/ Is 1200 calories (net) enough? And what afterwards?

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TheDrunkenBakers - on 01 Feb 2013
As some may note, Ive been on a weight loss plan for the last 6 months, with a blip around Xmas.

For the last three weeks I have limited intake to net 1200 cals i.e. if I have been for a long run then this will offset the additional calories.

My food has been a mixture of high protein, vegetables and cutting down on the refined carbs. Not eating really late and plenty of exercise - I can even notch up 250 cals by taking the dog for two brisk half hour walks per day. In a nutshell, I'm measuring everything.

My aim is lower BMI, 165 lbs - currently 169.6 at today's weight in.

When I reach 165lbs I want to lean up but not get any lower in weight.

I'm think that if I increase to 1500 net afterwards, increasing the weights slightly, but not too much as I want to have a sensible size for running and climbing.

What are your views.
VS4b - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Sounds very low to me, but i'm much bigger, so maybe just have a different frame of reference!

I've been looking into a similar approach and found that the weight loss sites recommended calcualting your Basal Metabolic Rate, then adding your activity as a multiplier and then taking 20% off making sure that your calorie intake does not drop below your BMR. However, when i do this (from a baseline of being a proper fatty who does a fair bit of cardio) the amount of calories it shows me needing to eat to be above BMR feels hugely high...

Quick google says at 165lbs and 5'10 (no idea how tall you are of course!) your BMR would be 1700ish, add on cardio, then take off 20% would mean more like 1600 than 1200 as a target intake. But as i said i'm not totally sold on this concept yet even though it does make sense in principle...
Edradour - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

No expert but if you are losing weight whilst limiting yourself to 1200 calories then it is not 'enough' otherwise you would maintain a steady weight.

It'll probably be a bit of trial and error to get the intake right when you reach your target weight but varying a couple of kilos either side isn't going to cause you any problems and you'll get a feel for it after a while. I don't think counting everything is going to be a good long term plan as you risk becoming obsessive about it which isn't fun for anyone. Everything in moderation and be as active as possible is my goal and I maintain a fairly steady weight and physique (weight training bores me).

Good effort on the weight loss - well done.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to VS4b:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers)
>
> Sounds very low to me, but i'm much bigger, so maybe just have a different frame of reference!
>
> I've been looking into a similar approach and found that the weight loss sites recommended calcualting your Basal Metabolic Rate, then adding your activity as a multiplier and then taking 20% off making sure that your calorie intake does not drop below your BMR. However, when i do this (from a baseline of being a proper fatty who does a fair bit of cardio) the amount of calories it shows me needing to eat to be above BMR feels hugely high...
>
> Quick google says at 165lbs and 5'10 (no idea how tall you are of course!) your BMR would be 1700ish, add on cardio, then take off 20% would mean more like 1600 than 1200 as a target intake. But as i said i'm not totally sold on this concept yet even though it does make sense in principle...

I'm 5' 8" (and a bit :))

Take today as an example though. My day started with a dog walk so that can take my cals to 1330 plus a sub 25min 5k later today together with some more strength training which will burn over 400 cals so I am looking at calorie intake to closer to 1650-1700. on a long run day I am eating closer to 2200-2400cals.

I perhaps sound more obsessive than i actually am. Its easy to estimate weights of food when you've done a but of proper weighing and I will allow myself half a bottle of red tonight so I'm not losing out on all the fun as well.

I was just tired of being overweight and now my BMI, according to NHS online, is 25.82 from closer to 27 at Xmas, which I'm really pleased about.
mrchewy - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: I've been keeping a closer watch on what I actually weigh since I got back from the Alps in July (not dieting however)- I tell people I'm 80kg at the moment, as over any week it can vary between 78 and 81 kilos. Most mornings it's about 80. So I wouldn't get too hung up on your actual weight as it can vary massively - nearly every trainer mate I know says that once your down to the weight you'd like to be, just look in the mirror to check if you're getting leaner and then measure that waistline.
mrchewy - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: ... and good work on the weightloss and lower BMI. Might be an idea to watch your bodyfat rather than your bmi if you want to get leaner - the us navy have some formula that appears to be pretty accurate.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to mrchewy:
> (In reply to TheDrunkenBakers) I've been keeping a closer watch on what I actually weigh since I got back from the Alps in July (not dieting however)- I tell people I'm 80kg at the moment, as over any week it can vary between 78 and 81 kilos. Most mornings it's about 80. So I wouldn't get too hung up on your actual weight as it can vary massively - nearly every trainer mate I know says that once your down to the weight you'd like to be, just look in the mirror to check if you're getting leaner and then measure that waistline.

That's exactly what I plans to do although the downside to all this is that all my work suits no longer fit me properly around the waist. Also more nicer to get into medium and 'fitted/tailored' shirts again.
Jamming Dodger on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to mrchewy: I try to go off what I look like rather than my weight because I have muscle from running and cycling. I know though if I go much under 8st12 I start to look a bit skeletal on top which is when its time to stop.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamming Dodger: If I was that weight, people would start to worry. I'm quite broad so just under 12 stone is where Im aiming at.
Milesy - on 01 Feb 2013
You will loose more by eating more. If you restrict your energy intake your body will start to conserve itself and burn existing energy at a slower rate. This is how we survived periods of poor food as hunter/gatherers. This has been shown in a clinical environment.

You will burn more fat overall by eating your full daily requirements as a healthy diet and then adding exercise on top. You will also have more energy to exercise longer and harder
Rollo - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
>is 1200 calories enough?

No. I'm pretty sure that the reccommendation would be running at a deficit of around 500 kcal maximum.

Of course as has been pointed out above calorie counting (both what you eat, and what you expend - basal rate + exercise) is not an exact science.

You're probably better off experimenting and varying dependent on weight loss and energy levels.

Since you are doing the calculating thing though, let's follow that through: Assuming:

Basal Rate: 2500kcal/day
'net' intake: 1200kcal/day
all weight loss due to fat
energy density of fat: 9g/kcal

Then: deficit = 1300kcal/day
or loss of 1300/9 = 144g.fat/day
or 1kg per weeek

So weight loss of 1kg per week which is probably too much to be in any way sustainable. Also in practice not all weight loss will be fat, some will be protein which has a lower energy density making for even more weight loss.

NUMBERS!!
Jamming Dodger on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers: Ha, well im of the fairer sex and 5ft3 so if i weighed 12 stone id probably need extricating from my bedroom by emergency services.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to Jamming Dodger: Ah yes, I see that now from your profile.

VS4b - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Rollo:
The deficit should not be from bmr but should e from your tdee which is your bmr + your other activities. Ii think you're supposed to remain above your bmr. Although I am far from expert.
Dave Perry - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

So the only activity you do all day is:-
a) Take dog for walk
b) strength training.
That it?

You burn calories up just by being alive. What about the calories you use during the rest of the day and night. Add those in too.
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TheDrunkenBakers - on 02 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Perry:

Nope, depends on the day.

Today Ive done feckall but tomorrow will be bouldering, Monday long run, Tuesday strength and circuit, Wednesday, short quick run etc. There's no particular routing, just what feels right on the day.

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