Tag Archives: calorie calculator

Are You Eating Enough Calories?

20 Mar

When you want to lose weight, the “rule of thumb” is to subtract 500 calories from your total daily calories, or exercise to burn an extra 500 calories.

Apps like the LoseIt! app (which I do love), give you caloric numbers depending on what your goals are and how fast you want to lose weight. When I put in that I want to lose 10 lbs., it told me I should be eating 1,200 calories.

How often have we heard that number? 1,200 calories? It seems to be the “magic” number for how many calories to eat and lose weight, but also the number you’re never supposed to dip under.

But how many calories do you actually need?

calorie calculator

Well, it all depends on how often you work out and for how long. When I typed in my stats into the Mayo Clinic Calorie Calculator, it told me I should be eating 2,000 calories daily, and a minimum of 1,700! I’m definitely not eating 2,000 calories per day, but have been trying to be better about eating more. It’s just hard, but I’ll get into that later.

The Plateau

Have you been struggling to lose weight or bodyfat? It may be metabolic damage – or, not eating enough calories. Contrary to popular belief, you need to EAT MORE to LOSE. Recently, trainer Tony Gentilcore had a guest post from another trainer who discussed metabolic damage.

I’ve seen real people…exercising often and leading a busy life consuming less than 2000 calories a day. 

Hmmm….shouldn’t they be burning at least 623 calories a day from fat, leading to over one pound of fat lost a week? (3500 calories in a pound of fat).

Quite often, they don’t because their metabolism has adapted to such a low calorie diet that it won’t chance increasing energy expenditure for fear of burning through it’s precious energy stores.

Not eating enough calories puts stress on your body, and increases cortisol…along with other negative effects. This post also states that, “even if you don’t drop your calories too low, dropping carbohydrates too low can inhibit your metabolic functioning.” Don’t be afraid of carbs! Especially if you’re an active person!

The first time I heard about “metabolic damage” was when a friend sent me this video by trainer Layne Norton. He is mainly using fitness & figure models as the example here, but I think a lot of active people can relate. He really opened my eyes as to how dropping your calories or going low-carb can have a negative affect on your body:

He has said that what he does to help figure competitors recover is to have them eat a bit more calories each week until they reach the threshold for how many calories they can eat without gaining weight. It’s something that I have started doing as well. I used to only eat 1,300-1,500 calories because I wanted to lose bodyfat. Clearly, not enough!

Recently, I’ve been tracking my calories and trying to eat close to 1,700-1,800 and will slowly build to 2,000. It is really hard for me because I have no clue what to eat to get there! I can only eat so many protein shakes, fruit, eggs, etc. So any healthy snack ideas you have, please feel free to comment 😉

If you have been stuck in a plateau for a while (I certainly have), then how many calories you consume may play a role. Another thing to think about is your macros (protein, carbs, fat). Check out “If It Fits Your Macros” to get a break down of how many calories they think you should eat, along with macros.

I’ve written about IIFYM before, and don’t 100% agree with the premise, but I do agree with trying to calculate what percentage of each macronutrient you should be getting. Like I mentioned above, I use the LoseIt! app to track all of this.

If you want to see part 2 of Tony’s post about recovering your metabolism, check it out here.

If you want to get a clearer picture of your caloric needs, the best and most accurate thing would be to consult with a nutritionist or dietician.

Do you eat enough calories?

Do you track your calories and macros?

How does eating affect your workouts?

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4 Common Mistakes People Make When They Start Exercising

14 Jan

Is 2014 going to be your year? Have you committed to living a healthier lifestyle? That’s great!

You may be excited and ready to tackle everything that comes your way, but while your motivation is awesome, make sure you don’t make these mistakes in your new journey!

commonmistakes

Trying Too Many Things At Once. You may be excited to start eating healthier and workout out regularly, but don’t be too overzealous! For example, if you want to start eating healthier, try cutting out one “bad” thing for a week, then add another. It’ll be easier to manage cutting out soda the first week, then processed food the second, and excess sugar in the third, than it would be to try to cut every bad habit out at once. Same thing goes with the gym; you may want to hit the gym every day, but start slowly. Your body is just getting used to this. Start with 2-3 days per week, then add on as you get accustomed. Trust me, if this is your first time lifting (or you’re just getting back into it), you will be sore even with only 2-3 days of working out!

Not Setting Proper Goals. What exactly are your goals? Do you want to lose weight? Gain muscle? Setting proper goals is key, as well as attainable goals. You can’t expect to lose 50 lbs. in 1 month, or squat 100 lbs in the first few weeks. Set small goals at first, such as, “I want to lose 1 lb. a week,” or “I want to lose 5% bodyfat.” SMART goal setting is a great way to set attainable goals.

Not Researching Proper Workouts. Just as you need to set proper goals, you need to assess what it is you want to accomplish. You may try out everything: lifting, running, Zumba, spin, etc. Do you want to run 5K? Or be able to do pull-ups? Because both of those will require totally different training. If you want to run a 5K (or any distance), research different training plans. Before I started marathon training, I read 3 books by 3 different authors on 3 different training approaches. Find the best one that you think will work for you. If you don’t think you will make it to the gym 5 days a week, then don’t choose a plan that has you in the gym 5 days a week!

Not Eating Enough. If your goal is to lose weight, you may think the easiest way is the good ol’ “cut 500 calories per day out” and exercise. But if you’re exercising on a regular basis, then you need to make sure you are fueling your body correctly. You may be surprised at how many calories you actually need. I thought 1,500 calories would be enough for me, then put my stats in multiple calculators which told me I should be eating anywhere from 1,800-2,000 calories! I don’t have a specific one that comes to mind, but google “calorie calculator” and try out multiple ones. Also track your intake for a few days to make sure you’re eating enough. I like the app Lose It! because you can add or scan in foods, and it gives you a pie chart breakdown of your macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat). I talk about this app more here. Remember, calories are not the enemy!

What advice and tips would you give?

Have you experienced any of these mistakes?

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