100 or so, and some days where I didn't completely keep track because I knew I was eating PLENTY of cals, but my aim has been to be above 2100 since June. For the last two weeks, my aim has been to eat 2500.

My question is, I am thinking of starting a 10% cut for a few weeks/one month?? For me, that would be eating at 2170 for the next month. Thoughts??

I know that I may or may not see any losses if I am not truly at my TDEE yet, but if I do start seeing a slow loss, does that mean I have figured it out?

I changed my TDEE in the calculator since I've gained 11 lbs, and it says maintenance for me right now would be 2412. I think I have been eating over that. Last week I gained 4 lbs (I assume as a result of upping my cals to 2500, or having a couple high sodium days), and then over the last 3 days, I've gone back down.

My weight, however, is still trending upwards. I am using the "Happy Scale" app and according to the reports there, my 90 day weight gain is 10.6 lbs. July shot up very fast (5.2 lbs in 31 days (end of June I gained 1.7 lbs in the first 5 days)), August was a net gain of 1.5 lbs, and September has been 2.3 lbs so far.

Since it leveled out-ish for August.... do you think I have over shot my TDEE and I should trend back down? (August was when I was still aiming at between 2200-2300 for cals). Someone posted above that I need to see a good month of stable weight to know for sure. Do you think that was August for me? Or am I being too eager to be done? The reason I ask so many questions is because I am very concerned with doing things "right". I don't want to make a mistakes, especially with this.

And if I understand correctly, if I eat at 2170 and I still see gains, that means my metabolism still has not caught up?

Side note: How do you all get enough protein??? I don't do dairy because it makes me break out so I don't do any whey protein or yogurt either. I use a hemp seed protein powder from Nutiva because I believe in eating whole foods and with as little ingredients as possible. I can usually get about 115-125 grams of protein a day, but I can't get to 160-170, without extra fat. Any tips??

Thank you! This site and you wonderful ladies have been life savers! :-)
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09-19-2016, 01:25 AM
Post: #14
RE: New here with a question
Hi...first of all, congratulations for sticking with it! I know it can be a complete mind game trying to figure out what's going on. I'll give you my thoughts, but I'm not sure if I am giving you the right advice...see what some of the moderators/more experienced folks say.

I would not entertain the thought of a cut right now. From everything I have read, if you have a desire to cut, you are not ready to cut yet. You want to be so happy and comfortable eating at your TDEE that you'll fight tooth and nail for those extra calories and you dread the thought of a cut. I would stick to your TDEE through the rest of the year (who wants to cut during the holidays?) and you want to give your body every chance of resetting properly so that you don't end up back where you started, still not at TDEE or resetting.

I'm not sure if you have really been eating consistently at TDEE for three months...if your calculated TDEE is 2412, and your aim was "to be above 2100 since June" (and I know the number may have been a little less at 10 pounds lighter, but I don't think that much)...that's quite a difference in calories. A calculated TDEE only gets you so far...at some point, you have to know that you've hit your actual TDEE since everyone's body is different. The only way to do that is to take it slow (honestly, I thought I reached my TDEE at 2600 over a month ago and the ladies have been encouraging me like crazy to keep sitting at 2700, which I have for 3 weeks now, and I'm still not sure.) If you have been hitting your mark of 2500 for two weeks and over the last three days, the 4 pounds has trended back down...my guess is that you are close, but not quite to TDEE. As you get closer, it can take more than a couple weeks to trend back. And, as much as we fight it (initially), we want our TDEE as high as possible so that our cut is at as high a calorie level as possible. There has to be a slow, steady increase (which I'm thinking would be in the range of .25 pounds a week or less), not big leaps that trend down. I guess the way I explain it to myself, if you're eating 100 calories over TDEE, that's only 700 calories a week. If 3500 calories represents a pound, than 700/3500 is .2 pounds.

You can have weight gain (Anitra explained how jumping 1000 calories with a suppressed metabolism would cause that), stabilize for a time, and still not hit TDEE.

