Not eating enough can slow your metabolism a great deal and you are less likely to be able to get all the necessary nutrients that your body needs on anything less than 1200 calories. This Ask the Expert page explains this in more detail: www.sparkpeople.com/community/ask_the_expe rts.asp?q=58 . If you are doing exercise, then you need more calories to sustain that level of activity, but as long as you set up your goals on the site, and your calories burned goal on your fitness tracker page is reflective of what you do in an average week, your nutrition goals will be accurate for the level of activity and you just need to do your best to stay within your range (not eat more than that).
Fitness Minutes: (491)
3 4/10/13 10:21 A
Thank you! That's really helpful! I've lost 8 lbs so far, I started in January with a plant based diet, so it's generally pretty healthy - the occasional bit of meat, but we dont eat any processed food, or anywhere with a drive through.
I plugged all of my info into Livestrong, and they put me at 1,100 calories a day. I literally feel like I'm lost half the time - I know what I should be eating, and that exercise is a must, but when I don't feel like I'm making progress I don't necessarily want to give up, but I do feel like I'm not making any strides forward (does that make sense?). I figured the more calories I burned, the faster it would come off, which is totally not the case.
I did read that having a protein shake was a good idea (simply because it's easier to drink your calories than to eat them).
SP put me around 1200 calories - but I have to eat more if I exercise? And in my head that sounds completely wrong (I get the logic, but ... for instance, I read these messages last night, so I ate more for dinner than I usually would (vegetarian chili) and I gained a pound. I also realize that looking at the scale isn't the way to go, but I have to figure out a way to get that out of my head as well.
I do truly appreciate your guidance... It's been very helpful!
Brandi - without knowing more about you (starting weight, current diet, etc), it's tough to give specific suggestions, but here are my thoughts:
If 30 pounds is all you've got to lose, you might not be able to safely lose it by the end of the summer. The closer the human body gets to what it feels is its "ideal weight", the tougher it will be to keep losing.
You mention your weight hasn't moved in a week.....you have to trust the process. Weight doesn't fall off just because we do the right things for a short time. There are a huge number of processes and variables that go into weight loss and gain. Just give it time and stick to a healthy exercise and diet regimen---you'll get there.
700-1100 calories is not enough. As a general rule, the average woman needs 1200 calories to provide the basic nutrients and food energy to fuel an average day of activity. That doesn't even factor in heavy cardio or other expenditures of energy. What you should aim for is a SMALL daily deficit--one your body can handle and still function at an optimum level.
Have you entered your info into Spark and let it compute a calorie range for you? If so, what is it? In addition to the calorie range, pay close attention to the other ranges as well. You'll perform better at the gym (and feel better in general) if you meet your fat, protein and fiber goals as often as possible too. If you're not doing so already, start tracking your food here on Spark. As you do, you'll begin to see patterns and then you can easily decide what to change to better meet your targets. There are several articles on increasing your calories--if you do a search on the articles page they'll be there. My easiest suggestion is a handful of nuts as a snack---that'll be about 150 calories in the palm of your hand, with some good fats as a bonus.
If you're truly not hungry after the gym, you'll need to load up on some nutrient and calorie-dense foods earlier in the day, and then how about a protein shake or smoothie afterward? Many people use chocolate milk as an "after workout" food as well.
Workouts - I would limit your sessions to 30 minutes or less-if you don't feel that's enough, incease your intensity until you're wiped out somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes. Do that 2-3 times a week and then a full body strength training workout twice a week and you should be set. You do need at least one rest day per week. It's in the recovery that we get stronger, and your body does need time to rest and rebuild once in a while.
Also try some strength training as well.... Get those muscles helping to burn some of those calories.... Plus you will absolutely see the difference as they start to firm up!
Fitness Minutes: (491)
3 4/9/13 8:06 P
Thank you so much! This is the first time I've been on this site, so I'm learning how it works anyway. I do appreciate your help :)
Fitness Minutes: (123,135)
8,495 4/9/13 7:48 P
You need to be eating in your calorie range. For many people less than 1200 calories is inadequate. I know they used to call it starvation mode. It slows the metabolism. The more calories you are burning the more you need.
If you are having trouble with the quantity of healthy food it takes to get up to your calorie range, add some healthy calorie-dense foods like nuts, avocado, olives, dried fruit.
Once I gave up after 3 weeks of not losing when I thought I'd done everything right. Several months later my daughter made me promise to keep trying for 3 months no matter what. When I did it, I lost.
You may want to put "plateau" into the SparkPeople search box and read relevant articles.
Fitness Minutes: (491)
3 4/9/13 7:30 P
I need (want) to lose 30 pounds by the end of summer - which is completely manageable... HOWEVER, I've been at the gym every day, treadmill for 30 minutes to an hour, tracking calories, and I'm struggling to eat the calories recommended - I'm just not hungry after getting home from the gym. I'm ranging anywhere between 700 and 1100 healthy calories a day. My weight will NOT budge, it's been the same for the past week. I'm still super motivated, but is this normal??
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