100 lb. Club - How many calories per day?

View Full Version : How many calories per day?

02-07-2005, 04:42 PM
Hi all,

I am wondering how many calories I should be eating a day to maintain a 2 lb per week weight loss? I track my food and exercise in Fitday.com According to fitday's calculations, I burn approx. 2,700 calories each day through my activity level (seated work) and my basal metobolic functions. I have been aiming to have a calorie intake of 1600-2000 each day. I weigh 254 pounds and have been walking at least 10 miles a week for the past three weeks. I thought that my calorie estimate was pretty good...until I used Self Magazine's diet feature...and it recommended that I eat around 1300 calories a day!

That seems awful low to me. I know that I could do it in the short term, but I wouldn't be very happy doing it and probably would not stick with it. Do you guys count calories? How many do you aim for??


02-07-2005, 04:57 PM
Of course caloric needs vary from individual to individual, even with the same stats. Calculators and the like can only estimate what you need and assumes your body is absolutely average. I don't know what the Self estimate is based on, but I agree that 1300 is too low. Some publications and web sites tell you that most women should eat within a range of 1200 to 1400 to lose weight depending, and I think those recommendations are not nearly specific enough to individuals. So bah on them! LOL

I will say that fitday's estimate of what you burn every day sounds a little high, though. Still, I think your current level of 1600-2000 should be OK. Why don't you use this calculator and see how it matches what you are doing: http://www.jimkaras.com/loss_math01.cfm. This is based on the Harris Benedict equation, which is THE standard for estimating caloric needs. This calculator will give you the amount of calories you can eat every day and lose weight while still supporting your metabolism.

02-07-2005, 04:58 PM
Hey LuvHamster and Welcome to our Board!

The general rule of thumb is that you want to lower your calorie intake by 1000 calories in order to lose 2 lbs. per week. Below is a link to the 3FC Calorie Calculator:


This should help you in determining how many calories you should have per day to see a loss. Just make sure you don't go too low, or you may not see any long term results.

I've found that staying under 1600 cals/day seems to work best for me!! Anything over 1800 can usually be a little too high... Also, pay attention to your fat %, your daily fat should make up only 30% of your calorie intake. :)

Hope this helps...

02-07-2005, 04:58 PM
I have found fitday's activity numbers to be inacurate. I would check with a BMR calculator, and use their figures. I have a link to one I like at home that I can post later. My tip would be to underestimate your daily activity/exercise on purpose, because many of us usually have an overestimation of what we are doing activity/exercise wise.

02-07-2005, 05:01 PM
I was posting at the same time as the others!

Yes...any H-B formula will work as the best indicator....so check out FG's link.

02-07-2005, 05:18 PM
Hey LuvHamster and Welcome to our Board!

The general rule of thumb is that you want to lower your calorie intake by 1000 calories in order to lose 2 lbs. per week.

And most experts now agree that that is too aggressive, that people have safer and more lasting results by cutting AMR by 500 per day through a combination of reduced intake AND activity to aim for 1 pound per week lost.

My program, Jenny Craig, follows this guideline, as does Jim Karas (link above) and many others.

P.S. I love fitday for food logging but I agree that their activity calculators are WHACK.

02-07-2005, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the link to the Jim Karas website. If I say that my activity level is Moderate (exercising 2-3 times a week, which I have done for the past few weeks), he suggests consuming 2185 calories per week. If I choose lightly active, he suggests 1994 calories per day. This assumes I want to lose 1 pound per week.

So, I guess my estimate of 1600-2000 a day is pretty good. If I stick closer to the 1600 area, I may get the 2 lbs a week I was hoping for!


02-07-2005, 06:39 PM
I wish I burned as many calories as fitday estimates. Since each body is different, you have to see what your body responds to. My overall goal is to eat between 1200-1800 calories a day and I average right around the middle at 1500. If you find yourself where you aren't losing, you may need to lower it a bit or try to stay at the bottom of your range but 1600-2000 is a good range.

02-08-2005, 10:33 AM
We are not too far apart in terms of weight , training and type of working environment. The only difference is that Iím adding a few things to my daily walks: Laps at the pool 2-3 times a week and cross-country ski once a week.

Iím 275 and currently aiming at a daily intake of 1500 to 1800 calories a day. I find this to be the lowest I can go to be functional. Anything lower than this would be harmful.

Iíve been sticking to this diet for the past two months and was able to maintain an average of 3 pounds a week loss.

Very low calories diets should only be performed under medical supervision in certain cases of morbid (BMI 40+) or massive (BMI 50+) obesity.

In any cases, your best bet would be to consult a doctor or certified nutritionistÖ.

02-08-2005, 11:07 AM
Very interesting thread! thanks for the info!

02-08-2005, 03:26 PM
I don't know how the calculators work to calculate the amount of calories you need but a simple formula would be to multiply the number of calories you were taking in (lets say 2500) by 7. You would be consuming 17,500 calories a week, subtract 7000 calories from that number (one pound is approx. 3500 calories) and that gives you a target of 10,500 calories for the week. Divide it by 7 and that's the number of calories per day (1500). Of course it doesn't take into account your metabolism or BMR or any of that but it does give you a good starting point.

02-08-2005, 03:41 PM
I checked out my numbers on these sites (thanks for posting them). 3FC says I should be eating about 2300 to lose 1lb per week. Right now I eat 1700 to 2000, probably usually about 1800 most often. I probably have been losing a little under a lb a week average since the beginning of January. I do moderate exercise every day -- stuff like walking, calisthenics and marching in place.

I find this stuff very tricky because I read that lowering it too much can make it harder to lose weight. I guess my best bet would be to increase the activity level.

I log in at fitday every day too; I guess the other problem I might be having is underestimating the amounts I'm eating, so that my calorie levels are higher than I'm estimating.

I've been on and off diets so many times, I'm sure that must screw up my metab too.