I’m about 2 weeks into doing something I’ve never done before: Counting my calories.
Early on I realized I eat about 2,500 calories a day and easily go over 3,000.
When I first poured 1 serving of cereal into a measuring cup to see what 1 cup was like, I realized I eat many servings of cereal in the morning.
Good thing I’m extremely active! If I wasn’t, I’d definitely be racking on the fat, especially for my age (nearly 30 baby!). I realized my metabolism has been dropping considerably since the age of 25. I’ve been eating A LOT, especially on the days right after an intense bike ride.
I’ve decided to curtail my intake of calories and see where that takes me. Calorie counting has opened my eyes into understanding that…
a) I do a considerable amount of snacking between meals and all that adds up.
b) Filling my plate completely is way more food than necessary.
b) I love dark chocolate covered almonds.
c) Eating less than you’re used to for the first few days makes you cranky and your extremities will feel cold. (Thankfully that was very temporary).
d) Eating less makes you poop a lot less. (Science!)
e) Eating slowly is very gratifying.
f) And last, we Americans, OVEREAT LIKE MOTHER FUCKERS.
So anyway, I’m about 2 weeks into this. MyFitnessPal has been the combination iPhone app/website I’ve been using to record everything. As tedious as calorie-counting is, that app makes everything super easy. If the food I’m eating is not home-made and has a barcode, I could just scan the bar code and put the # of servings.
Protip for anyone using MyFitnessPal: I often take my lunch with me from home and I log all these things early in the morning that I know I’ll be *eventually* eating, so I don’t have to tediously record it again. Also if I have something like… say, a candy bar or a sandwich and I only eat half of it, but I know I’m going to eat the other half later, I simply record that I ate the full thing from the get-go so I don’t have to enter it twice. This helps makes everything a lot more streamlined and efficient.
What are my goals? I don’t have any numerical goal as I don’t even have a scale and frankly don’t care about my actual weight because I’m not overweight to begin with. Body measurements are more important to me than weight so I wrapped a cloth measuring tape around my thighs (24″), waist (34″) and hips (35.5″). I’ll see what it’s like every few weeks I suppose.
I’m just going to do this until I feel like I’m a little bit leaner and lighter. Hopefully by then I’ll have a very good idea of what <2,000 calories really feels like because I sure as hell underestimate it at the moment. I will continue my yoga practice and hopefully with time my giant thighs won’t be as giant and inversions will be less tricky as well.
So over 7 weeks of logging caloric intake and checking the scale, I’m able to figure out my real basal metabolic rate with the exercise I regularly do. To maintain my current weight with the exercise regimen I currently do, I should consume 2,230 calories.
This is how I figured this out…
MyFitnessPal calculated originally that my Caloric Intake (with 2lb loss per week; 1000 calorie deficit per day) should be at 1620.
Over 7 weeks time, I averaged out to that figure almost to a tee (just 500cal less than the goal).
If 3,500cal are one pound then 500cal means 0.15lbs so it’s insignificant.
7 weeks expected loss = 14lbs
7 weeks actual loss = 10lbs
Expected vs actual diff = –4lbs
Calories of error over the 7 weeks = 4*3,500 = 14,000 calories
Calories of error per day = 14,000cal/49days= 285 calories
Corrected target intake losing 2lb/week (1000 calorie daily deficit) = 1620 – 285 = 1335
So this would mean my daily maintenance calorie intake is 2,335. (1,335+1,000)