Let’s play the OVER/UNDER GAME…
I’ve talked about how to customize your calorie budget to support your goals. To refresh your memory, refer to my Calculating Calories Cheat Sheet here: https://coachingwithabby.com/blog/how-much-should-you-be-eating/
Today, I want to discuss the next steps.
Remember, at this point you should have started tracking foods and possibly calculated your target calories. Tracking food creates awareness, and knowing how much you should be targeting helps us determine if you are over-eating or under-eating.
Do you over-eat?
- Double check accuracy of foods you input into Chronometer/MyFitnessPal
- Double check portions (measure and weigh foods) and adjust as necessary. Are you mindlessly crushing 1/2 cup Peanut Butter that easily contributes to almost 800 calories and 65g Fat? Love PB and don’t want to give it up? Could you reduce this closer to the recommended 2 Tbsp for 188 calories?
- Are you tracking your alcohol intake and beverages with calories? Is that 4 oz of wine or 4 glasses? Some folks drink more in calories than their daily food budget allows.
- Now that you are logging, are you 100% mindful of all of the foods you consume? The extra bites of your kids meals, the (several) handfuls of nuts straight from the container, the car snacking… you get the point. Is this an area of opportunity for you? Awareness creates change. Understanding that whenever you stand hungry at the counter with a bag of chips, there is a very great chance you will eat more than you need.
- You subscribe to “Cheat Meals” (I don’t believe in cheating) and have one meal/day that completely boosts your budget.
- Binge eating or drinking (usually related to under-eating and too much restriction). It usually looks like this: you eat well all day and then suddenly fall apart in the afternoon and over-eat.
Do you under-eat?
- Do you intentionally or unintentionally restrict calories? Do you skip meals? Do you get so busy you forget to eat?
- Do you over exercise intentionally to burn more calories? Or are you involved in sports where you are naturally burning more calories than you consume?
- Some symptoms of under-eating include: low energy, hunger, lack of hunger, cravings, inability to gain muscle (“tone”), irregular or absent menstrual cycles, PMS symptoms (having symptoms is an indicator of underlying issues), irritability, mood swings
- PS: I will 100% prescribe > 1500 calories/day to any of you. Say goodbye to poverty calorie goals.
Or… do you yo-yo between under-eating and then over-eating (or binge eating)? Do you restrict so much that you feel deprived (and HANGRY!) and end up eating the cookie you are craving, plus 10 other cookies? You are not alone, I have been there too. Usually binge-eating is a result of restrictive caloric diets. Your body needs to be fed and you can’t build lean muscle without fueling correctly.
Take a minute and calculate your daily caloric goal.
Hit Reply and let me know what you find out. Are you over-eating or under-eating?