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General Diet Plans and Questions General diet questions, support for various diet plans other than those listed below.

VERY confused...

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Old 02-25-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
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So I have checked a few places online and based on my not very active lifestyle and no additional activity- adding in my height, weight, age, etc. it says my body burns almost 2600 calories a day? how can this be? I know that I read that you need to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound. And I know that burning 900 calories is a lot harder than it seems. But at this rate, if I'm going to eat... say 1500 calories a day... wouldn't it mean I'd be losing about a pound every 3 days without exercise? Help! I'm generally pretty good with math, but I feel like I must be missing something in this equation. Thanks
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:30 PM   #2
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How did you get 2600 calories/day? I used the calculator on Freedieting.com (can't link to it) and putting in the information of 18 years old, 190 pounds, 5'7", and a desk job (little to no exercise) I get a maintenance calorie burn of 2012 for a female and a 2211 calorie burn for a male.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:31 PM   #3
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These calculators are notoriously inaccurate. They're based on averages, not individuals. You might only burn 2000 calories, or you might burn 4000.

It is very possible that on 1500 calories you might lose 2 lbs a week (1 lb every 3 days). It's also very possible that you would lose more or less.

Also some people find that what they eat matters. "A calorie is a calorie" is a bit misleading if you think that means you will lose equally well on 1500 calories of snickers bars as on 1500 calories of lean proteins and produce.

What you eat, can affect your metabolism (how much you burn). I know for myself (more so now than twenty years ago) it very much does depend on what I'm eating. To lose the same amount of weight, I can eat more calories (about 500 more I'd estimate from my food journals) on low-carb eating. Somehow, low-carb seems to increase my metabolism (I do feel I have more energy).

You don't have to figure out the math, you just have to make sure that what you're doing is working. Trial and error are the only tools you need. Experiment with different foods, food plans, calorie levels, and exercise plans. You'll find a system that works for you. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to move you in the right direction.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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kidd- i used fitday.com for mine- don't know if that's what made the difference or not.

i do know that i must have consumed a great deal more than 2000 calories a day based on my weight gains and also the fact that I'm having an extremely difficult time staying under 2000 (of course, i don't like/eat many veggies and have had way too many "have to" go out to eats lately for various events for friends and regardless of being somewhat careful, i find it next to impossible... anyway, i digress...)

kaplods- i see your point as well. i just wanted a general idea. though from the sounds of it, there really isn't one. i really just started this a week or so ago and got lucky to lose the 3 pounds i have. just wanted a start off point...

for now i'm kind of using my old weight watchers stuff (which maybe would have worked had i put any effort in whatsoever) and some calorie counting- just to get an idea.

thanks to both of you for your replies

ETA: way to go on your weight loss kaplods- i'm always inspired when i see people who have worked hard, stuck to it, and lost the weight

Last edited by whoknew : 02-25-2011 at 06:05 PM. Reason: additional comment
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