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How many calories Do i REALLy need?



 
 
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SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (126,478)
Fitness Minutes: (32,590)
Posts: 21,316
3/5/13 12:41 A

It really DOES pay to weigh your food. Guess work could leave your calorie consumption out by even 2-300 in a day. Also, I live in NZ and we don't have much of what is in SP's Data Base, so most of our foods are entered in manually, with the information taken from the Nutrition Label. By choosing something you see that is 'as near to' as possible, you will find that not only are the calories affected, but so too will the protein, carbs and fat.

You might find that if you open your SparkPage and have your Nutrition Tracker available for others to see, you might get better feed-back in time, once you have ironed out the 'near-enough' food issue.

Take care,
Kris



SONIACR10
SparkPoints: (5,458)
Fitness Minutes: (1,948)
Posts: 312
3/5/13 12:13 A

i see what you guys mean, Im just scared that if i exercise less ill begin to gain a lot of weight. i do track my food but i notice that on SP 1 food item has different calories for the same amount of food, or they dont have the brand so i have to choose whats closest. i dont measure my food with measuring utensil but i think im going to do that, just to be more exact. Thanks for all your advise, really helps.



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (56,434)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
Posts: 9,588
3/4/13 6:21 P

If you do more exercise, you're just going to have to eat even more! We adjust our diets to the amount of exercise we do... not the other way around. Whether you work out for 3 hours (which isn't healthy nor necessary for most non-athletes.) or you work out for 30 minutes, you would be working to create the same calorie deficit a day, which for you would be about 500 calories a day through a combination of diet and exercise - that would give you a 1 lb per week loss.

The 1500 calorie diet was fine for you while you were working out 4 hours a week. Since you've added nearly twice that, yes, you need to be eating more, or you will risk slowing your metabolism and slowing your efforts.

What I would do would be to check through the SP Plateau Busters series of articles (here's part 1: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_artic
les.asp?id=516


Look first to your diet. Are you *really* eating 1500 calories a day? Are you weighing and measuring everything, or are you eyeballing it? Most people (and that probably includes you) simply aren't good at guessing how much they're eating. We tend to overestimate the amount of calories we're burning, while underestimating the calories we're eating. I know that any time I stop weighing, I start drifting, and adding more calories. I tend to eat at maintenance now, but that's not going to help me lose weight. ;)

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 3/4/2013 (18:25)


SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (126,478)
Fitness Minutes: (32,590)
Posts: 21,316
3/4/13 3:36 P

I wouldn't keep increasing the exercise - 3hrs a day is getting into the possible obsessive area. I am wondering if you might get more help on the Diet and Nutrition Board. A Dietitian oversees that.

Good luck
Kris





LUCKINLOVE
Posts: 216
3/4/13 2:58 P

I'm not sure how tall you are, but if you're fairly active when it comes to working out, yes I believe you should need more than 1200-1500 calories.

In regards to you not losing anything but being on a strict 1500 cal diet...it COULD be because you're not eating enough. I was stuck at 143 for the longest time and was eating 1200 while working out daily. Lost nothing, gained frustration. I adjust my calories burned through exercise on my Spark Start Page and it called for me to eat 1700-2000 calories/day. I was like "whhhhhat?", but guess what, I'm losing weight and I'm losing inches like I wanted.

Try eating more for a few weeks and see what happens...but remember, it won't happen after the first few days of eating more. Your body isn't a calculator and it won't think "Oh look! 1900 calories today! I am not being starved at 1500 calories anymore! I have decided to lose weight at this moment now!". It will take awhile for your body to realize it's getting enough calories to handle your activeness, so it can shed excess fat.

If you're scared about not being able to eat all those additional calories, then you'll have to add higher calorie foods such as full fat products, olive oil, avocado, nuts, and nut butters. To add the extra calories, think high calorie-low volume foods. Adding an additional leafy green salad is only going to make you feel that much more full and bloated. Instead, have a leafy green salad but add walnuts or avocado, for example.



LUMI6234
SparkPoints: (8,307)
Fitness Minutes: (12,059)
Posts: 29
3/4/13 11:01 A

How many calories are you burning each week? I wouldn't exceed a 1k cal deficit a day since that gives you the safe weight loss max of 2lbs/week. Overtraining will definitely have the opposite effect. 3 hours a day sounds like a lot to me. I do around 60-80 mins a day but a good portion of that is just walking.

