TDEE for the Curious (or Why Don't I Lose Weight Faster?)

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TDEE for the Curious (or Why Don't I Lose Weight Faster?)

This topic contains 205 replies, has 61 voices, and was last updated by  MrsP2008 5 years, 7 months ago.

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  • A quick google, not the scientific press! But ‘popular’ press. The dangers of our cr*p diet for gulls…

    I’ve often reprimanded people feeding white bread to birds. (Obviously a grumpy old woman) Even those stupid grain hangers are going to destroy their natural skills for food hunting. A bit like fast food stores.
    Gosh…we need to start a whole new thread on this πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

    Seems to be a message there alright! If it makes our dogs fat, and our seagulls, then clearly logic says……

    Where I used to work, there was an enclosed courtyard garden with large pond. A mother wild duck took to laying her eggs there every year and successfully raised about 10-12 ducklings annually safe from the gulls. The ducks in the park were lucky to rear 3-5. We would feed them proper duck food, bought in for the purpose and all other food was banned. The young had to get quite big before they could leave as they had to fly out over a three storey building. She must have raised around fifty young there, very successful.

    Apricot, I even discovered sugar in sachet cat food. Don’t feed it to our cat anymore and she has calmed right down. Sugar was sending her hyper!
    I keep saying, if Governments looked at the massive savings on the health budget from fasting, they would start supporting it. I guess the donations from big pharma and big grocer are just too tempting though. P

    Yes PVE, and we’ve got used to treats all the time, a contradiction. Cake and pudding used to be for Sundays and specials when I was young ( both health and cost).

    I’ve not spotted the sugar, though I have seen beet starch in dog food, which effectively is sugar, albeit still with fibre. When my dog got older, she was losing weight too much so the vet said to feed her up, but she was inclined to leave her food, whatever it was, so I started giving her snacks of cat food pate at lunch time, which she liked. But I don’t think those had sugar in at that time. Worth watching for, though.

    It’s pretty scary to think how we’ve all been influenced by the greed of the pharmaceutical and food industry.

    I’ve mentioned this before on another thread, but we had a cat temporarily diabetic as a result of large doses of steroids. In addition to insulin our vet at the time wanted us to put him on a diabetic diet. I pointed out that it was low in protein but high in sugars and carbs (not the diet of a carnivore!). She said she’d been to a feline diabetes seminar which recommended it. Turns out the seminar was sponsored by the company that makes the insulin AND the food… Hmm, she might have got 3 As at A level…but no common sense πŸ˜ƒ

    Lack of critical thinking seems to pervade all areas these days. 😯

    Oh dear! So Big Food for animals too. We fed our dogs on lights, tripe, Oxheart and melts until the BSE crisis meant we couldn’t get them. They also had fish waste cooked in a pressure cooker so the bones were jellified. Only visits to vets ( apart from spaying) were for occasional stitches from wire and for annual checkups, until their final 6 months. But it is more trouble than a tin, as for humans too, and a bit ‘farmhouse-y’ perhaps.

    Sorry, but I’ve had a few too many posts today with little or nothing to do with the topic of this thread. Perhaps there are more appropriate threads for other topics or general chit-chat.

    Ian, I think you’ll find the above discussions WERE about the effects of food. If you are upset, unsubscribe from the thread. We are all in this to support each other. Cheers P

    But the topic of this thread is “TDEE for the Curious,” not “food and its effect on people and animals”. There may be other threads more on topic, or someone may want to start one.

    Oh Ian. Lighten up ☺

    I think this whole site is about ” food and its effects on people and animals”. Much of the above, though light in tone, is about what effectively and healthfully makes up your TDEE. Sugars? Starches, refined or otherwise? Proteins? Fats? The place of fibre? Any proportion of those can add up to your TDEE, but some are better for the job than others.

    And then there’s the mutual support, too.

    I decided to eat healthily. Kept to between 800 to 1000 cal per day. I was 11 stone 3 pound. After 5 weeks I gained 1 pound? ??? I wrote a food diary. Took into consideration the odd alcoholic drink…. soo confused. Help

    Molly, are you incorporating 2 really low cal days a week, or just calorie restricting every day? It is the fasts that allow your insulin levels to drop and your body to consume fat stores. Have you read Dr Jason Fung’s Obesity Code or his excelkent blog? PVE


    You need to define what “eat healthy” means? If you’re basing the concept of healthy on the well worn but completely incorrect food pyramid then that’s not “healthy”. The food pyramid needs to be taken out and shot. Anyone following the food pyramid is naΓ―ve at best.

