100 lb. Club - 2000-2400 Calories a Day?

View Full Version : 2000-2400 Calories a Day?

01-25-2006, 01:44 AM
ok, so I keep doing all these formulas to figure out how many calories I should be eating each day to lose weight. I'm 6'1" and weigh 304 and it is telling me to eat between 2000-2400 calories a day! I think that is insane and way too much. I've been consistently eating somewhere between 1200-1600 every day. Does anyone else here eat that many calories and if so - is it working?

01-25-2006, 01:57 AM
I know! On all the calculators I find, it says I should be consuming 2000-2300 to LOSE weight?

I am also 6 feet tall and I weigh 202 lbs. I have lost about 20 pounds and I usually try to stick around 1500-1700 calories a day. I am not really sure though...

01-25-2006, 02:00 AM
that's good to know. i think my being tall makes it overcompensate on calories. I mean, I do workout for an hour every day, but I still don't think I should be eating 2000-some calories!

01-25-2006, 02:08 AM
I know, I am the same way. I hate being off the charts for all the women's statistics because it stops at 5'11''... and buying pants long enough it an entirely different story.

I am sure it would be fine as long as you don't go below 1200- everything suggests that "average" height women shouldn't go below 1100 so your metoblism doesn't just shut down and go into starvation mode... especially since you are working out. :) Let me know if you find anything... or if you know a good place to buy jeans. ;)

01-25-2006, 02:15 AM
Unbelievable, but true. You need to eat more the more you weigh. Otherwise your body adjusts to than then as you lose you have nowhere to go. I'm at 202 and I'm eating between 1600 on low days to 2000 on high days. I only have high days 1 or at the most 2 times a week. I've read that you multiply your weight by 8 for faster or 10 for slower weight loss. So for me (rounding to 200 pounds) would be 1600 and 2000 which is where I have my range. When I was eating 1200 calories I didn't lose any weight because it slowed my metabolism so much. If you don't believe it try it for a week or two and see what happens. And I know it seems like a lot but we didn't get to where we are now eating 1200 calories a day! ;)

01-25-2006, 02:55 AM
Most of those calculators are targetting a weight loss of 2 pounds per week. That's equivelent to a calorie deficit of 1000 calories per day. If it says you should be eating 2000-2400, then that is based on the fact that you are burning 3000-3400 calories per day.

At 300 pounds and working out for an hour a day, 3000-3400 actually sounds a little on the low side for calories burned. Exactly what kind of working out do you do?

Keep in mind though that calorie deficits larger than 1000 per day are sustainable at higher body fat levels.

01-25-2006, 07:14 AM
I've found the online calculators no good for me. They say I should be burning 3000 calories or more. I never ate that much! Honest! And I sure wasn't losing.

I keep to 1500 and I'm losing a pound a week, which implies that I am burning about 2000. I think you have to find what's right for you. It should be easy to generalise but it aint!

01-25-2006, 08:12 AM
I think the weight loss calculators are mostly bunk by the time they get above 20-30 pounds overweight. They are not designed for the morbidly obese. Bodies are not machines. We don't "scale up" exponentially like their formula does. I doubt I actually use the 1800 calories a day Fitday calculates I must use just to breath and make my heart beat (the "basal" calculation). If so, I'd have lost much more, much faster. It's not so simple as all that.

So while they are interesting, and can be a good starting place, I certainly wouldn't plan my whole diet around them. Obese bodies are not just fatter "overweight" bodies, and they don't react the same way to some things.

What would probably be helpful, other than getting a survey of folks here who calorie-count and what works for them, is to choose a level and aim for that. I'd start high.

Personally, I started at 310 pounds aiming for 1800-2200 calories a day. At first I usually was at the high end of that, as I got used to portion control and healthier food choices. And in truth, the idea of limiting myself more than that made thefatgirlinsideme throw a tantrum. So I figured I'd ease her into it. *grins*

When I began not losing my pound a week consistenly enough for me, I lowered it to 1700-2000. That worked for a good six months before I started slowing down again. So now I aim for 1500-1800 (with one day a week "free" if I want it).

