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6/4/13 10:23 A

It has taken me several tries, but after a few failures, I *think* I have finally learned a few things about myself and how to lose weight.

Things That Matter (in order):

1. I am healthy (i.e. my way of eating promotes maximum health-no junk food, good nutrition, etc.).

This one really hit home once I realized that I was getting not just fatter, but sicker. I really DON'T want to take heartburn meds every day. I really DON'T want to wear one of those sleep apnea masks every night. I really DON'T want IBS. I know how to prevent those things with my diet. I was sick of being miserable.

2. I am eating in a way that is comfortable and easy for me. It doesn't feel like something I can only do for a limited amount of time. It is not stressful or hard. It doesn't feel like a punishment.

This one only became truly possible once I came to terms with #1. Fact: my health matters more to me than a cupcake. But, I had to become sick and miserable in order to really believe it.

3. I am losing (and, in the future, maintaining) weight.


It doesn't matter if I look good in a bathing suit right now. It doesn't matter if I am thin for a class reunion. It doesn't matter if I lose weight fast or slow.

No goals. No time line. No nothing.

Only health and weight loss.

Our bodies are not calculators. And, if we expect it to respond to exact numbers, we will be disappointed. My body doesn't know how many calories I need. My body needs good nutrition. Real food. Good health. Those calorie counters are only general guesses, anyway. Everyone is different.

Edited by: JUNGLEQUEEN at: 6/4/2013 (10:24)
AMGRANAT Posts: 521
6/3/13 11:06 P

Thanks that was helpful!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
6/3/13 9:35 P

Unfortunately heart rate monitors are not really useful for gauging calories burn through day-to-day activities like work, only for studied activities like purposeful exercise. Your calorie burn is likely very inflated, and if you track it here, you're double-counting anyway. Your daily activity is already accounted for in your daily active living modifier and BMR. If you have an active job, then here's the easiest way to determine how much extra you need:

AMGRANAT Posts: 521
6/3/13 1:27 P

Ok I read up on this thread, and now I am confused for myself. I just re-started my goals and trackers today since my birthday was this weekend & I received a heart rate monitor to start using for tracking burned calories. I am doing some test runs to see how many calories I burn in my typical work day. For example today from the time I started getting ready for work until 11am my monitor said I burned around 1700 calories! I have a pretty active job with kids. I am supposed to be around 1650 calories a day per spark people if I want to go from 197-160 with 1 pound a week.

Is that enough calories for my day if I do a work out too?

I'm confused.

AMYTHBE SparkPoints: (2,355)
Fitness Minutes: (1,883)
Posts: 59
6/2/13 8:51 P

I agree with this. At first, I took in Spark's nutrition goals by eating the lower amount at the 1200 cal range and my weight stalled... I only have about 10lbs to lose so I found this frustrating! Since then I've uped my intake to about 1400 cals a day and I've felt much better. At first, when I was only consuming the low end, I would feel tired and had a hard time thinking. My workouts usually burn 300-500 cals a day so this was definitely the culprit. I'm only about a month in and I've gone down from 144 to 139 and I'm hoping to get down to my lowest weight of 128~~

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (253,841)
Fitness Minutes: (41,531)
Posts: 27,148
6/2/13 5:45 A

I had a peek at your Nutrition Tracker for the day that was showing. You consumed just over 1384 calories, but did a mega-amount of work-outs - 539 calories, worth. That is not enough calories consumed for what you are doing.

1200 calories is the minimum that not only SP recommends, but many others qualified in Dietetics. My own Dietitian told me that here they don't recommend under 1400 calories UNLESS supervised by a Dietitian or a Doctor with a Dietetic Certification. The 1200 calories is for an average weight woman who is sedentary. A heavier person needs more for their body to function properly, and when you factor in exercise, you need even more!

