Come on down to the starve and binge....

Hey all,
I have been getting questions lately about my calorie intake.
I will be eating 1400-1500 calories 5 days a week.
On Wednesdays I eat 1600 and Saturdays I will eat 1800 calories.
People wanted to know how I could eat 'so many calories' and still lose weight.
These calories are actually lower than recommended.
I am still in weight loss calorie range here.
Maybe I should explain a bit about my weight loss philosphy.
I have no intention of starving to lose weight.
There is no reason to.
One person expressed concern over losing 'only' 1 or 2 lbs a week.
I don't mean to pick, I can see how 1 or 2 pounds might seem 'slow'.
It's a healthy weight loss.
It is EXACTLY the amount I am looking to lose per week.
4-5 lbs a month is what I am shooting for.
I exercise 6 days a week...
6 days of cardio and toning.
I burn 500-700 calories at a time.
On days when I eat 1400-1500 I am at a 600 to 700 calorie deficit
When I eat 1600 I am at a 500 calorie deficit.
At 1800 I am at around a 300 calorie surplus unless I take a hike with my kids.
over all I will be around 3000-3500 calorie deficit per week...maybe more depending on how many 1400 calorie days I have and how hard I work out.
This isn't a race to the 'finish line' for me.
I get no awards for hitting 'goal' in record time.
On may 18th, it will be one year to the day that I weighed for the first time, I started losing weight by walking and capping my calories two weeks prior.
In that time I have lost around 106 pounds.
That averages out to 2 lbs a week.
In that time I have NEVER laid in bed starving.
I have never thought...I need to starve myself to lose weight.
You see, I used to do this.
I would eat 1200 calories or less.
I would starve, I would workout, starve some more..
I would last two or three weeks.
Then I would binge.
Then I would step on the scale and get upset cause I had 'only' lost a pound or two in two weeks.
Number 1.
All those calories count, whether they are planned for or whether they are not planned for.
If you eat so little that you snap and binge,  feel guilty, starve some more, over exercise, get on the scale, get upset, starve, snap, binge, feel guilty, over exercise,  then quit. Then regain what you've lost and then some.
You get nowhere.
For me, this is not an all or nothing proposition.
I am trying to live life. 
I am not interested in getting 'there' as quickly as possible.
I am interested in learning how to live this way FOR.THE.REST.OF.MY.LIFE.
And quite frankly, if I thought I could only eat 1000 calories a day for the rest of my life...I'd still be fat.
That's the truth.
If that is all you can truly eat, then you should have your thyroid checked.
Average daily intake for a woman who is 128 lbs and exercises should be around 1700 calories a day.
If you can't lose on 1200-1400 calories a day...I would say your thyroid is hinky.
If you take my calories and add them and then divide them....it averages around 1523 calories a day.
My goal weight is 132 lbs. It takes around 1320 to maintain 132 lbs without exercise....If I burn 500 doing exercise, I should be able to eat 1820 calories a day.
I have been spot on with this all the way from 262 to my current weight of 157 lbs. 
So the calories I am eating still aren't maintenance for my goal weight, but I am shifting in that direction.
I am looking to hit 132 somewhere around december of this year.  
I used to head on down to the binge and starve once  a year.
Every year I would give up and feel frustrated, like a loser.
I wasn't a loser, I was just off kilter.
I wasn't making this a part of my life.
It was an abberation, a thing I could stop doing once I reached some magical weight.
It can't be that.
It has to become as unconcious, as natural as being fat was.
That takes time, and planning, and deliberate decisions about what I do.
I hope this answers some questions about my weight loss...
 I would like to leave a few questions.
What are you trying to accomplish by losing weight?
What is it you are shooting for?
It's not a number...that I know.
Hope everyone has a great sunday.
I have to get ready for the gym.



anne h said...

Hugs to you Chris!
At first, I did alot of fasting.
Alternate day fasting.
Protein shake fasting...
Didn't hurt - really helped.
Lots of us aren't losers....just off kilter
from time to time....
It's always a good time to adjust!
It's never a pinpoint on a map, is it?

