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Weight Loss
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Upping Cals to lose--Success Stories!

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I want yours!  I'm a bit discouraged about upping calories to lose weight : (.  I was eating under 1000 calories/day (more like 800) for two-ish years because it is the only way I knew to lose weight.  Never had an ED.   

Now, with a college graduation upon me, I want to be able to eat healthy and live a 'normal' life not restricted by food.  I'm currently at a healthy weight but still could stand to lose 3-5lbs.  I upped the cals [for my new year's resolution] to about 1200, but I'm trying to shoot for 1500 (very active lifestyle) and hopefully reach ~1600 (training for triathlons...).  Do you guys eat back all your exercise calories (burned 1200 yesterday on a bike ride....). 

I was just looking for your success stories for encouragement!!  I haven't lost anything since January (but haven't gained either).  Am I doing it all wrong, or should I stick it out?  Graduation is in 5 weeks and I want to feel great about myself : )

I'm a vegetarian/nearly vegan and eat tons and tons of fruits/veggies and a good amount of nuts!

Thanks for your help, you guys rock! : )

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well, I have always been overweight. Never obese or deathly over, I was just never a small little girl (or a small big girl!) and at 14 I decided to really try to lose weight. I have never worn a bikini to the beach and it is soo hard to find bathing suits that are flattering these days, so that was my goal. I didnt want to cry in stores any more just because I didnt look good in any bathing suit. I love the beach and didnt want to be afraid to walk around in my bathing suit and be afraid of people saying or thinking "She looks terrible! I started at 156 pounds and now 2 years later I am at 127 pounds!! It took a lot of sweat and tears and it was very hard to stop eating tons of food that I used to comfort myself with over anxiety, which was another setback to me losing the weight. But I over came that and I have to say I feel fabulous!

I havent been in a bikini yet, but I feel that if I work hard enough for the next 2 months before June, I can accomplish my goal!!!!

Good luck to you, by the way!!! Its wonderful that you want to try a trianthlon one day and I think you can do it!! WOOOO!!! :)

If you can burn through an entire day's calorie allowance in ONE training session, you can get away with eating like a horse! If that's typical for you, you really need to raise your calories to support the activity, and you're NOT going to gain weight from it.

If you're training for triathlons you need a lot more than 1600 cals a day just to keep your engine running.   If you routinely undereat you're risking missing out on vital nutrition, plus your muscle strength will be compromised.  

When I was trying to lose a few lbs I did very well on 1400 cals a day.  But I'm a 40+ sedentary office-worker, not someone with a very active lifestyle.  Getting impatient one week I dropped to 1200 and lost precisely nothing for a fortnight.  Increasing back to 1400/1500 I instantly lost 2lbs.

If I were you I'd start at 2200 and take it from there. 
I don't necessarily eat back all of my exercise calories, but I do try to make sure my daily deficit never exceeds 800 calories.   I went through a period of eating 1200 and didn't lose, but once I increased to 1600-1800, the pounds have been coming off steadily.  If I have a super-active day, I'll gladly eat 2000, and the weight still comes off.
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I got married 3 years ago - maintaining 130-ish nicely (5'5") and felt great.  My husband is 6'5" and basically ate whatever he wanted - and I lost my ability to normally control my food intake - long story short - This past January 1st, I stepped on the scale to see 158.8! (My husband had gained 40 pounds, too.)

Started dieting in January at 1200 calories a day - 20 minutes treadmill daily (minimum) and weights 3 days.  Lost a ton the first week, but it fizzled out to .8, 1, etc.

In February, I decided to up it to 1300, and we went out to dinner for the first time for a "normal" night - nothing over the top, but not restictive.  I had my biggest lost since my first weigh in then, and it continued to come off.

In March, I went to 1300 days when I could only do treadmill (4 days), and on the days I did weights and additional cardio, I went to 1400.  What they call zigzagging.  Also, in March, one weekend night each week, we have gone out to eat.  Again, normal meals, but not counting calories.  Easter Sunday was probably a bit over the top with mom's cooking!  But I think the "shock" of normal food, plus the zigzagging really keeps the body guessing and keeps it from going into starvation mode.  In March, I was still losing.

