Calories too high?

  • Thanks for the reply! I know that you're not a doctor or anything, so no worries! I just like getting opinions from "real people" who have had success with the program.

    I just started week 3. I took measurements on March 8 so I'll do it again April 8 to compare the difference. I know those numbers matter more, but I also know I do have some scale weight to lose in order to really see a difference. My fiance says he can tell the program working because I'm looking more toned (and he wouldn't say that unless he meant it) so I feel good about that at least. I'm sometimes tempted to throw in the towel because I haven't had those dramatic results that others boast, but I am trying to stay strong and remember that it's my journey, no one else's. I just want my arms to look nice in my wedding dress (on July 2) and feel comfortable in a bathing suit on the beach on my honeymoon!

    Thanks for the ratio info. I get really dry skin and I notice it gets worse if I drop my fat too low. but I might play around with it for the second half of the challenge to try to accelerate results a tad, depending on where I am in 3 more weeks.

  • Please don't throw in the towel.  Be patient!  Many, many women experience something called the "8-week miracle".  Just believe in yourself and take it one meal, one workout at a time.  Having that wedding is certainly a good motivator.  

    Yes.... I recommend taking measurements every 4 weeks (I do mine first thing in the morning on free day).  I also get my bodyfat checked every 4 weeks.

    I'm rooting for you!  Contact me any time.

    All the best!

    Laurie, 2010 Body-for-Life Champion 46+

    Never underestimate your power to change.

  • Hi, I've been a little confused about how to eat.  I weigh 195 pounds with about 15% bodyfat.  On the days that I follow the BFL weight lifting routine I consume about 3, 500 calories, that way I have a surplus of calories to aid in new muscle growth.  On cardio and off day I consume about 2,200 calories.  Besides the cardio I also throw in some plyometrics on these days.  I don't ever have a cheat day on my day off: I eat to lose fat.  Am I going about this right  or should I always be in a colorie deficit?  My ratio is 30% protein, 50 % carbs, and 20% fat.

  • That sounds a little high...What I did was defined my basal calorie intake for my target weight (Google it for the calculations).  In other words, what do I want to weigh at the end of this challenge.  I used the sedentary calculation.  For me, that's 183 lbs and I need 1800 calories.  From that, ADD the number of calories that you burn (on average) for your workouts.  Don't get hung up on cardio or weights days.  This should be your daily intake of calories.  For me, it's 1800 if I didn't exercise, plus 200 calories per workout, so I take in 2000 calories a day.  

    Hope this helps.


  • @BigBen - I also used the LBM to define the protein that I needed.  I use 1.25 g of protein per pound of LBM and backed into calorie requirements using 25%fat/35% carb/40% Protein ratios.  These numbers jibed with the basal calculation I just referred to.  fyi, I also have an objective of increasing my LBM, so my protein is higher than carb.

    Lots of opinions on the right amount of protein, but there is little impact of taking in too much (except maybe the pocketbook, LOL)



  • Thanks for the info, I'll certainly give it a try.  I want to gain lean body mass, not fat, so I'll try lowereing my calories and increasing my protein intake.  About to go find out what my basal metabolic weight is.

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  • SoonToBeMrsJ,

    I just wanted to tell you that it is very possible for a "normal person" to drop the body fat you said you want to drop!  

    I started my challenge 12 pounds lighter than you, but I'm 2 inches shorter, so we are probably very similar in build and size.  My body fat % at the start was 29.1%, at the end of 4 weeks it was 25%, and at the end of 8 weeks it was 22.6%.  At the 8 week point I was only down 10 pounds of scale weight, but had dropped from 29.1% to 22.6% in body fat.  I'm in week 12 now, have only lost one additional pound, but the inches are still coming off as muscle replaces fat.

    I post this only to say keep on with the program, and let it work its magic!  I eat about 1500-1700 calories per day, fully utililize my free days, and do not do extra workouts or extra cardio.  Just trust in the program, hit your 10's, and you will see changes!


  • Thanks for the vote of confidence! Question: what were your results after 4 weeks? If I lose 10 lbs by the 8 week mark I would be SO happy. I'm down about 2 lbs and I'm in week 3, which is fine as long as they stay off...I fluctuate so much! I would be so, so happy to get my body fat down to 23-25% gotta keep training and eating smart to make it happen...

    Your results are really encouraging, and you're right it sounds like we started at about the same level...I am determined to stick with this and see where it takes me and even if I don't get the results I want by my wedding day (in 3 months) I know this is for LIFE and I'll get there in time!

  • Hi,

    Here's a quick copy/paste from my profile, I hope the formatting doesn't get all funky on me:

    8 Week Progress (February 27, 2011)

    Start of Challenge                    4 weeks results      8 Week Results

    Weight:     142 Pounds            135.5 Pounds         132 Pounds
    Body Fat:   29.1%                     25.0 %                  22.6%
    Chest:        36.5                        35.5                      35.0
    Waist:        31                           28.0                      27.5
    Belly:         35                           34.0                      32.0
    Hips:          40.5                        38.75                    38.0
    Thigh:        23.5                         22.75                    22.25

    I think my calories the first 4 weeks were a little bit lower, but I found with the heavy lifting I was so hungry and tired all the time, so I bumped them up a bit.  Still losing pounds, but only about one pound per week, but that's ok because my body is changing as well.  You have the right attitude about this - just keep plugging along, and as long as you are making forward progress, you will reach your goal! 

