Weight Loss Support - When to re-calculate calorie allowance




NotJustALittleFat
08-05-2011, 12:15 AM
I've seen several formulas and calculators for calculating how many calories you should consume to lose weight. The one many of the resources I use is present weight times seven. Well, as I shrink that number will get less and less. So my question is when do I recalculate? Should I do it everyday, once a week, or every 5-10 lbs? This is so confusing :?:

Celesa


carter
08-05-2011, 12:29 AM
I think you can safely do it every 5-10 pounds or so. Think about it this way: if you are using weight times 7, recalculating every 5 pounds means making adjustments of 35 calories. Do you think your calorie counting is much more accurate than this, so that more frequent adjustments are even meaningful?

Speaking just for myself, I don't think my daily calorie count is accurate to better than +/- 35 calories - there is just too much variation in the measurements of things, natural variation in the sizes of items like fruits, in the moisture content of whatever I happen to be weighing, and so on. And when you add in the natural variation in my own vigilance (I don't keep a rigorous count every day) it's really probably not even accurate to better than 100 calories give or take. So I don't stress about accuracy at the level of less than +/- 35 calories a day.

If you just think about shaving 35 calories every 5 pounds, or shaving 70 calories every 10 pounds, you'll be just fine. I have made my own adjustments somewhat less frequently than that, in fact - probably every 15 pounds or so.

NotJustALittleFat
08-05-2011, 12:37 AM
Good point I thought of that just as I hit send. Lol I hate when I do that :). I think I'll just drop 100 calories off every time I lose 14-15 lbs. It will just be easier that way.


tuende
08-05-2011, 12:39 AM
With any method you use to determine caloric needs, it's an estimate. As long as you are creating significant calorie deficits you should still be losing. I've never heard of the x7 rule- I'm not sure that will work once you keep losing (I mean, 140x7 is only like 980 calories!). I know that for your own peace-of-mind, it's nice to have a guide though. I honestly wouldn't worry about it too much- it does get tougher to create that calorie deficit as you get smaller, but I think you'd continue to lose for a while if you kept your calories at your present level (192x7=1344, right?).

kelly315
08-05-2011, 12:54 AM
I ate 1350ish for the entire weight loss spectrum (288 to 160) and I continued to lose about 10lbs/month for the whole time. Maybe I'm a weird case though.

shishkeberry
08-05-2011, 01:18 AM
I've lost 34 lbs in less than three months eating 1600 a day the entire time. I'll adjust my calories when I stop losing at this rate. It's working pretty good for me right now.

envelope
08-05-2011, 01:20 AM
I have a calorie range that I aim for. I average 1500 cals a day, and I believe that has been my average for my entire weight loss.

RJ 1980
08-05-2011, 01:32 AM
I don't plan on recalculating if at all possible. I'm eating 1500 cals per day now and really don't want to ever go lower than that. (And the x7 calculation is waaay too low in my opinion, for my weight anyway.) If I stop losing, I'll have to increase my activity level or something. I do think my weight loss will eventually slow down the nearer I get to goal, but that's ok!

NotJustALittleFat
08-05-2011, 01:46 AM
That's the equation in a biggest loser cook book I have but it doesn't say if you have to recalculate or just keep with those calories. It's also the amount of calories that my calorie tracking app uses as the numbers match. I'll never go below 1200 as that's not healthy for someone at my height. Another calculator said I can have as much as 1800 calories. I think I'll flux between them like the curves plan does. I wasnt losing as much as I was looking to while eating 1800 calories, so I'm thinking 1500 is more like the right number, I don't want to get too low and slow my metabolism!

cortandcooper
08-05-2011, 02:13 AM
I'm eating an average of 1450 a day (I'm calorie cycling, so some days higher, some days lower), and I'm going to keep it at that until my weight loss slows significantly (presuming it does). Ideally, the lower I get in weight, the more stamina I will have gained from doing exercise over the same period of time. So I'll be able to ramp that up and not have to lower my calories since I'm very comfortable at this level.

ChickieChicks
08-05-2011, 02:45 PM
I don't plan to recalculate. I started at 1200 (slightly more than 1000-cal deficit) and I am still at 1200 (slightly under a 1000-cal deficit). There are a few days when I just naturally gor under 1200, say 1180ish, but overall 1200 is hard enough.

christine123
08-05-2011, 02:48 PM
I found that when I went from 185lbs to 131lbs, I didn't need to adjust at all. I didn't really stall. I think that's because I did calorie cyclying and also because I added exercise for the last 20lbs or so. Anyway, I was consistently averaging 1100-1200 cals. That's what I do now.

eclipse
08-05-2011, 03:07 PM
I just stay at the same level until weight loss starts slowing down.

Lovely
08-05-2011, 05:21 PM
When to recalculate? When you stop losing.

Some people recalculate every 10 pounds or so, but others stay within the same calorie allowance until it slows down significantly or stops entirely. Then they start switching things up.

Eat as much as you can while still losing weight type-of-thing.

Esofia
08-05-2011, 08:10 PM
I use FitDay and it calculates my calorie needs for me based on my metabolism, which I've entered manually according to my activity levels. So it automatically adjusts according to my weight loss. I'm not losing a huge amount, though, so it doesn't make much difference, and I could probably stick to the same number throughout if I really wanted to.

bargoo
08-05-2011, 08:40 PM
I don't recalculate, I don't see any reason for it. Where does this weight times 7 come from ? Using that theory I wouldn't have enough energy to get out of bed.

kimmieval
08-05-2011, 09:22 PM
I don't plan on recalculating if at all possible. I'm eating 1500 cals per day now and really don't want to ever go lower than that. (And the x7 calculation is waaay too low in my opinion, for my weight anyway.)

