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Joined: May 23 2008
Posts: 19
Its 8pm, do you know where your calories are at?

At 5 am I was up today to drive an hour for what I thought was a 25 mile bike ride. I was feeling good, and that soon became a 40 mile ride. After, I checked my HRM and I had burned about 2000 calories. It got me thinking about the lack of or overuse of calories in peoples diets who are in training. I have a great formula that will hopefully shed some light on the subject.
Your necessary daily caloric intake depends on 4 factors. Basal metabolic rate, physical activity, type of diet, and fat %. This formula is a great help in figuring out how many calories you need based on your personal variable factors.
Caloric intake(CI)=step 1+ step 2+ step 3
Step 1) Calculate BMR:
For Female: BMR=Weight X 11=#calories

For Male: BMR=Weight X 12=# calories
This number will be used in the two other steps and at the end.

Step 2) For this step you have to use a multiplier. Since none of use are sedentary I will just list for active and very active lifestyles. Active is categorized as 3+ hours of exercise per week, very active is 8+. You can only choose one multiplier based on whether your active or very active.

If active, multiply step 1 calories by .50. If very active, multiply calories from step 1 by .75. Save the number you get after calculating.

Step 3) This step calculates how many calories your body uses digesting your food. For a high carb diet, multiply calories from step 1 by .10. If your diet is high fat, multiply calories from step 1 by .05.

Heres an example based on my statistics: Male/14% body fat/High carb diet/180 pounds/very active
Step 1=2160 calories+ Step 2= 1620 calories+ Step 3=216 calories Total=3996 calories

Adjust for personal body fat: 100%-(14%-18%)=104%
104=1.04 3996(1.04)= 4155 calories

This means I need to consume 4155 calories daily to continue to build muscle and lose fat. Of course no formula is perfect but this is very good for estimation. Another more exact approach is to use a HRM every workout and add the total used calories in a day. Then, add only step 1 and step 3, adjust for your actual body fat % and finally add to that number the total calories used from your daily workouts.
I hope this formula helps. I used to consume a lot less than what I actually needed. It is always interesting to see how your body consumes the total fuel you put in your tank.

Joined: Mar 11 2004
Posts: 6147

Wow that is a lot of math!
I joined weight watchers and although it is a lot more approximate I use their point system.
I had to figure out how many points a day I needed based on age, current weight and several other factors. There are point values assigned to food, and there are point values for exercise to take off from my daily total. So far it is working and I have learned to eat better, and have lost 28 pounds, and improved in my performance.

Joined: May 23 2008
Posts: 19

Well, I am glad weight watchers is working for you. Congratulations on the 28lb loss. The problem with that is you can only eat weight watchers brand products. Your kind of kept in the dark when it comes to any other foods. With this formula, you can eat any food and still properly calculate your intake. It may seem complicated but it is pretty simple.

Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 1226

Doesn't weight watchers give you a guide for point values of non WW brand foods. I've never done it, but I thought I heard that and it makes sense.

Either way, the numbers there aren't that hard to compute (or maybe I'm just a math geek) and are basically correct for me, although I still feel like ~4000 calories needed for me is high, but I'm sure if I really accurately tracked my daily caloric intake it'd be right in line.

Joined: Mar 7 2006
Posts: 330

4,884 calories a day is way too much for me.

I prefer this range:
0.8-1.0g fat
5-7g carb
1.2-1.8g protein
per kg of body weight per day.

That gives me a range of 3200-4400 at 220 pounds. I just keep it in that range and adjust whether i feel lethargic and low on energy depending on my training volume. I find it pretty easy to maintain my weight and I dont have any big drops in body weight any more using this range, and a spreadsheet.

