Weight Loss
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1200 or 1600 calories? Somewhat confused.

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I've been dieting for 2 months now. In the first month, I wasn't counting calories and noticed I had lost too much weight in a short amount of time (0.7 kg a day), so I looked around and found CalorieCounter. After a few food logs at 1200-1300 calories a day, I found the weight loss had ceased to 0.4 kg per day, which I then continued for a couple of weeks. I figured if I'd increase my calorie intake to 1300-1400, the weight loss wouldn't be as drastic. Instead, I've been gaining very slowly over the past few days (always 0.2 kg per day). I always weigh myself in the morning after a bathroom visit and before I eat to avoid any extra weight on the scale. I would cease it to a week but I have some OCD problems and doing that every day kind of prevents me from freaking out and getting confused about how to put my log together for the next day (it really helps knowing if I've messed up on anything the day before).

I'm 19, currently weigh around 66 kg (145.5 lbs) and stand at 165 cm (5'5''). At the moment, I'm not particularly physically active. However, I do try to go on walks every day, which last a minimum of 30 minutes. In order to assess my daily calorie intake, I used the calorie calculator for children aged 2-20. One of my questions is whether walking counts as exercise for the specific calculator I've linked to? I'm used to being sedentary, so my initial response was to bash the poor "Never active" button before clicking on Calculate.

I will most likely hear I've messed up my metabolism and am not eating enough. Having been a sickly kid with stomach problems, I can't say I yearn going back there. I've been feeling much better and would really like to get as healthy as possible, so if you do scold me, please scold me along with some advice. I'd really appreciate it. ~<3

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1200 is almost always not enough. You're young and lightly active, so1600 seems like a better amount!

Also, keep in mind that weight can naturally fluctuate day to day, so if your weight doesn't change one day (or goes up) that doesn't mean you did something wrong the previous day. Weight loss doesn't occur immediately, but over a period of time, and many factors can affect the number on the scale (how much water you drank, how much sodium you took in, exercise, volume of food, bowel movements, etc).

Good luck!

I think I'll go on about increasing my calories a tad, giving it a few weeks and seeing how that goes.

Thank you very much. :)

Anyone under 21 really needs a bare minimum of 1500 if female, 1800 male. 1200 is bare minimum for short (under 5'), older, sedentary women. At 5'4 you would need more than 1500. Your BMR, basal metabolic rate or the bare minimum calories your body needs to keep you alive if you are bedridden/in a coma is going to be higher than 1200. Eating below your BMR will only short your body on nutrients and stall your weight loss. Increasing your calories will cause a slight weight gain at the beginning as your body adjusts but then it will settle out. A fire can't burn without fuel and neither can your metabolism. .5-1 pound a week is the max someone of your age can safely lose. Your body will grow and develop until at least age 21, even if you don't get taller your organs, bones, muscles have a lot of growing/changing to do.

Also it is very important that you don't cut out any macro nutrients. You need protein, carbs, and fats. Your brain does not burn fat or protein it burns glycogen (sugar/carb) so you really need the carbs. Fats are important for healthy skin, nails, hair, digestion (lubes the works) etc. You want to aim for a healthy balance. Yes if you walk 30 minutes or more everyday you qulify as lightly active especially once you add in all your daily activities...work, school. Nourish and respect your body. Good luck.

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I found a weight loss coach that uses a multiplier for weight loss that works well.Multipliers are: 12 if you get little exercise, 14 if its moderate , 16 if your active.

Let say you weigh 175 and get little excercise, x 12= 2100 calories. This is how many calories you have to eat in a day to maintain your weight at 175.

So make small goals slowly. Start with wanting to weigh 160 x12= 1920 calories( or whatever multiplier applies to you). Every time you reach a goal weight , you use the multiplier  to tell how many calories to use to get to the next goal. 

Its simple, slow and safe and works.

I never heard of this method before. I am going to try it to lose the last 20 pounds. After losing 71 these last 20 just will not come off. Thanks for giving me new hope to reach my goal!


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I know what your saying, I'm on a slow weight loss road and even though I eat constantly, monitoring the calorie count , when my DR. put me on the 1500 calorie , it started to come off fast, but then stopped,..so it turned out, for me, it was too little calories for the weight I am and my body started to "hold" onto the weight , thinking I was now starving it...its still slow, but its working. I also had a nutritionalist tell me that if I were too worried to go off the 1500 calories, then use the zig zag method. Which is 1500 calories one day, then every other day or two jump up the calories by 500 or more (use the multiplier for a better idea),..then go back to the 1500. This prevent your body from getting use to the low amount calories your taking in,..keeping it working and burning,..kinda like tricking your body so it keeps doing what its suppose to do. This is working for me, even though the loss is slow. (side note) I eat constantly because I have low blood sugar, so I really spread everything out all day.

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WoW! Only 900 calories! My friends who works in the health field also went on a doctor monitored diet of only 500 calories a day! They were monitored daily, and after 3 weeks had a free weekend where they could eat anything they wanted. They both lost about  25lbs. each. But for them, I don't know what it taught them about eating right.

I'm really impressed with your weight loss! Wish I could handle a lower amount of calories for a faster loss, like you experienced...I tried 1200, but I was getting sick too much,..so My doctor said to just do what works. I'll say congratulations to you! That is great!!! And I'll still keep on my slow steady road. Cheers!

