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Achieving an accurate calorie intake

8/17 9:01:17

Question
QUESTION: Lela,

Hello! I wanted to reach out as I feel that you can accurately answer my question.

Currently, I weigh 132 and am 5'2". Ideally, I'd like to get down to 115, though I'm not set on an exact number since I know muscle weighs more than fat. For me, it's more about toning and losing the flab.

I recently began an exercise routine, and I am keeping it simple so I stick to it. I do my best to make it to the gym 3-5 per week and while I'm there I focus on aerobic interval training. I usually do 40 intense minutes on the stairmaster and then take a break, stretch, and then spend another 30 minutes on the elliptical at a moderate pace. Also, at home, I have also started doing as many push-ups (something I have always had a hard time with) as I can every day and lifting 5lbs weights to tone my arms.

Whether I am going to the gym or not that day, I make a concerted effort, with the help of a reputable online food diary, to keep my net calories at 1300.

What I would like to know is, should my total calories be 1300 or should my net calories be 1300? For instance, if I go to the gym one day and burn, say 500 calories, should I be eating 1300 calories that day or 1800 calories? I don't want to get sick or rundown from eating too few calories, but I'm also looking to lose about a pound a week.

Thank you!

Best,
Rebecca


ANSWER: Rebecca,
I am going to suggest that we meet in the middle- Try eating 1500 total calories everyday- That will be enough to keep up with your activity, but also not so much that you won't lose weight.

Your workout sounds good, but I am going to suggest a few tweaks- Try push ups one day, crunches one day and Tricep dips on the third day. This will give you a more well rounded look, as well as giving your muscles a chance to recover from the previous day's workout.

How to do a crunch- http://www.acefitness.org/exerciselibrary/exercisedetail.aspx?exerciseid=68

How to do a dip- http://www.expertvillage.com/video/433_bench-dip.htm
(you can use a chair instead of a bench, as long as it wont tip over and the more you bend your knees the easier it is.)


Hope this Helps,
Lela Simon
http://www.LelaSimonWellness.com



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Lela,

Thank you for that! I've always had a hard time with what my "total" should be whether or not I'm working out. 1500 is a completely achievable number and I'll aim for it!

Thank you. Ideally, eventually, how many pushups, crunches, and tricep dips should I aim for?

Best,
Rebecca

Answer
Rebecca,
Honestly I am not a big fan of "volume" training (doing lots of repetitions for the sake of doing lots of repetitions). Lots of ladies think that high volume means less bulk, but really it just burns up time.

If you can do 15 reps without a problem it is time to make it harder. For push ups this could mean adding a single leg lift or putting your feet on a step or bench to create an angle  (putting more weight on your upper body)

For crunches this means putting weights in your hands and crossing them over your chest, or using an incline/decline board.

for tri dips- straighten out those legs!

Be well!
Lela
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