    Also you appear to be calorie restricting every day? Why? All that’s going to do is slow down your metabolism. You need to flip over to 5:2.

    I’ll assume that you need about 2000 cal per day. So your about 7000 cal down for the week but not losing weight. Metabolism but have slowed right down. Do you feel cold of late, sluggish? Sure sign that your metabolism has slowed to compensate for your reduced caloric intake. Do 5:2 instead. Eat your TDEE for the 5 days and on your fast day try and do a water fast. You’ll only be 4000 cal down for the week but doing this will raise your metabolism and you’ll lose weight.

    Water fasting will reduce your baseline insulin levels. Insulin controls your fast storage/retrieval. Lower that and you lower your body’s set weight point. It will not lower your metabolism as does a continuous caloric deficit diet!!

    Now what to eat to lower your insulin spikes. Cheap processed carbs will spike your blood glucose, protein will have a mild effect and fat intake will hardly cause a rise. No spike in insulin means caloric intake is not stored as fat. Avoid all SUGAR and simple carbs like bread (any bread!!) pasta, rice, potatoes (including sweet potatoes), pizza. Avoid any grain based products!! No biscuits, cake, sweets, ice cream etc. Get the majority of your carbs from veggies which have lots of fibre. For protein eat tuna/fish or some chicken, or tofu. For fats I have high fat low sugar yogurt, cheese, avocados, nuts like almonds and walnuts. Avoid cashews. Avoid fruit juice like the plague. Avoid “healthy weight watchers” protein shakes like the plague (protein is usually based on whey products = crap).

    I eat some fruit and only whole ruits. Never smoothies!!!! Try and stick to the berry type fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc. Avoid bananas. Avoid any smoothies of any kind. Only whole foods.

    Take a good vitamin B supplement, it will help your liver on water fast days.

    Good luck. 5:2 works. I lost over 20 kgs and have been in maintenance 6:1 since March. Still water fast once per week. It will be tough for about a month, after that it gets easy.

    Hi molly and welcome:

    TDEE is a defined term. It is the number of calories your body needs to neither gain nor lose weight.

    If you have really been eating around 1000 cal. or less a day for five weeks and not lost any weight, then your TDEE is around 1000 cal. per day. However, that is unlikely. If you go to the top of the page to the ‘How It Works’ link you can figure out an estimate of your TDEE. It will probably be higher than 1000 cal. per day.

    I would guess you have really been eating more than 1000 cal. per day. Eating ‘healthy’ does not automatically mean eating fewer calories. The most common reason for thinking you are eating a low number of calories when in fact you are eating a higher number of calories is a misunderstanding of what a ‘portion’ or ‘serving’ is. For many people, a ‘serving’ may be two or three times what a ‘serving for calorie purposes’ really is (especially with alcohol). If you do a little weighing and measuring, you may find you are eating and drinking more calories than you think you are! And, obviously, you will have to eat less than you are currently eating to lose some weight. Whatever your TDEE is, there is no way you can eat more than your TDEE and still lose weight.

    Good Luck!

    Hi I was restricting daily. It was going great. Felt as though I was achieving something…. Didn’t weigh myself for 5 weeks. Omg…. So totally dissapointed. I’m a newbie at this fast diet /5-2.. So getting all my info… thought I would share my story. Any time I have tried to fast or be rigid with calories my body has held on to weight. Thanks for reply πŸ€—

    Big booty. Thank you so much. U have answered all my questions. Lol… Makes sense. I ate loads of homemade veggie soup. Fruit, protein. Carbonated diet drinks. Skimmed milk. Low fat everything and lots of bread ,pasta , potatoes.. Also restricted myself daily. I’m fact gathering at moment. I start next Mon. Can’t wait.. I’m 51 and my weight is making me ache all over.This feels good.

    Molly, it appears you are not doing 3 important things:

    1) You need to fast (eat only 1/4 TDEE) two days a week and eat only UP TO (maximum) your TDEE on the other 5

    2) You need to accurately count and weigh food initially to be sure you are not overeating

    3) You need to weigh yourself at the same time every day (mornings) and record it to watch your progress

    If you do these 3 things, as Simcoe says, you will get down into a healthy weight range.

    Strict monitoring is necessary, initially, to ensure you are on track.

