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ANARIE Posts: 13,140
2/25/14 12:37 P

I peeked at your tracker and I did have a few tips.

First, are you tracking everything? You have a few days when you only list one meal. If you're eating more and just didn't track it because of time or because you couldn't find listings, it's a good idea to go back and track as closely as you can from memory and/or similar foods. A guess is better than a blank. If that one meal really is all you're eating, you might find that it does slow your progress. For some people, total calorie intake over time is all that matters, but for others, 500 calories one day and 2000 the next doesn't work as well as 1500 every day. Part of the reason is that you're hungry the next day after a one-meal day, and it turns out that when human beings are hungry, their eyes deceive them about food. There are tons of experiments where they show people the same servings of food when they're hungry and when they're not and ask them to guess how much the serving weighs. Without fail, they think it's smaller when they're hungry. It's not about "cheating" or gluttony or anything; it's a basic survival mechanism. You can't change it, but you can be aware of it and you can get around it by weighing your servings instead of eyeballing. Otherwise what looks like a small banana on a hungry day might be a large on a non-hungry day. It doesn't matter much with things like vegetables, but if you're estimating something like peanut butter and you call 1/4 cup a tablespoon, that's a 300-calorie mistake. It's entirely possible to do that, especially if you're half-starved because all you had the day before was a bagel and a latte.

One last thing to keep in mind is that fast food always has more calories than listed-- sometimes 200-300% more. A fast-food company can be fined for serving you a 90g serving of bread if their information says a serving is 100g, but nothing can happen if they serve you 200g instead of 100. Since it's expensive and time-consuming to train everyone to serve the proper amount, they just make the containers so big that even their stingiest employee will fill it up to at least the minimum amount. This is going to be true at any chain restaurant. When you eat out, assume that you're getting at least 20% more calories than the listing suggests. (That's one more reason to eat out less often.)

But as others have already said, you also need to be realistic about what is good progress. Anything over 1 pound a week is excellent. Keep in mind also that you haven't been doing this for a full lunar/hormonal month. A woman can't be sure how a weight-control program is working until she's been on it for at least 28 days, preferably 56. It's not at all uncommon to have slow progress or even a gain, followed by a sudden drop. If you started keeping track at a low or medium point in your hormonal cycle, that could be masking some of your fat loss. When you've been recording your weight once a week for 8 or 12 or 16 weeks, you'll start to see what your own pattern is.

PINKFLY787 Posts: 136
2/25/14 11:05 A

Thanks, LOVEXAVIE! That's really great advice. While I know there's always room for improvement, I'm happy to say my eating has been really good. I've been eating "cleaner" and incorporating a lot more fruits/veggies and tons of water, and have been adding calories to fit the higher range with more snacks (fruits/nuts/yogurt). Thanks again! :)

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,597)
Fitness Minutes: (48,071)
Posts: 2,443
2/25/14 10:51 A


Glad you corrected your calorie quotient! I bet that helps a lot.

To address your question in the broadest sense: you absolutely need to eat to lose weight.
But you need to eat healthfully (note I did not say, "perfectly.")

It's a fallacy that we have to restrict severely & thus be miserable to lose weight.
So many ppl (especially women) seem to think that if they aren't losing what they *think* they should, the answer is to cut calories further.

I used to think that way, and when I'd "diet" I'd get done in by hunger. Well, who can possibly follow an eating plan that keeps you starving?? Consequently I did not!

Eat your 7-9 servings of veggies in addition to whatever else you eat. They are the saving grace that keeps everything humming. And if you're hungry, eat!

Just aim for 80% healthy, real foods and you'll be fine. Losing weight is simply a by product of being healthy. I always say: if your constantly starving or miserable, you're doing it wrong!

Good luck!

PINKFLY787 Posts: 136
2/25/14 10:36 A

Thanks for the great feedback, everyone! I love hearing different people's perspective on things.

Russell_40 -- You're totally right. Misinformation gets out and ends up ballooning into something inaccurate. I am certainly happy to be making *some* progress. I just feel like for the amount of effort being put in, that results would be at least a little bit more reflective of that. Again, I know it's not been that long...but I figure that if I am putting my 100% in, I should look into ways to get 100% out. Thanks so much for all of the info. I've seen your posts on other messages; you have tremendous knowledge!

Slimmerkiwi -- Very cute username, btw :). I agree--I felt like the calorie range was too low, until I realized (based on your tip) that I hadn't updated my fitness efforts! I fixed it and it brought the range to 1440-1790, which is along the lines of what I was getting when I used other calculators. I'm going to try to fit this range for a week or two (keeping the fitness up all the while), and hopefully it'll bring good results. Thanks so much for the help! :)

SLIMMERKIWI Posts: 26,039
2/25/14 1:42 A


" about 1000-1200 and i wokrout 2hrs a day 5 days a week. weekends i only do an hour. i burn between 500-1000."

