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  1. #1
    Registered User whttrs's Avatar
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    Head Spinning After Calculating Calories and Macros

    Hi guys.
    I'll begin by saying that I'm new here and feel hopelessly lost. I immediately went to the Calculating Calories and Macronutrients thread because that is primarily the reason I ended up on BB.com in the first place (since 90% of my searches eventually got me here).

    As of today I am 27 (but Ive been using 28 for my calculations since my bday is less than a month away) years old, 5'6" and 210lbs.

    A little background: Three years ago I weighed roughly 285lbs. Over those three years and very infrequent use of MyFitnessPal/workout routines/fad diets I managed to get down around 235 and basically just stayed there. In July of this year I decided that I have had enough of being miserable and really started trying. So I started using MFP pretty much daily. I plugged in all my current information, told it I'd like to lose 2lbs/week and followed its calorie recommendation of 1440cal/day (which, after I've calculated my calories/macros on my own makes sense but still leaves me going WTF?). I also started walking and doing 30 minute workouts at home such as 30 Day Shred and Ripped in 30 because at the time it was all I could really do (I am SEVERELY out of shape and have some pretty bad asthma). Leading me to where I am today at 210lbs. But I got here about two weeks ago and even though I haven't really changed up anything, I keep bouncing up and down between 208-ish and 214ish.

    So obviously I started doing more research. And I decided to try and calculate all my own calories and macros rather than just relying on MFP to tell me the right things. I suspected maybe I wasn't eating enough, or what I was eating wasn't good enough, etc.. I don't restrict myself with anything that I eat, however I strive to make healthier choices and only indulge every once in a while as opposed to indulging all the time like I used to.

    So like I said, I headed over to the sticky thread and went about calculating my own calorie goals and macros. Unfortunately I had to use the tape measure method of trying to find my body fat percentage because right now I can't afford to go and get a scan or anything like that done. I came up with ~32.6% as my body fat.

    So going by that I have approximately ~141-142lbs of lean mass.

    According to every BMR calculator I used and the formula itself (Katch-McArdle), my BMR is ~1747.1

    I chose light exercise (1.375) as my activity level because I've only been working out about 3x a week, and I work 5 days at a job where I am on my feet the whole time but not necessarily walking/moving the whole time.

    So with all that in mind I came up with ~2400 for maintenance. Which matches up with MFP because MFP is cutting 1000cal/day to create a 7000cal/2lb deficit per week.

    I went with a more conservative cut (vs MFPs) of 20% and got ~1920 as a target.

    From here I went on to calculating my macros using 1g/lb for protein, .4g/lb for fat and the rest into carbs (based off my estimated lean mass) to get approximately:

    142g protein
    56.8g fat
    210.2g carbs

    Based on total weight I would have got:

    210g protein
    84g fat
    81g carbs

    However I've seen so much conflicting information about whether you should use your lean mass or your total weight if you're overweight. I've also read a bunch of "scary" information about carbs and insulin. It is worth noting that I have PCOS and as a result am mildly insulin resistant (it has gotten much better over the past 5 years and I was able to discontinue my use of Metformin).

    But now to the part where my head just can't seem to wrap around it. At 1440 calories a day, I obviously stalled out. But any time I've gone above 1500/1600 cal for more than a day or two my weight has gone up. So naturally even though these numbers are what the science has given me, my current activity level makes me extremely wary of making this my goal. I feel like if I do this, I need to step up my exercise game (which I know I need to do anyways, but I don't want to freak out and push myself too hard and end up hurting myself either since I am very prone to neurosis when it comes to food/eating/exercise/cals in vs cals out/etc.).

    My whole workout plan is a whole other issue since I can't afford a gym membership. Oddly enough I actually inherited a weight bench when I moved into my current apartment and it still has all its pieces, but I'm still doing research on beginners weightlifting and such so that I don't just go down there and hurt myself. My boyfriend said that if I'm really serious about it this time (since he's heard all my tales of trial, error and giving up) he is willing to pay for a membership for me and even possibly a personal trainer. I just need to prove it to him (and myself) that I'm not going to give up this time. And I figured one way to at least help with that goal is to really and honestly do the research and get my diet under control since I can pretty much do whatever I want for exercise, pay for trainers, work my ass off, etc and still gain weight if my diet isn't on point.

    So I guess what I'm here for is for you guys with the experience to tell me if I'm making this much harder than it should be, if it seems like my numbers are correct, etc.. And honestly, if I really am making a much bigger deal out of this than I should be, feel free to slap me upside the head...sometimes that's what I need when I get this kind of tunnel vision and am running off the rails.

    And also, Thank You ^_^
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  2. #2
    Registered User oregonchick76's Avatar
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    Base your protein needs on your 'ideal' body weight rather than current weight. 1g per lb of ideal body weight would be what, maybe 140g?
    Should be able to lose consistently at 1800 calories per day. ~140g protein, ~60g fat, ~150g carbs.

    Eat foods that you like and make them fit into your daily target. Doesn't have to be 'clean' foods. Eat whatever you want as long as it fits your target calories/macros.
    "Start where you are. It's never too late to change your life."
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    Registered User Cara0915's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oregonchick76 View Post
    Base your protein needs on your 'ideal' body weight rather than current weight. 1g per lb of ideal body weight would be what, maybe 140g?
    Should be able to lose consistently at 1800 calories per day. ~140g protein, ~60g fat, ~150g carbs.

    Eat foods that you like and make them fit into your daily target. Doesn't have to be 'clean' foods. Eat whatever you want as long as it fits your target calories/macros.

    Along with this...
    Are you weighing all your food on a digital kitchen scale?
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    Registered User whttrs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cara0915 View Post
    Along with this...
    Are you weighing all your food on a digital kitchen scale?
    Yep. I've been doing that for a long time since I'm pretty psychotic about knowing the calories in everything (when I was ONLY counting calories).
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    After a while you'll know everything by heart.
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    Registered User StevieMaria's Avatar
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    In the past three years, have you taken a diet break?

    Also, it's only been two weeks of stalling. I wouldn't worry too much about it yet. I just stalled for three weeks and the whole pound and a half just came off all together instead of losing .5 each week on the scale.
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