Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Magic Number

When I started this journey again I didn't think about much besides needing to exercise more and eating healthier choices.  I also know that if you eat less calories (500/day to lose 1lb a week) than what your body requires for your daily activity you will lose weight.

I had a membership with My Fitness Pal (MFP) before and I'd heard their phone app was really good so I decided to start there.  I got on the site, put in my numbers and wa-la I need to net 1640 calories a day to lose one pound a week.  That meant any exercising I did I could eat back those calories.  Great!

While looking at my progress page, you would think "looks perfect" considering any sort of water weight and such, but it doesn't tell the whole story.  I have been yo-yoing between 208 and 204 for over a week.  And while based on a weekly weigh in I'm losing the 1-2 lbs a week, the 4lb fluctuation bothers me.

Then I found a forum on MFP where a trainer was answering every one's questions for free.  I love free advise from a professional.  Over and over he mentioned your TEE (Total Energy Expenditure) and basing your calories off of that.  Then several people posted different links to figure out your TEE.  Well there is no such thing as an accurate calculation.  He also mentioned over and over that he starts women off on a net 1200 cal diet and increases or decreases based on how much they are losing.  Losing too fast he goes up 100 cal, too slow, go down 100 cal until you find a cal level where you are losing 1-2 lbs a week.  Since I didn't trust those calculators I decided to go with his theory.  Makes sense to me and I've definitely heard of women using it.  So, I reset my calorie goal on MFP and off we went.

When doing this, I didn't take into consideration that I'm breastfeed/nursing/lactating (however you are most comfortable hearing it).  To me that was just an added bonus (it burns calories).  Well when I went to express my milk on Monday I noticed it was significantly less that what I had been getting.  I didn't worry too much, I had been slacking on my water, figured I needed to kick it up a notch. When Tuesday rolled around and it seemed to me I was getting even less, I started to worry.  I started to think about all the things I've been doing and what could be causing it.  At first I instantly wanted to blame the sitter for over feeding her.  I mean I had just been with her for over 48 hours and fed her on demand and I had enough, why wasn't I pumping what she was eating at the sitter, obviously the sitter was over feeding her... Then reality set it, chances were she wasn't doing that, babies don't eat if they aren't hungry like adults do.  I thought some more and realized the only thing I have changed is my diet.  But if it was my diet then why didn't my supply lesson when I started this journey 3 weeks ago?  I pulled up good old google and searched for nursing and dieting.  Guess what, turns out every site recommends a nursing mother eat AT LEAST 1600-1800 calories a day.  There were days I was netting less than 900 just because I wasn't hungry.  Here I was eating 700 calories less than what my body needs just to function and make milk.  There were several sources that stated eating too few calories would effect your milk supply.

These sites also mentioned that you would not have the energy you need and be tired.  Got me thinking about the last few days I've had. Monday morning while I did great, got up and did my workout, once I got in the car to drive to work, I found myself barely able to hold my eyes open.  While I never felt lethargic and seemed to have energy as long as I was up and moving, the second I sat down, I was done.

I went searching again for my TEE I found numbers ranging from 1635 to 3094.  While I don't think I need 3000 calories I do think I need more than what I've been getting.  Self Nutrition Data's calculator actually took into account the fact that I'm nursing and recommends a net of almost 2600.  So I have decided to set a goal of 2000 and see what happens.  Hopefully my supply goes up and I can still lose some weight.  I will re-evaluate next week.

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