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Slow-smooth-fast

I understand we are all different but I would be interested to hear what people have to say about how may Kcals they have in a day.

I have always struggled with my weight and I really need to get rid of some more. I am currently following about 1800kcal per day, running on avg 50mpw. Is this enough as my exercise expenditure is on avg 1200 a day.

Forgive my naivete but does this mean 1800-1200 = 600(the amount my body is getting a day)?

I ask because sometimes runs can be hard as I have no energy. Am I eating enough? Any advice or links would be appreciated.

I am currently 203lb and want to get down to about 182lb

"I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

I've got a fever...

Sounds to me like you're not eating enough.

I plugged your stats into a BMR (basal metabolic rate) calculator.  It says you have a BMR of 2041 Cal / day.  This is the amount of Cal you'd have to take in to maintain your weight if you stayed in bed all day.  Essentially, it's the amount of Cal / day they'd have to put in your feeding tube to keep you at 203 lb if you were in a coma.

But you're not in a coma.  Not yet, at least.  So to find your actual baseline, you multiply the BMR by an activity factor.  Something like this:

1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
3. If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

Now, opinions may differ, but I always multiply by 1.2 only, --I want to calculate the exercise calories burned as a separate line item, rather than wrap it into my daily baseline.

So for you, 2041*1.2 = 2449 Cal / day.  This is your daily break-even point for stayng at 203 lbs, not including exercise.  Your net calorie intake (defined in this method as Calories eaten - Calories burned exercising) need to be below this number every day to lose weight.

You're eating 1800 Cal / day.  And you're burning 1200.  So your net daily intake using this method is 1800 - 1200 = 600 Cal / day.  Yeah, you will lose weight, but you're so far below your baseline of 2412 that you will be starved and not have much energy.

If you are consistent about your running, you could eat 2700 Cal /day, and since you burn 1200, your net intake would be 1500 Cal / day, which would still have you deep into weight loss mode.

I lost ~30 lbs using this method.  Myfitnesspal.com has a free app that does the above calculations and counting for you.  (i.e record you intake and exercise).

Note that the BMR calulation is just that, a calculation.  It includes you age, gender, height, and weight, but can't account for your own unique metabolism.  Your actual baseline may be higher or lower.  I recall you as someone who lost a lot of weight in the past -- in a cruel trick of nature, recent studies have shown that people who lose a lot of weight get "reset" in a way such that their BMR is up to 500 Cal less than someone of the same weight who is at that weight naturally (i.e. -- didn't have to lose a bunch of weight to get there).

Also, note that BMR goes down as you lose weight -- the skinnier you are, the less Cal / day you have to take in to maintain that weight.

MTA: corrected BMR value

On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

Not a doctor.

Boy, oh boy. What a can of worms you're opening here. I almost don't know where to begin!

First off, 600 kcal net isn't enough. But there's no simple way to know that you're actually getting 600kcal net because as you run more you become more efficient and can cover the distance using less energy (I believe...). So a newby to running, or someone with awful biomechanical efficiency, will need a larger amount of energy to cover a mile at a certain pace when compared to an elite athlete who is well trained and highly efficient.

Secondly, the timing of when you're eating can play a big part. Although overall calorie consumption is the deciding factor in long term weight loss, when it comes to making your runs more enjoyable it is important to eat at the optimal times. To be quite frank, I've still not got a very good handle on that myself so I'm in no position to advise others but an anecdote can't hurt... I can get away with not eating before I do my morning run to the office then having some fruit and a glass of skimmed milk to get my metabolism going (or reminding my body that food isn't scarce so it doesn't need to go batshit insane and store every bit of energy it can as fats or whatever other tricks a good breakfast is supposed to play on your body) before having a proper, heavy meal a couple of hours later at lunchtime. A little snack in the afternoon  to take the edge off the hunger before training again before having a light meal again at around 8pm (something like chicken salad or white pasta and sauce). Optimal timing is almost as important as optimal calorie ingestion for me. Having a light lunch might make me feel a bit less sluggish in the afternoons but then it means I'll often eat a lot more later on, just before bed, which in turn makes me feel bloated the next morning. It's a tough thing to get right for some of us.

Finally, calorie counting is not a long term solution. Been there, done that and I've still got the same size t-shirt I did before. How many ttimes have you heard about or seen that happening to people? Changing your attitude to food and your habits will be more fruitful in the long run but it takes a fuckton more effort than weighing out your food or reading the back of the packaging. Depends how much you want it, I guess.

I've got a fever...

Finally, calorie counting is not a long term solution. Been there, done that and I've still got the same size t-shirt I did before. How many ttimes have you heard about or seen that happening to people? Changing your attitude to food and your habits will be more fruitful in the long run but it takes a fuckton more effort than weighing out your food or reading the back of the packaging. Depends how much you want it, I guess.

Amen to that.  But I will say that counting can foster an awareness who good or bad certain meals are; if you choose to apply that knowledge, it is possible to eat more sensibly without counting.  Easier said than done; weight loss is simple, but it's not easy.

