Weight Loss Support - calorie counting question??

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01-06-2008, 07:00 PM
hi everyone,
Well I am new here and like many of you, I am involved in a life style change. i have gained a lot of weight over the past year-some of it to do with quitting smoking-and am now taking control. Anyways, I am pretty active in the gym, i actually have been for over a year now. I tried cardio and weights and now i am sticking with staight cardio for roughly 60 minutes 4-5 days a week. I figured that it has to do with what i am eating that is preventing me from losing weight. So I am registered with fitday and on my way. I am eating around 1100-1200 carloies a day. usually i burn about 200-400 calories a workout. any suggestions??? i was going to do nutrisystem, which is about 1350 calories a day (from what i have read). it has been under a week so far, so i am just looking for some input on if this is a good adequate number of calories? Thanks in advance!:smug:

01-06-2008, 07:08 PM
Personally, I think 1100-1200 a day is too low for just about anybody, let alone someone at your weight and with your level of activity. It is generally recommended that people not go below 1200 regularly without professional medical supervision. And those who weigh more can eat more because the extra weight requires additional calories (i.e., more weight moving around means it takes more energy to do things). AND those who are exercising regularly require even more calories to fuel that extra activity.

If you start out at lower than what is considered the minimum, then where will you go when you stall? Starting at a higher calorie level will allow you to reduce your calories in the future if needed to continue your losses.

I'd be inclined to reccommend you start higher, more like 1500-1600 a day. You may find that you can eat even more than that with your exercise schedule.

Also, can I ask, why did you switch from weights and cardio to only cardio? Weights will help to build and tone your muscles, which can help to keep your metabolism up as you lose the weight, which in turn could mean you wouldn't have to reduce your calories as much in the future to keep losing as others might--plus, most would rather be nice and toned at their goal weight, not just thin and still flabby ;)

01-06-2008, 07:30 PM
Hey! :wel3fc:

For a general introduction to calorie counting, go to the FAQs in the Calorie Counters forum. Here's the link:


1100-1200 cals is too low for someone at your activity level and weight, according to most measures. You probably have stressed your metabolism so that your body thinks you're starving. That makes the body want to hold on to what it's got.

After you've read the FAQs, see if you can come up with a more reasonable daily calorie amount. You may find out that you feel better and lose faster with more calories. FitDay has tools to help you estimate your daily calorie burn.

Good luck!

01-06-2008, 07:38 PM
Jill's right - do you have any idea how many calories you were consuming a day to gain the weight? I'd venture a guess you probably could lose at 1500, especially with consistant exercise.

I second her vote on weight training, too. Muscles burn calories, too. :cb:


01-06-2008, 08:33 PM
I'm going to jump on the bandwagon here. 1100-1200 seems way too low. I started out close to your current weight and I started at around 1800 and never went below 1400. The only exercise I ever did was walk and I didn't do that from the start. I definitely think you can eat more and still lose weight.

Congratulations on quitting smoking and being on an exercise program for a year! That is an awesome start!

01-06-2008, 10:17 PM
I will chime in as well, I am calorie counting, and around your same weight, and I exercise daily, and eat about 1800-2000 cals a day, and I am losing! :)

Good luck to you!

01-06-2008, 10:38 PM
Another vote here for a higher calorie count to start and weight or resistance training in your exercise regimen. It has been really helpful for me as I have lost weight. My body fits into clothes so much better with toned muscles underneath the flab that I still have. I am excited to see what it will look like at goal!

01-06-2008, 11:01 PM
Hate to sound like an AOLer but....Me too! ;)

I started at over 250 pounds and was eating healthier choices but still consuming around 2,000 calories per day and burning 200 to 300 per day in exercise, and I lost consistently. As I lost, I decreased my calories. If you start at 1200 (and below 1200 isn't recommended for ANYONE per doctors), where will you drop your calories to as you get smaller and plateau?

01-07-2008, 11:27 AM
*thank you all so much. I had a feeling that this was an issue. I had/have had a really hard time losing over the past year and i think i know why. i was putting all my efforts in exercise and not concentrating on diet. i am going to up the cals to at least 1500 if not more and ease up on the intense exercise. i need to learn how to eat. i am so grateful that i found this site and thank you all for the support!

01-07-2008, 11:40 AM
I think you need to add back the weights and up your calories.

the slim me
01-08-2008, 09:00 AM
can I put my 2 cents in here too? I agree with the others that lifting weights would be really beneficial. It builds muscle, which in turn, burns fat. and you look so much sleeker with a toned body. Cardio is great for the heart but does little for the metabolism. And think how geat your arms will look in short sleeves when they are toned!

01-08-2008, 09:22 AM
and don't forget when you do aerobic exercise do interval training...it really seems to help burn fat but definately get back to the weights. It really is important...and i'd say go to 1600-1800 cal. 1500 still seems low for you current weight. You're body is probably freaked out right now. Good luck!