Joined: Jul 2 2006
Posts: 859

I wrote this awhile back when I was playing around with calorie formulas. I think the Harris Benedict Equation makes some assumptions about body fat based on height, weight, age, etc. It also cannot account for leaner bodies burning more calories than those carrying more body fat. But if you don't have any clue, this is at least a good number to start with to understand what your needs are.

http://www.felog.net/utilities/bmr_calc.asp

Joined: May 23 2008
Posts: 19

Of course no formula will be perfect unless it is specifically designed for a person, even then it may be slightly off. The caloric amounts you get from this are usually slightly higher than what you would normally believe to be true. However, I have found the numbers to be accurate. The trick is to break up the calories into 6 small meals and 3 snacks throughout the day. This keeps your metabolism up. If you eat less than six meals it may seem like the calories are slightly higher than what you need.

Joined: Mar 30 2008
Posts: 145

Wow... that's a lot of stuff to read. Maybe later, after I've actually gotten out of bed.

But, WW is not driven by the use of "their" food (you're thinking Jenny Craig). I think the great thing about WW is that they teach you how to eat in the real world. Their points associate with regular foods and essentially teach you portion control. Congrats beads1985 on the weight loss! I've seen several of my friends use the program quite successfully :)

Joined: May 30 2008
Posts: 40

the numbers seem a little high, maybe 200-300 cals but still high...

Joined: Jan 23 2008
Posts: 789

dang... I'm trying to lose weight so I'm consuming about 1500k a day. I'm at 175lbs ~ 6'1" ~ 7% bodyfat. I want to get down to around 165 so I can look like on of them manorexia athletes. I generally eat straight pasta with a dab of cheese and 3 bananas everyday... my energy levels are pretty good. When I'm actually training I try to put down 400calories an hr depending on the duration I'm going for. I'm probly going to die soon!

This winter I'm sure now that I'm living back in MN I'll be porkin it out. I'm hoping IMC is enough of a motivator to keep me from chowing at turkeyday through new years.... it happens every year.

Joined: May 30 2008
Posts: 40

wow...um be careful dude. sounds kinda dangerous and unbalanced but if it works than more paower to ya!

where are the veggies and protein????

Joined: Jan 23 2008
Posts: 789

I drink a tall glass of chocolate soy milk in the morning.. yummy.

Joined: Jul 2 2006
Posts: 859

[quote=jhudalla]I drink a tall glass of chocolate soy milk in the morning.. yummy. [/quote]

Wow... who knew the words "soy" and "yummy" could coexist. :)

Joined: Jan 23 2008
Posts: 789

Hey, if you dont know... you're really missing out. 8th Continent - Lite Chocolate Soy, they sell it at Target. Soooooo good.

Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 1226

I'm pretty much in love with Silk Vanilla...and it goes great in my coffee

Joined: Jan 23 2008
Posts: 789

Oh yeah... regular milk just has so much stuff in it from "gawd knows what?" but I suppose this thread isn't about milk... end rant

Joined: Jan 25 2005
Posts: 2458

[quote=chefsmith]Well, I am glad weight watchers is working for you. Congratulations on the 28lb loss. The problem with that is you can only eat weight watchers brand products. Your kind of kept in the dark when it comes to any other foods. With this formula, you can eat any food and still properly calculate your intake. It may seem complicated but it is pretty simple.[/quote]

Not true. WW has 2 plans. The one where you keep track of points allowes you to eat ANY food. Points are calculate roughly based on calorie/fat/fiber. They provide the tool to calculate the points as well as guides which list grocery store processed foods and an eating out guide which includes a vast number of chain restaurants and their points.
The second plan is a "no points" plan which basically allows you to eat unlimited of fruits, veggies, lean meats until you feel full with out counting. The idea is you will fill up with them before eating too much. Things like pizza are not included.

The plan is quite easy to follow and I had good success with it a few years ago loosing 45 pounds.

Joined: Mar 4 2005
Posts: 5352

Paralysis by analysis. Man! I took one look at all those numbers and almost heaved.
Don't eat crap.
Eat high quality lean protein.
A little protein with every meal.
Eat every 4 to 5 hours.
When training, eat early and often.
100 ounces of fluid everyday. (excluding alcohol)
Alcohol in moderation.
Simple.

