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Old 08-07-2012, 09:32 PM   #1
Amber Honeycutt
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Losing body fat help

I just recently started crossfit. My strength is definitely improving. I upped my max in front squat by 20 lb and snatch 15 lbs in 1 week.
I have started eating pretty strict paleo on weekdays with a few cheats on weekends. I need to lose body fat though. I'm 20 yrs old, only 5'1 and 140 lbs. my question is: around how many calories should I be eating a day?
Btw, I do crossfit 5 times a week
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:48 PM   #2
Bill M. Hesse
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Re: Losing body fat help

Try 1800 and see what that does for you. If you can't get up to swing a kettlebell, then eat more or work less. Give it time and you should start to lose weight.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:58 PM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Losing body fat help

What do you eat on a daily basis and how much of it? Be specific.

What does "pretty strict paleo" and "a few cheats on weekends" mean? My general opinion on cheats is that they're something you do after you've reached your goals, or else you don't really have much right to complain about having trouble achieving your goals. For instance I don't have much room to complain about not having shredded abs or competing in the CF Games given the way I eat and drink, but I've also come to the realization that those goals don't matter to me so it doesn't bother me too much.

Having coached for ~4 years, I've also noticed that most people have much looser definitions of "a few cheats" than they should, so tightening up on that aspect would probably help you quite a bit.

When you say you "do CF 5x a week" what exactly does that mean? What do your workouts look like on a daily basis? Decent amount of strength work, or just a lot of 30+ minute metcons?

How much sleep are you getting, and is it quality sleep?

What are some of your lift numbers and your scores/times on benchmark CF workouts and stuff like 400m run, 500m row, max pullups, etc.?

Regardless of the answers to those questions, keep in mind that any sustainable changes to your body composition are going to be gradual. If you're looking for a "do X Y and Z and lose 20lbs in a month" the only magic solution I can think of would be to amputate a leg or take up crystal meth as a hobby.

About 97% of the time, the correct answer for someone in your situation is to continue training hard and smart, eat quality foods in quantities that will fuel your activity and recovery, be consistent, and check back in 3 months and see if you're closer to where you want to be.

Also keep in mind that weight is a pretty useless measure of your fitness...since you're a beginner, you may well maintain your weight (or even gain a few pounds) even as you're burning off body fat and getting fitter. Ignore the scale and focus on how you perform, how your clothes fit, and if you notice visual changes.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:26 AM   #4
Paulo Santos
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Re: Losing body fat help

Use an app like MyFitnessPal and enter your info. Set it up to maintain your weight and don't go above the recommended calories. The 5 workouts per week should put you at enough of a deficit to lose weight/fat. After a few weeks re-evaluate and if you still haven't lost anything, then reduce your calories by 50-100 calories and do it again for a few weeks.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:36 AM   #5
Larry Bruce
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Re: Losing body fat help

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Originally Posted by Paulo Santos View Post
Use an app like MyFitnessPal and enter your info. Set it up to maintain your weight and don't go above the recommended calories. The 5 workouts per week should put you at enough of a deficit to lose weight/fat. After a few weeks re-evaluate and if you still haven't lost anything, then reduce your calories by 50-100 calories and do it again for a few weeks.
One thing I notice with MFP is that it doesn't "back out" the REE calories when suggesting to "eat back" the exercise calories. In other words,
say you burn 150 calories per hour just normally milling around , and you work out for 90 minutes and burn 600 calories. The system will tell you to eat back 600 calories to meet your goal.

However, because you didn't burn 225 calories "doing nothing" you only burned 375 net extra calories, and this is what you should eat back to meet your goal. The difference can add up very quickly and the system doesn't do this calculation.

The other side of the coin is that the system doesn't count the "afterburn" calorie expenditure either. However this is typically less, and also would be accounted for in the selection of one's general activity level I should think.

So I would err on the side of caution and only eat back half the calories the system suggests, or put in less exercise than actually performed, to meet your goal. Nitpicking, but it adds up.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
Paulo Santos
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Re: Losing body fat help

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Originally Posted by Larry Bruce View Post
One thing I notice with MFP is that it doesn't "back out" the REE calories when suggesting to "eat back" the exercise calories. In other words,
say you burn 150 calories per hour just normally milling around , and you work out for 90 minutes and burn 600 calories. The system will tell you to eat back 600 calories to meet your goal.

However, because you didn't burn 225 calories "doing nothing" you only burned 375 net extra calories, and this is what you should eat back to meet your goal. The difference can add up very quickly and the system doesn't do this calculation.

The other side of the coin is that the system doesn't count the "afterburn" calorie expenditure either. However this is typically less, and also would be accounted for in the selection of one's general activity level I should think.

So I would err on the side of caution and only eat back half the calories the system suggests, or put in less exercise than actually performed, to meet your goal. Nitpicking, but it adds up.
I don't enter the workouts/exercises anymore. I just set it up to maintain my calories and that is all I worry about.
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