Does teaching burn calories?

Hi everybody!
I am back on the forum after a period of silence during which I lost my first 10 kg (30 more to go!)
Many things have changed during summer, both in my personal and professional life. More specifically, I started a new teaching job and although I am loving every second of it, I am also finding it quite stressful and challenging.
It was all fun and relax during summer, and this immensely helped me staying in my calorie deficit. Now my daily routine has been disrupted and I am finding sticking to my 1200 calories nearly impossible. Basically I wake up at 6am, get out at 7, drive for an hour and teach to 6 classes of adorable but very chatty teenagers for about 5 hours daily. After that I drive back home and I find myself STARVING. I have a small snack during my 10 minutes break and I drink plenty of water to battle the boiling hot weather (I live in southern Italy) and yet when I get back home I am wrecked and super hungry.
I have tried to keep eating mindfully and choose healthy food, but I definitely ate more than usual. For this reason, I got discouraged and stopped counting my calories this week, I felt so guilty that on Sunday I couldn't step on the scale as I usually do.

How do you think I should tackle this? Does teaching burn enough calories to justify my hunger? Should I just start eating more?

I am looking forward to your advice!

Replies

  • herringboxes
    herringboxes Posts: 256 Member
    Of course you’re starving, you’re eating a small saladto power you through your day! Shift more calories (including protein) into your lunch as opposed to starving all day and binging at dinner. You’ll feel so much better!

    Best of luck!
  • COGypsy
    COGypsy Posts: 1,123 Member
    Since you're currently at 1200 calories, I'm guessing you have your activity level at sedentary? That should definitely change to reflect your actual daily activity with the new job. That will give you more calories to work with.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,505 Member
    Being on your feet all day certainly burns more calories than a desk job. You'd be justified in setting your activity level to "Lightly Active," still adding in for workouts.

    You could also get a FitBit, Garmin, or Apple Watch to estimate your activity level. (I use Garmin.)
  • briscogun
    briscogun Posts: 1,135 Member
    I used to work VERY long and hard hours (14 hours/day) and lost a lot of weight. You just have to plan in advance and don't put yourself in bad situations where you are starving and/or making bad decisions.

    So wake up a bit earlier if you need the time to eat and prepare meals for the day, or do it the night before. I brought my lunch and snacks with me to work and kept them in a thermal lunch sack with an ice pack (I eventually upgraded to a very small fridge for like $80). So if I got too busy or had no time to eat I always had food and snacks on me that fit into my goal.

    Just plan it out ahead of time, even pre-make your meals for the week if you have to. Once you get into the habit it'll be easy.

    Good luck!
  • Lildarlinz
    Lildarlinz Posts: 276 Member
    I’ve been on the 1200 calorie diet.I work as a hca so I’m on my feet 13 hours a day 3 days a week
    Some days are easier than others…instead of snacks eat protein :)
    I have a bacon and egg sandwich on my days off and find that fills me up quite a lot but it’s hard because when I wake up at like 5.30 I’m not hungry so I buy protein bars :)

    It’s hard because it’s a very restrictive diet.there’s days where I miss my cheesecake and chocolate…but when I’ve got to my 1/2 way point I’m going to up my calories so I lose 1lb a week xx
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,236 Member
    With just 30lbs to go, a huge calorie deficit might be too big for you. Considering MFP has given you 1200 calories this seems to be the case. Do you teach your kids to be patient when it comes to learning, waiting for the bell and everything else? Please apply this to yourself as well. Eat enough, chose a calorie deficit that fits your current weight and an activity level that fits your movement throughout the day. Again, eat enough to feel good and energetic. And then: Patience.
  • EssePi117
    EssePi117 Posts: 10 Member
    Of course you’re starving, you’re eating a small saladto power you through your day! Shift more calories (including protein) into your lunch as opposed to starving all day and binging at dinner. You’ll feel so much better!

    Best of luck!

    Thank you for your reply! I usually have a salad with some proteins for dinner, at work I just have a short break so I have a cereal bar or a fruit, while for lunch I am tending to exaggerating with the portions... For examples today I had some rice with vegetables, but I ate more than I usually do since I was so hungry. Unfortunately there's no way I can have a longer break at work so I can only squeeze a small snack in there.
    In the afternoon I have a fruit or some yoghurt with almonds, or something along those lines.. Sometimes I crave sweets but the most difficult meal is lunch, when I get back from work.
  • EssePi117
    EssePi117 Posts: 10 Member
    COGypsy wrote: »
    Since you're currently at 1200 calories, I'm guessing you have your activity level at sedentary? That should definitely change to reflect your actual daily activity with the new job. That will give you more calories to work with.

