Post # 1
I’m trying to figure out how many calories I need per day – I’m 5’5″/170 have always eaten ~1500 calories or less per day and, no matter how little I ate (I once did 1000 calories/day for a month) or what ratio of fat/carbs/protein (I’ve done the Paleo, Zone diet, low fat, frutarian, vegan) I could never lose any weight. I’m currently trying to see what increasing my calories does (my trainer said, “If something isn’t working, do something else”) thinking that maybe I’ve been hampering my metabolism by eating too little. But eating 1700 calories per day just seems like I’m eating SO MUCH and so I am curious how many calories/day other women eat to successfully maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.
Post # 3
I don’t count, but you should definitely up your calories if you’re eating that little! Most women need in the neighborhood of 1800-2000.
The more calories you eat (to a point), the more you burn.
Post # 4
You shouldn’t eat less than 1200 per day, and 1200 – 1500 is a good range to lose.
It sounds like you might need more exercise? I am also 5’5″ and if I start eating under 1500 I lose weight right away… but I also lead a pretty active lifestyle.
Post # 5
I liked using MyFitnessPal to track my calories. My typical non-active daily intake is around 1700ish, but when I add in exercise I eat back those calories. MFP lets you enter in what you eat and will break it down by fats, carbs, protein, and any other nutrient you desire. It will let you enter exercise and give you a revised daily goal based on that.
Post # 6
@lisaelanna: I lost 30 pounds last year eating between 1600-2000 calories a day.
Post # 7
It takes 1600 calories a day for your body to complete metabolic functions so you definitely need much more than that! I don’t count calories I practice intuitive eating. I eat whole foods and listen to my body when it’s hungry, full, etc.
I was just reading a blog the other day where the woman ate 3000 calories a day (on a whole foods diet), worked out regularly and was losing weight consistently!
Post # 8
Are you skipping any meals? I used to skip breakfast, but as soon as I started eating breakfast again (and without making changes to my other meals), I lost about five pounds.
Post # 9
@QueenieB: Exercise is definitely not the problem – I work out 3-5 days a week at a very high level. For about 8 months I’ve been attending the Tabata/extreme bootcamps at my gym, plus an abs class twice a week, plus doing a run group on Wednesdays. I’m consistently lifting the heaviest weights, doing the most reps and I am one of the fastest runners. Not trying to toot my own horn, just trying to convey that I am working out really hard (and consistently)…which has actually become really frustrating that I’m in great shape but still not losing (and actually gaining weight and inches).
@Mrs. Blue Whale: I don’t skip any meals and I try to eat a good balance of proteins/carbs/veggies at every meal, though I am admittedly not as good about eating veggies at breakfast.
@DaneLady: I use the LoseIt app, which sounds pretty similar, to log my food every day. I don’t normally eat back what I worked off working out though – it just seems like so much food every day. Maybe that will help…
Post # 10
I lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle and can barely take breaks at work as of late (hence “sedentary”), so I stick to a balanced, ~1600-calorie-per-day diet. I’ve been doing this for close to a month now, and I feel like I’ve lost a few pounds already.
Post # 11
I’m 5’7 and currently weigh 140 pounds, I’ve lost 25 pounds since December ’12. I eat 1200 calories a day, but sometimes I spill over toward 1300. I’m addicted to italian ice and I refuse to give it up! I eat completely clean, all natural foods, steamed chicken, vegetables, fruits, granola, etc. I also run 2 miles a morning 5-6 days a week. I’m hoping to lose another 10 pounds before the wedding. I use “MyFitnessPal” to track calories, and “MapMyRun” to track my running – they’re both amazing. Have you tried to up your cardio and lower your weight training? Do you cheat with your diet frequently?
You can find websites on the internet that you can enter your stats into and it’ll tell you what you’re supposed to be eating a day. Have you tried meeting with a nutritionist? You definitely shouldn’t try that 1000cal/day routine again, because your body will go into survival mode. I know a lot of people who have been in your situation, they work their butts off and diet constantly and their bodies don’t change a bit, and it sucks, but I checked out your post with your engagement pictures, and you’re beautiful with an amazing shape!
Post # 12
@lisaelanna: Well actually if you work out that much, your body might be going into starvation mode and not wanting to let go of weight because you’re not eating enough for your high level of workout.
Trying something new and eating a little more probably wouldn’t hurt 🙂
Post # 13
I’m 5’6″, and I maintained my weight at ~170 lbs eating about 2000-2200 calories per day. If I don’t count my calories and just eat what I want, that’s where my body naturally stays. However, I want to lose about 35 pounds, so my daily goal is ~1600 calories. I don’t bother with paying attention to my carbs/fat/protein ratio. I eat whatever I want, in amounts that fit into my calorie allowance.
Of course, calorie intake is only half of the equation. I keep a really close eye on how many calories I expend on a daily basis. I’ve had a Fitbit for a year now, and it’s enabled me to see very clearly how my activity level affects my weight-loss efforts. Eating 1600 calories/day, if I’m active (>10,000 steps/day), I can easily lose a pound or more every week. If I’m mostly sedentary (~5,000 steps/day) it goes down to about half a pound per week. And on those really active days (my record is 16,000 steps), I know that I can safely eat quite a few more calories to make up for my expenditures.
You mentioned that you don’t eat back your exercise calories, which might be a good place to start, even if you only eat back half. You don’t want to get to a point where you aren’t eating enough to satisfy your basal metabolic rate (which is close to 1600 even if you’re in a coma – I don’t go below 1600 ever if I can help it, even though I know I’d lose faster if I did).
If the amount of food concerns you, try adding some calorie-dense foods like avocado, nuts, and full-fat dairy. 100 calories of nuts takes up waaaay less space than 100 calories of zucchini, so you won’t get uncomfortably full.
Post # 14
I use the LoseIt app which tells me how many calories to eat (just over 1600 for me, and when I exercise I can eat those back). Following that, I lose weight.
Post # 15
It’ll take longer, but it’s so much better to eat more when you’re trying to lose weight. Let yourself eat 1,700 to 1,800 calories/day. That way you won’t binge when you quit dieting. The thing is you don’t have to stop dieting when you eat a normal, but still relatively small amount of food. Stop dieting and start making a healthy, moderate diet a way of life. I lost those last ten pounds, but only after I started eating more.
Post # 16
Are you accurately measuring out serving sizes? I lost a lot of weight using LoseIt, then stalled until I started actually measuring out serving sizes and was really shocked at how much I was actually eating vs. how much I thought I was eating.
I’m 5’8 and around 170 right now, but I want to lose another 20 lbs. My body just really wants to be 165-170, while I want it to be 150!! If you’re working out that hard and lifting really heavy weights, you might need to eat more. I do CrossFit, and I’ve actually gained a bit of weight since starting, but I’m pretty sure it’s mostly muscle as my clothes still fit. Also, I normally don’t eat back the calories I burn off–I eat between 1500-1800 calories in a day, sticking around 1500 unless I feel hungry/weak from a workout. I usually find it’s pretty easy for me to stay within these limits, and I’ve found that most software and exercise machines way overestimate the calorie burn, at least for me.