Toki18's journal might shed some light, page 7 was a cut and paste of a TDEE discussion from the Crushing the Diet Mentality facebook page.

http://forums.eatmore2weighless.com/show...529&page=7

My very badly explained point/advice, is I would eat at 2500 for the rest of the month (total of 4 weeks), see where you are at that point...and be open minded. You may find that you still have to play around with your calories a bit longer. From what I've read on the posts, a lot of the time, the calculators don't adequately factor in all your activity and your TDEE is probably 100 to several hundred calories higher. Don't fall into that trap like I did, trying to convince ourselves we really need less! My calculated TDEE was 2392 with moderate activity, 2662 with strenuous. I've cut my workouts and think I'm closer to moderate (1X H2O aerobics, 2X yoga, 2X walk, 2X strength = ~6 hours)...but 2392 was definitely not even close to my TDEE. I easily wasted a month hanging out around 2350/2400 when I could have been pushing up.

I'm also not sure if a jump to TDEE vice 100 calories increases affects how long it takes for your weight to stabilize, just know as you get closer to TDEE, it takes longer.

Sorry I do not have too many thoughts on the protein since mostly I get it through whey protein, greek yogurt, and cheese...but beans, lentils, nuts, meat/seafood. Came across this list, which you'll have to eliminate dairy, but maybe some ideas for you...

http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/ulti...foods.html
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09-19-2016, 10:18 PM
Post: #15
RE: New here with a question
I agree with hannah that you aren't quite ready for a cut. Reading your post it sort of sounds like you have been all over the place calorie-wise. There is a big difference between 2100 and 2500 calories. I would recommend picking a number and staying there *consistently* for a month or so. Don't change anything else. After that month, re-evaluate again and make a plan for the next month. You just need to give your body time to catch up and stabilize.

If you are eating 2100 and gaining, one of two things is happening: You are eating over your *true* TDEE, or your metabolism is still suppressed and functioning at a lower than normal level. If option #2 is what is happening, then your body simply needs more time. Remember, you will not heal your metabolism from a lifetime of dieting with a few months of increased intake. It often takes much longer for things to stabilize and your body to catch up.

If you go back and read the Metabolism Reset Guide what you want to be doing now is taking the time to find your true TDEE. You want to reset at the highest level possible. Just take the time to do it right, or you will find yourself right back at square one (resetting) again. Not only does you body need to be healed but your mind does too. If you are rushing the cut, you aren't ready.

Another thing to remember: one of the reasons you want that reset to be at as long and consistent as possible, is that when you go to take that cut it is going to be really small, often only like 250 or 300 calories. So if you intake has not been fairly consistent, there is a good chance that the body will not actually recognize that deficit as a "cut", but instead will see it as simply another of many fluctuations.

Hang on a bit longer through this phase. If you slow down and take the time to do it right it will slowly become very apparent when you have hit your TDEE and things stabilize. And in the meantime, relax and enjoy the eats! laughing

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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10-07-2016, 12:56 AM
Post: #16
RE: New here with a question
Warning....vent post....
So....I have stayed at 2500 calories for the last month. I haven't had my weight stabilize, or "trend back down". In fact, it just continues to go up. I work so hard to get all of my protein in and keep the calories up. I work out 3 times a week for about an hour of heavy lifting and a little interval work afterward. I have gained 15 lbs now since the start. Today I weigh 175. I don't think I am doing this right. I think I am eating too much. I don't know how to be patient with this process right now. I feel like I am digging myself into a deep hole that will take me forever to climb back out of . I want to feel confident again. I used to run 4 days a week and eat strict paleo. I was never hungry but apparently I wasn't eating enough calories. I wasn't losing any of the stubborn fat either, but I was in the 150-155 weight range for 5 years without counting a single calorie. Now, I do this reset and I feel like it's a chaotic mess and I don't know what is going to happen next.

I tried to take everyone's advice and stay at 2500 for a month. That seems too high for me since I am still gaining, but I did it. The only month I had some stability was August when I only gained 1.5 lbs for the whole month. (Looking back at MFP I was eating 2100-2300 cals a day). Then in Sept I went up to 2500 and I gained close to 8 lbs??? That's too much and too fast. Something isn't right.

I started upping my cals on 6-26-16. I started heavy lifting on 7-18-16.

Truth be told, I am NOT willing to keep gaining weight at this pace. I think that I am eating too much. And I just want to quit. My belly hurts all the time from all the different foods I am trying to eat. I went paleo years ago because grains and dairy tend to hurt my stomach and give me gas/bloating. I introduced some grains and now I am uncomfortable all the time. I can feel the muscle growing in my arms, legs etc, but everything I read online says women can't gain more than .5 lb of muscle in a month. So maybe I have gained 1.5 lbs muscle and then 13.5 lbs of fat and water weight?? Ugh! I know I sound like a whiny little baby but I don't like not understanding this.

