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Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Calculate the Calories You Need
to Eat to Maintain and to Lose

How many calories do you need to maintain your current weight, depending on your activity level?

Get an estimate (and remember that no two bodies are the same, so it's a rough number):

Caloric Needs Calculator

To lose about a pound a week: cut 500 calories a day.
To lose about 2 pounds a week: cut 1000 calories a day.

Depending on if my activity is light or moderate, I need between 2600 and 2900 to sustain my bulk. To lose a couple pounds a week, I need to cut back to 1600 to 1900. That's in the general ballpark I expected, and 1600 is often recommended (anywhere from 1200 to 1600 is very usual) for gradual weight loss, an intake level of calories that leaves sufficient room for adequate nutrition from various food groups.

Unless you really wanna risk damaging your metabolism (or damaging it more), don't go under 1200 calories. You'll be skimping on nutrition and your body may think, "famine, famine!"

Remember that as you LOSE weight, you need to recalculate, to see where you need to tweak.

If you prefer: Put in the number of the weight you'd (realistically) like to be. Calculate it based on a (realistic) activity level you'd maintain for LIFE. That's the calorie count you need to STAY at that weight. If we eat at a calorie level that MAINTAINS a certain weight, we could learn how to eat the way we'd have to for maintenance, and lose as well. It's not a bad idea, but it means slower weight loss, which makes some folks nuts.

I calculated 1900 or so for my desired weight (the goal). What that means is that the generous "dieting" caloric intake is actually the "maintenance" caloric intake.

My sister (who's normal weight) maintains at between 1800 and 2000 and she exercises nearly every day. She has no thyroid disorder. So, realistically, I'd need to eat less or exercise more. I might maintain at 1700 or 1800. Either way, for the weight to go away and stay away, I can never eat OFF diet.

It's a lifetime diet, a lifetime of caloric awareness. It can't end. The vigilance can never end. The restraint can't end. The deprivation is permanent if the weight loss is to be permanent.

Hard to take truth, sometimes.

That's just how it is.

Pause and consider.

What are your key numbers?


new*me said...

i will have to check to find out what my intake would be at goal which is about 160. I get goosebumps just thinking about being at that weight and maintaining. I won't look at it as deprivation but rather loving my body for allowing me to get to that size ;)

Katschi said...

In order to maintain my current weight of 274, I need 2658 cal/day.
So to lose 2 lbs/week I would need to cut down to 1658 or about 33 WW points per day which is very doable for me. According to the calculator, I would need 1976 cal/day to maintain my goal weight of 160 lbs. This is considering light activity levels & I'm 5'8" tall. Being tall really helps!
I don't see this as deprivation. What I see as deprivation is this fat suit I'm wearing because it's depriving me of the energy & joy I could be enjoying at a healthier weight.
Thanks for linking to the calculator. Now I know what I need to do.

Katschi said...

Also, I agree that I'll have to be diligent forever if I want to be slim. It doesn't take much for me to put it back on & if I don't pay attention to what I'm eating I run in to trouble.
I had thyroid cancer twice & lost my thyroid. I'm on meds now that are a higher dosage & it seems to be helping the weight loss efforts this time.

Lauren said...

Hi me name is Lauren, it is my first time visiting you blog. I really like it. I have added it to my inspirational blogs section. I would alo try to figure out all those crazy numbers but It's so compicated I dont' really know! I hope it works for you though...

come visit me at www.wannabescrawny.blogspot.com

Shortcake said...

Okay, I have to say, I adore your blog! I have not got to read a whole lot but the Once upon a diet is such a clever name! And! I love the pretty princess them! So cute. I can not wait to read about your journey so far! :) I want to say good luck... but I do not think luck has much to do with it! I wish you the best for your journey towards your goal weight!!

Shortcake said...

O' My blog is www.inthelandofdieting.blogspot.com! :)

Scale Junkie said...

3696 to maintain my current weight and honestly I can gain weight without eating over 3696...I think I'm broken haha

Shortcake said...

Thank you so much for the advice! I appreciate it so much! I did not know about 3 fat chicks. I have been exploring it today, awesome!!! I really appreciate your help!

Shanna said...

Its all about the calorie intake. I have that so imbedded in my brain, that I see food as how many calories are in it, rather than what it actually is!

Here's my numbers 2265 to maintain, and 1265 to lose 2 pounds/wk (I'm a shorty- 5'3). But factor in my thryoid & its probably even less than that! Which is doable, just doen't leave much wiggle room.

I am not keeping track like I should, but I am making smarter, lower calorie choices! =)