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Old 02-05-2013, 08:36 PM   #1
Shannon Brady
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How much should I eat?

Background: I'm an 18 year old female, 5' 2.5", about 120 lbs. I do crossfit about 4-5 days a week (though I only do the bodyweight wods because I cannot afford to go to a class and have serious trouble with the lifting by myself). I've scoured the internet, but I can't find how many calories I should be eating. As a teenager, I've heard that I should be eating more than 2000, some say less....

How much would be a good amount for me? Also, I would love to lose a little bit of fat. I'm nowhere near overweight, but I would like my abs to at least partially show by summer.

Any suggestions? Should I monitor how much I eat? I don't overeat currently. A typical day looks like this.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, a banana, a cup of green tea.
Snack: A clementine or carrots, maybe a larabar.
Lunch: Big salad with whatever meat is leftover from last night's dinner (usually chicken).
Sometimes snack: Apple with peanut butter, sometimes deli meat
Dinner: A mix of meat and veggies (Baked balsalmic chicken and green beans)
Snack: Chocolate covered almonds, or a clementine, a banana with peanut butter, etc.


Also, do carbs really make a difference? I'm mostly paleo (can't give up my Trader Joe's peanut butter ) for health reasons, so I don't eat much-any grain. Would cutting out fruit/nuts help?

Thank you!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #2
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: How much should I eat?

if you want your abs to show then yes you will need to monitor how much you eat. also what you eat (macro breakdown) and when you eat (timing of meals) will play a role. i would start with 2000 and go from there. adjust up or down as needed. as for cutting out carbs, fruit, or whatever, that is something you will have to figure out for yourself. many people have strong opinions on both sides, but i have come to learn and believe that is can be highly individual. some people only macros and calories matter, other seem to strive on low fat diets while eating lots of fruit and carbs, other tend to need low carb higher fat diets, etc. personally, for me, i have found that what i eats matters as much as how much. fruit, milk, peanut butter, and many carbs tend to make me gain weight, even if daily calories are the same. the chiken and rice diet never worked for me as good as a high protein and high fat diet, even if calories were the same. i have other friends that have to cut out almost all fat to get lean while eating lots of oatmeal, fruit, and rice and only moderate protein. try it and see. however the first step is to track calories and figure out at what point you gain, lose, or maintain the same weight. supplements can also help a great deal. and many people have found out that specific timing of certain macros helps alot.

Last edited by Andrew N. Casey : 02-06-2013 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
John Holcombe
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Re: How much should I eat?

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Originally Posted by Shannon Brady View Post
How much would be a good amount for me?

Also, do carbs really make a difference?

Would cutting out fruit/nuts help?
1) 2000 is a good starting point like Andrew said. Counting calories can help some people but I was never a fan of it

2) Calories are what make the difference more than anything. If you burn more calories than you consume (consistently) you will lose weight. Starting with your daily diet, I would do that for a few weeks and see if you lose anything. If not, drop one of the snacks and try again for a couple weeks.

3) Fruit and nuts are both perfectly fine and healthy foods to keep in your diet
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:32 PM   #4
Richard Deyan
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Re: How much should I eat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Brady View Post
Background: I'm an 18 year old female, 5' 2.5", about 120 lbs. I do crossfit about 4-5 days a week (though I only do the bodyweight wods because I cannot afford to go to a class and have serious trouble with the lifting by myself). I've scoured the internet, but I can't find how many calories I should be eating. As a teenager, I've heard that I should be eating more than 2000, some say less....

How much would be a good amount for me? Also, I would love to lose a little bit of fat. I'm nowhere near overweight, but I would like my abs to at least partially show by summer.

Any suggestions? Should I monitor how much I eat? I don't overeat currently. A typical day looks like this.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, a banana, a cup of green tea.
Snack: A clementine or carrots, maybe a larabar.
Lunch: Big salad with whatever meat is leftover from last night's dinner (usually chicken).
Sometimes snack: Apple with peanut butter, sometimes deli meat
Dinner: A mix of meat and veggies (Baked balsalmic chicken and green beans)
Snack: Chocolate covered almonds, or a clementine, a banana with peanut butter, etc.


Also, do carbs really make a difference? I'm mostly paleo (can't give up my Trader Joe's peanut butter ) for health reasons, so I don't eat much-any grain. Would cutting out fruit/nuts help?

Thank you!
I would still slightly increase your meat/fish/poultry intake. Looks like you have chicken or something like that twice a day. Unless you're eating really big pieces then you're maybe getting ~75g of protein a day. I would be aiming to get 120g of protein every day.

I would also google and research what you may think your phenotype is. As someone said earlier it will largely depend on your experiences and body type as to whether you need to cut carbs or cut fat.

What kind of workouts are you doing? Because if they're met cons that are fairly long...I would actually advocate you eat MORE carbs than what you currently have. Anytime you're putting yourself through a fair amount of stress, be it mental or physical, you really need to worry about cortisol regulation. So depending on how stressed you think you are with school, work, workouts, etc. But I would not cut any more carbs than you are taking right now...

That also makes me wonder if you're doing bodyweight WOD's, are you doing strength and power stuff? If not I would really start trying to focus on the eccentric/negative portion of some things like squats, pushups, pullups, etc. Bodyweight metcons are great but the advantage of lifting weight is more muscle stimulation/easier to stimulate muscles for more growth. What's going to be easier/more efficient for adding muscle mass, heavy squats at 5-10 reps or hundreds of air squats? The more muscle you have, the easier it is to burn and keep fat off.
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