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Need help determining my caloric intake needs


prettymommy
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So, I've been a little lazy for the past month, and have gained a few lbs (2-4). No biggie- my weight has always fluctuated a bit over the past couple years. Anyways, I need to figure out my caloric needs cause the various online calculators all give me different results.

 

To start with, I am 5'0 and anywhere between 120-124 lbs. I would like to get down and stay at 116-118. My weight has kind of platueued and I'm having a hard time breaking the 120 mark.

 

I run M, W, F, and Sat. 3-3.5 miles at anything from a 9:30-9:13 mile. I also walk 1/4 for a warm up and cool down. This burns anywhere from 350-400 calories.

 

T-Thur (expect for the past month- lazy and busy) I do about an hour of weight training at the gym on resistance machines. I follow that up with a 12 minute run, 4 minutes of which is a series of sprints (20 second sprints followed by a 10 second jog).

 

My diet consists of the following:

 

Breakfast: Yougurt with fruit and granola (250 calories) w/ coffee (120 for the cream and spoon of sugar) OR cereal (120-250) followed w/coffee (120). If I eat cereal, it's either shredded spoonfuls or Kashi O's, so both are low in sugar.

 

Lunch: Lean Cuisine (220-310 calories) & water

 

Snacks: Fruit (grapes, apples or bananas- 100 calories) or Kashi bar (130 calories)

10-15 Tortilla Chips and 1/2 cup salsa (200 calories)

Dinner: Varies..... usually about 400-700 calories, depending.

 

 

I don't drink a whole lot- 1-3 drinks a week, depending if I'm out socially or not. I almost NEVER drink at home alone.

I don't do a lot of "snacking" either..... my pantry and fridge are pretty bare for this reason. I pre-determine each week what I'm making for dinner and such, and only buy what I plan to eat each week. Not anything more. My son gets his lunch at school, and his after school care provides snacks, so I don't have much junk food laying around at home either (and the junk my son likes is stuff I don't anyways...)

 

Here is where it gets tricky..... I have a horrible sweet tooth. I usually try to pacify it by having a soy ice cream bar in the evening, which is about 130 calories. But if I have other sweets in the house at times ( I bake a desert every other Sunday- cookies, cakes, ice cream, whatever, and throw out what is left of it 3 days later).....

 

Also, I don't watch my diet too much on the weekends. I try to eat healthy, but dinners are kind of hard. It's worse on the weekends I have my son, as on Friday's we either go out for burgers and shakes or pizza and ice cream, and then on the thursday's before he goes to his Dad's we go out for a fun treat too.... cupcakes or ice cream or something like that.

 

So, I want to try to elimate the soy ice cream bars or other sweets in the evenings. I should probably get rid of the thursday night sweet with my son, as well as maybe start going out only 1x a month with him instead of 2x a month. Will be hard, but I can do it. But what else do I need to do? I don't know what else at this point to cut out... I feel like it's pretty skimpy to begin with, and I don't want to follow a horrible regimented diet 7 days a week. It will make me hate food and just relapse in the end. Also, do I need to increase my calories? Decrease them? Where should my calories be to begin with? Considering I'm kind of active..... all the calculators kick out different results- anywhere from 1200 calories to 1800!

 

Help!

 

And is there anything different I should do to my exercise regimine?

 

Thanks-

 

PM

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Bascially to lose one pound, you need to brun 3500 more calories than you consume.

 

My diet consists of the following:

 

Breakfast: Yougurt with fruit and granola (250 calories) w/ coffee (120 for the cream and spoon of sugar).

 

Lunch: Lean Cuisine (220-310 calories) & water

 

Snacks: Fruit (grapes, apples or bananas- 100 calories)

Tortilla Chips and 1/2 cup salsa (200 calories)

Dinner: Varies..... usually about 500-700 calories, depending.

 

I think you need more protein in your diet. The tortilla chips could be replaced with something healthier.

 

If you eat the same exact foods every day your body will get too used to that. Change things up a bit, with both diet and exercise. You can also zig zag your calorie intake to confuse your body, to keep you metabolism working at it's best. link removed

 

What's your water intake ?

