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Old 12-19-2013, 04:25 PM   #1
Bethany Jones
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Confusion About Calorie tracking/ methods

So I'm new to CF (only 1 mo. in) and I am loving it! I feel so empowered and am discovering a confidence I never knew. And such a great community!

To give you a little history, over the past 1 1/2 yrs I've lost 65lbs through diet change (clean eating) and fitness (personal training, running, TRX, Bikram yoga). Through the whole process I focused on calories in, calories burned to maintain a deficit to very good effect.

Fast forward to today. I'm 5'3", 148lb, 39yrs old with about 20lbs left to lose. I CF three days a week and cycle in front of the TV some evenings for 30 mins. Since joining CF I've plateaued a bit in weight loss which I understand (build muscle, then burn fat). I can't quite figure out what my new calorie strategy should be to continue losing weight while ensuring I'm giving myself enough fuel. I'm not so focused on a number for weightloss but based on a bodyscan I had done at the Y (InBody230), I know I still have a good amount of fat to lose.

How should I approach caloric intake? Do I need to keep an actual deficit or should I focus on building muscle and let my new found muscles burn calories. I'm sure I'm not being as articulate as I should be so below I've listed some factual info about calories, BMR, and Body composition.

It's hard to be casual about calories after being regimented for so long. I'm willing to shift gears into a new method, but want to be sure I'm getting it right. Any help and guidance you could give would be great!

Body Scan (done at 154lbs)
Female
5'3" 148 lbs (Current Weight)
Skeletal Muscle Mass: 55lbs (high end of normal
Body Fat Mass: 52lbs (lower end of Overweight)
Body Fat to lose: 21lbs
BMR: 1369

Daily Caloric intake: 1400 cals give or take 100 cals.
Diet is mostly fruits, veg, lean protein, fats (avocado, almond butter)
Very few carbs (english muffins, Ezekiel tortillas)

Thanks again!
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:51 AM   #2
Darryl Shaw
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Re: Confusion About Calorie tracking/ methods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethany Jones View Post
I can't quite figure out what my new calorie strategy should be to continue losing weight while ensuring I'm giving myself enough fuel. I'm not so focused on a number for weightloss but based on a bodyscan I had done at the Y (InBody230), I know I still have a good amount of fat to lose.
It's impossible to track energy intake and expenditure with any meaningful degree of accuracy, therefore calorie counting is a waste of time and in many cases a source of unnecessary stress. For this reason I recommend following Jeff Novick RD's guidelines on calorie density outlined in the links below.

AIS Sports Nutrition Factsheet: Weight loss.

How To Successfully Count Calories! by Jeff Novick MS RD.

A Common Sense Approach To Sound Nutrition by Jeff Novick, MS RD.*

Maximizing Weight Loss: How To Fine Tune Calorie Density by Jeff Novick, MS RD.

* Note: To calculate the calorie density of meat or anything else not included in Jeff Novicks calorie density scale look it up in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference then enter 4.54 in the box labelled value per 100g to calculate calories per pound.

Quote:
How should I approach caloric intake? Do I need to keep an actual deficit or should I focus on building muscle and let my new found muscles burn calories. I'm sure I'm not being as articulate as I should be so below I've listed some factual info about calories, BMR, and Body composition.Daily Caloric intake: 1400 cals give or take 100 cals.
Increasing muscle mass requires a positive energy balance, losing weight requires a negative energy balance. So, with the exception of complete beginners to exercise, you can't do both at the same time. What you have to decide then is which do you want most?

Quote:
Daily Caloric intake: 1400 cals give or take 100 cals.
Diet is mostly fruits, veg, lean protein, fats (avocado, almond butter)
Very few carbs (english muffins, Ezekiel tortillas)
Carbs are not the enemy.

AIS Sports Nutrition Factsheet - Carbohydrate.

*All links wfs*

Last edited by Darryl Shaw : 12-20-2013 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:43 PM   #3
Chris Mason
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Location: Charlottesville  VA
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Re: Confusion About Calorie tracking/ methods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethany Jones View Post
So I'm new to CF (only 1 mo. in) and I am loving it! I feel so empowered and am discovering a confidence I never knew. And such a great community!

To give you a little history, over the past 1 1/2 yrs I've lost 65lbs through diet change (clean eating) and fitness (personal training, running, TRX, Bikram yoga). Through the whole process I focused on calories in, calories burned to maintain a deficit to very good effect.

Fast forward to today. I'm 5'3", 148lb, 39yrs old with about 20lbs left to lose. I CF three days a week and cycle in front of the TV some evenings for 30 mins. Since joining CF I've plateaued a bit in weight loss which I understand (build muscle, then burn fat). I can't quite figure out what my new calorie strategy should be to continue losing weight while ensuring I'm giving myself enough fuel. I'm not so focused on a number for weightloss but based on a bodyscan I had done at the Y (InBody230), I know I still have a good amount of fat to lose.

How should I approach caloric intake? Do I need to keep an actual deficit or should I focus on building muscle and let my new found muscles burn calories. I'm sure I'm not being as articulate as I should be so below I've listed some factual info about calories, BMR, and Body composition.

It's hard to be casual about calories after being regimented for so long. I'm willing to shift gears into a new method, but want to be sure I'm getting it right. Any help and guidance you could give would be great!

Body Scan (done at 154lbs)
Female
5'3" 148 lbs (Current Weight)
Skeletal Muscle Mass: 55lbs (high end of normal
Body Fat Mass: 52lbs (lower end of Overweight)
Body Fat to lose: 21lbs
BMR: 1369

Daily Caloric intake: 1400 cals give or take 100 cals.
Diet is mostly fruits, veg, lean protein, fats (avocado, almond butter)
Very few carbs (english muffins, Ezekiel tortillas)

Thanks again!
You have stalled in weight loss, but do you feel you have lost any body fat?
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #4
Larry Bruce
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Re: Confusion About Calorie tracking/ methods

Is it hard to know exactly how much you're eating and burning in terms of calories? Yes it is. But if you "eat light" a large portion of the day and "eat a bit more" the other portion of the day following working out you will maximize calorie partitioning - where the energy you need comes from and where it goes to.

Say I worked out before dinner typically. If I ate light during my easy part of the day I'd tend to burn fat from stores. If I ate more than I needed around workout, including enough protein and carbs, I'll tend to rebuild and build muscles and restore glycogen rather than put on fat. You don't have to diet per se - it's possible to eat "at maintenance" and both lose fat and gain muscle of the course of a day, week, month - when timed with effective exercise. And this can be seen on the scale, in the mirror and on the gym floor - in results.

Obviously good eating habits, choice of food matters in terms of overall fullness. If you eat junk food you will get cravings. If you eat "healthy" you won't. Meat is a part of this for many but doesn't have to be as long as you balance your vegetarian sources to get adequate complete protein over the course of the day. In a meal, adequate protein intake especially, tends to promote feelings of fullness. Bulk and fiber play a part too. As does taste Though high in caloric density moderate consumption of nuts are associated with weight loss as well. Go figure.

It's good to be aware of the patterns of your eating and activities and time them to be synergistic to your goals. Though I would suggest focusing on performance goals rather than specific weight goals - the latter will take care of itself based on performance requirements.

Last edited by Larry Bruce : 12-21-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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