Eating more to weigh less?

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Posted 7/6/2012 by lisabb in NSBR Board


PeaNut 526,561
November 2011
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Loc: Bonnie Scotland

Posted: 7/6/2012 5:38:51 AM
I just joined this group on My Fitness Pal.

To be honest, it's all a bit overwhelming trying to get my head round TDEE & BMR, but basically it's saying, taking into consideration my job and exercise regime, I need to eat almost 2000 calories to lose 1lb per week (I currently aim for no higher than 1350)

Has anyone here lost weight by doing this. I'm terrified that I'll try this and end up going on vacation in 8 weeks time even heavier than I am now. I can however deal with an increase over a shorter period of time, if the weight falls off again.

I look forward to hearing your experiences, good and bad!

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Dalai Mama
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PeaNut 49,641
September 2002
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Posted: 7/6/2012 7:58:57 AM
The idea behind this is that your metabolism slows if you are not getting enough calories resulting in a stalled weight loss. Increasing your calories, in theory, should kick-start your metabolism and help take the weight off.

The issue that you might run into is calculating your calories both in and out. I find that MFP grossly overestimates the calories that I burn for any given exercise. If I coupled that with an haphazard recording of the calories I eat (which I am quite haphazard about), eating more could mean gaining. To cut down on the guess work, I have both a heart rate monitor to calculate the calories I burn when I exercise and a Fitbit to gauge my overall level of activity. If I were more concerned, I would also probably buy a food scale to make sure I'm not underestimating my calories.

Otherwise, it's a lot of trial, error and fine tuning which is fine if you're not on a time line.

Jo Mama


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PeaNut 43,843
July 2002
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Loc: East Coast

Posted: 7/6/2012 8:53:47 AM
There's lots of threads on mfp explaining this. But if you didn't want to exercise your calorie goal is set to 1200 a day to lose weight, that's the lowest amount of calories a person can eat. Now if you then burned 300 calories to your body that means you only ate 900 calories, which is not enough fuel and your metabolism will slow. Michael Phelps the olympic swimmer eats 12,000 calories a day when training. The more energy you exert the more you have to eat. You can try it for one week and stop if you don't like it.

I exercise daily and average about 1800 calories a day.

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PeaNut 142,870
April 2004
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Loc: MN

Posted: 7/6/2012 12:18:03 PM
The concept makes sense to me, but I do think you have to be careful about not overestimating your calories burned. It seems that most people in that group on MFP exercise a lot, so maybe that is why it works for them. If your exercise regimen is less intense (or less consistent) you may be better off eating back exercise calories and keeping your daily goal lower. You could always try increasing to 1500 and see how that goes.


PeaNut 66,309
February 2003
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Loc: Central Iowa

Posted: 7/6/2012 4:34:15 PM
I don't have a weight-maintenance plan or method that I follow...except what works for me. I eat immediately in the morning (a large bowl of oatmeal with raisins and pecans). Then I have snack mix and a piece of fruit (or two) before lunch. Smallish lunch, then snacks again by 2 and more before 4. Smallish supper and snacks again after that.

I've been within five pounds of the same weight for 22 years (except for pregnancies when I ate 2000 calories before lunch to prevent vomiting). I eat more than my husband and probably more than my kids....somewhere in the 2200 calorie range. I think this works for me because I'm very active and because I never let myself get hungry.

If I want to lose weight, I cut back to the 1800 calorie range and can usually lose a pound a week on that. I never have more than two or three to lose at a time, though, because I'm pretty careful about what I eat. I don't splurge on big meals at restaurants (I take at least half of my meal home and get another meal or two out of it). I don't over eat on sweets or pizza or any other of the big calorie items, either. I am less active in the winter, though, and that's when I have to be more careful.

I think that limiting calories to 1000-1200 a day shuts down your metabolism. Hunger = conserve metabolic energy/prevent starvation. I think it makes sense to keep your metabolism high and cut back a little at a time when needed.
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