Spring cleaning came a little late to me this year. All summer I've been cleaning out the office, donating books and DVDs and tossing out old boxes and things that I felt I had to hang on to. Like this:
I have an accordian file filled with various short-term diets that come packaged with DVD workout plans. I kept a few, just for snack ideas and some recipes that looked good, but a lot of them went in the trash because they had a caveat something like this:
The plan has a very low calorie level so it's suggested you take it easy during the duration.
You sell me a workout plan, then tell me NOT to do it while I'm barely eating for 3 or 5 or 10 days?
I'm not going to tank my metabolism while your magic diet works its wonders. No one should eat 1,000 calories a day, even if those are 1,000 perfectly balanced calories.
I really don't understand why those crash diets come packaged with perfectly great workout programs. I'm guessing that people are clamoring for IMMEDIATE SUCCESS RIGHT NOW! and that little pamphlet with the skinny chick tugging on her loose skinny jeans is enticing.
I don't know why I held onto those diet pamphlets -- possibly like weight-loss talismans. But there are no magic powers in those diets, so into the trash they go.
I met with my trainer on Friday and we were figuring out how many calories I should eat in a day, because I was SO confused. So she whipped out the science and came up with a number that surprised me -- 1,800 calories a day. She calculated it by plugging in my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) plus my exercise level. It actually made me happy because that "big" number gives me permission to log everything I eat.
Which sounds weird, doesn't it?
For years I've gotten really good at logging my calories until I hit 1,400 or 1,500 calories. Was I done eating? No, and those "invisible" calories never get logged. So using 1,800 as the upper level of my calories, I'm going to log every dang thing. I did it the past couple days and found it very doable.
On the days when I do a big cardio workout, I'll shoot for 1,800, on other workout days, anywhere from 1,600 to 1,700, and on days when I don't do anything, I'll keep it closer to 1,600.
That's a "magic plan" I can get behind.