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AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
7/2/13 8:05 P

What is considered normal range has changed in the last few years, and not all GPs are up on this or willing to change their protocols. Honestly, I don't think that most GPs/internists/family doctors do well with endocrine issues at all. Get thee to a real endocrinologist!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
7/2/13 7:19 P

I don't know if SP ever gave me a recommendation for how much I should work out, but @ 3-6 workouts a week ( average 4.5 ), and burning 400-800 ( 600 average ), you burn around 2700 calories a week in exercise. If you have the total calories burned for the last 2 weeks, just divide by 2, and enter that on your start page. this will give you your range.

Then follow your ranges for 2 weeks, and see what happens. aim for the middle of your ranges, meaning if your range is 1200-1550, don't eat 1200 every day. At the end of the 2 weeks, see where you are. It would be much easier to give you advice if you were to say you were eating at 1350 calories daily, and had gained/lost X amount of lbs per week. Even if you gain .5 a lb a week, that gives a reference point that people can work with. My brother has hypothyroidism, and when he sticks to 1800 calories, he loses quite well. He is lethargic, and doesn't exercise a lot, but overall he is losing. Before he was all over the place with diet. Some days eating a lot, other days he couldn't force himself to eat. By planning it out, and sticking to the plan, he has gotten to the point where he eats in a small enough range, so that if he stops losing, he can drop 100 calories off. Many people think they are eating less than 1200 calories a day, but when they track it, they realize that they ate/drank a bit more on certain days, and averaged a much higher daily total over the week.

I am not saying that that is what is going on with you, but tracking for two weeks, while following the SP ranges would at least give you some exact numbers to share over a period long enough to be worthwhile.I think some people are hoping to help you, but the lack of information might be hindering that.

WADINGMOOSE Posts: 1,048
7/2/13 5:34 P

I don't deal with thyroid issues, but I was really surprised by how much I could eat and lose weight.

I set up fitness goals for myself instead of using the SP defaults. Based on my regular workouts I burn about 1400 calories a week, I also do some additional exercise when I have time/motivation/energy.

Finally, you need to set a weight goal. As others have said, if you're near your goal weight, don't expect to lose 2lbs a week.

And then let SP calculate your calorie intake. Eat at those recommended amounts for a few weeks and see what happens. I was shocked when my weight loss increased. I find that I still play with how many calories within the range as well as carb/protein/fat balance I eat at any given time.

JDD1602 Posts: 3
7/2/13 5:16 P

Thank you all again for the feedback!

Unfortunately at this time, I am not on medications for hypothyroidism. As many thyroid sufferers have probably experienced, my TSH levels fall within what is considered the 'normal range' and therefore my doctor won't prescribe medication. Despite the symptoms (which I have almost all of them) and the food and exercise journals I've shown the Doc, he still won't medicate me. In addition, my Mom, her sisters, my sister and my brother all have also been diagnosed and are on medication so it is hereditary as well.....but yet still not medication for me. Not until my levels fall outside of the 'normal range'.....

Based on the feedback and insight you all have provided I think I may give SP's calorie and nutritional guideline a try. I will continue to work out as I normally do. As scared as I am, it is the only thing I haven't tried before. Hopefully it will help me to provide myself with the nutritional fuel I need and maybe I'll see positive results. Many people before have told me I need to up my nutritional calorie intake but I've always been too scared to do it.

If I do a good job sticking to it for at least a month, then I may go to an endocrinologist who may be more willing to treat my symptoms despite being in the 'normal range'. I'll have good documentation of what I've been eating/excercising too so maybe that will help.

Many thanks!

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
7/2/13 3:45 P

Personally, I think that Spark seriously underestimates how much exercise a healthy person needs. For those of us with metabolic problems, it is a massive underestimation. I often burn 10x more calories a week through exercise than the minimum Spark recommendation.

What about trying the recommended calorie range while sticking with your own exercise plan?

7/2/13 2:33 P

These are some of the areas of concern:
I assume your thyroid condition is under good control?
Do you care to share you height and weight?
Do you know your % body fat?
I feel your calorie range of no more than 1200 daily means that there are days that you are below this amount.
Your calorie intake appears to be very low for your activity.


NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
Fitness Minutes: (31,253)
Posts: 867
7/2/13 12:47 A

JDD, 1200 calories is the absolute minimum a *sedentary* woman should be eating. With as much activity as you're doing, I imagine you should be well above that. (For example, I burn about 1800 calories per week and have been losing a perfectly reasonable rate eating in my Spark-generate range of 1500-1850 calories per day. Note that because I am now within a couple of pounds of my goal weight, my loss is down to somewhere around 0.25 lbs/week, but I have lost over 70 lbs so far using my Spark ranges.)

Trust the system for at least a couple of weeks and see how it goes. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

JDD1602 Posts: 3
7/1/13 8:31 P

Thank you ALL for the support, tips and valuable information. The only thing I haven't tried in my attempt to lose weight is eating more, so maybe this will do the trick :)

Becky, my SP Calorie Range is 1200-1550.
Daily on Average I try to eat no more than 1200, but some days do go over a bit.

I don't eat meat often (though I will have lean turkey, chicken or red meat every now and then) and tend to eat more like a vegetarian- veggies are my absolute favorite. I also don't eat fast food (I can literally can count on 2 hands the # of times I have had fast food) and I only eat whole wheat when I eat starches. I try to consume a lot of protein which has proven to be difficult more recently as I was diagnosed with a Soy allergy.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm very athletic. I am probably considered a gym rat too. I tend to burn 400-800+ calories during my workouts (which I do 3-6x per week on average).

