Weight Loss
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Calories In V.S Calories Out - Proper Caloric Deficits

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For the love of well sauced buffalo wings....

Even as a personal trainer, things are tough folks. Fat loss is not easy for the majority of people out there trying to lose body fat and maintain a lean healthy body. Let me be frank when I tell those out there willing to listen that there is no other way to drop the fat. You must make better nutritional choices than a Pogo and Poutine for lunch, and you have to get off your butt more often than to run up to the corner store to check your Super 7 numbers. (most of us are even lazier, and we use the web for that). This includes me, as I work hard every day to stay in shape, fuel my body with only the best nutritional choices as I also help others achieve their goals.

Sorry folks, there are no magic pills, no magic diets, and no ab blasters will help you and your body lose fat. It's hard to accept sometimes isn't it?

Fat loss is about the ratio of calories in vs. calories out. Plain and simple. But what most magazines and infomercials do not tell us is that in order to achieve our fitness goals the ratio is actually 70% nutritional and 30 % exercise. But that does not mean starve yourself and do as little exercise as possible. It means eat sensibly, have 5-6 smaller meals per day to balance the blood sugars, that will also keep the metabolism stoked, and exercise on a regular basis, which should include strength training to maintain and develop lean muscle mass. This too helps boost your metabolism.

So why am I here? Simple, because I need assistance in losing fat. "But you're a personal fitness trainer for God's Sake!"

Yes, but I was naughty, and I did not keep track of my daily calories like I tell my clients, and lo and behold, I discovered that I was not eating ENOUGH calories!!! YIKES... that is not a good thing folks. Here I was thinking I had it all under control, yet, I could not understand why my body fat percentage did not drop over the course of the past 4 weeks. WHat had happened was I was starting to plateau, so I changed up my exercises and even dropped some calories, but I did not keep a watchful eye on those calories and now I have discovered that I am actually sabatoging my efforts by not eating enough calories.

Folks. Remember to only drop your caloric intake by 500 calories per day via a proper nutritional plan and exercise. If you increase your caloric deficit by over 800 calories per day nature has a way of protecting the body against excessive weight loss. At first you will lose alot of water, a little fat. Then suddenly you stop losing. You've plateaued, because your body now refuses to give up the fat, regardless if you want it off for summer or not.

It is a scientific fact that when your calorie count suddenly drops, your body will compensate for the fact by reducing your metabolic rate. As a result, you'll need fewer calories to maintain your weight. This explains why some people lose weight up to a point and then cannot lose any additional weight, no matter how hard they try. Friends, this is one of the most dangerous myths in the weight loss world. You literally have to eat yourself thin, not starve yourself thin.

Know your BMR, know your activity level and know your caloric needs, and monitor them closely. You will achieve!

The key is really that the number of calories you eat directly affects your metabolism. If you don't eat enough calories, your body goes into "famine" mode. Fooled into believing you cannot find enough to eat, your endocrine glands PURPOSELY slow your metabolism to conserve energy. Slowing the metabolism means burning less fat. Is this really what you wanted to do??? It sure isn't what I wanted to have happen. Counting Calories is an important aspect of fat loss. Thank goodness for such resources as www.Calorie-Count.Com.

So here I am, on board to eat myself thin baby!!! Where's the Tofurkey.....(yuck!)
Edited Dec 30 2007 07:05 by nycgirl
Reason: 12/11/07: Restored content as agreed with coachdee; 12/30/07: Unstickied
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wow... thanks for an awesome post!  Everybody tag this...

Um, the Tofurkey stuffing is good, but I can't in good conscience recommend their snausages.  ewwww.
I added you as a friend because I have a feeling you can sort this inner battle out for me.... So, my normal expenditure is 1800 calories and I exercise to burn 800 more for a total of 2600 calories. Your saying I need to eat NO LESS then 1800 calories to stay out of starvation mode?
My God, Dee......I'm floored here.  You might actually be able to answer a question I have had for over seven years that nobody seems able to answer.  HOW do you exercise with disc problems??  I read your profile, and see that you have experienced some of what I am experiencing regarding your back health.  Any guidance would be incredibly appreciated!
I have cervical degenerative disc disease and I exercise at the pool by taking Aqua Aerobics. And...I work as hard as I can as often as I can (3x a week usually) in the yard gardening, raking, digging, hoeing, planting...and I walk walk walk my dog.
And-coachdee is right! You must eat enoungh for your BMR! I was only eating 1200-1500 cal a day and not losing, even exercising. Went to Weight Watchers and found I should be eating 1750 per day to lose weight. Sooooooooo I lost 5 pounds so far...eating more. Go figure. I am 5'9" and weigh 220 and want to be 160. I have a long weigh to go...but I am working hard in the yard and walking the dog...eating healthy but more. My biggest downfall is bread and wine and cheese ;0) Italian - Sicilian heritage with Swedish...
Another testimony!

