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How many calories you eat/ate to maintain?

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I would like to hear from folks of all weights, as for how many calories their bodies need/needed to maintain their weights. I don't want calorie numbers based on computations and formulas.... these formulas are averages, theory. Many of us can't eat as much as the formulas say.  Instead, I am looking for examples of people who diligently and honestly tracked their calorie consumption when they were heavy.  I'm also looking for people who have tracked how much they need to maintain their current lower weights. Include your age,  height, gender and activity level.  If you can provide a "before" and current goal maintenence, yeehaw!

Examples from real people I found on the Internet.

325-pound man said he had been eating 4500 calories per day.
117-pound 5'3 woman says she eats 1350 a day to maintain.
242-pound woman said she had been eating 3500 calores per day.
175-pound 6' man, who works out, says he eats 2750 per day.

Edited Sep 19 2014 20:31 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary bumps
17 Replies (last)
don't know how many I ate to maintain 150, sorry :/

but now:

15yo, 5'4", female, moderately active [run 4-5 times a week], 106 pounds, maintaining at 1100-1400 a day (losing if I go below that)
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I have no idea exactly how much I ate when I weighed 235 lbs, but it had to be close to 4,000 calories a day.
Now at 22 years old, 6'1" 165 lbs, male, working out 4-5 days a week for 1 hour, I need to eat 2300-2600 calories a day to maintain. It's hard for me to hit my goal though so many days I fall slightly short.
As a 103-pound, 15 year old, 5'1" female who's fairly active and muscular, and who's stopped growing, I eat between 1560-2200 calories a day.

Sometimes I get the feeling I should be eating more, because I'm much more muscular than I used to be, and until recently I've been losing weight very very gradually under CC's recommendations.  1560 is my maintenance number if I stay in bed all day; 2200 is if my profile's set to sedentary and I've had an insane training day.

Generally speaking, though, 1800 is a happy medium for me.

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At 15, it is premature to think you stopped growing for good. You should not be basing your allowance on tools that are meant for people over 18.
That's quite true for most people.

However, I hit puberty pretty early (fourth-fifth grade), and my doctor told me that girls generally get all their height before that period in time. I've been the same height for years, and my family are all very small (my mother is 5'2"; my father is 5'6"). I think I might've grown three or four centimeters over the past few months, but it might just be the yoga that I'm doing improving my posture.

Also, I lost weight at precisely the projected rate that CC gave - 40 pounds that took, give or take a few,  40 weeks.

I'm trying to transition into not counting calories any more, but it's really not that easy to do.  Anyway, I'm pretty careful. There's girls on here who should NOT be following CC's recommendations because they haven't grown yet, and there's even more who don't follow the recommendations anyway.

Not to sound nasty, but don't you think you should badger them instead?

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It's possible you've reached your full adult height, but it's not safe to assume you have.

Btw, I'm not trying to badger anyone.
I know, I know. I'm being careful though, and I'm in a healthy range for my height and frame anyway. If I get hungry, I eat - I think of CC's guidelines as guidelines, not hard and fast rules, and if I feel like I need to go over then I do. In fact, I've been averaging closer to 2000/day for the past month or so, and for someone as small as I am, that's a whole lot of food.

Thanks for the concern, though.

Although, revolution3 - you're taller than me, weigh the same and  are almost as active; how are you not still losing weight? Or am I just being a pig? :P
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I'm 44 years old, female and 118 pounds / 5 foot 3.  And I walk for 45 minutes a day (4 days a week) and do some resistance exercise a couple of times a week, and some ballet dancing 3 days a week.  I need 2400 calories a day and if I walk and do ballet I sometimes need 2700 calories a day.

Maintaining my metabolic rate has been my focus and I've done this by doing heavy resistance work, eating frequent meals, eating more protein to build more muscle, and not getting too fit (as my personal opinion is if the body is too fit it gets too efficient and needs less energy to do it).  Anyway, it seems to be working for me.

I still count calories as if I just try to eat really healthy I don't get enough calories and keep losing weight which I don't want to do as I'm a size 4 now and that's small enough.
squashmeister--I'm recovering from a bit of an undereating period that lasted about a year :/ no more than 800 calories a day. of course I'm over with that now and just a tad bit afraid to eat more than 1400.. and it seems so hard! I'm still losing, just not significantly--maybe about a half a pound every week or so.
I have a Tanita IronMan scale which sends tiny electrical impulses (you can't even feel) to measure your weight, body fat percentage, bone density, metabolic age, muscle mass, hydration level, among other things and tells you how many calories you need to be consuming, so I base mine mostly off of that. It's neat, because you also input your age, height, and whether you're an athelete or not and you program yourself into the scale so it can record your different weigh ins and progress (or lack thereof).

