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TOPIC: 3000 calories a day!?!?

 
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July 2, 2013 2:14 PM
I'm new to counting calories and have done a lot of reading on the subject, but still feel confused. I'm a 32 y/o male, 5'10" 260lbs. I have a very active job, usually on my feet and moving 10-12 hours a day. I recently got a Body Media armband and on an average work day I'm showing about 4000 calories burned. So from what I've read, I should be eating 3000 calories a day to achieve the "safe" loss of 2lbs per week. I'm about a month in to counting my calories, and have done fairly well, losing 12 lbs in that time, but also having calories deficits of any where from 1500 to 2500 a day. I feel like this is why my diets have failed in the past, creating these large deficits until my body tells me no more!

So my questions are....
1. Does burning 4000 calories a day seem accurate?
2. Should I avoid working out on work days to avoid having to eat more?
3. Do I really need to eat 3000 calories a day?
4. If so, how do I go about doing this in a healthy manner? That is a lot of food!
  45482697
July 2, 2013 2:18 PM
No. MFP has already factored in your average daily calories when they asked you your activity level. the calories you should be counting are the calories from workouts, or activities outside of your daily routine. Not the calories you've burned from your whole day.

Example...I burned a bit over 400 calories for my workout today. Those are the calories I'm going to eat back.
July 2, 2013 2:18 PM
According to fat2fitradio.com your BMR is your current BMR is 2357 calories. That means you should eat at LEAST this amount if you simply wake up each day. If your armband is showing 4000 calories burned, then you can go the TDEE-20% route (4000 minus 20%) and eat 3200 calories a day.
July 2, 2013 2:24 PM
Hey,

1. Does burning 4000 calories a day seem accurate?

It doesn't seem right. 4000 calories seems a bit over the top.

2. Should I avoid working out on work days to avoid having to eat more?

Not at all.

3. Do I really need to eat 3000 calories a day?

3,000 calories would seem right for somebody of your weight. How much is MyFitnessPal telling you to consume?

4. If so, how do I go about doing this in a healthy manner? That is a lot of food!

I personally don't think there are any "unhealthy" foods out there. It all depends how much you eat. Too much of anything can obviously be bad, but eating in moderation and keeping within your daily calorie intake is just fine.

As long as you meet your macros and your calories I say eat what you like. But of course, food with good nutrition should not be avoided :)

12lbs in a month is good so why change what you're doing?
July 2, 2013 2:29 PM
1. Yeah, for a larger guy who is very active, that's a fairly accurate estimate from your HRM. For reference, I'm 5'8" and when I started at 240 lbs, I was eating ~2400 while sedentary and losing (meaning my maintenance was 2900). Now I eat roughly 3000-3500 on workout days, and roughly 2000 on non-workout days.

2. You can work out or not... it depends on your workout. If you're doing strength training, go for it if you have the energy. If you're doing cardio, it would be my opinion that you should skip the cardio if you are struggling to reach your calorie requirement.

3. You should, at least try average out to it. If you go to too deep of a deficit you can slow your metabolism, and it can also lead to binging.

4. Follow an IIFYM style diet. Once you get enough protein and enough fats, it doesn't really matter what you eat as long as you continue to eat to your targeted deficit. I've eaten pizza at least once a week since last year and still get good results. Just be sure to track accurately. The fastest way to add calories to food is through added fat. Cook with some oil, throw some peanut butter into a smoothie, eat cheese/nuts/avocados.

Hope this helps!
Edited by Vonwarr On July 2, 2013 2:36 PM
  24232944
July 2, 2013 2:31 PM
I think a lot of people are going to say 3000 is too much, so I just want to step in with my experience. I too had a very active job, on my feet and moving with no breaks, literally without sitting down and hardly standing still for 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Now that I'm logging and aware of the calories in foods, I know that I was probably eating upwards of 4000 calories in a typical day. I'm 5'5" and I was MAINTAINING at 195 pounds on that. I didn't gain until I quit the job.

You are heavier so if you are really that active, 4000 a day (as your TDEE, not on top of the baseline MFP gives you) sounds very reasonable to me. No, it's not "working out" and yes, your body is used to it, but it still requires more calories to move than to sit still.