    Thank you for your reply! Yes, the 1200 calories were calculated with a Sedentary activity level, even though I have a 1 hour walk every day with my pup. For a few weeks I went up to 1300 kcal and still lost weight, but of I ate more than that the scale got stuck. That's why I was afraid to weigh and measure myself last Sunday!
  • EssePi117
    EssePi117 Posts: 10 Member
    Being on your feet all day certainly burns more calories than a desk job. You'd be justified in setting your activity level to "Lightly Active," still adding in for workouts.

    You could also get a FitBit, Garmin, or Apple Watch to estimate your activity level. (I use Garmin.)

    Thanks for the suggestion! I also suspected that the hunger is due to me standing and talking for 5 hours every morning. My doctor told me not to trust fit watches because they tend to overestimate the burnt calories, is it true in your experience?
  • EssePi117
    EssePi117 Posts: 10 Member
    briscogun wrote: »
    I used to work VERY long and hard hours (14 hours/day) and lost a lot of weight. You just have to plan in advance and don't put yourself in bad situations where you are starving and/or making bad decisions.

    So wake up a bit earlier if you need the time to eat and prepare meals for the day, or do it the night before. I brought my lunch and snacks with me to work and kept them in a thermal lunch sack with an ice pack (I eventually upgraded to a very small fridge for like $80). So if I got too busy or had no time to eat I always had food and snacks on me that fit into my goal.

    Just plan it out ahead of time, even pre-make your meals for the week if you have to. Once you get into the habit it'll be easy.

    Good luck!

    I also meal plan, I cannot take any more food to school because I wouldn't have the time to consume it, but I still try to prepare something for the day, in the evening. I am also very lucky to live near my mom's house, so when I am in a rush I can stop by and there usually is some basmati rice, or a bowl of boiled vegetables, or something healthy I can grab without feeling guilty. I have issues with portions, or maybe I add that extra apple I didn't factor in my calorie count, maybe a popsicle... You know, small things that still take me beyond the 1200 calories mark.
  • EssePi117
    EssePi117 Posts: 10 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    With just 30lbs to go, a huge calorie deficit might be too big for you. Considering MFP has given you 1200 calories this seems to be the case. Do you teach your kids to be patient when it comes to learning, waiting for the bell and everything else? Please apply this to yourself as well. Eat enough, chose a calorie deficit that fits your current weight and an activity level that fits your movement throughout the day. Again, eat enough to feel good and energetic. And then: Patience.

    I totally agree with what you say and honestly have no rush, I am just trying to listen to my body and adjust my needs to my new routine... Unfortunately however, I still have 30 kg to go! I wish it was just 30 lbs! :smiley:
  • PAPYRUS3
    PAPYRUS3 Posts: 13,259 Member
    I am not teaching this year, but teach at an elementary school (grade one).

    Yes! Teaching burns a heck of a lot of calories and the opportunity to eat anything once I was there sometimes hard to fit in.

    Always walking - always on your feet - the stress - supervision, etc.,

    I too would have an hour commute each direction. I would be there sometimes until 5 pm so wouldn't get home until late. On the weekend I would prep out all my dinners and portion them out for easy prep. Such a chore each weekend...ugh😖

    I would take commuting time to nibble on portioned-out protein/fiber-rich foods (hard-boiled egg(s)/nuts/fruit/grainy crackers, vegetables).
    Most days I would pack 'bento style' lunches. Again, portioned out individual items that were easy to just snack on.

    Congratulations on your first (?) year of teaching! It'll be great:) Good luck🙂
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 5,919 Member
    edited September 2023
    EssePi117 wrote: »
    Being on your feet all day certainly burns more calories than a desk job. You'd be justified in setting your activity level to "Lightly Active," still adding in for workouts.

    You could also get a FitBit, Garmin, or Apple Watch to estimate your activity level. (I use Garmin.)

    Thanks for the suggestion! I also suspected that the hunger is due to me standing and talking for 5 hours every morning. My doctor told me not to trust fit watches because they tend to overestimate the burnt calories, is it true in your experience?

    My watch (Garmin) underestimates my calorie burn. I know at least one person here who has a watch of the same brand and finds that her watch underestimates her TDEE severely.
    The worst cases of inflated calorie burn I've seen have been from Fitbit.
    Anecdotal in both cases, of course.
    In any case: yes they can overestimate, they can also underestimate. I know my watch underestimates because my weight doesn't follow the projections based on its estimates - that's really the only way to know (real life data trumps estimates, whether they are general formulas like on MFP or individualised estimates from fitness trackers).
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,505 Member
    EssePi117 wrote: »

    You could also get a FitBit, Garmin, or Apple Watch to estimate your activity level. (I use Garmin.)