My average for the past month is about 1750 (and that's with two HUGE free days that each went close to 3000 calories. New year's was a lot of fun. *grin*).

I would start a little higher than 1200 though. As someone said, our bodies DO use more than thinner bodies do. You need to be sure you are fueling yourself enough to keep your metabolism going. Lower than 1500 or so and I "stall". That will change as I lose more weight, but for now, that's the low end of my range.

01-25-2006, 08:23 AM
Thanks for all the info!!! You guys are so awesome! I just got on the scale this morning for my weekly weigh in and it was down 4 lbs to 300! Since I do about an hr on the elliptical machine every night (plus, I play rugby for 2 hours every Saturday), I think I'll keep my calories to around 1500ish and see how that works for next week.

Good luck to everyone! Let's do this! woo-hoo!:carrot: :carrot: :carrot:

01-25-2006, 08:47 AM
I admire your ladies ability to stick to eating in a low calories range. I have been having a terrible time getting my kcals under 1700. I am a tall gal like you the rest of you. I came to this realization that when I allow myself to get hungry for too long I have a much greater probability of going of into a bing. Binge eating is really my main problem. I will do great for a a few weeks then suddenly go into a feeding frenzy. Having watched myself do the same thing over and over for the last year or so I decided I needed to have an eating plan where the kcals are high enough that I don't trigger a bout of compulsive eating. I have a lot of triggers like stress but this trigger at least I have some control over.

There is a book out there called Calories Queens written by a mother daughter team who lost 300 lbs between them. Their idea is to find with what your kcal intake would be at your ideal weight and multiply it by 12. Ok so say my ideal weight is 175. If I multiply it by 12 I come up with 2100 kcals per day. They recommend to eat at that level. The goal is to practice for maintenance while you are losing. Losing weight is hard but maintenance is harder. If you are eating at your maintenance level and have it in your head that this is where you need to eat the rest of your life you can begin the behaviors and acquire the habits that will keep you slim for life.

For some reason that whole idea made lot of sense to me. I know I can't live my whole life feeling constantly hungry. At some point in time my body will demand to be filled. If I look at it long term, at 2100 kcals I am satisfied and therefor run a much lower risk of binging. I am also training myself for long term maintenance as the weight is coming off. The loss is slower than a lower kcal level but maybe its a case of the tortoise and the hare. I'm obviously not much of a hare so maybe being a tortoise is worth a try.

If I want to lose a little faster I just exercise more. Right now my goal is to get in an hour daily on a consistent basis. I can do about 50 minutes but that last ten minutes alludes me. I have tried to change that all at once and to no avail. What I decided to do was to add 2 minutes every time I work out. I mean what the heck when your already worn out so an extra 2 minutes isn't that big of a deal. I tend to exercise really hard so when I think about 10 minutes I feel discouraged and I just give in more easily. I'm sure this 10 minute thing is psychological because it feeling like breaking a barrier or something. I am just going to try an sneak it in slowly over a period of time which is less taxing in my little brain.

I think we get into eating at a low number of kcals because we have been told by "experts" that that is the only way to be successful. In the past women were told silly things like that the only way to lose weight was to eat 800 or a 1000 kcals. That was really bad advise and led to a lot frustration. They seem to be basing there calculation in the body frame of the average of average American woman which is about 5' 6" or so. That does not work for we gals who are almost 6 foot. I think we need to listen to our own bodies and get out of the cookie cutter mentality. The taller you are the higher you basil body metabolism is. It's just plan science and no matter what some diet guru says it is nor going to change.

Personally I rejoice is my bigger frame than average hight. I think tall buxom women are very sexy and I feel like I got the luck of the drawn. Women like Queen Latifa are outstanding and she really stands out and makes you want to take a second look. Little petite gals have their own charm but I don't want to be them. Personally I'd like to be like the Statue of Liberty with her strength and outstanding poise. There is something very beautiful in than. In that regard I feel no need to remake myself . On the plus side we have the blessing to be able to eat more kcals.

