Weight Loss Support - How many calories???

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11-15-2007, 11:39 AM
I am trying to figure out how many calories my body burns in a day. I have read so many different things so many different place. For my lifestyle and weight I have read anywhere from 1900 calories all the way to 2500. How can I find out which is accurate??


11-15-2007, 12:51 PM
The number of calories you burn each day will vary depending on your body weight, metabolism and activity level. :-)

11-15-2007, 01:05 PM
There are a bunch of calculators on line that can help you to guesstimate your caloric needs. All the food diary sites have them too. They're all estimates though--every metabolism is different because of genetics, muscle mass, etc, etc.

Your best bet is to use a few calculators to get a rough sense of your maintenance calories and then work out a reduction. 1lb is 3500 calories, so if you eat 500 calories less per day than your maintenance calories, you should lose a pound a week. If you add in extra exercise, you can lose more each week. A 1000 calorie deficit should yield a 2lb a week loss.

But, at a certain point, it does become trial and error and sorting out precisely what your body needs to lose wieght. If you start using the above calculations, you can re-evaluate after a couple of weeks if you're losing too quickly or too slowly.

If you check out the calorie counters forum you'll find lots of helpful info and discussion.

11-15-2007, 03:08 PM
for ages i was eating 1000-1200 and losing NOTHING and someone gave me a thing and it said like 1600-1800 and i was like NO WAY so i tried it for a few days and felt so guilty... and then i went back and was losing nothing... then i got REALLY FED UP and just relaxed my whole outlook and i started eating about 1600 by acident sort of but i was subconsiously counting the cals, an estimate anyway... and since ive relaxed, ive been losing consistently

11-15-2007, 04:59 PM
Calories can make you crazy. The first thing to know is that even the calories in food varies tremendously, the calorie counters are all estimates. You can take two apples that weigh exactly the same amount, and the calorie counts could vary by as much as 30 or 40%. One might be 75 calories, and the other might be 105.

As for calories burned the variance is that much greater. A 600 calorie difference isn't really much of a difference at all (I would expect much greater variance in actual individuals). Consider that if you split the difference, 300 calories could at most account for 1/4 pound of body weight in a week over time this could be a problem, but if you step on the scale at least once a month you will know which way to adjust.

Scientists have found a way to determine the calories burned by an individual from day to day, precisely, but it isn't really a feat you'd want to attempt at home. It involves basically a locked box that you must remain in. Everything you eat and drink is measured and calculated precisely for caloric content. They also weigh what goes into the toilet, and even weighing the gasses you breathe in and out, and the humidity you throw into the air (through sweat and breath).

I think this shows how difficult it would be to precisely measure your metabolism in any meaningful way. The only practical way I know of to estimate an individual's metabolism is to count your calories, and the amount of weight you lose, over months you could estimate your particular metabolism overall. I don't think it's possible or practical to try to estimate the calories burned by exercise and specific activities. I think "trial and error" of eating a certain calorie level and "seeing what happens" is a lot easier and in the end, as accurate as all of the mathmatics to do it any other way.

11-15-2007, 05:59 PM
Calories make me crazy, and psychotic. Honestly.. My advice. Exercise daily, eat when you are hungry, watch your portions, and eat foods that are good for you. I am a muncher, and I like to graze so vegetables are my best friend.

11-15-2007, 06:19 PM
Here's what I do. I use FitDay. It calculates resting metabolic rate based on age, height, weight, and gender. It also adds in activity level, but I set mine on "sedentary." Then if I do any exercise (other than normal household/work activities) I add them each day to the Activity Log. This gives me a value that's pretty close to some of the other estimators I've seen, and it also seems to work--that is, if I keep my calories-eaten lower than the calories FitDay says I burn, then I lose weight.