Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Weight Loss/Nutrition/Calorie Intake Advice Needed

Recommended Posts

Ok guys I need some help. I’ve been using this forum for research the last few months as I’ve been dieting and exercising. I started out about exactly 4 months ago in October weighing in at 230 lbs, I’m 22 years old 6’0” tall. I am now just above 190lbs so I am definitely ok with my progress so far but I’ve got some other concerns… My routine since October has consisted of 45-60 minutes of cardio 60%-80% MHR 5-6 times a week burning about 400-500 calories each time and my dieting was just using what I thought was common sense. No fast food, no pop, low fat foods, no processed sugars, basically just whole foods, fruits, veggies, lean meats, tuna, chicken, turkey etc and TONS of water easily over 100 ounces a day. Now over the past 4 months I had never counted my calorie intake until the other day like I said I was just using what I thought was common sense. I’ve been eating basically the same meals for the last 4 months and a typical day goes about like this:

6:00 Breakfast: Bowl of cereal with skim milk and a glass of orange juice. Cereals low in sugars and somewhat healthy, lately I’ve been eating Kashi go lean high protein high fiber cereal as I’m trying to focus and learn more about nutrition. I add some blueberries, raspberries, banana, whatever for some extra taste. Anyway this adds up to about 400 calories for breakfast.

10:00 Morning Snack: Apple, Orange, Banana, Carrots small snack like this on average probably only adding up about 125 calories.

12:00 Lunch: Turkey sandwich on whole wheat low calorie bread (2x 90 per slice) Low fat swiss cheese (2x 50 per slice) Honey mustard (about 10 calories) and some low fat good deli style turkey (about 50 calories) so total my sandwich adds up to about 350 calories

3:00 Afternoon Snack: Yoplait lowfat yogurt 100 calories

6:00-8:00 Dinner: This is the tough part depending on when I get to the gym or if I eat dinner at home or at my parents I’m always eating different things. Lately I’ve just been eating a tuna fish sandwich, chicken breast with some rice, canned chili, stuff like that I’m not much of a cook. Back when I started out in October I was eating a lot of frozen dinners the weight watchers, lean cuisine type ones. Anyways on average I figure my dinner is usually anywhere from 300-600 calories.

So that’s been my normal routine and all added up is about 1300-1600 depending on what I eat for dinner. Now according to sources like this ( http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm# that’s a calculator I found on the mens health magazine site) I should be taking in almost double that. I work as a design engineer and basically sit at a desk for 9 hours a day so my work day is pretty sedentary, then figure in the 45-60 minutes workout pretty much everyday. Have I been “starving” myself the last 4 months? Could I have set my metabolism all out of whack? In the last 4 years I’ve been between 200-245lbs up and down like a rollercoaster and never really educated myself I would just diet and exercise for a while and then put the weight back on long term now I’m realizing why. I am definitely devoted to keeping it off this time and have really adapted this nutrional exercising lifestyle to the point where its becoming a hobby. So please help me out with any tips or info you might have. Any good research sources or books for nutrition would be helpful too. I’m focused on losing another 10lbs my target weight is 180lbs then I want to get into more lifting and toning and building strength endurance for harescrambles this summer, not adding mass but getting toned and cut. That last 10lbs I want to get rid of seems to be left over in my gut, love handles, and ass. In the past couple weeks I joined a gym and have been doing light lifting workouts a couple days a week after my cardio. So I now have more options for cardio as well, up until now I was running on a treadmill everyday and I was pretty burned out on that. But as I’ve been getting really into researching the strength training lately I’ve realized I should get to understand nutrition a lot more first. One last thing I’ve been getting 7.5-8 hours of sleep at night throughout all of this. I’ve also started this week taking a oneaday multivitamin with breakfast and drinking a glass of v8 juice every day. The oneaday vitamin I’m taking are the weightsmart ones which is just a regular oneaday vitamin with extra b vitamins and some green tea extract added. Nothing like ephedra or anything harmful. I apologize for the very long post but I know how involved some of you guys get in this stuff and I am at a point where I needed to ask for some help. Thanks a ton in advance… I’ve also attached a screen shot of my excel spreadsheet chart that I’ve been using to track my progress just in case anyone cares pink line is my goal (steady 2lbs/week) and blue is my actual. Thanks again guys.

weightloss.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, congratulations on your progress! Forty pounds in four months is tremendous.

As for those calorie calculators, they are merely estimates of your daily requirements to maintain energy balance and do not distinguish between exogenous (i.e. food) and endogenous (i.e. adipose tissue) sources. In other words, if you've been consuming 1300-1600 calories a day (hardly starvation) and you really require 3000, what do you think is meeting the balance of your energy needs? What do you think would happen if you ate 3000 calories per day?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First of all, congratulations on your progress! Forty pounds in four months is tremendous.

