Thanks everyone for the tips and for those who asked:
I am 5'7". I have my goals set to lose 10 lbs which would put me at 160, which is still high in terms of BMI. I do have a larger frame and chest so the low end of a what it considered a healthy weight for my height is not realistic. A few years ago I was super strict with my diet and exercise and managed to get to 145 but then got sick so I wasn't there for long. I can't/won't put in that kind of effort again so I am hoping the 150s will be possible.
One wouldn't think I would be thrilled with the idea of eating more but mentally it is a battle.
I found that eating 1200 calories a day never gave me the results I wanted. I now aim for between 1500-1800 a day and I do see weight loss with that. I know it seems high but I burn at least 3000 calories a week. Its different for everyone though!
Even if you stay at the higher limit theoretically you should still lose weight. If you're getting hungry after dinner though maybe you should look into adjusting what you eat for dinner. I personally find high protein pretty satiating, even more so than four times the volume in veggies, but of course, veggies have other wonderful nutrients. I also agree with a previous poster that eating too little can just sabotage your weight loss, I used to eat on the low end of my calorie range and would lose very very little weight, I started eating on the high end and am dropping much faster. I think trial and error is the only way to figure out how your own body works, maybe trying upping 100-200 calories for a couple weeks and see what happens, particularly if you're doing exercise. I personally think it's worse for your body to under-eat and go into starvation mode than eat a little bit more than your ideal weight loss allotment. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (104,686)
121,672 6/17/11 4:12 A
I find tracking my food intake shows me if I've had enough food, it works for me...YES
Fitness Minutes: (0)
6/17/11 4:10 A
I think you are going to slow your metabolism down if you eat less then 1500 with the amount of activity you are doing. In the long run it will make it harder to continue to loose and then maintain a healthy lifestyle. 5 days a week of activity is pretty active. What is your height? The calories you stated seem low and why I am asking.
Fitness Minutes: (248)
241 6/16/11 9:42 P
I know you can't really compare your numbers to mine, but just go with me for a moment. I'm currently at 225 lbs. (I've lost 23 lbs, Yay, me!) SparkPeople has my calories set at 1200-1550, and I have claimed (& do) NO exercise ... ever. But I still have to eat near the 1550 mark to lose weight. If I try to eat closer to the 1200 mark, I just maintain my weight.
So, oddly enough, eating more calories can help you lose weight. You have to play around to see how your body responds.
About the hungry soon after eating - it may be because you need more calories in general, but the kinds of calories you are consuming can have an effect on that also.
If I eat more than about 30% carbs (any kind of carbs) at any meal or snack, my blood sugar drops in the 2-3 hour range. Again, this is something that may vary by individual, so my experience may not work out exactly the same for you.
I've been doing this since March and have found out, by playing around with it that I need to eat close to 1550 calories per day, in 200-300 calorie increments every 3-4 hours, making sure I have plenty of protein and healthy fats for staying power.
When I try something new to see how it affects my diet, I give it a full two weeks, not just a few days. This way any trend I notice is probably from the change in diet, not from hormonal changes or something transient.
The short version of my story is "It's amazing how much weight you can lose when you stop eating three huge bowls of ice cream each day." The long version describes how small changes make a big difference.
If I don't exercise at all SP sets my calorie range at 1200-1550. I started working out a month ago and have my fitness goals set to burn 1500 calories per week as I usually do 3 - 45 min fitness classes per week plus 2 days of cardio using a variety of equipment from 30 to 60 mins each time. This really didn't change my calorie range much assuming a 1 lb weight loss.
I spread my meals/snacks out and always plan for dessert, varying where I fall in the range. This week, I am finding that I am hungry within 2 hours of eating dinner, even if, like tonight, my dinner was a bit bigger. I don't have a problem during the day and so far I have been able to hold off at least 2-1/2 hours to have dessert but am wondering if this is a sign that I need to eat more. I am afraid that if I eat at the higher limit of 1500 that will be so close to my BMR that I won't lose at all.
I am pretty confident that my calories are fairly accurate as I track everything (except coffee but I do track the cremaer) and often weigh/measure my portions. I also don't feel like an average of 300 calories per workout is unrealistic.
Any thoughts, suggestions, and advice would be appreciated.
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