01-25-2006, 10:29 AM
I am reading Calorie Queens right now and am really enjoying it. I don't know that they are saying anything new, but I like the way they say it and I needed to hear it again. According to them, you should figure your goal weight (145 for me, I'm 5'6) and like Fx said multiply by 12. That 1740 cals. My goal is 1800 cals per day and I lose pretty steady if I stick to that. And I'm not exercising very regularly. I'm not sure how well this will work when I get thinner, but for right now, they are pretty accurate. You need to eat to lose.

Plus, start out higher and you have somewhere to go. If you start too low, there isn't much room for modification.

Where does everyone keep track of their calories. I log in a day planner that I carry with me.

01-25-2006, 10:33 AM
I say continue to eat what you're comfortable with and know that if you have a bad do that you have some wiggle room and it won't be the end of the world.

Calculators are too general I think.

01-25-2006, 11:29 AM
I have read that if you feed your body too few calories, that it becomes more efficient at hanging onto fat. That you put it into starvation mode and then you just can't lose no matter how much you try and reduce your caloric intake.

I read that I should be eating this huge amount like 3000 calories a day and that if I only cut it to 2300 or so I would lose. Well that seemed really HIGH to me because I know that normally when I'm just eating without worrying about it I couldn't believe I even ate that much. When I'm dieting I know it goes extremely low. So for a few days I tried upping my caloric intake to what was suggested 2100 to 2300, and I was losing. It was weird.

I couldn't stick with it or have any trust in the idea so I didn't continue. But it is possible that the experts know what they are talking about.

01-25-2006, 11:39 AM
Please read this very informative thread about starvation mode.


01-25-2006, 11:55 AM
I have always been frustrated by the numbers that were given to me by the online calculators. They always seemed WAY too high, and when I got anywhere near what they suggested I would start to gain again.

I was poking around on the net recently, and I found this link:


Interestingly, this calculator uses the Mifflin formula (which I had never heard of, either). Most calculators use Harris-Benedict. The problem with HB is that it estimates REALLY high for those who are out of the norm--and the 'norm' it uses is from something like 1919! Mifflin is updated, though. I've talked to friends of mine (who are weighlifters and weight-watchers) and they say that Mifflin seems to be much, much more in line with their experiences. You might try those numbers.

On a personal note, I can tell you that keeping your calories low will eventually bite you right in the butt. I got stuck on the idea of "eat less and move more", instead of understanding that my intake and my outgo (if you will) needed to be balanced. I have struggled with weight and exercise for a long time, and I have tried to keep my calories under 1500. When I had my calories under 1500, I would cut my workouts short, sit on the couch as much as possible during my day, and take 2-hour naps in the afternoon. I'd have no energy in the evenings, sit on the couch with my husband, and then go to bed at 10:00. I had NO energy! The thing was, I thought I wasn't supposed to have any energy, since I had a bigger body (5'9" and ~290 pounds). I went from my highest of 294 to 276 on 1500 calories/day, and it took me 6 months to do it because I was sleeping all the time!

When I realized it had taken me 6 months to take off 18 pounds, I decided something had to change. I looked at what I could do differently. My exercise schedule is, was, and has always been fine (I have a degree in exercise science) but my workouts were lacking luster. I decided to take a leap of faith and increase my calories.

It's only been 10 days of increasing calories (I try to break 1900 every day; I have 'food issues' after so many years of this, and can't do it all at once. My goal is to get up to 2100) but I have SO MUCH more energy now! It's amazing! I'm awake all day. Some days I'll have TWO workouts, because I just feel like I want to move. My house is cleaner than it has been in a long time. I am not desperately trying to clump together errands so I only have to go out once. Two days ago I actually walked to the postal center (about half a mile away) instead of driving to the post office!

Now, I can't tell you about weight loss yet. It's TOM and I've got the usual bloat, ugh. But I can tell you I'm holding steady around where I was before I started this--so if you figure in the bloat, I've possibly lost a bit! :)

Three more things to keep in mind:

1) a nutritionist long ago told me that if you've been restricting hard for a long time, sometimes the body will gain a pound or two while it figures out what you're doing when you start increasing calories. That's normal, and it'll drop again once your body turns up its metabolism.