Don't just look at the weight.  Look at how you exercise too.  Exercise can increase your weight but you will look and feel better.  If you work out hard that can increase you weight by 10 to 15 pounds.  Just walking can increase your weight by 5 lbs.  If you are dieting at the same time it will look like you aren't losing much weight, or even gaining, but you are losing fat.   Monthly water weight will also make your weight fluctuate.

Try keeping track of your exercise.  I keep a spreadsheet of my daily weight, calorie count, and exercise (OK, I'm a nerd and happily so), I've had it 3 years now.  Over time you will see trends which will help you keep on track. 

Finally you are doing a great job!  Give yourself a pat on the back for taking care of yourself :)  Good Luck!


Anytime you want to lose weight whether you exercise or not you have to vary your calorie intake daily (it's a proven fact), so if you want to lose at least 1 pound a day and you are 5'5"/145, you alternate your daily calories, one day say 1300, next 1450, next 1350, next 1500, next 1250 etc, between 1250 and 1550 daily.  I'm 5'7" and my daughter is 5'9" and have both lost weight at approx 1 pound a week or more (more usually for me cause I work out more than my daughter), and we eat whatever we want (of course it mostly good stuff) as long as it fits in the calories we do for that day.

Now some might lose more weight at first that the 1 pound and that is because it's shocking your metablism to do something then it might slow down but don't stop until you reach your goal.  Then to maintain, you probably want to stick to 1400-1600 calories a day, still alternating.  If still losing weight, gradually increase until you maintain.

The mixing up the calories daily boosts the metabalism to work and not stay stationary or possibly gain.  As you lose weight you do want to do more activity, keep your muscle tone and skin tighten which at your young age shouldn't be a problem if you add other activities to your weekly routine.

Hope that helps, everyone I know that has dieted in this way has had great results. Fad diets might help for awhile but once you have to go back to a "normal" life they don't seem to fit in...not many can continute to buy this programs food for ever so dieting is best when you do it with what you will be eating the rest of your life.

Good Luck!

I'm over 60, currently weigh 131 and am on 1200 cals a day, or thereabouts. I'm interested in the multiplier theory and according to that I should be on 1500 cals a day to reach my goal of 125. Would that work for me? I am losing weight on 1200 but it's oh so slow, a kg a month or 6 weeks.

Very interesting thread.

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Hello there,

     You are 19 years old. 164 cm tall and you wight 66 kg. I do not think you should be thinking about loosing wight. you are committing a crime against your self. 

      you should be thinking about improving your health by being more fit. my advice:

1) excersize for 30 minutes three times every week. for example swime, jog, play soccer or what ever you enjoy. this will improve your self esteem, health attitude to life and make you happier.

2) stop wight yourself every 5 minutes. I know that every one is now worried about wight. but that is not a problem for you. instead keep an eye on your endurance. keep an eye on how skilled you are at swimming, soccer or what ever hobby you have. your wight will be naturraly good if you are active and athletic.







She said 'physically active', not 'physically attractive'. Laughing

Hi. I was in the same kind of situation as you a few years ago. I was 14 and decided I wanted to lose a few pounds. I cut back bad and watched everything i ate. I lost 18 pounds at about 1200-1300 calories a day. Problem is I am an athlete so I ended up hurting myself more than helping. When I took it too far (92 pounds at 5'1") I had to start eating to gain instead. I barely increased my intake and my weight jumped. A lot. In about 5 months i had gained 12 pounds. I was so paranoid, but I found out, by experimenting with amounts of food and timing, that the restriction caused my body to retain any extra calories I ate so that I wouldnt "starve to death" It took me a while (about 3-6 months) to find a decent balance and for my body's metabolism to return to how it should be. For me being athletic, I eat 5-6 small meals. I have heard that some like the 3 square meals a day thing, and thats up to them. But experiment a little and dont get down on yourself. Your body will tell you what is right. Also, I have to work on my OCD habits too, but try to calm yourself. Meditate? Sometimes just clearing your mind helps. The more stressed your body is, the more weight you will gain and/or have a harder time to lose. Hope this helps a little.

Am 42 years and weigh 196 lbs, i need to reduce 30-34 lbs to be within the safe BMI. I read about the weight loss coach in this thread mail. If my intake is about 2770 calories per day i would be maintaining my present weight, but to reduce 30 lbs how much calories intake should I consume. And how many days or weeks it would take. Please let me know.

I'm 28 and 5'6, I eat 1700-1800cals a day and have lost 150 so far...sometimes I eat more. Mmm food!

Hey Kayotie, How long did it take for you to lose 150???

A year and a half, and it came off nicely :D Didn`t struggle etc.

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I'm 37, weigh almost the same as you, and I'm 5'7. I maintain on about 2000 a day. You can propbably maintain on more. You can lose weight on 1600. Don't go down to 1200 a day.

Walking counts as exercise.

You cannot know, based on a single day's weigh-in, whether you did something wrong the day before. Weight fluctuates so much, you will be completely thrown if you are close to your period, if you eat something slightly salty, if you didn't have a BM that morning... ignore daily weight. Look at the trend (moving average, green line on the weight log).

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