    Good luck, and don't stress about the million wedding details.....we got married in March in Minnesota, had a blizzard that day, and I just figured that whatever happened, we'd still be married at the end of the day!


  • I'm a bit confused about the amount of calories. I'm using to keep track of my meals (sorry to advertise another site) because the palm size method seems a bit inaccurate for me. I'm kind of a control freak. The calorie intake they recommend based on my stats is 1400, plus whatever I should be burning that day in workouts. So I'm averaging 1600 a day. I try to keep protein, carbs and fat as explained in the FBL book.

    I'm 6' and currently 215#s (I started at 230#, 3 and a half weeks ago). Based on what I've been reading it seems my calorie intake is too low.

    I've been losing weight and I don't feel tired (although my whole body aches), but based on what I'm reading I'm afraid I might not be building muscle. I have increased the limit in my weight lifting by about 20% so I guess that part of the workout is working, at least a little.

    Any recommendations?

  • ...again I am not a nutritionalist, but that sounds low and difficult to maintain.  Also, I use my TARGET weight for the end of the challenge as the weight I use for calculations.  If 215 is your target weight, you would be over 2000 cal plus exercise calories (say, 200)  If you are trying to build, I would kick it up a notch and target 1 to 1.25 gm of protein per lb of lean body mass.  That's at least 165 gm of protein per day if you are at, say  25% body fat (75% LBM) - again, that's if you are trying to build muscle.

    Hope this helps


  • You may not feel tired, but the aches could be a result of "starvation mode".  My trainer said that when you are in it, you will know it.  

    After talking to the EAS techs, I have decided to give the palm fist method a chance.  It has been working out a lot better, because I do not need the stress of counting calories.  I base my protein intake at .8 grams multiplied by my body weight and then divide that by the amount of meals I will be taking in daily.  If I am over, then oh well.  I just do not want to be under this amount.  The carbs are a rough estimate, but usually come out to a cup for all solid foods.  They tell me that if I am feeling hungry at the 2-3 hour mark then I have them right -- and I do.  I do not even have to check the time any more, because my body cues me to the right meal times.

    The reason they picked the foods they did is because they digest slower and are stored in the muscles as opposed to fat.  So it is important to get the carbs in, because without them you will not be able to push your body in the workouts.  Not to mention that the body will try to convert protein into energy which is not what you want.  You want them for muscle repair and growth.  

    So, just stick to the eating the same portions throughout the day and let your hunger be the guide.  During the day you will feel hungry around the 2 hour mark and then other times you may be able to go a little longer.  Your metabolism fluctuates during the day and after intense workouts.  

    Stick to the approved foods and you cannot go wrong.  This is supposed to be something you can make into a lifestyle and not just a quick fix.  

    Also, do not look at the scales.  They are really deceiving.  The body can fluctuate so much and you can be gaining muscle and losing fat.  Look at your body and/or get your body fat checked regularly.  I guarantee that the program does work, if you follow it the way they say.

    Take it from me.  I tried to modify the program and count calories.  That did not work.  I started doing exactly what they say and I have been making some amazing progress and I do not get stressed out any more.

    I hope this helps. (By the way, you can call the EAS techs any time during business hours.  They really do know their stuff and they can answer all your questions.)

  • Keep in mind one thing when doing this: DO NOT STRESS ABOUT IT.  What I mean by this is simple, do not put to much thought in to it.  Make it as easy as possible to stick to.  Strive for the proper nutrition and do not focus on the amount of calories.  Strive for 10's in your workouts -- and stick to the workouts that they say.  If you want extra cardio, then do something you like to do.  Stress causes an increase in cortisol levels, which tells the body to store fat as opposed to releasing it -- you are in survival mode.  This can also lead to muscle loss and fatigue.  This is supposed to be something you can do for the rest of your life and I could not imagine a life of stress from something that is supposed to make me feel better about myself.

    Make small goals.  You may want to lose 30 pounds in 12 weeks, and that is quite possible.  But do not give up if it takes a little longer.  You will get there and you will have the body that you have always wanted and you will feel stronger and healthier.  

  • Thanks BigBenny,

    Actually, overeating has never been my problem and in fact I'm counting calories to make sure I eat enough. If I compare the portions method against the calorie count, it always seems I have to eat more when I count calories.

    My overweight problem is the result of too much beer and that's going to be my real body for life challenge. I'm hoping with the first 12 weeks I'll be able to reach my weight goal but, if I don't, I'll keep doing it until I get there. Once I reach that goal, it's a matter of maintaining and like I said, controlling food intake is not going to be a problem (at least it's never been and I'm 47 yo). Now, the drinking, that's an entirely different animal, but the exercise is helping a lot in that area.