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Monday, August 25, 2014

Effectively Losing Weight While Counting Calories


I know not everyone is a calorie counter.  I can see the benefits of not doing so, but I know without a doubt that had I not counted my calories, I would not have lost 100 lbs.  I might have lost 50 lbs, but for me knowing what goes into my body and how much I need to burn makes complete sense.  It helps me be more aware and realize that the piece of cake isn't worth the 450 calories that I don't have for the day.


That being said, I learned some extremely valuable information while at my stay a few weeks ago at Fitness Ridge.  I touched on this in my last post explaining my week there, but I wanted to go into more detail because what I learned made compete sense and I knew that it could help you all too.  I am very weary of quick fix diets.  You know the ones that say to eat soup or juice for 3 days and you will lose 10 lbs.  Those instantly give me a red flag and I start to lose trust in whoever is telling me about it.  Harsh? maybe.

Jen Morton who is a life coach at Fitness Ridge taught us all several lectures.  I even paid to see her for an hour one on one session to figure my crap out.  Basically, I wanted to know what triggers my emotional eating and my need for food constantly.  What she told me wasn't anything that I didn't already know, but it was more like things were being reaffirmed to me.  I reach for candy or chocolate because growing up that's what I was fed and made me happy in moments of sadness and happiness.  I am not saying thats all my mom stocked our pantries with, but I can remember many times being rewarded with candy or always thinking as a kid how that would make me feel better after any sadness.  

This lady knows her stuff.  She said one thing that will really stick with me: "We make weight loss so complicated." It really is so simple, but our mind gets in the way of it all and becomes overpowering telling us we don't want to do certain things.  I am so guilty of this.

Well back to the point of the post.  Calorie counting effectively and for long term results. 
You first need to find what your RMR (resting metabolic rate) is. My Fitness Pal has a calculator where you can plug in your information and it will tell you.  This number is a guess, but its pretty close. This number is what you would burn in a day if you laid in bed all day long.  Doctors discovered this number for coma patients to know how much to feed them throughout the day.  Interesting stuff, people! I will use my numbers as an example.  My RMR is 1600 calories.  Then we are given about 400 calories to that number for going the bathroom, running errands, doing housework, you know the usual.  1600+400 is 2000.  If I eat 2000 calories a day and didn't exercise, I would maintain my weight.  I want to lose so let me tell you how!

There are 3500 calories in a pound.  If I wanted to lose 1 lbs a week, I could figure out how to do that.  There are 7 days in a week.  I would then divide 7/3500 which equals 500. I go back to my 2000 number and subtract 500 from that.  If I wanted to lose 1 lbs a week, I would need to eat 1500 calories and that's not including exercise.  If I eat 1500 calories a day plus burn 500 calories a day in my workout, I would lose 2 lbs a week.  

Doesn't this sound too good to be true? False!!
I tested this out after being home from Fitness Ridge.  I was a little scared to get back into the routine of my life and not be able to maintain my 8.5 lbs weight loss from being there.  I decided to use this formula and after 2 weeks, I have lost another 5 lbs. I am losing the weight I never thought I could lose.  AND I AM EXERCISING LESS!!! I am only exercising 1 hour a day.  Before, I was exercising 1.5-2 hours a day, basically killing myself trying to get in a good calorie burn.  However, I wasn't paying as close to my diet because I just assumed I had burned it all off in my workout.  This equation has really opened my eyes and I hope it helps you.  If you are confused or loss, I would love to help you figure out your calories.




26 comments:

  1. You are seriously an inspiration and a wealth of knowledge!! Amazing you are:)

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  2. Oh my goodness... THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!

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  3. I have a question that's always confused me about this math! If you are eating 1500 calories a day, work out and burn 500, do you need to make those up in food? My Fitness Pal says you need to eat a total of 2000 once you enter your exercise?

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    1. I have the same question. My Fitness Pal always re-calculates my calories after I plug in my workout. So if I burn 300 calories in a workout it adds 300 calories to my original number. So, the more you workout, the more you can eat, right?

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    2. Hello:). I have this question too! I've wonder about. Do we eat the additional calories that are added after working out.

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  4. I also think that you need to pay attention to the types of calories you eat as well though! Say you eat a 100 calorie apple or a 100 cal cracker snack bag. You'd be getting much more nutrience from that apple and be much more apt to lose weight. It's not always about the calories. You need to be eating the right kind of calories.

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    1. Yes! I agree, not all calories are created equal. I promote eating clean so I hope that everyone who understands the calories that I eat are healthy ones full of dense nutrients.

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  5. Not saying you're not doing this. Just thought I'd add to what you said. Which I think also helps and makes sense.