On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

The King of Beasts

Boy, oh boy. What a can of worms you're opening here. I almost don't know where to begin!

First off, 600 kcal net isn't enough. But there's no simple way to know that you're actually getting 600kcal net because as you run more you become more efficient and can cover the distance using less energy (I believe...). So a newby to running, or someone with awful biomechanical efficiency, will need a larger amount of energy to cover a mile at a certain pace when compared to an elite athlete who is well trained and highly efficient.

Secondly, the timing of when you're eating can play a big part. Although overall calorie consumption is the deciding factor in long term weight loss, when it comes to making your runs more enjoyable it is important to eat at the optimal times. To be quite frank, I've still not got a very good handle on that myself so I'm in no position to advise others but an anecdote can't hurt... I can get away with not eating before I do my morning run to the office then having some fruit and a glass of skimmed milk to get my metabolism going (or reminding my body that food isn't scarce so it doesn't need to go batshit insane and store every bit of energy it can as fats or whatever other tricks a good breakfast is supposed to play on your body) before having a proper, heavy meal a couple of hours later at lunchtime. A little snack in the afternoon  to take the edge off the hunger before training again before having a light meal again at around 8pm (something like chicken salad or white pasta and sauce). Optimal timing is almost as important as optimal calorie ingestion for me. Having a light lunch might make me feel a bit less sluggish in the afternoons but then it means I'll often eat a lot more later on, just before bed, which in turn makes me feel bloated the next morning. It's a tough thing to get right for some of us.

Finally, calorie counting is not a long term solution. Been there, done that and I've still got the same size t-shirt I did before. How many ttimes have you heard about or seen that happening to people? Changing your attitude to food and your habits will be more fruitful in the long run but it takes a fuckton more effort than weighing out your food or reading the back of the packaging. Depends how much you want it, I guess.

good stuff here, thanks

"As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin' man I have chalked up many a mile. Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks, And I've learned much from both of their styles." ~ Jimmy Buffett

"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit. "No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way."”

DoppleBock

I do think that "Effective" and Optimal can be 2 different things.

There are many plans out there that are effective and can be used long term - If all you did was count calories to makes sure you ate within a certain range each day and matched it somewhat to your excersize volume - This can be effective and can work long term.  Weight watchers in the same thing - different package.

The good thing about counting calories is you should become educated at the nutritional value and caloric density of foods.

To Drrbadford's point - This is the "Basic" level of the game - Sadly I am in the basic level

The other things I try and do:  1)  Focus on recovery - If I just beat myself up - I make sure I get quick carbs and protein immediately after run.  2)  If I am in glycogen deficiet (From trying to lose weight) and I have an important longer workout the next day - I will take a bit more carbs in.

Not sure if these are exactly right or not.

My issue is not with counting calories or timing - I am OCD = I tend to go on binges - Running, Eating and Drinking.  I know I just at 1,500 calories - But the ability to not eat 1,500 more is missing or I just fail to do it.

I feel like I am one of the only people in the world (Maybe not true) that runs @ 5,000 miles a year that averages > 200 pounds - I actually likely average 215 and have not been able to get below 200 - really for more than 4-5 weeks total in 9 years.

So the point of

Changing your attitude to food and your habits will be more fruitful in the long run

I have been working on since the 4th grade and so far have failed. (I agree completely)

Retired 1/1/13 ... Tired of being broken and fat  ... New goal 12/29/15 - To be able to enjoy running 4-5 hours through the woods again in 2016.

+1 on what they said.

I've read your posts before, you run like a crazy man with your speed.  For me slowing my runs did the trick.  I had been unable to lose weight or BF for 10 years, I had a couple of magic numbers I could never get below.  Since delaying my fast marathon goals and instead training for a 50mi, I've been running with a group that runs much slower than I'd like, and obviously much longer miles.  I've also been running on a technical trail a little and doing hill repeats every week.  I was previously watching calories in vs calories out like a hawk, running hard to burn extra calories, when it was the fat I needed to burn by going slower and longer.  I've lost 7lb and 9% BF in a couple of months.

+1 with AussieGirl

For sedentary people with no desire to exercise, the goal is caloric restriction down to 1200 calories a day.  For anyone who wants a healthier more active life, you can lose weight by aerobic exercise, intervals, or weight training.  All need to have adequate recovery, meaning time and adequate nutrition.

I agree with everyone else here.  Your caloric intake is so low, that your depleted of muscle glycogen, and your probably breaking down muscle.  Therefore your not having adequate recovery.  And the real benefit of training comes in the recovery phase.

1)  While running efficiency counts when we compare different people, the amount of calories you burn per mile stays roughly the same over a wide range of paces (hopefully we come more efficient over a long time, at least I'm hoping).  The difference during your run is how much comes from fat verus glycogen.  To lose fat during your runs, slow down.  The slower you run, the more percentage of your calories per mile comes from fat.  Your slow and recovery runs may be closer to 9 minute pace.

