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Old 08-04-2011, 11:15 PM   #1
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Default When to re-calculate calorie allowance

I've seen several formulas and calculators for calculating how many calories you should consume to lose weight. The one many of the resources I use is present weight times seven. Well, as I shrink that number will get less and less. So my question is when do I recalculate? Should I do it everyday, once a week, or every 5-10 lbs? This is so confusing

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Old 08-04-2011, 11:29 PM   #2
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I think you can safely do it every 5-10 pounds or so. Think about it this way: if you are using weight times 7, recalculating every 5 pounds means making adjustments of 35 calories. Do you think your calorie counting is much more accurate than this, so that more frequent adjustments are even meaningful?

Speaking just for myself, I don't think my daily calorie count is accurate to better than +/- 35 calories - there is just too much variation in the measurements of things, natural variation in the sizes of items like fruits, in the moisture content of whatever I happen to be weighing, and so on. And when you add in the natural variation in my own vigilance (I don't keep a rigorous count every day) it's really probably not even accurate to better than 100 calories give or take. So I don't stress about accuracy at the level of less than +/- 35 calories a day.

If you just think about shaving 35 calories every 5 pounds, or shaving 70 calories every 10 pounds, you'll be just fine. I have made my own adjustments somewhat less frequently than that, in fact - probably every 15 pounds or so.
High weight: 275 (August 2009) *** Low weight: 155 (October 2012)
Today, working off a partial regain. Current weight: 189.
* Make the best choice I can make, with every choice.
* Remember that the temptation in front of me is not the last of its kind that I will ever see; say "I'll pass today."
* Say "no!" to my whiny inner five-year-old.

Last edited by carter; 08-04-2011 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:37 PM   #3
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Good point I thought of that just as I hit send. Lol I hate when I do that . I think I'll just drop 100 calories off every time I lose 14-15 lbs. It will just be easier that way.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:39 PM   #4
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With any method you use to determine caloric needs, it's an estimate. As long as you are creating significant calorie deficits you should still be losing. I've never heard of the x7 rule- I'm not sure that will work once you keep losing (I mean, 140x7 is only like 980 calories!). I know that for your own peace-of-mind, it's nice to have a guide though. I honestly wouldn't worry about it too much- it does get tougher to create that calorie deficit as you get smaller, but I think you'd continue to lose for a while if you kept your calories at your present level (192x7=1344, right?).

"Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures" -Lovelle Drachman
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:54 PM   #5
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I ate 1350ish for the entire weight loss spectrum (288 to 160) and I continued to lose about 10lbs/month for the whole time. Maybe I'm a weird case though.

Started July 1, 2012 @ 290lbs
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:18 AM   #6
Starting again
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S/C/G: 289/ticker/128

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I've lost 34 lbs in less than three months eating 1600 a day the entire time. I'll adjust my calories when I stop losing at this rate. It's working pretty good for me right now.

Current mini-goal: Get back to where I was in February (205)

Positive things I need to remember:
I'm at a better starting point since I didn't gain it all back yet.
I quit smoking cold turkey in Nov 2011.
I'm still trying so I can't say I've failed.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:20 AM   #7
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I have a calorie range that I aim for. I average 1500 cals a day, and I believe that has been my average for my entire weight loss.

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Old 08-05-2011, 12:32 AM   #8
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I don't plan on recalculating if at all possible. I'm eating 1500 cals per day now and really don't want to ever go lower than that. (And the x7 calculation is waaay too low in my opinion, for my weight anyway.) If I stop losing, I'll have to increase my activity level or something. I do think my weight loss will eventually slow down the nearer I get to goal, but that's ok!
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:46 AM   #9
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That's the equation in a biggest loser cook book I have but it doesn't say if you have to recalculate or just keep with those calories. It's also the amount of calories that my calorie tracking app uses as the numbers match. I'll never go below 1200 as that's not healthy for someone at my height. Another calculator said I can have as much as 1800 calories. I think I'll flux between them like the curves plan does. I wasnt losing as much as I was looking to while eating 1800 calories, so I'm thinking 1500 is more like the right number, I don't want to get too low and slow my metabolism!
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:13 AM   #10
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I'm eating an average of 1450 a day (I'm calorie cycling, so some days higher, some days lower), and I'm going to keep it at that until my weight loss slows significantly (presuming it does). Ideally, the lower I get in weight, the more stamina I will have gained from doing exercise over the same period of time. So I'll be able to ramp that up and not have to lower my calories since I'm very comfortable at this level.

Last edited by cortandcooper; 08-05-2011 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:45 PM   #11
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I don't plan to recalculate. I started at 1200 (slightly more than 1000-cal deficit) and I am still at 1200 (slightly under a 1000-cal deficit). There are a few days when I just naturally gor under 1200, say 1180ish, but overall 1200 is hard enough.

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Old 08-05-2011, 01:48 PM   #12
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I found that when I went from 185lbs to 131lbs, I didn't need to adjust at all. I didn't really stall. I think that's because I did calorie cyclying and also because I added exercise for the last 20lbs or so. Anyway, I was consistently averaging 1100-1200 cals. That's what I do now.
No more scales! I am taking the scenic route...
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:07 PM   #13
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I just stay at the same level until weight loss starts slowing down.
Countdown to NEW GOAL!

GOAL REACHED JUNE 15, 2011 !!!!
Progress Pictures Here!
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:21 PM   #14
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When to recalculate? When you stop losing.

Some people recalculate every 10 pounds or so, but others stay within the same calorie allowance until it slows down significantly or stops entirely. Then they start switching things up.

Eat as much as you can while still losing weight type-of-thing.
~Made of star stuff~
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:10 PM   #15
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I use FitDay and it calculates my calorie needs for me based on my metabolism, which I've entered manually according to my activity levels. So it automatically adjusts according to my weight loss. I'm not losing a huge amount, though, so it doesn't make much difference, and I could probably stick to the same number throughout if I really wanted to.
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