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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: How much calories do I need when I exercise?
Created on: 10/01/13 08:02 AM Views: 1070 Replies: 7
How much calories do I need when I exercise?
Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Hello everyone,

I have started eating in a whole-foods plant-based way two months ago after reading books by other authors (McDougall and Esselstyn) and are now trying out Dr. Barnard's recipes.

My ideal BMI weight is 83 kg / 183 pounds according to an online calculator, and currently I weigh 92 kilos / 203 pounds, I'm 1.89m tall.

During six days of the week I also exercise for 1 hour in the morning, and burn 800 calories with it.

By applying Dr. Barnard's rule of 10 I should eat at least 183 x 10 = 1830 calories.

But by deducting the 800 calories I burn with my exercise only about 1000 calories result.

After reading Dr. Barnard's book 'Breaking the food seduction' I understood that I was not eating enough calories, an old habit brought on by several previous (and useless) diets.

I increased my breakfast by 50% in calories (from 100 to 150 grams of Swiss style oats with a sliced apple and ricemilk).

Two things happened: I was not hungry anymore later in the evening and immediately I started to lose weight. That first week I lost 1kg / 2.2 pounds.

I actually lost more weight during that first week of eating a bigger breakfast, but by the end of the week I gained weight slightly.

Well, one week is of course not enough to conclude anything. But I'm now wondering what my ideal calorie count should be.

Is that my rule of 10 minimum 1830 + exercise calories 800 = 2630? Or should I leave the exercise out of the equation?

I know that I should eat until satisfied. But after years of losing and gaining weight I'm afraid I don't know what's right anymore.

For another thing, I love to eat and can easily eat enormous amounts of food, even if they are plant-healthy.

One last question, is my assumption right that by eating too few calories I didn't lose weight, did my body go on 'starvation-alert'?

Thank you for any feedback!
Charles

Edited 10/01/13 8:09 AM
RE: How much calories do I need when I exercise?
Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM

If you want to end up with about 1500 calories for the day, net, then yes, you'd want 2300 calories (for example) as your gross calories before exercise (assuming 800 calories burned).

--DebR

RE: How much calories do I need when I exercise?
Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 4:12 AM

Hi DebR, thank you for the reply.

But I wonder what would be the best specific minimum calories I should eat. Because I already have experienced longer periods in which I ate the right foods, did lots of exercise but didn't lose a lot of weight.

So should I go for the 2630 calories which will bring me the minimum amount needed, or even more than that?

Edited 10/02/13 4:30 AM
RE: How much calories do I need when I exercise?
Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Charles7 wrote:

Hi DebR, thank you for the reply.

But I wonder what would be the best specific minimum calories I should eat. Because I already have experienced longer periods in which I ate the right foods, did lots of exercise but didn't lose a lot of weight.

So should I go for the 2630 calories which will bring me the minimum amount needed, or even more than that?


Many things will affect weight loss, including exercise - muscle weighs more than fat. Eating too few calories will cause the body to hoard them. Likewise, not drinking enough water will cause the body to hold water 'weight' - counter-intuitively, drinking more water will help the body clear out the system rather than hold onto water. (caffeinated beverages do not count really since they generally have a diuretic effect)
I usually use weight (in lbs) x 13 to find the amount of calories I need including moderate exercise (an hour on the treadmill at a brisk but not exhausting pace, for example). For heavy exercise, weight x 15. For marathon-level exercise (triathlons and such) you could/should probably go higher.
Also, look at what you're eating and have eaten in the past. I know, for instance, that eating a handful of nuts once a day for several days in a row will add a couple pounds easily. Anything that's likely to hang out in your intestines for a while (nuts, meat, dairy, etc) is added weight inside you. So, if I eat nuts, they tend to bind a bit and the weight goes up. Once I cut the nuts and add back more greens and such that scrub out the innards, the weight goes back down - safely.
--DebR

RE: How much calories do I need when I exercise?
Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 10:01 AM

"Is that my rule of 10 minimum 1830 + exercise calories 800 = 2630? Or should I leave the exercise out of the equation?"

Theoretically, that's correct. But it's all very generalized, and as we know, everyone's different.

At the risk of being too simple, just eat all the fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains you want! Keep it low in fat, and watch the weight drop naturally.

But if counting calories is something you want to do, then yes, about 2600 is the target range.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: How much calories do I need when I exercise?
Posted Monday, October 7, 2013 at 5:08 AM

Hi DebR and Susan,

Thank you again for your kind feedback.

The last few days I have been eating serious amounts of carbs (and from all 4 groups) and indeed my weight is dropping again. It seems again that I was not eating enough.

I have drawn my weight loss in a chart. I was expecting a straight line downwards, more or less.

But it now seems to be a sinus-line that goes down. So the confusing part is when I gain weight (when the sinus goes up again), it's frustrating to see this on my scale in the morning.

But now I'm now confident with the big picutre here: in general my weight is going down.

In the meantime my cholesterol has dropped from 232 (6 mmol) to 193 (5 mmol)! It's just a few points away from Esselstyn's 150 mg/dl... I'm so happy!

I have been trying with the books from Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Ornish, but each time I fell back to old habits.

What really works for me is Dr. Barnard's explanation of the craving psychology. I wanted to know 'Why?'. That combined with the explanations in 'The Pleasure Trap' gives a great backbone for keeping me on track.

I'm wondering how everybody else's weight drops? In a more or less straight line, or more like me, or another way?

Edited 10/07/13 5:19 AM
RE: How much calories do I need when I exercise?
Posted Monday, October 7, 2013 at 8:53 AM

When we conduct clinical trials, we suggest people look at the trend, not the day to day or even week to week. We want to see an overall drop in weight over the weeks and months. As long as the trend is down, we don't get too concerned with the occasional bumps up in weight. However, if we see the trend going up, with occasional drops, then we will reassess what is and is not working with food choices.

Thanks for sharing!

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: How much calories do I need when I exercise?
Posted Monday, October 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Thank you Susan, that is good to know!


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