- 02-20-2006, 06:01 PM
I'm starting a new workout schedule and my boyfriend is concerned that I'm overtraining. I'm 22/female....and I have bout 30 lbs that I need to lose. I'm eating 1200 calories a day. I wake up at 4:45 am and do an hour of low intensity cardio on an empty stomach. I go to work and sit at my desk all day (I try to climb the stairs a few times through the day)..then 3 days a week I go for an hour high intensity spinning (cycling). I also lift weights 4 days a week. Let me know what you guys think.
- 02-20-2006, 08:18 PM
how much do you weigh? no BS.
1200 cals is most likely too low, unless you're a 4' tall midget (like glen). i would guess you're starving yourself and your body is fighting to save every little bit of fat that it can (survival instinct). post your diet, in detail, that's the only way anyone can truly help you.
- 02-21-2006, 11:41 AM
Yeah Beelzebub has a point about your calorie level, 1200 sounds pretty low - unless you're very small in stature. A radically low calorie intake can lead to a chronic fatigue that could be confused for overtraining. Have to see the breakdown to be more helpful.
As for actual overtraining, we would need to know how you lift weights. High volume with heavy weight going to failure (ie high intensity) can be good for getting burned out. Given that your AM training is low intensity and you drive a desk at work, a moderate intensity weight routine should be ok. Nevertheless sometimes it is good to take a day off, say once per week, to let the body catch up.
02-21-2006, 11:46 AM
The days your doing morning cardio and evening cycling you're most likely burning more then this just in those two hours of work. Starvation diets are terrible for long term goals.
02-21-2006, 01:39 PM
lol, i'm not trying to starve myself guys, I'm just trying to eat just enough so that i can start losing. I've been eating clean and working out hardcore since jan. 1st and i've only lost 3 lbs! I did this last year and only had a 10 lb loss over a 4 month period, at that point i got kinda bumbed and didn't hit the gym as much as i should have and gained everything back. Anyway...details:
I weigh 186 lbs, 5'6" tall, most of my weight is in the butt and thighs. I'm still pretty toned though.
Breakfast: 3 egg whites and a 1/2 cup of wheat chex
Midmeal: protein shake in 8 oz fat free milk (or a balance bar)
Lunch: 1/2 can of tuna and a spinach salad
Midmeal: 1 cup fat free cottage cheese (or 1 cup fat free plain yogert)
Dinner: 1/2 large chicken breast w/ green beans or broccoli
Exercise: I work out Monday - Thursday. Monday and Wednesday I do not lift weights (these days I go cycling). Friday is my off day, then I work out Saturday and Sunday.
60 mins low intensity cardio (ie: walking @ 4.1-4.3 mph pace). I do this on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
Evening: Cycling 60 mins 3 days a week, yoga one night a week, volleyball one night a week, and then elliptical or step mill one night.
Weights: Normally I lift weights after my evening workout. This is fairly moderate. I've gained a little strength since jan 1st...but still it's hard for me to lift too much.
Tri/Chest days: 3 sets on eachwith 12-15 reps
Bi/Shoulders: 3 sets each @ 12-15 reps. Shoulders are very weak so i only do about 5 lbs for lateral raises
Legs: 3 glute sets, 3 sets quads (alternating gludes exercises with hips every other leg day). My legs are very strong so I these days are usually pretty intense.
Abs/Back: I usually randomly put this together as I go.
I would appreciate any/all help given. Thanks!
02-21-2006, 03:37 PM
It sounds to me like your calorie numbers are not adding up properly.
Here's some numbers that I looked up for your meals:
Breakfast: 3 egg whites and a 1/2 cup of wheat chex = 51+90 = 141 kcal
Midmeal: balance bar (chocolate) = 200 kcal
Lunch: 1/2 can of tuna and a spinach salad = 96 kcal
Midmeal: 1 cup fat free cottage cheese = 123 kcal
Dinner: 1/2 large chicken breast w/ green beans or broccoli = 142 kcal
This is counting your listed veggies as negligible calories. The total is 702 calories, not anywhere close to 1200.
If you are doing the exercise but not losing the weight you are getting more calories than you think. Do you drink coffee - take cream and sugar? Are you putting dressing on your spinach salad? Fry your eggs/chicken in oil? Mayo on your tuna? Do you drink juice, sugared sodas, or alcoholic beverages? Everything has to be accounted for...
