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BLUEHORSE17 SparkPoints: (13,264)
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11/8/13 4:39 P

I talked with my doctor about me weight. I am 5'4" and she said that anywhere between 112 and 122 was a good range for me. I see now that I might not hit 110 just because of the muscle gain but I'm okay with that. And a Dietician did suggest that I track my calories not by the numbers but by looking at the portion sizes instead. She had returned my email I sent out last night and mentioned that because I tend to measure things to the 8th degree that I might be adding stress onto myself.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (77,103)
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11/8/13 7:23 A

I would be trying to slowly increase my calorie intake to around maintenance levels. You said you don't eat enough fats. It should be easy to increase your calorie intake without feeling too full by introducing more healthy fats to your diet.

Fats (oils, nuts, nut butters, etc) are the one thing I do measure because they're so calorie dense it's easy to overeat them. I'm not sure how long you've been tracking/measuring your calorie intake but if you're quite used to it you can probably roughly estimate your portion sizes.

Tracking calories makes knowing how much to eat and when to eat easy but intuitive eating takes practice. You can always take a week off from tracking and then track for a week to see where you're at or just wean yourself off by roughly tracking how much you're eating during the day in your head. The one downfall I see to tracking calories is that it can lead to not listening to our bodies and own hunger cues and forgetting how to eat. I find the numbers often determine if I choose to deny that extra snack even if I'm truly hungry. If you do decide to practice some intuitive eating the most important thing to learn is how to distinguish between true hunger or emotional eating/cravings.

www.intuitiveeating.org/content/10-princip
les-intuitive-eating


You don't have to give up calorie counting. I just find that when you're lifting and you already know how to eat and how to roughly estimate portion sizes that it can be a hindrance. Especially if you have hang ups/fears about how many calories you're eating, gaining or eating too much and it's determining whether or not you eat when you're actually hungry.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (65,543)
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11/8/13 2:34 A

Have you talked with your doctor or with the nutritionist about whether 110 is a healthy goal for you? That seems like a very low weight unless you are extremely short. I took a look at your page, and you look quite thin in the photo where you weigh 123...

BLUEHORSE17 SparkPoints: (13,264)
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11/7/13 11:24 P

Thank you very much! I know this is a short response but I think I do need to wean away from numbers and just go by how my clothes feel. I'll eat when hungry starting tomorrow. What about if I end up not eating the amount of suggested calories for the day and it comes to night time? Should I not eat unless I'm hungry?

Edited by: BLUEHORSE17 at: 11/7/2013 (23:24)
JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (77,103)
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11/7/13 7:35 P

Typically, to gain muscle you need a calorie surplus especially if you're not a beginner to lifting. This of course means gaining weight. A clean bulk (slow gain, increasing intake of healthy foods) should help to ensure not much of the gain is fat.

If you put on the *right* type of weight... it's not that you'll never reach your weight goal of 110 lbs. It just won't be necessary to drop that low to achieve the body you want, get rid of problem areas and fit in a smaller size clothing. If after you put on the weight, you want to cut whatever fat you gained during the bulk. You can do that. The result will be that you will achieve the body fat % you want at a higher and healthier weight.

Muscle is denser than fat. It takes up less room than fat. The more muscle you have vs. fat (BF%) the smaller you'll be. If you compare identical twins who both weigh 120 lbs but one has 16% body fat and the other has 25% body fat. The one with 16% body fat would probably be a couple sizes smaller than her twin. Or even if the first twin weighed 130-140 lbs but was 16% body fat she could probably still borrow her lighter sister's clothing and probably look better wearing them! ;)

Honestly, the best thing I did was stop stepping on the scale. All it did was stress me out, put me in a horrible mood and lead to binging and purging (exercise/calories) when it didn't say what I wanted it to say. I just take monthly waist, hip, leg and arm measurements. Who cares what the scale says if you're losing inches, right? :)

I would just work on intuitive eating and learning to trust your body. Don't eat by the clock and don't try to trick it. Just eat regularly, when you're hungry, healthy foods and stop when you are full. Focus on the nutritional value of your foods over the number of calories in it.

When you're weight lifting, a bit of weight gain isn't a bad thing because it's not the same as a sedentary person who doesn't train gaining exclusively fat weight. Most of your gain will be *good* weight, muscle weight. You can always cut again after and it will be easier after your body has been fed for awhile and doesn't think it's starving anymore.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/7/2013 (19:48)
BLUEHORSE17 SparkPoints: (13,264)
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11/7/13 6:25 P

Again, I appreciate the responses. You are right about the fat - according to SparkPeople and my Dietician I'm not consuming enough of it. At one point I was binging on cheese at night and was getting too much sodium too. I was able to wean myself off of that, however, because I noticed that I was beginning to get symptoms of hypertension.

As far as eating... I'm going to brag a little today and say that I'm pretty proud of myself. I ate an apple and oatmeal for breakfast, and for lunch I had a tuna sandwich with some carrots. It might seem normal but it's a big, and yet baby step, for me. And I get what you mean about the scale - we all have different body structures and muscle weighs more than fat. Now that I think about it I suppose that as long as I'm trying to gain muscle I'll never reach my goal weight of 110?

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (77,103)
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11/7/13 5:03 P

Bluehorse- It similarly happened to me when increasing my calories to maintenance. I couldn't stop eating, started binge eating in the evening. That's why trying a few months of metabolic repair would be beneficial. I also 'save calories for the evening" but I'm finding that even that doesn't always prevent overeating. Your body finally gets a hold of food and wants to make up for the starvation you put on it earlier in the day (or week). That's why it's so important to just eat when hungry. I've learned that I can only outsmart my body for so long before it catches on and undermines my attempts. I've learned the less you fight it, the better off you'll be.

