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Calorie Counters...how many calories a day?

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Old 08-28-2005, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default Calorie Counters...how many calories a day?

Hi all,

I'm not really on a plan....basically just making healthy food choices, exercising, and tracking everything with fitday.com. I do try to stay below 1800 calories a day. Right now, I weight 252 and am 5'2. I've looked at some of those caloric (sp?) needs calculators, which generally put me around 2000 calories a day to lose weight.

Just wondering if other people try to stay around the same level or if they are higher/lower than me? Also, I imagine this is common, but there are some days where I eat 1300 calories and I'm not hungry at all...and then there are days like today where I'm at 1800 and growling for me. What do you do when that happens?
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Old 08-28-2005, 11:16 PM   #2
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When that happens, I eat more. I'm trying to learn to listen to my body. The other day I had already eaten my dinner, and we ended up going to the movies. I still felt a little hungry, so we got some nachos (not the best thing, but probably the most healthy choice at the theater). I definitely needed them. I had been grumpy, which for me is usulaly an indicator that I need to eat. By the time the nachos were gone, I was doing fine. It put me a little over my calorie limit for the day. But some days, I need that. Other days, like you said, I am a couple hundred lower. It all evens out. It's when I find myself consistently creepign toward the upper end of my range that my weight loss slows or stalls.

As to how many calories, the calorie counters tell me I need 3000+to maintain this weight, and about 2000 to lose. I started by trying for between 1800 and 2000 calories a day. However, I find that if I want to lose a steady one pound to two pounds a week, I need to aim closer to 1500-1800. I usually am around 1600-1700.

I also allow myself the option of a "free day" each week. I still record what I eat, and try to make healthyy choices, but am not as worried about the "limit". That gives me leeway for special events, or just as a much-needed break from obsessing so much over every single damn thing I put in my mouth, or want to.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:38 PM   #3
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I do the same thing as synger. Right now I'm trying to stay under 2000. There are days when I have around 1100-1300 and will be stuffed full and feel like I need to eat more just because my calories were too low.

If I'm still hungry, I will try to eat something low cal to see if I can stave it off.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:24 PM   #4
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Like you I did the math and worked out what my calories intake "should" be. It came out to 2000 calories also. I am 5'10 and weigh 250 lbs and I can't lose weight at 2000 calories a day. I tried for at 3 months with no success. I have been losing much more steadily at 1500. I am doing a low fat vegetarian diet of my own but is sort of based on the same concepts as Volumetrics It was very hard for me to feel full at 1500 at first. Now I really fill up on veg and have gotten much more comfortable at that level. It took a awhile for my body to make the adjustment. I do not think that metabolism is as straight forward and easy to classify as they would have us believe.
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:27 PM   #5
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I would say those calculators consistently overestimate the number of calories you should be eating. Anyway, I don't count calories; I'm far too lazy.
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:36 PM   #6
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if you're hungry eat. ... if you are starving you're more likely to go off your diet. i also vary in my caloric intake. some days (weekends usually) i don't eat much at all...other days i have to keep eating to be satisfied.

i'd say try eating around 2000/lb (on average for a week) for a week or two and see if you lose weight. if you don't try eating around 1800 the next week. remember too that your caloric intake will go down as you lose.
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Old 09-04-2005, 03:48 AM   #7
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I'm on the same plan as you! I'm aiming between 1500 - 1800 but I'm usually more towards the top of the range. I've been steadily losing 1 pound a week which I'm very happy with (a new thing for me as in the past I would have found that discouraging).

I was eating more towards 2000 and I didn't lose so I'm really trying to stay under that 1800 mark now. I plan to reduce my calories a bit as time goes on to adjust for my lower weight (every 25 pounds, I'm going to deduct 50 calories from my daily total).

You might need to play around with a bit to see what works for you and gives you the results you are looking for. A lot depends on your activity level too - I have two small children so I'm pretty active - however, I don't get time to really exercise like I'd like to...but I have a plan that I'm going to work on for that (which involves bribing two young children with goldfish to sit in a stroller while I take a walk each day - not sure if it will work ).

As for days that you are hungry - you might examine what you ate on both days - if you are eating "emptier" foods on the day when you are hungry, that could account for it. On your lesser calories days, you might being eating foods that are more filling. However, if you are hungry - EAT! Sometimes I just have some carrots (that really helps - the crunchiness of them - yum ) - or I'll have a protein bar, sometimes just drinking water helps - sometimes I need a sandwich or a tortilla with cheese or some cereal or oatmeal - but eat b/c if you don't, you'll just be miserable. It's okay to go over your calories every so often - listen to your body.

Good Luck! You've already lost 9 pounds - that's terrific!
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f(x)
... I can't lose weight at 2000 calories a day. I ..... I do not think that metabolism is as straight forward and easy to classify as they would have us believe.
that's been my experience too. I eat anywhere from 1500 to 1800, probably closer to 1800 most of the time. I take a day off from the diet program, which has become a meal and a snack.

I've done lots of losing and regaining weight, which hasn't done good things for my metabolism. I've had a weight problem since I was a kid, too, so being that sedentary for most of my life has made it tougher.

So, I do feel like it can be a very individual thing, what gets us each to the point where we're losing weight healthily.
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:29 PM   #9
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when i count i obsess about food all day and trick myself into thinking i'm starving 24/7. i have to be really strict to stick to my points or i'll eat everything in sight.
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:50 PM   #10
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I think everyone is different. I have found the best luck with experimenting with different calories etc. Since I am breastfeeding this time around, I am going with 1200. This might seem low to some but the last time I did 800-1000 a day. I have a slower metabolism than most. Your weight, goal weight and body fat should all be important factors in setting your goal, and limits. Good luck to you!
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:55 PM   #11
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I try to stay between 1600 - 1800 but if I am hungry I eat! If I go over it doesn't matter because I need it and it all balances out some days you are below some you're above!
Listen to what your body needs and keep yourself a food diary and approx calories for each day you will soon get yourself a regime going!
But don't worry about every little thing you put in your mouth!
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:48 PM   #12
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I know I've seen web sites that have calulators as to how many calories you should eat. Does anyone have a link?
I think you have to eat 2500 calories less a week to lose 1 lb a week? is that right?
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Old 09-05-2005, 05:18 PM   #13
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I think a lot of the sites over estimate too. I do 1800 a day. I know I could lose on 2000 - 2200 but I wanted to lose quicker. Kimberley tried 1600 but finds that going from 1500 - 1600 works better than staying at 1600.
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Old 09-05-2005, 07:25 PM   #14
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My goal is to average 1500 calories a day over the course of a week. So, that translates to days that are as high as 2100 or as low as 800. Every now and then I'll have a week that my daily average works out to be closer to 1800 but that isn't typical.

In the beginning I ate 1500 calories each day religiously. I began cycling my calories to help myself over a plateau and found that doing so was a much better fit for my lifestyle. At that point, though, I felt very in control of my eating and wasn't at all concerned that a higher calorie day would be hard to recover from or that a lower calorie day would lead to a hunger induced binge.
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Old 09-05-2005, 11:35 PM   #15
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My average daily calories=1950. This is an average, so some days I take in about 1700, other days I'm over 2000. I prefer to keep below 1950 and usually only go over on days I've skipped meals or have been eating cookies, cake or ice cream.

I also exercise at least 5 days a week. (Tae Kwon Do class twice a week, running 3 days a week and 1 bike ride each week. Also do "core" exercises 5 days a week and occasionally throw in a workout with a yoga video. Will be doing more strength training as well (2-3 days a week).
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