I'm tired of killing myself at the gym, eating very healthy and never losing weight. I don't seem to be gaining any weight, which is good, but if I could lose 10-15 pounds I'd be so much happier and I think I could maintain that. I don't even really care about the number on the scale, I just want to feel better about myself.

Thanks again to everyone, this has already been so helpful.

7/1/13 7:51 P

I would like a little more clarity as well..
What is you SP calorie range?
How many calories have you been eating daily, on average?

SP Registered Dietitian

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
7/1/13 6:06 P

Put in the correct calories burned, and do 2 weeks at whatever SP suggests. Be sure to log everything, and I think you will be surprised at how well it works.

Most people estimate what they were eating before tracking, and are off, or forget to count certain foods they ate. When they actually track, they find out that they eat less food, but it is higher than what they thought they were eating. They may have thought they were eating 1500 a day, but the cheats they had on Wednesday, and Saturday were 2000 calories each, and they counted them as 600 each. The extra 2800 was actually 400 extra calories a day = 1900. However when they hear 1800, they think to themselves, that 300 more than I normally eat.

I would try it for 2 weeks, and if you gain, then consider dropping 100 calories and try it again. When we actually stick to a plan, we can usually eat more than we think possible, and still lose weight.

CAMPBELL51 Posts: 29
7/1/13 5:42 P

Anarie, thanks for sharing. After reading your post, I understand now just to focus on my nutrition to make sure I am eating enough of protein, fats, carbs and fiber daily. Thanks! emoticon

Edited by: CAMPBELL51 at: 7/1/2013 (17:43)
ANARIE Posts: 13,205
7/1/13 5:17 P

If the calorie information scares you, ignore it and pay attention to the other nutrients you can track. "Starvation mode" happens not when you drop below a certain calorie level, but rather when you fail to get enough nutrients. When it comes to conserving versus burning fat, your body doesn't really understand calories. It understands whether it's getting enough protein, calcium, fiber, healthy fat, and so on. If you make sure you're eating at least 5 fruit and veggie servings and getting enough of the major nutrients, and at the same time you avoid any empty calories from sugar or white flour, you'll probably find that you're eating within the SparkPeople calorie range. The lower limit isn't really about calories; it's just that very few women can meet their nutritional needs with less than 1200 calories.

As for the exercise, 560 calories a week is the default. It's their way of saying, "Look, you've gotta do *something.*" It doesn't mean you shouldn't do more; it just means NO ONE should do less. If you wade through the options, you'll find the place where you can tell it how much you actually expect to do. If you're burning 3500-ish calories a week in exercise, it *might* raise your calorie recommendation. My guess is that it won't, though, because you're so close to your goal weight that the computer is just putting you in the lowest calorie range no matter what.

And that's another thing to be aware of. With only 10-15 pounds to lose, it won't follow the "rules" about X calories affecting you weight by Y pounds. Even without hypothyroidism, you're looking at a loss of half a pound a week or less on average. And "on average" means some weeks you'll lose nothing, some weeks you'll *gain* a pound, and some weeks you'll lose a quarter pound. It's going to be a long, frustrating road, which is another reason that focusing on nutrients and health is going to make you feel more successful than focusing on weight and calories.

SLASALLE SparkPoints: (278,548)
Fitness Minutes: (105,129)
Posts: 12,061
7/1/13 5:06 P

I, too, am hypothyroid, but I have been for many years now. I can tell you from my own personal experience that it is true. If you do not eat enough calories to SUPPORT your exercise (you are very active in general if you're burning 500+ daily), your body will hold on to whatever it's got.

I found this out the hard way long ago. I got tired of going into the kitchen at night to eat all of the points Weight Watchers told me to eat. My thought was that it was crazy. Why eat if I wasn't hungry; surely if I don't do this I'll lose even more weight.

Well, I quit losing weight when I quit eating what they told me to eat.

Hope this reassures you. SparkPeople's plan is right on for most people. That's not to say everybody has the same reactions, etc., but you're safe to follow the plan, trust me.

Good luck to you!!


DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
7/1/13 5:04 P

560 calories a week is simply the default recommendation. Update the fitness settings to reflect how much you're doing, and set a reasonable weekly weight loss goal. At your range, you're looking at 1/4 to 1/2 a lb a week... tops. You don't have much to lose, so losing 1-2 lbs a week is not reasonable for you.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
7/1/13 4:48 P

Also, be sure to update your fitness settings with the actual calories you expect to burn per week. This will affect your nutrition calorie ranges. The calories SP sets as burned/week is a bare minimum.

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
7/1/13 4:37 P

Most people on here can eat more calories than they think they need to and lose weight, however your hypothyroidism may give you completely different needs and results. Has your doctor given you an eating plan/calorie range to help you lose weight? That will supercede any range that SparkPeople creates for you.

JDD1602 Posts: 3
7/1/13 3:46 P

Just joined Sparkpeople (26yr old/F). I'm looking to lose 10-15lbs. The plan is recommending that I eat about 300 more calories/day than I typically do. In addition it says it is recommending I burn about 560 calories a WEEK- I am pretty athletic and burn about 560 A DAY with my workouts! I'm afraid adhering to this plan will make me gain weight. I suffer from Hypothyroidism so my metabolism is pretty much nonexistant. I'm really afraid that if I follow this plan I may gain weight. However, many people have told me I'm not losing because I'm not eating enough calories and my body is going into 'starvation' mode. Anyone have any advice?

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