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Comments from the [Almond] Gallery - Shannon from Living Well!

Posted Apr 02 2012 8:32pm
"It's annoying that this is the level of effort that is required of me FOREVER to lose weight and then to maintain it long term." - Me, a few days ago on this crazy blog

I get lots of amazing and inspiring comments from what I affectionately refer to as "the almond gallery" (like the peanut gallery...get it?).  The other day Shannon from Living Well wrote such a thoughtful comment in reference to the quotation above that I had to share it with you all. 

For more of her infinite wisdom, please check her blog .  This was my favorite post , as it blew my mind.  Check out the after photo, AMAZING.  And another favorite , while I'm at it.

Shannon writes...

Good news: that's not true. To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. To maintain your weight, you need to eat at your maintenance calorie level, which I can guarantee you is higher than 1400. Yes, losing weight lowers your maintenance levels, but not as much as you'd think.

You weigh, what, 170? That means your Basal Metabolic Rate (ie the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day) is 1575. If you weighed 125, your BMR would be 1375. That's only a 200 calorie difference for a 45 lb weight loss--like half a bagel [Crazy Fat note: I loved that she used a bagel as her reference point here, obviously]. This should also show you right away that you can maintain your goal weight at way more than 1400 calories a day, as obviously you don't stay in bed all day! If you were totally sedentary, you'd maintain 125 at around 1650 calories per day, lightly active and you'd maintain around 1890, and moderately active (i.e. gym 3-5 days a week which is probably where you'd fall) you'd maintain around 2130!

Obviously those numbers aren't exact, but the point is that you can maintain your weight eating a lot more than you think. That's why if you hit up the foodie blogosphere you'll see these skinny women eating gourmet meals, baking all the time, restaurants every other night, etc without getting fat. The problem is that if you're binge eating (and I'm not saying this judgementally, I struggle with this too which is why I get it) then it's easy to eat way more than 2100 calories per day really fast. You might only binge for 2 hours a week, but you could easily eat enough in those 2 hours to cancel out an entire weeks worth of a calorie deficit, so it FEELS like you're always on a diet, even when you're just maintaining or even gaining weight. [ugh, the truth is the worst right?]

Using myself as an example: I lost 15 pounds in 10 weeks over winter 2011 by averaging around 1000-1200 calories per day. Eventually raised to 1300-1500. Thought I would have to eat that little forever. Realized I didn't, and eventually raised calories to 2400-2600 where I maintained easily.

Gained back ALL the weight and then some from a summer of heavy drinking and a semester abroad (and the fact that I could maintain at 2500 should tell you how much I had to eat to gain 20 lbs...). But the second time around, I lost the weight averaging 1500-1800/day, because my metabolism is faster now. Right now I'm maybe 2-3 lbs away from where I was a year ago and taking a 2-3 week maintenance period because I want to keep this going--maintenance meaning ~2200 calories/day and pretty much no gym time (involuntary due to travel, but I figured I could make it work for me.).

Anyway, I NEVER believed it when I saw other bloggers eating this much--I thought I was the exception and I must have a really slow metabolism or something--but turns out my body isn't an exception to the laws of physics and I bet yours isn't either! If you can get a handle on maintaining healthily, you won't have to do this forever, and hopefully knowing there's an end in sight will make the process easier.

Shannon just referenced the laws of physics folks, and I love it.  So I'm going to start eating more, and to say that I look forward to this is the understatement of the year!  Now I just need you to tell me what the heck to eat...

Thanks Shannon!  Read more at Living Well is the Best Revenge .

P.S. Check me out on Fit Blogger , I'm the featured post of the day!!  Write a comment and I'll love you forevs
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