2)  Alternatively, interval work outs are very effective for weight loss, as the caloric burn extends well beyond your exercise time.   This is the basis for numerous "high intensity intervals training"  programs out there.  This has been shown to have the fastest weight loss, but you will be sacrificing some endurance.

3) The other option is adding more lean muscle.   Although you need to add calories to build muscle, it comes down to the timing of caloric intake again.  Taking in calories immediately after strength exercises, after long runs, and not before runs.

Ultimately, it all depends on your ultimate goals in addition to the weight loss.

2012 Goals:

Stay healthy, stay running

Lose those extra pounds

+1 on what they said.

I've read your posts before, you run like a crazy man with your speed.  For me slowing my runs did the trick.  I had been unable to lose weight or BF for 10 years, I had a couple of magic numbers I could never get below.  Since delaying my fast marathon goals and instead training for a 50mi, I've been running with a group that runs much slower than I'd like, and obviously much longer miles.  I've also been running on a technical trail a little and doing hill repeats every week.  I was previously watching calories in vs calories out like a hawk, running hard to burn extra calories, when it was the fat I needed to burn by going slower and longer.  I've lost 7lb and 9% BF in a couple of months.

My experience has been a little different than this.  More miles at a slower pace than I used to run is a big part of the equation but when I started regularly doing workouts (intervals, tempos etc) and racing to the best of my ability that's when the weight absolutely fell off.   The desire to race 'well' in my AG meant watching and adjusting what I eat and drink.   I guess I'm thinking that most of my weight loss is attributable to the desire and willingness to train/eat with the goal of running faster, not slower.

DoppleBock

*  Enough Calories and often enough to avoid your body going into starvation

*  Think About the timing of you Calories

The part I can never seem to understand is how much protein and how much carbohydrate do we really need to fuel workouts and promote muscle recovery?  I tend to beat myself up pretty good some weeks and I need my body in max recovery mode.

Than being said - Even if I am in full control of my eating - I am sure I tend to over consume the Carbs - I really hate when I run out of glycogen on a training run.  Realistically I am running most pretty slow I am not sure how that happens.  Also - When I was running 200+ mile weeks, I really ate less often as I was always running and I was able to manage fine (And lose weight without trying).  This will always be my puzzle to solve.

drrbradford's response - How many calories do you think you take in a day?  I read a light breakfast at work to keep out of starvation mode, not too much for lunch and not too much at night or you feel bloated the next day.  I am picturing 2000 calories.

Retired 1/1/13 ... Tired of being broken and fat  ... New goal 12/29/15 - To be able to enjoy running 4-5 hours through the woods again in 2016.

*  Enough Calories and often enough to avoid your body going into starvation

*  Think About the timing of you Calories

The part I can never seem to understand is how much protein and how much carbohydrate do we really need to fuel workouts and promote muscle recovery?  I tend to beat myself up pretty good some weeks and I need my body in max recovery mode.

Than being said - Even if I am in full control of my eating - I am sure I tend to over consume the Carbs - I really hate when I run out of glycogen on a training run.  Realistically I am running most pretty slow I am not sure how that happens.  Also - When I was running 200+ mile weeks, I really ate less often as I was always running and I was able to manage fine (And lose weight without trying).  This will always be my puzzle to solve.

drrbradford's response - How many calories do you think you take in a day?  I read a light breakfast at work to keep out of starvation mode, not too much for lunch and not too much at night or you feel bloated the next day.  I am picturing 2000 calories.

iirc he mentioned four meals: a light breakfast, "proper" heavy lunch, afternoon snack, and then light dinner. Factoring in a heavy lunch I know for me that could easily be anywhere from 1000-2000 calories, which makes the total seem a little more reasonable. I know for me doing 70 or so mpw that an average of about 3,500 calories pretty much keeps my weight stable.

They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. "If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a Board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough" If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death. "Don't fear moving slowly forward...fear standing still."

Not a doctor.

When I say light, I don't necessarily mean caloric values. I'm talking more about the actual constitution of the food. So a heavy meal would involved red meat and perhaps a lot of roughage from raw veg orwholegrains such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, wholegrain breads etc whereas I see a light meal being something gentle on my stomach which is quick to digest like white rice, white pasta, chicken.

Typically a pint of milk and a few pieces of fruit can be in the region of 400-500kcal easily. Looking at maybe 1000kcal for lunch. Add in a few hundred more for afternoon snacks and drinks. Another 600-800 at night maybe. I found that somewhere in the region of 3000kcal a day seemed to keep my weight fairly stable, 2500 was achievable but found it quite hard to spread the reductions across the meals in a way to feel good for training and not go to bed hungry.

Finally, calorie counting is not a long term solution.

Disagree. It may not be the *ideal* long-term solution, but it can certainly be a long-term solution.

xor

bhearn sighting!

Slow-smooth-fast

I did a tough interval session today so I purposely ate more yesterday. I ate around 2700kcal which tbh had me worried as I ever go  over 1800kcal.

I felt good on the workout so perhaps this was due to more food in my system? Strange though as after today I will have only had shy of 1600kcal and I feel satisfied, Where could I pad it out?

"I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

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