Under-eating can cause a myriad of health issues - things that a person wouldn't normally think about:
* organ damage including kidneys
* increased risk of osteoporosis
* blindness
* accidents (fatigue and/or low blood sugars are known to have caused car accidents because of lack of enough nutrition)

I suggest that perhaps the best thing you can do is to learn patience - losing weight SLOWLY is the healthy way to go. Two sayings come to mind:

"Rome wasn't built in a day."
"Patience is a virtue."

Take care,

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
6/1/13 11:23 P

You should just eat the 1500 calories, and lose 1.25 lbs a week, and be patient. If anything, up the exercise, but don't cut any more calories. At 1500, you aren't eating that much.

CARLAVK Posts: 19
6/1/13 2:22 P

Thanks for this.. I was wondering if it was too aggressive or not. I'm 180 lbs at the moment. 145 - 135 is where I'm most comfortable. I'm losing about 1.25 lbs a week on average as you had calculated. So this is why I wanted to try the measurements in the article I read to match the 2 lbs per week that SP was saying I would lose on their automated calculations.. but if its too much then I have no problem sticking to what I've been doing already. Just wanted to speed it up if I could do it in a healthy matter :P..

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
6/1/13 1:58 P

A more easy figure to wrap your head around is your reasonable goal is 3% of your total weight loss goal per week. At 35 lbs to go, that means you're looking at around 1 lb a week. Even if we go for the more aggressive 45, you're still only looking at a little over 1.25 lbs a week.

Which is exactly what you're losing. Cutting it more won't make it go faster, because you don't have enough to lose!

This also means the closer you get, the slower it comes off. At 20 lbs, you're looking at around .5 to .6 lbs.

At 10, just .25 (1/4) a lb a week. Your goals are too aggressive. :)

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 6/1/2013 (13:59)
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
6/1/13 1:53 P

The biggest numbers missing here are: Your current weight and your goal weight. IF you're over 200 lbs, then 2 lbs a week is possible. Under that, it gets increasingly unlikely, and you drop down to 1 lb a week as a normal, reasonable weight loss goal. If you have to drop to 1100 calories to create a 2 lb deficit, you're eating too little.

It's very difficult to get enough basic nutrition on 1100 calories to support your body's daily functions, much less the amount of exercise. You're also not including your daily activity modifier. You're missing parts of the equation. :) Sparkpeople will never give you less than 1200 calories as a minimum.

Here's how the ranges are figured:

CARLAVK Posts: 19
6/1/13 1:52 P

I've got 35 lbs left to lose.. 45 if I want to be perfect... even then at this rate I won't be done until the end of October. Which will be just in time to sport a sassy halloween costume ;).. Is that 3% healthy weight loss per month? if so then my goal would be almost 6 lbs a month rather than 8 to lose... Sparkspeople suggests I eat between 1250 - and 1550 calories a day when I use their calculator.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
6/1/13 1:42 P

How many pounds do you have to lose? You may have overly optimistic expectations; 2 pounds per week is usually for those who have a lot to lose.

Have you put your goals into the SP calculator, including estimated fitness calorie burns? Take the range spark gives you and go from there. When putting in goal timeline, don't be too aggressive. Max healthy weight loss percent is 3%.

Remember the goal is not to get the weight off as fast as possible, it's to get it off in a healthy way that can be maintained for a lifetime.

CARLAVK Posts: 19
6/1/13 1:32 P

I read this article,
s_articles.asp?id=385 , and it helped me figure out why I've only been losing 1 lb a week when by sparkpeople's automated calculation I should be losing 2 lbs a week :P.. So everything I've been doing will stay the same aside from my calorie diet. Which will drop from 1500 max to 1100 max in order to lose 2 lbs a week. My actual BMR is 1625.4 - the average 500 cal I burn in exercise a day = 2125.4 - 1100 calorie intake = 1025.4 calorie differential in one day :).. So over 7 days I'll actually be burning 7177.8 calories / 3500 calories per lb to lose = 2.05 lbs a week. My question about this though is this a healthy calculation for me to follow?.. or am I trying to burn too much too soon?..

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