You are correct, it is time to "try it" and experiment. These formulas do a good job at estimating calorie needs, but it is still an estimate. Track your results over the next several weeks---you will see what tweaking needs to be done with your calorie range to meet your goals.
Fitness Minutes: (300)
131 6/22/12 6:48 A
Dang, this is interesting! I first put in ALL my exercise, and it came up with 2400 calories. Then I recalculated without my dance classes but with the walking I do and the 3 x gym workouts (weight lifting and running, total of 45 minutes), and it came up with the following:
So if I follow that, I might still lose a little bit because I hadn't included my dance classes. It seems crazy to think that I could lose weight eating that amount, but I'm going to try it for a few weeks and see what happens to my body/energy!
If you set up your account with SP.... Enter your current exercise plan.... Set your program for zero pounds lost... What calorie range do you get??
I ask this because with your calorie range, you can also get meal plans to use as is or as a guide. If you follow the low end of your carb range and the upper end of your protein and fat ranges, you will be at about: 45% carbs: and protein and fat being about 27-28% each.
Fitness Minutes: (300)
131 6/21/12 4:14 P
Okay, great. So now I just need to figure out a meal plan to ensure I get about 2200 calories of quality nutrition each day - even when I'm on the go. Not going to be easy!
Ideally I'd like to split my diet into a ratio of 40-30-30. Is the best way to do this by splitting my calories into meals and snacks and filling my plate according to that ratio each time, or by consuming about 880 calories carbs and 660 of protein/fat overall? I just want to make this as simple and sustainable as possible! Would be grateful for any more input!
Sounds like you were somewhat dehydrated...which can bring about a sluggish feeling for several days. This is what I suggest:
Eat around 2300-2500 calories daily and see how you feel and what your weight does on a weekly basis (not daily). Adjust up or down slightly to bring about weight maintenance.
To prevent the dehydration, weigh yourself before the exercise/dance and immediately after, using the same scale. For every 1 pound lost, drink 2 cups water. And you should be drinking prior and throughout the workout as well.
Fitness Minutes: (300)
131 6/21/12 3:33 P
Thanks for your responses - they've been helpful. My weight loss has been all over the map. I haven't been counting calories, really, because after every dance class I lose 1-2lbs. Last week, when I weighed in the following morning, I'd lost 3lbs (obviously water) because the class was just that intense. I lost 5lbs in total that week. This week, I've been injured, and gained 3lbs. Because I've been managing to lose weight seemingly through exercise alone, it's been easy to keep drinking frappuccinos and grabbing food on the go. But on Saturday, I felt really sluggish in class and lost energy quite quickly, which made me think I need to focus on eating well and not just losing lbs. I really really don't want my dancing to suffer.
Well - question: How much are you eating now and if you're losing weight, at what sort of a rate?
Eg if you're losing a pound a week now, then to maintain your weight you need to eat around 500 calories more per day than you are now.
How does working that out match with the figures you have?
(BTW, I would strongly recommend NOT using the harris benedict. It put me, for weight loss, at a figure that would DEFINITELY mean weight gain for me. How many times you exercise per week is no more valid a way to calculate how many calories you need than how many times you drove your car determines how much petrol to put in it. Petrol is consumed by mileage, not number of times you start the engine. Your body is the same - so calculate your BMR, add a factor for (not counting exercise) lifestyle adjustment, and then add calories calculated from exercise burned. That is far more realistic than the HB.)
Fitness Minutes: (15,360)
9,709 6/21/12 3:13 P
It seems crazy that eating over 2,000 calories wouldn't make you gain, doesn't it?
It might be true, though. My maintenance level, at 190 and very active, is about 2300! I work out 4-5 times per week, for an hour or more.
It is important to eat quality, instead of just quantity. Eating whole foods is key for whole-body health. That doesn't mean you can't have treats, but instead of eating crap, try fueling yourself with the premium stuff!
Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 6/21/2012 (15:39)
Fitness Minutes: (36,962)
558 6/21/12 2:54 P
Hi there CaityJayne!
Although it may seem like a lot - it might be accurate! I used to take a moderate-level dance class for 1 hour a week and burn 600-700 calories in just that one hour. If you're dancing 5 hours even more intensely, you could be burning nearly 5,000 calories/ a week just dancing! Adding walking and ST to the mix, and your body really could require all of that fuel.
The first thing I recommend is investing in a HR Monitor. I bought mine at Target (it seconds as a watch) for $79. Best investment I've ever made! It's so much easier to get a more accurate amount of how many calories I'm burning during my workout sessions and when I enter them into Spark, my calorie range is adjusted accordingly. I feel like it's the most accurate way to go about things!
And to answer your other question - yes! It makes a huge difference in my opinion -- not only in what's going on in your body but in your feelings of satiety and mood! I definitely don't think you should give up pizza or your favorite drink entirely but instead - enjoy them in moderation. When you don't give your body the nutrients it needs, it could leave to feeling sluggish (then you could have a less awesome workout!). Also - when we eat or drink 'empty' carbs such as soda or pizza, we end up feeling hungrier a short time later; whereas, if we eat something high in lean protein and healthy fats, we feel full much longer. I don't know about you, but when I'm hungry/lacking sustenance, I can get beastly :)
Best of luck on your health journey!
Fitness Minutes: (300)
131 6/21/12 12:10 P
Just curious...I've worked this out using the Harris Benedict Equation, which said 2500. Another online tool said 3000. I'm 26, F, 179lbs, 5'8" and do one-two hours of walking per day, 5 days per week, 3 30 minute weight lifting sessions and 5 hours of vigorous dance sessions.
I want to keep my calories at maintenance level for a while, so I can focus on lifting and having enough energy for my dance classes. But 2500 calories seems like a LOT. I think I would gain weight if I ate that much.
Would it make a difference I used 2500 calories on good foods (lean meats, eggs, nuts, fish, wholegrain carbs) instead of using some of them for sugary drinks, a slice of pizza on my way back from dance class, etc? Maybe that's where I've been going wrong?
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