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I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:57 pm
by satt
I know a lot of threads are made for this, but that's because it's an important topic for many people.

I'm female, seventeen years old. I run 4 miles nearly every day. I lost quite a bit of weight since I've gone vegan, and I certainly don't want to lose anymore. I was wondering if anyone could give me an estimate of how much I should be eating (calorically speaking), with my activity levels and such. I'm about 4'11", ~90 lbs if that makes a difference.

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:20 pm
by hardcore iv
The simple answer is that you should be eating more. Maybe give us an example of a typical days eating and we can see where you might lacking. Common mistake is to eliminate/avoid all calorically dense foods (e.g. fat containing foods, peanut butter sandwiches, vegan meats) when becoming vegan and therefore drastically reducing energy intake. Going by the info you've given us you should be shooting for at least 1250 cals and around 80gms of protein a day.

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:34 am
by satt
Here's an example of what I usually eat:

Breakfast: Cereal with soy milk, blueberries, a banana.
Lunch: Sandwich with tofurkey slices, cucumber, spinach. A handful of nuts. Some sort of granola bar (Nature Valley, Clif, Luna, KIND, etc.). Grapes.
Snack: Apple
Dinner: For example, tonight, I had vegetable lo mein with tofu. Last night was whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and tofu as well (I usually don't have tofu more than 2x a week, this week being an exception), and a salad, too. My dinners vary, so there's not a constant on that.

I feel like 1250 calories would be too low for my activity level..especially during the summer, as I'll be running 4 miles daily (or, at least 6x/week), as well as working at a camp outside during the day. Although, right now, I'm not sure how many calories I'm eating, though I have upped my intake in the past couple of weeks because I was continuing to lose weight, and I was nearing unhealthy levels of weight loss (my doctor already says I'm too thin, though I disagree..).

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:49 am
by wannalift
You aren't getting enough healthy fats and your protein is borderline low as well. Add in some almonds, flax oil, chia seeds, coconut, etc. EVERY DAY. The diet you posted looks to be around 1700 calories, give or take 100. Best thing you could do, in addition to the sample daily diet you posted, would be to add in a protein shake with a tbsp of flax oil. 1/4 cup of almonds would do you well as also. Consider switching to Clif Builder bars since they have a better macronutrient profile (more protein, more fats). Make sure you are getting the right supplements, especially DHA. If you do nothing else, start taking DHA and get more fats in your diet. I can't tell you how much you need to eat, you have to listen to your body and your body is obviously telling you to eat more. Starting by adding in the protein shake with flax oil (~200 calories) and a standard serving of almonds (160 calories) rather than a 'handful' would be a good start. Good luck.

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:22 pm
by satt
Sorry, but with the info I've provided, how is it clear that I'm not eating enough? I've been eating more and feeling better recently, but I'm just wondering if anyone can give me an estimate of calories needed... I would think that around 1200 would be too little for my activity level, even though I am short...

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:30 pm
by tal
[quote="satt"]Sorru, but with the info I've provided, how is it clear that I'm not eating enough? I've been eating more and feeling better recently, but I'm just wondering if anyone can give me an estimate of calories needed... I would think that around 1200 would be too little for my activity level, even though I am short...


Well you're light but you exercise a fair bit, so I agree that 1200 is too low.

There is no magic bullet answer here that anyone can give you. The amount of calories required for maintenance is individual and unique to each person and varies depending on what you do each day.

The best advice I can give you is to utilise a bit of trial-and-error. Try eating at, say, 1700 per day for a couple of weeks and see if you still are losing weight. If you are, then try 1800. If you gain weight, then try 1500.

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:45 pm
by wannalift
[quote="satt"]Sorry, but with the info I've provided, how is it clear that I'm not eating enough? I've been eating more and feeling better recently, but I'm just wondering if anyone can give me an estimate of calories needed... I would think that around 1200 would be too little for my activity level, even though I am short...


You posted an example of what you "usually" eat. When you used the word "usually", I interpretted it to mean a trend longer than a couple of weeks. Since you said you were losing weight on that, it inferred that you were not eating enough, and thus I gave suggestions on what to add. I don't know what changes you have done in the past couple of weeks, but if it has stopped your weightloss then keep doing it. You should specify though what changes you made and what results you saw from those changes. No one can tell you exactly how much to eat based on the info given. You can't accurately determine basal metabolic rate over the internet, sorry. You are better off using the advice provided by Talyn and myself.

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:43 pm
by meli
[quote="satt"]
I'm female, seventeen years old. I run 4 miles nearly every day. I lost quite a bit of weight since I've gone vegan, and I certainly don't want to lose anymore. I was wondering if anyone could give me an estimate of how much I should be eating (calorically speaking), with my activity levels and such. I'm about 4'11", ~90 lbs if that makes a difference.


I would say at least 2000, better 2500 calories...
Be careful...you are a teenager and your body is still growing, slow a bit down with the exercising for the moment, and eat more girl.

Your diet looks good, but maybe try to add some calorie dense snacks?
Some ideas:
- Avocado-mash; 1 avocado, walnut halves, mix, add ground paprika, lemon, salt and for some more calories 1 tbsp of olive oil, approx. 500 kalories
- Coconut oil -nuts - chocolates;
coconut oil, chocolate powder, almonds or cashew nuts, grated coconut, vanilla extract, salt, sugar/sweetener, stir and put in ice cube tray and put in freezer

hth, and keep us posted how it goes

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:40 am
by alexander
more or less I think 2000-2500 calories.

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:16 am
by alexander
and I also think maintain on what the foods you eat when you start dieting...

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:18 pm
by satt
Thanks everyone. I've been eating more nuts/nut butters/etc., and I've gained about 3-4 lbs in a little more than 2 weeks. However, can someone give me an example of a 2000-2500 calorie diet? I'm not sure exactly how much eating that would entail..

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:25 pm
by meli
[quote="satt"]However, can someone give me an example of a 2000-2500 calorie diet? I'm not sure exactly how much eating that would entail..

at cronometer.com you can track your food intake, it will give you an idea how much and what you are eating

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:59 pm
by baldy
[quote="satt"]Thanks everyone. I've been eating more nuts/nut butters/etc., and I've gained about 3-4 lbs in a little more than 2 weeks. However, can someone give me an example of a 2000-2500 calorie diet? I'm not sure exactly how much eating that would entail..

try here -> http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/meals

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:06 pm
by ColleenE
The only way you can know this for certain rather than conjecture is to get a metabolic test done. It will give you the amount of calories you need everyday, and then you compute the additional calorie loss (4 miles isn't a terribly high amount of calories, about 400). Everything else we can tell you is just guessing.

Re: I don't know how much to be eating?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:19 pm
by BlueRose
I take the guesswork out of what I'm burning and wear a Bodybugg. It was pretty enlightening to see how little I burn daily without exercise, to say the least!