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Not enough calories?



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KENDILYNN
SparkPoints: (9,757)
Fitness Minutes: (13,023)
Posts: 651
8/8/13 2:25 P

I'm so glad somebody asked this question. I've been tracking my food lately because I started a new exercise program and wanted to make sure I was on track despite my mostly-vegetarian diet. I find that the cleaner I eat, the harder it is to get in the recommended number of calories. My range is 1610-1960, but I typically come in around 1400. I've been letting myself have another snack at night, but I don't really feel I need it. It's good to hear that I'm prob not doing any damage, as long as I'm hitting my macro ranges.



SIMONEKP
Posts: 2,481
8/8/13 1:55 P

That is a lot of unused calories. Try to track everything includes the licks, bites and tastes. You can also eat more calorie dense foods- for example, having Salmon vs cod or another white fish.



ANARIE
Posts: 12,387
8/8/13 12:47 P

First, not every plateau means you're eating the wrong amount. Plateaus happen; they're a natural thing that doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong, and in 90% of cases, the "cure" is patience.

That said, we all feel like we have to DO something to keep us from going nuts while waiting for the plateau to break on its own.

My advice to you would be to back off a bit on the focus on calories and focus on nutrients instead. Pick about 3 or 4 important nutrients-- maybe fiber, calcium, and protein, for example-- and focus on whether you're getting enough of all of them. If you get enough fiber (from food; don't count supplements), you're probably getting enough vitamins and phytochemicals. If you're getting enough calcium, you're probably getting enough phosphorus and other bone-related minerals. If you're getting enough protein (and at least a little of it is from animal sources like milk), you're probably getting enough B vitamins.

And if you're getting enough of the key nutrients, you're getting enough calories. It's very unlikely that you'll hit all of those targets on much less than 1400 calories. And that's the whole reason we have a minimum calorie level. For most women, it's all but impossible to meet basic nutritional needs on less than 1200 calories even if you include NO junk food and make expert-level good decisions on everything else. That's why 1200 is the minimum SparkPeople will ever recommend for anyone. Most women really need closer to 1500, because our choices aren't all perfect. But as long as you're getting your nutritional needs taken care of, you don't *have* to eat more calories. You certainly can, and if you're hungry you should, but there's no need to force it if you don't feel like it.



RIET69
SparkPoints: (47,087)
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
Posts: 3,116
8/8/13 11:10 A

I wish.



JUSTEATREALFOOD
Posts: 1,188
8/8/13 7:09 A

Certain foods make me bloated and uncomfortable. Bread (gluten containing) is one of the worst offenders, my stomach fills with gas and it is incredibly uncomfortable. Beans, cauliflower, milk and too many gluten free grains can cause issues for me as well. I find when I avoid those foods I don't get that bloat.



CAT20091
SparkPoints: (7,334)
Fitness Minutes: (10,537)
Posts: 22
8/8/13 5:20 A

I do have a higher range. I workout quite a bit, and wait tables so I'm pretty active. For example, my range yesterday was 1500-1800. Today it's a lot higher but that's because I went for a long hike.

I do try to measure stuff out. I laugh when I use a measuring cup for milk and cereal haha. I'm a little more liberal when it comes to fruits and veggies, though. I just dump a bunch on my plate to make sure at least half of each meal is fruits and/or veggies. So I just ballpark those measurements, to be completely honest.

I have noticed that sometimes I'll have something like half a glass of milk right before bed, or a piece of dark chocolate after dinner. Admittedly, I don't always track those little bites, but I really doubt they amount to a significant amount of calories. I aim for the lower end of my range for the day because of it. I'm starting to get into the habit of measuring and tracking EVERYTHING though.

Edited by: CAT20091 at: 8/8/2013 (05:21)


MEGAPEEJ
Posts: 732
8/8/13 1:30 A

You may have hundreds left, but what are your ranges and how much are you actually eating? Having 6-700 calories left on a 1800-2100 is far less of an issue than if your range is 1200-1500. If you do have a low range, I don't know how you could eat the foods you list - things like peanut butter and avocado and pasta are quite calorie dense, and it doesn't take much to eat a couple hundred calories of each. Certainly not enough to feel bloated, esp if you're spacing your meals and only eating a few hundred cals at a time.

So, how much are you eating, and are you sure you're actually eating that much? (i.e. are you measuring/weighing?)



SATTVA
Posts: 584
8/7/13 11:58 P

I don't mind being a little under if it's close, but 6-700 calories is a lot. Are you sure that your portion estimation is "on"?

When mine is under, I eat some dense foods such as a couple of tablespoons of nuts, some dates, or a piece of whole grain toast.

Hope this helps!



CAT20091
SparkPoints: (7,334)
Fitness Minutes: (10,537)
Posts: 22
8/7/13 11:54 P

I recently stalled in my weight loss efforts. I was eating healthy, exercising regularly, etc. So I figured I needed to tweak my calorie consumption to match my activity level. That was probably why I plateaued...right?

That said, I'm finding it hard to eat enough calories. I still stick to healthy things - oatmeal and whole wheat pasta, avocado and peanut butter, eggs and salmon - to hit the carbs, fats and proteins...but I find that I'm really full but still have 600-700 calories left according to my nutrition tracker for the day. If I eat that much, I FEEL HUGE! Then I want to skimp out on calories the next day or log in some extra time on the elliptical. Not good.

So how do you get enough calories without feeling ridiculously bloated? Or is this even something worth worrying about?



 
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