02-21-2006, 04:08 PM
I included everything. I don't drink coffee, i haven't been cooking with oils, no mayo in tuna (i use mustard)...no alcohol or sodas. My diet does change, there are days when i'll eat 1/2 a whole wheat pita with egg whites for breakfast, stuff like that...but i always keep below 1200.Originally Posted by Nitrox
02-23-2006, 04:00 AM
Hate to add to your frustration but it sounds like you just dont have a large enough calorie deficit. You are making some strength gains so you're not burning up muscle (ie from lack of calories) and you're not losing weight that fast.
With your activity level and 1200 calories per day, you should be seeing fairly dramatic weight loss. From the info given I'm pretty sure that you need to reduce calories further from what you are taking in.
02-23-2006, 07:05 AM
Reducing cals too much is not the way to go IMO. As posted earlier, your body will try and preserve itself and start to break down lean body mass. The gain in strength could just be from acclimation vs gaining muscle. You may consider adding some refeeds in at least once a week. Use starchy carbs but avoid high fats at the same time like pasta or potatoes (not fried). On the days you do resistance training, do it before cardio so your glycogen is used to move the weight and your cardio will transfer you into fat burning mode quicker. Also would recommend more carbs in the diet, your body and fat loss goals will thank you, just make sure they are low to moderate on the GI. What if any supps are you taking? ALA, ALCar, green tea, EFA's etc all can play a role in keeping blood sugars more consistant, nutrient partitioning and much more.
02-23-2006, 10:29 AM
lol, DO NOT reduce cals any further. if anything, i'd bump them up to ~2300 and start from there. 1200 gives you no where to go. 186lbs with 1200 cals is not smart.
first thing i suggest is quit eating half-amounts. here, i've copied your diet and made a few changes as i believe they would benefit.
Breakfast: 6 egg whites and a 1cup of wheat chex
Midmeal: protein shake in 8 oz fat free milk (or a balance bar)
Lunch: 1 can of tuna, whole wheat bagel, a spinach salad
Midmeal: 1 cup fat free cottage cheese, 1 cup of fruit of some sort
Dinner: 1 large chicken breast w/ green beans or broccoli, tablespoon of flax oil
Before bed: protein shake with 1 tablespoon flax oil
02-23-2006, 01:47 PM
OK...bare with me So i'm not losing weight now, but i'm going to increase my calories?
What are refeeds? SO the days that i do resistance training i should eat something like a baked potatoe (without the toppings)? Or maybe some corn since that's a strchy carb? how soon before my workout should i eat it? If i workout after work around 5:30, is it ok to have a baked potatoe for lunch?
also.."ALA, ALCar, green tea, EFA's etc all can play a role in keeping blood sugars more consistant, nutrient partitioning and much more" I'm not taking anything right now, I do drink a few cups of green tea a day...what's other suplaments should i take?
I know it's a lot of questions...but I'm really excited to get this done as right as possible.
02-23-2006, 02:04 PM
Beelzebub is right, your stuck in low calorie land and have no place to go. You *may* gain a slight bit of weight in the short term by bumping up your calories but you will also dramaticaly increase your metabolism and set yourself up for future fat loss. I've seen several of Bobo's clients gain an initial 7-8 lbs. before dropping 35 lbs. of pure fat. Their calorie levels were way too low going in and the only way to fix that is to eat your way out.Originally Posted by Elizzard
02-23-2006, 02:05 PM
Originally Posted by Beelzebub
I agree with this. DO NOT reduce cals further. Yes you need to refeed. When you operate at a calorie deficit for so long, your body will adapt and you'll plateau. It happens to all of us. By bumping your cals back up for a couple weeks, (eating very clean of course like you have been doing), will get your body back into burning body fat.
Your routine looks great, you just need that refeed.
02-23-2006, 05:09 PM
Sorry I'm going to have to stick to my guns on this. If by 'plateau' you mean that you will cease to lose body mass, then that statement is incorrect. If you lose weight and fail to readjust your calories downwared to account for reduced BMR and energy expenditure then yes you can stop losing weight but that is because you will no longer have an energy DEFICIT.Originally Posted by scott72
By definition a calorie deficit implies that you have LESS energy coming in than you do going out. Laws of energy conservation state that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form to another (with an efficiency less than or equal to 100%). So if you expend 2500 between Base Metabolic Rate and work done (physical activity) but only consume 1500 cals then your body has had to catabolize 1000 cals worth of bodymass. Where else is your body going to get that energy?
If you maintain a consistent calorie deficit, by constantly adjusting for a declining BMR and expenditure reductions due to lower bodyweight, you WILL continue to lose overall body mass (fat and/or muslce).
If the phenomenon that you guys are describing actually occurs then theoretically humans could not waste away and die from starvation because they would just 'plateau'.
