Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eating 3,000 calories per day.

I've gotten a lot of comments about me eating so many calories per day. I will address that issue here.

I have been a yo-yo dieter for YEARS. I'd do good, lose up to 10 pounds, give in to hunger, eat, gain it all back, repeat. When I wasn't journalling and watching my intake, a normal day for be was around 4,500 calories (mostly consumed in sweets and carbs). When I "got back on the wagon", I'd do 1,500-2,000 per day. BUT that was too much of a jump FOR ME. I would feast, starve, feast, starve. That is not healthy.

Enter *** (name has been removed). I am 100% sure heaven sent her into my life to help me with my weight loss. **** had been overweight for years and she, too, had been a yo-yo dieter. So, she can relate. BUT that was then. She is now 115 pounds of pure health. She owns a women's only fitness center. She has done TONS of research on HEALTHY weight loss.
She is the one who gave me my calorie goals. She said to take your weight, multiply by 12, then subtract 500. That number will be your max intake. For your minimum intake, you can subtract 1,000 instead of 500 OR you can use the biggest loser chart. (My min is 2,100 according to the biggest loser chart) Update your numbers weekly as you take off pounds sensibly.

So, that is what I have been doing for the past few weeks and I *have* been losing. It *has* been slow (except for the one week when I lost 4.25 for some reason that I don't understand) but slow weight loss is better than NO weight loss.....and slow weight loss is GOOD if it is permanent :)

Still, I had so many "you are eating too much" comments, I decided to email *** last night to make sure I was on base. Below are copy and pastes from that email:

Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 6:21 PM
To: ****
Subject: calories

I have a quick question.
I weighed 304 yesterday. 304 x 12 - 500 is just over 3,000 calories, so I set that as my limit.
However, I am getting a TON of comments on my blog saying that is WAY too many calories for me, even at 304.
I just am wondering what to say to these people....and wanting to make sure you are sure I'm okay with that amount.
Thanks for your help!
:) Amy

The below formula would be the maximum. If you want to lose one pound within a week, without exercise. For your weight, The Biggest Loser recommends 2,100. So your range should be 2,100- to 3,148. If you stay at the maximum all the time, it will come off as long as you are very diligent but it will be very slow. The more you cut your calories the faster you will lose weight but it most likely won't be fat. It will be muscle and bone. To lose the fat effectively, you have to burn it off. That means exercise! I did read your food diary this morning. It looks so much better! And I saw about 2 1/2 hours of exercise. That is wonderful!

Your exercise is burning more calories and will make a difference in losing weight faster.

Going lower than 1,000 calories of your maximum, is unhealthy. It actually messes up your metabolism because your body starts getting the protein it needs from your muscle. That's another reason why strength training is important. It keeps your body building muscle. CARDIO exercise is important because it burns fat!

The philosophy of eating more calories (the formula I use) and not starving is so against the norm. The Biggest Loser is always saying you have to eat to lose weight in a healthy manner. You can definitely try cutting back to 2,100 but if you get too hungry, go back up 250-300 calories (to 2,350-2400) for a few days and try going back down. You will have to retrain yourself.

Many people fail when they cut their calories to an extreme low. They can last only so long when they feel starved all the time.

That's my two cents worth. :-)

Now, on to yesterday's food journal:

9 a.m.....460 cals
1 cup kashi 7 grain flakes
1 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup granola
half a banana

11:15 a.m.....495 cals
salad (lettuce, cheese, chicken, dressing)
sugar free pudding cup

1:30 p.m.....455 cals
strawberry smoothie

3:30 p.m.....280 cals
2 kashi almond bars

5:00....200 cals
stick of cheese
12 almonds (salt rinsed off)

9:30 p.m....600 cals
Repeated breakfast (cereal)

11:00 p.m....220 cals
popcorn chicken
(the chicken was NOT on the plan. I wasn't hungry, just wanted to eat. I ate it and realized that I was zoning out and that I was actually VERY tired. I know me, and I eat instead of sleep when I am tired. So, I identified that and brushed my teeth and said "NO MORE FOOD FOR YOU TONIGHT AMY". :)

calories= 2,710 (in range)
water= 40 oz (not too great)
exercise= -0- (I had a hectic day, but that is not a good excuse)
sodium= 3,788 mg Today was the first day I've tracked my sodium.'s in everything! (almost) Right now I am working on being more aware of the sodium content of my foods.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading and extra thanks for the comments. I love to check in and see that I have comments! :)

:) that TOPS lady


  1. When J'Nell refers to "The Biggest Loser", what exactly is she referring to? I have read most of the Biggest Loser books, and they all recommend very low calorie diets (around 1200 calories). I would love to see something with that formula.

  2. Hollie, I don't know. I sent her an email with your question and I will let you know when she answers. :) Thanks for reading!

  3. I agree with most of what J'nell said, except her numbers. I would have to ask where she got her data to use in the formula?

    I was given this formula from a registered dietician, at a doctor supervised, hospital based wt loss program:

    The number to multiply your weight by for a healthy, active adult male: 12

    The number for a healthy, active, adult female: 11

    After months of supervision and analysis, they determined MY number, for a less active female with a lousy metabolism was: barely 10.

    Now, being older, I can barely use 9 and still accurately predict weekly weight loss.

    So, just saying, there is variation in the formula.

    As for calories...a lot of it has to do with where our "head" is. I was totally NOT ready to go extreme when I first started counting my calories. I started at 1999 calories per day (just to get out of the 2's, ha ha).

    Then lowered it by 25 calories as my mindset adjusted, and I was WILLING to give up the food without a rebound binge.

    And no one can tell another person WHEN they are ready. They either ARE, or are NOT, ready to let go of the quantity of food.

    I had to go slow. It took me from last Nov 09 until this week to work down to 1575 calories. And I am fighting it some... and I might go back up to 1600 if I feel I am going to go off plan.

    I totally agree with her about the necessity of wt training, though. :-)