    Thanks for the suggestion! I also suspected that the hunger is due to me standing and talking for 5 hours every morning. My doctor told me not to trust fit watches because they tend to overestimate the burnt calories, is it true in your experience? [/quote]

    Garmin works pretty well for me (an average-sized man) for incidental calorie burn (walking around at work). It also gives calorie estimates for workouts. It's great for running and walking, OK for cycling, and a bit low for swimming. Mowing the lawn (with all the vibration) completely confuses it. I hear good things about Apple watch, which has a lot more features, but requires more frequent charging. In general, I've had a very good experience with my Garmin watches.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,284 Member
    EssePi117 wrote: »
    Being on your feet all day certainly burns more calories than a desk job. You'd be justified in setting your activity level to "Lightly Active," still adding in for workouts.

    You could also get a FitBit, Garmin, or Apple Watch to estimate your activity level. (I use Garmin.)

    Thanks for the suggestion! I also suspected that the hunger is due to me standing and talking for 5 hours every morning. My doctor told me not to trust fit watches because they tend to overestimate the burnt calories, is it true in your experience?

    With the good brand, it's a statistical estimate based on well researched data.

    They'll be pretty close for quite a few people, noticeably high or low for some, and surprisingly far off (still either direction) for a rare few.

    I may be the person Leitchi is referring to, but I don't know because there are others.

    My good brand/model tracker underestimates my calorie needs by 25-30%, maybe 500 calories daily. That's as compared with 8+years of calorie logging and weight tracking, during which my body weight has behaved as expected based on my own history-based calorie goals.

    My tracker average is around 1700, and if I stick to my standard calorie banking 1850+exercise, I lose very slowly. (Exercise is usually 300-ish.)

    IMO, it's not so much that the trackers are inaccurate as it is that not everyone is exactly average . . . and the reasons why may not be obvious.

    If the purchase is not a stretch for you, try one. After a month, you should have enough data - accurate food logs, weight changes, and tracker data - to know whether the device is reasonably accurate for you or not.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,151 Member
    Your routine sounds too punishing for it to last long enough for you to make it to your goal.
    Long term adherence is much more important than speed of loss.

    AND you are not necessarily learning much about your maintenance as you're separating weight loss from maintenance, yet it sounds like you do have a substantial amount of weight to lose. i.e. you're a person who might benefit from using the time that you're using to lose weight to explore how you will operate in the future.

    CALORIES are what counts for your weight loss. Healthy food, of course, is probably healthier than unhealthy food. Just because something is health--an apple for our teacher--doesn't mean that it has no calories and it should not be logged. You are depriving yourself of knowledge.

    Knowledge of how many calories you actually need and knowledge of which foods help you feel more satiated/satisfied/happy/better to be eating at any particular point of time and the caloric costs associated with each of your choices.

    Weight loss is followed by maintenance and if you were the perfect intuitive eater who never over-eats you wouldn't be on MFP trying to lose weight (and neither would I, just to be on the up and up here!)

    You've mentioned a couple of "triggers" issues. That you don't lose when you eat 1300 Cal and that your watch may overestimate the calories.

    Weight fluctuates and fluctuates for many reasons. Weight loss that is at a reasonable rate (and by that I mean in the 0.5 to 1lb a week range) can EASILY be overshadowed by daily weight fluctuations. Unless you are using a weight trend app or web site (and even then), you really need much more than a few days or weeks in order to determine whether you are losing at 1300 or 1500 or 1700 Calories.

    In fact, if you are losing visibly at 1200 chances chances are very low that you're not losing anything at all at 1450 calories as that would represent a slow down of only 0.5 lbs a week :) But, of course, having items missing from the logs makes 'precise" calibrating harder and this is NOT the end of the world as the precision is not even necessary in order to lose weight.

    What IS necessary is to be doing something that is sustainable and starving to the point of distraction isn't.

    Some of the suggestions could be modified for you to have a pre-measured/pre-logged amount of veggies and or fruit that you consume during your car ride on the way back home. This may give you a couple of hours to go home and relax and prepare dinner and stave off the setup of going into dinner ready to fall down.

    A device may over estimate your calories. The beauty is that you don't actually have to do any adjustments in order to run the experiment. Within four to six weeks you will already have a good approximation of how close your watch is tracking your calories given your consistent logging habits.

    Maybe you can eat 100% of the adjustment your watch will give you or maybe you can only eat 10% of it. But it all probability you will be able to comfortably continue to lose while eating more than 0% of it and long term your goal should probably be to eat the "most and best" you can while losing what you want to lose.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,379 Member
    Like teaching, you need to PLAN out your eating. Make your food the day before or with some they make it on a day off and then just bring it with them to work.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 35+ years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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