Item #1, I need to start washing clothes more often. Or I need to buy more underwear. Every other load of clothes is fitness related and I’m starting to run out of clean necessities for real life, if you know what I mean. And I’m sure you do because that was not an exactly subtle item #1.
Item #2, okay. Shape/Fitness and all those other women’s mags at the check out counter… I AM GOING TO CUT YOU. FOR REALS. Scissors in hand! [OOH! Speaking of scissors, I finished Bum Bum and Tummy Tuck. Rockin’ the BBL! You guys with me?] [Yeah, I had a little sugar today, why do you ask?]
You’ve seen those articles in the ladies’ mags: Here’s our healthy diet plan (meaning it involves oatmeal and blueberries and exactly 7 almonds a day) to help you lose 20 pounds or 2 pounds or whatever amount of weight you want to lose by next Friday.
GAH. Those stupid diet plans (which are typically 1200 calories) do not take into account a woman’s height, current weight, activity level or muscle mass. A woman with a lot of muscle who is very active who is looking to shave off her last few pounds will not do well on a 1200 calorie diet (unless she is 5’2 and weighs 100 pounds, that is). And a woman who has a lot of weight to lose can lose weight fairly easily in the beginning, so making her eat 1200 calories a day is just MEAN and you’re just trying to make people suffer.
So how many calories should you eat to lose weight? Million dollar question! I have no idea. Really, no one does. Those calculators and stuff you can get online aren’t exact. They’re rough guesses because everyone’s metabolism is different. All sorts of stuff play into your metabolism — including your dieting history. If you’ve been on a ton of diets, your body will be used to you cutting calories and it’s not going to drop weight at the first sign of a new diet.
Heck, I have a Body Bugg and the damn thing was overestimating my calorie burn by about 200 calories a day. That’s a little less than 1/2 a pound a week of weight gain. Or it would have been less than 1/2 a pound if my philosophy wasn’t “Hell, I still have 300 calories left to eat today! Pass the cookies!” And 500 calories later, I have pwned the cookies. Or the cookies have pwned me.
So if you need to lose a few, what do you do? Well, 1200 cals is just too low if you need to like, function and be pleasant to people. If you are permitted to be a raging bitch (ie, no prenup) and your job does not require properly functioning brain synapses, 1200 cals is fine. For me, 1500 cals is my bare minimum or else the Anti-Rat has to hide the knives.
I just don’t see how you can get enough protein, calcium, wine or chocolate on 1200 calories a day. People, we want to be fit but let’s not be crazy here. Our body fat percentages will not be listed on our tombstones. We need to enjoy life.
One of the best options is to write down everything you’re currently eating AS YOU EAT IT. Every nibble. Including the grocery store samples. The fries pilfered from your friends’ plate while you’re eating your salad. Write it down (not a mental tally, we all know how that will pan out). After 2 weeks, take yourself to a dietician and have him or her look at your eating and suggest ways to improve your nutrition.
The diet industry has us focus on calories when really we need to focus on eliminating non-foods and adding in quality nutrition. There are actually people who have nutritional deficiencies but who eat a surplus of calories every day. And when their body has a nutritional deficiency, what does it tell them to do? Eat. So we need to figure out what you’re supposed to be eating (not Cheetos) instead of the calories. Calories will take care of themselves once you’re giving your body the right kinds of foods every day.
Now some people are thinking “Girl, I can’t afford a dietician.” Wellll…. okay (but if you add up all the diet bars, shakes, weight watcher clubs, thermal body wraps, fat burning pills and other garbage you’ve bought to lose weight, 2 visits to a dietician won’t be that expensive). You can start by learning about nutrition on your own and going crazy with the fruits, veggies, nuts and lean meats if you’re an animal eater.
I have been on every crazy diet known to man. You name it, I’ve tried it (or I’ve tried the copycat version of the diet). I’ve counted carbs, calories, fat grams, protein grams, points and I’ve even done that thing where you take shots of olive oil before every meal (GAH! And what was I thinking? And my hair was so SHINY!) and nothing has worked as well as focusing on eating real foods that will fuel my body. I still keep a food journal just so I can see patterns of how I’m feeling after I eat certain foods, but changing my focus from calories to nutrition has been so liberating.
And it saves me a TON of money on magazines!