Would a good plan for someone like me be to head back down to 2300 or 2100 cals and see what happens??? I just don't want to gain any more weight. My clothes are too tight and it hurts and makes me upset.
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10-07-2016, 07:05 AM (This post was last modified: 10-08-2016 12:44 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #17
RE: New here with a question
What is your Garmin giving you for an average TDEE? I thought it was closer to 2100 or 2200? (without going back and reading through all of your previous posts). I know we had discussed eating consistently at one level for a month to see it things stabilized, but if that level is several hundred calories over your TDEE, then some gains are to be expected. And when you combine this with the fact that your metabolism may still be operating at a lower than normal level, then again, yes you will be seeing gains.

I wish I had time to read back through all of your posts, but I have to head off for work, but as I recall you jumped right from 1000 - 1200 up to like 2100. Then you spent a couple of months sort of bouncing around between 2100 and 2500 so we suggested that you try to be a bit more consistent with that number, just to try to get a handle on what your TDEE is. Does that all sound like I remember correctly? I think what you may have done is simply eaten above your TDEE for a month or so (if your Garmin is still giving you averages around 2100).

Let me know if the above sounds close to correct, but if it does, then you may simply have been eating over your TDEE and dropping down a hundred calories may stabilize things. Either way, you are not digging yourself into a hole you won't be able to get out of. Any time eating at or above your TDEE is going to help to get it back up and running where it should be, so some simple calorie tweaking should help to get you stabilized.

Also, remember that adding back in foods that you have previously eliminated can result in a lot of gastrointestinal distress (which is why we recommend not eliminating anything, unless you have a diagnosed food allergy...)

Sorry, I have to run out the door but get back to us with a summary and we will help make sure you are on the right track!

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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10-07-2016, 11:53 PM (This post was last modified: 10-07-2016 11:55 PM by hannah77.)
Post: #18
RE: New here with a question
I think your Garmin had you around 2400 with all your activities. My advice to you back on the 18th was to continue eating at 2500 for a full month primarily because you said when you had gone up to 2500 calories, you initially gained 4 pounds but then it trended back down and also because previous to that you seemed to have been bouncing around somewhere between 2100 and 2400. The only way to know you've exceeded your TDEE is to test it out.

Just to confirm that your activity/work-out level also remained consistent?

As you have been at 2500 consistently for a month and you have seen slow, steady weight gain and your Happy Scale is also showing an upward trend, you probably are over TDEE. The good news is that without even knowing it, you've been in reset for a month! HURRAY!

I would not be in a rush to drop too many calories too quickly. You do not want to drop out of reset or lose any of those hard-earned calories! You are now in the TDEE tweaking phase as Anitra says (which can also take a while....you can read my recent and ongoing 5-8 week experience with this in my journal)...drop down to 2400 calories and keep everything else the same. In a week, come back and let us know what the weight/trend is doing although I suspect you may have to continue at 2400 for a couple weeks (for me, that first week of dropping 100 calories actually spiked my weight up over a pound...don't think my body was happy with me pulling back those calories and then it started settling back.) If it's stabilizing great! If you're still gaining a little but at a slower pace, may have to drop down another 50 or 100...but start with the first 100 calories. If you're close, you don't want to overcompensate!

I have found the "TDEE confirming" period of time is much more difficult than increasing calories (which I thought was hard at times as well) and we want to jump right over it to the reset or cut...mentally, it tests you and your patience, ESPECIALLY your patience. But, I think in the end, really being confident that what you think is your TDEE IS your TDEE is vital for the next part of the journey.

Keep at it at 2400 calories and post in a week!
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10-10-2016, 01:11 AM
Post: #19
RE: New here with a question
(10-07-2016 07:05 AM)AnitraSoto Wrote:  What is your Garmin giving you for an average TDEE? I thought it was closer to 2100 or 2200? (without going back and reading through all of your previous posts). I know we had discussed eating consistently at one level for a month to see it things stabilized, but if that level is several hundred calories over your TDEE, then some gains are to be expected. And when you combine this with the fact that your metabolism may still be operating at a lower than normal level, then again, yes you will be seeing gains.

