We Don’t Mix
Hello and happy Friday!!! 😀
**I still need lots of votes if I’m going to become one of the next Love Grown Foods bloggers! Just “like” my photo. Thank you so much guys!
Just a word of caution, I will talk some numbers in this post. If that is a trigger for you in any way, please read with discretion or don’t read at all!
So, today I wanted to let you in on a little secret of mine- a low calorie “diet” and I do not mix.
I get annoyed when I read in magazines that healthy diets should be around 1500-1800 calories a day. First of all…no one person is the same and therefore everyone needs a different amount of calories. And second, for many people that are active, 1800 calories a day is not enough!
I used to believe in what magazines and other media sources were saying about how much a girl should eat. And then I took my nutrition class in college…and boy oh boy did it open my eyes.
First of all we learned about our basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is essentially the amount of calories that it takes your body to stay alive and function. It is the amount of calories that you would burn if you layed in bed all day long.
Here is the formula for BMR for women:
BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
So, my BMR = 1372 calories
I by no means lay around in bed all day long (unless of course I’m sick and under the weather). I consider myself to be quite active. I exercise 5-6 days a week and when I do workout I try to make it pretty challenging. I also walk to and from class most days of the week.
Enter the Harris Benedict Equation which takes your BMR and multiplies it by an activity factor. So if I considered myself to be moderately active, which is seen as moderate intensity exercise 3-5x a week, I would multiply my BMR by 1.55. If I considered myself to be very active, which is seen as hard exercise 6-7x a week, I would multiply my BMR by 1.725.
So based on a moderate activity level, I would need: (1372 x 1.55) = 2126 calories. If I was very active, I would need (1372 x 1.725) = 2366 calories.
To make things easier, and because I think my activity level is generally in between those two, I see myself as needing about 2200 calories a day, especially since I am not trying to gain or lose weight. If anything, I still could probably eat more because the Harris Benedict Equation does not take into account lean body mass- so the more muscular you are, the more likely this equation will under-estimate your caloric needs.
That’s a lot more than 1500-1800 calories! Heck, that could mean a whole meal, a hefty snack, or both! If I were to eat too few calories, I know that it wouldn’t be good for my body and I know that I would feel like crap.
Why do I know this? Because when I thought I needed that lower amount of calories, I ate less than I do now. I was often very tired, both physically and mentally and I didn’t feel like I was in the best spirits. I also noticed that my workouts never felt that great- it felt like I was climbing a huge hill just to barely make it through them. I was still pretty much at the same weight too..and what that means is that my body was partly going into survival and had slowed down my metabolism so it could ensure that it was getting what it needed!
Now that I eat the the amount that my body needs, I feel healthy and strong and my mind is in a better place. And honestly, it makes complete sense that I feel that way. My body and brain are getting the fuel they need to not just survive, but thrive!
I think my main reason for writing this post today is that sometimes I know it can be discouraging to read somewhere that you should eat around 1500-1800 calories a day if you want “a flat belly” or to “be healthy”. But that is not necessarily the case for everyone. Yes, some people can and should eat that amount of calories based on their size, age, weight, and activity level. It’s important to figure out what is right for you. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t get caught up in what is often touted as the go-to amount of calories you should consume.
Before you worry about eating too many calories, make sure that you’re eating enough for your activity level. Tessa, has discussed some of the ways that not doing so can be harmful to you…and I suggest you check out her post to find out more! She has been writing about this lately and I find it very interesting!
I am so glad that I took that nutrition class in college and learned what I did. I feel so much better now that I eat more and it is very comforting to know that what I am doing is exactly what I need in order to be the active and healthy individual that I want to be!
What are your thoughts on this?
Any exciting plans for the weekend?