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Monday, May 20, 2013

(Total Daily Energy Expenditure Estimate)

So, my pants are feeling a bit snug around the waist, which I am not too happy about. I know that I am looking better in other areas. My legs are less jiggly, and look better in shorts. My butt is higher, making my legs look longer. My shoulders are wider. I have less back fat. I actually have a little less arm jiggle as well, but mostly in my right arm (I'll be switching to some more dumbbells starting next week, which will help take care of that asymmetry).

To be honest, after I finished Stage 1, I was in limbo for a couple weeks waiting to start Stage 2. And my eating sort of reflected that as well. I was at my mom's for a few days, and ate some crap. I drank a good amount of excellent craft beer. When I got home I didn't eat fantastic either. But not too bad, mind you. It's not like I binge on crap all the time. I do eat pretty healthy.

So, I started tracking what I was eating in the good ol' nutrition tracker. I didn't do this in the morning, or even while I ate over the course of the day. I wrote it in my notebook over the day, and then after a few days, figured out my calories and macros.

5/8: 1850 calories; 101 grams protein
5/9: 2500 calories; 113 grams protein
5/10: 2300 calories: 96 grams protein
5/11: 1600 calories; 100 grams protein
5/12: Mother's day doesn't count. :)
5/13: 442 calories; 39 grams protein (sick that day)
5/14: 995 calories; 52 grams protein (sick, but at least awake)
5/15: 1600 calories; 52 grams protein (getting better! Ate a bunch of gelato to return to gym with some energy)
5/16: 1880 calories; 73 grams protein
5/17: 1930 calories; 95 grams protein
5/18: 3200 calories (yes, you read right - went out for dinner and drinks); 107 grams protein
5/19: 1980 calories; 117 grams protein

Not counting the days I was sick, and the other night when I went out for dinner and drinks (and dessert!), my average calorie intake is 1950, and my average protein intake is 100. Since I want my protein to be between 120 and 170, and on average 140, that is too low.

I have also been calculating my TEE (total energy expenditure - or how many calories you burn in one day) over 2 workout days and 2 rest days. I did that using this website:
I also used another website which is more basic, but gives a good estimate:

My average TEE using '' is within 10 calories of my estimate using the women's health and fitness site. Pretty impressive!

Calorie expenditure:
5/16 (workout day): 3092
5/17 (rest day): 2678
5/18 (workout day): 3166
5/19 (rest day): 2580

Average TEE for workout days is around 3100 calories, and average TEE for rest day sis around 2600 calories. My average TEE for all days is 2800. My basal metabolic rate (how many calories I would need if I was in a coma) is 1541.

That means, if I eat, on average, 2100 calories per day, I should lose about 7 lbs in one month - of fat, because I will still be fueling my body with enough calories to build muscle. And I'll be strength training.

I know I have enough calories to build muscle because... get this: I'M GETTING STRONGER!!!

So, this is my plan right now.

I'm going to continue tracking my calories by writing them down and plugging them in at the end of the day, and see how things are going. I'm not going to really weigh myself, but if I lose 7 lbs of fat and gain some muscle, then I should feel differently in my clothes, and my pictures should reflect progress (and theoretically, my weight won't change much if I'm gaining muscle).

On days I work out, I must have a minimum of 2100 calories, and a max of about 2600 calories (which is still a deficit of at least 500 calories). On days I rest, I must have a minimum of 1800 calories, and a max of 2100 calories (which is a deficit of at least 500 calories). On average, I'm aiming for 2100 calories per day.

Also - very important - I need more protein: about 140 calories per day. And I'm working on getting there. More protein, more fruits and veggies. That's the plan.

According to this plan, I should lose between 1 and 2 pounds of fat per week.

I'm taking pics and measurements on Friday, and then I start Stage 3 on Tuesday when I get home from Memorial Day weekend. I'll be able to compare my progress. If it's not working... then I am not sure what I'll do. Maybe lower my calories? I don't think I'm undereating right now. If I don't eat enough, I won't gain strength, so that will be a dead giveaway.

Here is my nutrition plan:
Eat real food 90% of the time
Focus on protein, veggies and fruit
Eat when I'm hungry
Stop when I'm satisfied (not stuffed)
Pay attention to what I'm eating (stop eating at computer - this is a work in progress)
Don't drink all my calories (thus limiting my alcohol, unfortunately)

And try to maintain in that calorie range.


Although I may feel like I'm not progressing (after all, summer shorts are still all tight, and my pants are tight, and blah blah blah - clothes are still not very comfortable), I have been!

Today I warm up with what I was squatting and deadlifting just a month or so ago.
I can do my training with heavier weights, and more smoothly.
My legs and arms are less flabby.
I can lift stuff! Like groceries, Avery, boxes...

Even if I'm not SMALLER, my body composition is changing for the better. And it will eventually work itself out.