After 3 strong months, I am down 21.4 to 137.4.  Not too shabby, and no real plateau that I have hit.  I have yet to have a gaining week, but have had a week where I remained the same.  April will bring about yet another increase to the calories.

I really think that by upping the calories, zigzagging them, and having a 2000-2500 calories night, it's great for the system.

I think as active as you are, you should have at least 1800 calories a day.  1200 is too restrictive.  Your body needs the calories to keep up with you!

Good luck to you!

I don't have a success story (yet! but I should as I have just recently increased my cals =D) but I just wanted to say thank you SO much for posting this...It's really helping me out a lot too!
My success story is a bit different from what you're asking but it worked for me. I was restricting to about 1200 cals a day (my daily expenditure usually isn't more that 1600 - i'm really short) and was losing okay but then started getting terrible cravings with occasional mini-binges. I realized I needed the freedom of eating whatever I want every so often so I don't feel deprived or like I'm "cheating". Every fourth day or so I work a 30 hour shift and that's the day I eat whatever my heart desires (if work allows). I find I do much better doing that than religiously cutting cals every single day. I still try to log it all and am always surpised that I never go over 2000 in that 30 hours. It works pretty well so far for the emotional side of eating. I've stopped weighing in, though, because I want to turn my focus away from the scale for a while.

Good luck. And I have to agree that training for a triathalon you need to match your cals closer (not cut) otherwise you won't gain the muscle you need to swim/bike/run a good race - you'll consume it instead.

aw cool! Thanks guys!  I love hearing of other people's successes!  It gives me so much hope that it can happen!! : )

Funindasun--I can't wait to see your pictures when you get your first bikini! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

birghtestblue and Lambrogio thanks for the stories, good know someone else is finding success with it : )

Deflepfan--yay! we can do it

Punkybrew- I'll definitely keep that in mind when I pull an all nighter studying this week.....and I agree with stopping weighing in I wish I had the will power for it

I used to try so hard to burn what I had put in, especially January of this year. Like you, it was out of ignorance not an ED. I did lose weight but not in leaps and bounds. The scale went down half-heartedly but what I succeeded in, was looking sick and feeling weak and I still wasn't at my ideal weight. Everyone was telling me to stop losing weight and I wasn't even halfway there!  Nowadays, I try to target my BMR (1350) although on most days I go for about 1500-1600. My burn meter is 1580 at sedentary so I try to exercise for an extra 300 calories. My deficit is usually between 250-300calories. I reached my goal which was 119 (which should be my maximum weight) but I range from 117-119. The good news is since I upped my calorie intake, I hit my target with less struggle and for the last 3 days, I realise I don't look so washed out anymore. My cheeks are filling up, my bones are not sticking out and my weight is not going up! Now, more than ever, I know that all I need to do is give my body what it needs (by not denying it) and everything sort of falls in place.

It is not that easy Wink but you wanted a success story. It gets better when you stick with it.

It's not a statistical sample... but I started out on 1200 calories and only ate more than that if I was active (religiously keeping my 1000 calorie deficit in place), and when I plateaued at 240-odd pounds I looked up my bmi and found out that I wasn't eating nearly enough... so I raised my intake to 1400 and the weight started coming off nicely. This last couple of weeks I've plateaued again (at 224/5) and I've just raised my calories to 1600 and it seems to have done the trick because the scale's gone downwards two days in a row and I'm finally past the '4' on the scale! If 1200 calories wasn't enough for me when I was a totally sedentary person, I hate to think of someone very active trying to live on it.

This has been the most motivational post i've read yet! I love to know that I don't have to starve to be skinny lol. I'm currently doing a trial week to see if I am eating enough cals or too much. I haven't been consistent with logging and haven't lost any weight since I started on this site! I was feeling a bit down today, but this post has helped my spirits and I am going to continue my journey.

