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Learning To Eat More

Posted Aug 13 2013 7:00am

It’s hard to explain what I’ve been working on and learning over the past 4 weeks.  There have been a lot of highs, a lot of lows, and many breakthroughs.  Learning how to live beyond dieting is extremely scary, especially when you still have the goal of losing weight.

What’s been made the most apparent over the past few weeks is how little I eat for my body size, shape, and metabolism, but for a girl who loves to eat and has struggled with overeating, eating more food has been incredibly challenging.

I know that might sound incredibly weird but up until this point in my life I’ve always restricted my food intake with the hopes of losing weight.  What I’m learning is that all this has done is put me in a position where I overeat, binge, and become consumed by the foods I deny myself and in the end, gain weight.

Ashley

Rebecca Scritchfield, my nutritionist, calculated that my resting metabolic rate is 2200 calories a day, which is the energy I need to be sedentary and do minimum, necessary activities like walking. What this means is that my body needs 2200 calories just to function, so how do you think it’s functioned on the 1400-1800 I had been eating prior to meeting with Rebecca?

Taking into consideration the level of activities I do each week, Rebecca has recommended that my target energy range be between 2500-3000 calories.  What this means is that Rebecca is recommending that I eat 2500-3000 calories a day, which has BLOWN MY MIND.

Washington DC Metabolic Testing

Back in January I had my metabolism tested and even then I struggled to accept how many calories I needed to eat for my body.  After years and years of being told by the main stream media to eat between 1200 and 1600 calories a day in order to lose weight, eating 2500-3000 calories a day just seems obscene.

My first few weeks after meeting with Rebecca I focused mainly on eating when I was hungry and stopping when I’m satisfied, but what I learned during that time is that I’m still eating way too little food.  Last week I began to work on eating more food, but really struggled to allow myself to eat more.  It still just doesn’t seem possible that I can eat that much and still lose weight.

breakfast

Although I do not want to become consumed with counting calories, since last week I’ve kept an eye on the calories I’m eating in an effort to gain a better understanding of what 2500-3000 calories looks like.  I have focused on three different routines, keeping in mind that every day is different and may not look exactly like this.

AM Workout Plan
• Pre-fuel workout: 300-350 calories
• Recovery/breakfast: 400-450 calories
• AM snack: 300-450 calories
• Lunch: 600-700 calories
• PM snack: 300-350 calories
• Dinner: 600-700 calories
PM Workout Plan
• Breakfast: 300-450 calories
• AM snack: 300-350 calories
• Lunch: 600-700 calories
• Pre-fuel workout: 300-350 calories
• Recovery: 400-450 calories
• Dinner: 600-700 calories
No Workout
• Breakfast: 600-700 calories
• AM snack: 300-450 calories
• Lunch: 600-700 calories
• PM snack: 300-350 calories
• Dinner: 600-700 calories

Here’s a glimpse at what I ate yesterday to give you a better idea of the breakdown…

Breakfast- English muffin, almond butter, 2 eggs, coffee, and creamer (430 calories)

Snack- Chobani blackberry and blueberries (223 calories)

Lunch - Brown rice, ground turkey, eggplant, jalapenos, Trader Joe’s Everything Crackers, and Trader Joe’s Kale Dip (667 calories)

Snack- Baby carrots, Wholly Guacamole, and Grade Mocha Light Frappachino (425 calories)

Pre-Workout- Clif Bar (240 calories)

Post-Workout- Almond milk and Designer Whey (130 calories)

Dinner- 6oz chicken breast, 3 jalapenos, 2 Laughing Cow cheese wedges, Wholly Guacamole, 3 tbsp light sour cream (601 calories)

Total- 2,716 calories

The challenge for me has not been eating more food but instead trusting that by eating more food I’ll reach a healthier and happier place.  It’s hard to explain why eating more food is so difficult, but I just have a really hard time believing that by eating this much food I’ll start to lose the excess body fat I have.

Once I get a hang of eating 2500-3000 calories more consistently, my next step is to focus on my nutrition and the foods I’m putting into my body.  I want to get more creative in the kitchen and to make sure I’m fueling my body for success.

Who would have thought eating this much food would be this challenging?

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