Try to gradually up your calories closer to 3000 and see what happens. Give it some time. Add back a few treats, but mostly figure out how to eat lots of healthy, reasonably calorie-dense foods. Depending on your diet, nuts, seeds, oils, avocado, grains and breads are good sources of healthy calories. And chocolate. Chocolate is good too.

Good luck!

ETA: Don't forget to recalculate your calorie goal periodically; as you lose weight you will need fewer calories.
Edited by musenchild On July 2, 2013 2:33 PM
  5411345
July 2, 2013 2:34 PM
QUOTE:

So my questions are....
1. Does burning 4000 calories a day seem accurate?
2. Should I avoid working out on work days to avoid having to eat more?
3. Do I really need to eat 3000 calories a day?
4. If so, how do I go about doing this in a healthy manner? That is a lot of food!


1. Yes. On an average day when I'm running around the office a bit, I burn about 2400 calories. Add in a workout then I'm hitting 3000+ on a fairly regular basis. You're a man, 4.5" taller and 115lb heavier so another 1000-1500 calories sounds about right.
2. Only if you don't want to work out. I'd lean towards working out and eating a bit more, but not stressing too much about eating back every single calorie as long as you net more than your BMR (2400 calories according to another poster).
3. Yes, or thereabouts.
4. Peanut butter is my friend, linseeds, AVOCADOS, coconut milk (the canned stuff rather than the low fat drinking milk)... Honestly, I'm probably not a good example. I'm losing weight eating all those things, plus bacon and eggs for breakfast, regular steaks and ice cream (although I eat vast piles of vegetables every day).

(I'm an IIFYM follower so aim to hit 110g protein, 70g-ish fat (and 25g fibre).
Edited by SpecialSundae On July 2, 2013 2:39 PM
  3239266
July 2, 2013 2:38 PM
If you have an active job and work long shifts, then 4,000 calories a day does sound like it's at least in the ballpark for your stats, which means eating ~3200 would also be about right. I'm 29, female, only 5'6" and at 180 lbs I'm eating about 2,000 calories a day and losing about a pound a week. I work out 5-6 hours total per week but otherwise sit at a desk all day, so for you to be taller, working from a higher weight and way more active than I am, you'd certainly need to eat more than I do!

As for how to accomplish that, snacks are probably a good idea if your job allows it. Small snacks like nuts, sunflower seeds, and cheese cubes pack a lot of calories without leaving you feel like you've overeaten. Sometimes you can toss a little protein powder or ground flax seed into the recipes you already make, which will also bump up the calories a bit. If at all possible, try to use snacks that help balance out your macros. I tend to eat carb-heavy, so the options I mentioned above help me get a little more protein and (mostly) healthy fats into my diet.

As for working out on work days, it depends on what you're doing. You probably don't need extra cardio on those days, but they might be good strength training days. I don't know how the Body Media calculates your calories, but MPF doesn't count straight, cardio-free strength training toward your calorie balance (I know there's a good reason for that, but I'd be hard-pressed to explain it myself).

I hope that helps! Good luck!
  3078654
July 2, 2013 2:50 PM
Seems high, 4000c is about the equivalent of running 20 miles for you. Does that include metabolic activity?
July 2, 2013 2:54 PM
QUOTE:

I'm new to counting calories and have done a lot of reading on the subject, but still feel confused. I'm a 32 y/o male, 5'10" 260lbs. I have a very active job, usually on my feet and moving 10-12 hours a day. I recently got a Body Media armband and on an average work day I'm showing about 4000 calories burned. So from what I've read, I should be eating 3000 calories a day to achieve the "safe" loss of 2lbs per week. I'm about a month in to counting my calories, and have done fairly well, losing 12 lbs in that time, but also having calories deficits of any where from 1500 to 2500 a day. I feel like this is why my diets have failed in the past, creating these large deficits until my body tells me no more!

So my questions are....
1. Does burning 4000 calories a day seem accurate?
2. Should I avoid working out on work days to avoid having to eat more?
3. Do I really need to eat 3000 calories a day?
4. If so, how do I go about doing this in a healthy manner? That is a lot of food!

1. YES, According to my BM I can burn 4000 cal in a day. i only do that maybe once a week so YES it is very possible
2. NO
3. Yes
4. by eating the same way you are just increase the amounts or time in between.

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