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Confused about exercise and adding calories

kmbabywtkmbabywt Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
A few years ago I saw a nutritionist who told me to eat 1200 calories a day, do cardio 4 times a week, and strength train 2 times a week in order to lose weight (I had about 7 or 8 pounds to lose). I'm in a similar situation now, trying to get the last of my baby weight off but I'm confused about the fact that I get the starvation mode warning when I put in the exercise. Isn't the point to burn off more calories than you take in? How can I really do that when I keep adding calories to make up for the working out (not that I don't love that idea!!!)?
Any advice would be great. I'm new here and am loving this site!

Replies

  • kmbabywtkmbabywt Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    A few years ago I saw a nutritionist who told me to eat 1200 calories a day, do cardio 4 times a week, and strength train 2 times a week in order to lose weight (I had about 7 or 8 pounds to lose). I'm in a similar situation now, trying to get the last of my baby weight off but I'm confused about the fact that I get the starvation mode warning when I put in the exercise. Isn't the point to burn off more calories than you take in? How can I really do that when I keep adding calories to make up for the working out (not that I don't love that idea!!!)?
    Any advice would be great. I'm new here and am loving this site!
  • VegasBabyVegasBaby Member Posts: 49 Member Member Posts: 49 Member
    As I understand it, you want to NET 1200 calories a day. So, if you don't workout....1200 is probably where you want to be. When you work out (say you burn 300 calories) you have a 300 calorie deficit. In order to make up for that, you want to "eat back" your calories. You are only consuming 1200 calories. If you (too often) don't "eat back" your exercise calories you will dramatically slow your metabolism and make it very hard to loose any weight in the future.

    I am guessing your nutritionist maybe put you on that diet for a short time? I can't imagine doing that diet for long...unless you are a wrestler trying to loose weight quickly and/or temporarily :)

    I was very confused by this at first too, but after researching it acutally makes sense. I hope I helped shed *some* light on this!

    Good luck!
  • charley078charley078 Member Posts: 48 Member Member Posts: 48 Member
    No, you should never burn more calories then u take in, ur body will start eating off its own fat and that could be very dangerous.... u may become constipated and have problems with your kidneys, iron & potassium level will drop, your metabolisim can drop and ur body will feel full all the time and when u do eat, u can become majorly bloated.... no one wants to go through that..... I know from experience...
  • LadyZoeLadyZoe Member Posts: 36 Member Member Posts: 36 Member
    You should go here http://www.fitwatch.com/qkcalc/caloriedeficitcalculator.php (or any other calorie deficit calculator out there) to see what your actual (sedentary) calorie deficit is.

    The goal deficit on assigned to you after you input your goals for daily food intake is lower than your actual (sedentary) deficit by quite a bit.

    Which would be where the weight lose comes from.

    As far as I can gather 1200 is just the minimum level you can deprive your body of with out going into 'starvation mode'.

    Generally a body needs 1800 or more daily to keep everything running efficiently when you don't have an active life style.

    Any exercise you do burns off some of what you have consumed and earns you more food. (To keep you at the 1200 level, or what ever your deficit to lose is set at. It keeps your body running properly so that you'll be healthier and when the weight comes off it will be more likely to stay off..

    Just remember: Your weight loss deficit (minus) exercise (equals) new remaining calories to consume.
    It's basically a lesson in maintaining a specific level. Your food levels change when you go from sedentary to active. Being active means your body needs more fuel to run, especially when you are trying to lose weight or get into better shape.

    (ie: 1200 calories consumed (minus) 345 calories burned (equals) a new total: 855 calories consumed. Which is 345 calories under the original 1200 goal because you are no longer sedentary during that time. A flat 1200 (no subtracting happening) is the goal for some one NOT active)

    Here's an example of my calorie deficit using the calculator link I sent you a link to :

    _________________________________________
    Weight-186
    Height- 5'2"
    Age-33
    Level of Activity- Sedentary
    _________________________________________
    Total Daily Calorie Needs: 1912 (this is the amount that maintains your current weight)
    Calorie Deficit of 500: 1412
    Calorie Deficit of 1000: 1200
    _________________________________________

    Since my goal deficit on MFP is set to 1200 calorie intake daily it means that I have a deficit of 1000 calories by just sitting around sedentary.