Beads looks great btw...the difference between his JFK weight in November and now is just wicked...
But hey! Change takes work.

Joined: May 21 2008
Posts: 393

Chefsmith, thanks for your series of posts on nutrition you seem to know what you are talking about. I've always eaten healthy and kept in shape but triathlon has thrown a new complexity into it (the above equations for example). One of my goals is to work on my nutrition plan as I get further into this addiction, I mean sport. I'll be interested to see how the math works out for me. Keep up the posts on nutrition, I'm always looking for new ideas for meals and habits. There's only so much you can do with chicken and only so many flavors of CLIF bars. When all else fails there is always the trusty PB&J.

Joined: Jun 1 2004
Posts: 5521

Hmmm do you actually trust the calories number that your HRM spits out? I have a HARD time trusting the numbers mine shows (the exact numbers of a recent example is escaping me right now, but I think my watch at one point told me I'd burned like 150 cals -- on a 4 or 5ish hr mtn bike ride with PLENTY of climbing).

With your calculations, is weight in lbs or kg? I'm guessing lbs after seeing your example, but wasn't sure.

I'm not a calorie counter myself -- I follow a plan more like Anton's. However, as I first started paying attention to nutrition I did find it very helpful to count calories with FitDay to build my sense of how many calories are in the different things I eat, and about portion size vs the serving size on things.

Joined: Feb 1 2008
Posts: 68

[quote=Anton]Paralysis by analysis. Man! I took one look at all those numbers and almost heaved.
Don't eat crap.
Eat high quality lean protein.
A little protein with every meal.
Eat every 4 to 5 hours.
When training, eat early and often.
100 ounces of fluid everyday. (excluding alcohol)
Alcohol in moderation.
Simple.

[/quote]
1+ for Anton
I am a dietitian so I deal with this stuff all day. I never, EVER tell my clients to count calories. If you have either the time or energy or drive to count your calories, well, then I guess good for you. But for the majority of people out there it is enough if they are exercising and eating healthy. Counting calories also can lead someone into becoming too "obsessed" with food and can be a start of an eating disorder. Now I know here on Trifuel alot of us are already obsessed with our training and nutrition because we want to be better athletes. But really, if you stop and listen to your body it will tell you what and how much to eat. When I ramp up my training for the summer I have to eat all day long and am always hungry. So I do this without worrying about the extra calories. During the winter, I am naturally not as hungry and don't eat as much. I think we have become so obsessed with numbers and training plans, that all the pleasure of a meal is gone. Lets try to get back to our roots and eat because we are hungry and it tastes good, rather than because that is what our "plan" says we should do.
And I agree on the chocolate soymilk- it is delicious!

Joined: Apr 14 2008
Posts: 214

+3 cogirl3!!

A plan I can understand and follow. Thank you!

Joined: May 23 2008
Posts: 19

[quote=brittda][quote=chefsmith]Well, I am glad weight watchers is working for you. Congratulations on the 28lb loss. The problem with that is you can only eat weight watchers brand products. Your kind of kept in the dark when it comes to any other foods. With this formula, you can eat any food and still properly calculate your intake. It may seem complicated but it is pretty simple.[/quote]

Not true. WW has 2 plans. The one where you keep track of points allowes you to eat ANY food. Points are calculate roughly based on calorie/fat/fiber. They provide the tool to calculate the points as well as guides which list grocery store processed foods and an eating out guide which includes a vast number of chain restaurants and their points.
The second plan is a "no points" plan which basically allows you to eat unlimited of fruits, veggies, lean meats until you feel full with out counting. The idea is you will fill up with them before eating too much. Things like pizza are not included.

