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mykidsmom
06-22-2006, 08:24 PM
Hello all -

What is the best method to determine how many calories one should consume in a day? The folks at the gym put me on 1400 to lose fat, but it seems somewhat arbitrary to me. However, the quiz in Women's Health (yes, I know, but I was desperate) also came up with about 1400 (1396 to be exact). Also I am on only one starchy carb a day (although I eat about 10 grams with my midmorning Myoplex and another 10 with lunch in the form of multigrain bread) to lose weight, with the goal being a 50p/30c/20f ratio. But, my focus has shifted a bit and I'd like to compete in a novice/masters bodybuilding show in April. I know that's a long way off, but I still have a ways to go. You can see my front and back progress on the BFL site at:
http://www.bodyforlife-tracker.com/showphotos.cfm?id=17070

I am currently about 148 lbs, 5'7, and about 23% BF. I'm almost 41 yo.

I eat very clean and have little to no dairy or fruit. I work with a personal trainer on a three day split and emphasize shoulders, triceps, lats, and abs (not together), also on alternate days on my own. I do moderate cardio for about 40 minutes 3-4 times a week and high intensity interval training for about 30 minutes (my least favorite thing to do) twice a week.

So, given I'd like to get my body fat down to about 15-17% by the end of September, and build enough muscle to compete, I'd like additional extra feedback from ya'll. I seem to have a VERY slow metabolism from years of yo-yo dieting, but I build muscle quite quickly and am pretty darn strong for a girl!

Thanks in advance for any possible pointers.
Risa

imperfectly_lou
06-22-2006, 09:24 PM
You're right, 1400cals is too low.

Why don't you post exactly what you are eating on an average day for us and we can make recommendations from there? Better yet, enter it into a program such as www.nutridiary.com - it will give you the macro breakdown.

sherdi
06-22-2006, 11:39 PM
WOW! Your pis show an amazing transformation! You should be proud! You have some great muscle already and you seemed to lose the fat very quickly too! I think upping your calories slowly (by about 100 calories per week) and measuring your progress weekly might be the best bet. Although you can estimate the amount of calories we all need, find out first hand by experimenting is much more accurate, and much more fun IMO! If you are not going to be competing till April, you have time to experiment a little with macros, calories and workouts! As lou said, tracking your calories on a site and posting your daily food is a good way to get some feedback. Good luck! :)

mykidsmom
06-23-2006, 06:22 AM
Thanks.

As I mentioned, I eat pretty clean.

B'fast is usually either a chicken breast and sweet pot w/flax oil or oatmeal (reg. oats with a few berries) and a protein shake.

Mid morning - Myoplex Carb Sense (25p/5c/3f) and man's bread (all whole nuts and seeds 6p/9c/3f) with 1 Tbsp natural PB

lunch - piece of broiled fish or chicken, lettuce, tomato and spray vinagrette. Piece of bread and sugar free jam.

late day snack - myoplex cs and Tbsp natural PB

dinner - protein (chicken, ground turkey, fish, etc.) and green veggie.

That's pretty much it every day.

Thanks SOOO much for taking the time out to help me. I really appreciate it.

J.Bo
06-23-2006, 09:27 AM
[QUOTE=mykidsmom]Hello all -

What is the best method to determine how many calories one should consume in a day? The folks at the gym put me on 1400 to lose fat, but it seems somewhat arbitrary to me. However, the quiz in Women's Health (yes, I know, but I was desperate) also came up with about 1400 (1396 to be exact). Also I am on only one starchy carb a day (although I eat about 10 grams with my midmorning Myoplex and another 10 with lunch in the form of multigrain bread) to lose weight, with the goal being a 50p/30c/20f ratio.

I am not an expert at the whole calorie counting in fact I could use some help at it myself as for I don't have much patience for it. Although I do know that my BMR is a bit over 1300 which I know alot of women around here are about the same. So if you are eating only 1400 !!! Your body is going to switch to starvation mode. In that case you could be losing "weight" but it won't be so much in the form of fat but muscle... Not good. When your body is in starvation mode it actaully holds onto the fat. This is a defense mechanism that has been built into us since that beginning of time. Seeing that fat is stored energy your body holds it in the event of an emergency I guess you could say. You should probably be up to around 1800 or so I'd guess. Oh and just a little extra advice not that I've ever competed myself but I've looked into it a bit and have friends that have. But I wouldn't go crazy dieting now like Sherdi said you have time to experiment. If your looking to put on muscle now would be the time since your body needs to be in a calorie surplus to gain as opposed to a deficit to lose fat which you will always lose some muscle doing when you diet. Besides if you start too soon your more likely to break down and go on a binge. Which I happen to be very fimiliar w/... Awesome transformation by the way keep it up, no major rush just yet.

mykidsmom
06-23-2006, 11:27 AM
Thanks, again. I have a feeling my cals are too low, but I don't exactly know how high to raise them or whether to maintain the same ratio balance. I DO want to add muscle though. However, given that I am about 23% bf, I could stand to lose weight, too. I'm not too worried about binging or going off the diet, when I want a piece of licorice I buy a small pack, have a couple and give some to the kids and throw the rest away. That's probably my greatest accomplishment over the past 3.5 months. Before I would have bought it in secret and eaten the whole pack myself!!!

Hfit
06-23-2006, 01:00 PM
Dont' be afraid to eat carbs!! - the ratio you are at is too strict. This type of restriction is used several weeks (depends on person) before a competition to help aid in those last lbs, and water weight. I'm not a diet expert but I have been a competitor since the age of 18 (i'm 31 now) and i've done it all. I keep a consistant diet of 50%c35%p15%f year round with a 4 week carb cycle right before a comp. At this point you need to increase your metabolism and you'll only be able to do that with a balanced diet. Not only that you'll have freakish energy that will make your workouts more productive. Good luck you've made great progress so far!!