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Old 06-03-2004, 11:15 AM   #1
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Question Calories question

Okay for those of you counting your calories help!!!!

According to fitday this is the calorie breakdown for my weight.
Total: 3314 *
Basal: 2008 61%
Lifestyle: 1305 39%
Activities: 0 0%


So I know that to maintain my current weight I would have to be taking in 3314 right?
So what's the basal and lifestyle mean and what would be a good amount of calories to shoot for to still lose weight if I'm going to start counting calories. I started inputting my stuff in and I average between 1300 and 2000.

thanks for any help.
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Old 06-03-2004, 11:20 AM   #2
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Hi there!! At your weight, I'd say to shoot for 1800 - 2000. You should lose weight on that and not feel deprived.
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Old 06-03-2004, 11:39 AM   #3
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Here's a snippet from an article that might help:

The body uses calories for several classes of activity. By far the biggest portion of our caloric expenditure goes to keeping us alive. These are the calories that keep us breathing, that grow hair and nails, make new red blood cells, maintain body temperature.... This number of calories is called the BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate, and it accounts for about 2/3 of all the calories we "spend" during the day. When you calculate how many calories you need a day, you usually start with a formula that estimates your BMR and then add more calories depending on how much you exercise and other factors we'll talk about later.


So, Basal is how much your body uses to keep you alive. Lifestyle is how much you burn doing what you do everyday (like do you sit at a desk and work or do you work on a construction site). Finally, Activity is your exercise regiment.

Hope that helps!
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Old 06-03-2004, 11:48 AM   #4
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Dawnyal, In March when I started I was getting between 800 and 1200 calories. That is before I started exercise. Once I started walking so much I had to raise that. I felt like I was starving. Now, I take in about 1200 to 1400 calories a day. Sometimes a bit more depending on the amount of exercise I am doing. I looked up my average weight loss per week on Fitday and it says I am averaging 3.11 pounds lost per week since I have started. I don't feel like I am starving on the amount of calories I have chosen.

Since you average between 1300 and 2000 why don't you shoot for about right in the middle at 1500 or 1600. Also, as you lose weight the amount of calories it takes to maintain your current weight is going to go down. Keep that in mind also. If you do it right the amount of food you can eat at 1600 calories a day is alot!! You kind of just have to wing it. Once you play around with it for awhile you will figure out just the right amount of calories for yourself. Oh yeah, before I forget, watch out on their nutritional values for some foods on there. They are way off!! I'm not sure how much help I was Dawnyal but maybe you can take a little from everyones post to your questions and get a good idea about what you want to do.
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Old 06-03-2004, 11:52 AM   #5
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The current recommendations I've seen is to take your total maintenance calories (in your case, 3314), and reduce that by 500 calories per day to lose weight. The 500 calorie reduction will help keep you satisfied, but produce enough of a deficit to let you lose weight safely and slowly. Since your calorie needs are so high, you could probably go a little lower. In no case should you go below your Basal requirement -- that's when your metabolism starts to slow down, and that is counter-productive in the long run. As you lose weight, you re-evaluate your caloric needs periodically, and reduce the calories further to match your new requirements. I'm currently on a commercial program that does just this -- if you joined this program, they would probably put you on 2600 calories per day to start with. Then, as you lost weight, you'd drop to 2300, then 2000, then 1700, etc. When those drops would occur would depend on lots of factors. For example, I have stayed at each calorie level much longer than predicted because I was still losing weight. It was only when I reached a steady plateau that the drop finally occured, and even then we stepped into it a few days per week. If you are exercising, as I do, that can increase your caloric needs, so that's one reason I was able to keep eating at a higher calorie level and still lose weight. I think that FitDay will help you track that info every day. You don't want to have both exercise expenditure and calorie intake reduction that will take you below your basal rate.

Keep in mind that the calculation is only an estimate -- your individual metabolism may vary based on your body composition, medications, medical conditions, etc. The only way to know for sure what your real metabolism is would be to have it tested. If you are interested in this, you can go to the website for the company Healthetech and find a facility in your area that offers the MedGem or BodyGem test. It's only $75-$100, and is a wise investment.
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Old 06-03-2004, 12:53 PM   #6
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I had the metabolic testing done and it was way different then what fitday puts as my calculated basil metabloic rate. it came out to be about 2400 cals instead of the 3000 or so fitday says. Butthat was on a day that I had already gone to the gm before i went to see the doc.
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:31 PM   #7
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I've seen these sites that tell you this and it seems to me a lot of people would gain weight on 3400 calorie diet. Maybe I'm wrong. I have never got to the point of maintaining. I do 1800 and so far am losing an average of 5 a week but that will go down to about 3 here soon. That is just from past experence. My wife is 5'9 and 265 lbs and is having trouble losing at 1600. My mom is 5'9 and about 240 and has to eat 1000 or less to lose. So I think you really just have to try a couple of levels and see what happens. start out at 1800 and see if you lose. Give it 2 weeks and then go 200 lower and see what happens. I really think this is the best way to do it. Those web sites are nice but they try and lump everyone into one and people are just different.
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Old 06-03-2004, 10:54 PM   #8
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Dawnyal, I believe you are right in that you would have to be eating 3314 calories to support the weight you are at. Basal means the calories you would need to keep your body alive even if you were just laying in bed all day doing nothing. I believe that lifestyle refers to the excess calories you are eating. If there were a # for activity it would reflect how many calories you would need if you had entered a higher activity level. From what I have read in books about weight loss you should be eating between 1200 - 1800 calories a day. It would seem that you are on the right track!
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Old 06-04-2004, 12:40 AM   #9
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Howie, a lot of people WOULD gain weight on a 3400 diet and some of us would maintain weight.... of course that weight would be 250-300 pounds but that's still maintainence.
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