    All the best

    Thank you. I ate small home cooked portions .. my husband does the cooking. He used herbs n spices to taste… we counted everything. I cannot explain it. Two days in a row I had homemade veggie soup with stock cubes. 😨 my age .. my medabolism . I don’t know. My TDEE
    Is 1645… So no idea. Was tired all the time. Slept loads. I have menopause! ! Hey no excuses. Next Mon I’m on it. Thanks for advice. Will let u all no. Appreciate comments ☺

    pve…. I will absolutely. .. looking forward to Mon…. Thank u again for advice πŸ€—πŸ‘

    Last bit of advice…
    Eat full fat, unsweetened dairy products (in moderation ). They satisfy your hunger and do not cause you to store fat. Try to limit, significantly, any white carbs (bread, potaoto, pasta, sugar), these spike your blood sugar and cause you to store fat.
    Menopause or metabolism levels are not a factor. If you are eating less than your Total Daily Energy Expenditure, plus 2 fasts, you will lose weight! If you don’t lose weight on 5:2, you are eating too much and possibly too many carbs.
    Cheers PVE
    PS Have you read the Fast Diet book?

    I disagree ever so slightly with PVE about the metabolism aspect. The fact that you said you were tired all the time and wanting to sleep indicates to me that your continuous caloric deficit meant your body was doing all it could to conserve energy. Eat up to you TDEE for 5 days and cut back to 1/4 or less of you TDEE on the other two days. You will have more energy and it will teach your liver to start accessing your stored fats.

    Don’t be scared of fats. Butter yes, margarine NO. Cheese yes, avocados, yes, almonds and walnuts yes. “Healthy” breakfast cereals, NOOOOOO NEVER. Bread or any grain based product, NO.

    The Obesity Code by Jason Fung is also a very good book.

    Absolutely Bigbooty
    Daily calorific restriction, as opposed to 5:2, definitely slows the metabolism. What I meant was not to use the old furphy of “I have a slow metabolism, so won’t be able to lose weight. ”
    ☺ P

    I’m very happy on 500 Cals twice a week, or even three times. However, I’ve now read that fast days should be a quarter of one’s TDEE.

    I’m only 5’2″ and my TDEE, albeit calculated after I’d lost quite a bit, is only 1334. I’d never manage on a quarter of that.

    I’ve had some wine this week, watching Wales’ game and yesterday at Prezzo after the cinema, but counted the calories. I’m coming out at around a 1,000 on NFDs.

    Hi Polly
    I’m not very big either and have a similar TDEE. The trick is to learn to fast all day (ie 24 hours) then eat your 350 cals in one go in the evening. Very doable. It just takes time to learn and clever choices of very flavoursome, bulky, low cal food. Check out the Fast Diet Recipe book for some great ideas. P

    No probs PVE.

    Thanks, PVE, do I take it that you’re also vegetarian, like me?

    I really don’t think I could go all day without food. After eating dinner about 6.30, I will next eat at around 1 on a fast day. I drink water if peckish. Luckily, I’ve never been a picker.i

    Hi guys , Watched Jason Fung briefly on you tube… Made a lot of sense also quite funny.. my husband was just saying to me that the fast day will be a doddle for me… I am a bit of a snacker. Eating little n often. Carbonated drinks ???? Allowed or not .. u can tell my book isn’t here from Amazon yet. πŸ€” Will miss my bread. Can u eat brown pasta , rice , bread ?? All will be clear when actually get my book. Like I said yesterday, not feeling great. My weight has a lot to do with it. Had TB recovered… eventually! Then mini stroke. On meds don’t want to be. Time to get healthy ladies. My joints are creaking too lol… I’m only 51 πŸ™„

    Hi Molly:

    The book may not clear up all of your questions.

    While you will get a lot of advice from almost everyone on what you should or should not eat, the fact is 5:2 is calorie based, not food type based.

    That means that you can eat or drink anything you want on 5:2 as long as you stick to the calorie restrictions – 500 or less on diet days and TDEE or less on non diet days.

    You may ultimately find that the more carbs you eat, the hungrier you are, so many have found that eating only one meal high in fat, moderate in protein in the evening of diet days works best.

    Good Luck!

    Not a vegetarian Polly, but I eat a lot of them!!! It takes time to learn to go 24 hours. You have started well. Over the next few months just continue to delay that first food. Any food at all stimulates your appetite, so the longer you go without, the easier it is.

    Molly, if by “carbonated drinks” you mean sweetened drinks (sugar or non sugar sweetners), then no. You definitely wouldn’t choose to have them on a fast day and really should learn to live without them. They are a massive blood sugar spike and a waste of calories. Eat a whole piece of fruit and have a glass of water. Learn to make smart choices with food and drink. It then becomes easy.
    Cheers P

    My two cents worth Molly,

    Snacking keeps your blood glucose high!! Better to have 3 meals with no snacking. Best to have one meal with no snacking. Your aim is to reduce the glucose spikes. The difference between brown bread, rice pasta and the white version is SO small its not worth the trouble. Both will spike your blood glucose. Carbonated drinks with sugar are a disaster zone!! Carbonated drinks with “artificial” sweeteners are marginally better. They trigger a hunger response and you go looking for calories as a result of drinking artificially sweetened drinks. Defeats the purpose of what youre trying to achieve. Ask yourself this, whens the last time you saw a slim person drinking diet coke? There’s a good reason you don’t see slim people drinking crap. Fruit juice avoid like the plague. If you want fruit eat a whole piece of fruit.

