I agree that you'll probably need to experiment to figure out the number of calories that work best for you. In general, I would recommend a differential higher than about 1000 calories for the day (meaning you burn 1000 calories (through exercise and daily living) more than you consume). Also keep an eye on your energy levels. If it seems like you need to eat more on those days, then try a few extra snacks and see what kind of effect that has on your weight loss. Everyone is different, so you'll just need to figure out what is going to work best for you.
Hope that helps,
Fitness Minutes: (20,043)
865 1/25/13 11:50 A
My max is also 1500 and I'm burning a shedload of calories. It's working for now.
I also have a thing where a good Saturday night at the clubs will see me on the dance floor fairly enthusiastically for 2-3 hours. I don't really find I have to eat anything extra on those days, but I'm also not bothered about going over one day a week - several people report that calorie cycling (having some days on the low range, some on the higher, and often one day over) actually helps. If that day happens to be your hiking day, it really shouldn't throw a spanner in your weight loss. Also, I'd never go for a hike in the mountains without some energy snacks.
It's true that your net calorie deficit is what matters, but I'd say if you're comfortable at 1200-1500 most days a week but want to go up to, say, 1800 when you're on a hike day, I really, really cannot see that being problematic.
Once upon a time when I used to train quite a lot, I also used to work out my overall deficit, and basically decide that I could be perfectly okay with up to 1500-calorie deficit for those big days, particularly if I simply needed the food to train properly. So if my BMR calorie burn is around 2300, and I burned 1200 extra calories that day, it was okay to eat up to 2000 if I felt hungry. Mind you, that was for pretty regular occurrences of high-calorie days. If you have a consistent one once a week, you could also try that. I myself would much rather go over on one day and have a gorgeous time hiking than eat too little and not enjoy it.
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,646 1/25/13 10:28 A
If 1500 is your max, then I wonder if you've properly updated your fitness goals.
What matters isn't what you eat on particular days. It's your net calorie deficit over the course of the week.
Update your fitness goals to include your total weekly calorie burn. It doesn't really matter WHEN you do this, only that you're properly fueled throughout.
What's your current weekly weight loss goal, target date, and current weight? I wonder if you are that active, if you might not have your goals set up improperly.
Just experiment with it. You can adjust your calories burned, it may not even change your range at all, but if it does, that doesn't mean you have to eat on the high end every day. Otherwise, you could just eat closer to your maintenance calories on the weekends if you feel like you need it. Add 200-300 more calories in on those days you work hard and see what happens.
I haven't seen this question addressed yet. I'm trying to figure out how to plan my calorie intake when I burn significantly higher calories on the weekend than during the week. I go to the gym for cardio twice a week (usually Tues-Thurs) at 30-35 minutes, and try to walk 30 minutes a day too. But on the weekends, I like to hike for 5-6 miles. This is in the mountains of Colorado so there's always some elevation gain during these hikes and it usually takes 2-3 hours.
I haven't been able to figure out how to adjust my food intake within reason on these days. 1500 is my max, but that's not enough to keep me fueled during the hike and keep me from starving afterwards! I also don't want to increase my average cardio workout in my fitness plan, because I don't think I should necessarily eat more the rest of the week.
If anyone else has dealt with this, I would love to hear your suggestions!
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