2) 'starvation mode' as I understand it is the idea that your body will adjust its metabolism to the amount of food you consistently give it. If you've cut waaaay back and there's a day you just can't stand it anymore and eat, THAT is the day that you'll gain huge amounts of weight (even if your calories still are restricted). Say you cut calories to 1200 (something you should NEVER do, 1200 is waaaaaaaaaay low for someone our size). Your body turns its metabolism down to 1200, too. You're not losing, not gaining. Things are balanced. One day you're PMSing and you eat 2000 calories--still below "calculators", but more than you usually eat. Your body will store those 800 extra calories. This is how women "diet up to 300 pounds". Trust me, I've done it!

3) If you are going to eat that many calories, they must be CLEAN calories. You cannot eat 2000 calories of junk food! You'll store it in a heartbeat. Your body doesn't have anything to do with those calories. Your body has stuff to do with proteins and vitamins and fiber and phytochemicals. Twinkies, it doesn't have a use for. ;)

Wow, I wrote an epic! :dizzy:

01-25-2006, 12:43 PM
I'd start high.

Personally, I started at 310 pounds aiming for 1800-2200 calories a day.

Definitely start high. And if you aren't losing weight, eat a little less. If you start low and slow down your metabolism its not just a matter of switching back to the high number, there will be an adjustment period to get your metabolism back (a few weeks?).

The high end of the target ranges will seem higher when you have to write down everything you eat, compared to when you are in 'Amnesia Eating' mode and eating ice cream and doritos after dinner.

01-26-2006, 05:35 AM
If you are going to eat that many calories, they must be CLEAN calories. You cannot eat 2000 calories of junk food! You'll store it in a heartbeat. Your body doesn't have anything to do with those calories. Your body has stuff to do with proteins and vitamins and fiber and phytochemicals.

You bring up a very good point with this. I think we tend to fall for all the new diet foods and forget that what sounds good on paper does not always translate into good health. That is the reason I love Fitday because I can keep an eye on where my vitamins and minerals are. Since I have been working to lose weight I have really cleaned up my diet and have discovered that many of the foods I crave are exactly the foods I need. It makes for some strange food combinations but lucky for me I don't have to cook for other people.

Recently I noticed an interesting pattern. First off I wake up very early every morning, like about 3:00 am or so. There is no reason for it I just feel awake and ready to start the day at that time. Getting up that early has it's advantages. I have time to study for school, clean house, exercise and most importantly can have the chance for some nice leisurely time petting my cats. I can always hit the grocery store when there is no one there which makes me a very happy camper. The problem has been breakfast.

Usually I'm not hungry when I get up but I need to eat something or I'll pay for it later in the morning. I have tried every conceivable breakfast you can think of but no matter what or how much I get a big blood sugar drop about 9-10 am. It did not mater if I ate at 8 am the same thing happens. It seems to be the only time of day it happend. I have needed to find a breakfast with "staying power" I have tried cooked cereals, dry cereals, high protein, smoothies... well let's say the list is endless. One morning I took a look in the frig and realized I had a ton of vegetables I had roasted off and needed to eat. I made myself a big plate of veg. I really like vegetable but let's face it its not something you think of for breakfast at least in western culture. I was surprised to discover that it totally stopped my mid morning slump and I actually felt very energetic. Usually when I would get my mid morning slump I would eat anything in sight. Of course that was usually junk food. I have stuck with that plan and it has helped like you wouldn't believe. I figure there are nutrients I need that time of day because I don't think it would be working for me so consistently. When mid morning rolls around I just feel hungry in a regular way and I don't have those terrible cravings. I also discovered a product called Go Lean which is a vegetarian breakfast sausage. It has about 25 kcals per ounce so I mix that in with my veg. I can get 4 ouches daily for less than 100 kcals Thats not a bad deal

I know this is not everyones cup of tea but it has really helped me a lot. I tend too really need a lot of veg everyday. They say to try and get 5 servings of fruits and veg daily. I really need more about ten or so to feel good. It goes to show we are all different and we need to listen to our bodies and give it what it is asking for.