Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 3/22/12 6:42 P
Most definitely, especially if you are active in your real life and for activity. Remember food is fuel for your body and not eating enough can actually slow your progress, lead to a greater loss of lean body mass and leave you more vulnerable to injury, slow recovery and poor exercise performance.
Thanks so much for your input. Here are the answers to your questions:
Coach Nancy: Just to clarify, it sounds like I should be eating more than my BMR. Is that correct?
ArchimedesII: I'm at the tail end of my weight loss, and headed for the maintenance zone, but those "last 5 lbs." are killing me! :( I'm 5'4" and about 148. My goal (for now) is to get to 143-145, and I'm much more concerned with getting there through a healthy and sustainable lifestyle than I am with having the weight off quickly. Also, I do two days of strength training per week, and I build muscle quickly, so I'm trying not to focus too much on the scale, but more on body composition.
Per SP's estimator, I burn an average of 2600 exercise calories per week via cardio, but I just ordered a heart rate monitor in order to ensure that those numbers are as accurate as possible.
Ok, I think that's all. Thanks again, everyone!
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 3/22/12 12:59 P
Your BMR (or basal metabolic rate) is just the number of calories you need to eat daily to maintain normal biological functioning (growing new cells, regulating your heart rate and body temp, fighting off illness, etc). This figure does not include your active daily living activity (cooking, shopping, sitting at the computer, etc) nor does it factor in your formal exercise. Your goal is not to eat your BMR, therefore you need to factor in the other factors.
Does this help?
Fitness Minutes: (37,224)
1,416 3/22/12 12:57 P
True true, how much you are trying to lose in how many weeks. The closer you are to goal the more your body is going to try to hang on to those last pounds. Trying to figure your calories is not an exact science- exercise calories burned and even the calories in food are not exact. I drove myself crazy for a bit trying to hit the magic number- even had a BMR test at the hospital- there is no magic number to calculate. You could experiment with the lower number if you are stuck in a plateau- you could also change up your exercise.
Fitness Minutes: (301,253)
3/22/12 12:31 P
It depends. How much are you trying to lose in how many weeks ? If you wanted an aggressive loss (2 pounds per week), that would have dropped your calories to that low a level. How many calories a person needs to eat per day depends on a bunch of different factors.
I would go with the Spark nutrition profile number since that takes into account how active your day is. Some people are sedentary (desk job). Others are more active (carpenters). So, depending on how active your day is, that is taken into account when your caloric range is created. the more active you are, the more calories you need to be healthy. Someone who is very sedentary needs fewer calories than someone who is very active.
Also, how much weight did you want to lose in X amount of time ? If you opted for a 2 pound loss per week, that would lower your caloric intake more than if you had opted for a 1 pound loss. 1360-1710 is much more reasonable range depending on how much weight you're trying to lose.
Why aren't you reaching goal ? The closer a person is to a healthy weight for their height, the harder (and longer) it takes to take off those last 5-10. ask any member down to those last few pounds and they'll tell you, it's slow going. When a person is overweight, the pounds will come off because that person has a lot to lose. But, once they get closer to a healthy weight, that loss does slow down to a point where they might not lose 1-2 pounds per week. their loss could be as low as a half a pound or less.
How much are you trying to lose ? What's your current height and weight ?
I just read the SP article "Why Calories are King" and the BMR calculator linked to the article suggested that I should be eating 1226 calories per day. (That includes an average of 450 exercise calories burned per day.) Yet, the calorie range SP has suggested for me is 1360-1710. Which number is accurate? 1226 calories seems awfully low, but I'm having trouble reaching goal, so I'm considering trying to aim for that number.