Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eating Too Little?

Am I eating enough? Am I eating too much?  This is something I am always asking myself. I've also done a lot of research on the subject, specifically reading about the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and how many calories my body would need if I were in a coma. That number, for me at this point in time is right around 2000 calories. To maintain my current weight, I need to eat roughly 3800 calories, with no exercise. If I exercise, that number goes up.

What do these numbers mean?  They mean, my body needs 2000 calories to function at my current weight. I shouldn't really eat below 2000 calories, otherwise, my metabolism can slow down and go into a "starvation" mode of thinking.  That mode, will cause me to have days where I feel like I am famished and want to eat everything. 

I felt that way yesterday. Around 2pm I wanted food.  I had eaten lunch about two hours before that.  A pretty decent sized lunch, too.  So, I took out my food journal and figured out my net calories (calories in vs. out for exercise) for the past 5 days; 1706, 876, 1185, 1167, 582... Anyone can tell, those numbers are WAY too low for my body to function. When I realized this, I ate some almond butter on my celery and had a bit of pasta. I felt tons better.

It also lead me to rethink what I'm doing, eating wise, and what I needed to do, so I don't go through that cycle again. The goal?  Eating right at 2000 calories and taking a deeper look into how I'm feeling - both hunger and mood. I know I don't want to starve myself to do quick weight loss.  I want lasting weight loss. I didn't gain this extra weight overnight. I am realistic that I won't lose it overnight.


Ann said...

Where did you get that 3800 number? I had a calorie test done at my gym that gives me the exact # of calories that my body burns in a day. You might be surprised how different the actual test is than the online "calculators". Also, those deficit #s, are they with or without exercise calories burned? You can safely have a 500-1000/day deficit to lose 1-2 lbs/week - which is totally sustainable!! :)

♥ Trisha ♥ said...

Ann -

Yeah, I used one of the online calculators from the american heart association. It's a guesstimate based on my current height, weight and activity level.

The deficit numbers, it was my calories in minus the number burned (which I do measure with my HRM). I was only eating around 1400 per day. I was mopey, irritable and not thinking straight as well. :)

I've pondered wearing my HRM for 24 hours to see what it shows, but it reads funny in my car for some reason, so it won't be accurate unless I don't go anywhere! I wonder if I could get an exact # somewhere. I know the calculators aren't 100% accurate, but they're a starting point. :)