Thanks everyone!Laughing

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wow how did you eat that little for so long?! and how did you not gain when you started eating 1200??

haha evemarie i did gain most of the 25lbs I lost back when I started eating 1200....thats why I posted this : )

I want to lose/maintain at a caloric intake that is actually sustainable.  I ate that little by constantly zig zagging my way down and my metabolism got used to not needing much I guess. 

I just want to be able to eat like a normal person [and without feeling guilty about sitting down to a 500calorie meal]

As always, thanks for the stories you guys are wonderful <3


Ok, according to my "account page"  I have actually eaten 1200 calories...and I am guessing that at the top of that box, where is says "Eat Meter daily goal= 2400" means that I should be getting 2400 calories a day....

On the activity side it says I have burned 2040 calories and the "Burn meter estimate" is 2240.

Am I to conclude that the site is suggesting that I take in 2400 calories and burn 2240 a day (that would make me gain weight RIGHT!)  But what I am actually doing is eating in the ball park of 1200-1300 and burning around 2000...shouldn't I be skinny by now?

I am a little confused by the meters and what they mean.

Bottom line: if you are training for anything or trying to build muscle (which makes you burn more fat) then you need to eat enough calories so your body has something to build with. Training means getting stronger and you can't get stronger without fuel. If you are trying to lose weight and don't care if you lose muscle in the process then huge deficits might work... for a while. Not enough cals tells your fat cells to tell your bone marrow you aren't getting enough fat and you can get osteopenia or osteoporosis. You will store fat in strange places become vulnerable to disease, meess up your endocrine system and overall can do a ton of harm. If you burn every cal you eat (and then some) you are essentially starving and the results aren't pretty. Even Kate Moss eats a few meals a day ;)

renaedenbow - you need to click on account then look at "total calories consumed" and subtract that from "total burned calories" if you want to know how many calories you cut.

Wow yeah... as somebody who has no idea how much to eat (5'2 but rather active) this thread has been really motivational and awesome!

Yesterday I ate 1700 calories and burned 2750 - and my weight dropped another whole POUND overnight! Eating more than a bare minimum really DOES work!

I took an 7 month break from actively trying to lose weight (still counted calories kind of but ate a bit too much junk =P) , and put on 5lbs. But before that, I was eating 1200 a day and working out and not being able to drop below 108 (btw-im not anorexic, this is dr Ok'd - I'm meant to be teeny to remove the extra bit of fat.)

So when I started up again rightaround the middle of February I decided to zig zag. Basically what I do is eat completely random numbers 1000, 1500, 1600, 1300, 1400. About once every 1-2 weeks I eat one complete cheat meal that probably costs me 1500 calories. I do this because in order to live life and go out and be 18 years old (or whatever age) - sometimes I need to be able to splurge and by working it into my plan and STILL being able to lose weight, I am creating healthy habits. If I know i'm going to be cheating, I try to eat light beforehand, if I don't - I don't worry about it because I am still losing weight and this is great for my metabolism.

On the higher days I try to pair that with exercise. I try to make the days I can't fit exercise in my lower days. Weight training is very important (2-3 times a week) for me because I want to make sure the weight loss is not muscle loss.

I keep a log and add up my deficit weekly and it usually comes to about 2000 a week.

In the past month and a half I have gone from 113+ to 106.8 this morning (after a 1400 + weights day).

My biggest goal with doing this is being able to maintain it the next time I have a long time boyfriend and still be able to have fun with him and NOT gain weight like I did last time. No one wants to gain back the weight - that's why you have to do it in a way that works for your lifestyle. 1200 cals a day, every day, is not sustainable.

Wow, great stories guys! Thanks for the motivation....

Just wanted to report that after a week of upping the calories.... drum roll please.....I gained 1.2lbs : (

I'm going to give it one more week and let my body adjust before making any more drastic changes.  For everyone else though, keep up the great work!

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