Calories? Am I eating enough?

  • I just started on BFL this week.  I haven't weighed in yet so I do not know if I have lost any weight.  But I am curious if I am eating enough calories?  I am doing the program exactly like the book says but sometimes I tend to go smaller than fist size on several meals through out the day.  When I weigh and calculate my calories per day it has been between 1000 & 1100?  I am hungry mostly right before I go to bed.  Can anyone tell me if my calorie intake is too low or if it is fine.  I also wear a bodybugg from 24 hour fitness which is calculating that I am burning around 2000 calories per day.  I am 5' 7" and weigh 139lbs. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

  • You should be going 2.5-3 hours between meals without hunger pangs.  If you are having hunger pangs then you need to increase your portions to get you to the 3 hour mark.  

    Different foods and workouts will make you more or less hungry, for example for me, on legs days I have my first three meals 2 hours apart because my body tells me thats what it needs.

    Instead of telling us the calories, post your meal plan for a day.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Hi Michelle.

    Ok, that makes sense. I am hungry sooner than 2 hours after some of my smaller meals.  Here is a typical meal plan menu for 1 day.  Thanks so much for your input.

    meal 1

    3 egg whites

    1 red potato

    meal 2

    1/2 can tuna

    1/2 apple

    meal 3

    1/2 c. cottage cheese (non-fat)

    1 small bag baby carrots

    meal 4


    tbsp. almond butter

    meal 5

    4 oz. chicken ***

    1/2 C. brown rice

    green salad w/ cherry tomatoes


    1/2 can tuna

    1/2 C. cantaloupe

  • Hi Sam

    I'm new here and this is my first post by the way :)

    I did the BFL program a few years ago and lost about 30 pounds over 12 weeks, and I was very rarely hungry following the meal plan. But I gained a bunch back over the years by letting myself go so to speak. I'm about to embark on another run through starting on Tuesday, which is why I'm here.

    Anyway, I just had a look at your typical meal plan. I noticed for meal 3, you just had a protein and vegetable. And meal 4 (although it sounds yummy) was just a vegetable (celery) and healthy fat (almond butter). If you make sure you're eating 6 meals with both a protein and a carb, adding a vegetable serving to at least two of those meals, and including in those meals some healthy fat, you should find yourself feeling much more satisfied. If you're pressed for time, shakes work well too.

    So I would suggest listening to your body, and if you feel you're not eating enough, then have a bit more. Aside from health concerns from not eating enough, feeling too hungry makes it hard to stick to the program and can lead to giving in to bad cravings. Plus your muscles need that energy to grow and you need the fuel to get through the workouts.

    When I did the program, I actually thought I was eating too much because I usually felt full, especially from eating every 2-3 hours, but the weight just kept coming off. This is definitely not one of those diet/fitness plans where you feel like you're starving all of the time, and that's why it works so well.  

    Best of luck!

  • 1000 calories sounds a little low, considering the hard work and effort you must put into your workouts. Marianne is right, a couple of your meals look wonky...make sure to get a solid portion of protein and carbs at each meal. Just keep listening to your body, and if you are hungry before 2-2.5 hours, make sure to increase your portion size a little bit next time. It takes some tweaking and constant adjusting, but you'll get there. Good luck!!!!!!!

  • Sam, Just glancing through your meal plan, I noticed you have 1/2 can of tuna...this provides only about 10g protein, same with the cottage cheese.  One (imo) needs to become a label reader during this program as well.

    A female typically needs around 20g protein and 20g carbs PER meal. So definitely up your portions; the standard rule of thumb is a gram of protein for every lb. you weigh so if your wt. is 139 then that divided by 6 would be 23g protein per meal.

    Hope this helps and best wishes on your success! :-)

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • One last comment Sam.  All 6 meals should be about the same size.  Not labeled as snacks and meals.  Cutting your calories too much can even cause your body to stall out.   I'm with DebbieMO on the 1 gram protein per pound of bodyweight divided by 6. has a lot of BFL supporting data.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Thanks so much everyone for your advice.  Debbie & Michelle I had never heard how many grams of protein & carbs per day to eat.  That makes sense.  So do I eat the same in carbs also?  If I eat 20 grams of protein each meal then I eat 20 grams of carbs per meal?  If that is correct then I am eating way too low of protein per meal so increasing that should help me to feel better.  Do either of you know about whether it matters if we need to drink our water cold?  The book says "ice water" but sometimes I like room temp water when I am cold.  Does the temp of the water really matter or just that I am drinking it.  How much is good?  I drink 120 oz's per day.

    Thanks again for everyones input.  I truly appreciate it as I am still feeling a bit confused on what I should be doing exactly.

  • I only drink room temp water.  I'm not a fan of ice water.  Everyone has a different theory on water, but at minimum 2 cups with each meal.  

    As to the 20/20 rule that's the "average" not everyone is average.  I believe you said you are 5'7" so you'll probably be around 23/23.  Just listen to your body and adjust from there.  

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Some questions about carbs....

    1) Somewhere I read that when you're counting carbs you should count net carbs, which (as I recall) was grams of carbs minus grams of fiber. Even without calculating net carbs, I'm wondering if we care at all about fiber. That's one thing I don't remember seeing in this plan is how much fiber we should be working in. Are there guidelines for that?

    2) With the 1 gram per pound, is that based on your current weight or on your goal weight? I have a good bit to lose. I'm 5'6" and 190 pounds and am afraid if I eat 30 grams of protein at a meal, I won't lose weight.

    3) I love vegetables, and a lot of my diet has been veggies. Don't they count as carbs too?




    Exercising, eating right are hard. Being fat, out-of-shape and unhealthy is hard.

    Pick your HARD! 

  • Hi Sailinwench.

    I am not sure on the fiber thing.  My guess is that since we are taking in vegetables plus almost all the allowed carbs on the list are also high in fiber, we don't need to keep track. Just my guess.

    As far as the 1 gram per pound, it is 1 gram of protein & carb per pound you currently weigh for a days total.  I did change that today once I read that & I have to say that I feel a lot better.  I am able to go 3 hours between meals without feeling hungry. I think you should definitely use this model as a guideline.  Before I was feeling that I needed sugar. And I was hungry by 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I definitely will continue to use the 1 gram per pound model.

    I too thought that I could eat a vegetable in place of one of the carb items but that is not correct.  Now I am only guessing, but although vegetables are a carb, I think maybe they dont keep you as full as long as the carbs on the list do.  So to fuel that fire we need the protein with one of the carbs on the list and then add vegies to 2 of your meals.  I am just going to do it exactly as the book says since that is how everyone else has been so successful.  I know it is hard to break old habits or ideas.  I too had a thing with eating all these carbs.  It was hard my first week to accept that it was okay to eat the carbs.  So I understand how you feel about the protein thing.  

    I hope some of my information helps you.  Goodluck.:)

  • Thanks, Sam, that helps!



    Exercising, eating right are hard. Being fat, out-of-shape and unhealthy is hard.

    Pick your HARD!