Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Do I Burn More Calories Than I Eat?

I've been on a diet since January 1st. I cut out complex carbs and starches. My diet now consists of high proteins, fresh veggies and fresh fruits. Occasionally I'll have a small glass of orange juice.

I've been using my exercise bike and averaging about 12 mph for about 90 minutes per day. According to my bike I'm burning off 1000 calories. My concern is, my calorie intake a day is only 1200 - 1400 calories a day. The general rule I've been told is "You have to burn off more than you take in" so... how do I burn more than 1000 calories and how have I been losing weight?

I started out over 300 pounds and I'm down to 265 so I've lost 35 pounds in just 2 months. I feel great but I just don't understand the math!
Thanks, Loryn

Dear Loryn,

Relax! Your body is burning over 2000 calories a day just doing what it does! It takes all this energy for you to breathe, pump blood around, digest food, walk, even to stand. The 1000 calories you're burning on the bike is just extra :)

I would definitely suggest you increase your calorie intake to at least 1600-1800. You could be decreasing your metabolism by cutting your calories so drastically (1200-1400 level) and that is tough to recover from.

Consider adding in a few whole grains like toast or cereal for breakfast and rice or potatoes for dinner. A serving (a slice of bread or 1/2 cup rice) provides less than 100 calories and these foods give you the energy you need, especially for the exercise you're doing.

Congratulations on sticking with your new eating habits and regular exercise for 6 weeks... it should be getting easier now. Although your weight loss may slow, don't get discouraged. Even if you lose just 5 pounds a month you'll be close to 200 next year :) Keep up the good work!!

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