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Doubts with mainteance calories and BMR calculators!

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I've done some research with BMR calculators:

"Your estimated BMR is: 1,334 calories/day"
"You burn 1610 calories during a typical day."

I'm 16 years old, 1.72m and 51kg (5'8'' and 112 pounds), in Anorexia Recovery. I accept that I have to gain some weight, but I'm worried about what I'll do later to maintain - I'm afraid that I'll never stop gaining and that my weight will never stabilize.

I've been thinking about stopping this calorie-counting thing, but it's really hard. I wish I was like normal people who eat without counting calories, and they seem to maintain their weight. I ask myself, HOW DO THEY MAINTAIN????? They don't even care if they're eating chocolates AND mac&cheese at the same day! (i envy that though). Because I feel that if I stop counting and just eat whatever I want like a normal person would, I'll gain too much weight cause I'll be eating far beyond what I burn (that would be around 1600cals, theorically). I don't have the time to do any exercise, either.

Another doubt is: Most of you guys seem to eat more than what calculators say and still maintain your weight with, like, 1800+ calories. How is that possible??

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It is because if exercise the calculators are your basal metabolic rate as in what you burn doing nothing active. For example I ate 2100 calories today but burned 1000 with exercise thus I have negative. One only gains weigh when the calorie intake is not matching use of energy
Hey! I have practically same measurements as you! Been eating roughly 2000-2500 everyday keep me updated on how your weight gain goes!

Listen to your body rather than calculators. How much are you eating to gain? You will probably maintain on a little under that. 

Im shorter (5'3/4) and the weight you are now, i maintain on 2300 calories a day.. calculators would tell me a lot different but my metabolism is faster then what they suggest for a few reasons

1. Im 17, so teens metabolisms are faster and generally underestimated (obviously counts for you since you are 16)

2. They seem to underestimate everyone - partly because most people underestimate how active they are in day to day life. I do no "exercise" but i do a lot of walking just because i have to get places, and that involves lots of hills in my area so its extra work)

3. Anorexia recovery can speed up your metabolism. People who lose weights metabolisms adapt to a lower intake, so they maintain on a little bit more than what they lost on.. there is quite a lot of evidence out there that they maintain on less than a person of the same height/weight/age than someone who never lost weight.. Same goes for people who have gained weight (providing they ate a weight gain amount) your body gets better at burning a higher number of calories.. which is why some people just stop gaining on like 2500-3000 calories.


Because nobody actually only burns their BMR. Do you understand what BMR is?

You easily burn 500 calories more than your BMR throughout the day. Easily.

This thing keeps double posting. sorry

I understand that you worry about later on but that's not going to help you now with the journey you're making. Why not focus on what you have to do now to reach a healthy weight? When you reach that goal you can start to think about the next step. 

One step at a time... that's what is helping me often.

Good luck on your journey.

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I had two points to add:

1) I don't think these calculators are suitable for people under the age of 21 years. This is because you are still growing and developing therefore the body has a higher energy demand than that of a fully grown adult. I think that young people need about 500 calories per day more than adults. It is very important that this additional energy demand is met at this time in your life for the healthy development of your organs and in order to achieve peak bone density.

2) Apparently a Total Energy Expenditure calculator is more accurate than the BMR*activity level calculator. Try this one iture-advanced .

Thanks for the replies! You're helping me a lot. <3

Well, I seem to maintain my weight when I eat 1300, and gain when I eat more than 1500. Does it mean my metabolism isn't working right yet? I don't know if I'm still in starvation mode, or if what I think is "weight gain" isn't actually weight.

For example, yesterday in the morning I weighed myself and I was 51.1kg, maintaining with 1300. Yesterday I ate 1750 cals, and today when I weighed again I was 500 grams (1.10 pounds) heavier. But according to this 'Total Energy Expenditure', around 1700 calories is what I should eat to maintain.

That's why I'm so scared about eating more, I'm afraid I won't stop gaining weight like, ever. Or that I'll gain TONS if I eat 2000 to gain, like some people have to do. But I also think it might be because I ate yesterday before going to sleep and didn't have the time to burn it off, or is just water weight or food weight. I don't know, I'm lost and trying to fight the ED thoughts. :( What do you think? Did I really gain weight? Is my metabolism still **** up because of starvation? I really hope I can maintain with 1700+ when I get to a healthy weight and stop gaining... :(

You will maintain on more if you eat more to gain

The body doesn't work like that. I promise. Any day to day fluctuations are water-due to sodium/carbs/hydration and countless other things

Your maintenance at 1300 means that your body is used to 1300-when you step your calories up it hangs onto water for your muscles for a few days (in case the increase in calories was a one time thing-think of our primal selves-we were able to take down a big animal and ate it-but for the next week we were hungry, so our body needs to store that) and then it realizes that you're still eating well so it lets go of that.

 The nutrients the extra calories provides muscle strength, bone strength, skin elasticity and many other things. So instead of just "surviving" it is flourishing and functioning like a well oiled machine..and that's hot

The calculators are a really generalised estimate. They are not designed to estimate bmr fr people with anorexia. I tried the calculator, it said I need 1800 calories to maintain. That would mean 2300 to gain about a pound a week. WRONG. Im eating 3500 and gaining 1/2 a pound a week. You need to listen to your body, not technology. You are still very underweight. The best way to replenish your body and boost your motabalism is to nourish it with plent of energy, 3000 minimum a day. Initial weight gain might be high, but this is water weight, and rate of gain will slow quite quickly a become a good steady gain. When you come to maintenance, its often the case that you will still need atleast 2500 calories a day to maintain. Eventually, fixation with food relaxes because your brain isnt starved and you have a fuller life to be getting on with. The thoughts might always be in the back of your mind, and the likelyhood of you ever becoming overweight is pretty much non existant.
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