The normal calorie range to lose weight depends on your current weight. There is no correct number to start at for all weights and changes as you lose.
At your current weight of 239, 2200 a day is a fine starting place for weight loss, to get used to eating less than you were before and you will have at least some loss at that number without exercise. Adding in exercise will increase your loss at that starting number. After a few weeks you will know if you need to lower that number, either to get going or to increase the rate of loss if you are losing too slowly for your liking, up to about 2 lbs a week is a decent and healthy rate of loss. If you aren't adding exercise, then you probably will need to do so sooner rather than later.
If you haven't used one already, there are online calculators to give you an idea of what you need to eat to maintain your daily activity level. Try searching for caloriesperhour and use theirs, for example. That is a jumping off place for maintaining your weight and how to cut back to start losing.
As for alloting some calories a day for whatever you want, that's great. If you have eaten a balanced diet throughout the day then treating yourself while staying within your limits is a great way to stay motivated, rather than denying yourself everything just because it's "bad" for you. For example, just because ice cream is full of sugar and fat doesn't mean sugar and fat are unhealthy. In fact, they ARE healthy, they are macronutrients your body requires. A small amount of ice cream is both a treat, AND provides nutrients for your body. The hard part is staying within your limits.
I'm on the "Eat-as-much-as-possible-while-still-losing-weight" diet. It's working.
Last edited by Tarisaande; 02-10-2010 at 02:51 PM.