    Also, if I change my activity level from Sedentary to Moderately Active these are my new results:
    _________________________________________
    Total Daily Calorie Needs: 2470
    Calorie Deficit of 500: 1970
    Calorie Deficit of 1000: 1470
    _________________________________________

    I don't know if any of this was helpful, but I wish you all of the luck in the world! Your going to do great!
    ~Christina
  • eonblueeonblue Member Posts: 35 Member Member Posts: 35 Member
    so basically you must fullfill the caloric intake alloted for your weight and height including any extra calories you have burned off working out in order to lose weight. it makes sense but it does seem confusing since the calories you have burned working out need to be replaced with food. defeats the purpose if you just look at it munerically, but the body works in mysterious ways!

    p.s. i have been sticking closely to my required intake on both workout and non workout days, i may have gone over or under once or twice but basically ive been on target, but my weight loss is minimal. its getting discouraging.
  • kmbabywtkmbabywt Member Posts: 11 Member Member Posts: 11 Member
    Thanks for all the input. We'll see how it goes!
  • Skinnier_MeSkinnier_Me Member Posts: 341 Member Member Posts: 341 Member
    Well, I must consume 1200 calories a day(w/o exercising) and burn 450 calories a week(30 minutes 3x a week) so I can lose 1.1 pounds a week. It's working so far. But most of the time I burn so much more a week and the pounds are not shedding faster.... I'm just satisfied by my 1 pound a week.
  • hjcopelandhjcopeland Member Posts: 69 Member Member Posts: 69 Member
    You MUST "burn" more calories that you take in in order to lose weight, period.

    However, note that "burn" doesn't imply "work out".

    Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of calories you would burn if you stayed in bed all day. This is somewhere between 1200 and 1800 for most people (hence the 1200 calorie "floor").

    What this site does is calculate your BMR, then takes into account your normal daily activity level and your weigh loss goal.

    If you want to lose 1 pound a week, you need to have a 500 calorie-per-day deficit ("burn" 500 more calories than you eat). Your "Daily Goal" for calories in your food diary already takes into account this 500 calorie deficit, which is why if you work out, those calories are added to your daily goal - to keep your daily deficit at 500.

    For example: Say your BMR is 1200, and you are an active person who burnes 800 calories per day at work. You could eat 2,000 calories per day and your weight would stay the same. If you told the site you wanted to lose a pound a week, the site calculates a 500 calorie deficit, and your daily goal for calories would be 1500.

    If you work out and burn 250 calories, your daily goal would be raised to 1750 to maintain that 500 calorie deficit (that is implied in your daily goal in the food diary). Theoretically, you could (and some would argue, should) eat the extra 250 calories and still lose your pound a week. In my opinion, if you eat less, you are that much better off calorie-wise.

    An important note: None of this is an exact science. Everyone's metabolism is different, and you have to figure out more precisely what yours is to really target your weight loss more specically. This site makes that much easier by giving you an easy way to track exactly how many calories you eat and how it correlates to your actual weight.
  • Skinnier_MeSkinnier_Me Member Posts: 341 Member Member Posts: 341 Member
    I just posted what's on my goals page.

    I'm confused as it is with all this info so I just do what the site tells me to... period.
  • lillola96lillola96 Member Posts: 16 Member Member Posts: 16 Member
    charley078 wrote: »
    No, you should never burn more calories then u take in, ur body will start eating off its own fat and that could be very dangerous.... u may become constipated and have problems with your kidneys, iron & potassium level will drop, your metabolisim can drop and ur body will feel full all the time and when u do eat, u can become majorly bloated.... no one wants to go through that..... I know from experience...

    Sorry to drag up an old post and I hope you're still a member - exactly what you described is happening to me and I don't know what's going on but and worried! Can you tell me more?
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Member Posts: 2,747 Member Member Posts: 2,747 Member
    @lillola96 - what is happening to you? Are you eating too little? Is your body having issues as a result?
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 15,879 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15,879 Member
    Or are you saying, @lillola96, that you are constipated and feeling bloated?
  • lillola96lillola96 Member Posts: 16 Member Member Posts: 16 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Or are you saying, @lillola96, that you are constipated and feeling bloated?

    Yes - and not losing a tiny bit of weight. 3 weeks in and the scale is the same every day, always feeling bloated and very hard to go to the toilet. I'm miserable and can't work out why.... your comments sound like what is happening to me...
  • Hanibanani2020Hanibanani2020 Member Posts: 522 Member Member Posts: 522 Member
    lillola96 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Or are you saying, @lillola96, that you are constipated and feeling bloated?

    Yes - and not losing a tiny bit of weight. 3 weeks in and the scale is the same every day, always feeling bloated and very hard to go to the toilet. I'm miserable and can't work out why.... your comments sound like what is happening to me...

    How many calories are you eating daily and how much fibre?
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 15,879 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15,879 Member
    lillola96 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Or are you saying, @lillola96, that you are constipated and feeling bloated?