When I upped my workouts to every day, I still consumed 1200-1300 calories on average - and wondered why I was stuck for two weeks.

Last week I made sure to keep my calories to within 500-800 of my expenditure and I'm down nearly 2.5 pounds.  Eating enough food is really important!
coachdee - I think you write the best posts on this site.  So I used your formula and my BMR came out to be 1435.  Does that sound right?  Here are my stats...

weight - 126lbs

Height - 5.5 feet

Age 28

Now I was not sure which activity level to pick.  I picked  very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725) because I work with a trainer 1 day a week doing fuction and strength training and then I ususally run or do the eliptical 3 other days in the week (45 minutes on difficult, usually burn around 500 cals according to the machine) and then one more day of stength on my own.

So that got me  up to 2475 cals per day.  Is that how much I need to maintain where I am at?  I would love to get to about 120-125 but I just cant seem too.  I thought maybe it was because of muscles (muscles weighing more than fat thing).  I just measured at 17% body fat.

Can you shed some light on all of this for me?  Thanks.

if you would like feel free to email me directly.
Oh my god coachdee, thank you so much for those formulas! I've been exercising like crazy and watching my diet but not seeing the great results. I was about about ready to drop some serious money on a dietician, but I think maybe I've just been undereating. THANK YOU!!!
Thanks so much.  That helps tremendously.

I definitely do fluctuate my caloric intake with in reason, like you suggested.  I would totally agree about measuring as opposing to weighing.  I have been weighing in actually because it sort of makes me feel good.  Silly maybe but it keeps me motivated.  I need to do measurements.  I did them about a year ago and of course have not record of them and that was a year ago.

I think that my % of carbs, proteins and fats are about right on track.  I usually consume a lot my carbs through fruit and veggies and whole wheat or oats.  I have to have my rolled oat in the AM.  I do eat brown rice as well.  I never really bought into the "low carb" craze.  It just seemed silly to me and I tried it once for about two weeks and I had zero engery.  So nixed that quickly.  Just not for me at all.

thanks so much.  I am definitetly going to tag this post.  Unbelievably helpful!
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coachdee, thanks for this excellent post!  i did the calculating, and see my BMR is 1953 which is just 3 over what calorie-count gave me.  i am just beginning to go into maintenance mode, so it will take some time to get back up to the calories i need.  i've been at about 1650 for three+ months, lost 24 lb.  i plan to stay in light- to moderate activity and it looks like i may need 2500 or more calories.  for now i'm trying for 2000.  i just don't want to over-do it!  would you recommend a gradual increase, or just go ahead and add them all at once?  i go to curves three times a week, walk >1 mile a day, and do gardening and housework, and play the cello, for my activities.  i am almost 60, 5'10, 158lb.
May 02 2006 15:30
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I have a quick question.  I just calculated the amount of calories I should intake to lose weight (-20% from BMI)  and I came up with 1,658.  I am on a strict prepared food plan of 1200/day (seattle sutton).  Now could I give myself a little treat like a frozen yogurt or something kinda bad to boost up my calories or should it all be a healthy intake of calories?  On the weekends I do vere from the diet a bit for social things.  Have a couple drinks sometimes or go out for a dinner or a lunch- to satisfy any cravings I had during week.    Could the weekend mini indulges be a detriment to my weightloss?  And should I boost my calorie intake a little bit?  I can't seem to get below 158! :(
OMG! This is my first post after finding this site accidentally and then immediatley joining! This site is a God-send, and couchdee, you have answered a question I have asked myself after 4 weeks of working this calorie counting! Now I don't feel so bad after what I thought was over eating last night. I will take your advice to heart and I would like to add you to my friends list, as soon as I find out how to do just that.... you were the answer!

I have been at a plateau for 3 1/2 weeks. According to your post I should be eating around 1500 cal a day to achieve a 2lbs loss each week. I have been at 1200 a day and working out 4 days a week at a moderate level. I currently weigh 186 and would like to be 140-145. Does 1500 cal seem right to you??

Hey Coachdee,

I have been struggling with the calories in and calories out for sometime now. Most days I have a calorie deficite of about 1300-1400 calories. At first I was eating about 1200 calories...and I didn't see the results that I thought I should be getting. Then I tried cycling. 1200 for 5 days and 1500 for 2 days. But still not getting the results I want to see according to the magic formula. Last week I had a deficite of over 10,000 calories. I thought that I would see about 2.5 pounds off. So now I am taking your advice and eating more. I am planning on upping my calories to 1500 to 1600 calories a day.

By the way: I am 5'7 ½, 26 years old and weigh 240 pounds.
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