Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A calorie range works best for me!

Last week I was punching numbers...how many calories I should be eating is always tricky. To few and you end up eating everything in site or your body starts using your muscle as fuel because it thinks it's starving. To many and you either stay where you are or put on weight. So I sat with my computer and calculator and tried to make sense of all this craziness.

Here is what I came up with:

I used the equation from Trainer Momma's Post

Since I don't seem to have a problem putting it all out there my numbers look exactly like this.

(10*82.55kg) + (6.25*172.7cm)-(5*37)-161=1558.875 this is what I need to sustain life

then I used the lowest PAL number 1558.875*1.2=1870.65 Maintain with no exercise

then I used moderate 1558.875*1.375=2143.45 with an exercise burn of 273 calories

Now I want to loose weight so I took 500 calories off of each (that is for a 1lb loss per week)

My range looks like this 1370-1640. Totally reasonable.

Now why do I want a range.

First: I do not workout every day. Before this challenge I workouts 3-4 times a week. Now I'm 4-5 and on a really good week 6 days but most weeks it's more like 4.

I want to know what my low end of the range is because I don't want to be eating an extra 273 calories that the equation thinks that I'm burning off on days that I don't workout. Do you? If you're using a single number based on the average number of workouts you're doing a week you end up eating more on days that you don't workout and that seems to me like you're canceling all the hard work your doing on the other days.

Now, I didn't increase my PAL number because I'd like to take the days that I may get more than 273 calories burned in my workout as extra calories burned. I'd love to lose more than one pound a week. Two pounds would be awesome but I'm not going to take 1000 calories off of what I need to eat each day. That's just not enough food. It also means that if I have an extra hard workout day and I burn closer to 800+ calories I can add some more food into my diet that day. Each PAL increment on the example Trainer Momma showed us increase your burn rate apox. 270 calories.

I did this exact math problem on a weight loss of 20lbs. Something I think is attainable and not unrealistic. That range is 1750-2006 calories or 1251 to 1506 calories to continue to lose weight. That's only a 120 calorie difference.

I hope this helps some of you who may be having questions about what calorie range works best for you. I've used many different equations some I feel to lenient some to strict. I find this is a good range for what I'm trying to do.


  1. That is about where I am at with my calories.

    Off the subject question or advice on what you think I should do. My husband and I are going on a ten year anniversary trip during the next challenge. I will be missing half of it. While I love to keep track of my points, I know it's just not going to happen on our vacation. Should I keep track of the points while I am here and still participate this next challenge, or should I step out of this challenge and start again on the next one?

  2. Alicia I'm glad that you're looking at a range, it makes things a little easier.

    As for your question...I'd say don't try to keep track of your points for the next session, but I'd love if you'd still participate in posting, commenting and doing your best in your new habits while you are in town! You are a great asset and an inspiration to us all.

    I have a feeling it's going to be like this for some of the summer and I'm looking for ideas of how to work with that. I was thinking two week sessions. What do you think?

  3. Thank you for this post. It seems like 1700 is something I can do reasonably. For some reason 1400 seems so small. SO I know that means exercise everyday which I do 6 x a week. My goal is to not go over the 1700 that way, like you if I work out more that day I get more calories burned towards losing.

    You are wonderful!

    Alicia, I am going out of town tomorrow. My goal is to still count calories as much as possible so I can keep on track and continue to feel good. Obviously the points will be lower without posting but the most important points on taking care of myself will still be in check.
    I am excited to hear about your trip. HOW FUN!!
    It always seems for me that I do awesome on trips because we do a lot of walking so even though I eat more cal. with eating out all the time and not knowing what they put in the food all the time. I work it off with all the walking which feels great :)

  4. I still plan on posting and commenting when I am around. You can't get rid of me :) I'll also continue to keep track of calories, exercise while I'm here. I won't have access to a computer while we are gone. I've already decided this vacation is not going to be an eat yourself sick. We rented a cottage with a kitchen, so we plan on eating the majority of our meals there. We have a ton of physical activities planned everyday. I'm taking my running watch with me so I can keep track of miles for Cat's challenge. As far as the two weeks instead of three. If people are doing a lot of traveling this summer, it might be easier. It's always a mental game when you're points are so low, then you can clear them faster, and start again, and get a faster shot at getting those points high.

  5. Alicia,

    It looks like you have a good plan to stay on track during your trip. I say do the challenge but like Audrey said don't worry about counting the points so much. Audrey, Samantha and I are going to the beach this weekend with our families, I plan on enjoying our few days of vacation but am not looking at it as a way to eat all I want. Moderation and exercise, that's my plan.

  6. Audrey, your calorie math makes me dizzy. You're a dancer but you should have been a math/business major. You continue to amaze me with your talents.

  7. I love having a range too. I like not having an exact number. I am nursing so I have a calorie range, not knowing exactly how many calories I burn nursing, I just eat in a range. Sometimes I think they are too generous with calories for a nursing mom. I love the math!!