Weight Loss Support - Calories

View Full Version : Calories

12-28-2006, 11:30 AM
Is there an easy way to figuer out how many calories a day i should be having. Ive never counted them before, but i though i would give it a shot.;)

12-28-2006, 12:01 PM

12-28-2006, 12:09 PM
There are tons of online calorie calculators that will provide an estimate for you (just Google "calorie calculator" and you'll find tons of 'em). The important thing to remember is that no matter what that calculator tells you, it may not be accurate. It may be a good starting point, but we are all so different and have such widely varying bodies that those calculators are a generic estimate, at best.

Generally, I think the best way to figure out your needs is to pick a starting point (and not something too low--I do NOT suggest starting at 1200, which is typically the recommended bare minimum) and then work from there. If you lose .5-2 pounds per week at that number, then congratulations, you are an expert estimator ;) If you're losing too slowly, then drop the calories by 100-200 per day and see if that helps. If you're losing too quickly (sounds too good to be true, but it does happen!), bump them up a little until you're losing at a safe and healthy rate.

Good luck!

Okay, I thought I was done, but now I thought of something else. So many people use a calculator and say, "It tells me this is how much I need." Well, the honest-to-goodness best way to do things is to keep eating as you are now and record your calories without changing your eating habits AT ALL for a week or two. If eating this way makes you maintain your current weight, then dropping the average amount of calories per day by 500 should give you a good starting point for losing weight (if you're gaining at your current calorie levels, then you may need to drop it by even more, or add in more exercise to burn additional calories). I really wish everyone had the patience to do this, as it's really the greatest way to see how your body is handling the amount of calories you feed it NOW, which is the best indicator as to how many you should need to lose weight.

12-28-2006, 12:21 PM
Thank you so much. I really appriciate all the help. Everyone here is so nice.

12-28-2006, 06:20 PM
I agree with Jill about having enough patience to work it out for yourself. Online calorie tools are general guides, and can be wildly inaccurate.

When I started five months ago I weighed 231 pounds. I've lost 22 pounds, and worked out that for me to lose a pound each week I need to eat 1700 calories/day. I kept track, for two weeks, of what happened to my body when I ate 1800 calories/day - and I maintained my weight. So I dropped 100 calories/day and increased my walking to an hour a day - and that seems to work well.

It's wise to not drop too low yet. As you get nearer to goal you may need to decrease calories again, and it's good to have some room to move.