    Yes - and not losing a tiny bit of weight. 3 weeks in and the scale is the same every day, always feeling bloated and very hard to go to the toilet. I'm miserable and can't work out why.... your comments sound like what is happening to me...

    There are several things that can lead to constipation, and yes, if you have constipation, your weight will tend to stall on the scale even though fat loss may be hidden behind the effect of that retained waste.

    First, If you are going very long, consult your doctor. How long depends on what's normal for you, but if it's been 3 days with literally no movements, I would call the doctor's office and at least talk with them. (I know it can be embarassing, but it's important, and they're used to hearing about that sort of thing.) If you're experiencing pain or cramping, and not even passing gas, call and go see the doctor soon.

    If it's not quite that bad, but still unpleasant, then there are things you can try. I won't get into over-the-counter medications (or herbs that do similar things but are less well-regulated!), but will talk about the dietary side.

    There are a few things that affect constipation, for most people:
    * Fiber
    * Hydration (water and other fluids)
    * Fats
    * Sometimes micronutrients

    Discussion:

    Most women should be getting 25g of fiber most days, as a minimum. A common problem we see on MFP is someone who goes from a highly-processed-food diet straight into a "clean" diet, fully plant-based, or something like that. That change in eating increases fiber intake suddenly, and the body can have trouble adjusting. (That's especially true if one of the other factors is not ideal). It's better to gradually transition, so that fiber increases gradually over a period of a week or two. It's OK to use something like psyllium husk or metamucil if you're short on fiber, but better in the long haul to get it from food IMO.

    You want to be drinking (or consuming in fruit, soup, or other water-containing things) enough fluids so that your urine looks pale yellow. If you're taking a lot of vitamins, especially B vitamins, or getting lots of them from food, then it may be bright (almost neon) yellow, and still be OK. But it should not be dark, tending toward brown-ish yellow. If you decide you're short on fluids, it would be better to drink some (a good sized glass) with each meal, and through the day, versus just gulp a whole bunch all at once.

    When "going on a diet", many people think they should cut calories by cutting out as much fat/oil as they possible can. That's a bad plan. Fats/oils are needed for smooth digestive throughput, hormone health, cell wall health, and more. Something in the range of 0.35-0.45g daily per pound of body weight would be a good target. On the digestive front, though it's not literally true, getting enough fat sort of "greases the pipes" and helps you defecate. If you've been undereating fats, add some healthy fats to get up to the recommended level. Any fats or oils can help, but some expecially nutritious sources are nuts, seeds, avocadoes, olive oil. You can eat the higher-fat foods, or use more oil in cooking or on veggies/salads.

    Those above are the biggies, in most cases. On MFP, among dieters, the "high fiber all at once" and "not enough fat" ones are commonest, IMO.

    Beyond that are a few things that are less common, less scientifically documented, but that some people find helpful.

    Some people find that they're not getting enough dietary magnesium. Some find that probiotics help (I'd suggest first trying to get them from foods, like live-culture yogurt, raw sauerkraut or kim chi, kefir, unpasteurized vinegar, or that sort of thing, but there are also good-quality supplements available. (Look for one from a mainstream company, not one that makes a lot of extreme promises.) Some people find that regular exercise, especially exercise the moves the midsection, is helpful.

    If you've been logging at MFP, you can immediate see (on your diary page or nutrition/reports areas) whether you're getting 25g of fiber daily, and whether you're at least hitting your MFP fat minimum. You can look at your urine color, and think about whether you might be underhydrating. (No need to go crazy with water, though.) You probably know whether you've dramatically and suddenly increased fiber (veggies, fruits, whole grains). Those are areas you can adjust, and see if it helps.

    But, to repeat myself, if there's pain/cramping, and it's been multiple days since a bowel movement, consult your doctor.

    Best wishes for a solution soon!
  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 791 Member Member, Premium Posts: 791 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    (I know it can be embarassing, but it's important, and they're used to hearing about that sort of thing.)

    Yep, for the doctor this might even be one of the nicest bowel-related issues they have to consult or treat all week. A colleague’s daughter is a doctor and apparently needed moral support from mom when she had a patient wih a toilet brush lodged and stuck up their butt and realized this wasn’t even an unusual patient. The toilet brush was up there with the brush side up.
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    If you decide you're short on fluids, it would be better to drink some (a good sized glass) with each meal, and through the day, versus just gulp a whole bunch all at once.

    My husband used to work at an amusement park during hot summer days and his job involved daily 10k+ steps outdoors in the heat. They were given pretty strict instructions to drink water every hour because the body can only absorb so much at once, and the rest will just flush through with little to no hydrating effect.
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