If you are focusing on building lean muscle and strength train you really need to put the scale away and focus on body fat % and measurements. The scale will not be a good indication of your progress and will not determine whether you are reaching your goals. I gained 15 lbs after reaching 107 lbs but still wear the same exact clothes (size 1) that I did at a much lower weight. At this point in the game, it's going to be body fat % that trumphs any other form of measurement.

Reaching a low, low weight will not cure any problem areas... been there. Strength train and either recomp. (eat at maintenance) or do a clean bulk and then cut a couple months down the road.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/7/2013 (17:07)
SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,228
11/7/13 4:45 P

Are you tracking your macros as well as your calories? My concern with the food you describe eating is that you might be undereating in fat (although the avocado does help).



AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (65,543)
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11/7/13 3:47 P

Force yourself to do it. You know that otherwise you are setting yourself up for a binge, so regular eating is just going to have to be a chore that you accomplish if you want to take care of yourself...right?

BLUEHORSE17 SparkPoints: (13,264)
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11/7/13 3:31 P

Yes. I track here on SparkPeople and I do plan meals ahead. The problem that I have is actually wanting to eat. Sometimes I'll outright refuse food so I can eat more of it later.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (65,543)
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11/7/13 3:29 P

It sounds like you need to eat more earlier in the day--that can help a lot with being too hungry late at night.

Do you track? Have you tried tracking out a whole day in advance, either in the morning or the night before? That should help you see how your calorie budget is going to work for the day.

BLUEHORSE17 SparkPoints: (13,264)
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11/7/13 3:21 P

Thank you for the advice. My goal is to gain more lean muscle in order to tighten the access skin I have obtained from my weight loss. I have a lot of it on my lower arms and stomach but I have noticed that lifting weights is helping the elasticity. My goal is to get down to 110, and I am currently 115. I've been obese my entire life pretty much up until the past year so I am trying to figure things out as far as maintaining. There is a great fear that I have in which I keep thinking that if I eat more I'll gain weight. Also, during the night is when I am most hungry, but once I start eating my heavy dinner I can't seem to stop. It sounds like I'm binging or something. For example, yesterday I had oatmeal for breakfast, didn't eat again until around 6pm. When I did, I snacked between 6-10pm and had four bowls of oatmeal, two large bags of carrots, two chicken breasts, two large onions, and two cucumbers. It's healthy food, just a lot of it though.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (77,103)
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11/7/13 3:00 P

Are you maintaining or trying to lose? If you are still trying to lose. I would suggest taking a break to do some metabolic healing after such an extreme diet and exercise regiment. ie; eating around maintenance or even above and do a slow bulking cycle through the winter, then focus on fat loss or cutting again in the spring. This should help repair any metabolic damage you have done.

It sounds like you could benefit from intuitive eating. I would continue to make healthy food choices but start listening to your body and learning your hunger cues. Eat slowly, stop when you're full. If at any point in the day you're experiencing true hunger (not just a craving), eat and don't deprive yourself. Don't eat on schedule, if you need an extra snack later... have a healthy snack.

Listen to your body and record your observations. Take notes in your nutrition tracker so you can find trends; what time of the day you are hungry, level of hunger, check your activity level that day or the days leading up to an exceptionally hungry day, etc.

Weight training will increase hunger! I recently had to cut back from a 4 day split routine to 3 days a week because my appetite was spinning out of control. Particularly after my lower body days I was insatiable for the next 48 hours. I don't find the same increase in appetite from cardio. Now I lift MWF with HIIT, cardio on Tues & Sat, power yoga on Thurs and rest on Sunday (or do light cardio like hiking/walking).

It really is essential to take a recovery day at least once a week when you weight lift for muscle repair/recovery. Heavy training every day is not beneficial to your body. Even professional athletes take days and even weeks off for recovery. Heavy training will also contribute to increased hunger levels which can easily work against you and hinder any fat loss efforts.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 11/7/2013 (15:08)
BLUEHORSE17 SparkPoints: (13,264)
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Posts: 216
11/7/13 2:30 P

Hi everyone. So around two months ago I was only consuming around 1,000 calories a day plus working out every day. I bike ride for an hour each day, stretch for around 10 minutes, and lift weights for a half hour. I went into see a Dietician and she recommended that I at least have 1,800 calories. So I gradually increased it the past month to 1,500 calories and the past two weeks I have been eating 1,800 calories. The bad thing about it is that I end up eating a small breakfast and then don't eat again until around 6pm because I keep thinking I won't have enough food later in the day to keep me full. Today is the first day that I am trying to eat a few balanced meals. So far for breakfast I have had an apple and some oatmeal, and then I'm going to go for a bike ride soon. When I get back I plan on having a turkey and avocado sandwich with some carrots on the side. The downfall is that even after consuming 1,800 calories I still feel hungry.

As far as weight gain. I have gained weight but it's muscle. My clothes don't feel any tighter. And as far as the foods that I eat, most of the foods I cook at home, and I don't eat out anywhere. When I season my food I just put basic things like pepper and a little salt. I hardly use condiments. I tend to eat a lot of vegetables, lean meats, and protein-based foods like non-fat Greek yogurt and quinoa. In other words, I eat pretty healthy. Should I increase my calories?? I don't plan on changing my exercise regime. I would still like to work out every day. I also drink at least 64oz of water and other than that I drink plain coffee or unsweetened iced tea.

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