Thursday, January 15, 2009

Calorie Counter


Trust me, I don't absolutely love monitoring my intake of food, but unfortunately I am not one of those people who just doesn't need to worry about it. Since I've begun my little taper, and also realized how many pounds lately I have lost I've become a little paranoid about putting ##s back on. I just can't disregard how much I am eating right now. I don't want to go bananas and end up gaining any weight.

So, I consulted my coach and the internet and put together some calculations. I've done this before, but it is always good to get a refresher...

From the Discovery Health website I found the following:

Basal Metabolic Rate

You expend energy no matter what you're doing, even when sleeping. Thus your Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day - a tempting idea for some. If you've noticed that every year, it becomes harder to eat whatever you want and stay slim, you've also learned that your Basal Metabolic Rate decreases as you age. Likewise, depriving yourself of food in hopes of losing weight also decreases your BMR, a foil to your intentions. However, a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise can increase your BMR, improving your health and fitness when your body's ability to burn energy gradually slows down.

There is a calculator on that site that gives me a BMR of 1,372.

Then I got this info from Coach Shawn:

Anything you do outside of that is extra. Running adds calories, walking around adds calories and anything else that requires movement. If you have a sedentary job, add about 40%. That brings it up to about 1,820. If you run 5 miles and burn 400 calories, add another 400 to the mixer. Now we are up to 2,220. Anything else is just added as you go along. I would imagine that on a regular day you are burning anywhere from 2,250-2,500. That means that if you eat that many calories a day, you will maintain your current weight. This is a guess.

So...today I'm running 4 miles with speedwork which means I will probably burn about 2,270 total calories today. (1372 BMR + 548 [40% extra] + 350 [my run] = 2,270)

This is mind-blowing to me! Eat 2,270 calories to maintain my weight today? Awesome! I've been tracking my cals the last few days and every day has come in less than 2,000 (if I'm calculating it right). AND THIS INCLUDES ICE CREAM! Can this be right?!

Has anyone tracked this before and how do you think the BMR formula works out?

4 comments:

RunToFinish said...

well it's not exactly a complete add on because your BMR assumes you are basically sleeping for 24 hours. So instead you are adding activity to those numbers ie. 1min sleep maybe equals 1 calorie and 1 minute running equals say 10. so really it's 9 calories that you can add to your bmr. Anyhow that's how it was explained to me when I said it didn't seem quite right that I could eat 2500 cals...granted i eat like 2100 daily and have been able to maintain my weight for 4 years

Jen Rife said...

I use fitday.com. You can keep track of your calories on it as well as how many calories you burn through your daily activities and workouts.

Tracy said...

believe it or not..myhusband and i are HUGE Biggest Loser fans. Neither one of us is overweight though...but, that being said, we were intrigued by those little Bodybugg thingies!! So we got them..whoa, amazing! Love em! I have lost 9 pounds just by tracking my calorie intake versus my calories burned. I don't need to lose anymore, I do like the fact that is keeps you on top of your sodioum and fats, carbs..etc. But my husband is a UPS man and Freaked when he found out he was burning over 5000 calories just at work! So they are dope! For sure!
(love the ring by the way, Congrats!!!)

Marathon Maritza said...

I definitely need to start counting calories and keeping track of my food intake, but your method requires all sorts of math and gosh-darned it, that's a lot of work! Maybe I'll just ask my PT how many I can eat. And then track it on fitday.

Let me know how the counting thing is working for ya!