My Fitness Pal, when you first sign up, asks you a bunch of questions to help determine what the caloric intake should be. My number came out to be a net calorie amount of 1200 calories. At first, I was a little alarmed...all the other calculators I've looked at have told me I should be focusing on 1400 - 1600 calories a day (based on my weight and height alone).
I logged my breakfast yesterday - then got in a great work-out. I started out with Biggest Loser Cardio Max for 15 minutes and then The Shred Level 2 for 20 minutes. I burned approximately 464 calories (according to My Fitness Pal). After logging my exercise, I noticed that my calorie goal for the day had changed...and now included an extra 464 calories.
I was so confused at first. Why, on earth, would I want to eat the calories that I just burned off? Now, instead of eating 1200 calories, I had to eat 1664 calories (minus what I had eaten for breakfast)....what happened to burn more calories than what goes in? If I eat the calories I just burned off, wouldn't I just stay neutral?
So, I went on the hunt in their cool community forum and found the answer that I was looking for.
The awesome thing, I discovered, about My Fitness Pal is the fact that the original net caloric intake is the number I need to eat and never have to work out in order to lose the 2lbs a week I'm targeting for. Basically, they're saying, if I just sat around the house doing nothing I could eat 1200 calories a day and still lose weight. Of course, I'd end up with saggy skin, no muscle, and no strength. Once I actually throw some exercise in to the mix, I'm burning below that "sedentary" mark...and that's a big no-no. If I don't eat back the calories I burn - my body will go into starvation mode, and the weight won't go anywhere.
This left me a little bewildered for a second. Then, when I started doing the math...so many things started to make more sense.
My net calorie goal is 1200 calories. If I stay with that amount, and then burn 464 calories..I'm left with only consuming 736 calories. That's not enough to fuel my body...not even close. My body would then turn around and start storing the fat to survive - thus leading to NO weight loss. Make better sense now?
It did to me. It gave me my A-HA moment. Up until this week, I haven't been counting calories. I know, based on my eating habits the past couple of days, that I've been in the 1200 - 1400 calorie range each day. I know that I was working out at least 3 times a week...but I would never eat more just because I worked out. What if my net calories were getting too low? Could that be the reason that I haven't been seeing the results I've been looking for? Well, I guess, Wednesday - I'll have my answer.
After receiving that news, I then proceeded to eat back ALL of my "exercise calories". It was actually quite dificult. I had to throw in another snack and I upped my portion size a little at dinner, and even had enough calories left to enjoy a small bowl of frozen yogurt for dessert. This was more backbone to the theory that maybe I wasn't eating enough calories to begin with...time will tell, I guess. I've decided going forward, I'm going to get as close to my exercise calories as possible - but not go over. If that means being a little short - then so be it. I'm not doing all this hard work to be over on my calories each day.
Today I'm going to do, once again, another kick ass work-out. Cardio max Level 1 (25 minutes) followed by The Shred Level 1(20 minutes). I'm dropping back down to level 1 - because I realized that I need to follow the plan as it's laid out. If I'm going to give Jillian Michaels 30 days to "transform" my body...I should probably follow the program like I'm supposed to. I'm going to look at the 2 days of Level 2 was just a little "boost" and opt to remain on Day 5 for today.
I'm exactly half way in to my Operation: No Regrets week. I've changed a few things...but I have no regrets about it. I'm working out more, I'm recording my food, I'm counting my calories, I'm drinking a lot of water.... no regrets here. Today marks the 6th day of eating to my meal plan without a single falter. Today will be my 5th day of working out STRAIGHT! Today is the 4th day of drinking my water goal. I'm doing this....I'm getting there...I will continue.
For those doing the No Regrets challenge with me - how are you doing?
It's been quiet around here, lately, what have you been up to this week?
Till next time. ;)
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