I was tole X 10 to lose weight (with light activity) and so far, most calculators have been fairly near this for me.

I recalculate for every 10lbs lost and i find that works for me

Esofia
08-06-2011, 06:53 AM
I'm eating approximately 8.5 x my weight in order to lose at the rate of a pound a week. 7 would be much too low and 10 much too high. I'm small and inactive, for what that's worth, I'm sure it must vary a lot depending on those variables.

popspry
08-06-2011, 10:51 AM
I've been at 1500 the whole time (38 pounds). I refuse to ever go below 1400 calories and I will up my exercise and only lower calories as a last, last resort. I would rather lose slow than go to 1200 a day. It's just really important to me.

lin43
08-06-2011, 12:53 PM
I'm a little confused by some of the responses. Some folks are saying that they consistently lost about the same amount per month even at the same calorie range but a lower weight. It seems as if one would need fewer calories at a lower weight, though.

For those of you who lost/lose approx. the same amount of weight consistently w/ the same calorie range as when you started, did you up your activity to make up for the fewer calories that one normally needs at a lower weight?

I'm just trying to figure this out. Sometimes I believe whole-heartedly in the calories in / calories out equation for weight loss, but then I read posts like some on this thread, and I start to question whether that's all there is to it.

envelope
08-06-2011, 03:26 PM
lin43 - I am a firm believer in the cals in cals out equation. My BodyMediaFit shows me the amount of cals that I burn everyday. I compare that to the amount of calories I eat. Over any given period, I can compare the numbers with the 3500 cals = 1lb and I have always been within 1/2 lb. It is amazing. Sure, there are days when I fluctuate or when I have been totally on planand the scale is not budgeing. I know that even if the scale owes me a few lbs, it will come off...and I celebrate when the woosh fairy comes and makes the scale pay off the lbs it owes me.

For those eating the same cals during the whole time and losing at the same rate for the entire time, they must have increased muscle and or burn more cals now then when they started through movement/exercise. Maybe with out even realizing it.

I know that I exercise more, and burn more cals now then when I started C25K about 1 year ago. If I had to rate the effort level, I would say that doing C25K took more effort than running a 10K now.

lin43
08-06-2011, 03:51 PM
Thanks, envelope! That makes a lot of sense. BTW, I've been salivating over a Body Media fit for a while now. It's nice to know that it's accurate.

kimmieval
08-07-2011, 01:08 AM
For those eating the same cals during the whole time and losing at the same rate for the entire time, they must have increased muscle and or burn more cals now then when they started through movement/exercise. Maybe with out even realizing it.

Given health concerns I am not exercising and my activity comes from household chores and my only answer to losing weight while not decreasing calorie and not increasing activity is that my metabolism is probably working more efficiently

I find that some calculators are so different fom others such as webmd gives me 1563 to maintain my weight while fitbie.msn tells me 1761. I know 200 calories extra a day can have an impact on my weight so I am sticking to the lower number, I trust webmd more and I was told to multiply my weight by 12 to maintain. So I figure that if I mesh all that info together anyways and did not pass 1600 calories, I should be fine. I would recommend calorie cycling as that allows you to play within your calorie range

Sheesh weight loss is definitely not an exact science!

NotJustALittleFat
08-07-2011, 01:11 AM
I don't recalculate, I don't see any reason for it. Where does this weight times 7 come from ? Using that theory I wouldn't have enough energy to get out of bed.

It comes from a biggest loser cookbook. It lays out the plan they use. But I think most of them start out at 250 lbs or more so they would get like 1750 or so calories a day. I've given myself 1800 calories a day, but usually only get 15-1600. I've lost but I think I'm going to lower down to 1300-1500. Or like I said before, I'll probable use curves principle of rotating the calories I eat. I can't remember exactly the number of weeks, but its something like 1300 for one week, 1500 for 2-3 weeks after that then 1800 for the next month then start over. Then once the weight is gone I'll maintain with 1800 calories and any time I gain I'd eat the 1300 calories for a week to get back down.

lin43
08-07-2011, 08:02 AM
It comes from a biggest loser cookbook. It lays out the plan they use. But I think most of them start out at 250 lbs or more so they would get like 1750 or so calories a day. I've given myself 1800 calories a day, but usually only get 15-1600. I've lost but I think I'm going to lower down to 1300-1500. Or like I said before, I'll probable use curves principle of rotating the calories I eat. I can't remember exactly the number of weeks, but its something like 1300 for one week, 1500 for 2-3 weeks after that then 1800 for the next month then start over. Then once the weight is gone I'll maintain with 1800 calories and any time I gain I'd eat the 1300 calories for a week to get back down.

This is also what I'm thinking about doing in September (going on vacation in August, so I don't want to start it then). I figure if I rotate calories that way then it won't be such a shock to my system when I start adding in calories during maintainance (but, in truth, I'm only eating a couple of hundred fewer calories from what I think will be my maintenance range now).

popspry
08-07-2011, 08:57 PM
I have done very little exercise the whole time losing the same amount most weeks without adjusting calories. In fact if I do more than 30 minutes of exercise a day I have to up my calories over my normal 1500 or I don't lose weight.