Weight Loss Support - Calorie Confusion HELP!

View Full Version : Calorie Confusion HELP!

02-25-2006, 02:24 AM
ok, I've heard that to maintain a current weight you need to consume your weight times 11 in calories. For me that is roughly 4000 calories! I don't really eat all that much and most of what I drink is water. I've kicked my 64 ounces of coca cola a day habit :carrot: (I replaced with water and Iced herbal tea!).

I'm not real sure how many calories I need to eat in order to have the energy I need to get my exercise in and I'd really love some help on this. On the first I'm joining a local gym so I can really get my groove on :ebike:

02-25-2006, 03:46 AM
Well, there a couple of schools of thought on the subject. Actually, offhand I can think of three.

What seems to be the most common is to slash your calories all the way down to 1200. It's not something I recommend; it doesn't strike me as particularly healthy. And you'll probably be hungry all the time, especially if you're exercising. And hunger will eventually lead to overeating, and overeating will lead, at the very least, to you spending a day or two kicking yourself.

The other most common I have come across is this: figure out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight (3FC has a calculator here (http://www.3fatchicks.com/diets/dcn.php)), and cut between 500 - 1000 calories to lose from 1 to 2 pounds a week. The only drawback to this is it will require occasional readjusting of your calories.

The third I can think of offhand, and it seems to be much less common than the other two, is to figure out how many calories you need to consume to maintain your goal weight and eat that many. It will most likely be fewer calories than you're eating now (or you'd weigh that much ;)), and the idea is that if you get used to eating "maintenance" calories it will be more of a lifestyle change and you'll become used to eating the "right" amount of calories. This is the method the Navy used to promote and probably still does. The downside is that you may experience some hunger & some difficulty getting used to the calorie allotment, and initially you might lose more quickly than expected, and it might be a bit difficult to figure out the proper level (as it varies, of course, by how active you anticipate remaining).

The last is more or less the method I am following right now (I marry it with the general principles from SugarBusters--whole grains, lean proteins). I'm not exactly burning down the scales, but I'm not hungry. ;)

02-25-2006, 08:49 AM
Those counters don't work for everyone. For my weight my maintenance is something stupid like 3000 calories. I never ate that much!

What I did was I worked out what I was eating on a typical day - it was about 2500. I knew that I was putting ON weight at that amount so I dropped 1000 calories from that. I have been eating 1500 calories for months now and have dropped 28 pounds which is about a pound a week. If I really did burn 3000 calories a day I'd have dropped 83 pounds! I'd also not have put the weight on in the first place!

So my advice is work out what you eat in a typical day - be completely honest and include drinks. If you are still putting weight on at the moment drop 1000. If you are maintaining drop 500 (for a pound a week drop). Dont go below about 1400 because it gives you nowhere to go further down the line. I'm trying to stay at 1500 and wont go down unless it really stalls.

Good on you for joining a gym. I go and its fab! The increase in fitness you get really quickly is amazing! Ooh the other thing is have a good look at what you eat and make sure you get lots of good food. If you havent got many calories to play with you wanna make sure its going to energise you. At the moment I'm obsessed with porridge (oatmeal if you are American!). Its high energy food!

02-25-2006, 12:20 PM
I started at about 350 and am currently losing while averaging around 2000 calories a day. Some days it is a bit more, some a bit less. I would start higher and then come down rather than start too low. The larger we are, the more calories we need to mantain our bodies. Maybe you could start at around 2000 - 2200 and then adjust down a bit as the weight comes off. One of the reasons that diets have always failed for me in the past was that I tried to eat way too few calories (like going down to 1200 or one some occasions less), being famished and then eating the first thing I could get my hands on.

02-25-2006, 12:25 PM
Oh - and congratulations on joining a gym. I started about a month ago and find I am really liking it! It is amazing for me to think of the difference only a few months of exercise has made for me. My energy and stamina have improved so much.

Less of Lena
02-25-2006, 01:09 PM
JennyElf, first of all, congratulations on joining up with a gym and getting more active. More activity means more calories burned! Hooray!!!

Have you considered journaling your daily progress? Not a blog, but a Diet/Fitness-type journal. I've found that using a Diet/Fitness Journal has really helped me "see" what's going on. I use FitdayPC (the paid version of the free online program Fitday). There are many others out there, as well: Nuitridiary, Myfooddiary, BalanceLog and more. Some are free, others have a one-time fee, others have a monthly fee. Try a few of them and see what works for you, your lifestyle and your personality.

In essence, they help crystalize and show you what your daily intake is (calories eaten) and what your output is (calories burned, either through exercise, activity or just the simple act of living and breathing!). Eye-opening!

I've found that since I started recording (about 3 weeks ago), I'm much more aware of what I'm doing. For me, I try to just make sure I have a deficit every day (calories eaten is less than calories burned). So, if your Calories Burned is currently 4000 (the journal program you use will help you figure out what your number is), and you eat 3000, you have a 1000 deficit!

Try a journal!