I must not freak out. I must not give up.

I MUST be awesome. It's only a matter of time!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Smart. I need to do some math soon, I am wondering if I am eating too little.

    You are absolutely right though - your body composition is changing for the better! The fat has to go eventually - you are not immune to the laws of physics. :)
    1584 days ago
    i feel good when i crunch the numbers too...speaking of which i need to dot hat again to re motivate...its only the beginning of summer & I have been taking too much advantage food & drinks regret as its fun but I need to get back on track focus wise.

    Good work on the less giggle. feels great!
    1584 days ago
    Going to have to start crunching some numbers myself. I think I'm making good choices, but my weight keeps fluctuating and there are a particular pair of pants that are fittings too snuggly. I am not looking forward to cutting my chocolates, pasta, and wine (in no particular order), but these are the choices I suppose we have to make. Boo, hiss, and good luck!
    1584 days ago
    In the last 8 days on the program I have GAINED 2 lbs and 1 inch on my waist. And that is without going over 2000 a day. Not good! I need to watch what I eat, clearly. I'm going to stick with the weight-lifting, but not the calorie consumption.
    1585 days ago
    Sounds like a solid plan!

    I wear a Bodymedia Fit Armband, the little doofer that measure calories burned throughout the day and even while you're sleeping. On a pure couch potato day, it tells me I burn about 2100-2200 calories just breathing. When I get in a pretty decent workout (cardio or 1.5-2 hrs of ST) I burn about 2800-3100 depending on intensity....that's all 5'9' and 180 lbs of me.

    Bottom line is I still don't 100% buy in to the calories in/calories out mindset. There's chemistry involved too...the combination & ratios of nutrients (protein/carb/fat) makes a difference too as well as micronutrients and weird food additives....I think they cause our bodies to settle into some chemical equilibrium that keeps us heavier than the math would suggest.

    Bottom line...try to eat as clean as you can and just keep working're bound to just keep feeling better & stronger!
    1585 days ago
  • CAALAN23
    I've been wanting to check out the NROL4W but have not yet, but from the sounds of it, the program wants you to eat more than Spark would normally allot for you?

    I know one thing I struggled with even at Spark level was getting protein, enough to not even build but to repair from cardio and light strength. I could definitely tell when I did the range right that I didn't have sore lethargic days but man, it was tough squeezing that in. I choked down a lot of high protein low fat yogurt. Burned myself out on it. Trying to eat more meat now, which I know a lot of people avoid altogether.

    I'm glad to hear you are transforming though. :D:D:D Sounds like the right kind of curves going on...curve being the sexiest path from point A to B. :D Strength training is so empowering and I've just barely scratched the surface this go around. (I am such a weakling in the arms.) Glad to hear some progress reports from people like you who are getting serious strength gains from it.

    Keep at it! I wants to hear all about it!

    1585 days ago
    I am a BIG believer that we workout freaks need to eat MORE not LESS
    but be careful you are not obsessing about a whole new set of numbers now.
    How is your work schedule this summer?
    Do you have some fun planned?
    My dh is away this week-
    but that means I am babysitting the next two days solo.
    1585 days ago
  • A*L*P*
    I hope it works for you. I have been trying this for awhile and my pants just keep getting tighter and tighter and tighter. It isn't happening for me. I am a maintainer pure and simple. If I want to lose, I have to create calorie deficit, that isn't to say I am going to cut down to 1200 calories (aka starvation mode) and I will NOT go below my BMR, however, the 2100 calorie thing isn't working for me. I am also only about 15 pounds away from my 'happy weight'. I lost weight after baby #3 by calorie cycling, I got to my body's happy weight (I know this because I effortlessly maintained this weight for over four years before (surprise) baby #4 came. I think my body is simplly just stuck after being pregnant and breastfeeding. I have been working with someone who is having me cycle my calories and go high on my lifting days (1800) and go low on my non lifting days and rest days (1500) so that should create the confusion that my body needs to jump start something.

    I believe in ETF, fully, and I saw that post on the NROL4W FB page, but that type of caloric consumption is doing nothing but creating bloat and making me puffy, my jeans tight, my ring tight. It may be part of the process, but for me, I don't think that type of caloric consumption is goign to do the trick.

    I wish you luck! I hope it works better for you than it has for me emoticon You should seriously check out the Eating the Food facebook group and read Taking up Space. I think it might be a good fit for you!!

    You seem to have an excellent idea of where you want to go and what you want to do. I am just tired of spinning my wheels (((for almost two freaking years now))) and not getting anywhere with it. Guess it is going to require a bit of work on my end, but once I get there, I know I can maintain it....
    1585 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/20/2013 8:03:01 PM
    You ARE awesome!

    You have a well thought out plan.

    HUGS and hope it's a good week for you
    1585 days ago
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