Friday, October 30, 2009

Dis little plan of mine, I'm gonna let it shine

Why yes, I am just chock full of whimsy.  Why do you ask?

So.  I've been thinking about this plan of mine.  The calorie plan, that is.  (Not the one where bunnies take over the world and I sit at their right hand, handing out rabbit treats.  We won't mention that one.)  As I believe I've mentioned before, I wasn't losing weight when I started running and the two options for resolving that problem and therefore losing weight are:

1.  Eat more.
2.  Eat less.

Hence my previous post where I set out my plan.  Da plan, if you will.  And I will.  Oh, I will.

No, I have no idea what's gotten into me today.  Why do you ask?

Getting back to it, I calculated the BMR for a person at 190 lbs, moderately active.  I also calculated the BMR for a person at my goal weight of 145 lbs, moderatively active.  Throw in some other reasoning, presto chango, I am aiming for a calorie goal of 2000-2100 calories per day. 

But then I got to thinking about how much exercise is considered being "moderately active"?  Is it being alive + burning 300 calories a day at exercise?  + 500 calories?  What?  This goes back to my dilemma of, I am eating too little or too much?  I thought, maybe I should also calculate the BMR for a sedentary person at 190 lbs and 145 lbs, see what that comes up as. 

Using the same calculator, I come up with 1935 calories per day a 190 lb woman needs to be alive.  For 145 lbs, it is 1700 per day.  Okay.  Now I know.

Now what do I do with that information?


Well, let's think about this.  At 190 lbs, about where I am right now (187.6, actually, but who's counting?  I am, bitches!!), 1935 is still consistent with my target of 2000 calories per day.  But that should mean that I need to net 2000 calories per day, right?   I can either do nothing and eat 2000 calories per day, or I can eat more and then burn off the difference between what I consumed and 2000 calories.  Sounds logical, yes?  Except that 2000 calories appears to be what I need to maintain 190 lbs, rather than what I need to lose a pound a week, my target amount of weight loss.  But then if I am burning calories through exercise wouldn't I need to take in additional calories to fuel the exercise itself?


And what would running be?  Moderate activity or very active activity?  For me, the moose, I'm thinking maybe running is very active.  Gah!!!

Okay, off to consult the "professionals," in this case, the Mayo Clinic.  I was using the other BMR calculator because, frankly, it popped up numbers I liked.  But let's compare and contrast, shall we?

Mayo's BMR calculator says that for 190 lbs woman of my age and height, my BMR (using their terms) at inactive it's 1935; at somewhat active it's 2150; at active it's 2350; and at very active it's 2700.   For 145 lbs, at inactive it's 1700; at somewhat active it's 1900; at active it's 2050; and at very active it's 2400. 

Now here is the part that helps me out (thanks Mayo Clinic!).  It gives examples of light activity (walking or gardening), moderate activity (fast walking or water aerobics), and vigorous activity (jogging, bicycling or lap swimming).  Then, you have your categories when selecting your usual activity level of:  inactive (never or rarely do physical activity), somewhat active (light activity or moderate activity 2-3 times per week), active (at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week or 20 minutes of vigorous activity at least 3 days a week), and very active (large amounts of moderate or vigorous activity in your day). 

Based on that, I would put myself at the higher end of active.  When I'm training, that is. 

The end result of all of this -- and thanks for coming along for the ride, I appreciate it! -- is that I still believe a calorie goal of 2000-2100 average calories per day is a good target for me.  Also, I may well have been eating too little on average by up to as much as 500 calories per day.  That's an entire meal!  As I get back into a regular training schedule, I may need to up my calories accordingly.  But I think that in the short term (one to three months) that this will keep me satisfied food-wise and enable me to lose about a pound a week. 

Now off to finish my lunch!

the CilleyGirl

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