first things first!

When I started my journey to fitness in March of 2008 I was lost, but I had motivation; 1- my daughter and husband &  2- my pre-pregnancy jeans.

When I got home from the hospital and quickly grabbed my jeans and put my feet into the legs of the jeans and pulled them up. I was still bent over when the tops of my jeans with zipper undone came to an abrupt stop at the bottom of my thighs. Though this and stepping on the scale the same day were the most depressing realizations of my life I was determined! I didn’t know how, or when, but I was going to get those jeans back on!

At this point of my life I knew two truths about losing weight; 1- I needed to eat less & 2- I needed to workout longer.

It was about 5 months of working out 2-3 hours a day 5-6 days a week and eating what I thought was about 1000-1200 calorie diet before I found out that my fitness truths were the biggest lies!

I don’t even know how, but I stumbled upon an amazing resource called There is where my whole world was rocked and everything I thought I knew about getting fit was thrown out the window.

I will blog about clubfym in the very near future; I really urge you to check it out yourself, but for now I want to clear up something I think EVERYONE will think is crazy- to lose the weight I have in the last 6 months I have eaten MORE then I have ever in my life! Yup, you heard right, I eat waaaayy more now then I did ever before and I am still losing weight!

What stops you from wanting to believe me is the programing we have all done in our minds that eating less(aka- dieting)= losing weight. But let me school you a bit 🙂 Your body is an amazing machine perfectly designed to work in your best interest and keep you alive. So with that let me explain some extreme basics of nutrition.


your body uses energy for EVERYTHING that is does, breathing, eating, digesting and every other function your body does without you doing anything to actually get it done. So your body needs energy! another words- your body needs calories. Naturally you want to know how many, your BMR basal metobalic rate- is your bare minimum. Your BMR is what your body needs to do all of those basic things. Before I help you find that number (which is different for everyone, let me explain further). If you are currently eating lower then your BMR then you are telling your body that you will not give it the minimum it needs to stay alive and this is when your body goes into starvation mode; holding onto anything it can to keep itself alive. Want to guess what form it keeps it in? You guessed it! FAT! yay!

So! if you are eating below your BMR, cause of whatever lie you have bought into, but you are so frustrated cause eating should= losing weight OR you say, well I’ll eat less for like 2 weeks and I can drop 5lbs and then I’m fine. Let me school you some more. Dropping your calories will make you lose weight, but the drop on the scale is going to be water weight or worse, muscle loss!

Then you may come back at me and say “I don’t care what I lose, I just want to lose lbs!” I beg of you to keep on reading and listen to this! Muscle is where your metabolism lives! Muscle burns fat! Muscle takes up less space! You lose muscle if like you are losing horses pulling a chariot. Less horses pulling, the harder the others have to work to pull the weight. Get it? more horses= easier, faster, smoother ride. I’ll get off my muscle soapbox now and return to my calorie one 🙂

ok, lets recap; BMR= the least amount of calories you can eat to keep your body alive, you go under your BMR and you are spinning your wheels and packing on more fat- no matter how hard you work out.

Now, lets visit the other end of spectrum. Max calories (for someone wanting to maintain or lose weight) is your TDEE(total daily energy expenditure). This takes into account your BMR and how active you are. Going over your TDEE is extra calories and what do you think your body does with the extra? yup! right again! FAT!

When I learned this last Oct. when I joined I was blown away. I was being told that my BMR(or minimum calorie intake) was 1550 and my TDEE(or max calorie) was 2300! And all my prior information from various sources told me that I should be eating 1200 calories! This was epiphany #1

Epipahny #2 came when I decided right then and there that I was going to log my food intake with a food log, I was going to eat normally and just write it all down and count calories- I had never done this before. But I could eyeball a serving size, calorie ranges etc, right?… WRONG! After week one this is what my calorie intake looked like:

monday-800 calories, tuesday: 2300 calories, wednesday: 400 calories, thurday: 2800 calories, etc.

So what was I telling my body nutritionally? I was telling it, I’m not going to consistently give you enough calories to live, I will give you an abundance one day and barely anything the next. My body was out of control and all my efforts were in vain.

Up until these epiphanies I really thought I ate healthy and that I didn’t need much help nutritionally. Everything I bought was low-fat or fat-free, I bought 100 calorie packs instead of the regular stuff, we drank only soda. What I failed to understand is what my body needed. I was feeding my gut, now I feed my muscles- more on that to come!

So here are some links for you to find out where your calorie intake should be:
BMR: remember this is the bare minimum calorie intake your body NEEDS!

TDEE: this is your max to stay exactly where you are! you can minus 500 to go for -1lb/week w/ exercise and good nutrition!

Find out what it is! I bet you’ll be surprised, now this is not a free pass to make you feel like now you can order that six-dollar burger 2x a week, but fill your body with clean food- you will be so surprised how much more you will have to eat to make up your calorie goal- on the other hand you will be surprised how fast it can go if you are eating out or eating a lot of processed foods.

Track your current calorie intake! I was sooo surprised that my calorie intake was out of control before, I seriously thought I eyeballed about 1200 calories a day- I was so off. I love to track my food, I tell it what I eat and it tells me how many calories! use it! They even have a cool iphone app!

First things first- everyone needs to know their daily calorie range/goal to lose fat and gain lean body mass(muscle), whether you are a calorie counter or not. I now only count calories one week a month to make sure I am still on track. I also use a food scale to make sure I know my portions better.

To your health & fitness!

ps- I got to my pre-pregnancy weight and fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans on December 21st, 2008 🙂

1 Comment »

  1. Hey there Mom! Great post. So many of us have starved ourselves on yo-yo diets without lasting success. I just added my own post about BMR and TDEE.

    You are right, eating below your BMR for any period of time is a surefire way to sabotage weight loss in the long run. A podcast that I listen to: Fat 2 fit Radio ( suggests eating at your target TDEE. That way you are in effect changing your lifestyle and are never really on a diet.

    Thanks for sharing your insight with the world and best wishes to you!

    – Dave

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