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  6. Great post! I've been counting calories for a while. I'm down 36 lbs so far. I have a long way to go but I know I will eventually get there! You are so inspirational! I occasionally blog about my journey. My blog name is Patterson Party Of Five😃

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  7. Great post- it's fun to realize weight loss is part math, part self control :)

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  8. My first response didn't go through so hopefully it doesn't duplicate!

    Your post is great & super informative! I just need to re-read it and plug in my #s! I am currently at my highest weight, and very down on myself. I'm a first time SAHM to our 18 month old, and due to carrying our daughter I now am dealing with a frozen shoulder. Even walking semi-fast on the treadmill kills my shoulder. So I'm feeling sorry for myself, but I realize I need to come up with a solution that will at least work for me until my shoulder gets better. It would be great if you were my neighbor!! Haha! I need the motivation & smiling face! You look beautiful!

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  9. ♡ it! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  10. Love this! I came to a realisation over the weekend that I feel like crap all the time because I'm putting crap into my body. Why do I expect different rests?! I need to change a lot about what I'm doing but you are totally giving me the motivation and tools to do it. Thanks!

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  11. My first one didn't go through 😔 May I start out by saying your AMAZING and VERY INSPIRATIONAL! I look at your Instagram over and over again! I love it!! I would love to know how you calculate your calories like when you make chicken at home with seasoning or you make BLTs how do you calculate all that together.. Do you look at the package and say oh 2 pieces of the bread is 100 cal two pieces of bacon is so many calories is there an easier way to calculate all that?? What are your suggestions..

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  12. Do you know about our question above...once we workout, my fitness pal re calculates our calories and adds calories to our total. So do we eat more or just ignore when my fitness pals adds to our total calorie allowance? The original question is above.

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    1. From my understanding, you do not want to eat those calories. If your goal is to lose weight, you want to have that deficit.

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    2. Hey Lauren!

      Sorry I am just seeing this! You do not want to eat those calories back because yes you do want a deficit. If you eat 1500 and burn 500, you aren't undereating. You ate the 1500 which is great for a lot of people. My fitness pal sometimes confuses me too because it tells me if I wanted to lose 2 lbs a week I would have to eat 1800 calories which if I did that, I would gain! I think my fitness pal is a great reference for you to track food, but sometimes I think it generalizes too much. I learned this information from a health and life coach at Fitness Ridge who has studied health and wellness so I do trust her information!

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  13. I'm going to start using this. I never really know where to start with my calories, especially since I'm doing Insanity right now and really trying to gauge how much to eat vs. how much I burn. Going to start doing a little bit before my workouts so I can get my calorie burn up to 500. (on the hardest day I get around 400 calories in 40 min) Thanks so much for sharing this lady!

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  14. This was seriously eye opening! Thank you.

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  15. Do you use a public my fitness pal?

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  16. Thank you so much for breaking this down so simply! I gained 60 pounds during my first pregnancy (bringing me to 209 pounds on the day I delivered my son) and although I have lost it all (and then some) sometimes the numbers game can still get confusing in terms of intake and calories burned. I am working on these last 5 pounds, even though I'm not as concerned with the number on the scale as I used to be, I'm trying to focus on becoming as strong and healthy as possible before my next pregnancy. Your blog inspires me every day and your Instagram is one of my absolute favorites! Keep it up, you look INCREDIBLE!

    If anyone wants to read about my weightloss journey, here it is. Maybe it can help at least one person! How I Lost the 60 Pounds I Gained During Pregnancy

    Xo,
    Colleen | Let’s Talk About Lipstick

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  17. I need to get back to calorie counting. I was having success using MFP, but I found it so time consuming to enter in all my meals. However, that accountability worked. I lost 30 pounds, then stopped seeing the results I wanted. Thanks for the motivation!

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  18. Ok can you help me with mine? Let me see if I have this right:
    I calculated my RMR online to be 1532. So we add 400 to that for the every day stuff like cleaning/potty/chasing kiddos/etc. So now I'm at 1932. To lose 1lb a week I need a 500 calorie deficit every day. So I do 1932-500=1432. So I would need to consume 1432 calories daily to lose 1lb a week? Before accounting calories burned for a workout?

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  19. This is such a simple calculation and I love it! Now that I know, I can effectively incorporate this knowledge in the 3 Day military diet. The allowable calories is around 1500 a day and with light exercise, I know I can continue to lose more weight. My first run with the diet made me lose 5 pounds, so I'm starting the diet again next week in order to lose more weight. If you want more information on the military diet so you can make a review for readers like me, here's a good link http://3daysmilitarydiet.com/results-reviews/does-the-military-diet-work.html

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  20. There is a way and the way involves learning the science of losing weight. Losing weight is the result of a chemical reaction in the body which causes stored body fat to burn and be used for energy. Nutrisystem weight loss per week

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