1.5 years on a calorie deficit and no change
Not being rude but you're still growing probably and I wouldn't want teenagers to restrict their nutrition unless they actually had a weight problem. Your BMI is 22.3 which is quite well within the acceptable range, nowhere near overweight. A lot of people would dream of that. Many calculators of body fat and BMI are aimed at older adults so don't be misled by advice based on that.
You have a good half time. I don't think you need to take supplements to train for or run a half, personally, so you may want to watch any refined sugars you are taking for training. If you are doing long runs of more than this time then you could consider it. On general diet, as a rule of thumb avoiding anything that is already made will help, i.e., just buy veg, fruit, nuts, grains, etc. and cook from those.Things like baked beans and wholemeal bread you don't have to make yourself
if you're only eating 1500 calories a day or less you're not eating enough! if you don't eat enough, your body holds on to as much as it can because it thinks it is in starvation mode. Cardio is also not the way too lose weight; your body adapts to cardio very quickly and reachs a kind of plateau. If you introduce some conditioning and weights to your exercise regime, you'll lose weight. However, you need to take on board sufficient nutrition to allow you do undertake the exercise you're doing. BMI isn't a good measure of health, ratio of hips to waist is better (google it)
I've spent my whole life very overweight, and it is only in the past month of totally changing the way I eat (i.e. more protein, more fat, less carbs, cutting out refined sugar and flour, eating regularly and drinking lots of water) and doing more weight bearing exercise than cardio, that i've started to lose weight, balance out my blood sugars and feel good all the time. There is a lot of info on line about why we need more fat etc in our diet (scientific evidence based info) that is worth looking for. It totally contradicts the government messages about eating low fat and high carbs, but I think you should have a read. Don't starve yourself to lose weight, it won't work, and will just leave you unhealthy and frustrated.
Lee the Pea wrote (see)
I've spent my whole life very overweight, and it is only in the past month of totally changing the way I eat (i.e. more protein, more fat, less carbs, cutting out refined sugar and flour, eating regularly and drinking lots of water) and doing more weight bearing exercise than cardio, that i've started to lose weight, balance out my blood sugars and feel good all the time.
What Lee said. The look you want is rarely achieved through cardio alone, especially not steady state cardio like long slow runs... The "fat burning zone" is a myth!!
Google "The Final Nail in the Cardio Coffin" by Rachel Cosgrove, start lifting some weights, do interval-based cardio (like fartlek runs or spin classes), up your protein and reduce your processed fast carbs.
I think when a lot of women say they want to reduce their BF%, what they ACTUALLY mean is that they want a leaner and more toned look. That doesn't necessarily mean a huge drop in BF, but some development of lean mass instead.
That's where the term "skinny fat" came into, i.e. you can have an optimal BF% yet still look flabby because you've got no muscle mass to create any tone.
All of what Nam said.
I don't know enough about the difference between male and female physiology to know how much of this is applicable, but I've been able to compare two very different regimes I've put into practise and their effects on my body. Pre-injury I was running 60-70mpw and doing little else besides. Am now doing max 50mpw plus cycling and lots of gym work - a couple of proper core work-outs per week plus some strength/cardio. I am back to my equal lowest weight but much more toned. I've never had my bf% accurately measured* but the jeans test and the mirror test strongly suggest that I'm much leaner than I was previously. (Ominous signs of a six-pack beginning to show! )
The added benefit of introducing strength and core related training is that it can only complement (IMO) your efforts to avoid injury.
*I've used the hand-held bioimpedence fat measurement thingummies before but I really don't believe they're at all accurate.
The whole 'calorie in vs calorie out' argument is far from straightforward either.
It is easy to assume that if you put a certain amount of calories in, and burn off more by exercise, you'll lose weight. If the calories you're eating aren't giving you sufficient nutrition for all the exercise you're doing, then if you lose weight, you'll lose muscle mass, because your body will hang on to your fat stores. The more muscle mass you lose, then the harder it is to 'burn fat' as your muscles help in that respect, but their mass is being depleted. Then you get into a vicious circle. I think that is right anyway, Booky can probably correct it if not.
I always thought it was a case of 'eat less, move more' but it isn't that simple. Sadly, lol.
If you eat 1500 kcal/day that's 10,500 kcal/week. If you are running 50mpw, even at 75 kcal/mile, that's 3,750 kcal/week. Your body is left with 6,750 kcal/week for its general calorie requirements. I'm not surprised it's struggling on fewer than 1,000 kcal/day. I don't think there's much dieting advice suggesting such a limited calorie intake.
You mention that you have a coach. I think you should discuss with him/her: (a) if you should try and lose weight/fat and (b) if so, how.
Thanks for all the responses
@Lee the Pea - true what you say about calories in/out. It's soo not simple and certainly doesn't work for everyone. It's what led me to keeping my intake around the 1500-1800 mark, didn't experience any change at all.
@ KittenKat- I actually own the book "racing weight" and applied many of the rules/guidelines to my eating habits. I try to follow it as closely as possible, however it can be difficult when you are not a full time athlete, but a full time student. I also own the book "Go faster foods".
@Cougie - the 12-13% "dream", is actually more of a goal. It's based upon the range of bf% most commonly possessed by elite female athletes. However, I think realistically I should aim for something like 15% for now. @ exiled claret - believe me I know I'm no elite athlete, but I consider myself to have quite a lot of scope for improvement and would l like to one day be sub-1.20, I think it's possible considering that many of the current GB elite women are aged 32yrs+, giving me another 10-12 years of training to reach that goal.
@Popsider-- you seem to understand where I'm coming from-- I don't want to be unhealthy, but I do believe in order to be a top-standard distance runner you are obviously going to need to be somewhat lighter than a recreational runner.I know that a lot of it is down to the heavy training, but I'm sure diet and other training comes in to play, and this is what I'm interested in. The other thing is, I know women who have been running the same amount of time as me, starting out heavier, and somehow they just shed the weight( I say weight, what I mean is, they look lean, toned and not jiggly or heavy) effortlessly just from running a couple times a week, eating more and running less than myself.
I've heard of starvation mode- however I am a skeptic, because I hear a lot of people on the internet saying it is non-existent and just an "excuse" for people to eat more in order to prevent this occuring(not my opinion-just what I've read) . Also, surely after a long period of time living on a calorie deficit your body would begin getting rid of fat slowly, realising that you are not "starving", I don't know, I'm just speculating. Anybody actually had any experience of being in "starvation mode" and over coming it by eating more?? As for other exercise, at the moment I do some weights 1-2 times a week if I get the time (studying full time), I also do medicine ball work and core sessions as well. I suppose I should try and increase the amount of time spent doing weights.....
Thanks again for the advice, look forward to any more comments!!
What I read from the OP, in a nutshell, is this:
"Despite being fit, healthy and active I don't want to look like me I want to look like someone else".
You need to realise that you might not be built to look a certain way - you have to make the best of what you've got.
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