As for those calorie calculators, they are merely estimates of your daily requirements to maintain energy balance and do not distinguish between exogenous (i.e. food) and endogenous (i.e. adipose tissue) sources. In other words, if you've been consuming 1300-1600 calories a day (hardly starvation) and you really require 3000, what do you think is meeting the balance of your energy needs? What do you think would happen if you ate 3000 calories per day?

Thanks for the input C3. That is exactly whats confusing me is what you pointed out about meeting the balance of my energy needs. Throughout all of this diet and exercising I have felt better then when I was on my old eating habits. I always feel energized, more alert, never tired during the day, just better in general... so I never figured there was a problem with my diet. But then lately as I started researching some things I ran across a couple of these calorie calculators which suggested almost double what I've been taking in. Researching further into calorie intake requirements I found other sources stating too little calories can damage your metabolism along with other systems of your body. So that all confusese me and I was hoping some of you experts could clear it up for me... I've read alot of your posts in this forum and consider you along with a handful of other guys the "thumpertalk health experts" so now that I'm done ass kissing any more advice would be awesome. Anyone else have any input?

One other thing when you're "calculating" calorie intake requirements how do you figure in the calories burned up exercising? Say I'm taking in 1500 calories a day plus out of those calories i'm burning 500 exercising... so all said and done I only gave my body 1000 calories total that day right? Seems like a pretty stupid question but someone should be able to clear that up for me pretty easily...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I always feel energized, more alert, never tired during the day, just better in general.
That should tell you a whole lot right there.
...I never figured there was a problem with my diet.
There isn't.
But then lately as I started researching some things I ran across a couple of these calorie calculators which suggested almost double what I've been taking in.
Like I said, you may need X amount calories everyday but how you meet those demands can vary greatly. You've been, by luck or by design, deriving your energy from a nice mixture of food and existing fat stores. If you met all of your needs strictly through the intake of calories then what need would your body have to tap into it's reserves?

As long as your protein and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) needs are met, you can go a long time on existing fat stores - the more fat you have the longer you can go.

I found other sources stating too little calories can damage your metabolism along with other systems of your body.
Define "too little" and for how long? You would have to consume little to no food for a LONG period of time (see WWII) to do any harm to your metabolism. Even then, you're only looking at a depression of 20-30% below normal. People typically don't regain the weight lost through dieting because their metabolism is "damaged". Most get fat again because they go back to their old ways of eating (i.e. too much and too much crap). As I stated in a previous discussion, the human machine is much more robust than we give it credit for.

Although, now that I think about it, I once went more than 2 or 3 hours without eating and all my muscles fell off.

I got better.

One other thing when you're "calculating" calorie intake requirements how do you figure in the calories burned up exercising?
Obviously, if you're using a machine it will (over)estimate it for you. For other forms of exercise, there are a number of formulas you can use but, honestly, I've found that type of tracking to be a major pain in the ass. What I do now is multiply one's calculated or estimated resting metabolic rate (RMR) by an activity factor and go from there. This method takes exercise into account. For example,

Activity level/Activity Factor

Sedentary - multiply RMR by 1.0

Very light activity - multiply RMR by 1.2

Light activity - multiply RMR by 1.4

Moderate activity - multiply RMR by 1.6

High activity - multiply RMR by 1.8

Extreme activity - multiply RMR by 2.0

Sedentary means doing nothing all day (sleeping and watching TV).

Very light activity means doing nothing physical. Working a desk job or on a computer and not performing any type of physical activity during your day.

Light activity means having a non-physical job (desk, computer, etc.) but performing some sort of physical activity during the day (e.g. above average walking) but no hard training.

Moderate activity means having a non-physical job, performing some sort of physical activity during the day, and including a daily workout session in your routine.

High activity means either training plus a physical job or non-physical job and twice-a-day training sessions.

Extreme activity means a very physical job and daily hard training.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! I'm a moderate activity person (I think.)

So if I'm taking a two or three days off a week from exercise, how would that classify me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey! I'm a moderate activity person (I think.)

So if I'm taking a two or three days off a week from exercise, how would that classify me?