The plan is quite easy to follow and I had good success with it a few years ago loosing 45 pounds. [/quote]

Well Im glad the pans on working. This may be true, however, I like to avoid unprocessed foods and chain restaurants. I don't really consider that eating nutritionally sound, no matter what they serve. I have worked in restaurants all my life and see what goes on in chains. Personally, I would rather trust my own calorie counting without points, as to following a prescribed plan through a weight loss company. I like to see for myself exactly how many calories( calorie king.com) are in food than relying on a point or other type of scale system. The reason many of these plans are devised is from lack of calorie intake knowledge, and they use complimentary product selling so you will (most likely) buy their brand of foods.

Diets dont work, a diet is temporary, eating right all the time is a lifestyle change. I guess I may be slightly biased to these kinds of companies because of the systematic way they try to control nutrition. It would be much easier and have more impact if it were taught properly.

Joined: Sep 5 2007
Posts: 197

I'm at Weight Watchers now and agree with Chefsmith on this one.

The points system worked for me, but all it is is a simplified way to count calories with a little bit of encouragement to eat more veggies, less fat, and more fiber.

It has worked for my wife over the long run and has worked for me over the last 5 or 6 months because it is a lifestyle change. I do go out for wings and I do eat cake at the party, I just don't eat the rest of the bag of chips every night.

I think counting calories has a very important place for active people especially. Generally, we worry about making people obsess over their intake so as not to contribute to a disorder. On the other hand, when an active person is training, sometimes you have to count the calories to make sure you are putting enough in the tank.

Joined: Jan 25 2005
Posts: 2458

[quote=chefsmith][quote=brittda
Well Im glad the pans on working. This may be true, however, I like to avoid unprocessed foods and chain restaurants. I don't really consider that eating nutritionally sound, no matter what they serve. I have worked in restaurants all my life and see what goes on in chains. Personally, I would rather trust my own calorie counting without points, as to following a prescribed plan through a weight loss company. I like to see for myself exactly how many calories( calorie king.com) are in food than relying on a point or other type of scale system. The reason many of these plans are devised is from lack of calorie intake knowledge, and they use complimentary product selling so you will (most likely) buy their brand of foods.

Diets dont work, a diet is temporary, eating right all the time is a lifestyle change. I guess I may be slightly biased to these kinds of companies because of the systematic way they try to control nutrition. It would be much easier and have more impact if it were taught properly.[/quote]

Agred on the processed foods...BUT there ARE times when everyone will eat out and even possibly fast food. Personally I cannot remember a time when I ate at a fast food place, but the point I was trying to make is the WW plan allows the average person to learn portion control and still be able to eat the "bad stuff" once in a while. We only eat out in restaurants MAYBE once a week for this reason. Points= calories and the plan has just "dummied" it down for the average person who may not want to have to track stuff on line (even though there is an online version). If you do there other plan option , there is no counting. You don't have to buy any of their food to be successful. I have counted calories, and points but I have to say the point system is easier really since you are dealing with smaller numbers.

Joined: Aug 5 2007
Posts: 1833

[quote=kylie]Hmmm do you actually trust the calories number that your HRM spits out? I have a HARD time trusting the numbers mine shows (the exact numbers of a recent example is escaping me right now, but I think my watch at one point told me I'd burned like 150 cals -- on a 4 or 5ish hr mtn bike ride with PLENTY of climbing).[/quote]
Today I did a 70 mile bike ride in 4 hrs 8 min, and my HRM says 4428 calories burned. One of our HRM's is lying to us!

My wife did Weight Watchers and I think the major advantage for her is that it was an easy way to keep track. She would not of stuck to a plan that was more complicated. Preparing your own food and manually counting calories, fat, protein, and carbs may be more healthy, but only if you stick to it.

The bad part of Weight Watchers (or any weight loss plan)... when the plan was over, all or most of the weight came back for my wife.

Thanks for the info ChefSmith. Usually I don't make the time or take the effort to find out what my body needs and what it's getting, but it is interesting, even if it's not essential to being healthy. I'm sure Anton's method of listening to your body is just as effective for people that can do it, it's just not as interesting for geeky number crunching people like myself.

