General Diet Plans and Questions - Should I up my intake? Near my goal now

02-08-2014, 06:07 PM
Okay so first off, I'm new here so if I've put this in the wrong place on the forums, then I apologize :) anyway...

So I've been trying to lose weight for the past few months and so far I've lost around 20lbs/a stone and a half. I've been keeping my (net) intake at around 1,200 as that's the lowest MFP will go by default (unless I set it lower which I don't). Recently I've plateaued completely. As well as this slowing my progress (although I'm near my goal of 126lbs), it's totally demotivating me and it's lead to me giving into my cravings way more, because I just end up thinking 'Why the **** not? I'm not losing weight anymore anyway' - and then I feel guilty which leads to me cutting down even more (and probably slowing my metabolism more.

So I'm wondering, roughly what is a decent amount for me to eat where I will maintain. I'm female, 18 y/o and 5'9" tall. I exercise 3 times a week (cardio and resistance) for a couple of hours each time, and the cardio alone is normally at least 700 calories burnt in each workout. At the start when I was like 150lbs this was really great and I was losing like 2 lbs a week minimum. Now sometimes I maintain or even gain a little, so I have to make the next week more strict.
I eat mostly clean (probably around 90%), not much processed and as much fresh food as I can, I don't drink energy drinks or take any supplements (although I do make pancakes with protein powder every now and again, but I can't stomach protein shakes they make me nauseous just because of the taste).

So yeah I'm just looking for any advice really; I'd like to up my intake because I find keeping to 1,200 just makes me miserable, I can't even go out to eat anymore because a nice meal out will take up over half of that. I feel a lot more tired than I did before I started and it's just generally worn me down to be honest. I've been told before that someone of my height and build (tall and athletic) should eat a lot more than I do, especially when I take lettuce, cucumber and and Apple for lunch at college (which leaves me prone to being starving or craving something more when I get home).

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, I don't like the place I'm stuck in right now!
Thanks :)

02-08-2014, 07:09 PM
Do you eat back any calories you burn?

02-08-2014, 07:32 PM
You can play with this calculator and it can give you TDEE for various exercise levels.

02-08-2014, 11:01 PM
I can't believe you've been eating 1200 calories for a couple months while exercising for over an hour multiple times a week. I probably would have collapsed from exhaustion after a week!!!

Definitely up your intake. I'd recommend checking out the TDEE -20% or even -15% since your closer to your goal. Just make sure that you accurately put in your exercise. You probably could be eating around 1700 if not more based on your activity and still lose weight.

02-08-2014, 11:48 PM
You are very tall for that weight already and then adding in exercise. Your body is telling you you need more food.