Here are some other activity factors you can use:

1.200 = sedentary (little or no exercise)

1.375 = lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week)

1.550 = moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week)

1.725 = very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week)

1.900 = extra active (very hard exercise/sports and physical job)

So, you would multiply your RMR by 1.55.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again C3 you've been a big help clearing some of that stuff up. I picked up a nutrition book yesterday its "nutrition for dummies" sounds pretty cheesy but the "for dummies" books have been around forever and from the ones i scanned through at barnes and noble this one seemed to have the best info so hopefully I can learn what I need to know from that to put together a more balanced diet and make sure I'm getting everything. Has anyone ever read "the abs diet"? I've been researching on the mens health forums lately and that book is mentioned all over there. Granted it was written by one of the mens health editors might have something to do with that but it was on the new yorks best seller list and there is some extremely impressive results on the mens health forums from regular joes who used the book to design their new lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

R6Rider2001, we are very similar. I am 5'10 and was about 240, in 4 months I have lost 35lbs using a very similar diet. For dinner I like to take frozen stir fry mix and nuke it (not using the sauce). Then I also have some grilled chicken strips that are frozen which I also nuke. I mix them all up and add a little spice and some 0 calorie butter spray. Its not bad and it takes about 5 minutes to make. I get the stuff at sam's club.

I have also been doing intervals at the gym. Normally I first do about 20 minutes or so on the bike at a fat burning heartrate. Then I do 4 chest workout, quickly, 3 sets each. 1st set I try to get between 12-15 reps, then wait only about 5 seconds and do another set, as many reps as I can do. wait 5 seconds again and do the 3rd set. If I get 15 reps for the first set and 10 or more for the 2nd and 3rd, I will increase the weight. So I will do my 4 chest workouts, then jog, or do somekind of intense cardio for 5 minutes. Then I do 4 shoulder workouts the same way. Cardio again, then 4 tricep workouts. Another 5 minutes of cardio and then 2 ab workouts. This normally takes me about an hour and fifteen minutes. I also have an interval workout that I do using my Back, legs, and biceps. I try to do monday, tuesday intervals, wednesday cardio only, thursday, friday intervals again.

It has worked good for me so far. If any of the experts (which I am not) on here see anything wrong with my workout, I would love to hear your opinions. It has worked for me, but I am sure it could be improved in some way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow thats kinda wierd our diets and workouts are so similar. The last couple weeks since I got a gym membership I've been doing light lifting with my cardio to get into the weight training routine. I've been doing Monday - upper body (incline chest press, shoulder press, seated rows, lat pulldowns, peck flyes, bicep curls, tricep extensions) Tuesday lower body - (leg press, leg curls, adductor machine in and out) Wednesday hard interval cardio on a stationary bike for an hour that will kick your ass! the program in the bike i use is 1 minute low 30 seconds high it ups the resistance for 30 seconds and i pedal as hard as i can till that 1 minute cool down comes back and repeat that for an hour its the hardest workout I've ever done I can barely stand when I'm done. Then thursday friday I repeat the weight routines. Saturday intervals on the bike again and let my body rest sunday. Ive been doing my reps to build strength on my upper body and lower body stuff I've been doing high rep low weights to just tone up a little I've got plenty of muscle on my lower body already. I played around setting up some interval circuit type routines with the weights and cardio but it gets hard at the gym with people around so I've just been doin half an hour fat burn cardio for warmup then the regular old lift rest lift rest kinda stuff for now takin it slow keeping on weight machines until I get used to it more. My chiro also recommended that I stay on the weight machines to get form down before going to free weights. I had a lower back compression fracture in my L1 vertabrae about a year ago from snowboarding and he couldn't stress enough taking my time, and he recommended no squats or dead lifts probably ever just to be safe. Ive got core work outs the chiro gave me too "the only way to a strong back is a strong core" is what it all comes down to so i picked up a swiss ball this weekend to incorporate into my daily stretching and core exercises. Thats enough typing for now I'm gonna have to pick up some stir fry and try that idea sounds good...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know where I could go to have a body fat composition test done? Would I have to find some kind of a clinic for something like that or go to a nutritionist or trainer? Or can a regular doctor do it? I was thinking about having one done to compare to like 6 months or so from now as a benchmark. I saw the calipers on a couple websites but being that I have no idea how to do it that probably wouldnt be very accurate. I'm thinking a professional test might get pretty spendy though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know where I could go to have a body fat composition test done? Would I have to find some kind of a clinic for something like that or go to a nutritionist or trainer? Or can a regular doctor do it? I was thinking about having one done to compare to like 6 months or so from now as a benchmark. I saw the calipers on a couple websites but being that I have no idea how to do it that probably wouldnt be very accurate. I'm thinking a professional test might get pretty spendy though...

they have one of those little machines at my gym in which you enter your height and weight and then squeeze the handles. I dont put much stock in it. But according to it, from 245lbs, to 210lbs, I went from 26.4% to 17.6%. But I have serious doubts that it is accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
they have one of those little machines at my gym in which you enter your height and weight and then squeeze the handles. I dont put much stock in it. But according to it, from 245lbs, to 210lbs, I went from 26.4% to 17.6%. But I have serious doubts that it is accurate.

Pete's found they aren't accurate if you do it right after you work out. He'll go from about 10% before to 3% after a workout. Weird, huh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×