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1 40 oz brita pitcher at work each day, followed with another glass or two at home. So I'm getting close to 64 oz of water a day.

 

I basically only drink water. I do have my coffee each morning, but that is about it. I have a soda every Friday, but even that has been wanning.... is getting down to once every other Friday. And the occassional wine/beer/cocktail if I am out socially.

 

What are good snacks with protein? I try to steer away from nuts b/c they are high in fat and calories.

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So, I want to try to elimate the soy ice cream bars or other sweets in the evenings. Will be hard, but I can do it

 

Try this instead: a No Sugar Added fudge bar (healthy choice or weight watchers brand is good) Cut the bar off the stick, into little cubes. Add 1 tsbp of melted natural peanut butter, and 2 tbsp of cool whip free. Top with 3 dark chocolate chips.

 

I have a major sweet tooth and that does the trick.

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Hey... this is the other thing I wonder?

 

With all the calculators, a lot of them tell me what my caloric intake should be, absent the fact of my exercise regimine. Do I need to add some calories to what I'm told I should eat to factor in the fact I burn 300 calories at minimum per day exercising?

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What are good snacks with protein? I try to steer away from nuts b/c they are high in fat and calories.

 

Fat free cottage cheese, a whey protein shake, small salad with grilled chicken, lowfat cheese stick, edamame. When in a pinch, I like the South Beach Diet high protein cereal bars.

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That was a good one. Said 1521 calories a day. Maybe I will eat few calories during the work week when it's easy to be better (say 1300) so that I can eat more on the weekends when I tend to be less restrictive with my calories.

 

Still... it says I should get to 116 by mid October if I start today. Seems quick to me, but we will see.

 

I maybe need to vary up the physical stuff too. I love to run tho...... it's such a great release for me.

 

I think what I'll do is start Sept 1 (I have a vacation planned at the beach next week) and go to Dec 1. That is three months. The calculator said I could eat 1755 calories a day if I want to lose 6 lbs. That's 2 lbs a month or about .5lbs a week. Seems fairly reasonable to me. And again, I could limit my calories to 1500 a day during the week and then add some extra on the weekends....

 

I will switch one of my daily snacks to protein... crackers and cheese, crackers and PB, high protein bar, something like that.

 

Just got to figure out some new exercise stuff now...

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Try adding more weight training. Don't give up running if you love it.

 

Don't give up dinner with your son either. It's ok to have one "cheat meal" a week. If you go out to a restaurant more than once per week, just try to order something lean and grean- like a salad with chicken on it (sans croutons and using a small amount of dressing)

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That's the thing though.... I don't know where I'm going to find the time to add in a bit more weight training, lol! It's hard enough to get to the gym during my lunch hour and get a run in or a full rotation on all the resistance machines.

 

Maybe I'll have to squeeze in something each morning.... like getting up 15 minutes earlier, or giving myself 15-30 minutes at home each day after work. That way I could get in a little bit of weight training each day. It's just hard to find any more time than that, given I'm a single Mom and all.....

 

You are right about the Friday nights out with my son. It's "our" thing and a ritual we both look forward to on our Friday's together. Same with Sunday dinners at home ( I always cook a nice meal and desert Sunday nights when he's home with me). I shouldn't let those go, esp. since the rest of the week it's just quickie stuff for us..... or me making one big meal I can eat for two or three days for left overs while I heat up something else quick for my son after the first night's meal (chicken fingers, hot dogs, etc).

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Maybe I'll have to squeeze in something each morning.... like getting up 15 minutes earlier, or giving myself 15-30 minutes at home each day after work. That way I could get in a little bit of weight training each day. It's just hard to find any more time than that, given I'm a single Mom and all.....

 

That sounds like a good plan. I know how hard it is to fit in exercise.

 

I think adding it in the morning is best. You get it over with and once it's done you feel good. I also keep a set of free weights in my living room and just grab them and start doing biceps while I am sitting on the floor playing with my 2 year old. I do calf rasies while waiting in long lines at stores (people probably think I'm crazy lol)

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