    Good luck the diet works if you want it to.

    Thank you big booty. It’s clear now. Roll on Monday. Instant miso soup?? I was hoping to live off my homemade soup quite a lot. Not heard a lot of talk of it on this site. Is sweet veggies a problem. Peppers etc. I stay in Scotland not a lot of exotic ones here lol. 😊

    Molly, stick to homemade soup using any veg you have, with lots of onion, garlic, chilli for flavour, but limit white carbs. Leave out potatoes, rice, pasta. Soup is an excellent choice. So is fish and leafy salads.
    Instand miso is a handy standby if you need a salt kick in the afternoon. It avoids falling for something naughty πŸ˜‰ P

    Molly just a small point from my personal experience. Re carbonated drinks – I love sparkling, chilled mineral water and drink lots on a fast day. I found (before I knew the reason) that any artificial sweeteners made my weight loss stall, even low cal jelly. I realize now that the body gets ‘tricked’ and still releases insulin in response to the taste. So keep away from any type of sweetened drinks, zero cal or not! Miso sachets are handy thru a fast day, especially for the salt if you get a headache. But home made veggie soup as per Purple, absolutely worth the effort. I make a huge pot and freeze individual serves, that way husband can have usual dinner and I have a big bowl of yummy soup. I blend half of it to thicken it, still leave half unblended so there are lumps, very filling. I put a whole cauliflower, half a cabbage etc in it and once blended it is very thick.

    Hi Nama.. Thank you . That’s cleared that up lol… will miss bread and zero juice but getting healthy and losing weight is my priority. I was looking on line and magazines and daily news papers are saying u can eat rye bread , bananas, honey zero drinks. How to confuse people. I’ve been on this forum for couple of days asking questions. And u great people have patiently answered. Then I read a article in the guardian which is nonsense. Even low fat yoghurt surely they are going to be full of artificial sweetners telling u to drink flavoured water which is def full of sugar. I’m pretty sorted for next week. Love prawns , chicken, veggies soup and sparkling water. It’s a start πŸ™„

    Good on you Molly….but why not start now? There is nothing as good as the present 😊😊 P

    Thanks PVE my husband is a fantastic cook. Cooks from basic his portion control is excellent. Kitchen Scales at the ready. His soup mmmmmmm. Lots of info to go on . Thanks again. Start on Mon. Looking forward to it. This site is a blessing . Molly πŸ‘


    Believe very little of what you read or hear in the general public and that includes ‘professional or medical advice”. I sound like a conspiracy theorist!! At best it is misguided and/or out of date. Grain based products are much of a muchness, they are highly processed and will spike your glucose levels, which leads to fat storage. Have full fat low sugar yogurts. Id steer away from bananas and go for the berry type fruits. There is a good reason why it tastes sweet! Honey is about 75-80% sucrose which is about 1/2 glucose and 1/2 fructose. Fructose can not be utilised as an energy source for the body, it must be sent straight to the liver and processed and turned into fat storage. The glucose component can be directly utilised as an energy source. However I suspect that your glucose levels and stored glycogen will already be well topped up as you are wanting to lose weight. So the only way to lose weight is to deplete glucose and the stored version of that which is glycogen. Glycogen is stored in the muscles and liver. You have enough stored away to run on for about 24-48 hours. That is not to say that you will not be burning stored fats prior to this but the majority will be coming from glucose and glycogen. As soon as you get a blood glucose spike any fat burning comes to a stop.

    Bring on Monday!! Good luck, it works.

    For a ‘conspiracy theorist’ you make a lot of sense Bigbooty. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ P

    Excellent Bigbooty. I had my head straight then read a cple of articles on line by so called professional people!!!! Totally stating the opposite. Also Another Article Stated. Only on fast days do u need to be on it. The rest of time u can eat pasta ,rice bread etc. I no its feed days ..but it wld defeat the purpose to nip out for a McDonald’s n shake. If I hadn’t been on here with u lovely people I literally would not have bothered as there is/ was too many contradictions clearly in black and white. Yep folks roll on Mon. Thankyou. Molly

    You don’t have to be a dietary zealot about the foods you eat but treat those simple carbs and sugary things as sometimes treats, not as food staples to be consumed all the time.

