Weight loss questions

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 7/26/2009 6:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Been working on losing weight, it took me 2 years of procrastinating and asking questions here and there and everywhere, but I finally came up with a diet.  At the present moment what I'm doing is, I calculated my BMR(base metabolic rate, basically that means the calorie amount you burn just by existing, but check this website or google it if you need to know more http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/bmr-formula.php), and the formula I found for men is 66+ (6.23X 225[my current weight]) + (12.7 X 69[my height in inches]) -(6.8 X31[my age]).  According to that formula my BMR is about 2133 calories a day.
Now, the theory goes, you need to eat more than your BMR, and use exercise to get your calorie burn above the amount that you eat, in order to safely lose weight.  Allegedly, if you eat less than your BMR, your body will go into starvation response and cannibalize muscle mass in order to reduce calorie consumption, which means you'll lose weight, but not lose fat.
Now, my question is, does anyone know any more about the starvation response specifically?  Right now I'm consuming around 2500(to stay well above 2133) and burning around 3200/day .  That's a deficit of 700 or so, and since there are 3500 calories in a pound of body fat, that's a loss of a pound per week, more or less( I eat a tad more liberally on the weekend to keep cravings down through the week, since I'm eating fruits and vegetables throughout the week).   More specifically, what I'm trying to find out is, how much can I push the envelope?  I'm not looking to eat under BMR, but I would like to increase my physical activity in order to push calorie burn to around 4000 per day.(At present, I walk 3 miles a day which adds about 344 direct burned calories to the mix.   I could probably hit 4000 or so by doing 3 miles 3 times a day, morning, afternoon, night).    That would be a deficit of 1500 and would still only add up to about 2.15 pounds lost in the Mon-Friday period.   In other words, are you safe on the starvation response as long you eat above BMR, even if you do a heavy amount of calorie burn activity?
As it happens, anyone who knows the answer I'm looking for probably knows the above much better than I do, but I figured I'd post the whole spiel so everyone else knows what I'm talking about!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 7/27/2009 10:59 AM (GMT -7)   
There is an interesting study out that basically just by eatting 10 servings of raw veggies a day can assist in weight loss.
I think it might be that veggies fill you up and clean your colon too...LOL
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1120
   Posted 7/27/2009 12:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Its always been my feeling that if you are fighting something (like Lyme) your body needs nourishment. The more the better. If most people eat WELL, they will lose the weight naturally.... without all the calculations...  D

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/27/2009 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I am a personal trainer/used-to-be-competitor (until I got sick).

It will take a long time for your body to hit starvation mode - less than 1200 cals per day for women, 1500 cals per day for men, over a period of months.

You did calculate good, but the best thing to do is eat 500 cals less per day (according to BMI) and burn 500 cals per day through exercise. If starvation mode concernes you, or if you feel like you need more nourishment, start with 300 cals per day less in calories and burning 300 cals through exercise.

Hope that helps

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 7/27/2009 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Right now I am probably eating better than I ever have in my life(or at least, *I* think so, but comments are welcome). As I moved back with my parents, sometimes they cook dinner and it's hard to resist and when that happens I end up abandoning my chosen foods for the rest of the day.

Here's what I have chosen for foods when I can stick to it(which I think I'm doing about 65% of the time, which is good enough I guess)And I actually do weigh out fruits and cereal etc on a kitchen scale:
Hardees biscuit and gravy 560 cal(this is not healthy, it is, in fact, an indulgence to prevent insanity, I look forward to every morning!)
2 servings fiber one or kashi go lean crunch, half cup milk 460 cals
1 cup orange juice 110 cals
144g strawberries(45 cals) with 1 cup yogurt(usually stonyfield farm plain vanilla, 180 cals)
Tuna sandwich(1 can tuna, 2 slices bread, small dab of mayo)310 calories
1 cup grapefruit juice 130 cal
100 g grapes 70 cal
handful peanuts 100 cal
1 cup apple juice 120 cal
Dinner: 2 boneless chicken breast(110 each) and a mix of (Frozen) broccoli, spinach, mixed vegs(corn, green beans, peas, carrots) and collard greens, brought to a boil for just a few moments(don't know the calories, hard to measure with the water from being frozen, but I'm guessing 150)
1 cup green tea 70 cal
1 cup pomegranate blueberry juice 130 cal
Gatorade 50-100 calories depending on use while exercising
and I try to throw onions and raw garlic in. I'm endeavouring to use honey with something but haven't managed to yet; and mushrooms too but they don't stay good in the refrigerator too long...
The above does add up to more than 2500, sometimes I drink half cups of the juices(and I hate green tea and apple juice, so that works out), and often I will make a sandwich of something other than tuna, as I'm still not sure how safe that is to eat on daily basis for mercury reasons.

As for supplements/herbs I use:
Morning: fish oil, beta glucan, centrum multi with ginseng, AG immune, lecithin, aloe
Afternoon: Cayenne fruit 40,000 STU, L Glutathione, quercetin, multi-mushroom(has reishi, shiitake, maitake),cat's claw, milk thistle
Night: turmeric, acetyl L carnitine/alpha lipoic acid, flax seed oil, echinacea goldenseal, rhodiola
I take a green vibrance knockoff when I can stomach the pond-scum-taste, but that's only been 3 times in the last 3 weeks :(

I have read about nutritional synergy, which suggests that you can't just supplement specific extracts for everything, you need to get it from a natural source because there are untold compounds in fruits and vegetables(and uncatalogued by science, as yet) that are needed to work in unison with those things. So, grapes for the ellagic acid/resveratrol(which I'm not supplementing at the moment), and I do take quercetin but apples supposedly have a lot of it(thus the daily apple juice). I've got a total of 7 vegetable types for my little mix, to try and catch-all for the things you can get from veggies, I may still be coming up short, though.

Last, but not necessarily least, I've kicked the pepsi habit and am drinking water very liberally...

Now, back to the main point, if it takes a period of months to hit starvation response I should be OK if I push myself to drop to 2000 calories once or twice a week, I'm thinking! What I think I might do to push up the calorie deficit is, continue doing my early morning 3 miles at the park, but back at home, jump on my parents' treadmill for 10 minutes at a time, 4-5 more times throughout the day, spread out. That should keep calories flying off all day long and isn't too taxing- in addition to, I'm also currently doing a quick abs workout and weight workout 3 days a week(very light, only 1 set per exercise and not very heavy weights...basically this is just to hold onto the muscle mass I already have).

Basically, the 2 months I've already spent just walking has increased my energy levels pretty nicely. Well - MENTAL energy, anyway....I should say, I have enough mental energy now to start thinking about things I never had any interest in before(like kayaking, etc), but it's going to take a few more months before the physical energy completely catches up. And obviously, plenty of mental energy now to be making ultra-detailed internet postings....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 7/28/2009 3:21 AM (GMT -7)   

My doctor recommended that I take a supplement called Juice Plus since I don't eat enough fruits or vegetables most of the time. It was also mentioned on The Doctors. I'm not sure if you want to substitute but I thought I'd give you the information anyway.

Btw, I have no vested interest in this product.
**You never know how STRONG you are....until being STRONG is the ONLY choice you have**

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