Friday, March 8, 2013

The age old question: How many calories should I eat?

The dreaded plateau of 152-155 for what feels like an eternity has finally come to an end.  I can't even remember when I first saw those numbers on the scale. I think it has been a good year and a half.  Finally, I decided that something must change.  I eat well, I workout, and I count calories, so something is not working.  Well, a few weeks ago I did a simple google search to find my BMR.  It was a very straight forward process and most sites like this will calculate it for you.  Depending on which site you choose, your numbers may be a little different.  There are a couple of different equations used to calculate and each site uses the one they prefer.  
A little history...this isn't the first time I have looked at these numbers.  I was a straight 1200 calories per day person for a long time and even 1200 felt like too many.  Remember, I had a very unhealthy, non-eating, anorexic background in high school.  So, when I first read my numbers I was shocked at what it told me I should be eating.  How could I possibly eat that much without gaining weight?  There was no way I could do it.  So, I didn't change and well, I pretty much stayed at the same weight forever.  A month or so after that I decided to up my calories to 1400 in hopes it would help.  It didn't and I still stayed the same.  
This time I committed to really going by the numbers.  What could it hurt?  1200-1400 was not working.  According to my BMR I should be consuming 2268 calories per day.  
 If I take that number and subtract 500-1000 for losing 1-2 pounds per week, then I would be at 1268-1768.  Well, I was at 1400 so I had to up them in hopes of making a change.  
I prayed that I would not gain.
  I decided to up them to 1700-1800 and to stick with it for a week to see if there would be some change.  I was shocked when I found that I was losing.  After an entire freaking year, the scale finally budged.  Hallelujah!  So, here I am 2 weeks in and I am down to 146lbs.  Hell yeah!  I even missed 3 workout sessions and did not change my calorie intake and didn't gain.  That was a miracle.  
Why am I sharing this? 
 For those of you that are like me and scared to up the calories.  Just do it.  It will make a difference!  Your body will use those "extra" calories and turn them into energy and will burn fat more efficiently.  I feel much better than I did at 1200 cals.  Trust the numbers and stick with it for a week to see how it goes.  It will not change overnight so you must give it a few days to adjust.      

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