I wish I had time to read back through all of your posts, but I have to head off for work, but as I recall you jumped right from 1000 - 1200 up to like 2100. Then you spent a couple of months sort of bouncing around between 2100 and 2500 so we suggested that you try to be a bit more consistent with that number, just to try to get a handle on what your TDEE is. Does that all sound like I remember correctly? I think what you may have done is simply eaten above your TDEE for a month or so (if your Garmin is still giving you averages around 2100).

Let me know if the above sounds close to correct, but if it does, then you may simply have been eating over your TDEE and dropping down a hundred calories may stabilize things. Either way, you are not digging yourself into a hole you won't be able to get out of. Any time eating at or above your TDEE is going to help to get it back up and running where it should be, so some simple calorie tweaking should help to get you stabilized.

Also, remember that adding back in foods that you have previously eliminated can result in a lot of gastrointestinal distress (which is why we recommend not eliminating anything, unless you have a diagnosed food allergy...)

Sorry, I have to run out the door but get back to us with a summary and we will help make sure you are on the right track!

Hi Anitra! Thanks so much for your response. Yes, I checked my average TDEE on my Garmin again just to be sure, and the average for the last 30 days was 2186. So if that is accurate, I am eating about 300 cals over that every day.

I had some days where I was eating as low as 1000 (although that was definitely the minority) but most days were about 1400 cals back in May/June. Prior to that I was about 1800 cals a day- I think. I eat mostly paleo so there aren't a lot of labels on my food. ;-)

Anyway, I had been consistent at 2500 cals for most of Sept and the beginning of Oct. I am seeing weight gain. Do you think I should bump it to 2400? Or 2300?

Thanks for always taking the time to respond to my questions. :-)
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10-10-2016, 01:18 AM
Post: #20
RE: New here with a question
(10-07-2016 11:53 PM)hannah77 Wrote:  I think your Garmin had you around 2400 with all your activities. My advice to you back on the 18th was to continue eating at 2500 for a full month primarily because you said when you had gone up to 2500 calories, you initially gained 4 pounds but then it trended back down and also because previous to that you seemed to have been bouncing around somewhere between 2100 and 2400. The only way to know you've exceeded your TDEE is to test it out.

Just to confirm that your activity/work-out level also remained consistent?

As you have been at 2500 consistently for a month and you have seen slow, steady weight gain and your Happy Scale is also showing an upward trend, you probably are over TDEE. The good news is that without even knowing it, you've been in reset for a month! HURRAY!

I would not be in a rush to drop too many calories too quickly. You do not want to drop out of reset or lose any of those hard-earned calories! You are now in the TDEE tweaking phase as Anitra says (which can also take a while....you can read my recent and ongoing 5-8 week experience with this in my journal)...drop down to 2400 calories and keep everything else the same. In a week, come back and let us know what the weight/trend is doing although I suspect you may have to continue at 2400 for a couple weeks (for me, that first week of dropping 100 calories actually spiked my weight up over a pound...don't think my body was happy with me pulling back those calories and then it started settling back.) If it's stabilizing great! If you're still gaining a little but at a slower pace, may have to drop down another 50 or 100...but start with the first 100 calories. If you're close, you don't want to overcompensate!

I have found the "TDEE confirming" period of time is much more difficult than increasing calories (which I thought was hard at times as well) and we want to jump right over it to the reset or cut...mentally, it tests you and your patience, ESPECIALLY your patience. But, I think in the end, really being confident that what you think is your TDEE IS your TDEE is vital for the next part of the journey.

Keep at it at 2400 calories and post in a week!

Hi Hannah,
Thank you so much for your response to my post. You are correct. My activity level did stay the same. I am a school teacher so most of my days are virtually identical as far as daily activity. I lift 3 days a week. My Garmin gives me an average of 2186 cals per day.

I will bump down to 2400 and see what happens. I just ran a 10 mile Tough Mudder race yesterday so I think I am holding onto a lot of water weight today from being dehydrated?? I am 4 lbs heavier today from yesterday. Weird. And soooo sore.

I HOPE HOPE HOPE that I am close to finding my TDEE, and that would be amazing if I have already been in reset for a month and not even known it.

Yesterday and today my cals were a bit all over the place. I drank 2 beers yesterday after the race (I NEVER drink beer) and ate pizza for dinner. But the 10 mile obstacle course race took us 4 hours to complete (lots of mud, climbing, water obstacles etc). I really have no way of knowing how much I burned. I didn't wear my Garmin because I didn't want it to get ruined. I will come back to post in a week. Thank you again for your time to help me out! :-)
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