What Calories I Ate Wednesday, BMR & TDEE
I typically don’t do a full-fledged “What I Ate Wednesday” post.
For those who don’t know what a WIAW post is, it’s a photo food diary of all of your meals for one day.
Maybe it’s because I don’t think you guys care whether I had a handful of almonds while running errands — or maybe it’s because I don’t want to admit to myself all the little nibbles I take, outside of my regular meals.
Either way, I thought I’d challenge myself yesterday to see if I could actually document everything that passed these lips, in an effort to see what my daily intake is really like.
When I started this blog, I counted calories religiously. I would try to stay between 1200-1600 calories, the “appropriate number” according to women’s health magazines. I usually failed and felt bad, or managed to get down to 1300 and wanted to gnaw my arm off.
Since then, I’ve learned that our bodies typically need a lot more calories than that.
I calculated my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the amount of calories your body needs just to stay alive, and it’s about 1350. Um, thanks women’s health magazines for trying to kill me.
With my active lifestyle though, my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is actually 1920.
When I realized that, I stopped counting calories. I figured with up to 1920 calories to maintain my physique, I could just eat healthy and trust my body’s internal cues.
However my body is a master manipulator. Due to an array of stomach issues, it’s always telling me it’s hungry.
So occasionally, I still use calorie counting to determine when I should stop stuffing my face at night. I mentally tally a rough estimate of my daily intake, and ask myself, “Are you really hungry for a second dessert, or is Medusa (that’s my stomach’s name) just up to her old tricks?”
It’s usually the later, and since I don’t take a precise tally, there’s room to deceive.
I’m trying to really tone it up this summer though, so it’s probably time I figured out if I’m putting in way more calories than I’m putting out.
Ezekiel English Muffin with 1 T. Natural Organic Peanut Butter – Six Egg Whites – Fresh Berries
A Cup of Joe – 1 T. Sugar-Free Vanilla CoffeeMate Creamer – Mug I Got For My Birthday (thanks Jess!)
Post Workout Smoothie – 3/4 C. Frozen Berries – 1 C. Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk – 1/2 Scoop Vega Vanilla Protein Powder
Lentil Avocado Quesadilla
1 TJ’s Flax Seed Tortilla – 1/4 C. Lentils – 1/4 Avocado – 1 oz. Mozzarella Almond Cheese
Garnish – Salsa – Greek Yogurt
Orange – Organic Mozzarella Cheese
Red Wine – Edamame
The Love Boat
My Portion – 1/2 Rainbow Roll (no mayo) – 3 oz. Assorted Sashimi – 2 Pieces Yellowtail Roll – 1/2 Spicy Tuna Hand Roll (previous photo)
Chocolate/Vanilla Low Cal Froyo
Approximate Daily Intake: 1750 calories
So it appears I stayed within my TDEE range for the day. Keep in mind this is a weekday meal and on the weekend it likely would have included another glass of wine and possibly a topping on that froyo.
At this deficit intake, it would take me about three weeks to lose a pound. I’m happy where I am right now though — just trying to get more muscle tone. It is good to learn though that I’m not going significantly over my TDEE, or I’d eventually have a problem.
Something I’d like to point out is that although this blog is about nutrition and health, I’m not without my own vices. As you can see I included Sugar-Free Creamer and Low-Cal Froyo in here, two things that are definitely not healthy, organic or natural in the least.
In keeping with Monday’s post about Orthorexia though, you can’t be perfect all the time and those are two things I’m never going to cut out. I don’t need the froyo everyday — and most evenings I make my Strawberry Blueberry Sorbet or Banana Faux-Yo — but once a week isn’t going to kill me.