Ice Queen said...

I love this post! You so beautifully articulated so much of what I am thinking, where I am going and what I am doing. (Obviously I have a long row to hoe, yet but, hey, it gets a little shorter, each day. :D)

What am I trying to accomplish by losing weight? Simple. I am trying to save my life. And improve my quality of life. I want to live. Not just exist as a shell of what and who Iam and can be.

What is is I am shooting for? A healthy, normal weight for me. At present I have absolutely no idea what that looks like. It could be 130. Or 140. Or 160. I just don't know, right now. I imagine as I get closer to the weight I should be, my body will signal me. I just need to be open to the signs and listen.

Have a terrific day. :D

Anonymous said...

What am I shooting for?
I do have a number in mind, that I'd like to be. Mainly because when I was that weight, I was healthy and happy and active and I want to be that again.

I was wondering, how do you know how many calories you're burning?
Right now I'm losing about a pound a week, which is good, but I think that I'm overestimating how many calories I'm burning.

She woke up FAT said...

Weight loss isn't a race; there is no finish line and no prize. In my experience the faster you lose the more likely you gain it back. Your plan is a solid plan.

Anonymous said...

I am brand new to your blog.

I like your way of thinking. Slow and steady does win the race, but it is frustrating at times.

What am I hoping to accomplish? Find a way back to loving me.


✯FiTCETERA✯ said...

A nice, sane approach, Chris.

It hardly seems a year already. It went by quickly and those 1-2 pound losses have added up to a tremendous success.

I'm vain. I want to look my best and that means getting the fat off.
Other than having cancer, I'm healthy stats wise and I'd like to keep it that way.
My Dr.'s insist that my being fat has nothing to do with having cancer. That may be true but my previous diet of heavily processed foods may be at fault. Who knows. I'd like to see if my new way of living finally results in being cancer free.
Can't hurt trying.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. It's beautiful here ... hope it's gorgeous your way too.

Anonymous said...

Great post Chris, thanks! I am always interested to read about how different people lose weight. It is such an individual thing and what works for one might not work for another. After losing so much weight I know you know what works for you.

To answer your questions...What are you trying to accomplish by losing weight? I want to be able to really enjoy my leisure time.
What is it you are shooting for? Same answer, being able to be fit enough to enjoy my leisure time.

Curvy Jones said...

Thanks for breaking it down! Definitely worth some calculation on my food intake!

that TOPS lady said...

A dear friend of mine, who now weighs 117 after being very heavy, and whom now owns a fitness center,...that friend agrees with you COMPLETELY and that is the same advice she has given me. She said that too many dieters eat too little, then crash and burn. Looks like you are doing great!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Chris.

Although I didn't ask for it, thanks for the explanation. It helps me with my own "calculations" and kind of adjusted my point-of-view a bit.

A rational approach seems so novel to me. chuckle. sigh. groan. I've been working my way towards that direction--but I've kind of felt guilty about it.

Maybe normal is okay, huh?


Anonymous said...

I wish I had a balance. I hate the ups and downs in this world.
love yourself!

Certifiably Fit said...

Really like your approach. Very sensible and much healthier then the roller coaster of starving/binging.

Alexia said...

yup, common sense here. and you're doing so well.

Rettakat said...

I really appreciate a look at the "stats"... I've been thinking of re-doing mine a little, and this gives me food for thought. Thanks for that!

I like how you are easing into maintenance. I must admit, I don't relate... I have so far to go, that to be honest, it's a like a gray hazy mist to me... no details, out of focus. Well, I suppose that will change when I get closer. :-)


Linda Pressman said...

I love the way you approach that, Chris. There's the science - that these calories worked off equals this deficit which equals this amount of loss, and then there's the taking care of yourself. Knowing that you can't live with deprivation.

It's not a race - true words.

outdoor.mom said...

you are doing so wonderfully and with such a scientific sounding approach!
i guess i want to look good and feel good. i want to be healthy too. i want to be the best i can.

Helen said...

