Eat…more??

After my body fat punched me in the face, I knew I had to do SOMETHING. No more trying to look good for anyone, not even my husband (love youuu), or trying to please society. I needed to do this for ME, this was MY health. So I called up a nutritionist and whined to her told her about my percentage and my desire to increase my muscle mass. She asked for me to send her a typical day of eating for me, so that she could get a feel for how I was currently fueling my body. Luckily, I’m a big fan of the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone, so I sent her a couple of days worth of meals/workouts to look over. If you have an iPhone, and you want to get better at tracking calories, protein intake, carbs, whatever, I highly suggest this app. It is a great way to keep a “food journal” of sorts.

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As I anxiously awaited her response, I wondered what terrible news she was going to lay on me. Was I going to have to start eating bird food? Decrease my carb intake (gasp!)? Eat less fat? Less sweets? Less EVERYTHING? I already went through most days fairly hungry, thinking about my next meal…were things about to get even worse?

Nope.

What she said to me was alarming….I wasn’t eating enough.

I was bringing in (at best) 1300 calories a day, sometimes even less, and on the days I did boot camp I was burning upwards of 500-600 calories a workout. Apparently, this sucks for my body and causes it to hold on to fat like there is no tomorrow. Plus, on weekends, I tended to overindulge, and my body was basically collecting fat like an old woman collects cats. Hence….my higher than average body fat.

“Eat more” she told me (multiple times). Excuse me?? Eat…more?? My whole life I thought I was supposed to eat less to lose weight. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, blah blah blah. Now I’m being told that entire way of thinking is wrong?

Yup.

My calorie intake EVERY DAY needs to match my RMR at LEAST, which is, according to the dunk tank results, 1470. Most likely, I need to be around 1500-1600 calories a day, especially on days where I do intense boot camp sessions. I needed to increase my carb intake (I know, I know, I’m still processing that as well), increase my protein, and increase my healthy fats (yay avocados and PEANUT BUTTER!). Small meals, well balanced, every 3 hours. Basically, a non-stop festival of eating, all day every day.

To be honest, I am struggling with this. I never thought of myself as having a problem with food, but I’m realizing that food has had some sort of power over me, or a hold on me, for quite some time now. I’ve been letting it run the show. I’ve been afraid of it even. I’m close to terrified of eating that much, for fear of….I’m not sure exactly. But I’m going to do it, because obviously my way of dealing with my health is NOT working. So…bring on the food, my friends. Bring it on!

Anyone out there struggling with the concept of eating MORE to lose MORE, both mentally and physically? Any suggestions to get over the mental hump?

As always, thanks for reading. Talk to you soon!
-Melissa

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19 thoughts on “Eat…more??

  1. ksmahoney says:

    Love this post. I also struggle with how much I should eat, I rarely do I tell myself to eat more. But, I completely agree. All the research I’ve read suggests that when we eat too few calories, the alteration in our metabolic rate and endocrine system definitely favor holding onto fat! Best of luck with your new eating!
    -Sara from http://www.losingtogether.com

  2. Crazy, isn’t it? I’m in the same mindset right now – Need to EAT MORE! One of my latest posts was about just that.

    My weight lifting program recommends 1900 calories on rest days, and 2300 on workout days. Let me tell you how difficult that is to do without eating junk!

  3. Meg says:

    For the last… several years of my life I have struggled with this. I always seem to have that last 10-15lbs of bodyfat I want to drop and no matter how far or long I run, or how heavy I lift, it wont budge. I hire trainers and coaches who all say the same, eat more, eat more frequently, eat more balanced.. but I cant get my head around it. Cals in vs Cals out right? So how come when i eat low cals I stay soft? In my head I know what I have to do, its just fightng that inner demon that tells you adding the extra 200-400 cals will make you fat.

    • Yes! It’s so true, and I am just now realizing that I have this “demon” as you called it! But it’s worth giving it a shot and seeing if it works!

    • I don’t know how to find that perfect balance either. I have no weight to lose, but want to lose some body fat, and totally okay with adding muscle. But eating lots of calories, or not a lot of calories, still have that little bit of stomach fat that hides the abs underneath! πŸ˜‰

      I read about eating more whole grains, then I read about cutting out grains. How do you find the perfect balance for you?

      Seems like lots and lots of trial and error..

  4. Ashley says:

    I have a hard time meeting my calorie goal without indulging in some junk food. I try to be really healthy and find myself a few hundred under and it would be so easy to say, sweet I need to eat another 200 calories today… how bout a candy bar?

  5. I’ve always found it helpful to try things that are higher in protein. Want a candy bar? Try luna cookie dough protein bars. Want cake? Try a protein breakfast pumpkin cake: http://www.carascravings.com/2010/11/5-cool-things-to-do-with-pumpkin-and-protein-powder-pumpkin-protein-breakfast-cake.html

    A lot of high protein meals are very healthy, but also higher in calorie content. Hope that helps!

  6. Danielle says:

    I COMPLETELY understand!! I’m going through the exact same thing seeing the number of calories I’m eating freaks me out so much, I know increasing my calories is what my body needs but its really difficult to increase my calories and not worry about gaining weight. I find forcing myself to eat when I’m not hungry is silly, but I need to do this to loos fat and gain that muscle I so disparately want!

  7. Elle says:

    Hi! Just stumbled across your blog! Great start πŸ™‚ Keep it up!! I’m in the same boat as you are — got married last summer, managed to gain the 10 pounds you write about πŸ™‚ and knew I had to do something about it!! I started the Jamie Eason 12 week program in January, finished up a few weeks ago and have been working out hard since!! Since January, I’m down 14 pounds!
    I’ve been doing myfitnesspal for about two months now and have definitely noticed that weeks I eat less, I don’t lose anything! When I feel like I’m overeating, I lose weight! It’s completely counterintuitive. But keep with it and you’ll see results. Good luck!! πŸ™‚

  8. I just discovered your site and I love it! I’m currently fighting the exact same battle. I’ve been working my ass off for the last few months and am halfway through my second round of the Insanity workout program. I’m stronger, more muscular, healthier and in better shape but my body fat won’t dip any lower – BIG bummer. I’ve read about increasing calories but it’s so scary! We’ve got about the same stats so I’ll definitely keep track of how you’re doing – and start slowly inching my calories up if I get brave! πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  9. Lauren says:

    Great post, I’m in the exact same boat eating about 1200 very clean calories a day with moderate exercise and struggling to make myself eat more since I’m usually satisfied. I’m going to try adding a few tablespoons of Manitoba Havest Hemp Hearts ( Whole Foods carries it) into my Greek yogurt and oatmeal since it is calorie and nutrient dense, but not a lot of added bulk.

  10. I had to talk my husband through that one a few weeks ago. He was in a Biggest Loser competition with his office and wondered why, when he was working out a TON, he wasn’t losing as much weight as he thought he would. As soon as he added MORE “good” food in with the workouts, everything balanced out, and his body didn’t think he was starving. πŸ™‚ We both use MyFitnessPal….love AND hate it.. ha ha.

  11. […] for me. So, I spoke to a nutritionist about my eating habits, and her alarming response was that I needed to be eating MORE than the current 1200-1300 calories that I was consuming. I worked out too hard to be eating so […]

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