Getting in Shape
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# kind of confused ...

So calorie counting confuses me slightly. If I am aiming to reach my 1350 calorie goal daily. And say I jump on the eliptical and burn 600 calories in an hour then technically I've only consumed 750 right? Am I supposed to eat another 600 calories? That seems counterproductive to me.

## Re: kind of confused ...

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edited January 2012
You want a deficit in calories.

Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is what your body would burn in calories if you laid on the couch and did nothing all day.

Then your Activity Rate is a multiplier that you use to calculate your true burn for the day: it is your BMR times how active you are (I think mine is like 1.5).

That total number would be your total burn for an average day. Build your deficit out of that.

Example:

My BMR is 1484
My activity rate is 1.4
So I generally burn 1484 x 1.5 = 2226 calories in the AVERAGE day.

The key here is average. I am not equally active every day but I can use this equation to establish what I generally burn. I would then not take into account any specific activity because my multiplier already does (a multiplier of 1.5 represents moderate activity, exercise 3-5 times a week. I exercise 6-7 times a week but on weekends my days tend to be very sedentary otherwise and some of my exercise is just stretch yoga classes so I went with the moderate activity multiplier).

SO, a deficit. You never want to end up with fewer than 1000 calories in a day, or at least not as a habit. Even 1200 is difficult AND if you are exercising, your body will need fuel.  If my general burn is around 2226 and I exercise fairly hard and I want to lose 1lbs a week I woudl have to have a deficit of 500 calories a day so that would put me at about 1700 calories. If I wanted to aim for 1.5lbs a week I would aim for 1400 calories.

I have to run, so I don't have time to post links, but if you google BMR and Activity Rate you will get all the calculators you need. HTH.
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member
Number gave a great full explanation.  To make it a bit more simple:  It's not counterproductive, because 1350 SHOULD be a deficit for you already.  You should eat at least 450 more calories to get up to 1200.  It's not good to go under 1200 consistently, or you're not putting enough fuel into your body.

Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
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Oh okay I think I may get it. What if I am not feeling hungry? I sometimes find myself eating just to fill on the calories when I am not hungry at all. Is this going to create a bad habit? I.e. eating due to boredom, or for comfort?

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member
If you're consistently coming up short, you need to reeavaluate and make the things you do eat more calorie dense--that way you're getting more calories without really upping the volume of what you eat.

So add a tablespoon of peanut butter to your snack of fruit.  Go from fat free yogurt to 2% fat yogurt.  Add a glass of milk.  Snack on some nuts (or add them to a snack, or on top of a salad--almonds are great on top of salads).  Add some cheese to a salad or burger or sandwich, etc.  There are sensible, healthy ways to up your calorie intake without feeling like you'll explode because you ate too much.

If none of those things apply to the things you eat, if you could post an example of what a typical day or two of meals and snacks looks like, we can suggest ways you can up your calories without upping the volume too much.

Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
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edited January 2012
PPs gave great advice. If calorie counting doesn't work for you, you can try WW. To calculate points, we use fat, fiber, carbs, and protein. No calories. Fruits and veggies have 0 points. It was weird to me at first and I was skeptical, but it works. You can use the simply filling method and not have to write anything down.