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How many cals to eat?



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JENNILACEY
JENNILACEY's Photo SparkPoints: (73,312)
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9/3/13 6:51 P

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" just found out that the number of cals burned depends on how big you are. not sure why, but anyhow, that means horseback riding is closer to 2000 cals for 6 hours."

-- the heavier you are, the more effort (energy in the form of calories) it requires to support your weight.

You have to keep in mind that your body does adapt to the exercise you do and if horse riding is something you do regularly, you may not burn as many calories. Sometimes being more fit works against you if your goal is to burn a lot of calories, a fit person does not need to work nearly as hard to perform the same job as an unfit person who is not used to that form of exercise.

You may be able to figure out a rough estimate of how many calories you burn in a day, a week, a month but experimentation is the only way to know for sure. However, I don't think it's really necessary in this situation. You are maintaining an athletic BF%. I think it would be much more beneficial for you to skip the calorie counting (honestly, it's a pain in the butt) and focus on eating *quality* food and improving your nutrition.

Learning how to make/cook meals will be very helpful. It's great that your family is focusing on getting healthier, perhaps you can learn some new meals together?


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"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.


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BUFFALO_GAL
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9/3/13 6:33 P

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It's pretty accurate, if not low. Like i said, I work on a ranch, all day long, sometimes 12 hours a day, on a horse the majority of that. I just googled horse back riding, and just casual riding for 6 hours is nearly 3000 calories. I would suspect your athlete eats more lean things than we do - we eat lots of typical fatty american foods, fried and battered chickens, meat loaf, mashed potatoes with gravy and cheese, butter on bread at every meal, desert every night. THere's a reason we have heart risk in our family! we work off what we eat, but ti's not so good to start with. I don't cook now, so i eat what's on the table! :-)

But I do appreciate Nirin's advice of tracking now for all the other things - fibers, amount of raw sugar, etc., so I can cut back the right things, as needed.

Good shape means I'm really muscular, like boy muscular, and have a pretty low body fat - like around 14-16% last time I was at the doctors, so healthy, but low.

Edit: just found out that the number of cals burned depends on how big you are. not sure why, but anyhow, that means horseback riding is closer to 2000 cals for 6 hours.

Edited by: BUFFALO_GAL at: 9/3/2013 (18:38)


MEGAPEEJ
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9/3/13 6:21 P

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You say you are in good shape (does that mean healthy weight?) and that you're eating 3500-6000 calories a day (WOW) - are you gaining weight or are you staying the same weight? If you're not gaining or losing, your body needs how many calories you're putting in to it. So you're already doing ok.

Keep tracking to get a better average of how much you eat (you have a huge range going on there), though I am curious if you're tracking correctly. 6000 calories is a lot of food - I don't just mean calorie dense, I mean that is physically a large amount of food. In addition, I just looked up how much one of my favorite athletes eats - he is extremely muscular, and exercises 8-12 hours a day to train - and he aims for 5000 a day intake. He will naturally burn more calories than most because of his physique and high amount of very intense exercise, I can't imagine a non-athlete being able to eat more and not gaining weight quickly.

Do something everyday that your future self will thank you for.


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NIRERIN
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9/3/13 6:07 P

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averages are the best to use. your body isn't like your bank account, where once you make a deposit, you can use what you just put in. if you do morning chores, the calories that you are actually burning are likely from what you ate last night, not what you had for breakfast this morning. your breakfast from this morning has to be digested before it can be used as fuel.
sweating being a little over or under one day is kind of useless. take an overall look at where you are and see if you need to work on anything. since you're at a point where you just want to know the lay of the land, figure that out. if something seems funny, then pay more attention to it. but if you're roughly where you want to be now, it's a good idea to keep following the cues that you already have been. if something gets out of whack, then start paying attention to more details. but if you're already where you should be, then any weird bumps are likely your body automatically balancing the books. so freaking out about having an extra 3000 cals one one day isn't worth it if your body is just going to have you eat a little closer to 3000 the next few days or if that 3000 cal bump was your body making up for extra energy output.
one other benefit of tracking what you eat is that you can track things like fiber, saturated fat, calcium, iron, which are good for your health and don't necessarily show up if all you look at is calories. what makes up what you eat is part of long term health and being aware of where you're starting can help you tweak where you are now so that you don't end up where you don't want to be. being aware that you will need to decrease how much you eat overall as you age is something most people don't figure out til their 30s.