In Elizzard's case she has only been dieting for 6 weeks and she has lost 3 lbs - which isn't much of anything. That suggests an average daily deficit of 250 kcals. I think it is highly unlikely that she is going to lose more weight by eating more calories. 1200 kcals IS low for someone her size so IMO either her normal BMR is really low (so low that I would expect symptoms) and/or she is not getting accurate calorie info for the foods in her diet and/or she is not burning as many calories as she thinks.
http://www.shapefit.com/basal-metabolic-rate.html has some relevant info on BMR and weight loss for laypeople.
02-23-2006, 06:23 PM
[QUOTE=Nitrox]Sorry I'm going to have to stick to my guns on this. If by 'plateau' you mean that you will cease to lose body mass, then that statement is incorrect. QUOTE]
Thats not what I meant. The term "plateau" is generally used to describe a sudden stop in fat loss. Of course she'll still lose mass while in a calorie deficit, but it won't be fat the whole time. Eventually her body will adapt, and the fat loss will stop, hence a plateau. What will happen then if she continues with the deficit, or worse, increases the deficit, then the body will have start breaking down muscle mass to feed itself.
In one of your posts, you said 1200 cals is too low for her to be operating at and that she may even be around 702 cals after you figured up her food intake, but in another post you said she should drop lower than that..This is where myself and many others disagree. In my experiences, if the fat loss suddenly stops, then you bump cals up to maintenance for a week or so, then drop back down slowly..This resets the metabolism and the fat loss will kick back in again...A lot of discussion has taken place on refeeds, they work.
02-23-2006, 07:08 PM
Fair enough but she said she has only lost 3 lbs since Jan 1st. I am assuming that is 3 lbs of overall bodymass; in which case she has never really started to lose fat so she can't be at a plateau. Perhaps if that 3 lbs happens to be the fat portion of her losses and there is another, say, 10 lbs of muscle loss that she did not mention then you guys have a point.Originally Posted by scott72
I didn't tell her to eat less than 700 calories; I suggested that she eats less than she is now. I was trying to politely say that it looks to me like she has a calorie accounting problem. From the info that she has provided my educated guess is that she is getting more than the 1200 kcals she thinks.Originally Posted by scott72
Again I don't disagree but as I said her diet really never successfully started. If she had lost 15+lbs since Jan 1st and then levelled off then I might suggest a refeed then re-analyzing her BMR and diet numbers to get the appropriate deficit going. However 3lbs since Jan 1st is very little - almost a maintenance diet.Originally Posted by scott72
02-23-2006, 09:35 PM
1200 / 186lbs = 6.45 times her bodyweight in cals. WAY TOO LOW. her body is fighting to survive at this point and is going to hold on to every ounce of fat and water that it can. those 3lbs lost are undoubtedly muscle. evolution at it's finest. we can survive longer with higher fat storage than muscle storage, and right now her body is freaking the **** out.
elizzard, fine, let's say i'm stupid and wrong. prove me wrong. try the calorie bump i suggested PLEASE. give it a month and stop using the scale (it's the worst indicator of fat loss). use the mirror and measuring tape. hell, use how your jeans fit. just try it. your metabolism has slowed down to a halt simply for survival mode and it needs to be rectified. dropping cals any lower is wreckless and pointless, unless you want the appearance of a starved anorexic.
02-24-2006, 10:03 AM
If you are truly only getting 1200 cals you're not eating enough and your body is going into starvation mode.
But...if your cal counts are incorrect, it'll be hard to tell. Using fitday.com to track cals and macros helps a lot.
Usually,12-15 x bw = cals is a good place to start. Then divide up your macros (p/c/f) , then adjust macros/cals as needed. Most people seem to be advising you to a re-evaluation of your diet and true food intake, and that's a good place to start.
If your cals are too low, your "food burning fire" doesn't have enough "fuel" to burn and get your calorie burning furnace going. To get your metabolism and fat burning "hot" again, you need to "throw more wood on the fire"....er so to speak.
02-24-2006, 11:59 AM
As funny as you think this sounds, it's true. When I was in HS I was very overweight, and after much reading, I created a diet based of some writings of Will Brink. My parents were always "How are you going to lose weight eating so much?" I asked myself the same question sometimes also.
Needless to say, it worked incredibly and it helped me get into the best shape of my life. You need to eat to lose weight.
Originally Posted by Elizzard
02-24-2006, 08:27 PM
I'll try eating more, although mentally it's going to be hard. And FYI Nitrox, I'm not lying about my calroie intake...why would I? I use Fitday to count my calories and I'm very particular about what goes in my mouth. Thanks so much for all of the tips and suggestions. Beelzebub, I'll keep you posted on the calroie bumb up...this whole "refeed" idea...does that mean i bumb up my calroies for only a week and then go back to what i'm doing now?