    Someone once said something to me that really resonated with respect to diet/eating. Look at the person selling the message. Do they look like the poster person for dietary health? If not ask yourself this. If your advice is really that good why aren’t you following your own advice and getting results?

    Yes. Spot on. Watch what thin people eat.
    Reinventing the menu to refuce carbs, increase veg and fill fat natural foods becomes second nature, doesn’t it? P ☺

    Grrrr! Very disappointed! I have put on 2 lbs!

    What I have differently this week? Added bran to bran flakes to help constipation problem. Eaten more on NFDs, but 1000 cals, just under my BMR.

    I have had a bottle of wine – over 4 NF days! Michael says it is allowed as a treat. And I counted the cals.

    We did better when we restricted calories on NFDs, too. Have already turned down one invitation to go out for a meal, out fir light lunch tomorrow. However, can’t become hermits.

    Hello Molly the Minx

    I am Brazilian and I found your interesting name in our language we use very “Minx” means very active woman, coquettish, gay … that’s how I imagine you!

    It is also a kind of cat.

    I read your posts, your struggle is the struggle of all of us here, the support and information we get is the energy to move forward.

    I am 56 years old and I left 126 kg and now I’m 20kg less in two years, this time completely changed the way to feed me, dropped the sugar completely, and carbohydrates also in food nothing industrialized, do all my food , consumption only real food.

    In addition to weight reduction found the health and well-being amazing, do not take more medicine, my blood tests are all very good, better than when he was 30.

    Cured of leg swelling, high blood pressure, my memory came back, I was more active, I have no automobile, walk a lot on foot, at last I am very happy!

    I have a lot of weight to lose and yet often comes discouragement, but go ahead because they do not want to go back before to have life.

    Any questions we are here to support us.

    For me it is more difficult to communicate because I write in Google Translator, sorry the language errors.

    Many Brazilians hugs for you !!!!!

    Beautiful post Anaide ☺
    You have done really well and changed your life with determination and sensible lifestyle choices.
    Fantastic! Keep it up. 😊😊P


    I would avoid grain based cereals. Not good. If your constipated then eat veggies and drink more. Add a chili to whatever meal you’ve prepared. I think people have gotten confused as to what a treat is? A treat is a sometimes thing, if your having the “treat” every day then its a staple NOT a treat. Alcohol is 7 cal per gram. Alcohol goes straight to the liver and MUST be processed and stored as fat.

    Are you calorie restricting every day? Id swap to 5:2 and perhaps go below 1/4 TDEE and eat up to your TDEE on the other days. Avoid cheap carbs like bread, pasta, rice potatoes. Do you drink fruit juice? Avoid it like the plague.

    Hello Anaide, thank you for the post . It is great to hear success stories from people living in different parts of the world . I’m in UK. .Scotland. Not as exotic as ur lovely Brazil. Yes . My name suits my personality. Well done πŸ˜†
    Only problem lately , weight and health issues. Feeling old and tired. Yes high blood pressure , swollen legs.. not so long ago I felt good. Not now. Soo now time for a fresh start. A new way of living and eating. The posts here are inspiring. .. I’m not afraid of fast days looking forward to it. I read the fast diet book today…. mmm . Rather chat to u lovely people. Thank you for my many responses and answers. Helped clear up many many questions. Looking forward to Monday. As I sit here writing I feel tired,unwell,my body is heavy. I have fast heart and sore head. Sitting with my small kitty cat. But…. getting mentally prepared for Monday. Exercise dvd…lol. So thanks .u guys and gals for helping . Speak soon πŸ‘ŒπŸ€—

    Molly lots of folk on this forum find it really helps to have the support of fellow fasters, as well as learning from others’ experiences. You will be fine and you won’t believe how much better you feel once the weight starts to come off. I am 12 years older than you and have lost 23 kgs over the past 18months. I now feel 30 years younger as I am not carrying the equivalent of a bag of cement around all day. My joints are so much happier – I was told I needed knee replacement surgery as mine were so painful and swollen. My hips and feet were also sore. I still have arthritis in my knees but NO pain and much more movement. I used to need anti inflammatories to cope, plus anti reflux drugs to counteract them. I take nothing now. The gradual deterioration in my joints with the cascade effect of meds has been totally (gradually) reversed and its all thanks to 5:2!! I have tried many diets over the years but nothing worked as well as fasting. You wont need sugar substitutes etc, be patient and your tastes in food will change. I still love sweet things, but they are just a treat now, not daily. I enjoy them even more now!

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