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DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
4/21/12 11:04 A

Just to be clear, you probably weren't gaining enough muscle over a short period to show up on your scale! It takes weeks, and for women, more likely MONTHS, to gain appreciable amounts of muscle. While msucle is denser than fat, and thus takes up less room per pound, we really just don't build it fast enough to explain most plateaus. :) That doesn't mean you aren't getting stronger and healthier, just that you weren't losing weight, not that you were "gaining muscle"

SWANATOPIA Posts: 1,049
4/20/12 9:07 A


I seem to have broken my plateau and I do seem to be gaining muscle, which was what I was reading on the scale. Thanks for the tip of overestimating intake and underestimating calories burned. I will put that to use immediately!

GRAVELRIDGEBOY SparkPoints: (36,875)
Fitness Minutes: (52,531)
Posts: 492
4/16/12 7:38 P

Without a heart rate monitor to tell you how many calories you are burning I would not go off of what is listed. I over estimate my intake calories and under estimate my burned calories. Remember that for every 3500 calories is 1 pound of fat. But if you are doing "mans work" you might be growing muscle which is good because muscle burns more fat while resting. So in the beginning you might not see a difference with the scale so use a tape measure to see how you are doing. Good Luck

SWANATOPIA Posts: 1,049
4/14/12 12:27 P

Hi Coach Nancy,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, digging outside for hours non-stop (feels like I am running 8 miles, for sure). Cleaning up demolished mobile home in the back, which includes sheetrock, wood, insulation, mess....Definitely a workout. I call it mans It's generally every other day we do this. I have always had an active lifestyle as my husband and I built our own house from foundation to roof but my eating was very bad. I would drink a monster and eat a bag of chips for breakfast and work all day and then slam in dinner around 9 at night.

I am using the Spark People cardio for tracking for my activities but it is not real specific...such as the "heavy cleaning" is for the sheetrock, carpet, debris, wood, garbage I haul to the trashcan and other cleaning I am doing. Heavy cleaning is mild compared to what we do. The heavy digging is using the shovel to clean up all the mess and actually digging holes in the ground to remove foundation ties. We are doing what a crew would do in about the same time.

I will try upping my calories on these heavy work days. See if this helps. Thanks so much!

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
4/14/12 12:07 P


What type of activities are you doing to expend that many calories per day? How are you determining your calories burn? (our SparkPeople calculator or HRM) The reason I ask is this is an extreme number of calories to be burning every day. That would be the equivalent to me running 8 miles every day for the 800 calories and 10-30 miles for the 1000-3000 calorie days.

You want to be very careful that you are not overestimating your calories expenditure. I see that you are calculating for heavy cleaning and digging and while you are burning calories doing these activities, the standard when it comes to tracking cardio activity is to track those activities that increase your oxygen consumption in relation to large muscle activation (rhythmic) such as biking, walking, running, dancing, etc. All other activity I consider a bonus, however on those days where I am more active, say doing yard work, I will eat at the upper end of my range.

If you have been on a plateau for just a few weeks, remember that weight loss is not a linear process...there may be some weeks you lose, some you maintain, even other weeks where you may gain, but it is what you see over the long term that counts.

I hope this helps!

Coach Nancy

SWANATOPIA Posts: 1,049
4/14/12 11:10 A

Hello everyone! I was hoping to get some advice on balancing my calorie intake and exercise for a given day. I seem to be on a plateau for two weeks, which is fine, but got me wondering about my calorie intake vs calories burned.

On a lazy day, I can easily burn 800 calories doing workouts but lately because of my lifestyle, I have been burning close to 1000 to 3000 calories a day! This is not everyday, only certain days when I go outside and start cleaning up, demolition, construction and digging or painting. Maybe twice a week and on weekends.

I have always been active like this but food is something I don't pay much attention to. I used to eat one meal a day to survive but Spark People has taught me to eat more, which I have been doing for the last two months. Now, I am concerned that I may not be eating as much as I need to for each day that I burn alot of calories but how would I adjust this accordingly on the nutrition guide? Should I adjust it per day that I burn more calories?

My food and exercise meals are shared so you can see what I mean. I feel I am getting plenty to eat, am never hungry and cooking very healthy, which sometimes jeopardizes my calorie intake. It is difficult for me to meet my calorie intake as it is now but I try to everyday. I have the red note on the bottom of my nutrition guide to adjust my nutrition for my exercise every month.

Should I just keep it like this and maybe it will work itself out?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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