Are the calories based on accuracy or guess work. If guess work, I suggest that you weigh all of your food and enter it into the Nutrition Tracker so that you can have a good idea of what is going on. Has a Registered Dietitian or Dr suggest that you eat so few calories?... AND work out so much? Are they aware of it?

1200cal's is the minimum that SP suggests for a woman who is average weight and sedentary. Unless you have been advised otherwise, I would strongly suggest eating more.

I hope that you get the results that you desire - so long as they are healthy ones :-)

SLIMMERKIWI Posts: 26,039
2/25/14 1:33 A

Hi PINKFLY787 - given the amount of weight that you need to lose, I would think that 1200 calories would be too low, especially given that you exercise. 1200 calories is recommended for an average weight woman who is sedentary. When you entered all your details in, did you accurately enter in the amount and type of exercise that you do? Because, that can make a difference. Some people DO under-eat, and this can impact on our health in a number of ways, one of which is that our bodies run the risk of getting enough various nutrients.

Good luck with reaching your goals,

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
2/25/14 1:07 A

This one always makes me laugh. This starvation mode idea started when people ate 700-800 calories a day, and were malnourished for long periods of time, and slowed down their metabolism.

It isn't for those who are eating 1400 calories, and getting plenty of nutrition.

The idea as stated would mean that to lose a lb a week, you would need to cut 500 calories a day, but if you cut too much, you wouldn't lose. If this were true, anorexia wouldn't be possible. People starving themselves would become fat.

You can slow down your metabolism, and not lose as fast if you severely cut your calories, but none of the SP ranges go that low, and if adding calories causes weight loss, how does one gain weight? Cut calories?

The whole idea is a small bit of information that has spread out to mammoth proportion. Most people will lose weigh by cutting calories, and the more you cut, the more you will lose, even if you slow down your metabolism. You will continue to lose, just slower. You don't gain. More cardio would just cause you to have a bigger deficit, and lose more weight.

If you have lost 4 lbs. in 3 weeks, you should be happy anyways. That is phenomenal weight loss, and anything over 1/2 a lb a week is fine. Just keep eating the way you do, and see where you are in another 3 weeks. If you lose another 2-4 lbs., you will be losing a lb. a week or more.

Some weeks you lose 1.5 lbs., and others 1/4 of a lb. Go by the month, and any time you lose 3 lbs. a month, whatever you are doing is working. That's 36 lbs. a year. A major benefit to your health.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,102
2/24/14 3:41 P

your ticker shows you have lost 4lbs in 3 weeks, which means that you're losing about 1.33lbs per week. figure since you're just over 200lbs, you would only be looking to lose 2 per week best case and that means you're only .67lbs per week off of that. so it's not that far off from where you'd want to be in the first place.
one option is that that range isn't enough to support the kind of workouts that you're doing, especially if your hourlong cardio workout is more eight minute miles than hourlong miles. you won't know until you try eating at a higher range for a few weeks if this will help you make up that 2/3lb that you'd like to be losing.
another option is how accurately you're actually tracking, weighing and measuring. in other words, making sure everything that passes your lips gets tracked. so you're making sure that you're not forgetting condiments or the candy from the coworkers desk or some little snack you added to tide you over but didn't get written down. it's making sure that you're using accurate entries to track what you're weighing and measuring. and that you're actually weighing and measuring because it can be so easy to be off if you're just eyeballing. and if you're using a generic entry that's only 10 cals off instead of the name brand, well, all those little bits can add up to a lot over 20 items or so. it's annoying that this is the first thing that you should be checking [and get told again and again to keep checking], but it's like when your tv goes out. the plugs are the first thing you need to check. basic, yes. but it's a basic check for a reason and making sure that what you think you're working with is what you are in fact working with is a necessity.

NIHILCHRIST SparkPoints: (52)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 4
2/24/14 3:05 P

I have 45 and i am 5'3. IO eat about 1000-1200 and i wokrout 2hrs a day 5 days a week. weekends i only do an hour. i burn between 500-1000. i hate binging, i dont do thuis much but when i do, its like a 2200 cal binge for a total of the day. i am over it. at it went from friday to sunday night. Any advise for a cheat day? Seems like you are on the right track

PINKFLY787 Posts: 136
2/24/14 2:53 P

I have 107 pounds to lose and have been told by a handful of people that I need to be eating more to loose as efficiently as possible. The Spark site gave me a 1200-1500 calorie range. (I'm 25, F, 227 lbs, and do a half hour to an hour of cardio every day from Sunday to Friday.) I have been doing really well within my 1200-1500 range for three weeks now but the weight has been very, very slow in coming off. I know it's not an overnight thing, and it'll take time. I'm just looking for some insight regarding the advice I have receievd saying I should be eating more. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

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