You make a GREAT point showing how your calories average. Most people don't realize that one or two binges will result in gains. Daily moderation with a teeny uptick equals a lower caloric intake overall and weight loss. Good job forming a liveable plan. Hopefully some who are struggling will really read this and take your advice to heart!

carla said...

love this as what and how we eat is all so unique to, well, US.
I know many people think they'd gain on what I eat a day (given the fact I really do not work out all that much) BUT ITS THE KINDS OF CALORIES IM CONSUMING.
If I ate the same number (Im guessing I average 2000?) but processed crap I have my saddle bags back in no time a well :)

Seth said...

it's your simple, cut and dry approach that I like. I think that is why it is so easy to follow your train of thought. You've come a long way in a year. I hope you get that December mark!

Rita said...

True and true. I think there is a lot of brain washing that you can't get there without starving yourself. I enjoy my 2400 calorie a day maintenance. I can't tell you how many people argue with me that it's too much to stay here. i stopped counting them, but then again I stopped arguing too.

We each have our way and the proof comes when those who make it keep it off.

great explantion.

Putz said...

you do know that when at 5000 calories, it is then possible to lose weight at 2000{ifin you exert yopurself all day doing manely things}

Splurgie said...

You said it best when you said that there is no finish line. This is it for life. I have also dieted in the past, got discouraged that the results were so mediocre and gained weight while I waited for the courage to try again. This time (started last fall) I'm doing it low and slow. You know what? I never gave up ... never even considered it. If it take another year, so be it. I've never starved, never felt dizzy or weak, and never said "The hell with it." Great post today as always!

M Pax said...

I lost the most weight when I upped my calories to 1400-1500 a day. You're right. Bonus that I usually wasn't hungry either.

That's how I maintain, too. I probably eat 1600-1900 calories a day. More than that and I start to gain.

More than a 2 lb weight loss per week is dangerous for women. 1/3 of what we lose is muscle and bone. Muscle loss leads to gaining weight loss back. Muscle is what keeps the metabolism up and keeps the weight off.

Women start losing muscle and bone naturally from the age of 30 on. Lifting weights 2x a week can stem that loss. The aim should be health. Keep them bones & muscles healthy. :)

Anonymous said...

Love this! I'm a big proponent of women (since we're the ones that seem prone to the starve & binge pattern) eating enough as we lose weight. A year is going to pass one way or the other. Does it matter if you make it to goal in 10 months versus 2 years? Not if making it there that fast jeopardizes maintenance once you hit goal!

I was talking to my husband the other day and I shared with him that I don't want to lose 100 pounds only to gain it back again. I don't want a band-aid or a quick fix. I want to address ALL my weight issues: mental, emotional, AND physical. That way I will lose the weight once and for all.

To answer your questions:

What are you trying to accomplish by losing weight?
I am trying to reach a healthy weight that I can maintain for a lifetime. I want to be able to do all the things I want to do without physical limitations for as long as possible. I want to grow old - REALLY old - and do so with grace and as little pain as possible. So, like you, this is NOT about a number.

What is it you are shooting for?
Weight-wise, I'm shooting for around 150-160. Lifestyle-wise, I'm shooting for eating to live and fuel my body, instead of living to eat.

Dagny said...

Wow looks like I joined this Program Already in Progress at just the right post to find out what's been going on. QUITE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT. You've found a path and it works for you. Keep walkin' it. Every damn day.

bbubblyb said...

Great post Chris. I have always been a "more is better" person when it comes to calories. The way I look at it is, I surely didn't get so large eating little amounts of food so I surely won't be able to lose the weight and keep it off that way. So I started with big calories and have tried to keep them as high as possible throughout my weight loss. Sure it has taken me a lot longer but being honest that was more about bad weeks, etc than the amount of calories. Now I can actually lose weight on 1800 and maintain at around 2100-2200 a day. So I'm all for more.

I think you have done TERRIFIC with your steady weight loss and when you write about not losing quickly I think "when is she talking about" lol. I know every time I read your blog it seems you have dropped a few more lbs. You DEFINITELY know what your doing. We do all need to have our own way on OUR journey. So poo poo to the naysayers lol.