02-24-2006, 08:42 PM
no, you don't go back to where you are calorie wise.........ever. 1200 is low, REAL low. glen can get by with it because he's 80lbs at 4'.
clarification: after the initial adjustment, let it stay there for ~4 weeks and see what happens. adjust from there as necessary
02-24-2006, 10:45 PM
I'm with Beelz on this one. You can lose a substantial amount of fat while taking in a good amount of calories. Once that stops working, take some away, and maybe increase your expenditure a bit. If you are already drastically low, there is nowhere to cut cals once you plateau.
Have you had a physical lately? If so, post up your Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (Thyroid function). That may help us identify if metabolism is in fact part of the problem. It would be interesting if you could have follow up bloodwork done to see if the increased cals does in fact boost your metabolism.
02-25-2006, 02:00 PM
I actually went in to my doctor 2 weeks ago and had my thyroid checked. My TSH is at 1.82 (normal range); however my dr. said she'd treat my symptoms and gave me .25 mg of Synthroid (and hopefully after this 6 week trial she'll increase the dosage)...i'm also taking wellbrutron so that I don't get so depressed about not losing weight.
Another question (Beowolf or Beezelbub)...I LOVE to cook...and when I do cook, most of my meals are from Bill Phillip's "Eating for Life"...can I continue to eat those meals or should I strickly eat tuna and baked chicken? I still watch my calories and make adjustments when I'm cooking (ie: I don't use cooking oils, always sub fat free and whole grain products), but it's real hard for me to eat tuna every day. Sometimes when I'm burned out on tuna I'll cook with ground turkey breast (99 % fat free) and put that on salad, I like to put grilled chicken in a whole wheat pita at lunch time...is this ok?
Will drinking a protein shake before bed make me gain weight? I've always been told to not eat 2 hours before sleeping.
02-25-2006, 02:57 PM
I think most of the stuff in Eating for Life is probably fine. Also check out the recipe subforum here. I made this contribution: Delicious Tuna Burgers
Damn good, too
The key is to make sure the meals you are eating are fitting in with your overall nutrition plan. Try to make as many carbs as possible of the Low GI variety. And make sure you have a substantial fiber intake. I would shoot for at least 30g per day, preferrably more.
The meals you're describing sound fine, but I'd try to keep the oil out of them.
Eating before bed is fine, just make sure it is something like cottage cheese, or a pure protein shake. You don't want any amount of carbs before bed (though I don't think this has been proven). Slow digesting protein (casein) before bed will nourish your muscles throughout the night, thus making you more resistant to catabolism, and the shutdown of metabolism that will come with muscle loss.
02-25-2006, 05:14 PM
I don't see anywhere where I accused you of lying. My suggestion was that you might be doing something incorrectly with weights, measures, and values. I won't bother elaborating any further - pretty much moot at this point.Originally Posted by Elizzard
My intentions were not to piss you off, just trying to point out one of the possibilities. Sorry if it didnt read as intended.
02-27-2006, 10:34 PM
with your height/body weight, if you are not losing weight at 1200 cals a day something is wrong. you might want to have your thyroid checked.
02-27-2006, 10:35 PM
with your height/weight, if you are not losing weight at 1200 cals a day something is wrong. you might want to have your thyroid checked.
02-27-2006, 11:35 PM
03-01-2006, 03:00 AM
im agreeing with beelzebub. cutting anymore cals will only hurt you.....unless you are going for the skin and bones sickly look.
just something to add....ive recently read somewhere that the eating before bed puts on weight myth is false....that as long as you are intaking the proper cals over the course of your day it doesnt matter if you eat your last meal 2 hours before or 2min before sleeping....now even with this info would i recommend eating 20 snickers bars then hitting the sack? no, but i think with the type of foods you are intaking currently you wont have anything to worry about.
03-01-2006, 02:18 PM
Height (in cm)167.64
Weight (in kg85)
Age (in years)22
Your moderate excercise BMR is: 2254.4308
Your intense excercise BMR is:2621.68824
You should be eating 500 cal less than your BMR to loose weight, but not go into starvation mode.
Keep your food ratio at 40/40/20 for carbs/protein/fat.
If you are lifting, your weight fluctuation is not a good indication of where you are at body fat wise.
Keep a log of your body measurments instead, I do waist, butt and thighs every week to see if they decrease.
If you have calipers, they will help you measure BF%.
I can not tell you how disheartened you will be if you are relying on your weight to see achievements, muscle weighs more than fat, so don't be alarmed if you put weight on. Its all about how your body looks.
Keep working hard and it will pay off.
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