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How much should I be eating?

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Old 11-28-2005, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default How much should I be eating?

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Hey girls, I need some advice! I can't seem to figure out how many calories I should be consuming! Here are the facts:

40 year old woman, 5 ft 6 in tall, 320 lbs, with sedentary lifestyle. My BMR is 2170. If I subtract 500 cals from that it is 1670 cals. My question is--if I do 30 min of cardio 3-5 days a week, do I increase my daily calories to compensate? If so, how much?

This is so confusing!! Any help is appreciated.
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Old 11-28-2005, 03:26 PM   #2
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I would stick with your 1600-1700 range for a few weeks while doing the cardio and see how you do. If you lose a reasonable 1-2 pounds, great -- if not, maybe up your calories a bit. Sound good?
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Old 11-28-2005, 05:16 PM   #3
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Wow...I don't know. To me that seems low for your current size -- even without exercise. My concern would be how much LOWER you would have to go once you have lost weight. WHen I was neither pregnant nor nursing and was losing weight, I was consuming about 2500 to 2800 calories a day while not exercising and about 3000 or more while exercising and losing 2 lbs. a week (I was at 298 at start and 268 when I got pregnant). I think what matters is the quality of your calories. If all 2800 calories are starchy carbs, you will not lose weight so easily. If it is a good combination of healthy, whole foods, you will most likely lose weight. Every calorie is NOT equal in the long run. Starchy carbs might convert to blood sugar and do all kinds of things to your body, for example. Veggies will get used. Of course, every person is different. For me, I could eat 1000 calories a day of bread and pack on the weight. I could then eat 3000 calories of veggies and lose weight like crazy. That's just what my body does. Of course, if I consistently go over my max in calories (which is pretty high), I WILL gain weight. The converse is not true, though. If I go too low consistently, I will plateau. Maybe you could keep a pretty precise food journal for a few weeks (a month that includes your period would be ideal) and see how your body is reacting to what you are eating. You might be surprised to find out you need more than what a calculator tells ypu.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:44 PM   #4
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I'd not thought about the weight difference; I was 277 when I began doing 1600 calories a day and that's worked for me to lose an average of 1-2 pounds a week. I sometimes dip down to 1500/day but not lower. Lately, due to bursitis, I've not been exercising.
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:52 AM   #5
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You can see how many calories you expend with your exercise (make sure to adjust for weight) with various web-based calculators.

I currently weigh 281 (started at 310 in early September this year). I try to eat around 2000-2200 calories a day. Sometimes I eat more (maybe once every couple of weeks or so) and some days I eat less. I am working with a personal trainer at a local gym and that's where I got my calorie plan from. For a while, I thought I was doing really good when my avg was down to 1700-1800, but she suggested I go back up to >2000 because as I lose weight, I'll need to drop cals and I need some headroom.

Heck, I don't know what's the right amount, but this is working well for me -- I'm losing weight, losing inches, and not starving which is the best part because I feel like I can keep doing it.

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Old 11-29-2005, 03:41 AM   #6
 
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I don't know if this will help, but I'm about 355pds (20 years old, 5'4", low activity lifestyle), and to lose 2 pounds a week I was told to have 2000 calories a day. Just my opinion, but I'd say try for 1600-1700 a day. And maybe add whatever you burn in exercise if you need to.
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:24 PM   #7
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I started at around 300 and now at 250 am still losing with 2000 cals/day. [Edited to add that I try to average that for the week.] Granted, losing less quickly than before, but still losing. I've started to increase my exercise more and may decrease cals some, but I'm not in a rush about this either.

When I do exercise, I don't increase my calories to compensate... I kind of figure that to lose I'm going to need to exercise, no matter what... or another way to think of it is that I have already compensated, if that makes any sense...
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:04 PM   #8
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I've always stuck to my 1800 calories a day and one treat day a week and have lost good on that. So if you divide the one treat day up it's probably more like 2000 - 2200 a day. I for one like having a treat day that I don't worrry about things so much. It just gives me a break from the day to day and works for me.

You just have to try things and see how they go. Everyone is different and has different needs.
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:44 PM   #9
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I tend to lean more towards the lower side of the calorie scale. I eat roughly 1200 - 1400 on the weekdays and usually 1700 - 2000 on the weekends. I've been losing about 2 pounds per week. Some weeks 4, some weeks 1. It seems to even out to about 2 pounds per week. I don't alter my caloric intake for exercise either. I'm fully prepared to alter my intake should my weightloss start to slow down, but for me now, it all seems to be working out ok.

~Dee

Oh yeah, I started at 238 and I'm 5'2". I've lost 57 pounds and have been eating the same number of calories since I started at the end of June/05
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