Thursday, July 23, 2015

Have you hit a plateau?

I see people at work and restaurants eating salads, yogurt, fruit, and other healthy foods and notice they're still overweight. The people at work I've seen for years eating their healthy foods but are the still the same size. What's the problem?

Just because you're eating healthy food doesn't mean it's impossible to eat too many calories, even if they are from nutrient dense foods. We also work in an office/call center - if you don't exercise you burn very few calories. On rest days even with walking 4 km my activity tracker tells me I burn between 1300-1600 calories. If you aren't aware how many calories are in your food you are likely eating at a surplus. Meaning: you aren't going to lose weight or fat unless you are at a calorie deficit.

If you are eating healthy and exercising regularly and you're no longer losing weight/fat then that means you need to re-evaluate your calorie needs and intake. If you calculated your caloric needs when you were 25 lbs heavier they're going to be quite different. This difference is likely the reason you aren't losing weight because you are no longer at a deficit and it's possible that you are now eating at a surplus.

I've written about this a few times before but fat loss and gaining muscle all comes down to calories in versus calories out. If you're eating more than you're burning you are not going to see results. Let's look at some numbers:

To calculate your total daily expenditure (TDEE; the number of calories your body burns in 24 hours) you consider your basal metabolic rate (BMR), activity level, weight, age, and gender. There are a few ways to calculate the number of calories but I like the Harris-Benedict equation:

For men:
BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilograms) + (5 x height in centimeters) - (6.8 x age in years)

For women:
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilograms) + (1.8 x height in centimeters) - (4.7 x age in years)

Conversions for measurements are 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters and 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds

I'm a 26 year old female
I'm 5'6" (5 feet x 12" = 60" + 6" = 66" x 2.54 cm = 167.64 cm)
My weight is normally around 138 lbs, give or take a few pounds each way (138 lbs / 2.2 = 62.73 kg)

BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 62.73 = 602.21) + (1.8 x 167.64 = 301.74) - (4.7 x 26 = 122.2)
BMR = 655 + 602.21 + 301.74 - 122.2
BMR = 1437 calories

This means that my body requires 1437 calories to function, not including calories required for activity which is the next step in calculating your TDEE. You take this number and multiply it from the number in the table below based on your activity level/job.

Activity level  Multiplier Description
Sedentary BMR x 1.2   little or no exercise, desk job
Lightly active BMR x 1.375 light exercise or sports 3-5 days/week
Moderately active BMR x 1.55 moderate exercise or sports 3-5 days/ week
Very active BMR x 1.725 hard exercise or sports 6-7 days/week
Extremely active BMR x 1.9 hard daily exercise or sports and physical labor job or twice-a-day training (football camp, etc.)

I have a desk job and I workout pretty intensely so I would choose moderately active. If I had a more physical job I'd choose very active. So I take my BMR 1437 x 1.55 = 2227. To maintain my weight I would eat 2227 calories per day. The recommended deficit to lose weight is 500 calories in a day. Over a week this is 3500 calories and 3500 calories equals 1 pound which means you should lose a pound in a week.

I pulled this information from Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle but you can find it on many websites. As noted previously you can use and it will calculate everything for you, all you have to do it type in your information.

So if you have been working out hard and following your meal plan but you're not noticing a difference in measurements, clothing, and the scale, then I recommend recalculating your caloric needs and you should notice a difference within two weeks, sometime sooner.

If you use My Fitness Pal it also calculates these numbers for you using your information but a lot of the time it suggests 1200 calories. I find this to be extremely low, especially if you exercise but it is something that will help you lose weight fast.

I hope this helps some people with their fitness journeys and don't be afraid to ask me any questions.

-- Kelsey

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I know what you're thinking... "It's not winter! Why is she making chili?!" I do normally prefer salads in the summer but hey, I needed a change from my usual foods. I used the recipe on the package of the veggies as a guideline because I wanted more protein/fat and fewer carbs than the recipe called for.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fooooood (groceries)

I wasn't going to go grocery shopping yet but I realized after making my stir fry that I'm short on veggies. I knew I wanted the broccoli slaw for PM snack but then I saw the cabbage so I had to buy it so I can roast it up, yum!

I also knew that I wanted ground beef again because I'm sick of fish and I can only do chicken once a day. When I was looking in the frozen veg section I found this bag of chili veggies. Perfect! I've bought their stir fry blend before and thought it was great so off I went to find the rest of the ingredients that I didn't have at home. You can find the recipe here.\

It's preached a lot that you need to go to the grocery store with a game plan - plan your meals, make your shopping list, and only buy what's on the list. However, if you're getting bored of the same stuff sometimes it can be beneficial to have a loose plan. Know what kind of protein or veggie you want and then find stuff at the store to go with it.

I've been trying to cut back on my spending (which is not really happening since it is summer and that means going for drinks on patios) so I try my best to basically have an empty fridge before I run to the store. For the most part I've been successful in doing this and most of the time even after shopping my fridge isn't stuffed like it used to be.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chicken stir fry - peppers, broccoli, asparagus

I've been craving stir fry for over a week so that's what I'm having for lunches this week. I had broccoli and asparagus in my freezer and I have bell peppers that needed to be used.

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's finally summer!!

What a great weekend and I'm super late with posting this haha. I started it on Monday and have been busy since! I started slo pitch the other week so I have that on Tuesday evenings and then Monday evening was one of my best friend's birthday dinner. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

'Taco' salad

I wanted to switch things up for my meals so I decided I wanted taco salad for lunches. I originally just wanted something with ground beef so I went from there. This salad is delicious and tastes like a taco. You could definitely add taco chips if you wanted to but I wanted to keep it lower calorie and lower in carbs. I used Kraft BBQ Ranch dressing but would have just used sour cream/Greek yogurt and salsa if I had it.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


I went camping this past week from Tuesday evening to Friday afternoon. I'll admit that I over indulged this week but I'm pulling the reins in a bit today since I have a BBQ to attend. I worked out on Tuesday before camping, did cardio and abs on Wednesday in the campsite, took a rest day on Thursday, and worked out yesterday after I got home. I have this thing where I have to earn my shower. I was in desperate need of a shower since it was so hot the last few days so I wanted to do a quick workout before having one. I ended up doing 50 minutes of The Fitness Marshall's dance videos and my core is nice and sore today. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015


As of this past Thursday at 3:40PM I am on holidays until July 6. The above picture was pretty much how I left work that day. I haven't had time off work since I went to Cuba in January (boo hoo, I know).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Serious about getting lean

After about a month of making poor food choices I decided that I've had enough of feeling icky and fluffy. So I went grocery shopping after making a meal plan and it's definitely been paying off. I had a bit of a gluttonous weekend but far better than the last 4+. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Vlog #1, how to prep asparagus

Hey everyone!! Here is my first blog video, or vlog, if you will. I had an awesome weekend (will do a separate post) but I had to get home earlier than I normally do on a Sunday night to meal prep and do my workout since I didn't yesterday and won't be tomorrow because I'm going to a concert. As I was prepping my asparagus I was thinking about how neat this little trick is to cut it at just the right spot without wasting it or end up gnawing on it like a caveman because you left too much of the chewy stuff at the end.

Let me know what you think!! If you enjoyed the video please 'like' and share it on any social media. If you'd like me to do one on something specific please let me know and I'll see what I can do :)