Happy Thursday Friends! I do have a new video to share with you, but first I want to talk about something…
Back in January I wrote this post about how I’d gained weight over Christmas and how I wasn’t upset about it. And I wasn’t. And I’m still not. However, I had thought I would have long since lost those few pounds, but I haven’t. Each time I see a photo of myself I’m reminded that I haven’t lost that weight, and it’s frustrating. I know on social media I often share with you my “treats” because I want you to know that it’s okay to enjoy a burger and fries or ice cream or whatever now and then, but don’t think for a second that it is indicative of how I normally eat. This past year especially since trying to fix my hormone imbalance naturally, and becoming a nutrition & weight-loss specialist I’ve probably eaten better healthier) than I have at any other time in my life. And yet compared to one year ago I am about 14 pounds heavier.
The logical part of me knows that at least some part of the 14 pounds is lean muscle mass. But I’d be lying to myself and to you if I said it was mostly muscle. The truth is realistically somewhere around 8-10 pounds of it is fat, and most of that is on my ass.
And I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. Not because I’ve been pigging out behind closed doors, or not “walking the walk” because I am. I feel like a hypocrite because I don’t look the part as much as I use to. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m overweight or “fat” but I’m certainly squeezing into my clothes more than I would like to be, and it’s hard to work in this line when I am coaching others on how to lose weight, and I haven’t been able to lose the few pounds I put on. But the truth is, my situation isn’t normal. Exercising upwards of 15 hours/week isn’t what normal people do, which makes my nutrition situation different.
I preach to others that I don’t want them to count calories because while we need to be mindful of how much we eat, I don’t believe counting calories is the way to go. That it is too easy to stick to a calorie range without actually providing your body with any nutrition. That I want people to think about nutrients and not calories, and I stick by that.
But in doing so myself, I think I have come to a place where I am not eating enough to fuel my super active lifestyle. For the average person/exerciser I still believe that counting calories it a form of self-torture, and even tracking macros is a bit too obsessive. But I think I need to do it. I don’t think I’m getting enough. I think I’m not losing the weight because I’m not giving my body the fuel it needs, and by doing so I’m only hurting myself.
Please know that in no way was this intentional. I didn’t set out to, or even mean to move into a place where I was eating fewer calories than I needed. I ate when I was hungry and didn’t starve myself. But I just wasn’t eating enough. Eating a family size salad in one sitting will certainly fill your stomach, but can easily come in under 400 calories when it’s not topped with loads of dressing, cheese, bacon or chicken.
I tend to eat the same meals day in and day out, and I’ve just estimated how many calories I’m typically consuming. The answer is around 1600-1800, yesterday when I stopped and calculated how much I’d eaten my 9pm the answer was only 1160. Which is well under my BMR. Mind you I was still not feeling well yesterday so that is an extra low day for me. Remember, I’m 5 foot 9, so the very least I should ever eat (even as an inactive person) is probably 1600, and eating in that range while doing as much as I do is insanity.
I eat well. I eat lots of fresh vegetables, healthy snacks and fairly large portions, but many of those foods aren’t calorie dense. Apparently, I need to go back to eating all of the things, all of the time. This issue is a bit harder now that I’m also struggling to get my IBS back under control so I’m “off” nuts and most seeds for the time being (my favourite way to add calories/protein for snacks).
Someone who on average burns (through being alive & exercise) 2800-3000 calories/day needs more food. At the very least I should be hitting 2000 calories every day.
So while I stand by my viewpoint that counting calories is not the way to go for the average person, you’ll excuse me if I spend the next few weeks (loosely) tracking how much I eat – and especially how much protein I’m getting to make sure I’m eating enough. From there I hope I’ll have a decent idea of how much I need to be eating visually and can go back to a no calorie counting zone.