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Currently weigh 270....confused about number of calories to eat!

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Old 01-01-2011, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default Currently weigh 270....confused about number of calories to eat!

Hi, all.

I rededicated to my weight loss on July 31, 2010. Since that time, I've lost about 30 pounds (40 lbs from my highest weight). I've been counting calories using both livestrong and sparkpeople as well as MULTIPLE calorie calculators. I'm completely confused about whether I'm eating enough to fuel my workouts. I currently try to burn about 3800-4000 calories a week. According to my HRM, I burn about 600-800 cals each workout. At 270, the minimum number of cals (just to maintain daily functions) is around 1340 cals (assuming a 2 lb a week loss-which RARELY ever happens). Both livestrong ( 2100 cals) and sparkpeople (no more than 1940 cals) suggest that I eat some or all of my workout cals back. I've asked quite a few people. But, all are MUCH smaller and say I need to be eating 1200. I weigh at least a 100 lbs more than most of them and I'm not sure they're understanding that. SO, my question is this...For those of you who have been at this for a while, how many calories are you eating? I know if varies by person. But, I'm curious about the average among people who are in my weight group.

Note: I eat wholesome foods--salads; grilled chicken; veggies; cottage cheese; egg whites; almonds; etc. Also, I drink water---sometimes add Crystal Light. I'm not drinking any sodas (not even diet).

Thanks in advance for your replies!!
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:19 PM   #2
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I lost 90 pounds last year eating 1500 a day (give or take - I cycle through the week between 1200 and 1800 but it always works out to slightly less than 1500). I never eat back my calories but I also don't work out a whole lot. I have an active job, I play on the Wii sometimes, and I take the dogs for a mile or two walks most days. Sometimes I manage to fit in 15 minutes or so of swimming. But all in all no real workouts. I'm 52 years old, so I sure don't have the metabolism I once did, either.

I think if you're going to a gym or working out to a serious video then you need more than 1500 calories a day but it's sure worked fine for me.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:34 PM   #3
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Not sure, I think everyone might have their own specific magic number that works for them. For me it's 1200-1400 a day, irrelevant of what I burn, this is what I aim for. Great Job so Far!
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
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I can't work out much due to health problems, I currently weigh 262. I have been doing a 1500 cal diet and losing at a steady 1-3 lbs per week.

the more you weigh the more it takes for your body to function without exercise at all.

I think maybe you miscalculated somehwere, because your basal metabolic rate (I used your height and weight and guessed 35 for age since I Didn't konw) was 1960. I multiplied that times being lightly active (I always find it best to underestimate since most people overestimate), was around 2695. Which means with your exercise it takes 2695 cals to maintain your weight.

So you want to cut out aboaut 1000 cals to lose 2 lbs per week.

I usually underestimate on cals too, so you can most likely lose this eating 1600 cals a day.

I eat 1500 but I"m not very active.

Also, a nutritionist would say, you should never eat under 1200 cals.

Something else to note, I find if I eat more than 1500 cals I am prone to going overboard. That seems to be a good number to keep me in control.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:18 PM   #5
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At 2700 it roughly takes about 2,700 calories for you to maintain (100 calories for every 10 lbs you weigh). My old trainer had the formula where you just took 75% of that number to lose at what he considered a healthy rate.

so you'd be 270 x 10 x .75 = 2025 calories a day.

I'd just stick with that number, re-evaluate every 10 lbs, and see how it goes. At least that's what my old trainer taught me.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:05 PM   #6
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Heart-rate monitors, cardio machines, and most on-line calculators are notorious for overestimating how many calories you're burning while exercising. Athletes burn about 10 cal/min, most regular folks closer to 5-7 cal/min in moderate cardio.

The rule of thumb I've heard is 12-14 cals/lb of body weight (total, not just LBM) to maintain, 8-11 to lose. Women are usually at the lower end of these ranges, which puts this ROT in line with beerab's trainer.

The ranges are necessary because there's a lot of variation across people, depending on activity level, physiology, etc. There is also variation across people in how good they are at estimating portions. (Most of us underestimate the calories we're eating, and overestimate calories we're burning through exercise.)

As beerab suggested, I'd start at 10 cal/lb of body weight for a month. If, after the first week, you're hungry all the time, bump this up to 11 cals/lb and try to get more of your cals from protein. If after a month you haven't lost any weight, drop down to 10 cal/lb for the next month. Unfortunately, it does take about a month to tell, because of initial water weight loss and monthly water retention. (I.e., you really need to assess progress by measuring at the same point in your monthly cycle, because otherwise hormone-induced water retention and loss can mask fat loss.

good luck!

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Old 01-01-2011, 10:08 PM   #7
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I started at 1800/day and worked my way down as I lost weight.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:54 AM   #8
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This is great feedback! Let me just say that I started off eating 1300 calories AND working out. I'm now up to 1900. I've been doing this for a couple of weeks and lost 2 lbs. I'm going to give it to January 15th to see if 1900 works and then increase. I always assumed that I was eating too many calories and this process has taught me that I probably wasn't eating nearly enough.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poeticmuz View Post
This is great feedback! Let me just say that I started off eating 1300 calories AND working out. I'm now up to 1900. I've been doing this for a couple of weeks and lost 2 lbs. I'm going to give it to January 15th to see if 1900 works and then increase. I always assumed that I was eating too many calories and this process has taught me that I probably wasn't eating nearly enough.
Certainly, the more calories you can eat, the better it is for you. It gives you more room to drop your calories later.

One thing that people often forget to mention here is AGE. People's metabolism slow as they get older as a natural function of aging, so if you are young, you'll be able to eat more calories and still lose.

Try increasing your calories and see how it goes. If you keep losing, you'll know you're good to go, but if your loss slows you'll have to drop down again.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:18 AM   #10
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I forgot....I'm a recently turned 32!
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poeticmuz View Post
I forgot....I'm a recently turned 32!
That's young, in dieting terms.

It's the perimenopausal crowd who doesn't have much luck!
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:32 PM   #12
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calories are such a weird thing, it should always be A+B=C but I know at 323 pounds, I ate 2000 cals for about 3 months and lost 30 pounds (without any exercise), dropped to 1800 cals and continued losing, dropped to 1500 and GAINED! went back up to 1800 and continued to lose.... anytime I dipped below 1500 things were berserk, even now!
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