Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Holy Calorie Craziness

I was honestly going to wait until tomorrow to blog.  I wanted to wait until I had all my lifts done so I could put all the numbers in here.  But, well, I needed to share something first.

Remember that nutritional seminar I went to?  Well, in the presentation, there was a formula to calculate how many calories we all should be eating.  I honestly don't remember the name of the formula; there are tons of them out there.  Previously, my stuff was all calculated by lovely SparkPeople.  With Spark, I was eating between 1810-2160 calories a day, and that included the fact that I burn roughly 2750 calories/week with exercise.

The formula from the seminar:
BMR = 655.1 + (9.5663 x weight in kg) + (1.85 x height in cm) - (4.676 x age)
And yes, I was able to do the math.  I hate it, but when it has to be done....well, it has to be done.

This is what I got for me, using the above formula:
Sedentary (BMR x 1.53): 2499
Active (BMR x 1.76): 2874
Vigorous Active (BMR x 2.25): 3675

WTF?  Seriously?  No wonder I was starving by Fridays and felt like I could eat everything and anything.

Anyways, I asked Trainer Frank where he thought I should be within those ranges.  I mean, if you count my working out (which with these calculations, you also consider your workouts), I'm definitely not sedentary.  But, well, 2874 is a shit ton of calories.  That's 1000 more a day than what I'm I was currently eating.

Trainer Frank got back to me with this:  2900.

I about had a heart attack.

How the hell am I going to eat that much?  His advice...add on slowly.  Add 100 calories to breakfast and post-workout.

Ok.  That I can handle.

He said maybe I'll feel okay when I reach 2400 calories a day.  Maybe I'll still feel hungry and need to up things a bit.  Who knows?  For now, it is an experiment.

And before you all go, "holy moly....I thought this chick was trying to lose weight, and here she is eating all kinds of calories," I have finally come to the understanding that trying to lose weight and build muscle do not work together.  I've been told that by a bunch of people, but stubbornly thought....I can do it.

I need to feed the muscles.  I learned that the hard way earlier this week.

Monday I did some of my baseline lifts...these were my maxes

Hex Bar Dead Lift: 185# 5 reps
Military Press: 65# 5 reps
Rack Row (inverted): bodyweight 14 reps (failure)
Bent Row: 95# 6 reps

I ate like I normally do on Monday, both before and after the gym.  (Plus, I took a spin class in the morning. Mondays are double workout days.)

I woke up around midnight to my stomach growling.  Yep.  Growling.  I have this huge aversion to eating at night, so I sucked it up and went back to bed, but I paid the price on Tuesday.  I was hungry.  All. Freaking. Day.  I ate before I went to run at the gym in the morning (I hate eating before I run), I ate after I ran, I ate all day.  Simply because I didn't fuel myself properly on Monday for those heavy lifts.

So I realize I really do have to up my calories.  Yesterday I was around 1900, and was hungry again last night.  Today, if I eat my planned evening snack, I'll be at 2350.  And since I'm starting to feel hungry, I'm going to eat.  I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night hungry again.

It is just so weird to adjust my brain to this way of thinking.  Previously, my goal was to stay below a certain number.  Now, I'm trying to reach a number.  I understand that the scale probably won't move a whole lot while I'm doing this (be prepared for some whining on my part), but I'm hoping my body will respond favorably to building muscle, and that things will be redistributed.  (If that makes any sense.)

Tomorrow I'm running in the morning, and doing the rest of my baseline lifts at Death Gym after work.  Once we have that done, we'll set some goals and see where I can get by the beginning of June.

Hopefully, I'll be lifting like a man!


  1. I believe it's the Harris-Benedict formula.

  2. The SparkPeople ranges are way too low for me. I need to eat around 2200 calories to maintain my weight and SP recommends 1800 or so. It's definitely worth experimenting with. Don't be alarmed if your weight immediately goes up a few pounds because it could be bloating and it should level off.