The recommended calorie intake is a recommendation, just like "eat grains" is a recommendation. My BMR (basal metabolic rate - how many calories I burn doing absolutely nothing but breathing) is about 2,500/day.
If I didn't move I would burn 2,500, however, I do move - I burn at least another 500 with exercise, etc. which means my burn rate is about 3,000/day.
If we extrapolate those numbers to weekly we get a burn rate of about 21,000 cal.
I have been eating when hungry for about 3 months now (started about a month after going all in on the Primal lifestyle - after my body converted to fat-burning).
I still track inputs many days and my caloric input is between 1,500 and 1,800 most days, or about 11,000 - 13,000/week.
The SP recommendation is for me to eat about 2,500/day or about 17,500/week. I am about 700 - 1,000 calories per day below the recommendation.
If one pound is equal to 3,500 calories, the recommended calorie input would have me with a deficit of about 3,500/week, or one pound lost.
On my eat-when-hungry plan I have been losing about 2 pounds per week, which makes the numbers work - my calorie inputs are 13,000 plus the 7,000 of fat I am burning every week, which works out to close to the 21,000 calories I think I am burning.
Sorry for all the math - I done with that now.
And that fat I am burning, I did eat it - over the last 5 years - I am just using it now.
Everyone is different - I don't know where the numbers you are using for the recommendations are coming from, but I think it would be useful to test it out on yourself.
Watch for other signs as well - even though I am eating way less than I ever have, my hunger is diminished, I have more mental and physical energy, along with a host of other NSV (non-scale victories).
I ride daily and my endurance is incredible - normally at the beginning of the riding season I have to work my way up to a one-hour mountain bike ride - this year I started at an hour and it feels like I wasn't even on the bike.
One thing I have learned - I can listened to my body more. When I feed it the right fuel, I trust it will tell me what it needs.
I now only eat two meals a day - 11am and 6pm - not by prescription, but by need - not hungry otherwise.
It all comes down to finding out what works for you. I would just say "question Conventional Wisdom" - it might be wrong.
Just my thoughts and experience.
Edited by: EGALITAIRE at: 4/26/2012 (22:49)
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