-google first. ask questions later.



BUFFALO_GAL
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9/3/13 5:45 P

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Thanks. Maybe it's the way you explained it the second time, but it made much more sense about "if you are stable" this time.

And a weekly average is fine, even though your day to day may change?

I appreciate it. One thing about working hard when you are young, is you learn to eat HUGE plates, then everyone keeps eating that, when they are doing less as they age. :-)



NIRERIN
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9/3/13 5:41 P

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if people have measured how many calories you burn sitting in front of a computer, people have figured out how many calories you spend mucking out stalls. if spark people doesn't have it, google should help you find an average to start with.

ideally, getting a heart rate monitor and wearing it would get you that info without having to look up and log all the math yourself. that way you find out exactly what you are burning.

if you don't want to spend the money on it, tracking your eating calories is the way to go. as i mentioned in my first post, when your calories in and out match, you don't gain or lose weight and you just maintain. so if you know you are eating 4000 cals a day on average and you're maintaining your weight, then you know that 4000 cals is what you usually burn a day. since calories in food are a little more stable than the calories you burn, that side of the equation is easier to figure out.

-google first. ask questions later.



BUFFALO_GAL
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9/3/13 5:33 P

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I'm sorry to be so dense, but that really doesn't help much. It talks about where we start as people, but then you have to account for your exercise - and therein is the problem.

Are you supposed to add 6 hours of Horseback riding to your daily exercise chart?
Is there a calorie count for shoveling out stalls?

I really don't mean to sound annoying, but i don't have a good strategy for figuring out how to eat, and stay in shape for life, and not get where my mom and grandma are.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,801
9/3/13 5:22 P

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www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calorie_calcu
lation101.asp


-google first. ask questions later.



BUFFALO_GAL
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9/3/13 5:14 P

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Sorry to be unclear. I wasn't really worried about the exact counts of our protien bars until/unless I need to diet. the logging was just for a very rough idea how many calories i ate per day.

My real question is how you know how many calories you are supposed to eat.

That is what I do not understand.

Sparks put my mom and grandma on 1200-1550 per day, but they are trying to lose weight.
I'm not trying to lose weight, but it sets me at 1800-2000 cals a day.

That would get me about to lunch, before I knocked out from lack of energy and protien.



PATHFINDER52
Posts: 616
9/3/13 4:41 P

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Buffalo_Gal --
You can take that "home-made" recipe for your protein bars (etc.) and put it into your own recipe (and create your own cook-book, essentially) and the recipe calculator will do all the work. Just load all the ingredients for a "batch" and tell the tool how many servings the "batch" will generate -- suddenly, you will see the nutritional count (calories and all) for each bar! It's like magic! I love putting my own recipies into this tool!

--p

Edited by: PATHFINDER52 at: 9/3/2013 (16:42)
Simple kindness to one's self and all that lives is the most powerful transformational force of all.
-David R. Hawkins


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NIRERIN
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9/3/13 4:25 P

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use sparkrecipes.com [it's also under the articles and videos tab] to find out what you're actually eating.
compare what you're eating over a week or two [average it out] to what your weight does over that same timeframe. if you're maintaining [keep in mind that it's common to fluctuate by 5lbs per day] then you're where i think you want to be. adjust your goals til it matches where you actually are balancing out. if you want to gain or lose, tweak your goals accordingly. once you have those ranges, add some nutrients to track and start looking at where your diet is on track and where you are lacking.

-google first. ask questions later.



BUFFALO_GAL
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9/3/13 3:41 P

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I don't quite understand how to calculate the number of calories I should be eating.

I'm 18 and in good shape, but my grandfather died of heart disease, and mom and grandma both are overweight, high blood pressure, stuff like that. I want to stay health, so I'm trying to learn how to eat right, now.

I work on our ranch. I'm usually working from 5:30 till 7 or 8, much of that time on horseback. and most of our chores are really physical. I'm starving most of the day. :) I put 3 days of what I eat into the tracker that mom and gradma use, and i'm getting between 3500 and 6000 cals a day. It's just a guess, cause i didn't use our recipes, and they are really more calorie and protien dense. (we make our own "protien bars" and "oatmeal bars", and any bread has lots of nuts, just cause it's easy to pack and go.)

How do you know what you SHOULD be eating.

PS, we try to do one day of vegetarian per week, but usually on those days, I end up really tired. Not sure if that would matter.





 
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