Joined: Jun 10 2007
Posts: 762

[quote=Anton]
Don't eat crap.[/quote]

That's my favorite part of your whole post. It's so true.

Joined: Mar 11 2004
Posts: 6147

To start off I am not in any way affiliated with Weight Watchers as an employee. I am just a member.

Chefsmith, it sounds like you know about your plan but you are not too well informed about Weight Watchers.
I am not putting down what you do know. I am disappointed you don't have enough information about other alternative nutrition plans.

You say you are in the restaurant business but are you a qualified nutritionist?

I know the plans that are from Weight Watchers are from a huge team of qualified nutritionists, doctors, scientists etc..
They have been around since 1963.

They promote a healthy lifestyle and not just weight loss and diet.
Their point system is set up to give people a simple way to quantify and track their energy intake and expenditure and it is less intimidating for.
The meetings also provide encouragement and a support system of other like minded individuals.

It encourages accountability so you can reach your goals.

They do not push their products and the plan is built to use everyday foods.
Granted they make their products available at meetings, but I am not required to buy anything. I think I tried the pretzels so far.

I eat more vegatables and fruits.
I drink more water.
I eat and drink lowfat or non fat dairy.
I eat good lean protien
I eat a lot less fat and the fat I do eat is beneficial.

I now exercise better and more often.

I was encouraged by a co-worker of mine who lost a lot of weight and now can exercise for the first time in 13 years.

I hope whatever plan you use to be accountable for nutrition and exercise is sound and works for you.

The plan I am using, and several other people have used, is successful for me. Maybe you need to get more correct information before you pass judgement.

Good luck

Joined: Mar 11 2004
Posts: 6147

[quote=cuds]Wow... that's a lot of stuff to read. Maybe later, after I've actually gotten out of bed.

But, WW is not driven by the use of "their" food (you're thinking Jenny Craig). I think the great thing about WW is that they teach you how to eat in the real world. Their points associate with regular foods and essentially teach you portion control. Congrats beads1985 on the weight loss! I've seen several of my friends use the program quite successfully :)[/quote]

[quote=Anton]Paralysis by analysis. Man! I took one look at all those numbers and almost heaved.
Don't eat crap.
Eat high quality lean protein.
A little protein with every meal.
Eat every 4 to 5 hours.
When training, eat early and often.
100 ounces of fluid everyday. (excluding alcohol)
Alcohol in moderation.
Simple.

Beads looks great btw...the difference between his JFK weight in November and now is just wicked...
But hey! Change takes work.
[/quote]

Thanks Guys!!

I am feeling just 'Damn Sexy'!!

Joined: May 23 2008
Posts: 19

To: Beads 1985: The formula I used was devised by a Dr. with a biochemist and nutrition degrees who certifies dietitians, Im pretty sure it is accurate. I have taken many advanced nutrition courses and am not a dietitian but am a certified nutrition specialist and I know how food companies and corporations work when designing food. If I came off as knocking the plans I apologize. I just feel that it is better for people to be more self aware of their own caloric intake rather than having a company "dumb it down" for them. I also believe many of these plans are devised for people who are overweight, not training for an endurance event, you have to keep that in mind. You may think they are not pushing their plans on people but if they didnt, they wouldnt be in business right?. Regardless, if it works for you congrats and more power to you, I was just supplying this information for those people who want a more specific and accurate calorie plan than a standard set of points.

Joined: Jul 2 2006
Posts: 859

8 out of 10 people are overweight so clearly there's an education problem and not only that, it's generational. My friends are overweight and their kids are overweight too. When they want to lose weight, it's nothing more than a feable attempt by attacking one angle for a period of no longer than a week and at the end of the week they give up and are back to status quo.

From what I understand about WW, it's sort of like a 12 step program where you have meetings and they attempt to educate you. If they are pushing their products... well... what do you expect.. it's a business. But my (other) friends go, lost a bunch of weight, and didn't have to buy their products to do it. So to me, it seems like they are providing a decent service as well as selling products.

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