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DUH! About how many calories should I have?

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Old 01-17-2007, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default DUH! About how many calories should I have?

So now that I'm not doing points or any other system, I'm having a DUH! moment.....

About how many calories should I be consuming per day to lose weight? I have found a math formula somewhere...but can't remember where.

I'm 24, have a moderate*ish* activity level (standing/always moving while on the job and usually at least 30 minutes of exercise per day) I weigh 236 lbs. and am working on loosing 2 lbs a week (more would be great obviously...but I'm realistic )

I am new to Fitday.com and LOVE being able to see my days worth of food broken down by calories, protien, fat ect. But now that I actually know how many cals I am getting, I'd like to know the number I should be shooting for.

Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:39 PM   #2
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It's really trial and error for each individual person - depending on how much you are burning every day. In my opinion, it is best to start "high" and then look at weight loss over time to see results and adjust the numbers accordingly. Ideally, you should find the "sweet spot" the place where you can eat as many calories as possible while still losing weight.

Eating as many healthy calories as possible is a good thing - being hungry sucks, it gives you more opportunities to get nutrition you need and being satisfied can help you stay motivated. In addition, if you start at a very low number of calories per day, it is difficult to reduce calories later, if needed (many people plateau during weight loss).

A good place to start is to track your calories for a week (every bite!) and find out what you are eating now. Then make small changes downwards until you start losing weight.

It is a process requiring patience, but you are WORTH IT.
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:51 PM   #3
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Oh thank you for responding!
I have been recording my food for two weeks now (last week with a journal and no cal info, this week with fitday and with cal info) I am eating a variety of things, lots of fruits and veggies or protien as snacks between meals. I have been hitting around 1500 cals so far, I was surprised. Thought it would be more. Didn't know if that was what someone would generally
eat if they were maintaining, or loosing. ya know? New to calorie counting so........

And I have *someone* in my life, you know the type, who is all about the UNDER 600 cal a day Old School weight loss advocate. Soooo....just wondering what the average was.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:11 PM   #4
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Are you losing at 1500? 2 weeks, 4 pounds lost.....I'm just looking at your ticker...it wouldn't be a bad place to start. You want to stay above 1200 a day to stay healthy, that gives you a few steps down to go if you should hit a flat spot in your losing. It is a really personal thing, tho. Play with it for a little while, see what gives you the results you want. For example, give 1500 a shot for a month. If you lose 1-2 pounds a week at that level, that's the sweet spot for now.

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Come join us in in the Calorie Counters forum!
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:15 PM   #5
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A formula I read, I think in the Biggest Loser Cookbook, was to take your current weight and multiple by 7. That allows for a deficit of approximately 7000 calories each week, which would result in a loss of 2 lbs per week. So for your current weight, you could start at 1680, and then adjust that upwards if you are losing more than 1 - 2 lbs per week, or downwards if you don't lose.

I agree with Glory that you want to start as high as possible though. Considering your age, you probably have a higher metabolism that some of us "older" ladies, so you could probably start at 1800 and see how that works. Good luck with it.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:38 PM   #6
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Yikes! If I multiplied my current weight by 7, that's only 1015 calories!! I don't think I could live on that few of calories....
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:59 PM   #7
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yeah that formula doesnt work well for under about 220 lbs and also doesnt account for exercise, its trying to get all 7000 from diet.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:23 PM   #8
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I had the same questoin regarding calories. I am afraid I am not eating enough. I need to keep track for a few days to get a ball park where I am. Fruits and veggies (I'm in pHase I) don't have that many calories! Since Phase I is often such a large weight loss, is anyone else concerned that muscle is being lost? How do we know that it is fat?

I am just finishing day 3.
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:27 AM   #9
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I think that the Biggest Loser calculation says something like 7 times current weight but not below 1200.

Exercise helps to keep from losing muscle, especially aerobic exercise (that is, heart rate in the 'fat burn' zone for 20 minutes or more--fat burn being 70% of max rate for your age). Muscle tissue burns fat--another reason exercise helps. But you also have to be eating enough calories that your body doesn't turn to the muscle. The brain has to have glucose to function, and it will get it from wherever it can. That's also why having three meals plus two snacks is a good plan--blood glucose doesn't get too low to trigger muscle loss.

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Old 01-18-2007, 08:42 AM   #10
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Thisismytime certainly has a one up on a lot of folks who struggle for a starting point. I wish wish wish most folks would find fitday.com and count their intake before they start. It'd be great if everyone knew what they usually eat and could just cut from there. Cut some, cut anything.

I agree with Gina ... if 1500 works ... stick with it.
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:11 AM   #11
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THanks so much guys!! What a great help! Now I have an idea for a starting off point!

I just have been hitting around 1500 for the past few days this week, since I have been recording, but I'm eating about the same as last week so I am assuming that was close. Good to know I could eat a little more! Thats always fun haha I will try you guys' suggestions and play around a little with my total #. THANKS!!
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:11 AM   #12
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Oh heavens no, I certainly wouldn't advocate eating only 1000 calories, but for Thistime, the formula could be used as a starting point. And no, it doesn't take activity into account, so those calories should be added back in.
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:40 PM   #13
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Like SusanB noted, I think the key is to add up a NORMAL week's worth of calories, meaning pre-getting healthy..the way you were eating that got you to where you are now, not where you're going in the future..which is down of course. You want to start your plan eating as much as possible and still lose. This way you can have somewhere to go (down in calories) as you start losing.
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