Tag Archives: calories

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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My favorite food logging app: “LoseIt!”

4 Oct

Logging your food intake can help you stay on track with eating clean, and also help you realize where your weaknesses may be. Actually writing down everything you eat may allow you to realize those little snacks you sneak in throughout the day actually add up. I like to track my intake with an iPhone app called LoseIt! (similar to other apps such as DailyPlate or MyFitnessPal). I love seeing how many grams of carbs, protein, sugar, fiber, etc., I get per day.

LoseIt! is so easy to use which I love. When you first open the app you will immediately be able to figure out how to use it.

This is the home screen which is called “My Day.” You can set it all up to enter your goals and it will tell you approximately how many calories you should be eating.

You can add foods based on what meal it was for, or if it was a snack. You can also log your exercise in LoseIt! as well, so you can track food and exercise all in one central place.

You can search the foods they have in their lists, and then it saves your most popular foods under “my foods” or saves whole meals (if you have a meal of multiple ingredients).

I also like that you can scan barcodes if LoseIt! doesn’t have the item you need in their inventory. I have never had an incident where I haven’t found the food, or haven’t been able to scan it. When you scan it, it automatically puts in the serving size and nutritional info (though you can change the serving size if you ate more or less).

Once you input all of your food for the day, you can go back to “My Day” and then click on “Nutrients” to be able to see your nutritional breakdown, both for the day and the week if you wish.

Lastly, like I mentioned above, you can track your exercise. They have a huge list of options and then you can get more specific in terms of time and level of exertion.

I seriously love LostIt! It’s such an easy, straightforward app. When I feel like I need to get back on track, I start putting in my foods. I generally just want to make sure I’m not getting too many grams of carbs and sugar, I’m not overly concerned about calories. If anything, it helps me see that I don’t eat enough calories some days, even though I feel like I’m eating a ton!

Do you use a health related app? What’s your favorite?