Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More Info About Calories

Hello everyone!

Lately, I have been reading a blog called GoKaleo and it has been pretty informational.  She used to be overweight and lost weight, through good old fashioned diet and exercise.

There was one article she posted that surprised me.  Okay, it shocked me.  She talks about calories and how most of us are actually eating TOO LITTLE without realizing it and as a result, some of us aren't seeing the weight loss we should.

I found this part relevant:

"If you’re obese or overweight, you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Not too many more, I generally recommend keeping a 500 calorie deficit to keep your metabolism healthy. Alternately, you can use a calorie calculator to figure out how many calories your body will need to maintain your goal weight (including your activity), and eat that many calories. Your body will take care of the rest (that’s how I did it). If you keep your deficit relatively small and lift weights and get regular exercise, your body will tag your muscles as ‘in use’ and preserve them, burning stored fat to make up the deficit in energy in vs energy out. If you’re sedentary, your body will burn lean mass as well as fat to make up for that deficit."

She gives 2 links to calorie calculators and the results shocked me.

This is the one that I use because it's simpler.


I plugged in that my goal weight (for now) is 140 pounds  and I am 5'5" tall and inactive.  Here's how it defines activity levels.

INACTIVE: You participate in no regular exercise or physical activity.
LIGHT: You participate in no regular physical activity, however incorporate 3-4 hours of walking or standing per day as part of your normal daily life activities.
MODERATE: You participate in occasional physical activity such as jogging, swimming, or bike riding during the week and some recreational fitness activity such as golf or tennis on the weekend.
HEAVY: You participate regularly in recreational and fitness activity at least 3-4 times per week for 30-60 minutes per session.
VIGOROUS: You participate regularly in fitness activity for 60 or more minutes at least 4 times a week.
EXERCISE TO GAIN WEIGHT: For those who are underweight.

Now if I were to be doing my Meta or Turbofire on a regular basis then my activity level would be "heavy".

Inactive calories needed: 1735 per day

Heavy calories needed: 2603 per day

And apparently if I eat those levels with those activity levels, my body will lose fat and normalize at 140 pounds approximately.  My goal weight is actually more around 130.

So that means:

On days I don't work out: 1683 calories
On days I do work out: 2525 calories.

Yes, at work I do move around but not enough to really justify a "workout".  On days I just go to work or do housework, I am using that as an inactive day.

Now, GoKaleo also says that both the number AND kind of calories matter when it comes to how to spend these calories.

"Aim for, at minimum, .5 – 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. Fat should make up at roughly 20-35% of your calories (some people do well on lower or higher fat percentages, but 20-35% is a healthy range for most of us). The rest of your calories can come from whatever macronutrient you prefer (macronutrients = protein, fat and carbs). If you’re doing a lot of endurance exercise, go for more carb dense foods. More and more it’s looking like the only true dietary bad guys are man-made, refined fats: trans and seed oils, and by reducing processed food consumption you will be reducing your intake of those."

So for protein, I would need 65 grams of protein a day at 130 pounds.

I also do more endurance type stuff when I work out (dance cardio or turbo fire) so I guess it would be wise to add more carbs like oatmeal and rice.

"Build your diet on a base of vegetables and protein. Whether you go with plant or animal protein, make sure it’s quality. Organic, sprouted (in the case of legumes), pastured (in the case of meat, dairy and eggs), wild caught (in the case of fish). Reduce your consumption of grains, especially refined grains, I don’t believe they’re poison (and I still eat oatmeal and brown rice), but they’re very calorie dense for the nutrition they provide. Carbs are not the devil, but get them from real whole foods like fruits and starchy vegetables for the most part. Fat is your friend, it fills you up and makes food taste good, and your body needs it for proper nutrient absorption and hormonal function. Make a habit of tracking your diet on a website like caloriecount.com, sparkpeople.com or fitday.com (there are many others as well). It’s not just about calories, regular tracking will help you learn to meet your energy requirements with foods that also provide the vitamins, minerals and adequate amounts of fat and protein to support good health and weight management. It can be a pain at first, but over time it helps build good eating habits and gives you control over your weight and health. Calories DO matter, but most of us can eat a lot more than we think we can if we’re making good food choices and getting regular exercise. Tracking calories is NOT about restriction, and reaching/maintaining a healthy weight is NOT about being hungry and denying ourselves proper nutrition. Quite the contrary, it is about feeding ourselves adequate amounts of nutritious foods that support health, energy and vitality. "

So, I will begin tracking these calories and seeing how it goes.  I often eat way less calories than I  need and so far that has gotten me nowhere fast. Last week I was hitting about 7-900 a day and while my appetite WAS lowered by medication, I still could have eaten higher calories when I DID eat.

All quotes have been taken from here: http://gokaleo.com/?p=646

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