Anyway, it says for me, being a 20 year old 5'5" athlete (and by this, meaning working out, sometimes rigrorously on a consistent basis, not necessarily super athletic or sporty or whatever) I need to be consuming between 1300-1400 calories a day, so I try to do just that. I'm glad I found this site, because I eat a lot of fruits and veggies, and even though they're very healthy, I'd still like to know how many calories I'm consuming and whether I'm in my range or not. My goal is NOT weight loss, but reducing body fat percentage as I want to get mine down pretty low. I'm only doing this for myself and to maintain healthy and don't have super strict timelines or restrict myself food-wise too much, but I would like to be in the best shape of my life! Hope that helps some!
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Wobblyonion, that's not many calories for someone that doesn't want to lose weight, and an athlete who is so young.  How long have you been eating that for and what weight are you?
It seems to be sufficient calories for me; I haven't gained weight (or lost weight) by a pound or two in the last 7 years or so. I have however lost some body fat percentage (which is my goal) and put on muscle mass. I'm not looking to bulk up any, just tone what I do have and build a stronger core. But I work out a few times a week with weights and run a few times a week and if I do indeed wish to have a lower body fat percentage, and I'm talking in the minority of women, I need to watch how much I eat and what I eat. Oh, and I weigh about 118 (+/-)a couple of pounds. One of the examples the original forum builder had on his blog was of a 117 pound 5'3 woman (who's just a couple inches shorter than me) eathing about 1350 calories to maintain her weight, which is right in my ballpark. I'm never super strict with my diet and I'm never hungry (I love to eat), but in order for me to have the healthiest body possible and still maintain positive body image, I exercise often and eat within that range of calories.
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I'm a 53 yr old male, who lost 47 pounds in 2005. I wanted to lose 40, but another 7 came off after I hit my goal weight. During that time was used to track calories and the according to that site I averaged 2650 calories per day.

I have been maintaining my weight (+/- 2 pounds) by exercsing 5 days/week, daily weigh in, and by eating a diet based on lean protein, whole grains, fruits, veggies and unsaturated fats.  I no longer count my calories.

While using I visually learned the correct portion sizes I needed to lose .

My weight flucuates daily and I've become accustomed to that, and have learned that it's very natural.
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I'm 17 years old, around 5"5. I weigh 100 in the mornings and 103 in the evenings. I have never set out to lose weight but I went on a bit of a health kick and lost about 5 pounds this spring. When I lost weight, I was eating around 1400 calories per day of fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meats and not a lot of dairy.

Since it's summer now and I'm a lot less stressed, I haven't been eating as well as I used to. I still eat a lot of fruits/vegetables but now and then I've been having ice cream, pancakes, pizza, and pad thai. I probably eat around 1600 cals a day. However, I have been exercising more than I used to (mostly rowing and biking at the gym around 3 days a week). My weight has stayed the same for the last 3-4 weeks.

I'd really like to maintain my weight throughout the summer, but I'm worried that these changes in my diet may have adverse effects. I often feel pressured to eat high calorie meals when I'm with friends because they make "jokes" about me being anorexic (which I'm clearly not).

Anyway, you guys seem to know what you're talking about so I was wondering if anyone knows if these occasional treats may cause me to gain weight.
I love to eat, what can I say?
First my stats: 5'9" / 140 lbs. / 18 yrs / male
I typically eat 3,000 calories a day.
I start off the day strong, I love breakfast and need it.
I typically eat 400-600 calorie breakfasts. I don't drive any more, I either ride my bike or walk everywhere. So, to get to work, I have to bike 11 miles there and back every day, so 22 miles a day. If I need to go to the store, I'll walk 3 miles to the store and back ect.
For a mid-morning snack I'll usually have a granola bar or bag of chips for about 200 calories.
Lunch is usually my biggest meal of the day, usually about 1000 calories, consisting of whatever I damn well please :)
In the afternoon, If I feel hungry, I'll typically just have a yogurt that I bring with me to work, so 100 calories maybe. Then for dinner It'll usually be around 800 or so, depending.
Also, I don't believe in "don't eat late." Your body needs it! When you go to sleep, you still burn calories. So I usually have a 200 calories bag of popcorn or some other snacky type food before bed. I have stopped counting, officially, but I still watch how much I eat. I sort of use my acquired knowledge to gauge my eating. I can't eat like most of you have been, like 1400 calories. I'd die. I love eating too much!

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I am 44 and maintain my weight plus or minus 5lbs of 167.  I eat 3700 to 4200 calories a day.  Typical day looks like this:

3am PBJ and whole milk  500cal

7am smoothie (10oz whole milk, .3c greek yogurt, 1 banana, 2 tbps flax seed, 2.5 tbs peanut butter, whey protein powder [30g]) 975cal

9am black coffee 0cal

10am 25 flights of stairs (20 min)

11am handful of peanuts (about 60) 320 cal

1230pm 6oz pot roast, 1c cooked turnip greens, 1.5c cooked navy beans 830cal

2pm 25 flights of stairs (20min)

245pm piece of chocolate 120cal

5pm run 2.1miles (20min)

530pm walk briskly (30min)

630pm smoothie from above 975cal

8pm 1 serving homemade chicken bacon alfredo with garlic bread 500 cal

930pm 1c strawberries 50cal


This is only to maintain.  I am not trying to lose nor gain weight.  This has been my diet for more than 6 months.  Sleep 7 hours and drink 10+ glasses of water.  Oh, and stomach is always hungry!


5'3" 120 pounds, very active, 2500-3500 to maintain. If I eat 2000 calories a day I lose weight at a steady rate.

17 Replies