I had the same error message but I am short and have a sedentary job so my BMR is pretty low and since we need to eat at least 1200 cals if I want to create that 1000 cal deficit a day to lose 2lbs/week on average then I needed to exercise a lot more then it was letting me. What I did was on the front page it says Calories to Burn This Week and there is a link that says to change goal. At the bottom of that page it says "If you know how many calories you burn each week, enter it here:" I put in 2000 because I create around a 600-700 deficit with my diet and around a 300-400 deficit with my exercise. Ever since then I haven't gotten the message again unless I go over that by a lot like 2700.

I hope this helps :)

Edited by: LUMI6234 at: 3/4/2013 (11:05)


MISSRUTH
Posts: 3,384
3/4/13 8:35 A

Do you track your calories on Spark? Everything you eat and drink? Do you weigh/measure your food? Everything?

I don't think I'd keep upping the exercise. Weight loss is more about what / how much we eat, not doing hours of exercise. If we do do hours of exercise, we have to eat more. So you'd just be creating a vicious circle of-- do more-eat more-do more-eat more. That'd be silly.



SONIACR10
SparkPoints: (5,458)
Fitness Minutes: (1,948)
Posts: 312
3/4/13 5:40 A

i started about april 2012 but didnt know too much, then i saw my doctor, after that i began to see a nutritionist and that helped so much. first she recommended 1200 calories, wasnt seeing to many results. this was in september 2012 and in november i did a metabolism test, i though it was going to be as slow as it could posiblly be but it turns out it was normal, actually on the high end of normal, so then she said 1500 calorie diet. so the the food i eat is a lot healthier, never really had a problem with portion control. since november i started doing about 4 hours of exercise a week, but i noticed it wasnt enough so mid january i started doing about 5-7 hours a week, about a week ago i really started to get frusturated and quiting is not an option, so i was thinking of doing 3 hours of exercise a day 5 or 6 days a week. i dont want to do it because i would have to eat more and i get full quickly. im just not sure if i need to give it more time, more food, less food, more fitness, less fitness. im a little lost.



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (126,478)
Fitness Minutes: (32,590)
Posts: 21,316
3/4/13 5:23 A

When we exercise we need to eat more.

The minimum recommended calories of 1200 per day is for a woman, who is average weight and very sedentary. When you factor in any extra weight a person carries, and/or doing exercise, then we NEED to eat more to sustain it. I know it seems counter-productive, but believe me, it isn't! It also sounds like you are doing a fair whack of exercise. Most of the weight-loss doesn't actually come from exercise - it comes from nutrition. If you don't' want to eat so much, then perhaps you may be able to afford to cut back a wee bit on exercise.

You sound frustrated because you haven't seen much weight-loss so far. I see a 6kg weight-loss - in my books that is really good:-) How long have you been on this journey? Remember, a fast loss is NOT recommended - odds are they go back on. The slow steady ones are the ones to aim for - much more likely to stay off. It took just over 16 months for me to lose just over 50lb - I sat there for about a year and then moved on down again. I have been at my goal weight for a long time now - but I still keep a close eye on what and how much I eat! I don't do much exercise - generally about 1hr - 1 1/2 hrs per week just walking putting my groceries and laundry away one at a time. (O.K. - I LOVE doing laundry - LOL !)

Don't focus on the weight, because with good nutrition and an appropriate amount of exercise, then your health WILL be improving. There are lots of other factors which indicate success - things like the condition of your hair/skin, your energy level, how your clothes fit, the quality of your sleep, etc. etc. The scales are merely a number.

Take care,
Kris

Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 3/4/2013 (05:26)


SONIACR10
SparkPoints: (5,458)
Fitness Minutes: (1,948)
Posts: 312
3/4/13 5:15 A

forgot to mention, im barely seeing weight loss, thats why im confused on wether i should continue what im doing or eat almost twice as what i am!!? but i dont think i can keep that much food down.. help!



SONIACR10
SparkPoints: (5,458)
Fitness Minutes: (1,948)
Posts: 312
3/4/13 5:11 A

I've been on a weight loss journey so was sticking to a diet that is less than 1500 calories a day, which is about average for weight loss. by the end of the week when i would finish tracking all my exercises a message would appear below the page saying if you burn to much and eat too little you wont lose weight, possibly gain weight, which i knew, i never clicked on the button that changed the settings until today and it changed my calorie intake from 1200-1500 to 1950-2150 and i was shocked! 2000 calories for weight loss??? I am pretty active but that sounds like too much. i have a hard time keeping 1200 down so 2000 seems way to much. any suggestions?



 
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